MAKING MY PARENTS PROUD, MY SIBLINGS ARE

I’m going to start by saying that I love my siblings very much. Just needed to put that out there so I don’t get blackballed from future family gatherings / gift exchanges. It has, however, recently been brought to my attention that I am the least successful sibling. Which is interesting. Because I don’t remember when I went from first to worst. Last time I checked I was riding a solid middle of the pack wave.

At some point, fairly recently, I clearly fell down the totem pole. Could it have been because the rest of my siblings are annoyingly successful at everything? Probably. They’re those people who could get pushed backwards out of a first story window and land on their feet. That’s barely possible for cats. Who are known for their nimbleness and immortality. Do you know someone like this? No? Then you’re probably this person. Own it! Not all of us have been blessed by the life gods. 

Nothing like accomplishing something you didn’t think was possible, like landing a real adult job after graduation, only to have your freaking sibling pipe up right after to announce they’ve been invited to have dinner with the Prime Minister for their dedication to inclusion with the international students on campus. What?! Excuse me, but this is not your sharing time. I am now officially contributing to society at the lowest possible level a college degree will get you. Go somewhere else with all that. Maybe the UK? They seem to want to talk more about what an amazing human being you are. 

Has this ever happened to you? Do you find it irritating? It’s kind of like ordering an amazing cone of ice cream at the beach just to step outside and have the whole thing melt immediately in the sauna and fall to the ground. Then you have to figure out what your next “big” move will be. And then, you have to figure out how to actually implement the next “big” move. And then, you have to start tracking towards the end goal of your next “big” move. And then, when you finally accomplish this “big” move, your siblings have casually become a walk-on star athlete, a National College Student of the Year, and the go-to security engineer at a major tech company. It’s fine. That’s fine. I’m fine. If anyone cares I’ve learned how to use my Crock-Pot. 

It’s an endless cycle. Because now I have to find an even bigger “big” move. One that will surely outdo whatever my siblings decide to bring up in casual dinner conversation. Get a puppy? So much commitment, though. Start a business? But doing what? Become a celebrity? Highly plausible. The ultimate social media achievement. Lots of influence. This is clearly an attainable goal that will outshine whatever grandchild, Nobel Prize, or technological creation my siblings will be able to speak on. 

I believe the real issue here may be time-management. While I am able to successfully work, be mildly social, and a binge-watching pro (more on how to successfully complete a binge-watch marathon in THIS POST), it appears that some people have an extra block. Dedicated to actual goals? Where do I sign up for this? My schedule is clearly very full as is. I guess I could give up social things? Is it worth it? Nah. All my siblings are very social so that must not be the weak spot here. Oh! Duh! It’s work. I need to quit my job. Can’t believe I was today years old when I realized what a freaking ball and chain the office was in my pursuit of most successful sibling.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DATING APPS ARE OUT OF CONTROL

Why is love so hard? Well, it doesn’t have to be! We all have a set of standards and expectations that are used to filter out potential partners. Good familial relationships, excellent cook, no aspirations of a dad bod, compassionate, 6’2”, has a job, gives strong preferential treatment to dogs over all other pets, has friends, etc. You know what yours are. In my experience this list of requirements varies greatly between each of us. The majority of the list makes sense since they are values that are important to you. Or at least help aid your agenda of producing the next Stephen Curry. 

But if you’re honest with yourself for a split second, there is probably at least one item on there that is more of a suggestion. It would be great if they didn’t judge my afterwork habits. It would be great if they showed up at my door just to drop off a package of Chewy Chips-Ahoy cookies when I have a bad day … and then of course leave me alone with my cookies and feelings. It would be great if they drove a sports car, or at least had an interest in owning one someday. Blah, blah, blah. These aren’t so much dealbreakers as dealmakers. When you’re trying to decide between several potential candidates and it comes down to the little details. 

Thankfully, several different companies have popped up to target all of your oddly specific criteria for a partner. In my opinion, some of them make sense since they still allow for a broad enough range of options outside of the main focus. A lot of them, however, simply saw the line (the ‘you’re taking it too far’ line) and flew right by it without even blinking. For those of you not overly familiar with the online dating options, or for those that like to play it safe with the most popular options, let’s look at what all is available to you (according to Google – and GOOGLE KNOWS ALL) ranked from most sensible to ‘wut?’:

