Everyone has a point in their life where they wonder just how badly they are failing at becoming an adult. Many of us have this same point of worry multiple times in a week! This is a completely natural concern. We all also seem to eventually have a moment where we gasp, clutch at our hearts, and realize with horror that we have become our parents. Or at least, that we are getting very close to being our parents which then causes us to overreact and act like young people again but it is always pathetic because once you’ve reached a certain point of growing up, you can’t go back and oh god it makes me sick all of the time lost hold on I have to go hyperventilate into a brown paper bag.
Now you might be thinking to yourselves, you might even be shouting at your computer screens, “Amandoll, what would you of all people know about growing up? Look at you. You have never worked, you aren’t married, you never want kids, you’ve never even driven a car. Do you know what else you don’t have? You don’t have a bank account. You don’t even qualify as a thirteen year old most of the time, honestly. God. What good ARE you??”
WELL LISTEN, I may not have, like, practical experience on this matter, but I insist that I am very good at making observations and then taking these observations and creating threads of words with them that I can then pretend make good article topics for articles that need to be written as soon as possible because my goodness it is any day of the week already and I need more content all the time more more! Also I am pretty okay at crafting run on sentences of pure excellence today. It is my gift to you all.
We humans have always been preoccupied with the end of our civilization. Sure, we have pocket-sized computers that can send signals across undersea cables to people on other continents virtually instantaneously, but on the other hand, a disturbing number of us use this to send pictures of our genitals to these people, often while driving. So it’s understandable that we tend to think our glory days of international space stations and individually wrapped cheese slices are numbered, and that we’re just one drunken diplomat away from going back to drawing penis gods in caves and killing each other with rocks and twigs.
Some even look forward to this day, convinced that they’re special and chosen and have what it takes to survive the aftermath of a global pandemic, when the fit 21-year-old they watch jog by three times a day from their sofa does not. You won’t be winded after yank-starting your lawnmower then, no sir! You’ll be the leader of a grizzled group of survivors, fighting daily for survival and eagerly scarfing down a bag of dry lentils as your first food in three days. Who needs a coffee shop on every corner and plentiful food? Bring on the economic riots!
This mindset has spawned a subculture called “Doomsday Preppers,” who spend much of their free time converting basements and digging backyard bunkers because they know that a major civilizational collapse is coming, and some bottled water and freeze-dried burritos are going to help them survive a good six weeks longer than the rest of us. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus among this community as to which doomsday is coming. Some wait for nuclear holocaust, others for economic collapse, yet more for ecological disaster, and many just sit among their pallets of creamed corn and rock back and forth while murmuring “Obama” over and over.
I know you want in on this action before you are stuck in the ruins of a major city fleeing from a group of sexual cannibals chasing you on scooters with spikes welded to them while they wear discarded football gear, so here’s what you need to know to build a fortified bunker to escape to, along with several attractive members of your preferred gender who will show up just like in those movies on Showtime.
I’m sure no one here is a stranger to the popular internet image stream of Marilyn Monroe being depicted as a curvy ideal of Hollywood’s yesterdays. “Women used to have CURVES, Marilyn was a curvy curvy sex GODDESS, round and lush and built real like really real women are!” And it’s true. Marilyn Monroe did have curves! She was built that way. But if you really look at most of her pictures, she was actually really slender and healthy looking. I saw a picture of her measurements and she had a twenty three inch around waist! I saw this picture on the internet and it supported the beliefs I already held, so I didn’t bother verifying it, but clearly it must be true.
So, one day I was talking to Chris about this very interesting Marilyn Monroe information regarding how much she was a gentlelady of leisure and he went and Chrissed it all up. Then I Amandaed it up by turning it into a comic!
We have all seen the Fortune-Tellers in our local carnivals. If they are not working the Tarot Cards, they are Reading Palms. Palmistry isn’t just a vehicle for seeing into that person’s future, did you know? It can also be used as a way to see their personality! In fact, it is probably more reliable as a personality-figuring tool than as a fortune-telling tool, simply because they are always telling you that you “still have free will.” So any future-telling is meant as a guideline which you can change by making decisions that will lead you in a totally different direction. That will be $25, please.
Reading a palm is supposed to be able to tell you about the person’s character, too. An experienced palm technician can examine (which includes a fair amount of touching) the hand and know about this person’s traits and inclinations. Forget about the future! Let’s learn about now! On the INSIDE!
