How To Be a Person: A Guide to Life for the Recent Graduate
Greetings, graduating classes of 2011! Congratulations on accomplishing all you have accomplished to get here, and pre-congratulations on all the accomplishments you will surely accomplish in your accomplishful futures. And pre-condolences on all the shit you will fail at. You should be very proud. Except for those of you who shouldn't. Because some of you are failures and you shame your families. God, you make me sick. But anyway, thanks for electing me valedictorian of the Internet, and allowing me to come here today and explain to you how life works! As a person who owns several living houseplants, once changed her own tire without crying (sort of) and even does her taxes at least every other year, I think it's pretty obvious that I am a high-functioning adult human who is qualified to say stuff. To you. Right now. Listen up.
Open your ears. Open your mind. Rip out your heart and give it to me.
Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring. What's that? Ring ring. Do you hear that? Ring ring. It's a phone. Ring ring. ANSWER IT -- WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Yeah, that's the real world calling, buckos. And it's calling collect. Collect? Oh, it's a thing that used to happen back when we had real phones that plugged into the wall and people called each other instead of just texting, and -- look, just stop asking questions. We'll have a period for that at the end. Dude, you totally derailed my super meaningful phone call role-play. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ring ring. Oh good, the real world's calling back. Here we go.
Will you answer the call, or will you *69 the world?
"Heyyy, Kevin," (for the purposes of this speech your name is Kevin). "It's the real world calling. COLLECT. Yeah. It's this thing we had before cell phones. It's just- listen, shut up. I just wanted to call and let you know that this isn't Playpen 101 at Babies Academy anymore -- this is the real world, and in the real world, we play hardball. And fastball. And we take it to the limit, and also I'm not here to make friends. Look to your left. Look to your right. One of those people thinks that I am joking right now about taking fastball to the limit without making friends. Now, decide which one you think it is and punch that person in the junk-bag. Congratulations. You just passed your first pop quiz." CUH-LICK.
Unless you're actually still at Babies Academy, in which case just knock this douche right over.
Wow, Kevin, it sounds like the real world is pretty serious! Lucky for you you've got a pretty cool tutor to guide you through everything you need to know about surviving the real world. Me. I mean me. I'm the cool tutor. Seriously, Kevin, if you actually existed I would just crush your junk-bag right now. OK, here we go.
LESSON #1: EMPLOYMENT
Before you do or think or touch anything else, check craigslist for any openings under "millionaire," "oil baron" or "childbride to a sultan." If it comes up empty, you're going to have to settle for a regular job. Shoot. Get ready.
Polish up your Nobel Prize, this is about to get messy.
My first job after high school was at a famous museum devoted to Jimi Hendrix's underpants. People came from far and wide to visit the museum -- which, from the outside, looks like a gigantic bundt cake made out of unicorn dung at the end of the hottest day at Unicorn Burning Man -- where they would sigh and weep and gnash their teeth at the sight of Hendrix's psychedelic man-panties. Some of the people would play public air-guitar so tender it was almost a prayer. My job was to stand in the entry hall of the museum and hand out heavy, confusing computer backpacks to angry tourists who just wanted to get to the freaking underpants already. The computers were always broken. The tourists hated the computers and, by extension, they hated me. The museum entry hall played Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" on a constant loop. I worked nights and I got paid $8 an hour and this was the third-best job that I have ever had (right above hose duty at Unicorn Burning Man).
Hey, free spirit? How about a hose right to the face.
What I'm trying to say is that all jobs are terrible except for the jobs that are double-terrible, and you are destined to be miserable for the rest of your life. Kudos!
LESSON #2: ROMANCE
When you're trying to "seal the deal" with a "fly mammy" or a "drunk guy walking past your apartment," it's a good idea to have a list of super alluring catchphrases in your back pocket (mine is laminated for maritime seductions). Stuff like, "Guess what? I'm about to blow your mind." And "Hold still while I put this in there." And "Don't look doooooooown (because I'm fingering you)!" That way, whoever you're trying to put it in knows you're a classy, serious lover who is not to be kept waiting. And also that you will finger on the first date.
"I think I must be the prosecuting witness on your murder trial, because I'm being taken into protective custody."
LESSON #3: MONEY
I don't know what this is. I'm a writer whose previous job was "underpants guard." Try to keep up.
LESSON #4: PETS
When you're out in the world meeting new people, it's important to keep an eye on your image. The type of dirty animals you let live in your home says a lot about you. Having a cat says, "I am high-maintenance and covered with silky fur." Having a dog says, "I am not interesting or memorable in any way." Having an iguana says, "Let's never have sex." Having a tarantula says, "I wear a leather top hat not as a joke." Having a fish says, "My heart really isn't in this." Having a chimpanzee says, "I don't care if my face and genitals get bitten off by a chimpanzee." Having a rat says, "I am a degenerate who was raised by bugs." Having a cow says, "I am a farmer." Having a parrot says, "Fuck you." Pro tip: Print this section out for a handy "cheat sheet" the next time you go to the pet store!
Ideally, you want a pet that says, "I have a shark."
LESSON #5: DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
These are magic tools that you'll need to get through some of adulthood's "sticky situations," such as family reunions, office Christmas parties, wedding receptions, funeral buffets, flute recitals, book clubs, drag races, late nights, early mornings, mid-afternoons, early evenings, Sundays, Saturdays, Mondays through Fridays and just any time you need a li'l pick-me-up (you've earned it, champ!). If some yahoo tries to take your drugs and/or alcohol away from you, just yell, "IT'S MY MEDICINE!" and roll around on the ground for a while. Then they're legally obligated to leave you alone because doctor-patient confidentiality. It's in the Constitution.
My doctor prescribed me freedom, asshole!
And that's all there is to it, newly minted graduates! Congratulations! Those five things are literally everything you need to know about being a person in the real world. Now go spread your wings or whatever. Seriously, Kevin -- I'm bored of talking to you. Jesus Christ, I need my medicine.
Be sure to check out what you should've been taught in The 10 Most Important Things They Didn't Teach You In School. As opposed to the nonsense you actually learned such as in Smash Bros Theory: 6 Absurd Classes Taught at Actual Colleges.