With the publication of my new book for adults all but imminent — For Adults Only: How to Act Like an Adult Around Adults (it’s for adults) — I’ve decided to offer a few excerpts here to gin up interest and, ideally, multi-million-dollar sales.


There actually are very few keys to acting like an adult. But those few are important. In priority order, they are:

  • Try to refrain from telling professional associates their mothers wear army boots. There may not be too many folks around anymore who know what it means. But the few who do are likely to get pretty testy.
  • Take it easy on the garlic. Unless you’re troubled by vampires, it’s not worth the risk of being offensive. I was once in a gym with a dude who reeked of garlic so badly he had three empty treadmills on either side of him.
  • If you don’t get your way, wait till you get home to start crying. It isn’t that crying is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can evoke some usefully manipulable sympathy from some people. It’s just that bawling is unseemly if you’re over the age of three. Given the choice between weeping and passive-aggressive sulking, go with the sulking.
  • Regardless of how nerve-wracking the social function might be, especially if it’s of a professional nature, avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. If you have to be sloshed to get through it, do your heavy drinking before you get there.
  • Do NOT insist on the front saddle of a tandem bicycle if you’ve had bean soup for lunch. I know a guy who was going to ride with his wife from Sheboygan to Fond du Lac, didn’t heed this tip, and was divorced by the time they got to Greenbush.
  • If your boss’s wife comes to the office Christmas party wearing silver lamé, don’t make any cracks about the Halloween Party or ask her why she’s dressed like a TV dinner.

If you follow these decorous suggestions, you may qualify for a subscription to Harvard Business Review.

Image courtesy of ViralPortal.