DEAR TRIVIA: I THOUGHT I WAS SMART, THANK YOU FOR THE EGO CHECK

Have you ever wondered how smart you are? Not book smart, per se, but life smart? How much general knowledge do you contain about things that may, or may not, be helpful to you in some capacity throughout life? If your answer is no, then why even continue? I have to believe you can guess where this post is going and it’s pretty much strictly for anyone ever who thought, I need to prove my brain skills against strangers at a local bar on a weeknight – AKA trivia night.

I know for a fact that my general knowledge, and overall trivia skills, are pretty much worthless. There isn’t a lot of room in my head for random tidbits of things. Because it’s full of other items like how to do my job, how much I love my dog, figuring out how to feed myself a healthy amount of times each day, remembering to do chores, memorizing every single Chipotle location within 15 miles of where I live, etc. You know, crucial survival skills basically. 

However, my job title makes people believe that somehow my IQ is at least average, if not exponentially above that mark. And so they frequently tell me how smart I am. Which causes some internal dilemmas until my ego takes over and I make poor decisions … like smack talking other trivia teams. Despite knowing deep in my soul that I’m not able to back it up. Remember growing up when there would be kids who would crush school and kids who would crush life? Book smart versus street smart. And I always believed you were somewhere on that spectrum. Until I became an adult with free evenings and friends.

There is a third type of smart, I’ve learned. Trivia smart. This is a person who just knows things. Not current things necessarily. Not political things necessarily. Not natural events necessarily. Not history necessarily. Not even sports necessarily. No. These people know stuff in every possible category over all of eternity. How?! I genuinely want to know so I can stop losing and embarrassing myself every Tuesday night. 

For starters, where are you getting this information? Google? Reddit? The newspaper? I honestly don’t know. I scroll through the major news headlines every day and have yet to contribute to a current events conversation in one of my group chats because the stuff they talk about I have to re-research. And by the time I have any facts the convo has taken a massive diversion and I’m just confused again. It’s a cycle of playing catch-up and not in a good way.

My next question for these trivia geniuses, is how do you retain this information? My boss has to remind me every morning of our daily standup meeting and I’ve been working there for months. One would think that I would have learned how to open my calendar by now, and yet here we are. Especially if it’s some random fact. That usually goes in one ear and out the other. If you asked me 15 minutes after reading it what the statue’s name was and why it was taken down, it would be a good day if I answered half of those questions. Maybe I never really learned how to “read”? Because it seems to me like I read to get something over with and other people read to learn. So clearly one of us is doing it wrong and one of us is winning trivia. I’ll let you figure out who goes where in that equation.

On the bright side, every trivia team needs that person who is simply there for entertainment, friendship, and alcohol. I am that person. I own that spot on the team. I’m also great at writing their answers down. So they don’t have to stop eating the plate of nachos in front of them. My greatest contribution to my team thus far, has been embellishing us with a name worthy of all the trophies. Not saying that I nailed it, but like, I absolutely nailed it and we are iconically the best-named team each week. No big deal, I’m kind of great at being creative, though apparently not as great at knowing useful things. You decide which is more fun.

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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FLOWER NAMES NEED A PROTEIN SHAKE

If there’s one thing that everyone knows, it’s that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Round out the possy with chocolate and flowers and you’ve got yourself a clique. A clique who wears pink on Wednesdays. And where there’s a clique, there’s a group of outcasts. Who are not allowed to wear pink on Wednesdays lest they be smited with a look from the queen of the clique herself that will render anyone friendless for all eternity. The outcasts in this scenario would clearly be all other apology presents. Including, but not limited to, fish, books, cake, your time, center court NBA tickets, and succulents (seriously, why is this still A TREND?!).

Not really sure where I was going with that analogy but get in loser, we’re going shopping! Shopping for flowers that is. What even is happening with flower names? Clearly they were named by dinosaurs who felt that only half of the humans were allowed to receive them as a socially acceptable gift. How do I know this? Well, it’s October 3rd. And on October 3rd, he asked me what day it was. If you’ve never seen the movie Mean Girls, this post may feel confusing to you. I think that it’s best to pause here for exactly 97 minutes and catch up socially to all of the millennials living in the world today. 

