Shoe’s 30 Unwritten Rules to Live By

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Life, Opinion, Things I Hate

We all have ’em. Unwritten rules we live by. Some are sort of universally accepted, some not so much. I touched on some of this stuff in my acclaimed blog “If I could just have a minute . . . where I gave my thoughts on wearing sunglasses indoors, popped collars, and other assorted annoyances. This is sort of in that same vein but not really. Bottom line we’re not talking 10 Commandment level stuff here.

So without further ado, I present to you Shoe’s 30 Unwritten Rules to Live By. Feel free to make a print-out and post on your fridge.

Or not. Here we go . . .

Don’t mess with another guy’s volume knob.

This goes for a guy’s car stereo, period. The driver has sound priority. As a matter of fact it goes for the entire dashboard. Air conditioning, etc.  And I like my music loud, so deal with it. So, hands off my knob. I can’t believe I just typed that.

Acknowledge the person who lets you cross the street in front of them.

This also applies when somebody lets you cut in front of them in traffic. Just a small wave of recognition is all that’s required. Just a raise of the hand. I usually give a point and a wink, but that’s just me. The alternative, which is ignoring somebody after an act of kindness, is inexcusable and an extreme act of assclownishness.  Note: That is the type of vocabulary that separates me from the other ordinary bloggers.

There is always an available room at the hotel or seat on the plane.

Always, at least at the nice hotels. Never, ever let them tell you differently. If you are persistent enough you will get what you want. I’ve witnessed this on more than one occasion.

Chew with your mouth closed.

And for God’s sake don’t talk while you’re chewing. Nothing worse. I once faked a death in the family to cut a date short after a girl did this repeatedly. Not even kidding.


Stand up straight.

People who slump aren’t attractive. That’s science. It shows a lack of confidence in both men and women, and nobody wants that, man.

Always say “bless you” when someone sneezes.

Even if you don’t know them. Say it.

Don’t walk on a people mover in airports.

Same for escalators. People are on them because they don’t want to walk. I’ve been known to intentionally block people who do this. If you want to walk, walk. Or take the stairs.

Don’t talk during the movie.

True story here. Back in my younger days, before I learned to control my temper (sort of), I once made a guy pay me $7.00 in the parking lot after he’d ruined a movie by yapping to his girlfriend throughout. On a related note, I have no idea why I haven’t been murdered at some point.

Don’t talk on your cell phone too loudly in public.

I think this is a pretty universal rule, no? Nobody wants to hear you discuss your business deal or where you’re going for dinner, dumbass.

Let others go first.

Always. Hold the door for the person behind you. Let them off the elevator first. And If they don’t acknowledge you with a wave you’re allotted one attempt to trip them. On a related note, let people off the elevator before you get on. Jeesh.

If you dig a hole at the beach, always refill.

I see this often. For some weird reason, as soon as people get to the beach they start digging a hole. I’ve never understood this phenomenon, but for God’s sake fill it in when you’re finished. Nothing ruins a romantic midnight stroll on the beach like a snapped fibula.

Always leave a one urinal buffer zone.

At least. Men, pay attention here. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than standing at a urinal with 5 empty urinals on each side of you and some tool walks in and uses the one right next to you. Not cool. And under no circumstances should you ever do this.

Sign your name.

I can’t tell you how many times, as an administrator and coach, I’ve seen anonymous letters or emails complaining about one thing or the other. Take ownership people! As an Athletic Director I would toss any unsigned letter straight into the trash can, simply because people can say anything they want if they aren’t going to be held accountable for it. Unfortunately I had a superintendent for awhile who actually read this garbage and acted on it. Dumb. Anywho, own it like Hancock!

Look people in the eye during conversation.

Big pet peeve of mine, and I used to preach to my students about it all the time. It’s such a simple social skill, but it’s one that is dying a slow and agonizing death.

Don’t use “K” when texting.

Here’s why. Let’s say you send a text like this: “I had a wonderful time tonight. You looked absolutely gorgeous”, and the response is “K”. That’s not good. The “K” is weird and dismissive when you’re expecting a more in-depth response, ya know? On a related note, the “Thnx. We need to talk” is never good either.


Not . . . good.

Stand at a proper distance during conversation.

Not too close, man. An arm’s length is a good rule of thumb.

Pick up after your dog!

Should be an obvious courtesy, but sadly it isn’t.

Don’t park in handicapped spaces.

I have been known to call people on this. In addition, don’t be the pretentious douchebag who parks his Corvette at an angle so he doesn’t get a ding on his door. Go park at the far end of the lot, asshat. *Update: I’ve started an Asshat Parkers of the Day page on this website that has gone global. You’re welcome.

In divorce, always side with family.

I have a friend whose sister is a better friend to his ex-wife than she is to him. I can’t wrap my head around that.

