YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN

We have all had an unpleasant encounter with someone who is just irrationally angry, at some point. You know, the people who call you up, or (even worse) are face-to-face with you, and have this need to tell you exactly how they feel in the most offensive and hurtful way possible? These people make me sad. For one, I had no part in whatever it is you’re upset about – I don’t even work here. But mainly, how unhappy are you in life that you feel a need to blow something trivial way out of proportion? Are you trying to ruin someone else’s day?

Want to know a fun fact? You aren’t ruining my day. No, to be honest, I’m not even really listening because you’re talking yourself in circles and not making sense. Plus, you’re just being loud, so I’m going to let you wear yourself out first. My favorite part about these people, is most of the time it’s user error. Oh, so your upcoming flight isn’t showing up on your calendar? Did you add it to the calendar? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – it’s hard to see something that you never created! Oh, so your burrito costs more because it has guacamole on it? Did you not listen when the Chipotle employee told you it would cost extra? Or did you not read the board with that same information very clearly printed on it? No? Hmmm, well that’s interesting – seems like a very personal problem.

Personally, I choose to live my life by this amazing quote: ‘Don’t let idiots ruin your day’. Check. Don’t worry, I’m still going to have an amazing day because happiness is a choice. My favorite part about these interactions is when our irrational friend realizes they screwed up. The face stays red, but subtly moves from the angry lobster red to embarrassment blush red. Now, I’m not a vengeful person, but can we all agree that feeling is satisfying? Granted, in a slightly evil way, but we aren’t the ones trying to make the girl behind the register cry so we can get out of paying, now are we?

Maybe I’m not a very angry person either, but how does one get to that stage? Is this impacting your ability to act like an adult? You know that you can still voice frustration in a reasonable way, right? Is this really the example you want to set for the people around you? There are children EVERYWHERE, you know (it’s slightly creepy).

What’s that? You haven’t ever dealt with someone like that? Your life is all glitter, and rainbows, and CHEWY CHIPS AHOY cookies? Well, this is awkward, but you are that irrationally angry person. Yes, I know you think you’re reasonable, and fun, and easy-going, but no. You would be incorrect. You are an overreacter and tend to blame things on others to get your way. Wow, that’s a tough pill to swallow, isn’t it. You’re probably starting to get a little red right now. Thinking about composing a very friendly email for me. Totally great – bring it on! As Germany Kent said, ‘Stop giving people the power to control your smile, your worth, your attitude, and your day. Don’t give anyone that much power over your life’. BOOM! You have no power over my life! So all of your anger will do, well, nothing to me. I’ll read your lovely email, take it, feel a little sad for your unhappiness, then smile and move on.

But I get it – it’s not as easy as that for everyone. Getting screamed at isn’t exactly something you wake up in the morning hoping for. That’s ok. New savage queen, Taylor Swift, wrote a song for times like these. It’s pretty much the perfect response template for dealing with one of the hotheads. A whole song can be hard to remember so I’ll just give you the highlights:

  • You are somebody that I don’t know, but you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patron. And I’m just like d*mn. It’s (INSERT TIME HERE)
  • You need to calm down. You’re being too loud
  • You need to just stop. Like, can you just not?
  • Why are you mad? When you could be glad?
  • Control your urges to scream about all the people you hate

How easy is that? You need to calm down. Why? Oh, because you’re being too loud and I don’t know you. Moral of this rant: there’s no need to be so angry – choose happiness.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who tends to overreact to everything, pass this along so they can scream at me not you. Maybe one day they’ll understand that life is short enough without tempting fate with frequent spikes to their blood pressure. Thanks for reading!


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SOME THINGS IN LIFE ARE UNSATISFYING

I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t like cleaning. It’s one of those necessary evils in life. If you don’t do it, eventually, bad things happen. Like roaches. And hard, hard, hard pass on that. Does anyone actually want roaches? Or who knows what other rodents come with a dirty place of living. Let’s not go down that fun train of thought on an otherwise rodent free day. At least for me, I guess it’s not fair to assume that’s the same for everyone. Some people have rats as pets. Why? I literally have zero idea. 

