On Friday mornings, I wake up in a good mood. It’s not just that I know the weekend is coming and that I can sleep in the next day, which means I can drink caffeine in the afternoon like one of those carefree types who can handle the raw power of a 12-ounce can of Coke. No, the last day of the week is a good one because that’s the day my co-workers have designated Plaid Friday. And on Plaid Friday, I know exactly what I’m wearing to work.
Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes clicking my way deeper and deeper into a company’s website, looking for someone’s email address. Unless you’re looking for an incredibly specific, possibly illegal item that’s only sold by a tiny curio shop in the Ukraine, that’s a stupid amount of time to spend looking for anything online. I was determined to find the address or die trying, though, because my only other option was calling her.
Yep. I had her phone number the whole time. When it comes down to it, I would rather fly a rickety, snake-infested plane to the Ukraine to hunt down an incredibly specific, possibly illegal item that’s only sold by a tiny curio shop there than pick up the phone and call someone.
I guess I ride a bike now.
It’s not really something I like to talk about because bikes, like magnets and former governors of Alaska, have polarizing effects. Maybe it’s different in other towns, but here they’re a pretty divisive issue. Of course, neither side presents itself very appealingly.
On the one hand, you have the people who are decidedly anti-bike. Some of their points make perfect sense- I also drive a car. I know how annoying bicyclists on the road are. When I’m riding my bike and a car comes up behind me, I want to nod sympathetically and yell, “I KNOW! I HATE ME TOO!” The problem is, the anti-bike types are surprisingly aggressive. There’s no quicker way to get someone to call you a dirty hippy than to show up somewhere on a bike, and three bicycle-riding friends have been hit by cars in the last year. It’s hard for me to take your side when you’re actively trying to kill people I like.
On the other hand, the pro-bike crowd is full of terrible human beings. If they’re not hipsters with the name of their fixed-gear bike tattooed ironically inside a heart on their arm, they’re mountain bikers who won’t shut up about Moab.
You know how cartoons in commercials have late-night epiphanies where they sit up straight in bed and their nightcap flies off their head in excitement? I had one of those last night, and I’m still looking for my hat. (Unrelated: It’s totally weird cartoon characters wear hats to bed, even though most of the people I know don’t even wear pants after 7.)
Are you out of work? Maybe school’s out, maybe you quit your job in a fit of rage, or maybe you were laid off. The point is, you’ve played so many games of the Sims that even locking them in a room until they pee themselves has lost its former appeal. Until recently, you were a contributing member of society and the knowledge that you’re now basically a leach is slowly pulling you into a miasma of shame and sloth. Or maybe you’re having fun, I don’t know.
I’ve been unemployed for a month now. (I KNOW.) I was doing that whole “job hunt” thing and it really wasn’t working out for me. I knew it was over when I interviewed in a clothing store at the mall and they asked me one question (“Why did you wear what you’re wearing today?”) and then told me they’d let me know. They did not let me know. Several rejections and many unanswered applications later, I’ve been forced to embrace the fact that for the next month and a half, I’ll have a lot of time off. All the time off, in fact. I’m sort of drifting through life, so I wrote this guide. It hasn’t helped me, but maybe it will help you.