GAS STATION ETIQUETTE

Have you ever been to a gas station? There’s probably a very high chance your answer is yes. Unless you grew up in a big city, or are a trust fund baby and have been chauffeured everywhere for all of time. I would like to assume that, regardless of how you live your life, you are all at least familiar with what a gas station is and what it does for consumers. If not, it’s in the name. A station for drivers to refuel both their tanks and themselves. Quality in service, cleanliness, and options range greatly depending on the company and location, but that’s not where the pump we’re stopping at today.

Stops to fill up on gas is a necessary evil if you’re going to be operating a vehicle. On long trips it’s about as rewarding and productive as pulling into a rest area. You don’t want to stop, but you know that if you don’t you’re going to have a major problem on your hands. There’s always that fun game of which stall will be clean enough to use, if the vending machine will be operational, or if you’re at risk of seeing a deadly snake (shoutout to Florida). I, for one, hope to never see a deadly snake at a public rest area. Maybe if you didn’t put a massive pond right next to the building it wouldn’t attract the deadly snakes. Also, for the record, I find it hard to believe that a standard chainmail fence is going to prevent the deadly snakes from escaping their … what is it? Cage attempt? Habitat? Doesn’t matter. This is why I only ever fly to Florida.

So that’s the rest area side of driving. No wonder people miss their own bathrooms when they’re gone. On the other side of the forced activities when driving coin, you have gas stations. In theory, this should be a painless experience. Pull in, fill up, park, get some snacks, maybe use the bathroom, and leave. It should take about as long as it took to read that sentence. Easy peasy. I think what wasn’t accounted for in the flow, though, was people. Are we just hard programmed to try and do things against the grain? Or do we just like to piss other people off?

Being blessed to work in a job where I literally have to try and predict all the ways people can use something and prevent unwanted actions, I am constantly amazed. If I give you a bowl of cereal and a spoon, why would you try to eat it with your hand? What was the thought process here? If I give you an input that says ‘Quantity’, why would you try to enter non numeric characters? What is your end goal with that? To not get any of what you want? We live in a world where the SMH feeling is the expectation and gas stations are not resilient.

Gas stations have 3 main components: the pump, the parking lot, and the convenience store. Each serving a specific purpose. When people use one for the purpose of another, it ruins everything. Let’s start with the pump. The pump is for pumping gasoline into your car. It is not a parking space. It is not a cell phone lot. It is not a waiting area. It expires when your pump stops filling your car. It still implicitly follows the rules of traffic flow. In other words if I have the pump on my left, but you’re the oddball with a passenger side tank, don’t pull in facing me. Then both of us are stuck until the other finishes if there’s a line. And there is almost always a line. 

To be fair, I blame car companies for this. A passenger side tank makes zero sense. You have to walk all the way around the car. You’re always messing up station traffic flows. Why is this not a standard driver side placement? Anyways … if you have to go into the convenience store, that’s what the parking spaces are for. They aren’t employee only spots. They’re publicly available for you to not block others from getting gas. Don’t be that person. If you aren’t ready to fill up, or if you just finished filling up, get your little behind off the pump so someone else can refuel. If you can drive to a gas station, you can drive into a parking space.

Finally, we have the convenience store! Snacks, drinks, restrooms, a road trippers paradise. I’m not sure at what point in history it was decided that gas stations would carry ALL of the candy, gum, and individually wrapped snack options, but I’m here for it. It’s fun to browse the aisles and get a little pick me up. What’s not so fun is the restrooms. I’m not sure how they get to the point that they do, but I rarely go into an even somewhat clean gas station bathroom. It is a crisis. Especially the ones where you need a key and are on the side of the building. What happens in those? You have to have a key to get in. Why does it look like a family of raccoons have been chilling for years. Maybe because the pump parkers don’t know how to use a public restroom either. 

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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WHAT YOUR SANDWICH BREAD PREFERENCE SAYS ABOUT YOU

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? It’s the ultimate lunch food and can also double dip as a fantastic dinner option. Shoot, you can even make sandwiches for breakfast! And for snacks – there is literally never an eating period where a sandwich is a bad choice. The options for the goods are equally impressive. What can’t go into a sandwich? Your imagination is the only limit to what the meat of your meal will be. Doesn’t matter if you want to keep it more traditional or go on the wild side and throw some Doritos in there. Whatever makes you happy.

