You Say It’s Your Birthday

If there’s one thing the internet likes, it’s boobs. If there are two things the internet likes, it’s boobs and cats. But if there are three things the internet really likes, it’s boobs, cats, and inspirational lists. You can find them on any carpe diem-themed blog, and for some reason they’re especially popular on travel blogs.

They’re always called “50 Things I’ve Learned By Age 50”, or “86 Things My 86-Year-Old Grandma Taught Me (Most Of Which You’re Going to Skip Because 86 Things Is 85 Too Many)”. I never, ever read these lists in their entirety, and I suspect no one does. I start them with the best intentions, but as soon as I read #3 or #4 (it’s always something like, “Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window because God hates air conditioning hahaha”) I get bored, and then I’m off to some other site to look at cats or boobs. (Mostly cats. I have my own boobs.)

And someday I’m going to have 80 of my own cats!

Those lists sort of feel like cheating. Shouldn’t I be making my own dumb mistakes, resulting in my own dumb epiphanies? None of these life lessons mean anything to me because I didn’t expend any effort to reach them. People can tell you your whole life that ovens are hot, but that doesn’t mean anything until you burn yourself baking a pie and the next day at school you pretend your injury is from a spitting cobra. Let me have my own experiences, Internet.

I meant that last paragraph, but it was also an excuse for the following statement: I’ve sold out. I wrote one of those lists. In my defense, it was my 22nd birthday recently and being more than a quarter of the way to death makes a person think about what’s really important.

What’s Really Important

– Calling your grandma

– Being nice to other people

– Trying to justify a dumb thing you wrote

– Dental hygiene

– Finding smooth segues between lists

Pictured: a smooth Segway

22 Things I’ve Learned in 22 Years (That I Thought of in 22 Minutes)

1) There will come a time when you are sitting in bed and you really want to eat some crackers. Cracker crumbs + sheets = THE WORST COMBINATION EVER.

2) You will only have unexpected guests when your apartment or home is messy. If you’re really unlucky, it will always be the same unexpected guest and you will be a slob in their minds forever. There’s nothing you can do about this.

3) It’s impossible for every facet of your life to go well at the exact same time. When your career is an A+, your personal life is a B- at best. No one has a 4.0 in life.

4) If you wear down the tread on your Keds, you can slide really far on carpet and tile!

5) When someone compliments your outfit, they might really mean it. Alternately, they might have entered conversational panic mode because they have no idea what else to say to you.

6) Going through someone’s music collection is way more revealing than going through someone’s medicine cabinet. You can even tell which STDs they have based on how many 3OH!3 songs they own.

7) Aprons are the best. You can keep all kinds of things in the pockets, they cover up any weird wardrobe malfunctions you’re having, and it’s socially acceptable to get food all over them. What I’m trying to say is, let’s bring aprons back in a big way.

8) Someone is always going to hate your decisions. Not just one decision either, but EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE, even if it’s just deciding to get out of bed in the morning. Someone will have a problem with everything you ever do, but you know what? It’s your life.

9) Everyone thinks their feet are weird-looking. I don’t know what the foot standard is, but we have to stop holding ourselves up to it.

10) If you have big eyes, bugs will get in them. You’ll spend nearly 12% of your summer vacations explaining that you’re not crying– there’s a gnat in your giant eyeball.

They look way worse up close.

11) We all have one superpower. One person I know has the uncanny ability to find a parking spot near the front of any lot. My superpower is the ability to attract balls. (Not like that.) If there is a sport being played nearby and some kind of ball is being thrown, it will fly toward my head every time without fail. Sometimes I can control Frisbees, too.

12) You don’t eat right. According to doctors, and Oprah, and your paleolithic ovo-lacto vegetarian friend, your dietary habits are so wrong that you should be dead. On that note…

13) For some reason, it’s always socially acceptable to disparage someone’s eating habits, fish-sitting technique, and child-rearing practices. During the first two weeks of February, it’s also ok to publicly pity someone for being single. This behavior makes people want to stab you, but society has your back.

14) You should always make sure you’re not dreaming before you answer the door to the police. It’s also a good idea to double-check your pants situation.

15) Knitting is not relaxing, so we can all stop pretending it is. It’s incredibly frustrating when you mess up and there are two pointy, stabby sticks involved. It’s a bad idea to give pointy, stabby sticks to frustrated people.

16) No one liked middle school. Every one of us spent those years stewing in a giant ooze of hormones and every one of us has at least one horror story from them. We wore unfortunate clothing. We said unfortunate things. People should just be cryogenically frozen through puberty.

17) If you have a weird bump on your head, everyone will want to see or touch it. I don’t know why that is. It seems wrong.

18) The funnies are not funny. Why do they call them that?

19) Mustaches are wasted on the people who can grow them.

Except you, sir.

20) There’s such thing as too much DayQuil.

21) If you ask for a good haircut, there’s a distinct possibility the stylist is going to give you one that looks remarkably like theirs. When you ask people what they think a good job for you would be, they’re going to recommend whatever it is they do. “Good” is subjective.

22) My attention span only extends to 21 list items.


  1. Random

    You are wise beyond your years.

    And you write lists that are so compelling, not once did I have an urge to go to some other site to look at cats or boobs. (Mostly boobs. I have my own cats.)

    • Stephanie

      I’m glad you stuck around! It turns out when you use “boobs” as a tag for your post, a lot of people start to read your list and leave in bitter disappointment.

