Well, it finally happened. We’re in 2017 yall. And that’s kind of a relief, since a lot of folks had a rough go of it in 2016.
So let’s all agree to do our damndest to make 2017 the most kickass year this planet has ever seen. Since MTV started the trend by putting out a video advising white men on the resolutions they should make in order to be less shitty and privilege-y humans, I figured I would withold my comments on politics/race and instead chime in with suggested resolutions of my own. These resolutions are ones that I would suggest for all functional adults. Translation: If you have a pulse (RIP Harambe) and can wipe your bum, these are your new rules for being a grown up.
(For those wondering how I’m qualified to make such sweeping claims as the new rules of adulthood, my credential is this: I’ve made to my mid-twenties without going to federal prison or getting a traffic ticket, so I’ve got my sh*t together….even if the aforementioned sh*t held together by a badly fraying strand of generic dental floss. Bad visual, sorry. It’s a metaphor. Yall get me.)
- Put your shopping cart away when you leave the grocery store.
This does not mean “jack the wheels over a sidewalk curb and leave it there,” nor does it mean, “leave it in a vacant parking spot because the shopping cart has 4 wheels so it counts as a car, too.” It means “don’t be an asshole and just put your damn cart back in a proper cart corral so you’re not blocking parking spaces for real cars and/or creating extra work for some poor shmuck getting minimum wage.”
- Treat the person behind the service counter with respect, patience, and kindness.
It doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a frappuccino or cashing a check or stuffing bottomless breadsticks in your cakehole at Olive Garden or trying to return an ill-fitting sports bra at Walmart. The people working at places like this do not need you to treat them like shit, because – NEWS FLASH – they already know that their lives are shitty. (I speak with the authority of someone who has worked at 4 different Starbucks stores and shopped at Walmart more than anyone outside of Alabama would ever admit to.) On a practical side, being rude, impatient, condescending, whiny, entitled, or otherwise actin’ like your mama ain’t raised you right is completely ineffective. Most service workers you interact with do not have the power to change company policies…and if they were by some miracle inclined to seek the assistance of a supervisor who could remedy the situation to your favor, they lost all motivation to do so when you complained for a 3rd time that your “frappuccino tastes too much like coffee.”
Also, on that note….Iif you order a frappuccino, the baristas automatically hate you. Unless you’re a really attractive man, in which case she will think you’re a complete bitchass and therefore be puzzled as to why her body is urgently compelling her to bear your children (who will probably be whiny little baby bitchasses that are just as beautiful as their bitchass father). So don’t order a frappuccino – go to Mickey D’s and get your milkshake like a normal person.
- Wash your hands after you use the restroom.
Yes, even if you only peed. Yes, even if you used the pristine bathroom in Her Majesty’s personal hazmat-certified wing of the palace. (What? Granny’s loaded, you think she can’t afford her own hazmat team? LET’S BE REALISTIC, FOLKS.) Yes, even if you only went in there to get tissue and blow your nose because it’s allergy season and you’re face is a topographical replica of the summer snowmelt in the Rockies. Yes, even if you’re one of those weird hippies who don’t wipe. And yes, for the love of all that is good, especially if you were laying bricks. Whatever the hell you were doing in their is your business, but you were just in close contact with bodily fluids of varying viscosities. I speak for all of humanity when I say that no on – and I do mean NO ONE – wants the slightest trace of a “souvenir” from your bathroom adventures to be shared with them via handshake, high five, naked ass grabbing (it happens, we’re all grown ups), or door knob/keyboard/shared pen contamination. And while this is obviously not something that should be a reason you practice proper handwashing, let yourself be motivated, if necessary, by the reminder that when others witness you leave a lavatory without properly post-poop sanitation protocol, they may or may not feel inclined to piss in your coffee that you so casually leave unattended. Natural selection, fam. That’s all I’m saying.
- If someone invites you to dinner at their house, you must help clean up.
No exceptions. Zero. They will protest. They will tell you “Oh it’s fine! Don’t worry! I’ll get it later! Washing dishes is therapeutic for me!” Lies. All damn lies. They don’t love washing dishes, they love feeling resentful of their ill-mannered dinner guests and simultaneously self-righteous for being the kind of friend who cooks and hosts and cleans up all by her lonesome. So no exceptions. I don’t care if they point a gun at you, you pull your Glock out of your thigh holster and tell them to stand down before these leftovers start to go bad. Anyway, rook, you should’ve known to wear Kevlar under your cocktail dress.
- If someone invites you to dinner at their house, you must also bring wine.
This is so that when they are inevitably regretting inviting you over – due to your poor manners, your political views, your annoying vegan girlfriend that you bring to every gawwdamn social gathering, whatever it may be – they can get pleasantly buzzed on the respectable cabernet sauvignon that you grabbed at the discount grocery store 10 minutes after you were supposed to arrive and 12 minutes before you actually did arrive. (Of course, you have to make up some bullshit about how this wine is really unique and special and stuff, when in all actuality you picked it because you liked the font on the label and it was $5 on the clearance booze rack.) In their state of mild inebriation, they will forget all your social foibles and instead be focused on what wonderful and entertaining company you are. Unless, of course, you break cardinal rule #4 of adulting and fail to help them clean up after dinner. In this case, they will wash away their bitter feelings towards you with wine and sneaky bites of leftover cheesecake, which will make them feel better until they wake up the next day bloated and hungover and then they start to hate you again.
