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

Trigger Warnings for Cats


Trigger Warning: Vacuum Cleaner

Trigger Warning: Something On the Wall Only You Can See

Trigger Warning: One In 75 Cars 

Trigger Warning: Your Human Is Wearing a Knit Hat

Trigger Warning: That Golden Retriever That Lives Two Houses Down

Trigger Warning: A Bag of Skittles Falling On the Floor

Trigger Warning: This Sweater Smells Weird and Reminds You of Another Trigger

Trigger Warning: Gravity Exists

4th Mar 2014 1,838 notes , Comments

Step 319: No matter how much you love someone, your time together is limited. Make the most of it.


Today, I celebrate, and offer every bit of gratitude in me, for the life of my grandmother and favorite person, Barbara Jean Dowdell … AKA Grannybarb.

She was an intrepid girl reporter. She was a cocktail waitress on a steamboat on the Great Lakes. She was the first female editor of the Daily Iowan. She had the best stories, supplied by a life built on the understanding that there is no such thing as boredom, only lack of attention.

She was a great wit, a maker of the best gumbo imaginable, a shameless (and gifted!) flirt, a writer, painter, knitter, stained-glass maker and someone who saw the back of a business card as an ideal place for a tiny watercolor portrait.

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28th Feb 2014 562 notes , Comments

"Hi. I’m a millennial. And I am a MONSTER."

Very pleased that my TEDx talk on why people are wrong about Millennials is an editor’s pick on

25th Feb 2014 762 notes , Comments

Nothing to do with adulting …

But I could not love the picture The Daily Beast made for my piece more. 

The rest is here.

23rd Feb 2014 240 notes , Comments

Step 318: Observe basic rain-safety

Quick reminder: If your windshield wipers are on (for non-bug-removal purposes) your headlights should be on too. Do you hear me, Portland?

15th Feb 2014 379 notes , Comments

Adulting Classic: Do not wage an unwinnable war against Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! To my readers in Oregon (yay!) or Arizona (boo, until you stop being so awful to Latino people!), happy statehood day! To all the singles … uhh …

I was single for a long, long time. Sometimes I loved it, mostly I hated it, but it was what it was. And yes, when you’re single, seeing a couple being all schmoopy really stings. This I know well. And Valentine’s Day can be especially crappy. I am not trying to pile on here.

But you gain nothing and lose all sorts of dignity when you go around making a huge fuss over Valentine’s Day or, as some call it, Singles’ Awareness Day (SAD = most fitting acronym ever). In general, if a group of people is celebrating something that you, yourself, do not particularly care to celebrate, the gracious thing to do is quietly let them celebrate while doing your own thing. Don’t barge loudly into their holiday and declare it a sham. Just sit it out.

Instead of going on and on to anyone who will listen about SAD and insisting loudly that you like it this way, go eat two hamburgers and fuck whomever you please, because being single can totally rule … if you don’t spend your time self-consciously trumpeting that fact to everyone.

12th Feb 2014 769 notes , Comments

Step 317: Be ready before you move in together

I’ve gotten a couple inbox asks about moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Aside from the practical considerations of any new apartment, here are some useful things to think about:

Before you do it …

• You should probably date, very successfully, for several months after the honeymoon phase ends before moving in together. “Successfully” in this case can be defined by the things that aren’t happening: No big ugly fights, no almost breaking up or actually breaking up then getting back together, no nagging feelings that this relationship is doomed. Moving in together will not solve any of those problems.

• Sit down and have a looooong, boring talk to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to the home itself. Is it always going to be sparkling clean, or are socks draped over a lampshade par for the course? Can you compromise on décor (or, ideally, have one person that could give a fuck less about color scheme?) Is your house loud and full of guests, or quiet with an early bedtime? You probably know a lot of these things about your boyfriend or girlfriend already, but an ounce of discussion ahead of time is worth a pound of yelling at each other to pick up those goddamn shoes.

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8th Feb 2014 927 notes , Comments

Song and life pairing: XO and moving into your first solo apartment


Kelly: for some reason, i think when you move in
you should play XO
and just spin and spin in place
while friends and family throw glitter on you

(Source: meredithhaggerty)

5th Feb 2014 171 notes , Comments

Derailing Christmas dinner

When your relative asks how things are going and whether he’s going to propose soon: Make your mouth small and your eyes so big. Gaze around. “Boyfriend,” you whisper to no one in particular. “I had … a boyfriend …” Get up and walk to the window. Gaze out into the darkness. Exhale on the cold pane, then draw a ladybug in the condensation. Chuckle to yourself. Return to the table. “Great! Things are great. So, so great. Oh my gosh. Great.

— Crushing Christmas: How to Win Every Argument, on the Daily Beast by yours truly

24th Dec 2013 1,019 notes , Comments

Step 316: Don’t feel embarrassed on behalf of other people

Via Boyfriend Dave:

"You know, you don’t have to feel embarrassed for people when they’re doing something on purpose," he said. "They’re doing it because they want to. They’re doing it because it makes them happy. Don’t worry about her — she’s just doing her. She’s not embarrassed. So why are you?"

Someone wearing a weird outfit? Someone dancing who’s not great at it? Someone getting up for karaoke without the voice for it? Don’t cringe on their behalf; that is almost always an expression of your discomfort in your own skin. It takes a lot of courage to be yourself, to do something because you love it. Don’t worry about those people; they are fucking fine. They’re great, in fact.

25th Nov 2013 1,619 notes , Comments