Hard and Fast
The Uneasy Case for Rules
Rules are useful—whether for style, tipping or anything else. Benchmarks and received wisdom are useful guardrails. As you get older you might bump up against one and find it no longer applies and you’ve moved on. Of course, if you’re breaking a rule then be prepared to elegantly defend yourself against those with lesser imagination.
Perhaps you develop a few rules of your own. You pass on celebrity-endorsed liquor or chain restaurants? I hear you. You refuse to support any Boston team? Preach! A friend posts endless photos of themselves on Instagram? That's why they invented the mute button. One day it occurs to you that you have quite a few rules. In my case more than quite a few. Don’t get me started on sweatpants and gum, two of the worst things ever invented.