  • Christian Mingle
    • If Jesus isn’t giving you what you need romantically, at least the Internet will
  • Farmers Only
    • Plow the fields can be taken in several different directions, so at least there’s lots of good pick-up lines here
  • Elite Singles
    • For all the wealthy people who somehow have trouble finding all the gold diggers of the world
  • Uniform Dating
    • While a lot of people look sharp in a uniform, seems like a shaky thing to base a relationship on
  • 420 Singles
    • I’m sure there are more than 420 people using this platform
  • Miss Travel
    • Their business model (summarized): beautiful women seek rich men to travel the world with on “dates”
  • Gluten Free Singles
    • Finally, a platform where not eating gluten spares you from all judgement
  • The Ugly Bug Ball
    • Don’t feel pretty enough for mainstream dating apps? Welcome to the Ugly Bug Ball
  • Sea Captain Date
    • Oddly specific, but seems to be a wavy twist on the Uniform Dating platform
  • Date a Golfer
    • Most golfers I know are taken … because they golf … which is awesome … but also, just put that you play golf on your profile. This feels like we’re beating the horse to death with a club
  • Herpes Fish
    • It’s illegal to not disclose that you have Herpes to a sexual partner. Here’s the loophole
  • Mullet Passions
    • Mullets are not for me, but they are for some. For the passionate, this is for you
  • Clown Dating
    • Surely this is a thing of nightmares, I do not understand this at all
  • Vampire Passions
    • Well, vampires aren’t real so this may be some funky cosplay alternative
  • Amish Dating
    • I don’t even know where to start on this one. Amish people don’t use technology. Ergo, Amish people don’t use the Internet. Ergo, how would an Amish person get registered on this site? And how would they even know it existed. How does this even work?!

Wow, I mean, what a time to be single! As you can see, it takes a turn into weirdville quite quickly. I’m curious as to how all of these sites are able to maintain any sort of feasible user base. Outside of about the top three, or four. Seems to me like most of these things are easily handled via a good profile on a more well-rounded platform. But, then again, I don’t really know. These are just observations based on site name and their splash pages. Regardless, I had a super fun time diving down this Internet rabbit hole and will unashamedly take all of my new browsing ads to date a clown, to embrace the Herpes, and to settle down without any of the technical advancements I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying up until now.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF BEING A SPORTS FAN

The sports industry is massive. Everyone puts out a different estimate of its total worth because, if the government has taught us anything, it’s that agreement is not a correct answer, but everyone has the value somewhere in the billions. With a ‘b’. That wasn’t a typo. So it’s kind of a big deal. A LOT of people are invested, physically, monetarily, and emotionally. If you aren’t one of those people, you might not understand anything that I’m about to write.

Let me backup for a second, though, how can you not be a sports fan? What do you do with your time if it isn’t spent screaming at people through the television? People who obviously can hear you and care about your opinions on your performance. Also, everything is a sport now. The traditional ball, basket, and jersey don’t always apply anymore. Do you do nothing? If you don’t consider yourself a sports fan, why not try one of these “hobbies-that-are-somehow-considered-a-sport”:

  • Wife-Carrying – like a road trip but on feet with the passengers on your back
  • Ferret-Legging – think ants in your pants, then up the danger component by turning the ants into an angry, scared, trapped ferret
  • Yukigassen – simply a massive snowball fight
  • Bog Snorkeling – because the most fascinating species live at the bottom of a bog
  • Cheese Rolling – one would think that Wisconsin invented this, but no, our brothers from another mother across the ocean started this. Careful though, the cheese can get up to 70 MPH
  • Competitive Sleeping – a single player game invented in California, probably by a millennial
  • Extreme Ironing – take this already fun chore and do it on top of a moving vehicle
  • Face Slapping – great way to relieve stress, or anger
  • Giant Pumpkin Kayaking – if you don’t like kayaking you clearly have never done it in a massive pumpkin that’s been carved out
  • Lawn Mower Racing – if high speed BMX frightens you, play it safe in a low speed lawn mower
  • Toe Wrestling – for those with ridiculous control over every single toe’s movement, this is for you

See, there’s something for literally everyone! No more excuses, you are a sports fan. Now that we’ve settled this debate – being a sports fan is emotionally exhausting. The mood you’re in each day is a direct correlation for how your team performed the night before. Oh, your team was off? Then you should be in a GREAT mood. Why would you not be? They didn’t lose. They didn’t play like a youth recreational team. They didn’t forget to step off the plane. They didn’t score for the other team. Life is good, your team is good, everything is peachy. 

On the other hand, coming off a loss can go one of two ways. Was it a good loss? You feel alright then. They played well. They weren’t expected to win. They fought hard and look poised to make a run at some point. Was it a bad loss? An upset perhaps? A rivalry game? Everyone else better hide because the feelings are about to hit the fan. I mean, really! How can you lose to THAT team?! Were you trying to throw the game?! The refs were terrible, though, so at least we have that. But still what the actual hell were they thinking?

