The Theory of Finite Fucks: Revisited

A year ago, I laid down the Theory of Finite Fucks.  In the following weeks, people kept sending me the link to an article dealing with “fucks given” published a week after.

Whatever, you guys. No, it’s not the same thing.

As I went on through the year armed with the knowledge of the finite nature of fucks, I carefully allocated what I gave fucks about.  2015 was a year of tumultuous change and this strategy was my savior.

And with one day left in the year I happened upon something.  I found that I had a reserve of fucks not yet given.

Weathered by endless disappointment, I had squirreled away all these fucks in case I found myself in the dead of the winter with a life to live and no fucks to give.

Faced with this unexpected turn of events I started to ponder this windfall of fucks. WHAT does THIS mean ?

Are these “rollover fucks” ? Should I venture out to a New Year’s Eve celebration with my glut of fucks ? Had I accrued any interest on these fucks ?

Then I realized that these fucks had to be invested.  On this last day of 2015, I was going to give all the fucks about the future.  Give a fuck about worthy things and you’ll find yourself with more to give.

Give a fuck about friends and their ideas (Be an angel investor).

Give a fuck about your future and the kind of person you want to be (401fucKs).

Be wise.

Because that’s what wisdom is — knowing when and how much to give a fuck.

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11 Seemingly Inconsequential Things That Send Me Into a Blind Rage

When you ask a question on Facebook and people “Like” your status without providing any answer


People who pronounce “espresso” as “expresso.” ITS NOT NEXESPRESSO, IS IT?

When people put their shoes on my white carpet. In that second, I literally want to murder you. IT’S A WHITE CARPET, YOUR SHOES MOST DEFINITELY HAVE PISS RESIDUE ON THEM. HOW IS THIS A GOOD IDEA – WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Smokers who don’t watch where they flick their cigarette ash. I once stared a guy down until he apologized when he flicked his cigarette ash as I was walking by and it hit me.

People who put food in the microwave at work and walk away

Those people who walk four deep on a crowded on a sidewalk. I hope your #squadgoals didn’t involve getting pushed into traffic

When someone doesn’t admit when they don’t know something

Using the word “synergy”

When someone embellishes a story in front of you WHEN YOU WERE THERE. THAT’S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED, WHY ARE YOU LYING.

When people make fun of strangers who are minding their own business.

When I bump my head on something. It’s totally 100% my fault, but I become irrationally angry for about 20 seconds.

The Grand Aspirations of Small Talk

Apologies on missing last Thursday’s post. Life gets hairy sometimes. Onward to this week’s post…

The impact of the weather on our lives is severely discounted. It is the first thing that will impact your entire day – what you wear, your mood, how you get to work, whether you go for a run that morning.

The Weather Man is also most likely to be the first man in your life to lie to you.

I care about the weather. I have four weather apps on my phone. But weather falls into the category of “small talk.”

I never considered weather to be “small talk”. It often leads to a discussion of why I like living in San Francisco. The summer heat in Texas (where I grew up) is so bad, you have to leave your car door open when you first get in, lest you suffocate.

“Small talk” is universally hated. It is a farce – a thinly veiled non-attempt to engage with another person. Because the idea of standing next to a stranger in complete silence, is apparently so much worse.

But is it? I don’t mind silence because I place high value on words and conversations. “Small talk” is the equivalent is throwing dollars in the air.

What makes “small talk” so grating is that it has no aspirations of being anything other than “small talk.” The words exchanged probably won’t lead anywhere and that fate has been accepted. It is laziness on the part of the participants. There are no expectations that you must find yourself in a deep, heavy conversation. The only expectation is that you’re engaged in the moment.

You can walk away from a short interaction invigorated, or having learned something or even with a spring in your step. You don’t have to fall victim to “small talk”. By actively engaging, asking questions and above all, LISTENING, you may find yourself having an actual conversation.

