Ah, Jamuary. The month when we all create bear-like hibernation caves out of blankets, woolen socks, and sweatpants. Fresh fruit is like a fond, brightly-colored memory. A pale imitation of fresh fruit appears in the grocery produce aisle, costing $4.98 per shriveled berry.
But we still have jam. Or preserves. Or jelly.
What’s the difference, you ask? I actually have an answer. One time, at an apple orchard, I found a handy chart and took a blurry, poorly-angled photo. Which I will share with you now.
Boom. Jam that knowledge all up in your brains.
So what’s your favorite jam/jelly/preserves? Mine is Bonne Maman because it seems fancy and French, but I can buy it at Giant.
Sometimes I worry that success is like a small birthday cake at a huge party.
The people who are the most assertive get there first and cut the biggest pieces. And then a line forms. The line is totally random. I’m at the back of the line, and I can’t help but wonder:
“How did she get ahead of me?”
“How come he has cake, and I don’t have any cake?” “I’ve been here just as long as they have!”
“Will I get a good slice of cake?” “…Will I even get any cake?”
Like there’s only so much success to go around. And if I were just more aggressive or well-liked, I’d have cake already. I wonder what other people have that I don’t. (Besides cake.) Why them, not me?
But mostly, I’m afraid that I won’t have this thing I want so desperately.
And in a way–it’s fine. I won’t die if I don’t get cake. But I will still be hungry. There’ll be this big empty pit, right at my core. With the ability to fill it taken completely out of my hands and left up to chance.
Fortunately, you can buy an entire non-metaphorical cake at every chain grocery store and eat it alone in your apartment. None the wiser.
“If only I could have a relationship like Marshall and Lily!”
“What are the rules to True American? I wish my roommates and I were that close.”
When I was younger, I always thought that when I was a Real Adult in my mid-to-late twenties, I’d have a large group of five or six friends. We’d all be interconnected and super close. Know each other’s families and histories. Pop in and out of each other’s apartments. Call each other up on a moment’s notice for wacky adventures. Have a bar or coffee shop where we’d all meet up on the regular.
This did not happen.
I totally have plenty of friends. Individual, one-on-one friends. My vegan/vegetarian friends. My long-distance friends. My book club friends. My former-colleagues-turned-friends. My best friend from childhood. My soccer friends. My friends I met through random activities.
But despite my best efforts, I have not been able to find or create a core group. And I live above a coffee shop AND down the street from, like, three different bars! COME ON.
Why is this? Is it because I live in D.C. and all my friends are in different neighborhoods and it takes at least half an hour to get anywhere that requires public transit? Is it because I’m slightly introverted and I like occasional alone time? Is it because I moved away from the area where I went to high school and college?
Television shows displays these solid group friendships though time and time again. Friends is the first show to come to mind. But there’s also Happy Endings. How I Met Your Mother. New Girl.
The friends always just effortlessly fell into their friendship together. The show usually begins a year or two after the group is established, with flashbacks to show how the different characters met. Sometimes there’s a pair of siblings. Or two people who are already a couple. College friends, childhood friends, and random new friends mix. Sometimes the show starts after the random new friend is accepted into the group. There’s a neurotic one. There’s an equal amount of men and women. There’s the friend who just wants to get married. (Ted/Ross/Dave, anyone?)
I’M ALMOST 29. IS IT TOO LATE FOR ME TO HAVE A FRIEND GROUP? HOW DO I DO THIS? SHOULD I TRY TO FORCE MY FRIENDS TOGETHER TO CREATE A GROUP? OR WOULD I HAVE BETTER LUCK BEING THE RANDOM NEW FRIEND?
Did you get a new job? Congratulations! Here’s hoping that it’s better than your old job. Because remember how excited you were when you got your old job? And how that turned out?
Anyway, telling your coworkers that you’re putting in your two weeks notice doesn’t have to be awkward! You don’t have to ominously shut the door and then after a few seconds of silence, blurt out that you’re leaving. Then continue to sit there, not knowing what to do, as they fumble through trying to look happy for you.
These ideas are all better ways I could have put in my notice:
Put it on a cake! “I quit” never tasted so delicious.
No one can be mad at the words on a cake. It’s physically impossible. I did bring in cannoli the day before, but that’s even worse. Then you earn a reputation as the cannoli-bringer, let it sink in, and then inform them that you will no longer be bringing cannoli because you will no longer be working there.
Announce it in a song.
Replace the lyrics of Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” with “I Quit.” I quit, I’m done, it’s true, so loooong.
Have a kitten tell them.
Put a sign on a kitten that says, “Pug’s two-week notice.” And then just let the kitten run around the office. People will be delighted! A kitten! They’ll barely notice you announced you’re leaving. But have a back-up kitten, just in case.
Fake your own death. Just don’t tell them. Obviously, you have to tell HR, but by now you know whether you can trust them to keep a secret. Then on your secret last day, make a big show about how you’re going to go to that creepy carnival two towns over. Did they hear about it? No? Rumor has it that people have gone missing. They go into the Funhouse and never come out. But you’ll be fine! Totally!
Make a hilariously unreasonable demand.
“If we can’t get Benedict Cumberbatch for this campaign, then I quit!”
“But, Pug, we’ll never be able to get Benedict Cumberbatch.”
“WELL THEN I GUESS YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS.”
Good luck. Make sure you keep at least one bridge un-burnt.
Turns out that being an adult isn’t about all the things you imagined as a kid. Extravagant love affairs. International jet-setting. Buying a home and filling it with impeccably designed touches of your personality.
The true meaning of being an adult is just adding alcohol to all the things you drank as a kid.
That’s it. That’s the secret of adulthood. Being an adult is hard, but the universe has given us fermentation as a way of coping. As a child, you don’t need alcohol, because you have mystery and imagination. And then you realize that the world is difficult and your dreams don’t matter.