Thank goodness it ends after the season. Uh, no sorry that’s highly incorrect. The off-season and pre-season are almost more stressful. In the immediate off-season, you’re either one of the lucky ones on a championship high, or you fall with the majority into the long wait of regret, frustration, and disappointment. As pre-season approaches, your fan ego gets stoked to the MAX and every piece of press can be turned into good press … at least in your mind. You get so hyped and talk a big game to all your friends, co-workers, doctors, strangers, etc. And a big ego never gets crushed. Never. So you’ll ride that high through the first-week funding games and then be slammed back down to reality. For the love of the game, repeat this cycle infinitely.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a sports fan and seems to be forever in a salty mood, do a quick check on how their team is performing. I bet it’s sub-par. Then pass this along so they can understand that everyone is the same. Thanks for reading!


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BOY MEETS GIRL, GIRL MEETS BOY, BOY MEETS BOY, GIRL MEETS GIRL … ETC.

Love looks different for everyone. Some people love men, some people love women, some people love themselves, some people love food, some people love their dogs, some people love their cats. But no matter where your heart lies, it’s your business. Who, or what, you love is your decision. This is not a one-way street, though. If you get to enjoy zero judgement from other people on where you choose to shoot Cupid’s arrow, then you don’t get to judge other people.

That’s the definition of pot calling the kettle black. Hypocritical to the max. I, for one, do not have the mental, or emotional, capacity to get worked up over what other people do. I’m trying to remember where I parked my car. I can’t also be trying to remember when was the last time I saw Billy date a girl. Who cares? Seriously, how is it any of your business? It only impacts you if you constantly think about it, complain about it, go out of your way to voice your opinion about it, you get the point. It’s a choice to be angry. Which I don’t understand at all. Why would you not choose to just be happy? Happiness > Angriness. Basic math. First day of kindergarten. First day in Sunday School. First life lesson we all learn. Life is better when you’re in a good mood.

Let’s use food as an example because I don’t know anything more relatable to humankind as a whole than the concept of food. We all have different preferences, right? Some of us like sweet foods, some of us like salty foods, some of us like healthy foods, some of us like to drink our meals, etc. Doesn’t mean that we will all like the same things. For example, I still like to hang out with my friends who eat vegetables and support their cooking adventures by showing up for dinner and finding creative ways to feed their dog. Even though my go to food is chocolate.

This same logic can be applied to people. Just because you may not understand why someone likes to eat apples as dessert doesn’t mean you can’t let them live their life in peace. If they show up to the party with a box of unfrosted, organic Pop-Tarts you can simply choose to eat something else. Like the white cheddar popcorn you brought. And life goes on, everyone is happy, everyone is full, everyone is having a good time.

I’m not sure why this is such a difficult thing for us to put into practice. It’s no secret that I don’t really enjoy cats. Not their company, not their habits, not their attitude, not much about that specific species. However, when I have to be in their company, I let it happen. I embrace the cat. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be going out to adopt one anytime soon, but I still hope they find loving homes. Nobody, and especially no animal, should be unloved. What kind of a way to live is that? Just you, your thoughts, your feelings, your pet rock, your succulents (more on how we need to stop the madness that is the succulent party favor in THIS POST), and your food.

Oh, wait, I’m being informed that some people find that to be relaxing. The alone time. Maybe I’m much more outgoing than I originally thought? That is my legitimate nightmare. Thus why I constantly overfill my social calendar. Then I can be fashionably late to everything. And always have to “check my schedule” before committing to things. AKA, buy myself a few minutes to decide if it’s an event I actually want to participate in. 

Point is, live your life. Don’t try to live someone else’s. No need to throw your opinions all over another person’s canvas. That just ruins their masterpiece. Take a breath. Let it go. Take a few more. Let them go. Understand that you are ultimately only responsible for yourself and how you choose to respond to different situations in life. So choose to make yourself happy. By not worrying, stressing, or getting upset over other people.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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IF MY DOG HAD A TINDER

My dog is single and that makes me happy because it means she gives all of her love to me. All day long she follows me around and will set up a nap spot in whatever room I also happen to be napping in. Or occasionally doing work in, but if I don’t have a video conference call, who really knows how I’m spending my time? Besides my bi-weekly progress report. Not going to lie, I’m here for this level of loyalty and attention. It’s like being worshipped, but by an animal who doesn’t know any better. To be fair, I was the one who rescued her from the animal shelter and am, what one would call, the fun parent so it’s not all that unrealistic to be treated like her savior. Who takes her on walks? That would be me! Who has no control when the puppy eyes come out and ends up putting more treats in her bowl than kibbles? Unashamed, this is also me! Who will pet her constantly because her fur is so silky smooth? Sí, ‘tis mwah! Who disciplines her? This, most definitely, is not me – she’s an angel and does no wrong!

