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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LIFE LESSONS FROM GAME OF THRONES

If you’ve never seen Game of Thrones, what’s wrong with you? Read this, learn your lessons, then park yourself in front of a television for the next week to catch up, binge-watching style, with the rest of humanity. For all the GOT faithful, I’m about to strike a nerve with a bunch of you, but I actually liked the way that it ended. How else would you have wrapped that up? Kill everyone? I guess then the lone dragon could summon dinosaur friends and kick off history. That would be a fun twist to our species! You could be a Targaryen, or a Stark, or a Lannister, or a Dothraki…probably wouldn’t be an Unsullied though. I’m guessing that part of the peace initiative would have included putting an end to torturing small children so they could be hard-core warriors.

For a few minutes there I was trying to figure out which house I descended from and then I remembered that I definitely made that up. Thank goodness for online quizzes. I’m a Greyjoy so that answers my questions. I always wanted to be a sailor, better put in my two-week notice at work tomorrow, then buy some ships and an isolated island. And probably a suit of armor because my people love to fight.

Anyways, watching the series helped me learn some valuable life lessons that I feel compelled to share…despite my people being on the more selfish side. Look at me breaking molds and forging my own path in life. My mom would be so proud.

Some Battles Are Not Worth Fighting

If the dead are coming, run! There’s no need to fight death. That’s a losing battle and the things you see will scar you forever. If you must stay, befriend a slightly psychotic girl who fears nothing, then find an amazing hiding place.

Maximize your Time Each Day

You can get anywhere in a day if you really want to, or if you are a television director and have lost touch with reality – across the castle, across town, across the ocean…doesn’t matter, it’s all the same.

Trust your Gut

Arya was with one man and decided she’d rather spend the rest of her life on a ship sailing to the end of the Earth. Gendry clearly did not keep her coming back for more.

Politics are Everywhere

There’s always going to be a small group of people making decisions in “your best interest”. Names are the only thing that really change – glad our long lost ancestors gave our government a solid template to copy.

If You Want to be in Charge, Get a Dragon

This seems self-explanatory. Find a dragon, train it (like a dog I’m assuming), and learn how to fly it. You’ll help save the environment by not using fuel so that will make people happy, but if they aren’t buying in you can threaten them with fire…from your dragon. Fear is a powerful motivator.

Being Cold is Mental

Like OG eskimos, a significant amount of characters lived in winter all year round…on purpose. I’m hoping that stone structures are surprisingly warm, despite their gray and freezing look. What if the whole story was just a delusion from a frost-bitten, almost frozen wildling?!

Act Confident

No one in the show seemed to be suspicious of a stranger dressed in black and wearing a hood. Confidence will get you far, even into a heavily guarded castle without anyone giving you a second thought.

Lead by Example

The head honchos of war frequently appear at the front of a battle sans helmet. Seems unsafe. I also find this interesting since all their henchmen do have helmets. Who is correct? Probably the henchmen, who tended to survive.

Everyone is Human

Battles never seem to start until after the staring contest is over. Is this because they are all hoping one side will surrender and they won’t have to spend hour after bloody hour fighting for their lives? Dunno. Seems like just getting the thing started will make it end quicker.

Treat Other People’s Things Like your Own

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect for other people’s property. Specifically castles. Is it possible to win a war without destroying every piece of infrastructure in a city? My gut says yes, but the show says no. If I’m going to take it, I want to be able to use it. Otherwise it’s just a pile of stone and bricks.

Everyone Can be an Influencer

Constant drinking is a sign of great wealth and power – alright, check, I’ve got that going for me at least. Look out world! 

Know When to Move On

In certain situations, it’s best to cut your losses and move on. Not calling out anyone specifically, but if a dragon is lighting up your city, it may be best not to watch from the tallest window in your castle. Just saying – a white flag works well too.

Materialism is Alive and Well

Metal chairs with zero padding are most desirable and you should stop at nothing to own one.

Always Apologize

Even when a building is collapsing, you have time to hug, make up, reconcile your lifelong differences, apologize, forgive, kiss, go through every detail of how you get here, make a baby, etc. Might I suggest getting out and saving yourself?

Small Talk is Underrated

Some people are not good at small talk. That’s ok – just throw some ridiculous statement onto the table and see how people react. Need a suggestion? The king of small talk, Tyrion Lannister, has you covered: ‘I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel’. I have so many questions.

Walls Only Divide People

Our ancestral tribes had a wall to keep the dead, and the wildlings, out of their country. How did the dead and the wildlings feel about this though? Well, they tore part of it down so I’m thinking not great. Side note: where did the wall come from? Did someone build it? Did nature put it there? How does it not melt when winter ends? It’s ginormous!

Know your Worth

Jon “The Virgin” Snow was supposedly an outcast and undesirable at the start of the show, yet had zero trouble picking up the only wildling who knew what makeup was and Westeros’ most eligible bachelorette like a pro. He knew he was worth it. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who hasn’t watched GOT, shame them. Then make them watch it. Otherwise, take the wisdom from the people of Westeros and go forth into the world. Thanks for reading!


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