With all of the potential on the inside, there are an almost equally endless number of options for the outside. Everyone is different and everyone has a different preference for what’s going to hug their concoction. Now, I’m not here to judge, but I do find it interesting that different personalities tend to order the same type of carbs for their sandwiches. Take it as you will, there is zero scientific proof to this list, just pure millennial genius:

White Bread

The most basic option around – enough said

Whole Wheat / Multigrain Bread

To be healthy or not to be healthy? Throw some grains in your bread and you can feel like a California goddess, but ultimately you want the best of both worlds

Sourdough / Rye Bread

What are these? They definitely don’t sound appetizing and there are only a handful of sandwiches that pair well with them. As such, you like minimal options and are a routine person

Pita Bread

Living life on the absolute edge between sandwich and wrap and gyro. You like to explore

Hoagie Roll

Can anyone say crusty? These rolls are not for me, I don’t understand the appeal. You’re set in your habits and aren’t open to newer, fresher options

Ciabatta Roll

If sourdough and the hoagie had a child, it would be ciabatta. Though soft to the touch, weirdly dry to the tongue. You care more about hot trends than the sandwich fillings … in life you care more about the experience versus how it happens

Kaiser / Sesame Seed Bun

It’s a bagel! It’s a bun! It’s a sesame seed bun! Who doesn’t like little seeds awkwardly hanging around in their teeth post meal? These are for people who don’t give a single care about what other people think

Brioche Bun

So sweet it might as well be dessert! This is the best sandwich bun and should be available for every option. No wrong answers – you are adventurous and spontaneous and happy go lucky

Pretzel Bun

For when you want double the carbs. This is for the people who know who they are and know that a pretzel makes everything better

English Muffin

Another strange, yet popular option. For when you want to eat a sandwich, but want to hate it. A unique taste, like you, it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. You have your group and that’s all you need

Bagel

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, who cares? Bagel sandwiches are an elevated experience. You like to feel exclusive and like you’re getting something very few other people are

Tortilla

Are you looking for a sandwich or a burrito? You want to act edgy and prove that you’re a unique individual

Lettuce Wrap

Why get a sandwich if you’re going to wrap it in lettuce? Just order a salad, you’re a poser

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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CAN I SEE YOUR ID?

There are several key birthday milestones that you count down to growing up. Your 10th birthday, for sure. I mean, double digits! You remember getting so excited to be double digits without really realizing that there’s a good chance you will never leave the double digit range … think about that for a second. What was so great about 10 anyways? That’s a whole extra candle your parents had to buy for the cake. 10 is selfish is what it is.

Plus then you’re on the verge of the pre-teen years which are fun for absolutely nobody. Not your parents. Not your friends. Not you. Not your teachers. Nobody. It’s a phase that is frustrating, stressful, and confusing. And that’s all before you hit the joy of puberty. Which is also frustrating, stressful, and confusing. But also scary and sad and exciting and you realize you’re nearing the next milestone which is the sweet sixteen. Ironically, the only sweet thing about being 16 is the ability to drive. Which is expensive so once again who’s really winning here?

Then there’s 18 and you’re finally an adult! Again, though, not as exciting as we hype ourselves up for. You can buy cigarettes so I guess it’s a good way to learn about consequences. Although you only partially get treated like an adult. You get to go to college, which IS an awesome milestone. Even there though, it’s not quite the same as the monotonous, expensive, and exhausting world that is post-college.

Among the birthday milestones that we trick ourselves into getting pumped about, the 21st one is the best day of your life. No more worrying about getting caught with a fake, or having to bribe your older friends into getting you some bottles, or swiping extra liquor from the very back of your parent’s cabinet hoping they don’t use those. You can waltz into the grocery store. The liquor store. The gas station. The club. The bar. Wherever and slap that ID card down and get whatever your little heart desires.

While being an alcohol drinking adult has its perks, like most good things, there are downfalls. That downfall is being asked to show your ID. Don’t get me wrong, that first day you reach purchasing freedom, you want to brag about it! You want everywhere you go to ask for that card so you can whip it out. Then wait awkwardly for them to have to triple check the date to make sure it’s the very minimum legal age. A powerful feeling.

During the post-turning-21-hangover, having to pull your ID out of your wallet every time becomes … annoying. Especially as you start to age towards your mid and late 20s. How young do you have to look to be closer to 30 than 21 and be asked to prove yourself. There’s always the one friend who will get carded, even when nobody else in the entire group does. I am that friend. I could go out with my parents, and only I will get carded. Not even my younger, not even 21 year old, sister gets carded. She just gets drinks. But I’m the one who looks underage. Ok.

If everyone in the group gets asked to prove their age, that’s one thing. The server is just protecting their job. And probably the whole establishment. But to single one person out, what is the purpose of even asking? Why waste both of our time? What was the thinking going into this? If one of them is at least 21, all of them must be 21? How does that work? Some of my friends have even decided to take No Shave November all the way through the pandemic and look like they belong in a frat house. And still I’m the only one who gets carded.