I was today years old when I realized that maybe I’m the one who’s whipped in this scenario … my dog may secretly be an evil genius. Stroking my ego by acting like I’m her favorite because she knows I’ll give in. I’ve tried to hold out – once or twice, but it only lasts about two seconds before I make up excuses to justify my behavior. We must not feed her, she wouldn’t beg if she wasn’t starving. Duh. Clearly, she doesn’t think we love her so I must constantly pet her and give into her desire to go on a fifth walk today or she’ll leave for a family that does. Obviously.

Anywho … I clearly need to work on my will-power, but that is an adventure for another time. There’s a lot of dating app options on the market right now (for humans, anyways). Pollinate with the bees, jump into the fire of desire, get struck by Cupid’s virtual arrow – there is one for literally everyone. Some are very specific, some are very expensive, and some just provide an eclectic mix of options with a wide variety of endings. Despite all that we have access to, I feel the canine population is being underserved here. Not felines, they don’t love anything except themselves. Actually, I take that back, they would be perfect candidates for Grindr.

Dogs, however, are capable of experiencing emotions other than dissatisfaction and anger. They also tend to be socialized and know how to interact with other animals in a playful / friendly manner. And I, for one, think that if my dog had a Tinder, it would be comedic gold. My pupper loves everything. Except fruit, because deep down she is a weirdo. What dog doesn’t like apples? Or pineapple? Or bananas? Or strawberries? The worst part is that I’m an idiot and every morning think she’s magically grown out of her ‘I refuse to eat fruit phase’, so I give her some of mine. All those wasted raspberries make me sad. 

Alas, I digress. If you’ve never used Tinder and don’t have a real point of reference for what this would look like, I will enlighten you. You make a profile, add some cute pictures of yourself, or not, fill out a brief bio on you, or not, and then get thrown into the flaming hot pit of love. Or whatever it is you’re looking for. Swipe left if it’s a hard pass. Swipe right if you’re mildly interested and / or are looking for a confidence boost. Swipe up to super like someone. That is literally it. Swipe culture at its finest. Judgement being thrown around at scary speeds. 

Knowing what we all now know about Tinder (and it’s eternal flame of connection), let’s pause for a second and imagine what it would look like for the creatures we love the most in this world to join the movement. I lied, don’t do that. I’ve already brainstormed this extensively for the both of us. Before we continue further, let me provide some very basic, but essential pieces of background information:

  • My dog is a female (surely you’ve picked up on this by this point in the post, but *just* *in* *case* you skipped the first part I wanted to reiterate. Also, how dare you?! Go back to the beginning and read the whole post!)
  • My dog is beautiful. Now this may seem biased, but I have it on record from friends, neighbors, strangers on Twitter, etc. that she could be a *dogel without any effort. She is also low-key all about the spotlight and will pose for pictures
    (*Dogel = dog model)
  • My dog is the equivalent of a human lovebug – she’s a cuddler, she loves people, she loves other animals, she doesn’t like to be by herself, she would be a hardcore romantic, I’m convinced
  • My dog loves to exercise and, if we don’t play with her enough, she will play by herself because she also has extremely high confidence

Mmkay! That was super fun for all of us I’m sure (maybe me more than you, but no matter). Moving on to the good part. Let’s take this wonderful ball of fur and put her on the market! She obviously has an amazing gallery of photos to choose from since she will sit so still when the camera is on and make sure you get her good side. She won’t put all 9 possible options up, because she needs to leave a little mystery, but a solid 6 will do. Two self-portraits, two doing something she loves (one with her squeaky ball and one on a walk) and two with yours truly because we’re a package deal. Her bio would be personable, but also intriguing enough to make potential matches need to ask further questions. Something like:

Just a dog looking for a walk buddy so I can go on twice as many. Chasing you is my love language. Curious spirit and will sniff any hole in the ground, fellow living thing, or the same piece of carpet I’ve smelled for years just to see if something changed. Bonus points if you like apples

Now for the best part – get those paws ready – we get to see what deck of animals Tinder is about to shuffle for us. Cat? Like! Bird? Like! Fish? Meh, pass. Squirrel? Super Like! Hedgehog? Like! Centipede? Nope, nope. Snake? Why not, like! Bug? Not today. Dog? OH MY LORD! Is it … is it another one of me? Stop the freaking car! This is a thing? Super Like times a billion! 

