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.
Like, if you hate tomatoes but they only want to eat at Italian restaurants, you might have a problem. (Trust the vegan on this.)
Do you feel comfortable enough in their home to take off your shoes and rifle through their cupboards?
If you just stand in the doorway, feeling like you need an invitation to take off your coat–lest you overstep the boundaries of showing them your coatless body–then you probably shouldn’t share a common space for any period of time.
Would you yell at them if they cut off your mom in traffic? And would everything be okay afterwards?
“Dude, that was my mom! You need to calm down. For real.”
If you so fear their reaction that you would only meekly say, “Um, I think that may have been, um, a woman who could have given birth to me,” then do not travel with them. Because there may come a time that they will overstep your boundaries–like speaking to you through the door while you’re trying to pee–and you need to feel okay telling them to give you a goddamn minute.
However, if you think that snapping at them for cutting off your mom in traffic would result in a huge blowout or tears–do not let them become the only person you consistently interact with for days on end.
Would they be patient enough to take approximately 6,392 photos of you with your new mailbox?
When you’re on a trip, there’s nothing worse than seeing something super cool and having your travel companion grudgingly taking a photo of you with it–only to discover that you’re squinting weird. You need someone who will snap a bunch of photos. And then snap a bunch more if the previous batch did not meet your standards.
(Please note, this must be reciprocal.)
Would you spot them money for dinner or just straight up buy them a coffee?
During your travels, you run the risk that somebody’s card just won’t work or one of you may run out of cash at a cash-only café. You need to be comfortable with the idea of shelling out money on their behalf that you may never see again. (Or trusting them enough to be sure that they’ll pay you back.)
Have any of their roommates mysteriously disappeared?
Do you know any of their previous roommates? Are they still friends with their roommates? If not, this could be a warning sign that they’re the type of person who will just take your bananas and time your showers.
Have you ever vomited/farted/burped or done some other seemingly embarrassing bodily function in front of them? Would you feel comfortable doing this?
You may be sharing a teeny tiny hotel room with one bed and the flimsiest cardboard wall between that bed and the bathroom. If you eat at that local Indian restaurant that seemed kind of shady–but was recommended by your brother’s girlfriend’s dog-sitter–and you start to feel a telltale rumble in your intestines…
Let’s just say–when you travel with someone, they learn your secrets. If the idea of letting them hear you destroy a toilet bowl fills you with terror, you should not travel with them.
(Naturally, don’t try to be gross. But things happen. Sounds are made. You need to feel comfortable enough with your travel companion, that they won’t openly point out or be horrified of your humanity, so that you don’t give yourself constipation just to avoid any potential embarrassment.)
I feel like this turned into a bunch of things about bathroom habits.
Here, have a picture of baby ducks in Paris:
I had a fine dream of posting something new on this blog every week. But sometimes I just get so busy–and since I don’t have a clear direction for this blog yet, I overthink every little idea–that I fall a little behind.
Also, whenever someone says “I’m a little behind,” all I can think about are tiny butts.
“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.