How to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.

Step 330: When someone politely declines something, that settles the matter

How conversations should go:

Person 1: Can I get you a drink?
Person 2: Sure! Ginger ale would be great.
Person 1: [goes and gets a ginger ale]

Here are some things Person 1 should not say: "You want some whiskey in that?" "Are you pregnant?" "Why aren’t you drinking?", etc.

Generally, what other people are putting (or not) in their bodies isn’t super great to delve into. There could be allergies, or an illness, or pregnancy, or sobriety, or whatever. If the person wants to volunteer their reason for not partaking, they will. 

7th Oct 2014 982 notes , Comments

Step 329: If someone is waiting on something they *really* want that is out of their control, don’t constantly ask them if it’s happened yet

Is your friend …

• Unemployed and searching for a job?
• Wanting to find the right someone but hasn’t?
• Trying to get pregnant and having a hard time with it?
• Waiting to hear back from that dream grad school program?

When the thing they have desperately been waiting for happens, they will tell you. Peppering them with questions and/or unsolicited advice on how they can better achieve this life goal is probably not what they’re looking for.

Instead, it’s just depressing to have to vocalize, again and again, that no, the thing they want has not yet happened, and then have to sit patiently while the other person tells them to keep their chin up, or that the right one is coming, or whatever.

It’s great to ask, more generally, how everything is with them. If they want to cry on your shoulder or share great news, they will. 

30th Sep 2014 1,963 notes , Comments

Step 328: Do not eat super-smelly food items at work/on the bus/in enclosed spaces where others are not also eating smelly food

Just because you love the pungent, long-lasting scent of pickled herring doesn’t mean everyone else will. 

Confidential to my coworkers: I’m really sorry. I had no idea that microwavable pork rinds would make that smell. 

16th Sep 2014 394 notes , Comments

Step 327: Sometimes, text before you call


This is a thoughtful thing to do for people who might be expecting bad or serious news. My family got in the habit when Grannybarb was really sick, and every time my phone rang I was terrified that it was a Serious Call.

So when we just wanted to chat, my mom and sisters and would text the other person ahead of time, so we knew that it wasn’t serious and we didn’t have to drop everything to take it/steel ourselves emotionally/get to a place where we could flip out if need be.

9th Sep 2014 12,513 notes , Comments

An actual thought I had while moving.

But there is hope! Many, many tips here

9th Sep 2014 424 notes , Comments

Does anyone want to dress up in pioneer garb and be nerdy with me?

Non-thematic annual post: this event I help run is coming up!


Per usual, people will be carrying 200 pounds of meat, fording the river, and establishing tiny homesteads, among other silly, ostensibly educational challenges.



We still need a few volunteers — if you’re interested and can be in Salem, Ore. on September, 20, email BECAUSE WE HAVE RAD PIONEER OUTFITS FOR EVERYONE. Oh, and if you want to form a four-person team, there are still a few tickets left!

8th Sep 2014 228 notes , Comments

Don’t one-up someone else’s story.

If your buddy has just told you about something really embarrassing that he did, or complained about her stupid boss, or told you about how his last apartment was a nightmare, do not say any of the following:

"I’ve got an even better one."

"Something even worse happened to me!"

"That’s nothing."

Story-sharing is not a competition. Let your friends tell their stories, and then you can tell yours. But do not try to tell anyone that your experiences are more hilarious or awkward or painful. If they are, people will figure it out on their own. And if they’re not, who cares? Just tell your stories and have a good time.

8th Sep 2014 1,344 notes , Comments

When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

14th Aug 2014 1,027 notes , Comments

Adulting email cheat


For when you don’t really need to write a long email, but don’t want to sound curt. Just go ahead and type it in. NO ONE WILL KNOW!

15th Jul 2014 983 notes , Comments

Step 326: Pick up the bill when you go out to eat with your parents

This is a small gesture that works like a champ. You don’t have to do it every time, obviously, but it implies many things, all good:

a) You have enough money that a dinner is not a big deal;
b) You don’t treat your relationship with your parents as one in which resources flow in one direction, and one direction only and;
c) You are capable of pulling off sneaky but benevolent power plays. For that last one, go up to the host halfway through the meal and slip them your card, saying, “my parents will try to pay, so please just put the meal on this.”

26th Jun 2014 471 notes , Comments