Unfortunately, her attention span is less than that of a goldfish so there wouldn’t be much get to know you type of convos happening with all the matches. More like, I haven’t been on a walk in at least 10 minutes – you down? Or, my idiot humans put apples in my bowl again – if you come over in the next minute you can eat it. Or, you look familiar – did you bite my nose when I stuck it down the hole you live in the other day? Or, remember how I used to chase you around the yard? That was fun – I’m down if you can meet me at the driveway in 10 seconds.

Haha she would be a wild thing on there! She doesn’t take any BS and would either call them out or go straight ghost. Her shame levels are negative, I’m pretty sure. But she’s my shameless, confident, little cuddler and I’m not going to let any other human, pet, or reptile take her away from me. What would your pet’s bio look like? During your next work meeting is the best place to think about, at least, in my experience.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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CONFIDENCE V. COCKINESS – THE STORY OF A FINE LINE

Everyone strives to be confident in life. The feeling where you are self-assured and nothing can get to you. How you dress, how you act, what you do, what you eat, how much you eat, how little you work out, what your hobbies are, who your friends are – everything. Is that person throwing the side-eye and definitely hard core judging you? You don’t care. You’re cool as a cucumber. Fly as a butterfly. Stinging like a bee. Swiping like a boss. It’s sexy. It’s healthy. It’s strong. It’s a good way to be successful … well, at least according to Hollywood.

Sometimes, though, very unfortunately, confidence crosses the line into an entirely different territory known as cockiness. Now, I understand how this is confusing to people. Both start with a ‘co’, both have 9 letters, both have 3 syllables, both have kind of similar letters, both inflate your ego to where you wake up and love seeing who’s staring back at you in the mirror, both kind of sound the if you say them quick enough for an extended period of time. 

As a blogger, I feel a need to educate the public on the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of cockiness to keep everyone in the happy, healthy, goal-attaining place that is confidence. Let’s start with the symptoms. How can you tell if someone has crossed the threshold into cockiness? Well, for starters, they’ll tell you all about it. How great they are, how beautiful they are, what they do for work, what they’ve got going for them, how everyone wants them, how the world simply doesn’t see their potential, etc. Then, they’ll walk away mid-convo because you aren’t worth their time anymore. Sound like someone you know? Is that someone you? Don’t worry, there are treatment options.

If you, or a loved one, or a random stranger who approached you, are experiencing the above symptoms, here are the (unofficial, and not scientifically, or medically, backed) treatment options. The most recommended one is to simply remove all sources of arrogance and conceitedness by deflating the ego. One can be creative here, but verbal cues that a cocky person is not who they think they are tend to be effective. However, you will need examples to back this up. ‘No, you don’t have a music deal about to come through because you have never once recorded anything.’ ‘I understand that everyone wants you, but somehow you blow up my phone every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights because you’re bored.’ ‘Oh, that makes sense, you were the greatest pole vaulter in school history. Except that the team cut you on the first day for not attending tryouts.’ Adjust to match your specific situation.

Another option is to encourage said person to help others. Volunteering, seeing the world in a new light, being helpful towards other human beings in a way that doesn’t involve talking about yourself, all can help soften a heart and open the eyes. Help someone to help yourself. If they are highly against doing some volunteer work or community service, Jesus is always a solid option as well.

If the above treatment options don’t work, you can pretend to get on their level and attempt to out-cocky them. A word of caution, though, once you reach that level for an extended period of time you could become confused on what’s happening to you and also turn into a meathead. Hopefully there are people who care about you and can bring you back to reality.

Finally, prevention. This sounds like something everyone should avoid so how can we prevent it in ourselves? Listen before speaking. Think before speaking. Try targeting what’s in your head at yourself and see if you receive it well, before speaking. Care about others. But, like, actually care. If someone is feeling some type of way, be there for them, listen to what they’re struggling with, and sympathize with that. All the while, not caring if it means you have to miss out on another party. Funny thing about preventing cockiness, is you’ll probably pick up that confidence along the way. You’ll trust yourself and the decisions you make. That is essentially the condensed Google definition so I don’t know what other evidence you need.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is experiencing the devastating symptoms of cockiness, pass this along and they can reach out if they don’t agree. If you yourself are concerned about falling into the black hole, follow the prevention methods and you’ll be golden. Thanks for reading!