I had an acquaintance’s boyfriend ask me “what I did” every time we talked. Finally, I pointed out that despite meeting me multiple times, he insisted on asking and promptly forgetting my occupation.

His response? “Oh haha, I don’t remember.”

Of course you don’t, you coked-out douche.

While this falls on the far end of “small-talk offenders,” the lesson still remains. Don’t be a coked out douche. You can make the choice to engage, walk away, or even…stand in silence.

Remember, only YOU can prevent small talk.

Age is the Boogeyman Adults Fear

Dear Marketers, Stop using the word “anti-aging” when you’re selling face creams, unless you’re trying to sell Marty McFly’s DeLorean the word is meaningless.

The idea that something would stop aging, an unavoidable event that occurs as time goes on is a bit ridiculous, yet it seems to be a successful strategy.

That success comes from tapping into the fear of aging. Aging is nothing to be feared, it’s merely the accumulation of changes in a person or thing due to the passage of time. Aging is not synonymous with deterioration. Though it seems to have that connotation when describing a person (that isn’t George Clooney), but coincidentally not a wine or whisky.

Not only are the physical changes that happen with growing older feared, but the life changes that occur as well. You find many shy away responsibility and the expectations that comes with age. San Francisco locals may have noticed the phenomena dubbed “Peter Pan Syndrome”. Because staying out partying all night when you hit 40 IS SO COOL.

No, no it isn’t.

Attempting to stop the inevitable is futile. Graceful aging comes with accepting the changes that come with growing old.

Unfortunately since I tend to laugh at my own jokes, I have accepted that I will have more lines around my eyes and mouth. Though even as I’m writing about accepting the aging process, I often seek solace in the adage that ‘black don’t crack’.

No one said it was an easy process.

As a child I was prone to angry outbursts. I once tied my shoes together to form makeshift nunchucks. Thankfully for all of you, I grew out of that stage. I realized that stubbornness didn’t serve any purpose.

Becoming older means having the wisdom to know yourself and know what things you will and will not accept. At the same time, it means having the ability to accept the validity in other views, the knowledge that experience colors interaction and personality.

Having the confidence to make concessions comes with age. Sometimes winning means walking away from a bad situation completely intact.

You will age. But you have the choice of becoming a rotten apple or a fine wine.

A Unicorn Named Closure

My sister’s reaction to my dream on Sunday night was that it sounded like four nightmares in one. YEAH. I KNOW.

In this dream, I was interviewing for a position at Harvard (WUT). My phone interview was being conducted by a former coworker who wasn’t even employed by Harvard. The entire time I was in Cambridge, I cried to my boyfriend (now my ex) about not wanting to leave SF.

I also happened to be participating in a spoken word contest hosted by Oprah. When I was up to perform, the deejay started to play a terrible song. I began mocking the song and suddenly the crowd turned on me. I was run off campus with Oprah leading the charge.

Students in hoods and bandanas rose up to my defense and hustled me safely off campus. They told me that though they supported me, they couldn’t be seen with me and I was on my own.

I awoke, upset and still reeling from being chased out of Harvard by Oprah. Obviously this dream was all kinds of ridiculous – the common thread to these seemingly random events was that these were all things that I thought I had moved past.

  1. My frustrations with my previous job
  2. My conflicted feelings about living in San Francisco
  3. My ex-boyfriend’s presence in my mind
  4. Oprah

Closure is a unicorn. It is a myth. Closure is unattainable, because even if you think you caught a unicorn – you really just caught a horse wearing a horn on its forehead.

For the longest time I thought closure was something that you had to reach yourself. No amount of talking, questions answered or therapy could get you there. In time, you would be able to accept things and move on. But you had to do them at your own pace and the journey was a solitary one.

I thought I had moved past all if the things I listed above. For example, the feeling that I would chuck a chair at my ex if I ever saw him went away suddenly. I felt like I moved past those feelings, I had found my own closure in my own time.