You go, Glen Coco! Welcome back! You wanna do something fun? Wanna go to Taco Bell? First, this should never be a question. If someone ever simply asked me if I wanted to do something fun, there’s a good chance IHOP or Taco Bell would immediately pop into my mind. What’s more fun than all you can eat pancakes, “bean” burritos, and poor decisions? Nothing. I literally can think of nothing. Except, of course, mocking the biological genera of flowers. Starting off strong with genera instead of genus like the cool things of the world. She doesn’t even go here! In my, professional, opinion, flower genera can be broken down into the following (very female oriented) categories:

Human Names

Buttercup, Lily, Hibiscus, Dahlia, Rose, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Rhododendron, Sage, Violet, Magnolia, Petunia, Iris, Azalea, and Periwinkle. I’ve heard all of those names used within the female gender at some point. They’re kind of common and kind of a mood as a parent. Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.

Insults

Milkweed, Begonia, Knapweed, Snapdragon, Tickseed, Columbine, Foxglove, Hellebore, Fleabane, and Crocus. Feels very self-explanatory here – how pissed would you be if someone directed any of these harmful words at you? Feels awfully convenient for having to deliver an apology gift. Just saying. Something to think about late at night when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Adjectives

Sunflower, Snowdrop, Pink, Laceleaf, Passion Flower, and Lavender … feels awfully convenient to just name a flower after what it looks like. Uncreative much? Your face smells like peppermint!

Lazy (aka Observations of Human Traits / Actions)

Tulip, Peony, Lady’s Mantles, Dancing-Lady Orchids, Blackeyed Susan, California Poppy, Dusty Miller, and Marigold. Wut? Capital U. Just your everyday observation of the world and then casually naming an entire plant species after it. Because you know, why not?

Tasks

Spurges (like sponges … and, you know, the kitchen / cleaning), Gardenia, and Carnation (awfully similar to incarnation). This must have been done by a man. In the dinosaur ages, only the men would have been so subtle at giving hints. I’m guessing, I’m not a dinosaur, but the way the history books frame them, ay, chihuahua! The limit does not exist.

There’s a 30 percent chance that it’s already raining. Raining on the parade of what you once believed to be an industry that catered to everyone. How many of those genera would be used to name a baby boy? Or describe the actions of a man? Or insult a male persona? Zero. I think what the world needs more than anything, in this clear time of crisis, is to give flower names a protein shake. Let’s rename all of them, the entire species and subspecies, to be more neutral in everyday language! Who’s with me?

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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NETFLIX IS BAE, HULU IS THE MISTRESS, AND AMAZON PRIME IS THE ONE NIGHT STAND

There’s no better time than right now to go on a binge. A television binge, that is. Because what else are you doing? Working? Please. Working out? Let’s stop lying. Eating? Maybe, but eating is to bingeing as peanut butter is to jelly. The perfect complement. So there’s no good excuse not to find the remote, turn on the big black box, and be transported into a magical new world of your choosing. In other words, streaming services are the real life version of Narnia. Mythical creatures included if that’s your cup of tea. Villains a plenty if you prefer to live a stressful and dramatic adventure. And characters who make questionable decisions regardless of what selection you make.

Where were we? My mind can’t move past the image of Mr. Tumnus and his curious mashup of human and goat. Real quick, why a goat? Why not stick with the classic centaur? If I had the choice between the speed, grace, and majesty of a horse or the stubby, awkward, bleating of a goat then my choice is very clear. Not that I have anything against goats! Goat yoga is my jam and baby goats falling over are the cutest GIFs on the planet. But … I want to run. I want my leg muscles to absolutely shimmer when I move. I want my mane to flow behind me like an ancient goddess. I want to be the horse, if that was unclear.

Now that we all know where I stand on the clearly controversial horse or goat topic, we can return to the main programming. Streaming service options. Not all streaming services are the same. Mainly since not all of them have the same selection of offerings, for one. There’s also the obvious price differences, ads versus no ads, color scheme, app performance, etc. Those are boring though and any Google search will result in hundreds of comparison articles. This is not one of those articles. I’m comparing nothing. I’m very biased and am choosing one over the others. Because it is my favorite. And this is my blog.

In case you weren’t able to pick up on it from the title, I’m a Netflix kid through and through. I like that they were first. I like that they’re color scheme is dangerous, yet intriguing. I like that they’re basically their own TV network at this point. I like that they have no ads. I like that the stand up comedy selection is better than the Gotham Comedy Club. I like that they give me the most absurd and ridiculous categories for things. I like that their suggestions are sometimes just the top 10 things streaming because that means marketing is getting their voice heard in company meetings. But most of all, I like that every single remote for a smart TV has a Netflix specific button so that my life of bingeing can be achieved easily.