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IF MY DOG HAD A JOB

In honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day, I took some precious work hours to imagine what life would be like if my dog had a job. How does she stay focused? What would she do? Would it be strictly for money, or would she actually enjoy her field? Does she have bills she has to pay? Is that why she has a job? How does she type? Does she even have a computer? Is it less of a tech-y role and more relationship building? How is she working remotely? Who taught her to use a computer and the webcam? Is she a contributor, or does she stare at her beautiful self on camera all day? How has she not been fired? What are her goals and how is she focused enough to meet that? How does she communicate with her co-workers? Do they speak dog?

I could keep going, but for the sake of time, and post length, let’s start with those and see what fun path we end up on. For starters, my dog’s attention span is negative. Unless you have food or have a squeaky toy. In both cases, she is laser focused. This poses several problems in a work environment. One being that no one could keep snacks at their desk because co-worker Dog would be at their side all day and, thus, not contributing her fair share of the work. Another one being that most people would get annoyed at the constant sound of a high pitch squeak from a questionably clean ball. The other major issue is that what happens when neither of these attention grabbers are present? She’s a loose cannon. Nobody knows. Could be sleeping on the carpet. Climbing on a desk. Begging to be pet. Sniffing a chair for the thousandth time. So many potential options.

Given the lack of productivity, what would she do? I’m thinking brand ambassador for something like pet food, pet supplies, or Windex (because there is no spatial awareness between her wet nose and the glass, let’s be honest). Clearly she isn’t in it for the money – she’s a dog. What would she do with money. Probably try and put it in her mouth which is a separate issue. Besides, being a brand ambassador comes with perks. Depending on the industry she could get free food, free squeaky toys, or free attention. Her three favorite things.

This is clearly the right title for more reasons than her attention span and ridiculous cuteness. If given a computer, she would just try to sniff it, lick it, or bite it. Again, we’re talking about a dog without opposable thumbs. Or the capacity to perform computer type tasks. I love my dog (MORE THAN I LOVE PEOPLE) and she is fairly intelligent, but imagine asking your pet to turn on a computer and open the Internet. Pets work on routine. Computer tasks are not routine. If they were, a robot would do them for us. So relationship building it is! Can’t think of a more perfect role for an outgoing pup. Meet new people … constantly. Get them to like you, and we’ll give you a treat. 

With the current situation in the world, you’re probably wondering the same thing as me. Which, of course, is how brand ambassadors are working remotely. Video calls / appearances? Probably works well for humans. But remember how we’ve been over the less than ideal scenario that is your pet using a computer, or a phone, or a tablet, or a smart watch, etc. In an alternate reality, let’s pretend that a human friend (the owner, perhaps) has set up the video call for the dog. What a nice thing to do, you may be thinking. I know my dog, though, and if she saw herself on camera it would be game over. She spends a ridiculous amount of time staring at herself in the mirror so add a bunch of unrecognizable noises coming from the reflection and her head would be in a constant curious tilt. Probably wondering how she could be so beautiful that the reflection wants to talk to her. 

Which, then would beg the question how she has not been fired? There’s only so many times you want to see a dog’s nose right up close and personal in the camera before you realize she isn’t listening to a word you’re saying. She’s in her own world. Has met zero goals. Has no strategy for changing her behaviors and getting back on track. Just a pup entranced by the sight of herself.

Out of this entire scenario, the part I find the most mind-boggling is how she would communicate with her co-workers. Do these humans have a gift I do not of reading the minds of a dog and interpreting their barks? Are they able to respond? Because as far as I know the only words she answers to currently are her name, food, walk, and outside. Seems like a limited choice for making coherent, work related, sentences. Imagine if you were trying to get through her thick skull and accidentally said a trigger word – all progress would be lost. She would be spinning in circles running back and forth to either her food bowl or her leash. And, just like that, all focus is once again lost and someone (probably the owner) would be taking a brief exercise lap around the block for the third time that morning.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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COMMUNICATION IS ROCKET SCIENCE

When did talking to people get so hard? Has it always been this way? Or is this another thing millennials have ruined? Seems like it used to be easier – back before cell phones, and online dating, and airplanes, and the Internet, and indoor plumbing, and sliced bread … you get it. I have some theories on why, which I know you are oh so curious to hear, so ready or not, here they come!

  1. The Grass is Always Greener – I don’t believe this has changed at all since the dawn of humanity. Everything seems so darn peachy for everyone else so maybe it just feels like they were better communicators when in reality they sucked too
  2. Simpler Times – maybe they were better communicators because some of the obstacles that exist today were so not a thing. Looking at you King Boo
  3. Adapt and Survive – hard to have bad communication when the only way you can do it is face to face or via a letter that takes weeks to arrive. It’s easy to hide behind a screen. Hard to avoid tough questions when you’re staring someone in the eyes
  4. Can’t Make Something From Nothing – maybe they just didn’t talk to each other. Like ever. Was that a thing? Socializing?