Clearly I’m unbothered by my young face. If I still look like a high schooler maybe I’ll look like a 20-something in my late 40s so there are perks. Eventually. So they tell me. Once you hit 21 you get a few consecutive solid exciting birthdays, though. Taylor Swift year, Jordan year, Kobe year, rent a car year. And then you’re in your late 20s and it becomes less exciting from there. You have to wait for 30 and by that point the over the hill jokes are coming out. So you’re excited on the outside, but sad on the inside.

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 JOYS OF MOVING

Have you ever moved in your life? There’s probably a high chance that the answer is yes. Moving is a thing that we have to do occasionally, or frequently, or at specified intervals depending on your situation. Personally, moving is not my favorite. Moving on, yes, but moving between physical locations, no. There’s something very freeing about stepping away from something in your life that’s bringing you down a bit, or is outright toxic. It’s like when you take a week, or a few months / years, off at the gym and then do a brief workout and feel like a million bucks! And also when you see immediate results because it’s been so long.

Enough gym analogies, I’m not trying to bring the mood down. In summary, live your best life and move on from things that are not helping you grow. On the opposite side of that spectrum, however, we have moving. As in I live in one location and am now moving somewhere completely different. To live, not for an extended vacation. Which means that you need to bring your life with you. The good, the bad, and the random junk you thought you threw out during the last move.

In my opinion, there’s not many exciting things about the moving part of getting a new place. The exciting place is having a new address and getting to explore your new surroundings. Make new friends, find your new daily coffee shop, understand exactly how long it takes to get to the chinese take out place, create a list of new favorite bars and restaurants, explore new running routes, etc. Those things are super fun and I’m all about that … once I’m settled.

Why is the process of packing and unpacking things so difficult? When you break it down, you put things in a box and then you take things out of a box. Somewhere between the base problem and how we tend to do it a whole mess gets thrown in. Literally. If you ever want a good motivation to clean out what you own, move. I’m still not sure why we have two entire kitchen cabinets full of assorted cups, glasses, and mugs when there’s only two of us. Some of those could probably be donated. Do we need four different shoe racks in our closet that don’t even hold all of our shoes? Probably not.

So we have this … stuff. And you need to get it all into boxes. Efficiently and safely. Those being the key terms here. Anyone can shove an assortment of things into a box, but if you do it right you minimize the total number of boxes and, thus, the total effort required to take said boxes from one location to another. You also minimize potential damage to breakable things like cups, glasses, and mugs. Packaging pillows are a must have, but not the styrofoam nonsense – they leave residue particles everywhere. They’re an invasive species like ARTIFICIAL TURF.

If moving was simply boxes, it wouldn’t be so bad. But alas we have furniture. Why is all furniture either awkward or ridiculously heavy? Why can’t it be something easy to carry, somewhat lightweight, and stylish all in one? It doesn’t fit in cars. It doesn’t fit well in pickup trucks, at least not all of it. So you end up with a moving truck. And moving trucks are an expense. How expensive is up to your budget. Sure you can pay people to box your things and move them for you, but I don’t want strangers packing up certain things. Feels like a weird invasion of privacy and somehow there’s always a portion of your things that mysteriously disappear when they do it.

If all you had to do was pay for the moving truck, it would be fairly affordable. But since Lucifer himself invented moving you have either down payments, or security deposits. You have set up fees for utilities. You have to deal with switching Internet providers. Or worse, staying with your same one and transferring locations. You have to buy new things for the new space because when in Rome. You end up with boxes everywhere and piles of items to donate that you either have to pay someone to pick up, or you have to transport yourself. When all of that is said and done, you actually have to unpack what you, or strangers, dropped off. And get re-settled. Who has time honestly.

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 COUNTRY ROADS: YOU, OF ALL PLACES, NEED LIGHT REFLECTORS

Taking the path less traveled is a popular thing in today’s society. Physically and metaphorically. You can be whoever you want to be, regardless of how things looked in previous generations. Actually, though. Whoever you want to be. Girl, boy, both, neither, inanimate – whatever your soul is telling you. And then of course physically exploring the hidden gems of the world is usually a fan favorite for the Instagram. Because we all want a piece of that exclusivity.