This is not to say that the other companies just suck. It’s 2021, that would be a lie. We live in the golden age of technology – the competition is doing just fine. They’re just all pretty clearly in second. Well, Hulu is in second anyways. I like cheating on Netflix from time to time because as great as Netflix is, it’s timeline for getting the hot new releases of TV series and movies is sometimes slower than waiting in line at the DMV. This is where Hulu shines! They’re speedy. They’re quick. They’ve got a fresh green color scheme that calms me. All of their categories make sense. And yet, once I finish what I was watching on Hulu I’m usually like cool. I’m done and can return home. To the land of zero commercials, ever. Regardless of my subscription level. $5 per month so I don’t have to watch ads?! Wow that’s almost a pint every month and is simply not worth it.

And then there was Amazon Prime who is … trying. If you are made of money, and would like to rent absolutely everything, then this is the service for you. If you aren’t on the ‘Included with Prime’ section, though, there is a zero percent chance that what you’ve chosen will be free. This service is really only good for the other s, shipping. 

Since there is a newcomer on the scene, I’d rank Disney Plus somewhere between Netflix and Hulu. It does come with a pretty great NSFW slang slogan so I guess there’s that. It also features pretty much everything Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. So there’s also that. And as an adult, there are times when I want nothing more than a feel-good Disney show or movie. Sometimes. Other times I want something rated above PG-13 and that’s where I once again land back in my trusted lover’s arms.

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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PICTURES ARE WORTH MORE THAN A THOUSAND WORDS

Communicating with people can be a challenge. Let’s not lie to ourselves. Especially when it’s done in any form that isn’t face to face. Which is pretty much the only thing we do now-a-days. Send text based messages to friends, family, co-workers, clients, significant others, love interests, enemies, random people on the Internet, etc. There’s so many ways to relay a message where the recipient is left to interpret the tone and delivery all by themselves. What could possibly go wrong with that? So. Many. Things.

Before going further, I think we need to take a quick rest stop and think about the different kinds of communicators that exist. Because there are several and they are not the same. At all. In fact, the range from direct to detailed is huge and all of them leave so much room for interpretation. Here are my 6 main categories, but many people flow between several depending on their mood:

  • Straight to the Point Steve
    • This is the person who just asks for what they need. They won’t respond unless absolutely necessary. Typically comes off a bit cold and standoff-ish
  • No BS Nancy
    • This is the person who will respond, but will not show any emotion. No exclamation points, or emojis, will be found in their communication. Typically comes off as stressed, but focused
  • One Word Owen
    • This is the person who can’t keep a conversation going to save their lives. Their answers are one to two words / emojis long. Typically comes across as dull or rude
  • Makes No Sense Meredith
    • This is the person who won’t respond to what you sent. They’ll get on a tangent and neither one of you will understand what is being communicated. Typically comes across as scattered and frustrating
  • Emoji Ethan
    • This is the person who loves their emoji / GIF keyboard more than anyone should. Every word has an emoji after it. Typically comes across as immature and unprofessional
  • Way Too Detailed Wanda
    • This is the person who will respond to absolutely everything you sent and then continue to ask questions. Typically comes across as a lot

Great! A fun starting guideline to how we communicate with each other has been established. And, as you probably have experienced in your own life, the same message from all of these people will be interpreted very differently. For example, let’s say they were all giving you a lunch order:

Steve: Chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. Apple on the side. Hold the lettuce.

Nancy: For lunch, I would like a personal hawaiian pizza.

Owen: Cheesesteak

Meredith: Oh, I had the best salad from that new deli the other day. I can’t remember the owner’s name, but they were certainly lovely. We had the nicest talk about our dogs!

Ethan: Yes 🙂 lunch! Sushi 😛 

Wanda: Perfect! I’m so hungry 😛 can I please have a kale smoothie for lunch, if you don’t mind? What are your plans for dinner, btw? Maybe we could cook a chicken dish 🙂

See? Which one of those would you rather receive? Personally, I use emojis to relay my own tone and delivery. I also use them to gauge the other person’s tone and delivery. It may just be me, but Ethan and Wanda would be my preference over the other four. How else would I let them know that saying ‘I hate you’ is simply a joke unless I put the cry laughing emoji next to it? Or used a GIF of an unimpressed child’s side eye? They would actually think I hated them. Which, I have to believe, would cause some big problems. How did everyone communicate pre-emoji? What a nightmare.

