How Not to Suck at Everyday Life, Uncategorized

We’re all small-time artists, but some of us have jobs.

I’m so tired of the narrative that it’s small independent artists versus big corporations.

I get where it comes from, I do. Corporations can produce things cheaply and quickly, they have a massive workforce and a corporate greed mentality, and they more often than not put small creators out of business because the little guy just can’t compete. Continue reading “We’re all small-time artists, but some of us have jobs.”

How Not to Suck at Everyday Life

Are You a Hassle or an Asset?

A friend and I were browsing Barnes and Noble the other day in an attempt to kill time, and we stumbled across the section labeled “Self-Help: 20-somethings.” Now, of course being twenty-somethings with larger than average egos, we were intrigued. And a little bit disgusted. In short, the perfect mix of things to be in order to pick up and flip through every book with an interesting or cringe-worthy title. Continue reading “Are You a Hassle or an Asset?”

How Not to Suck at Everyday Life, Writing

How to Write an Engaging Email

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How many emails have you deleted without reading recently?

If you’re anything like me, the answer is so, so many. Everybody seems to want your email these days, from apps to stores to coworkers to that annoying person sending out reminders for events at your local library/university/rec center. It’s obnoxious, and our inboxes are constantly filled with mindless trash.

But what if you’re in charge of sending out those email reminders? You’re not a marketing expert and you don’t want to be. You just want to get people to come to your event. I’ve been there. I’ve got you. Continue reading “How to Write an Engaging Email”

How Not to Suck at Everyday Life

5 Easy Ways to Improve Someone’s Life

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No matter how un-self-centered we try to be, the truth is we’ll always be wrapped up in our own worlds, and worrying about other people’s happiness and well-being will fall behind more pressing concerns. It happens. But if, like me, you need a reminder of how you can improve the lives of the people around you—while putting in minimal effort, because come on, we’ve all got busy schedules—this list is for you. Everything on it takes very little time and even less effort, but as a result, you’ll vastly contribute to someone’s happiness and quality of life. Plus, people will like you more. Continue reading “5 Easy Ways to Improve Someone’s Life”

How Not to Suck at Everyday Life

How Not to Suck at Everyday Life: Personal Space and P’s and Q’s

I recently spent some time in Disney World, and the thing that struck me the most was the utter lack of regard people seemed to have for the people around them. Now this may turn into more of a rant than a how-to, but here are some things to remember next time you’re in a large crowd of people.

1. Your body is large. I don’t care how much you weigh; your body takes up space, and when it is positioned in front of mine, it blocks my view. Moving your head or body from side to side in order to get a better view makes me move to get a better view which makes the person behind me move to get a better view, and so on and so forth. It’s a chain reaction of annoyed people. So please, if you’re standing in a crowd watching something, find a good spot and stay there. It’s better to not be able to see a few inches of whatever is going on than to make everyone behind you want to punch you.

1a. When you’re behind someone, leave some room. I don’t want to feel your breath on the back of my neck or your hands on my back or butt every time you move; it gives me panic attacks and makes me want to punch you in the face.

Pictured: When not to practice jumping jacks, breakdancing, or random hug attacks.

2. When you add things to your body, it becomes even larger. While Mickey Mouse ears are adorable on children, after about the age of twelve, they start getting really annoying really quickly. Having a five-inch wide ear at eye level in front of me does not make you blocking my view any cuter. Wearing a backpack, too, means that if you’re not careful, you will hit me every time you turn to talk to someone. So please, just mind what you have on your body and how close it is to the people around you.

Blocking views since the 1950s.

3. Having something with wheels does not entitle you to run people down. I understand this is somewhat more controversial than the others, since people won’t get out of your way and there’s often no other way to move forward. But you can, however, learn the words “excuse me” or “pardon me.” I hear they work miracles. Strollers should not be used to push people out of the way. Just don’t do it.

Pictured: How not to move through a crowd.

3a. On the flip side, don’t move your wheeled vehicle slower than molasses. Your electric scooter chair is incredibly hard to pass when it’s moving at less than a mile an hour.

4. Walking to the front of a line and assimilating into it is not ingenious, it’s rude. This is the same concept as the cars who drive up the left lane of traffic to the front of a standstill and then put their blinker on. It’s just not okay. Don’t be that guy. I understand if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re doing. But that’s generally the exception, not the rule. You’re not being sneaky, we know what you’re doing; wait in line like the rest of us.

5. Stopping in the middle of traffic is rude and inconvenient for everyone around you. If you’re on a pathway, don’t just stop. If, by some miracle, people don’t run into you or each other, at the very least you’ll cause a traffic jam. If you need to look at a map or see to your child, walk to the side of the path, then stop.

6. Do not text and walk. Or look at a map and walk. Or look at your child and walk. Watch where you’re going. I don’t want to run into you any more than you want me to run into you. But it makes it a lot easier when we’re both watching where we’re going.

If I’m looking where I’m going, I’ll expect you to do the same.

7. Keep your hands to yourself. If you’re in a thickly-packed crowd, stop talking with your hands. Stop pumping your arms when you walk. Stop widely gesturing. If I don’t know you, I don’t want you touching me, purposefully or not. And if you do accidentally touch me, apologize. Don’t make a stupid joke, don’t glare at me like it’s my fault, just say sorry and keep walking. Chances are, if it’s an accident, I won’t care. And neither will anyone else.

8. I don’t want to get sick. Teach your child to cover his mouth when he sneezes or coughs. Nothing starts deteriorating my mood quite like a child (or adult, for that matter) sneezing directly in my face. When there are people on all sides of you, simply turning your head doesn’t work. So please, cover your mouth, or your child’s mouth.

Pictured: What I don’t want all over me.

9.  Mind your p’s and q’s. Say please. Say thank you. Say excuse me. Let someone in worse health than you have a seat. Let people pass in front of you. Don’t scream at strangers. Don’t scream at your family. Wait patiently in line. Be nice to me, be nice to the people helping you, be nice to each other. It’s not hard.

If you’re a nice, conscientious person in large crowds, then thank you. And I understand that sometimes things just happen. But the rude people just ruin it for everyone.

Now, feel free to disagree with me. You are, after all, entitled to your own opinion. But know that at least one person out there feels this way, and please at least consider being more aware of the people around you. Let’s make the world a better place together.

And here’s a cheesy quote to help you on your way to not sucking at everyday life.

*Reposted from a site I worked on in college that is now, unfortunately, dead.