Like most things in life, someone has to be first. Who was the first person that looked at a jackfruit and thought, you know what, I bet that’s delicious! I’ve seen a jackfruit and I have to say, if I saw it in the wild my first thought would be that the dinosaurs are back. It’s gigantic. And looks prickly. And it’s called a jackfruit … as in jack and the beanstalk? Did the giant drop that too? Don’t even get me started on the inside of it. I mean, think about how lucky we are that it’s safe to eat. How many casualties have occurred because of curious minds and weird looking things in nature?

Alas, I digress into the realm of the mind less traveled. Much like how it feels to drive through country roads. Not country as in we’ve left the obvious city limits and are in the suburbs country. I’m talking about when you see one house and it will be minutes, driving minutes, before you glimpse another one. The cow to people ratio favors the bovines. Heavily. And the “traffic” jams involve you getting stuck behind a slow moving tractor. Are you with me? Better keep up because if you get lost in this field I might never know where to find you.

Country roads are … not for me. They are endless. For some reason there is never a posted speed limit. I guess you have to be born into that secret. Most of the time the road signs have either vanished, or never existed in the first place. Or it’s just State Road and some random number. The cell service is also mysteriously missing. Everyone has satellite dishes. And there are no light reflectors. None. Not because they’ve been worn off over time. They just never existed. Sometimes there are barely even lines. 

Have you ever tried driving down a country road at night? There are minimal houses so the only light comes from the solar system and your high beams. Under normal weather conditions, this is not acceptable but it’s kind of fine. It’s a ride at your own risk adventure, especially at night, so you should have left earlier. If, however, you happen to get unlucky and experience even just a slight rainfall, well good luck getting out of there alive.

Rainfall on most roads at night while driving is the worst. During a drizzle, people’s headlights reflect off the rain on your windshield and you’re blinded. Get a steady rain and it reflects off the light poles and you’re blinded. Drive into a downpour and the rain falls so heavily that you’re blinded. It’s a lose lose lose situation. Regardless of rain power. But that’s with other light sources and people helping you make educated guesses about the road. Eliminate your two phone a friend lifelines and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Rainfall on country roads at night while driving is a suicide mission for those of us from the ‘burbs and beyond. During a drizzle, the rain is distracting and makes it annoying to see the road because there are no light reflectors indicating where the middle lines are (or are supposed to be). During a steady rain, it’s almost impossible to see where the road ends and the fields begin because, again, no light reflectors. During a downpour, you might as well stop and plan to camp with the cows. Unless your plans for the night also included off roading and getting stuck in some corn crops. 

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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PORTA POTTY FEARS

Have you ever been to an event and needed to use the bathroom? Or been in a city and needed to use the bathroom? Or really just been anywhere outside of your home and been hit with the urge for a bio break? Some places you can count on to have indoor plumbing. The cleanliness usually varies between gas stations and educational buildings, but nonetheless, you know where you can find a toilet in case of an emergency. Unlike some of the more socially aware businesses, however, not everyone offers a restroom option. 

Granted, when you aren’t in a physical building, it becomes harder to provide human waste outlets. For example, parks. City sidewalks. Trails. The woods. Any business in a giant tourist city. Most outdoor places come to think of it. Which, honestly, can’t come as that much of a surprise. Part of nature’s beauty is the absence of human tampering. But alas, we have been gifted with the beautiful, convenient, adaptable to any environment construction that is the porta potty. What says natural more than a blue, or green, plastic box designed for special moments?

Despite their unappealing exterior, porta potties are a necessary evil. Think of the last time you used one. I have to believe it was out of necessity and not out of a strong desire to be in the crap sauna. If there had been another option, in any sort of normal brick and mortar building, regardless of the indoor plumbing setup, my gut says we would all choose the more traditional and, arguably, hygienic version. But maybe not, I don’t know you. I know without a doubt what my preference would be though.

Imagine if there hadn’t been a porta potty available in your most desperate moment? What would your options be then? Public indecency? That could result in jail time and AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Trying to find a slightly wooded area where you can quickly relieve yourself before another person wanders by? Best of luck to you – sometimes it pays off and other times we’re back at the naked in public issue. Hold it? Well, sure, but Murphy’s law will undoubtedly put some liquid sound, visual, or thought into your immediate space so this becomes harder by the second.