But here’s the thing, I still owned that condo in Hate City, I was just now renting out to other tenants.

It’s ok to dislike something or someone. It’s ok to have unpleasant feelings towards someone. It’s ok to think that Oprah isn’t as great as everyone says she is and is just as exploitative as any other talk show host (she also introduced the evil known as Dr. Phil).

The idea of closure is that you get to close the book on a past event. That doesn’t happen. You may get to turn the page, but the page is still in the book.

The unhappiness, the tragedy, and the feelings – they happened and therefore are part of your landscape and your story. Experiences shape who we are and the people we become, for better or worse.

Life is not linear. We move forward, we fall back, we take detours and find ourselves on highways to places we didn’t know existed. Sometimes you have to use a plunger to bring old shit up, but you also have to have the strength to flush it back down.

MPF: Marginal Propensity to Flake

I am sorry, there is no simple formula to predict how likely your friends are to flake.

Like an unfinished research article your professor is rushing you to publish, there is still much work to be done on how to adequately predict the propensity to flake. There are quite a few variables at play here, and I am still weighing their impact on flakilihood.

Most of my observations are based on the past five years of living in San Francisco, a place where people are as flaky as a kouign amann from b. Patisserie.

Sidenote: If you haven’t had a kouign amann from b. Patisserie, you haven’t cried real tears, but that’s for a future post – a love poem.

The predictors I will discuss below have been determined to have the most impact.

AGE

While there are a few exceptions, if someone is between the ages of 22-34, they’re more likely to flake. This is not because Millennials are selfish. This has to do with mobility.

As we grow older, the radius we roam expands. As children, our radius is dictated by our parents. As we leave our parents’ care and go on to college, the radius expands. There is not just an expansion, but a shift of the center of the circle. It becomes centered on this institution of indentured servitude (college).

By the time one has graduated college, and begun their life, their roam radius has expanded substantially. Armed with disposable income and acting as the captains of their destiny, they find themselves in unexpected places at unexpected times.

As they become older, they start families and/or settle into routines. Obligations shift the center of the circle and the roam radius shrinks.

After this point, as you age you becoming increasingly immobile. If you want someone who is always down to hang, try your senile grandpa in assisted living. While you can’t be assured that he won’t flake on you mentally, you won’t get a text from him reading, “UGH, sorry crazy day – rain check?”

HOW THEY MAKE PLANS

You know that friend that will text you and ask if you want to have dinner in two hours? He sent that text to four other people.

Not to say that those who make spur of the moment plans tend to flake more. Those who regularly make plans in that manner are more likely to flake, because EVERYTHING is tentative.

Then there are those who make plans they can keep. Your plans have become part of their schedule, and they will undertake the necessary preparations to make sure they can honor them.

NATURE OF THE RELATIONSHIP

Here’s where FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) comes in play. The nature of the friendship is something that previous discussions FOMO never really touch on.

Close friends make plans because they’re invested. They’re more invested in your life, and invested in sharing what’s going on in their life. Newer relationships are less invested, therefore the propensity to flake increases.

The OBOes (Or Better Offer) of your friend circles are less likely to keep those commitments. And sometimes the better offer is a bowl of pasta and Netflix.

NATURE OF THE JOB

If they’re truly a busy person, they won’t flake. People who have demanding careers and full lives tend to honor the commitments they make because they don’t know when they’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of free time.

Everyone is SFBusy™ which means that you’re too busy to schlep 10 blocks, but not busy enough to spend 3 hours on Instagram.

WHERE THEY WERE RAISED

Y’all Californians act like you’ve never seen a watch before. Anyone who has spent significant time on the east coast tends to be prompt. California born and raised – start times are merely a suggestion. You guys, seriously, you make brown people embarrassed.

NATURE OF THE MEETING

You wouldn’t flake on a job interview for a job you really wanted, would you?