In this modern day and age, human beings are often too caught up in their busy lives. I’m told they have work to do, bills to pay, stressful situations to cope with, and entertaining distractions galore. These distractions are what people currently use to “unwind” from their other stresses, but they aren’t really that relaxing.
In the yesteryears before electronic fun, a person had a lot of time to think quietly to themselves. Their relaxation involved peacefully sitting out on the back porch and reflecting on life and problems while watching the sunset. Perhaps they would also be sipping on an iced tea and sitting in comfortable silence with a good friend and a kitty cat, listening to the ambient noises of the gentle outdoors and feeling glad.
But this article isn’t about how to really get in touch with the real you inside. Heavens, no!
In my perfect dream world, legendary children’s show Sesame Street would be populated by old time movie stars parodying themselves outlandishly. I think I would have learned better lessons, and learned them better, if it had been this way. Are children supposed to identify with or look up to a fuzzy green monster with a bad attitude? Well maybe they do, but a magically re-animated Greta Garbo would have gotten the job done with so much more melodramatic class.
If I ever get a wish-granting monkey paw, this will be the reality of children’s television programming.
As always, click to see it in the full size. (You can see the other example of Greta in imaginary kids television in our Yo Garbo Garbo post.)
For more than 5 years I worked in a café serving coffees, sandwiches, sushi, and even Ovaltine. But mostly, I served bubble tea. After so long, nothing took longer than anything else (except sushi, which was later retired at my workplace) and I couldn’t have possibly cared what people did or didn’t order. I loved the job, worked whenever I could, made friends with coworkers and customers, and even spent most of my off-time there. But some things that customers did… some were just too much to handle.
Here I present to you, The Worst Things. Now I know that some of these things may even sound almost normal, if encountered rarely and reasonably. It didn’t happen that way! This is all the time, consistent, terrible.
Taking Forever to Order
Okay, it’s a café. Why don’t you already know what you wanted? Why did you come in? Did you want a coffee? Say coffee, I’ll get you one so fast it’ll make your head spin. Or did you want a bubble tea? I can make three at a time, just pick the damn flavor. We always have the same ones, most places do.
I would try to solve this one in a friendly way, by offering to recommend a drink, but that usually just resulted in a series of increasingly difficult decisions, such as iced or hot, or small or large. We would both get frustrated. At one point, for the bubble teas, we built a spinning wheel to choose flavors. Customers loved it! They would spin and then decide that they wanted the same thing they always get instead. Problem solved.
Note: This was written while Prudence was Emily Yoffe, a wonderful and amazing columnist. We love the others too, but we wanted you to know that this was for her.
Where do I start? I am a longtime reader. I know that there was a Prudence before you, and while I do love advice columns in general, your answers are the ones I love. I can’t get enough of reading your column. You give advice the way it should be given.
I read through your column all day long at work. Don’t worry, I finish all my work too, but I read your answers in between answering customer questions. It’s fascinating and I often find myself 4 years back in the archives, looking for posts I haven’t read yet.
From time to time, I lose my mind and become convinced that I drink too much coffee. I know people are always doing some sort of martyred brag-lamentation about the truly colossal amounts of coffee that they drink in a day, but I’m not one of those. I drink very small amounts of coffee, only two to four cups a day, but I drink it EVERY day. Sometimes I notice that if my coffeedrink routine gets messed up, my personality takes a turn for the worse. Sometimes when I notice that, I become indignant! How dare coffee treat me like that! So then I resolve to show it a thing or two about dependency and I quit it.
I have heard of people quitting all of caffeine, but I have never done that. I just sometimes quit drinking coffee but then switch off to heroic amounts of tea. As great as tea is, it never seems to be a good replacement for the coffee caffeine that my body apparently has grown to need. Tea is there for drinking after the coffee has been finished for the day. Therefore, I have probably not even experienced actual caffeine withdrawal to the fullest extent. Even so, once when I quit only-coffee for two weeks, I had a seven day long headache that did not respond to medication, as well as feelings of impending death that lasted for the same length of time.
Maybe you have been thinking that you could use a break from coffee? Perhaps you are like me, and resent that you are apparently HOOKED. Perhaps you would like to prove to yourself and your coffee that you can stop any time you want. As a seasoned veteran of quitting the bitter bean, I am here to help you. Quick! Take my tremoring hand as I take you down the dark and frightening path to potentially healthier living!