Unless you’re packing adult diapers in your pocket for emergency situations, it usually ends in the decision to suck it up and enter the portable toilet. And no matter how mentally prepared you are entering it, I believe every human goes through a certain set of fears regarding the time they will spend both in the potty, and immediately after. Those fears are as follows:

  • Porta Potty tipping over with you inside
  • Porta Potty being loaded onto a truck, with you inside
  • Forgetting to lock the Porta Potty
  • Not being able to lock the Porta Potty
  • Having no toilet paper in the Porta Potty
  • Having no hand sanitizer in the porta potty
  • Dropping your phone, keys, or wallet into the hole
  • Physically touching any part of the seat
  • If it’s over 60 degrees outside, the internal heat the interior will be packing
  • If it’s over 70 degrees outside, the internal smell it will be emanating
  • Not being able to unlock the Porta Potty
  • Realizing that you forgot to lock the Porta Potty
  • Finding a way to disinfect your hands, in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Finding a way to disinfect everything that could have touched something in a quick (ish) manner, after leaving
  • Exiting to find a long line of people waiting for said Porta Potty

My exact fears every single time. Hours later I’m always thankful I wasn’t forced to hold it until the UTI stage set in, but wow, in the moment it doesn’t always feel like a blessing. Especially at big events where there’s a line and it’s just been a non stop flow of humans in that tiny space. The things we do for entertainment and to wander around in nature is peculiar. And yet, we will gladly take the porta potty any day over alternative options.

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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WHAT DO COUSCOUS, GLITTER, AND ARTIFICIAL TURF HAVE IN COMMON?

You know what’s super fun? When you live through a moment and then that moment just simply resides somewhere in your memory for the rest of time. Or until you lose your mind, whichever comes first. You experience it and then all traces of it leave your immediate surroundings for the rest of time. It’s the circle of life. The Lion King demonstrated this perfectly with Mufasa’s death. He lived on in spirit, but he wasn’t really there. And so should most things in life be. 

Certain things are good to have around after the fact. If you’re missing your significant other, for example, and they happened to have left some things at your place. If you eat the most amazing piece of cake and then the person who brought it leaves the leftovers for you. If you watch the best sports game ever and the after show just shows replay on replay of all the great plays. You get it? Occasionally it’s great to have some remnants leftover. Occasionally being the key word.

Regular things are ok to just dip out when their time in the spotlight has come to an end. Things such as food prep, outdoor materials, and craft supplies. And toilet paper … why does it always end up on the floor? Who is throwing it on the floor? Is it putting itself there? And why is it always in a shredded piece on the floor? Never like a full square. Just a wolverine on a rampage type shred. Also, why is it all of a sudden incredibly sticky when it’s on the floor? It will stick to anything, namely the rubber sole of your shoe. 

While we’re on this subject, why is the floor of every public restroom just constantly wet? My bathroom at home enjoys a dry floor 99.99% of the time. The only time it does not, is when I exit the shower. Is there a reason this doesn’t transfer to public places? Last time I checked, most public restrooms do not have public showers as well. And yet, puddles. All the time. It never dries. It’s stagnant. It is standing water and thinking about it gives me the chills. This is a crisis and I would like to know who is doing this to the restrooms of the world. It is not acceptable. It never was.

Wow, I could write an entire rant on that. I have so many more questions. But alas, that is not the journey we were destined for today. No, today we examine the crisis of cheap, tiny, circular objects found near humans all around the world. Don’t be fooled by how easy they are to acquire. It’s like a computer virus – shockingly simple to click on, but it will eff you up for a while. Days, weeks, months. It’s an all out commitment to seek out and exterminate it.

Enter the seemingly innocent physical viruses known as couscous, glitter, and artificial turf. If you’ve ever had the pleasure, nay the horror, of dealing with any of these things, you know what I’m talking about. If you have never dealt with them, well, have you never met a girl somewhere between the ages of 2-99 in your life? Because I blame the Disney princesses for the glitter issue. And the social stigma that girl and glitter must be soulmates since you can’t spell glitter without girl.

How does it not wash off? How can I clean it off all spaces, including myself, and still wake up and find it places? It’s made 50% of glue I have to believe. You barely touch it and all of a sudden it’s a part of you forever. It will show up in rooms that you never went into during your foray into the sparkly rainbow world. How? Magic? No. Demonic craft supply companies. Play with glitter, they say. It will make your life sparkly, they say. Yes, but then it won’t leave.

While glitter is probably the more well known craft curse, it is not lost on me that in recent years outdoor athletes have had to deal with an equally traumatizing experience known as artificial turf. It gets in your shoes. It gets in your bag. It somehow always ends up in your pants. It hides so nicely in a carpet. It will live under your insole for years. It’s everywhere. It is a disease. You can vacuum. You can sweep. You can shower. But it will never leave you.

And then, we have the edible portion of the post: couscous. If you’ve been keeping up to this point, you know the storyline here. It just appears. In the sink. On countertops. In the cabinets. Why? How? Make it stop. The kitchen has been scrubbed. It’s been deep cleaned. It has not seen a box of couscous in months and still … still! They pop up from time to time like the gremlins that they are. 

