The Best of Andy Rooney

(This classic Andy Rooney column was originally published Nov.15, 1985.)

I don't do as many things I don't like to do as I had to when I was young.

Except that you have more years ahead of you, youth isn't necessarily a better time of life than any other. When I was young, I was always having to do things I hated.

School was harder than work ever has been. I enjoy working and I never enjoyed studying. I liked learning, but found the process of education tedious.

Staying up all night to study for an exam was a terrible experience and I did it a lot in college. My parents and all the teachers said cramming didn't work but they were wrong. It may be the wrong way to learn, but cramming is a good way to pass an exam. It just hurts a lot while you're doing it.

I no longer stay up all night for anything. If I have something I should have written and haven't, I go to bed and try to get it done the next morning. If I don't get it done? Sue me.

There is no single thing in my adult life so regularly unpleasant and burdensome as homework was in my youth. If I bring work home from the office now, it's because the work interests me. It is not drudgery and if I don't feel like doing it, I put it off.

There are still things that come up in my life for which I'm unprepared but they don't bother me the way they did when I was a teenager. They no longer seem like life-or-death situations. If my income tax stuff isn't all together when I go to my accountant, so what?

Love is more pleasant once you get out of your 20s. It doesn't hurt all the time. I no longer fall in and out of love. I have my love.

As a grown-up, I don't eat things that are good for me if I don't like them. My mother was always insisting that something was good for me and I had to eat it. Now, the most I do is try to avoid things that are bad for me. I'm not doing much for the carrot farmers.

Shoveling snow is my idea of hard fun, so I shovel snow in the winter, but I've always hated cutting the grass, so in summer I pay someone to do that.

On Saturdays, I always had to stop playing with the other kids and come in and have lunch at noon. I still play a lot on Saturdays, but I quit playing and come in for lunch when I feel like it. I don't care what time it is.

People can write about the glories of youth, but there are advantages to maturity, too. I don't read anything I don't want to read, I don't go places I don't want to go, and I don't spend a lot of time talking to people I don't feel like talking to. I feel no need to wear what the other fellows are wearing, listen to the music other people listen to, or go to movies I don't want to see.

When I was drafted into the Army, I detested the discipline. When First Sgt. Hardy M. Harrell ordered me to get rid of the books I kept under my bunk at Fort Bragg, I made the mistake of telling him he didn't like books because he couldn't read. This turned out to be the wrong thing for a private to tell a first sergeant and I spent the next 30 days doing many things I didn't like doing. Now, there are books under my bed again.

I offer all this to young people who are wondering about life. Don't think things keep getting worse. Youth can be a terrible time of life just because of all the things you hate to do, but have to do anyway.

The Best of Andy Rooney - Humor & Satire Classics

Humor & Funny Stories - The Glories of Maturity | Andy Rooney

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services