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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STAY IN YOUR LANE

There’s a lot of unwritten rules in life. If you know them, you will save yourself a lot of awkward, frustrating, and / or embarrassing moments. Leave it in better condition than you found it. Look at the menu before it’s your turn to order (so you don’t hold up the line, obviously – more on restaurant ordering rules in THIS POST). Replace the toilet paper roll if you use it up. Free flowing right hand turns mean you don’t have to stop (they are not a yield sign either, KNOW THE DIFFERENCE). Greasy foods taste better after you’ve been drinking. Walk right, pass left (how is this so complicated, it’s the golden SIDEWALK RULE). Pick up after your dog. Wine is better out of the bottle (it’s also the OFFICIAL DRINK OF LOVE). Don’t show up on Christian Mingle looking for a one night stand.

I could go on, but I believe you get the point. Some things are simply courteous. Others are respectful. And yet others are downright intuitive. How do you feel when you go to wipe and the person before you decided it was beneath them to put a new roll on? Like you want to leave your present somewhere for them probably. Or when you go to frolic around in your luscious yard and find that someone let their dog have their way for you to clean up? 

Better yet, how obnoxious is it when you’re looking for something real, like a consistent ice cream date, or love, and the other person is like ‘oh, yea, I’m only interested in a short term deal’. Bruh, this is Match, what are you even doing here? That’s not how this works. While life may have a lot of rules, online dating really just has one: stay in your lane. Everyone with the tiniest bit of social knowledge can understand how the different platforms work. They all have their unique reputations. But just in case you haven’t heard about this very special app phenomenon, I am here to guide you down the yellow brick road of love. Since I like categories, and I’m the one writing this, let’s examine the different tiers that exist and where each popular platform falls among those:

  • Just a Target Waiting for Cupid
    • Wake up each day hoping to get slapped up with Cupid’s arrow
    • Match / eHarmony / Christian Mingle / EliteSingles / The League type of vibe
  • All of My Friends Are in Relationships, So Here I Am
    • Society says you need a relationship and you’ve heard it so often you think it’s true
    • Bumble / Hinge / Coffee Meets Bagel / OkCupid / Happn / Clover type of vibe
  • Here For a Good Time, Not a Long Time
    • In other words, the hookup sites
    • Tinder / Grindr / Spoonr / Feeld type of vibe

Now that we have a somewhat organized sense of what the most popular sites are centered around, it’s easier to understand why someone looking for marriage in the next 6 months is going to hit nothing but a wall of frustration using Tinder. And vice versa – a player is going to probably get blocked all the way off eHarmony. There’s so many options now with dating sites that there’s really no good reason why you aren’t able to stay in your lane and find your people. Read the room. Read the vibe. Read the situation. Make smart choices. It’ll save you time, trouble, and heartbreak.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. What are some of your unspoken ways to win at life? Feel free to drop them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them! 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 SNAPCHAT

Take a picture, it lasts longer. Have you heard that before? Such a fun saying that usually is true. Usually. Enter a millennial who doesn’t like to be told what to do and all of a sudden you have Snapchat. Where taking a picture lasts exactly until you close it. And then it disappears forever into the cloud graveyard never to be seen again. Hopefully. Unless your friend takes a picture over your shoulder. Or if you screenshot it. Or if it happens to be in a chat and you save it. There’s always a loophole if you’re clever enough so, like with a disposable camera, always ask yourself if you want a stranger judging you from afar for years to come before hitting send.

Alright, mini lesson over! Snapchat is a thing. It’s meant to be a temporary thing, but sometimes the pictures do last longer. Use discretion. And we’re moving on. Now, as we are all probably aware, either through frequent practice or educated guesses, Snapchat is not typically the place for professional glamour shots. It’s more of a candid “this is me, deal with it” type of vibe. Sure, there are filters to up the enjoyment factor. Also to help add a little light touch up for all the times when you open the camera and do a bit of a double take at your face. Or if you like lying about the #nofilter snaps you send. No judgement, you do you. 

You may be wondering ‘how often should I be sending snaps?’ Clearly you don’t actively use your account, or don’t have an account, if this is a question. The correct answer, as all us ghost lovers know, is it depends. How bored are you and how humble-brag worthy is your current situation? Are you at work and having a, what you deem to be, hilarious Slack conversation? It’s Snapchat time! Are you on vacation? Doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where you went, open the app! Are you out to eat and just got your plate of food? Be the foodie you’ve always wanted to be! Are you feeling yourself and in a rare, no video required, work meeting? Take a break, take a pic! Are you laying on the couch doing nothing? It’s time to embrace the double chin and tell your besties you love them! Anytime can be Snapchat time if you try hard enough.