I don’t know who, or whom, is responsible for any of these creatures. I don’t believe they are inanimate objects. They must have some sort of advanced technology embedded deep into their tiny, miniscule little earthly bodies just to torture us. They were Siri, and Google, and Alexa before it was cool to spy on people. I bet they’ve been listening to us for years. But without a helpful counterpart which is the targeted ad.

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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RANKING POPULAR HARD SELTZER BRANDS

Hard seltzers are a whole mood. Nothing says I’m here to have a good time for a long time like a hard seltzer. I mean it’s basically water after all. Just with some “natural” flavors and some sort of non-water added. Presumably alcohol, although who’s preventing someone from coming out with a hard LaCroix and scamming people. The Internet. That’s who. All the trolls and people looking to make a quick buck. Which in this case works out very well for all of us looking to get our buzz on.

Unlike beer, wine, or mixed drinks, you can drink hard seltzers all day. There’s a reason White Claw is the new unofficial Corona of the beach. Have one, have four, have a case – you can still go to dinner afterwards and feel great! In other words, it’s like drinking hard liquor without having to actually drink hard liquor. Because why do we do that to ourselves? It ends the same way every time and we never learn. Peer pressure is a true threat to the health of my liver, but still I can’t say no.

For everyone who thinks hard seltzers are for the weak, come talk to me after trying to keep up with your 7.5% IPA. Bubbles and carbs are not a good combination for efficiency in a timely manner. But this post is not about volume. It’s about quality and, like most things in life, not all hard seltzers are created equally. They are all created equally on the outside, however. I have yet to find a hard seltzer in a bottle. I have been given the option of a hard seltzer on tap, though, and I have to be real – that’s too far. A hard seltzer should come in a can, so I can take it anywhere, and be refreshing to the point where I’m not really sure if I’m drinking juice, regular seltzer, or something for adults only.

Alright, enough pregaming, let’s get to it! There are many, many, many … many options on the market right now, but some are better than others. Some are also better than most. 3, 2, 1 cheers! Here are the rankings of current hard seltzer brands. According to me. The Restless Professional. You may feel differently and I guess that’s fine. You do you. I’m doing me. There are definitely others, but for the sake of space, my sanity, and my health, sticking to more popular options:

  1. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Signature Flavors
  2. Press Premium Hard Seltzer
  3. Crook & Marker Spiked Seltzer
  4. Michelob Organic Hard Seltzer Classic Collection
  5. Truly Punch Hard Seltzer
  6. Bud Light Seltzer Retro Pack
  7. Bud Light Seltzer Remix Pack
  8. Bud Light Seltzer Holiday Pack
  9. Smirnoff Seltzer Rose Pack
  10. Natty Light Hard Seltzer
  11. Vizzy Hard Seltzer
  12. Bud Light Hard Seltzer
  13. White Claw Hard Seltzer
  14. Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer
  15. Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer
  16. Truly Hard Seltzer
  17. Jose Cuervo Tequila Seltzer
  18. Seagram’s Hard Seltzer
  19. Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer
  20. High Noon Hard Seltzer
  21. Truly Tea Hard Seltzer
  22. Truly Extra Hard Seltzer
  23. PBR Stronger Seltzer
  24. BON V!V Spiked Seltzer
  25. Wild Basin Hard Seltzer

Believe it or not, 25 only dents the currently way over-saturated seltzer market. This is my blog and I don’t feel pressure to justify, but I do think it would be fun to dive in deeper. And you can’t stop me, so here goes! Michelob and Press are clearly winners and everyone should buy them. I can, and will, drink them all day every day. Crook & Marker is a close third and very flavorful. Truly averages the bottom half of the list, but their Punch Pack is a gem. Not sure that tea is the same as water, so is it really a seltzer? Marketing says yes, but it still tastes like a Twisted Tea to me. Bud Light has found their true calling and has released several killer collections that spice up any time of year. Smirnoff and Jose Cuervo couldn’t be outdone by beer companies and make decent options as well. The rose collection is more for crisp seltzers / borderline cider fans, however.

Natty Light is the biggest surprise on this list. While I would never again subject myself to the watered down toast that is a regular Natty Light, their seltzers are surprisingly on point and their flavor combos are unique – which says a lot in the current market. Vizzy and White Claw are good, but forgettable among new competition. Seagram’s and Mike’s are known for disgustingly sweet drinks and their seltzers are no different. Still decent flavors, though, and who doesn’t love a good Mike’s Hard in the summer? Rounding it out, High Noon and BON V!V I can take a hard pass on. While their flavors sound good, the taste is nowhere near expectations. Finally, the new Truly Extra and PBR Stronger taste more like liquor than a refreshing seltzer. Though still both better than Wild Basin which tastes exactly like the name implies.