Regardless, whatever happened along the way, we have become absolutely awful at communicating. With co-workers. With friends. With enemies. With significant others. With family. With our pets. With ourselves. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but despite all the technological advancements, we still can’t read someone’s mind. What?! I know, I know, it seems strange given that our cars drive themselves and our watches can call people. We also can’t put thoughts into someone else’s mind. No matter how bad you want them to say or do something, ultimately they control their own thoughts and actions. How can this be?! That would be weird if that happened. Pretty sure that would take dictatorship to a whole new level. 

Ok, all-knowing TRP. How can we fix this verbal crisis?’ First of all, I’m flattered that you think of me as all-knowing. But in other shocking news, I also tend to suck at communicating. Despite my attempts to find the perfect way to approach awkward, stressful, or frustrating situations, I have come to the realization that they’re all unique. Which is a bit annoying, if I’m honest. Honesty does seem to be the one constant that works well, though! Just be real with people. It’s not that hard – I promise. Do you like someone? Tell them. Are you frustrated with a coworker? Talk it out. Wish your mom would stop telling everyone your business? Let her know!

But don’t be rude about it. There are two ways to be honest. One that lets the other person know how you feel / where you stand in a way that is productive and initiates conversation by acknowledging your part in the situation. The other lets someone know how you feel / where you stand, but in an aggressive way that comes off as blame and puts them in a defensive mode.

As much as communication sucks, it’s always going to be a part of life. So you better figure out how to do it in a way that doesn’t make everyone hate you. And please, please, don’t be that person who hides behind a screen and thinks that makes it alright to troll everyone and their mothers. No one likes that person. Finally, don’t run away from your hard conversations. Embrace them. Will it work out for you? Who knows – maybe, maybe not, but it will make you a better person. Hopefully. Don’t quote me on that.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this and want to share it with them, that would seriously mean a lot to me. I’m so grateful to all the current readers and subscribers. If you want to get these in your inbox twice weekly don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for reading!


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KISS ME, I’M IRISH…BUT ACTUALLY

Erin go Bragh! Sláinte! That would be Ireland forever and cheers to all you non-native Irish speakers. Ireland speaks English, technically, but in a very Irish way and I mean that with all the love in the world. Kind of how Southerners have created their own language, bless their hearts. So raise a pint because it’s St. Patrick’s Day – the best adult holiday on the planet! I’m not sure if minors celebrate this day or not. What would you do? Permanently dye your mouth green with all the “naturally” flavored treats in the shape of a shamrock? Go around pinching people for not wearing green? Sounds like a good time.

Thankfully, I am a legal adult in every single country on this beautiful planet. At one point in my life, I was not, but several (legal) St. Patrick’s day celebrations have caused me to forget my entire youth. Well, not the entire thing. Just the boring parts like thinking I was cool for pinching other people. If I was really trying to punish them, a backhand would have worked better. Because it should be a crime not to wear green today. It’s the one requirement all year. Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. If you do nothing else, you must wear green. Unless you’re a Mean Girl, in which case, on Wednesdays you wear pink.

A true historian would roll over in their grave, though, because blue was the original color of this celebration. It became green when people started associating it with Ireland and all it’s rolling green hills, jolly green giants, Lucky Charms, green beans…wait. No, it’s the shamrock. That’s Ireland’s official emblem. How lucky. No wonder the Earth blessed them and banished all the snakes from the island.

St. Patrick’s Day is an interesting holiday, because everyone associates it with Ireland, but St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He merely moved there for a job as one does. Also, until as recently as the 1970’s, pubs in Ireland were closed. If the pubs were closed, how did this become a giant keg stand throughout the world? What did people used to do it not drink? These are all good questions. I don’t want to try and assume what the people did, since you know what they say when you assume. If I wanted to go on an imagination journey though, down the rainbow to the pot of gold, I would say they ate. That’s what I would do if I couldn’t drink. Correction, that is what I do when I can’t drink.