EVERYONE POOPS, EVERYONE FLAKES

Everyone flakes. Sometimes, you have a bad day at work and the thought of accompanying a friend to a networking happy hour makes your skin crawl. Sometimes, you find yourself unable to put on pants after exiting the shower.

Circumstances, frequency, and how it’s handled is what really matters in the end.*

*I was referring to flaking, but I suppose this also applies to the “other” thing

Why I Stopped Hating Taylor Swift

I used to have strong opinions on Taylor Swift. She was the object of my disdain, the punchline of my jokes, my all-purpose receptacle of haterade.

There were many reasons to dislike her. There were the videos, her songs, her very public dating life; there was the infamous 2012 interview where she completely missed the mark on what feminism actually means.

Then someone made a video where a goat bleeting was inter-cut with one of her music videos and the comparison stuck.

BUT THEN she made that little ditty — “Shake It Off”. I tried to resist but when that number made it onto my half marathon playlist, I knew that Taylor had made the same deal with the devil as Rihanna.

I started thinking about Taylor seriously. She sang songs about breakups gone wrong. Just like many artists before her. They may have been able to do it more deftly, but their feelings were just as valid as Ms. Swift’s.

You can argue that Taylor’s music is manufactured drivel, but she’s doing a job and she’s performing above expectations. Her work is valid, just like the work that anyone else does 9-5.

By accepting that her words and actions were just as valid as anyone else’s, I overcame my Tay-hate.

We have the tendency to dismiss actions and feelings as not valid — those of others and, more frequently, our own.

I’ve found that when we deny the validity of our thoughts and actions we’re likely to designate more stress to them than it’s worth. We don’t see it as part of the landscape — it becomes a gnarled obstacle jutting into our consciousness.

Accepting that you want to break a chair over someone’s back when you see them as a valid reaction is a lot healthier than insisting that you’re “totally ok”. I wouldn’t, but accepting that I had that feeling helped that feeling eventually go away.

The biggest obstacle to harmonious interaction may in fact be acceptance of others’ feelings as valid.

I have this friend, Sarah. We say the most ridiculous things to each other, our thoughts are able to spill out of our head and we exist in white girl’s Shangri-La, “The Judgement Free Zone”.

Sarah and I have wondered to each other how this relationship is able to exist. That’s when I realized what it was — when we said things to each other we didn’t feel compelled to have an opinion on them, we just accepted it all as valid.

After months of listening to Taylor in secret, I finally accepted her valid. And now I’m letting her shake it off.

Ten Tips for Hosting Brunch in your Twenties

Brunch is the new dinner. What used to be something that was done with people you marginally liked, has become a main event. Unfortunately, because of the popularity of brunch, going out to brunch is hell. God forbid, a restaurant doesn’t have “bottomless mims”

If you enjoy cooking, have adequate space in your apartment and enjoy flexing your Martha muscles, hosting brunch seems like a great idea.

Until you actually host brunch.

There are many guides to hosting, but somehow they don’t seem applicable for our generation. Through my experiences, I’ve amassed a good many tips that may seem counter-intuitive, but will save you grief and ensure that you still have friends afterwards.

Do Everything Yourself

This is the cardinal rule of hosting anything. Most guides advise offloading as much work as you possibly can. Sure, you can do that – if you’re ok with having it done incorrectly, or not at all.

People are notoriously unreliable, even more so on a Sunday morning. We’ve all received the, “Ugh, sorry I’m so hungover I couldn’t xyz” text. At some point, poor foresight and terrible decision making skills have become a legitimate reason not to uphold a commitment.

Just do everything yourself. It’ll get done, and get done on time. Also you won’t have to resist the urge to sock your friend who was supposed to come early to help but instead rolls into your brunch an hour late.

“Prep” Work

Try to do as much as you can, but understand that you’ll never get as much done as you hoped to – accept it. Move on.

Original Snowflakes

The best menu idea is a “make-your-own whatever”. Always. Be honest, you and all your friends are a “on the side”, “can you substitute…”, “no cheese/bacon/kumquat” type girls. It’s become increasingly difficult to accommodate food sensitivities /preferences when making a single entrée.

