Kate over at Accidental Hedonist has a list of things she wishes she’d known at 20, now that she’s 40:

  • Beer comes in flavors.
  • Hollywood produces hype better than they produce entertainment.
  • Most television news is entertainment disguised as “the public’s right to know.”

That gets me thinking (although I’m not yet 40). So here are five things I wish I’d known.

  • Even as black is made up of all colors, it is possible to wear colors other than black and still carry that little bit of coolio protection around with you.
  • Being angry is usually a waste of time. So is wringing your hands, beating your head against the wall, shyness, writer’s block…
  • “Gentleman” may be a dirty word, but only because people perverted what it means to actually be one — from being fair (and more than fair) to opening doors and expecting sexual flirtation as payback (yes, “Gentlemen” will watch your butt go by as you walk past them). “Lady” pretty much works the same way.
  • Figuring stuff out is hard. People are hypocrites — because it’s so hard. It’s okay to love them anyway. After all, some of them love you.
  • When it comes to boys, there’s a fine line between “jackass” and “dull.” That’s where all the interesting boys are, not out in “I’m too sexy/cool/freaky” land.

So what are five things you wish you’d known? (Or, if you don’t feel like admitting any age past 21 could happen to you, what are five things you wish people would just shut up about?)