#rememberreminder: Wear Sunscreen
You can picture it: It’s the dog days of summer, and there you are, all suited up and ready to hit the pool. You grab your towel, goggles, and maybe even your Walkman (or maybe your Discman, your Zune, your iPod, or your iPhone — depending on what generation you grew up in) because a day at the pool isn’t complete without a splashin’ good set of tunes. You run out the front door to gather your friends, and just before it slams behind you, you hear your parents’ voices following not far behind:
“Remember to wear sunscreen!”
There’s something so completely nostalgic about this simple piece of advice, this little reminder that, before you go and play, it would be best to be responsible — or else pay the price…
(We bet all of our parents wish they would have had the wonder of animated GIFs to prove their point back when we were kids.)
It seems to us that most advice is like this simple reminder to wear sunscreen: sometimes you’re better off for listening to it and sometimes you’re not (well, you’re probably always better off wearing sunscreen). But regardless of whether or not you take dispensed advice to heart, you probably remember that piece of advice, whether it was good or bad, and who told it to you in the first place. Because, as a wise woman once said:
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Funnily enough, this line was written by Mary Schmich, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, in her 1997 essay, Advice, like youth, probably wasted on the young. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this might: the essay, which Schmich wrote as a hypothetical commencement speech, starts out with the line, “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97: Wear sunscreen.” She goes on to dispense other advice and warnings in the hopes to help these fictional new graduates live happier lives and avoid common frustrations. Yet she keeps coming back to the simple one of wearing sunscreen, because as she says, “the long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.”
(And hey, we’re not scientists either, but hopefully the Remember Reminder advice we’ve been delivering to you every Friday here on the blog will provide you some simple, happy long-term benefits!)
Even if you don’t remember Schmich’s essay, you might remember the song that was inspired by it: Baz Luhrman’s 1999 hit, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen), which is also known as The Sunscreen Song.
So, really, if you didn’t take the advice from your parents growing up, or from Mary Schmich in her ’97 essay, perhaps we can can convince you to take our advice:
Remember to wear sunscreen.
Or don’t. It’s up to you. But if you don’t, you’ll probably end up looking like Stewie up there, red and raw, and we all know just how fun it is to look like a lobster.
Tell Us: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
We post our Remember Reminder series on the blog here every Friday morning, as well as on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Just search the hashtag #rememberreminder to find us! And if you have any of your own post-it note Remember Reminders that we should know about, make your own and use the hashtag so we can share the love!
At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.