Plus everyone loves feeling original. INFINITE COMBINATIONS.

RSV-FOMO

Whenever I hold a brunch, I give adequate notice, usually 3-4 weeks. There are the few wonderful souls who RSVP immediately. Then there are the “no replies”. I understand if you can’t make it, but to me a “no-reply” is a clear, “I’ll make it if nothing better comes up.”

What’s my tip for this? Send out the invite and try not to fly into a rage when people don’t RSVP. Follow up individually with people who have not replied. An adequate head count is important when you’re hosting an event where food will be provided

BYODB

I hate champagne. Since holding a brunch sans mimosas is blasphemy, I tell everyone to bring champagne or juice.

If there’s something that I don’t eat or like, but I know other people eat it, I’ll ask people to bring it. That way I’m not left with a whole jar of “I don’t eat this shit.”

Forget Your Pinterest Dreams

When you begin planning a brunch, there’s that stage of pinning every single brunch thing ever. Pin away, but realize that you won’t do any of it. Things will get too hectic and you’ll end up buying expensive materials for something you didn’t end up doing.

If you’re intent on dazzling your guests with your pinterest skills – keep it small and easy. Pick something you can do well in advance of your brunch. Like on a Wednesday night, when you told everyone “you had class” to get out of a work happy hour.

Nothing Starts On Time Unless You’re Running Late

Oh your brunch starts at 12:00? No one will show up until 1 PM. You know unless, you have to make 40 crepes and then you haven’t even started. Finish everything on time and use that extra hour to kick back, relax, and paint your nails.

Too Many Smooks in the Kitchen

Guests tend to gravitate towards the most crowded, hectic room. Because it’s a brunch, even if you’re all prepared the finishing touches still mean things in the oven and the fridge. Try to create a work flow pattern that pushes everyone who wants to “help” (bless their hearts), out of the kitchen.

Don’t be afraid to tell them to get out of the kitchen. Seriously.

Have Everyone Else Clean Up

Any considerate host hates to see her guests picking up plates and cleaning. Don’t be a considerate host. By all means, let people clean up.

If you have anything fragile, clean it and put it away immediately. Make sure there’s clean sponges, towels, and dishwashing liquid, then step back. Enjoy.

You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

There’s an Egyptian saying that my mom would use to describe guests who won’t leave that loosely translates to “his/her as ass heavy”

You should not feel bad about herding people out when brunch has winded down. We’re all busy people here. The most graceful exit is to have an engagement outside of your house, plus it leaves no room for stragglers.

The Myth of Bitch Face

If repeated often enough, and pummeled into the collective consciousness, myths find themselves becoming truths.

Where these “untruths” exist, there will always be a brave warrior who will bring us back to reality.  I have been known to perpetuate myths.  I suggested to a friend that she tell a coworker that chewing gum will build the muscles in your jaw which leads to a “fat-looking face.”  This lie was not told without purpose; I was trying to be a problem-solver.

However, there is one myth that I feel necessary to stop in its tracks. And that is the myth of “Bitch Face”.

“Bitch Face” is sometimes known as “Resting Bitch Face” and to those who love acronyms “RBF”. Someone who has Bitch Face is someone who looks perpetually pissed off, OR mean, OR unapproachable, OR like a bitch.

There is the widespread belief that some women, regardless of their temperament JUST look like bitches. She might be a total sweetheart who nursed a sick baby bird back to health, but she just looks like a bitch. She’s not angry at you, or mentally assailing your outfit, she just looks like it.

Here’s the thing — if you have Bitch Face, you’re probably thinking bitchy thoughts.  Just as someone who is worrying looks worried.  Someone who is happy is probably smiling. A person who is stressed has “MurderFace”™ (we’ll discuss MurderFace another time)

Indeed, people who are mean tend to wear it on their face.  You’ve probably seen the excerpt from Roald Dahl‘s “The Twits”:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it.”