Anyways, sure, I feel so great and very adult after cleaning. Who doesn’t? It’s like organizing your life at the most basic level. You are taking something and making it brand new. Think of it as a new year’s resolution for your stuff. They have all that time where mistakes are made. Things get spilled. Dirt gets dragged in. The recycling piles up. It happens. It’s life. And then, like a ball drop, you come in and give them a chance to start fresh. Start clean. No big deal. Clean the crumbs off the counter. Take out the trash. Vacuum the carpet. Wipe down the windows.

Wipe the windows? Wait a second. Is it just me or is cleaning windows the most mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging cleaning task ever? You spend all that effort and finally get the windows clean only to find out that there are what? Streaks! The absolutely most frustrating thing in the history of adult things you can partake in. You clean to get rid of the streaks. Except they don’t go away. They come back. Like a leech. Or a stray cat.

Windex streak-free is a lie. Let’s start there. I have yet to use that product and successfully come away fully streak-free. So someone is not being honest. Either I don’t know how to clean glass or the people at Windex still haven’t figured out the streak-free formula. Hard to say. Mirrors are one thing, but if we’re looking at the range of frustration on glass products, it’s the most minimally infuriating. House windows are annoying, side windows in the car are next, followed closely by the rearview mirror and dash panel coverings. 

Top of the list, with zero competition, are the front and rear windshields in the car. I mean, come on. You can look at it from all angles and see nothing, but once a stray ray of sunshine comes in you’re blinded by stripes. From where?! There were none and now they are like an invasive plant species. Or a stray watermelon seed that gets dropped in your front lawn at a summer cookout. It’s like a cruel trick that the universe is playing on drivers everywhere who try to be responsible and take care of their car.

What’s the point of cleaning? If you’re just going to have to keep cleaning? All the time apparently. There’s all these special products you can buy that supposedly also are streak-free. But we both know that it’s simply a marketing tactic at this point. Obviously, since I still have streaky windows. What’s up with that?! The online options are not helpful either. Wipe off the dirt. Clean with rubbing alcohol. Clean with glass cleaner. Clean, again with rubbing alcohol. Who has the time honestly? It’s a windshield. Bills are a thing, but I’m not above paying for a high level interior car wash. Make them have to deal with my streaks. Take some stress out of my life.

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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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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THE LANGUAGE OF STARBUCKS

Languages have never been my strong suit, but there is one that I simply cannot understand no matter how many times I try. You probably guessed it. It, of course, is the Starbucks language of coffee. I’m not sure what class, or after school club, I missed in my education to pick up on this. How do people learn the little intricacies of their favorite orders? It’s not on the menu, believe me, I keep checking. It’s not on the website. It’s not on their commercials. It’s not on Google. If you don’t speak coffee, you better befriend a nice human who will teach you because otherwise you’ll be stuck standing at the front of the line looking like a deer in the headlights with angry, caffeine-deprived customers screaming at your back.

It’s a straight up clique. An original form of social distancing for those who haven’t proven their worth by passing the challenge of ordering a drink from the menu and then proceeding to change everything about it. Personally, I find the drive-through lines comical because that is way slower than waiting in the store line. You have to try and explain your custom creation through the highly efficient outdoor microphone. You know, the ones that pick up about a third of what you say. Then you get to play the ever fun phone tag, or microphone tag in this case, of you placing an order, the employee repeating it, you correcting it (because heaven forbid you get two pumps of caramel when you specified twenty), the employee repeating it again, you correcting it … again (because you asked for pumpkin spice not light ice), the employee getting a bit frustrated on round 3, you getting irritated over having to continue to repeat your daily order (how do they not have this memorized by now, all the money you’ve spent there?!), etc.

Rant over, I apologize for all the die-hard Starbucks fans in the world. What do you call yourselves? Starbucksers? Star-Warriors? Starbuck Chucks? Straight up Stars? SBean? Estarbucksso? Now that is a winner! I should trademark it, you are all welcome. Don’t say I never did anything nice for you. Judge you? Yes. Mock you? Definitely. Blog about you? Certainly. But alas, I have given your band of minions a catchphrase.