  2. Heather Boylan

    #9 – I LOVE my feet. Best body part. Just love my feet. Oh and my boobs aren’t bad either. And I love cats. And those crazy cat photos on the internet? I can click for a new one for HOURS.

    #11 – My head attracts surf boards. Every time I surf. Last time it took only one wave – 4 stitches, sister! And that bump on my head now? No one is allowed to touch it yet. It’s new. And hopefully temporary.

    Damn, that’s a long list!

    :) Fun. Thank you.

    • Stephanie

      I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who loved their feet before. You’re a unique individual. Always remember that.
      Surf boards are right up there with “Heavy construction equipment” and “Home Appliances” on my list of Worst Things to Have Hit Your Head. I don’t envy you. (Except for the foot thing.)

      • Heather Boylan

        Yeah, the feet are good:) I actually should roam the planet wearing a helmet – seriously. One more hit and who knows what will happen?!? Great list, though!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’m sorry that I introduced them into your life. Everyone says Ke$ha is a performer and she’s not actually the way her songs portray her, but I think the members of 3OH!3 might ACTUALLY be that way in real life.

  3. Alicia

    You should put a warning on your blog not to read while eating. I just spit granola all over my keyboard while unattractively laugh/snorting! Very funny. You may not be able to get a 4.0 in life, but how about an A+ in humor?

    • Stephanie

      Thanks! I’m sorry about your keyboard. If it makes you feel any better, I’m trying to invent a keyboard umbrella because that happens to me ALL THE TIME.

  4. Michael

    Controlling Frisbees could be a very useful superpower. Say you’re out walking one night, some mugger pops out and tries to rob you, and BOOM! Frisbee head-shot!

    • Stephanie

      Ha. It’s startling, but also non-fatal! The problem is that I can’t summon them from no where– there would have to be some people playing Frisbee nearby, and hopefully if I was being mugged near a game of Frisbee, someone would step in.

    • Stephanie

      I can’t believe you make all the stuff in your shop! It’s really beautiful. I LOVE the yoga socks. Do you knit AND do yoga? That may make you the calmest person on this earth.

    • Stephanie

      THANKS! I immediately imagined that there was something terrible lurking near your coffee and that you had to fight it in order to refill your cup. I don’t know why I thought that. I have a weird brain.

  5. Alexia

    I like my feet.

    You are funnier than I was at 22. Or perhaps I should say that you are more able to articulate your funniness that I was at 22.

    • Stephanie

      You’re the second person who’s said they like their feet. I’m going to have to revise the list now.
      I’m not funny in person. Maybe when I’m 23…

      • robfreund

        Mmmmm well, I fall in the foot hatred category. I have sasquatch feet that are too big for my body and weird big toes – and it’s not just me, other people have commented too, so I’m proof that your list is accurate! That or I’m the weird outlier that makes you THINK your list is accurate when it really isn’t.

    • Stephanie

      I’m probably looking at it wrong. If I was more athletic, it would be a really cool superpower. Unfortunately, I’m not even a little athletic, so I mostly do a lot of flailing.

  6. Frances antoinette

    Yes Crackers + crumbs equal a bad combination…especially because when you try to wisk them off the bed with your hand, the crumbs just jump elsewhere around the sheets and the problem gets worse! Bugs in my eyeballs tops the sheet crumbs situations. Some say having big, doll-like eyes is attractive…ummm, not when there’s a dead bug lying in your eye!

    • Stephanie

      People don’t recognize the danger of big eyes. There’s always something in them, they get THE BIGGEST eye boogers, I’m constantly stabbing myself with my mascara wand… the list goes on and on.

    • Stephanie

      Maybe that’s your superpower! It would be a really bad one, unless you were friends with an entomologist and you discovered a new bug because it landed in your eye. Then they could name it after you! Who doesn’t want a gnat named after them?

    • Stephanie

      Ugh. It’s the worst! There’s at least one person who thinks I’m the grossest person ever, but only because she keeps catching me in the middle of organizing, or just before I’ve taken out the trash.

  7. shenanitim

    You forgot how the “news” is never “new;” since, to report it, it would have to already happened. This is a real fun way to annoy any overachieving journalism majors you might know.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I read “you are wide beyond your years” and I thought, “Gee. I better pick up my game at the gym…” But in this case, thank you! Do you knit?

  8. createhabitsthatcreatehappiness

    That picture of that dude…first thought, Napolean Dynamite. Most things on the internet don’t make me actually laugh out loud, so my hat goes off to you because I was cracking up and couldn’t stop reading! Thank you for the gut-busters :)

    • Stephanie

      Thanks for reading! I try to use only free images and sometimes finding the right picture is really hard, but that guy popped up and I immediately thought, “YESSSSS.” He’s perfect. I hope he never finds this and gets offended.

  9. Annanna

    Now THIS is my kind of list! Lol. I envy your superpower. I only got hit by a basketball on the head once and it was enough to make me involuntarily panic anytime I see balls (not that kind).

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’m glad you specified which kind. It turns out there’s no way to say, “Balls hit me in the face a lot” without people assuming it’s the OTHER kind. I know that panicky feeling! I sort of think that my intense fear attracts them to me. I think, “I’m gonna get hit, I’m gonna get hit” and then BLAMMO! I’m hit.

  10. Lori

    I lost you and now I have found you again. Thank Gawd! I blame Google +1! I also blame them for my lack of focus and my bug eyes. Thanks for making me laugh everytime you post.

  11. Pingback: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For « Listful Thinking

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