I don’t have a pleasant face when I’m thinking of all the jokes about the girls who are in line at Nick’s Tacos/Rogue teetering on their heels like drunk giraffes, dressed in headband skirts at (FYI: Taco Tuesday refers to the sale price of tacos on the second day of the business week; it doesn’t mean show up with your lady bits out).

I have had Bitch Face.

I would like to think I’m a mostly nice person.  I actively remind myself not to have these kinds of thoughts, because I truly believe they appear on your face. Negative thoughts about others (and yourself) are like termites to a wood cabin.  They eat away at the structure of your mind, unseen and unnoticed until it is severely damaged.

A genuinely nice person can have bitchy thoughts. We’re all human—meaning general stupidity and bad life decisions are in ample supply.  And as imperfect beings, we find ourselves in positions where we judge.  It is when we have those thoughts, we have Bitch Face.

But people who have a constant stream of bitchy thoughts have Bitch Face.  She might not be saying those bitchy thoughts (which good on them — because that’s half the battle), but she is definitely thinking them and you can see it.

Juju is the new Karma

As I was walking down the stairwell early on January 2nd, I noticed something on the stairs. Assured that it wasn’t feces, I took a closer look and realized it was a case of some sort.  My first thought it was a needle case for heroin because CITY LIVING.

It was a wallet so stuffed with cash that it couldn’t even be closed fully.

WHAT. Or rather WUT.

It would have been easy to grab the cash and throw out the wallet, but A) That is shitty B) That is shitty C) That is inviting a MOUNTAIN of BAD JUJU, and so early in the year.

If I had lost that wallet, I would be devastated.  The only people who carry that much cash are strippers, drug dealers and restaurant staff. And fobs.  Either way it was wages from a night of work, so I fished out the ID and messaged the girl on Facebook. (Side note: In October 2013, she dropped her phone in a pitcher of Bud Light).  She came by the apartment and according to my roommate deemed me “an Angel”.

I didn’t do it for the accolades.

I did it because of the Juju. While juju actually refers specifically to objects that are used superstitiously, juju has become more of a description of deeds.  To me, Juju is a multi-purpose word.

But Juju is not Karma.

Karma is a difficult concept to define.   It is difficult to define because there are so many different views on what it actually means.  In White People culture, it means if something bad happens to someone you don’t like, karma is at work.

Sorry bro, that’s not how it works. Because bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

Juju to me is so much more different.  It is mysterious and how it flows is unknown. One thing I do know for certain is that bad juju is unshakeable. And juju is not just a result of your actions, it can radiate from people. And yes I know, I’ve said “That girl has bad juju” instead of saying “That girl is an insufferable twit”, but the shoe still fits.

While I like to think I’m a rational person, I am as superstitious as an old Egyptian biddy. In Arab cultures, the power of the “evil eye” or “ayn al hasud” (eye of the envious) is universally feared.  It’s the belief that some people have such envy so strong that they’re able to bring harm to the object of their envy.

Whenever something happens to my hair or I get injured, I’m always sending a fervorous  text to my sister or Sarah screaming “AYYYYYYYYYN”. This envious eye brings bad juju and those who are the recipients and those who choose to bestow it. This is why jealous people are never happy and why you should not be around people who cannot be happy for your good fortune.

And while juju is mysterious and how it works is unknown, good actions build good juju and you can never have enough good juju.

But what isn’t mysterious is that good actions build good character which attracts good people.  Bring the good juju on.

Hiatus

Hiatus is how the literate say “I can’t even” 

I truly enjoy blogging, but creating is an arduous process. It’s my goal to put out high quality content for your consumption.

Things in my life have gotten hairy lately. Too hairy for the latest seven blade razor to hack. 

So I’m choosing a hiatus while I focus on getting my life back together. 

See you May 7th.