Rules for Life After 35

At a certain point, everybody needs an guidebook. Columnist Leigh Newman reveals her most helpful no-nos and yes-yeses.

If you tell somebody to go away, they will hang around.

Nonstop flights are worth the extra money.

If you see lilacs or water balloons in April, you absolutely must buy them.

Due to their short lifespan in water (lilacs) and the fact that all stores now sell summer novelty items in spring so that they can sell Halloween stuff in summer (water balloons), you only have five smoking-hot seconds to purchase either item for other people—and cause them to fall down in a shuddering fit of joy. And yes, adults do, too, love water balloons.

Lifting your tongue to the roof of your mouth while taking a photo helps smooth out a double chin.

Books. Books. More Books.

Men who don't put their face in the water are men you may not date or marry.

You can swim or not swim, but you can't half-swim. That is like half-walking, half-thinking or half-falling in love. The guy has to put his face in the water, even if it's cold and dark.

The five-second food-on-the-floor rule is really the 30-second food-on-the-floor rule.

Except in houses with dogs.