I understand the concept of customization in food. If you’re paying for it, it better be everything you hoped for and more. What’s the best way to do that? Make it your own! Most places have found a balance – a diverse menu that lets you make slight adjustments based on dining preferences. Burgers without ketchup, extra cheese on the nachos, double the oreos in the milkshake, re-heating the fries so they’re toasty by the time you get to them, combination of half lemonade and half tea, etc. Minor adjustments that don’t impact the overall cooking process. It is but a blip on the cook’s radar.

Starbucks has adopted the opposite mentality it seems. Create a menu, train employees how to make the small amount of available drinks, then allow customers to run wild with suggestions. Completely ignoring what people at corporate have deemed current feasible options. How this is a sustainable business model stymies me … oh, wait, it’s because they cater to both the 1% and the 99% all at once. In other words, the rarely seen 100%. Price: 1% model, hands down. Coffee drinkers: well there’s the 99-ers. It’s fascinating. Why even bother creating a menu? Why spend money and time and energy and sanity constructing beverages that people will look at and go, it’s fine and all, but completely change the recipe and I’ll drink it? 

You order a chocolate chip frappuccino, sans chocolate chips, without milk, zero sugar, and instead of espresso a black coffee pour over. Pretty close. You order a vanilla latte, but skinny edition sans flavor, additives, anything besides water, and low-fat whipped cream. You order a caramel macchiato, but with ten pumps of chocolate, just a quarter pump of caramel, milk steamed at exactly 152.5 degrees for slight froth, but not too much, and a whipped cream. I don’t even know what I’m saying but these are all things I’ve heard while waiting in line for my cake pop. Honestly, I don’t care – estarbuckssos, you do you. What I do care about, is having my order become unnecessarily complicated because the employees forget normal words like water. I have to order liquid, pulled from the coldest, purest creeks in Chile with ice, hand carved by farmers in the Swiss Alps. And, of course, a perfectly moist, aerated, sugar dough covered with the finest colors at the end of the Lucky Charms rainbow and topped with tiny globes of crunch.

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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DEAR BANK TELLERS: LET’S BOTH ACCEPT THAT I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO FILL OUT THOSE SLIPS OF PAPER … PLEASE STOP ASKING IF I HAVE ONE

What a time to be alive. Smartwatches, self-driving cars, every restaurant available for delivery, no shame for laying on a couch all day to watch TV, Chewy Chip-Ahoy. So much progress. So much technology. So much innovation. So much delicious food. So many choices for which piece of paper to fill out when you walk into a bank. Did that entire sector of the economy miss the memo? Did no one tell them that it isn’t 1879 anymore? Why are they always the last ones to know … everytime?

For starters, how long did it take banks to get useful online applications up? Too long. How long did it take for banks to finally jump on the happy app train? Too long. How long did it take for banks to do everything in their power to have minimal interactions with customers? Well, this is to be determined since they still seem to love face to face awkward money conversations. Self service is the future. Why talk to an angry, or confused, customer on the phone when they could read an article, or talk to a robot, and figure it out themselves? Anyways, I digress. Back to what’s really important here, which is how confusing it is to write on paper at the bank. It’s the only time I actually write something that doesn’t involve a screen and a cursor.

Some financial institutes have graciously allowed app users to deposit checks via picture. Genius. One less interaction and one less stressful choice at the paper counter. Choosing a slip is somewhat almost kind of intuitive. They’re all different colors. Then it’s usually an educated guess based on the two words I know: deposit and withdrawal. One is exciting and the other is sad. When in doubt, go with the more positive choice. That’s the easy part, though. After you have carefully selected what you hope to be the right check-sized piece of paper, then you have to fill it out. Who knows their bank account number off the top of their head? I don’t even memorize phone numbers, you think I’m going to memorize my bank number? Hard pass. 

I used to try and be a good bank customer and put my numbers in the tiny boxes on the paper. A traumatizing experience that reminded me of proctored tests in school. You know, the super fun ones where they make you write your name, address, medical information, dreams, every time you’ve blinked, with each letter in a separate box the size of a period. But, then the impossible question of my bank account number stalls me so I would take my half-hearted attempt to the bank teller who would have to finish it for me. Then, like technology, I evolved and would pick the bank paper and just take it up without even trying. 