- Shower before gyno appointments and wax appointments.
This should be common sense, but apparently not everybody has manners these days. Yes, our gynos and waxing ladies are the unsung heroes of our time. Yes, they look at hundreds of different chalupas each week. Yes, they have probably seen stuff that looks like Jurassic Park come to life. I can just hear them chatting in the doctor’s lounge – “Oh my gawd, Judith, you wouldn’t believe it. It looked like a velociraptor was eating its way out of her cervix! Man, what a day. Hey, you know if they got anymore of those raspberry danish in the vending machine?” BUT EVEN SO, you are the sole owner of your undercarriage, and no matter you’re working with a Lambourghini or an old Ford Pinto that’s missing doors and smoking out the back (probiotics and Beano, ladies), you can at least keep it clean. I don’t care if your giblets are infected – you can still be polite to the lady who’s getting your uglies all ready for more healthy, safe, monogamous, fun, mutually-fulfilling times of bumping said uglies with the lover of your choosing.
[Brief interlude…Dad, I really hope you’re not still reading. If you are, um, sorry?]
- You will not do the duck face.
For that matter, mirror selfies are out, too (unless – and this is the only exception – you are submitting an outfit to a female friend for approval before a date/interview/event of equal importance). This should be self explanatory. We are ALL too old for that shit. If you want to make your lips look bigger, save your money (or make a sex tape) and go to the same doctor that inflates all the Kardashians’ faces. Better yet, just embrace what you’ve got – even if your kiss isn’t the size of an inflatable mattress – and for the love of all that is holy, stop posing like a baboon in heat every time a camera comes near you.
- Tip your bartender.
Always. And no, flashing your tits doesn’t count as tipping, although I’ve heard it’s appreciated. If you can’t afford to tip the barman, you can’t afford your stupid hipster beer. Or your Jack on the rocks. Or whatever. Also, on this note – don’t order fireball unless you’re a 19 year old sorority girl, or a man who is very secure in his masculinity. It takes a hell of a pair to be able to order a shot of fireball on date, but if you can do it, more power to you. John Wayne would be proud. He’d probably kick your ass for drinking some sissygirl firewater, but deep down I think he’d be a little bit proud of you, too.
- When you meet someone new, use your manners like a civilized adult.
Make eye contact. Smile, but do not bare your teeth if you have recently had an encounter with fibrous plant matter such as broccoli or poppyseeds. Introduce yourself loudly and clearly, but not so loudly or meticulously enunciated that Your New Acquaintance will think you mistook them for being deaf. (Unless, of course, Your New Acquaintance actually is deaf, in which case you should probably give up talking and just do sign language. And if you don’t know sign language, just smile, nod, and do the “Wingapo” wave like Pocahantas.) And finally, demonstrate the lost art of the proper handshake. Too many people these days offer these sad excuses for a handshake, where they make a motion like they are being held at gunpoint and forced to dip their fingers into a platter liquified horse shit. They grimace, stick out a limp risk, and kind of jiggle it in your palm before snatching their hand back into their personal bubble, like they think you’re going to get hungry and start chewing on their third finger for a snack. And that point, you really just have to break out in your best Meghan Trainor rendition: “My name is NO. My sign is NO. My number is NO. Your handshakes sucks, bro.” Bonus points if you hold onto their limp-shit-dipper-hand and use it as a fake microphone.
- Always always always double check the recipients when you are sending emails and texts.
Under ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you text anyone, for any reason, when you are drunk or have taken sleeping pills or – worst of all – taken sleeping pills with alcohol. You will regret sending your boyfriend’s mother a picture of your naked ass sprawled on your friend’s couch, or you will regret emailing your boss about the weird rash on your boob’s for which using your mother’s hemorrhoid cream was ineffective. You will regret emailing nudes to your Neuropsych professor, or texting your pastor all the reasons you’re still on the fence about the semi-kinky thing your current boyfriend has been asking to try. This is one of those situations where there is no happy ending, so abort the mission before it begins. But on the unfortunate chance that mission control (aka your prefrontal cortex and/or sober friends) does not prevent you from completing this doomed mission and you send a terribly inappropriate text or email to the absolute worst possible recipient, there are only two solutions. Just two: You have to own up to it, send a brief-but-honest-and-apologetic message of remorse, and do whatever else necessary to rectify the situation. Or you can join Witness Protection and move to a remote village in Mexico. I’d suggest the former, but I understand that some situations are so mortifying that the only reasonable course of action is to grab Rosetta Stone and get your ass south of Tijuana.
There you go, folks. Let’s all agree to pursue these resolutions in 2017, and the world will be a better place. Or at the very least, we’ll all be marginally more-polite versions of the assholes we were in 2016.
Now, in the name of Harambe, go forth and make this year fantastic.