33 Lessons For My 33rd Birthday
The word "Lessons" is doing a lot of work there BUT there's definitely 33 numbered items
Last week I officially turned 33 years old.
That means I am finally a real, full-on adult. That may seem late, but according to hobbit society, 33 is the official age of adulthood. At 6’1” I’m a bit tall for a hobbit but given that I’ve yet to accomplish so many adult “goals” I figure what the hell, it sounds pretty good to me. I’ve always been a big Bilbo fan.
There’s been a shift in the air around me lately and I can just feel good things starting to happen. It feels like the kind of year for an epic quest. The tagline of this newsletter is going on a journey to Find Wit’s End and that seems like a pretty heroic pursuit to me. It’s the perfect time to double down on this whole writing thing. My mental state can be summed up like this:
So I’m not entirely clear on what the destination looks like but I do know this: journeys get pretty lonely by yourself. So I’m putting together a fellowship to join me and guess what? You’re INVITED!
All I need is your email and you too can be part of an epic quest. What kind of boring person says no to a cool quest? Don’t be boring.
I’ve got the perfect thing to kick off this new stage too: the yearly birthday listicle. It seems like every online writer eventually does some kind of “33 lessons on my 33rd birthday” article. I think it’s a way to appear more wise, or at the very least, have something to write where you aren’t obligated to connect all the ideas together. A writer cheat code, if you will.
So here’s what I got for you. A mix of lessons learned, opinions, jokes, and just plain old ranting. Combine them all together and you have an accurate looking glass into my life and personality as I sit here basking in my thirty-threeness.
Nachos improve any event. Weddings, work meetings, funerals - I don’t understand why nachos aren’t a staple at all of these. They empirically improve every single function where they’re present. I’m tired of going places that don’t have them. Everyone needs to get it together.
2+2 definitely equals 4. I’m tired of people trying to be edgy and say things like 2+2=5. It’s a stupid example and you’re not some unique thinker on par with Aristotle. I’m also tired of hearing about giving 110%. Go drink your trendy seagull milk and stop trying to converse with me.
Dogs are the best. You should have one around as often as possible. If I had the money right now, I’d definitely have a dog.
Bidets are awesome. They are also extremely cheap and Americans are all unwashed fools for not using them. Just buy one, stop living like it’s 1612. I know you might be scared of taking such a big leap with your butthole, but don’t worry: I wrote you a how-to guide.
Ditto high-speed rail. Trains are pretty cool and I can barely take one anywhere on a regular basis? How am I supposed to take a midnight train and meet a new love interest if there is no midnight train?? Modern society is a joke.
People who litter should be jailed. I mean this wholeheartedly. If you litter, you really suck and you’re definitely not invited on this quest. Please don’t subscribe, you are the worst kind of person. It would be karmic justice if you choked on your breakfast tomorrow.
More people who suck: anyone who leaves the water running while they’re brushing their teeth. Again, what a complete waste! WHY is there no option on dating apps to filter these people out? It’s egregious.
You need to floss. If I was Baz Luhrmann, my inspirational song would be The Floss Song. Forget the sunscreen. I floss twice a day. Apparently, a lot of people don’t even do it ONCE?? What the hell is wrong with you people? You’re so gross.
BOGO tequila is an awful idea. Even if your nickname is Tequila Rick. This is a trap to end all traps and the store doing the special is particularly evil. It will end poorly. You have been warned.
Tornadoes and quicksand aren’t very common. These were two of my biggest fears growing up. Despite living in the mountains of Pennsylvania, I was utterly terrified due to the popularity of the movie Twister. I have still never experienced either of these phenomena but remain hyper vigilant for no good reason.
Oatmeal Raisin is truly the best kind of cookie. If you protest, you’re wrong. Sorry, I do make the rules, and they say you have terrible taste. Long live King Oatric!
Being an only child has advantages and disadvantages. The best part is probably that all of the gifts under the Christmas tree are for you. The downside is that you’ll definitely need some therapy later in life but hey - still got that awesome Fisher Price castle set all to myself.
It’s a long way to the top, even if you don’t wanna rock and roll. Sometimes it seems like the top is just a mirage someone is projecting in order to keep everyone orderly and buying more cheap products.
You can’t always get what you want. And really, the word SOMETIMES does a lot of work in the rest of that lyric. A lot of people don’t even get what they really need. A decent percentage might not even know what they really need. (It’s flossing. They need to floss.)
Somebody once told me the world was gonna roll me. They were so right. The world has taken many a W at my expense. Probably yours too. Don’t worry - every once in a while there’s an upset.
Seinfeld is the best show ever. Again, no room for debate on this one, sorry. If you’re a diehard Friends fan, again, there just isn’t room for you in this cool kids club.
Working in TV news blows. If I could offer one tip to every person going to school for “Digital Media” or something similar, it’d be: Get the hell away from TV news. It’s a slowly dying industry that will suck your soul as it pulls you into its vortex. Go there only if absolutely desperate and get out at the first available opportunity.