Now, however, I no longer care about what the bank tellers think of me. I don’t even glance at that table. It’s a straight up swerve. Right into line where I confidently stroll up and tell them what I need – they can figure out which piece of paper I need. That’s their job, right? Or part of their ‘other duties as assigned’ at the very least. If they wanted me to do it myself, why not let me do it online? Or on their app? Or via a chat bot? Or via telekinesis? So many options that don’t involve a bank teller judging my skills as an adult. It also seems like minimizing real life visits would reduce overhead. 

Why don’t they move all operations online, you may be wondering? I’ve been asking myself this for years. Even Capital One’s reinvented “cafes” are still banks. Just banks with iPads and chairs in them. Which begs the question, why can’t I use the iPad in my house, sitting in my own chair, and not put on pants to come to a building to conduct financial business? Sure, I get it. Some people prefer in person interactions. Well, I would prefer it if I could eat a whole pizza by myself and not receive four plates from the delivery driver like I’m going to share it. I would also like to receive a bank bonus for showing up in person, when so many people are able to avoid that. But, we can’t always get what we want, can we? 

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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ALL OF MY THOUGHTS WAITING IN THE CHICK-FIL-A DRIVE-THRU LINE

Like a good Southerner, I understand that Chick-fil-A is part of the food pyramid. Not the whole base, but the second biggest tier for sure. Combined, of course, with Bojangles’ and their legendary sweet tea. In essence, people living south of Virginia are 50% chicken, 10% sweet tea, and 10% seasoned fries. The remaining 30% is gravy, banana pudding, and mac n’ cheese #math.

Since our sustenance relies heavily on the big red C, it’s imperative that I make regular appearances. Except on Sundays because the owners are clearly good southern christians and leave one day a week for home cooked meals at Grandma’s house. Unfortunately, I am not the only one living with this gratitude mindset. For all of the genius that is the CFA kitchen, their parking lot layouts leave a lot to be desired. Specifically the drive-thru portion of the design. Everyone, and their mothers, know that there is never a dead period at CFA. Everyone except the car space architects apparently.

It does not matter what time of day you get a hankering for waffle fries and magical chicken, there will be a full drive-thru line. 3:45PM on a Tuesday? Packed. 11:15AM on a Thursday? Can’t even get in the parking lot. Anytime before 10:30AM? Forget it! People will fight to get their Chick-n-Minis before the breakfast menu shuts down. They are also the only restaurant I know with an all day lunch rush. How is that even possible?! How is the whole world eating both an early, on time, and late lunch every day of the week every week of the year? That’s not possible. 

I’m sure we’ve all waited in a long drive-thru line before and been super thrilled about watching our gas efficiency rating drop consistently and trying to communicate with the employee through the high quality speaker system. How many times have you waited in a double drive-thru line? I don’t mean the supposedly more efficient double lane options. No, no. I mean the double line that occurs in the same way that you would draw a spiral. The drive-thru line is full and wraps all the way around the building. Um, what? Yes, you start in line near the speaker to order … but are the second to third layer of the circle. Is there anything more soul crushing when you’re hungry? No.

So clearly, as you can imagine, this line does not fall into the definition of fast food. It’s a slow burner. And time with your thoughts is a fun place to be. Well, fun may not be the right adjective. It’s an interesting place to be. My hungry thoughts are not on the same reading level as my well-fed thoughts. They get weird, they get abstract, they get confusing, they get twisted in circles (like the line I’m sitting in). It’s a black hole – one that I’m going to throw you into so you, too, can ponder these existential moments in my Chick-Fil-A waiting life:

  • Who taught the cows to spell? They didn’t do a good job
  • Who decided that the font should be a backwards foggy mirror attempt at writing?
  • Are CFA employees allowed to eat beef while at the office?
  • Does part of an employee’s non-compete contain information about dietary restrictions?
  • When will an employee be allowed to eat beef again?
  • Are all catered meals at corporate from CFA?
  • Has anyone ever pulled a prank and ordered Wendy’s or McDonald’s on “accident”?
  • Why was the chicken salad sandwich removed from the menu?
  • Why is there no option to supersize a meal? It could be the Fox option, get it
  • Is there a reason why sandwiches don’t come with a normal amount of pickles? What is so significant about two?
  • Is it a coincidence that the sun is always shining when I’m at CFA? No, it’s a sign from the heavens to eat mor chikin! (Side question: how did Google know to autocorrect that to the CFA version?! My mind just exploded)
  • Why were the color choices not orange? Like, you know, a chicken
  • How have I not moved at all?
  • If I use the app and place a mobile order while in the drive-thru, will I get my food faster? Spoiler: yes
  • Why is the peach milkshake not a year round treat? That’s the best option
  • Why do the cookies taste better when they’re catered?
  • How many times can an employee say ‘my pleasure’ before they explode?
  • How rapidly can I repeatedly say ‘thank you’ to test this out?
  • If the employees are taking my order, what is the point of moving through the line? Can they not also bring me the food?
  • Why is every parking lot so small? And tight? Neither is conducive for heavy drive-thru traffic
  • How many accidents happen each year in CFA parking lots? An acchickdent lol
  • Is there any way we could get a cow fence around the buildings? A normal fence with giant cutouts of the billboard cows? For full branding efforts
  • Do the billboard cows have names? If so, what are they?
  • How many free sandwiches are given away on Cow Appreciation Day?
  • Why don’t I own a full cow costume like a lot of the people here? Why do so many people own full cow costumes?
  • What if I had grown up in the North and not known about the mouth party that is CFA? The horror
  • How am I only one car closer to the goal?!

That feels like a sufficient share. Feel free to traverse that thought train at your own pace. Dive deeper into your feelings if you need to. Don’t if your care level for these questions is negative. You do you, but whatever path you decide, it’s better with a Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries. What drive-thru thoughts do you have while waiting to relieve the hangriness?

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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TINY HOUSE, MIGHTY PROBLEMS

Good things come in small packages. Heard that inspiration before? I can see how in some situations this is applicable and would be a fun, everything will work out, sign. In other situations, however, this feels like anti-logic. Rather unhelpful. Because sometimes good things come in big packages. Take space, for example. The more space you have, the more space you fill up … but the less space you have, the less amount of essentials you have. 

Space is super prevalent in a lot of scenarios. Housing, the office, a car trunk, the refrigerator, any public place in the world currently. Imagine if you voluntarily took your current fridge space and cut it down to about a tenth of the size. Sounds a bit irresponsible – where is all of your cookie dough going to go? What about all the orange juice and champagne? How will you keep cheese sticks? Sacrifices will have to be made. So long produce. Adios dairy products. It’s been real lunch meat. If the thought of having to restrict the amount of refrigerated goods you can keep at any given time doesn’t make you sad, I can honestly say that we have very different priorities in life.

What about the amount of trunk space in your vehicle? Some cars only come with enough space to hold all of one backpack. On purpose. And some people buy these cars knowing that a “trunk” feature is basically a lie. On purpose. I have a lot of questions about how one is able to survive life without a trunk, but those are good questions for another time. For all the normal people in the world, a trunk is a necessity. It’s where you can hide your valuables on vacation. It’s also a great place to put suitcases for a road trip. Believe it or not, it’s also incredibly handy when shopping. For food, or clothes, or home improvement project supplies, or plants, or sporting equipment, etc. 

I, for one, would not know what to do if I woke up tomorrow and my trunk had disappeared. Well, more accurately, my trunk and the backseat of my car. Where would I put my golf clubs?! How could I ever take another trip to Total Wine?! So much panic. And yet, the tiny house market is still a thing. Tiny houses look a lot like a shed. I think, though, that they’re smaller. What does one keep in a shed? Extra items that don’t fit between the house and the garage. What does one keep in a tiny house? Everything they own. Wait, wait, wait. In one version, it’s more of extra storage and in the other version it’s the whole storage limit? How does that work?

If you’re also confused, it’s not just you. The need to downsize makes sense. Personally, my collection of things has gotten a tad out of hand. But it would basically be impossible for me to downsize to the tiny house point. In the same square footage as my current bedroom, I would have a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a living / dining area. What actually … is that possible? What if you were cooking fish? Then you would smell it in your dreams because less space means less room for disbursement. Or if you made a Taco Bell run after work. Oh boy, that’s another time when you’d be praying for higher ceilings. 

