The 5 Most Socially Acceptable Addictions


1. Netflix

Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, whatever you snuggle up with before bed. And then continue snuggling with until it’s 3AM and you go to sleep pissed off because True Blood always ends on a cliff-hanger. Why won’t those assholes just resolve every conflict by the end of the episode? Maybe it’s some sick, psychological trick to get you to keep watching.

Netflix rode in on a white horse with luscious blonde hair to fill the that void in your life, that pesky void between work and sleep. Then you get a day off work and wake up, stare at the ceiling for half an hour wondering what the hell you’re gonna do. The usual pseudo-productive time-killers pop into your head, “I’ll go on a hike…go shopping…go to the gym…go for a bike ride…hmm…and if I take an Instagram pic doing one of those with a hashtag #dayoff I can come home and watch Netflix!”

Suddenly Netflix isn’t filling a void at all, it’s the Sun in your heliocentric universe around which everything else orbits.

2. Food

Mmmmm, the warm nostalgia of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. So good, the second you breathe in through your nose, you lean your head back and aim your nostrils towards the smell. Worst of all, you smile.

Yep, that’s the worst part. That smell reminds your brain of the ungodly amount of sugar you’re about to consume, which will spike your serotonin and make you happy for about 30 minutes…then you don’t smile as much. But you want to smile, right? Well, maybe one more won’t hurt, Mom always said “everything in moderation.” Maybe another one? Ok, if you eat three tonight, then you can only have one tomorrow. Fuck it, don’t eat any tomorrow and you can have four tonight. That’s just math right there, can’t argue with it. Time to go to bed, might as well take two more cookies because everyone’s asleep so no one will know… except for you.

Let’s be honest, now that there’s the Internet, it’s going to be hard to rationalize how cookies, fast food, and bread aren’t criminally unhealthy. Even funnier are the cultural and gender stereotypes we use to retaliate against the scientific method:

“I eat pizza and cheeseburgers because I’m a man and a goddamn American.”

“I drank a Diet Coke this morning so now I can eat anything.”

Now that ‘American man’ has type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and erectile dysfunction; lives alone, and steadily increases his night cap of Oxycontin and Xanax, which sucks because when he wakes up, he can’t remember where he left off on House of Cards. Did Kevin Spacey make out with a dude? Was that something he dreamt? Answering that question is gonna be the first thing on his agenda when he finds it.

3. Beer/Wine

Nothing’s more American than a cold beer. You had a long day at work, you’ve earned it. From 3pm to 5pm, you spent most of your time Yelp-ing ‘Best Happy Hour Deals.’ More importantly, you’re a ‘beer guy,’ you’ve been to a couple breweries and know the difference between a stout and a port, which rationalizes your addiction with sentences like “I’ve been meaning to try this one.” 

This ‘cultured’ love affair has left you with a cascading beer belly, and as your belt wages war against your IPA, your IPA wages war against your lower back. One of them’s gonna win.

Wine — what better way to enjoy your weeknight with the girls? Too bad gender stereotypes have made this a woman’s drink, because it’s much healthier than beer and more socially acceptable to drink alone. You know, the Instagram post of your wine glass in front of your TV and outstretched legs? Totally different with beer. No dude is posting a single beer can in front of the latest Mad Men; that’s not relaxing, that’s being bored.

Wine is an integral part of the WASP dream, as between the ages of 20 and 50, you simply build a tolerance. Then that day comes and you can finally drink white wine in the afternoon, ride around in your golf cart with your face bloodshot from broken capillaries, drink more wine at lunch, and pass-out watching the Food Network. If there’s a better way to spend a life, I don’t know it.

4. Adderall

Lets take an average workday and add Adderall to the mix. You’re in line at Starbucks when you feel a tingling behind your eyes and notice they open a bit wider today. It’s working. The barista is way too ‘chill’ for you right now,

“Good morning, how are you today?”

“Venti Americano, black.”

You take an early sip on the way out and as you open the door say,

“It’s go-time, bitches.”

It certainly is go-time, and those delusions of grandeur feel real nice. You’re going to ask for a promotion today, or maybe you’ll study for the LSATs again. Settling into your cubicle, you look out at all the other employees with confidence, hands on your hips. ”Look at all of them,” you think. ”They don’t even know they’re about to witness greatness.”

You plug in your headphone’s and open your email, this must be what Zuckerberg meant by ‘wired-in’. Those emails get such thorough and prompt responses, you send a couple in anticipation of a problem. Human Resources CCs your boss in a ‘thank you’ for the anticipatory emails and it’s only 10 o’clock.

Steve taps you on the back like he usually does at this hour. You’ve always thought you should be nice to Steve and now that you’ve wrecked your inbox, you have a couple minutes,

“Heyo, what’s goin’ on?”

“O, nothing, just a few emails. Hey how was that party last week?”

“Oh.. let… me…. tell….. you…… about…….. it……………….”

Your fake smile takes more and more strength to maintain. It’s like Steve intentionally talks slowly just to piss you off. What an asshole. You don’t even try for eye contact at this point, you stare at his mouth in hopes you can close it with your mind. Thank god your boss is on his way over — “Steven, what did we say about excessive chit-chat? Take a lesson from Taylor who just responded to 80 emails in less than an hour.”

“You…what…how?” Steven seems to shrink even though you’re the one sitting down.

“Great work, Taylor, we have that new product brainstorm session today, lets bring some of that same energy to the Four Loko boardroom.”

You rail lines of Adderall off the toilet before the meeting and set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. If you’ve done anything today, you’ve certainly proven you have ADHD.

5. Caffeine

I actually like caffeine and there’s not a whole lot I can say against its use. It makes me sweaty, but that’s something about myself I accepted a while ago. I’m just a sweaty guy, and I’m not going to apologize for my body giving 110%. Caffeine has been shown to protect your memory function, I guess the only problem is whoever ruined Four Lokos for everyone.

Four Loko was a 24oz can of happiness, equivalent to 6 beers and 4 cups of coffee, meaning you could safely drink one can and one can only. I’m curious as to whether there was a limit. Like, was Steve sitting in the new product division when he got this spark of genius and said, “What if…we put the equivalent of one cup of coffee and two beers in a 24oz can?”

“Really, Steve? Is that the kind of pussy-ass-bitch branding we want?”

The boss hates Steve. Then you stand up and put your fingers to your temples in concentration, the room silences, “What if…we put the equivalent of FOUR cups of coffee…” 

Everyone’s eyes widen preparing to gasp, 

“…and SIX — FUCKING — BEERS!?” 

Everyone throws their hands up in support as you hop up on the boardroom table high-fiving everyone, like Wolf of Wall Street but way more morally corrupt.

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