Winning an Emmy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Awards are fleeting. Getting to the top isn’t always that great because the moment of achievement passes by pretty quickly and leaves you wondering what use a little gold statue really is. More thoughts on all of that here.
A fantastic way to pad out a list like this is to just write whatever you want. Remember: no one can stop you (wow, that was pretty inspirational).
A word on people’s pregnancies. If someone reveals they’re pregnant, you should NOT respond with, “Yeah, I kind of thought so.” Even though you were totally right and will naturally want credit for your superior powers of foresight AND you successfully resisted the rookie mistake of asking outright, you will still get in trouble for it. I learned this lesson just one month ago. It’s okay though - I’m way wiser now that I’ve actually hit 33.
If a friend has a boat, it will be an accurate barometer of who’s a true friend to them. Most boats are pretty small, so there will only be room for the best of the best. You’ll know where you stand based on the invite list. Not sure if your spouse really loves you? Try buying them a boat and then see if they invite you on it.
You can expect people to show up to support your hobbies once, mayyybee twice. Whatever you do in life (improv, roller derby, paint weird drawings on barns), any half-decent friend can be convinced to come out one time. After that, you’re expecting a lot. Unless the person is your parents or you’re actively having sex with them (the other person, not your parents, wtf?), don’t expect them to return for at least a year or two.
Pursue unproductive fun. Not everything is a skill that has to be mastered. Sometimes, you can just do something for the sake of doing it. I promise, you really can let go. Nobody is keeping a scorecard of your life and is going to hold you to it later on. More on all of that here.
Never drive in a hurricane and watch football simultaneously. I know that seems ultra specific but…it happens to real people. At least one of those real people writes a silly comedy column online. If you don’t listen to this one, you will end up hitting high water, flooding your engine, and having a car payment. Again. Right after you just paid off the old one.
Once your car is paid off, drive it into the ground. Stop buying new cars when the one you have is fine or just needs a grand in repairs. Save your money and do something cool instead. Cars are lame.
Long lists are hard to make in a short period of time. Imagine that: if you don’t work on something and instead try to cram it all in at the end, it’s harder. This is probably a key lesson on procrastination. I wouldn’t know though because I haven’t gotten around to thinking about it.
I’m paying attention. I always hear it said that you can go about your business and do whatever - that nobody is really paying attention to you. Most often, it’s said in reference to the gym. This is simply not true. Like Santa Claus, I am always paying attention. And judging. And probably trying to think of a way to write about it. I just want you to know that.
No matter how minor the surgery seems, it’s going to suck. Finger repair, endoscopic nose surgery, umbilical hernia - it’s going to be super annoying and take exactly the amount of time the doctor says to recover. You won’t recover faster, even if you think you’re special and awesome and totally gonna beat the estimates. Sorry, that’s just the way it goes.
Similarly, cursing loudly in the post-surgical unit is frowned upon. Even if the nurse totally promised you a freeze pop and then reneged on the deal. They will kick you out ahead of schedule. Apparently, those nurses will then spread the word to future nurses, who will also be rude and force you to call your ride five separate times in a twenty minute span, all while you’re still in an anesthetic haze.
Cheaters usually do prosper. A lot of bad people cheat all the time. They get away with it too. I’m a pretty decent person and I cheat at Uno every chance I get. Imagine what the truly motivated folks are getting away with.
When in doubt, take a nap. I don’t understand why the siesta isn’t a thing everywhere. Okay, I do - it’s because America’s insane work culture blows. I’m just saying, it should be here and someone oughta be running for president on this platform.
Life doesn’t have to be that complicated. There’s a fantastic George Carlin joke where he succinctly describes daily life as, “You get up, you go to work, you eat three meals, you take one good shit, and you go back to bed.” I wish I could achieve that level of simplicity and satisfaction. Alas, it seems as humans we are doomed to constantly want more than just the bare essentials and equally as doomed to not get many of them. Which brings us to our final point:
You can’t win em all. And sometimes, you can’t win any. So it goes.
I can give you one of the easiest wins of your life right now though. All you have to do is subscribe here to get funny content dropped in your inbox every Wednesday. Life really is that simple sometimes.
3 Funny Things
1 - Rick After Surgery
I know I wrote about having hernia surgery but this video is actually a throwback to five years ago when I had to have septum and endoscopic nasal surgery. I wasn’t very drugged up after the hernia one, so no funny moments were to be had. This one is a classic though. Apologies for the poor quality as I’ve lost track of the original file.
2 - Alcoholic broken up with for being too honest
Just a quality crowd-work clip from Stavvy here. The 26 year old getting roasted sounds concerningly like I did at that age. It’s a good thing I’m so much wiser now so that I can look down on people like that and judge them instead.
3 - Madagascar Goes Hard
One of those “adult goals” I’ve missed the mark on so far is having kids. Trust me, I have no regrets about that. It’s clear though I’m missing out on some quality content in these kid’s movies because this is objectively hilarious. Click through to watch the video.
Is third time really the charm? I haven’t found it to be so in life but this is your chance to help turn that reputation around. If you subscribe using this third box, you will be helping to uphold one of the pillar phrases of society. It’s the least you could do, really.