advice tree


You know how people make wishing trees at feel-good events (like weddings, graduations and self-help seminars)? And to those trees people tie little tags on which they’ve written happy rainbows, aspirations, hopes and dreams?

The city of Calistoga has diluted the preciousness out of the wishing tree scene, offering an potted olive tree placed downtown that explores the topic of “Parents Advice I Didn’t Take.” And we think it’s pretty much genius.

Now, of course the tree is adorned with tags that lament the good advice that people didn’t take from their parents (“Don’t get your boyfriend’s name tattooed on your boob. Not a good idea,” is one), but we’re more interested in the parental advice that people didn’t listen to, and as a result, got on just fine.

Now, our parents are right, like 99.9% of the time, but just like any humans, sometimes they misstep and totally mislead.

“Don’t eat in your room,” reads one tag. I mean, we get it. But really, what’s that going to hurt?

A message we contributed? Some not-so-sage advice from mom:

“Don’t extend your trip in Spain. Come home. Spain will be there.”

She was right in one sense. Spain is still there. But it’s nowhere as cheap as it used to be to visit. We haven’t been back since that one amazing trip–thank the heavens we didn’t listen to dear mom on that one and just did our own thing.

It’s all too fitting that all these tags representing rebellion and regret hang from peace-offering olive branches; in the spirit of peace and harmony, we’re not suggesting you totally disregard your parents. Duh. (They’re some of the only people in your life who have your best interest at heart). But sometimes, once in a blue moon, you just gotta go with your gut.

We spilled the parental advice that we didn’t take. Now it’s your turn:

If you came face to face with this parental wishing tree, what message would you add?

(The most rockin’ comment wins ¬†gets a PSTOL KICKDOWN: a signed copy of 97 Things You Should Do Before You Finish High School,¬†which includes all kinds of activities your parents may or may not approve of.)

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