Imagine trying to have friends over. You could have two, max. So it would be like russian roulette – who do you like the best out of your friend group? They get to come over and nobody else. Don’t even get me started on trying to live there as a couple. If you had a disagreement, where would you go for space? The front porch? All of five feet away from the back porch where your significant other is taking time to themselves? That seems like a recipe for disaster. I guess what I’m confused about, is how much is too much when it comes to decluttering? Reduce your footprint by reducing your space, your sanity, and everything you’ve ever loved. That seems like a hard line between acceptable and a bit unhinged. But what do I know? I currently take up an entire master closet by myself. Space sharing is not really one of my better features. Alas, I also have a stress shopping problem so which issue needs to be addressed first? I like option C, neither – all is fine. I’m fine. You’re fine. Anyone not in a tiny house is fine.

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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CHEERS TO THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE

Drinking and fire is a combination. Not an ideal one, but one nonetheless. Probably because alcohol and confidence go hand in hand. I have found, though, that confidence and cockiness often get confused and I think the real issue is that alcohol and cockiness go hand in hand (more on that dilemma in THIS POST). Enter the 4th of July. America’s Independence Day. Which, at some point, was probably a historical celebration. I’m not sure when that changed, but now it’s a bonus day off work and yet another excuse to drink (because who doesn’t need another one of those?!).

Official, and unofficial, drinking holidays are essentially the modern calendar. A millennial edition, so to speak. When you know that a giant cookout themed with the American flag, and its respective colors, is this weekend, you understand exactly where you’re at in the year. No question. Beginning of July. Over halfway to Christmas. One month into summer. One month until school starts … but not for me because I’ve crossed into the “adult” realm and have, wait for it, another month of work. Three months until Fall starts, which is obviously the best season of the year. Since alcohol usually leads to a fall at some point. Thus, more drinking!

And obviously, once one has started drinking, the pack mentality kicks in, and everyone else follows. Unless you’re at a party with children, in which case, some are allowed to have fun and others are stuck “parenting”. This brings one main question into my mind, which, of course, is was there no babysitter available? If not, is there no allowance-dependent pre-teen in attendance who would gladly take your money to sit in the same rooms as the children and watch TikToks all night? Because I feel like the latter is always a great bailout. 

Thanks to Heineken, everyone can drink, but not all drinks have alcohol. And this is perfect for Independence Day. Specifically for the designated person, or group of people, known as the fireworks lighter. Because, have you ever considered that maybe the person in charge of lighting the fireworks should not be the same one holding an open beverage? Seems like an interesting decision. I’m not really a fire fan in general so I definitely don’t trust others with flames. Especially when I don’t know the sobriety levels of said individual(s).  

No matter, though, fireworks are but a small portion of our celebratory weeks / weekends. An optional one. Sometimes an illegal one. The main draw here is clearly the ridiculous use of American themed decorations. You can buy anything in the flag pattern. And I do mean anything. Feel free to use your imagination on some of the most extravagant, questionable, straight up weird, items and I guarantee they come themed specifically for this day. Flag leis, flag solo cups, flag swimsuits since it is summer after all and clothing is not mandatory, but masks are. Luckily you can also get themed masks.

Never has there been a holiday where the Red Solo Cup is a more appropriate addition, or acceptable drinkware. Outside of anything planned / scheduled prior to your quarter-life mark. That’s one of three colors done automatically, if you’re opting to decorate sans actual flag decorations. A chance to flex your creative side. Which just leaves blue and white to round out the festive atmosphere you’re trying to create. If you happen to be attending a celebration on some sort of water, blue is in the bag as well. If not, will there be clear skies? Still no? You’ll have to get creative with one of the food dishes, or table accessories. White is the same color as napkins so as long as you’re not treating guests like cavemen, a third strike! 

If this sounds like any weekend at the lake, day at the beach, party at your friend’s house, that’s because it probably is very similar. The only real difference is a free PTO day with which to either recover, or pre-game. In other words, we love Independence Day so much we celebrate it constantly. Year round to be exact. Sometimes we swap the flag for pumpkins, or trees, or hearts, but deep down we’re still celebrating the same thing. Freedom. 

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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