If you don’t run at home, don’t run on vacation.

We’ve all seen this. A guy struggling down the beach, huffing and puffing at near coronary levels. Not sure why this occurs, but maybe it has something to do with being more aware of body image since you’re wearing a swimsuit a lot? Anyhoo, not a good look.

Never wear a hat on vacation that you wouldn’t wear at home.

I know, another beach rule. But why in the name of God do guys wear weird hats while on vacation? This is a complete mystery to me. Maybe they feel like they can be whoever they want when they’re away from people they know? Kill the weird hats guys.

Whenever possible, eat at the bar.

Trust me on this one, kids. Your service, and food, will be better. In addition, don’t let your kids sit at the bar, especially if every seat is taken. This seems to happen when people are waiting for a table and they sit at the bar. Make your kid get up so an actual paying customer can grab a stool. Your bartender will thank you. In addition, if somebody moves down a seat to make room you’re always required to by them a drink. That’s Bar Etiquette 101, really.

Cyclists, both motor and bike, please obey the traffic laws.

Don’t bitch about us not seeing you or respecting your rights, then cruise by us when traffic is stopped. If you do and this happens, I won’t feel sorry for you.

Have your cash ready and know what you want to order when you get to the register.

There are few things more annoying to me than standing behind somebody who waits until he gets to the front of the line to get his money out and/or decide what to order. Plan ahead, jackwagon!

Don’t stand too close behind me at the ATM.

I have been known to turn around and unleash the famed Shoe Death Stare to get people to back-off. That’s just inappropriate. The standing too close, not the Death Stare. Back off.

Slow drivers, stay in the proper lane!

Another universal complaint, I know, but it haunts me still. We need more “Slower Traffic Keep to Right” signs, damn it!

Break up with somebody in person.

Kids, listen up. Don’t call, don’t text, and for the love of all that is holy don’t have a friend give the bad news. Man (or woman) up and handle it with as much class as possible. A little heads-up though. It’s always better to do it in a restaurant or other crowded area to avoid, you know, a potential ugly scene. On a personal note, I once broke up with a girl in my apartment on OSU Campus. Let’s just say that “Frampton Comes Alive!” double album I had on the turntable at the time could not be put back together.

Always tip 15%-20%, especially if you’re a regular.

In addition, you tip for service, not product. You don’t have to tip when you pick up a pizza, for instance. Tip your waiter, valet, barber, people like that. You’ll come out ahead in the end. It’s karma.

Guys, don’t wear tiny shirts.smedium

We know you work out. We see your biceps. Wearing a small t-shirt when you should be wearing a XL only makes you look stupid.

Be a good listener.  

I admit I’m still a work in progress on this one. I tend to start staring over somebody’s shoulder at points unknown if I’m not interested in the subject matter. One the other hand, one of my exes tells me I’m a helluva listener when a pretty woman is involved.

So those are my Top 30. I’m sure I’ll think of more and if so I’ll adjust accordingly. Hell, I may post 31-50 one day soon. And sorry if it seems as if I’m telling you how to live your life, but I guess I sorta am. Hey, if you’ve screwed up as much as I have you learn things.

Finally, a wise man once told me this – as a general rule you don’t regret what you do in life, you regret what you don’t do. More often than not I’ve found that to be true.

  1. Chasity Gragg says:

    As a person who worked in a hotel for years… sometimes they really don’t have any more rooms available. none. zilch. nada. Sold out sometimes really means sold out. No amount of death glare and/or sweet talk can get a room where there isn’t one. I always wondered if these people wanted me to strap on a tool belt and go build a room for them or just shake one out of the sleeve where I was previously hiding it. 🙂 Especially during special events where other people booked the rooms a year or so in advance. Other than that spot on though, Shoe.

    • Shoe says:

      Chaz, don’t know where you work but I’ve found that most of the upscale places hold a room or two for emergencies or if a special guest were too show up. Just my experience though. 😉

  2. InMyHead says:

    I think a good title for this that you’ve already used is “Wait. Didn’t everybody know this already?”.

    • Shoe says:

      That was the point. Everyone should know it but doesn’t. Guess I needed to clarify a little more. I haven’t been bringing my A-Game lately. Sigh.

  3. Larry says:

    Your rule about dashboards and volume controls directly struck home. For years I rode to school by myself and the 10 minutes there and back again in the evening was mine to enjoy. All that came to a horrible end when my freshman son started riding with me rather than taking the school bus to town. I remained pissed for the next four years!

  4. SO TRUE says:

    Dude. I laughed out loud at least 5 times. Men in too small shirts and whiny bikers who cruise past you in traffic are the best of the worst! This post reminds me of something Larry David would write. But more clever 🙂

Gimme a holler.

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