Knowing what we all now know about Snapchat, and how it’s used, imagine what would happen if say, your dog happened to get their paws on an account. We all love our dogs, right? And we all know what our dogs do all day, right? And we all know that our dogs will get entertained by the same disgusting rope toy day after day after day until it’s literally gone, right? And we all know how excitable our dogs are over little things like when we walk into the room, right? And we all know how much our dogs not so secretly love looking at themselves in the mirror, right? Are you fetching what I’m throwing?

I have zero doubt that I would be Snapchat best friends with my dog. While I like to believe we would be on the pink hearts level, I know deep down that my dog would have a smirking face for me and I would have the smiling face for her. Because she has never met a stranger and has zero shame. It’s admirable, really. I believe dogs would be the type of users that would never really respond to you, but just continue to send streak snaps whenever they felt like it. Regardless of whether or not you had opened, or responded, to their previous one. Like a dog-pile of snaps so to speak. 

Oh, you found your favorite toy? Better let everyone know. Wow, you’ve been blessed with the ability to go tan yourself on the back porch? Brag about it. Are you telling me that an actual human walked into the room just to see you? Everyone must know immediately. Are the squirrels back? Rally the troops for an attack. Did someone say ‘walk’? Make all your friends jealous. Is that a human food in your bowl? Well, life doesn’t get any better and you should tell the whole world. The humans are ignoring you? Make them feel the guilt of your sadness. You’re exhausted after a long day of nothing? Send that snap to let people know you’re going MIA for a bit. 

As you can see, our dogs would be superusers. King Boos. My dog would hit the six figure point status in no time and probably be featured on the Explore page for being just absolutely adorable. Is that the secret to winning Snapchat? Feature our pups instead of ourselves? Interesting … there are a lot of advantages to this. You get to see more cute dogs. You don’t have to retake a picture 15 times so you don’t look like a river troll because dog. You don’t have to think of a clever caption because dog. You don’t have to worry about people not liking it because dog. You basically are guaranteed a response because dog. On the flip side, if you receive a dog, you don’t have to see another backdoor brag from someone. You also don’t have to awkwardly watch a video on silent and act like you wanted to listen. All of the wins.

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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RESPONSIBILITIES AREN’T GOOD PARTY FAVORS

I love a good party. I really love a good party where I receive gifts. I really, really love a good party where I receive a gift just for showing up. What genius decided that party favors should be a thing? I genuinely want to know so I can personally thank them. Take this example to truly understand what a beautiful service this is for society:

Party Host: I’m going to have a party! I have to plan out a theme and a date and a location and everything that goes into it. Then I have to spend my money to buy decorations, food, drinks, a venue perhaps, etc. Since all my time and actual real life money is clearly meaningless, I’m also going to spend time thinking of a gift for my friends to entice them to come. Then I’m going to actually buy that gift and give it to them … for free!

Party Guest: Oh, sweet! A party! I’ll probably start to get ready at the stated start time and roll up fashionably late. I’ll eat a free dinner and drink (lots) of free drinks. Then I’ll leave and let the host clean up because I’m a great friend. And, oh! Holy sh*t! You’re going to give me a present?! For what?! I mean, thank you – was I supposed to get you something? Remind me of your name again?

Now as amazing as party favors are, we need to establish some ground rules around what is acceptable to give, but more specifically what is unacceptable. We’ve gone down a very strange road here recently and I miss the days when I would get something useful (like food, or alcohol, or a gift card). Well, there’s really just one rule: do not, I repeat, DO NOT give me a responsibility! What do I mean? I don’t want a d*mn succulent is what I mean! We all are aware that my track record taking care of things is questionable, at best (more on my green thumb in THIS POST).

Seems more like a party curse than a favor. I came here to forget about my responsibilities, not to walk out the door with a new one to add to the list. No, if I was looking to add a responsibility to my life I’d get a dog, or have a kid, or something a little more exciting than a tiny little plant. So if you give me something that I have to love, and water to maintain life, just give someone else two because I don’t want it. 

On that point, if we are friends, at all, you are aware that this succulent will not survive the month. Don’t be involved in this homicide. When I try to Irish exit without one, act like you don’t notice. Chasing me down to make sure I got one is not helpful for anyone. ‘Oh, it looks like you forgot to grab your favor!’ Erm, no, Karen, that was very much on purpose.

