8 Lessons I Haven’t Learned Yet


1. If you don’t know what that food is, do not eat it.

Because God and Meryl Streep hate me, I’m allergic to gluten, dairy, eggs, wheat and beef; I also have a slight allergy to blueberries and green beans, which is a really great excuse to never have to eat green beans. I’ve always been a Brussels sprouts kind of girl.

Although I know that all of this means I need to be careful around food, I care about it less than I should, and I tend to just eat whatever I want anyway.  I am a notorious garbage picker and rescued a roommate’s bananas from the bin last week because they “didn’t look that moldy” to me. I often eat Unidentified Food Objects out of the same trash without regard to their origins.  Was that an old tomato or a rat?  A sirloin steak or the Dead Sea Scrolls?  After you slather it in vegenaise, it all tastes the same going down. Welcome to Grad Student Logic.

2. If you have already dated and broken up with someone once, it’s best not to try to date them again.

I am what is called an “Ex-Recycler,” as I have a really bad habit of pining for the warmth of old flames. In fact, I’ve dated almost all of my Most Significant Exes multiple times, and I still live with one of them. Another just happens to be my best friend.

As this shows, I’m very good at being friends with my exes, and I can only think of a few that I’ve exiled to Hatred Island, a place where my silent scorn will haunt them for all of eternity like the Smoke Monster. In fact, I’m so good at it that I often forget that I ever wanted to end things in the first place. I’ll forget that we never kissed, that his mom hates the very sight of me or that I would cry after we had sex.  This time, it will work out, I think.

Spoiler: It never works out. The moment you start dating your ex again, you’ll be reminded of all the reasons it didn’t work in the first place, like the fact that they were mean to everyone but you. When you’re apart, that Mr. Darcy shit sounds attractive, and you’re all “Fitzwilliam, take me!” But when that misanthropic penis is inside you, it’s a different story. DO NOT GO TO THERE.

3. Also, you will never change him.

I don’t care if he’s seeing a therapist, if he’s “working on his rage issues,” if his mom says he can change, if the Pope says he can change, he will not change, and you cannot make him.

I always remember this, but then I remember how cute he is, how great he is in bed, how he cooked me dinner that one time and how nice he was to my little brother. Later, this will end in me helping him avoid his drug dealer and telling his friends over the phone, “No, I haven’t seen him lately.  You should tell Rodney to try him at his place.” (pause) “Rodney saw him sneaking in my backdoor?” (pause) “No, he’s not hiding under my bed.  That’s ridiculous.”

Remember how fun Hide and Seek was as a kid? It’s not so much fun as an adult, especially when getting found means getting shot by a man who has grills unironically.

4. Getting up early is good for you.

Whoever said that thing about early rising making you healthy, wealthy and wise is an asshole. I think it was Benjamin Franklin, and if so, he’s also a syphilis-ridden asshole.  Mornings suck, and anyone who tells you differently has just been brainwashed by Mitt Romney’s people. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and my goal is to get as much of it as I can in this life, as long as I stop having sex dreams about Newt Gingrich.

So, not only is this a lesson I haven’t learned, it’s also one I don’t want to learn.  Take that, Morning Culture.

5. You can’t always talk about sex with your grandparents.

In a lot of ways, my grandparents are a lot like my actual parents, as my Dad is non-existent and my Mom did the free-spirit thing for most of my life. She’s more like the crazy best friend you have that you don’t always know how to explain to people. On my graduation day, we celebrated at a gay bar with some of my friends and she danced on a table. That’s the woman who raised me.

Thus, I’ve outsourced a lot of the parent things to my grandparents, which often involves my personal life. As I’m poly, that means I have a lot more of it than most people, and there’s always a lot to discuss. However, old people are not usually the best sounding boards for your non-normative lifestyle, no matter how supportive they say they are. They are old and frail, and if you tell them that you’re dating a married guy or are nervous about meeting your sex partner’s boyfriend, they might not survive. Be gentle.

6. However, your grandparents might want to talk about their sex life with you.

This doesn’t apply in all cases. Once, a week before my grandparents were ready to go on a romantic vacation, I asked my grandfather if he was going to “take Nana to Funkytown.” He almost crashed the car, so I never got my answer.

However, my grandmother once told me that she often takes out her teeth in order to better pleasure my grandfather, a revelation that came out of nowhere. We were sitting at a park, and I almost vomited in the grass. With old people, you have to be prepared – because after AARP age, the sequiturs go out the window.

7. Washing machines are good and want to help you.

Full disclosure: I cannot conclusively remember the last time the pants I’m wearing were “clean” in the traditional sense. I usually go for “clean enough,” which means that those pants have no visible stains on them and do not smell overtly horrible. Have they been urinated on or crapped in recently? No? Great, let’s go. Most people call this disgusting, especially when it involves underpants. I call it “Boy Scouting It.”

Moral: Being broke is horrible for your hygiene habits.

8. If you plan on masturbating, close your blinds.

Last year I lived in Uptown, which is known as the Batshit Bonkers Capital of the World, and my apartment was sandwiched between a gay meth den and a halfway house. Across from us was a Mexican bar that was only open one day a year — on Cinco de Mayo. The best part? They had specials. How can you have specials if you’re only open one day a year.

If anything, life there was never boring. Two people got into a fight in our backyard, and they didn’t even live in our building. Someone periodically huffed paint in our basement, and a man would often stare into my back window. Once, right before bed, I decided to give myself the “Five-Finger Discount” — because I had a long day and pictures of Ryan Gosling just happened to be up on my computer. I forgot to conceal my business, and he got an eyeful. Literally. He screamed, “My eyes!” and ran away.

People of the world, let that be a lesson to you.

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image – kevin dooley