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 TOILET PAPER COMPANIES: WIPE AWAY YOUR MARKETING GAMES

Marketing teams are like shopping ninjas. Out to murder your budget. Just when you think you’re going to stick to your list BAM! Sales! Bonus items! Mega rolls! Celebrity endorsements! Colorful packaging! Cute animals! Health buzzwords! Targeted ads! You name it, I can almost guarantee a marketing department has tried it. Why not, though? That is quite actually their job. To make you buy a certain product over its competitors. Or, in other words, to pay for the marketing people’s jobs. It’s a very survival of the fittest kind of career.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not immune to their stealthy skills. I would actually classify myself as a marketer’s dream purchaser. Swayed easily by packaging, deals, and special ads that clearly are a result of the Internet listening to my private life. I don’t care. Listen, I’ve ended up with some amazing products that I didn’t know I needed in my life thanks to targeted ads. In fact, I now actively start vocalizing bigger purchases weeks in advance so I can get a nice coupon. Although, if we’re being honest, it doesn’t have to be big. If I need more food I throw that out into the universe as well. Google’s fuzzy privacy laws have yet to let me down is all I’m saying.

Where was I going with this? Oh, right! Gullibility! So the other day I was in the toilet paper aisle and it dawned on me that I don’t know what a regular sized roll is. Does anyone? Every single company, let me repeat, every single company has a mega roll as their baseline product. Which, supposedly, is 4 regular rolls. And I would kindly like to call bullshit. Literally since as early back as I can remember in life, the so-called mega roll is a regularly sized roll of toilet paper. If I cut that down by 4 I would have 25% of a normal roll left. That’s it. There are no extra sheets in there. 

It’s also most curious how a lovely 2-ply 1000 sheet roll is slightly bigger than a nice, plush mega roll (the size of FOUR regular rolls in case you’ve already forgotten). What is this nonsense? And where did the four multiplier come from? And that’s just one of the options. Then there’s the jumbo roll, which, apparently, is even bigger. The size of five regular rolls one could say. At what point did mega become the standard? It for sure wasn’t recently enough where we can still use it in marketing. Surely.

Did people in the past not wipe? How many rolls came in a regular, fits under the sink, pack? 48? Was it simply a commodity? Is that why the rolls were so tiny? I cannot comprehend how we would have survived the COVID TP crisis with mere regular sized rolls. And that’s only half of the puzzle when it comes to paper of the toilet. After you’ve blown your mind and stressed yourself out deciding if mega will even be enough for your family, then you have the soft versus strong issue. Why can it not simply be both?

I’m going to say it, I don’t understand this marketing scheme. It’s a lot like the left Twix, right Twix DEBACLE. Soft toilet paper is like a luscious paper towel and is too thick. Strong toilet paper is not as nice to the places you’re wiping. I don’t want one or the other, I want both. I need one that is both soft and strong so I can enjoy the go as my favorite modern day care bears keep wishing for me. To make matters worse, they now have ultra soft and ultra strong. Like, I either want to wipe with a blanket or an axe – there’s no in between. And what do each of those new distinctions get us? Higher prices! Because it’s shiny and new and “better”.

Can I just say that I’m over it. I feel like our marketing efforts started with good intentions, then became a competition, and have gone awry. How much softer can ultra soft possibly be than soft? At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper that will get used to wipe your unmentionables and then flushed into the sewer system. Think about that when a T-Rex roll comes out in a scented, plush style. 

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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I JUST REWATCHED THE PRINCESS DIARIES AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Genovia, the land I call my home! Genovia, Genovia, forever will your banner wave! And all of your outdated rules about how a princess should behave. Despite some questionable requirements for royalty, who doesn’t love a good rags to riches story? With the glow-up of the century to boot. Mia embodies a true confused millennial spirit as she is presented with the throne of a country and as much as I love this story, there are moments that confuse even myself – a fellow confused millennial. Please enjoy all of my questions and observations presented by official TRP decree:

  • The opening credits have a very 90s animated movie type, but it was 20 years ago so I’ll let it slide (unlike Clarice)
  • Imagine living in a refurbished fire station … your alarm clock could be the siren
  • Their neighbor is Mr. Robitussin? Like the cough medicine?
  • I see electric scooters were cool even in the the early 2000s 
  • Lana, Anna, and Fontana give off pre Mean Girls Mean Girls vibes
  • Why does Lilly carry around a rubber band ball? Did they not have stress balls back then?
  • Imagine if debate was a required class in high school. The absolute trauma as if high school isn’t stressful enough
  • Is rock climbing an approved future princess exercise? I would have guessed yoga or pilates
  • I wish someone would tell me to meet them somewhere with zero context and give me the address to a consulate
  • Mia’s social skills are impeccable all throughout the movie
  • You’ve got pears in your flowers’ – yes, good eye detective Amelia
  • I admire Mia’s ability to be 100% herself even in the presence of royalty, part one
  • Kind of them to accept the challenge of turning Mia into a princess, like they had another option
  • Why open the gate if she’s running away? Why not keep her locked in?
  • The Thermopolis home looks like a modern art museum
  • Is Mia qualified to be a princess owning a cat, not a dog? Pretty sure that’s the main dealbreaker to lead people … someone should alert Clarice
  • Does San Francisco not have safe drinking water? Why open a water bottle to pour it in the cup?
  • Not sure I would put Spain and Portugal on hold until a teenage girl gets over their current mood swing. Could be years before they even out
  • Mia in a limo for the first time is me with every new piece of technology I get
  • Good thing Mia is a princess because she definitely isn’t going to be a professional athlete
  • Does Mia not know how saliva works? It definitely doesn’t work like glue
  • Cringe moment! The mom is dating a teacher? Come on mom! You might as well kill all of the (little) social potential Mia had
  • Who keeps putting Mia on sports teams? She clearly is not capable in that area of life
  • I’ve never put on pantyhose, but it sounds dangerous’ – Joe, and every man ever who has experienced a woman putting them on
  • Paolo, Gretchen, and Helga – the Charlie’s Angels of the fashion world #GenoviaStyle
  • Why does everyone wear sunglasses indoors in the early 2000s? Was that acceptable then? Because it still isn’t acceptable now
  • Eye for an eye. Glasses for a brush. Seems fair to me
  • Michael has an OG High School Musical Zac Efron vibe going on
  • Lilly doesn’t seem to be best friend level in tune with Mia’s emotions most of the first half of the movie
  • Mia’s sense of self never ceases to amaze me in this movie. Truly the best part of the whole thing, part two
  • Not the friendship charm! In the dirt?! That’s too far Lilly
  • Why has no one created a business from throwing darts at paint balloons? We have trampoline parks and DIY pottery, but no dart painting? Smh
  • Does Mia ever do homework?
  • Gupta’s phone conversations are the definition of efficiency
  • Is Paolo the equivalent of Judas? Hollywood version and #GenoviaStyle?
  • The school announcements are so great. Don’t submit assignments virtually, stop rearranging the lawn tables, etc.
  • There always has to be a villain trying to get their face on postage stamps
  • We’ve all accidentally set something on fire at a fancy dinner, haven’t we? Why must there always be candles? We have electricity
  • Were there no dinner etiquette courses during Mia’s training?
  • How did Mia find the creepiest arcade in the whole world to take Clarice too?
  • Look at Clarice, sneaking out of a ticket with that famous womanly charm and made up titles
  • And, just when you think Mia is growing up, her 15 year old brain kicks in and she falls for the popular boy’s ruse. Bailing on Lilly AND Michael – rude
  • Who would have guessed that Josh would double cross Mia? Literally everyone
  • Can Mia be any more naively trusting of the worst people in school? She did it to herself I don’t feel that bad about the sailor Josh and Banana triplets incidents
  • Wait … Grove high school has a soft serve ice cream machine in their courtyard. I really missed out in public school
  • Why do Mia and Lilly keep going back to sports? It’s been established that they’re more of the artistic type well before this rooftop apology scene
  • Not sure I agree with the choice to waste an entire ice cream cone to make a point. Could have used anything else and saved the ice cream
  • What is the purpose of taking the cat to Colorado? It can’t climb the rocks with you. It can’t hike with you. It can’t go anywhere with you. It would just be a mooch
  • Of course there is a pear juggler because why not
  • Pretty sure pizza and M&Ms do not go together in the same bite
  • At what point do you stop putting money into a car and count your losses?
  • Shocking tear jerker moment when Joe shows up to rescue Mia from the storm and save all of Genovia – my emotions were not ready
  • And with one speech we crush the uprising of the evil Baron and Baroness … and their postage stamps
  • The queen just awkwardly leaves Mia in the middle of the dance floor to find her own partner? What if Michael had not shown up? Would Jeremiah have been chosen? Joe? Some rando?
  • 20 years later – still a fantastic movie with an even better lesson, part three

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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