What else makes this list, you may be wondering? Fish. Leave them at the store where they’ll be happy, safe, and with friends. Books. I will feel like I need to read it – we’re all adults. Just give me a recommendation and then I’ll decide if I want to read it. Anything DIY. Again, I’m not trying to add anything to my To-Do list and I will feel obligated to make whatever the heck little art project you’ve given me. Coloring books. Are they really stress relieving? They stress me out. I feel like I have to color ALL of the pages – besides, I’m an adult so all of them would have to look perfect as well. As I’m typing, I’m noticing that I may have an issue with commitment? And possibly a tad OCD? Maybe I should talk to someone about this … on second thought, I basically just bared my soul to you for free. So what would a therapist really get me at this point? Besides another bill?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has “gifted” succulents before, send them this post so they can see the error in their ways. Keep that joy for yourself. Thanks for reading!


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STAGES OF LIFE: AS TOLD THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is everywhere. On our phones, on our computers, on our watches, on our TVs, in our cars, in the office, on every website, on QR codes hanging from any and all surface areas, on voice activated home assistants, etc. And it comes in many different forms. There’s professional social media, flaunt social media, rant social media, unprofessional / expressive social media, discussion social media, evidence will last forever social media, and evidence only lasts as long as you specify social media. So many options, there’s a platform for everyone!

One of my new favorite hobbies is to ask strangers what their most used social media app is and try to guess their general age range. In my head, of course, because there are certainly outliers to this data set. Like with all good, non-research conducted, totally opinionated based on the researcher’s experiences, non-scientifically backed in any way studies. Also, that would be rude if I just blurted it out. Especially if it was wrong, or if they’re embarrassed, or if they don’t want everyone in Bed, Bath, and Beyond knowing their age.

For all of my introverted readers, you’re probably melting at the thought of participating in this hobby. That’s fine, it’s not for everyone. But, I have learned some interesting things that I can share with you. Without any need for social interaction on your part. Let’s examine some data I found / collected / assumed about the 9 most common social platforms that people use today (*NOTE: zero part of this has actually been researched and all information presented is my take on life):

TikTok

Pre-COVID: primarily used by Gen Z and hard-core judged by millennials and beyond

COVID: everyone has lost all shame, and concern for Chinese spies, and are now participating

Post-COVID: TBD, but this won’t be the first thing I throw out when we get through this mess

Snapchat

Concentrated in Gen Z and younger millennials. The point system is attractive to our senses of controlling our destiny on the leaderboard of life.

Instagram

Popularized by millennials, acquired by Gen Z, being slowly introduced into Gen Alpha, and containing some forward-thinking Baby Boomers, or people who want to keep up with their younger family members.

Pinterest

Mainly a female social media. Think Instagram meets LinkedIn meets your dreams. It’s an organizer’s online dream and can help you constantly see what you want, in a way that doesn’t involve back-door bragging.

Reddit

The most obscure of the generational breakdown. Reddit kind of appeals to anyone who likes to argue, or put their two cents into any conversation, anonymously. 

Twitter

Outside on Gen Z influencers, Twitter tends to be primarily centered on Baby Boomers and Millennials. Like a modern day newspaper where you can just express yourself, in 280 characters or less, with lots of judgement from all other Twitter users.

Facebook

As we start to phase out even millennials, we begin to question the longevity of this platform. Messenger brought forth a resurgence in “usage” among us young people, but is that really Facebook? No, it’s a chat application that uses your profile picture for convenience and probably data sharing reasons.

LinkedIn

Social is a stretch – professional media feels more appropriate. If you work and are college age and older, you better be on LinkedIn. It’s where you can show how qualified, or unqualified depending on your profile, you are to get paid. Be warned, though, this is not the place to post puppy pictures or talk about your love for Friends. Which is overrated and, like Harry Potter, had it’s time. 

Email

If you answer email as your favorite social app, you clearly are a dinosaur. Email is not a social platform. It is a professional way to communicate with internal and external clients in the workplace. Also to confirm your online shopping orders and track the shipment to know when you have to put pants on and open the door. There is no other use.

There you have it! The stages of life as told through social media. So if you’re crushing your TikTok and Insta game right now and think you’ll never in a million years stop caring about what all of your followers think about you, well, maybe think again. The evidence is quite clear. We will all end up on email forwarding chain mail to our friends and family at some point. 

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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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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