Interestingly enough, Boston held the first American celebration in 1737. Now there is not documentation, that I could find anyways, indicating whether or not there were large quantities of alcohol present at this celebration. Having visited Brewston, though, I would like to say yes there certainly way…but only if I was journeying through the marshmallow forest with Lucky himself because we don’t assume. Despite Boston being first, Chicago does it best. If you thought that McDonald’s dying their McFlurrys and Shakes green was clever, Chi-Town decided to dye AN ENTIRE RIVER. Let me emphasize this. The Windy City turns a river (normally blue-ish) and makes it green. What?! I’m no color expert, but I’m pretty sure you have to mix yellow with blue to get green. What is in this dye? Is it…is it from a human? No wonder you’re not supposed to swim in the river.

In true American fashion, we spend over $6 billion celebrating. That’s billion, with a b. Is it all on booze? No! The themed cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc. and of course the traditional corned beef and cabbage probably all account for about 1% of that total. Bars everywhere will feature themed green drinks, but if you want to truly celebrate, you have to go with the staple. The most Irish of all beers. A bold selection brew. A Guinness. According to USA Today, 13 million (just with an m) pints of this bold-bodied brand will be sold around the world. Of all times to go with the status quo, it is most certainly March 17. So break out your green, find your ID, and head to a local bar. With or without friends. Nobody will judge you after about an hour. Or if you buy them a beer – whichever comes first.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who lives for St. Paddy’s day, then figure out why that person isn’t you and get excited! It’s a national holiday that office businesses just aren’t quite recognizing yet. Cheers, thanks for reading!


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DEAR AIRLINES: PLEASE DON’T TREAT MY LUGGAGE LIKE YOUR EX

Who reading this has ridden in an airplane? Who reading this has ever checked baggage with an airline? Who reading this has ever stressed out endlessly over the safety of the fragile items in said checked baggage until you were able to confirm there was no damage (hopefully)? If you answered yes to any of those questions (hopefully in your head or you might look a little crazy speaking to a computer) then you understand the brutal epidemic that is occurring right now when it comes to transporting luggage from one place to the next.

How hard is it to be just a little more careful when handling my bags? There’s no need to treat it like someone you’re angry with (an ex per se) and throw it away. For one, I’m paying extra money to bring this bag so you should be extra gentle with it. If it was free, I might be a little more understanding. Also, can we talk about general respect for people’s property. Like my uncle says ‘Don’t be afraid to treat it like your own’. Ah, the sound of wisdom.

Not to call out any specific airline, but recently I was traveling and had a checked bag so I took it to the counter. I smiled, tried to be friendly and polite with the airline representative through small talk, then gave her my bag. I wish this next part was a joke, but sadly, for the glass items in said luggage, it is not. She took my bag, lifted it onto the luggage belt (wheels down, so it was standing up), took two steps back, drew in a deep breath, moved forward and pushed (with all her strength plus the added weight of her momentum…remember the back-up) my luggage down. The sound of my 35 pound luggage crashing from its perch, ~2 feet tall, all the way down onto that belt turned my stomach. A lot of things shock me, but that took the cake. I just stood there with my mouth open until she looked past me and said ‘Next’ (with a smug smile on her face too).

Seems to me, from the playback above, that I did nothing to provoke that assault on my possessions. Needless to say, my glass souvenirs from the foreign country I was returning from did not fare so well. Was it the push? Was it a bumpy plane ride? Was it the throw from the cargo bay belt onto the cart by the baggage personnel on the tarmac? Hard to say, but I can still see that poor suitcase falling, falling, falling, unnecessarily might I add, to the unforgiving belt and bouncing a bit from the impact. 

Why is the whole process of handling bags so cruel? I think for starters, they should start referring to it as bag caring instead of bag handling. You handle something that’s about to blow up in your face. You care for something that has been entrusted to you so it’s returned in the same condition you received it in. Would it be more difficult to set bags on the cart instead of tossing them in? I’m thinking it might actually be easier and less of a workout. Would it be more difficult to set luggage flat on the belt? Also, I’m thinking the answer is an easy no here. Would it be more difficult for luggage companies to make shock absorbent suitcases that prevent injuries to innocent, delicate items from certain impacts? Alright, this is probably more difficult, but someone should look into it. I would do it, but I’m a little busy voicing my concern over the safety of suitcases everywhere.

As a quick recap:

  • Airlines pushed down my luggage
  • Items were hurt in the crossfire
  • I, The Restless Professional, felt massive sadness and shock…in public
  • I, The Restless Professional, care about getting this changed for the greater good of everyone
  • Don’t treat my luggage like your ex – love it like a puppy, or a child, or your car, or your phone, or whatever it is you love
  • If you love nothing, please consult a professional, that doesn’t sound normal

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you too have experienced this, don’t tell me – I’ve been there, no need to waste time comparing victim stories. Go straight to the source. Thanks for reading!


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