For the past year, I was a University News editor for this newspaper. There were a lot of tears, and I grew too fond of Yale College Dean Mary Miller during that time. Now that a new crop of editors has rendered me obsolete, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands and a lot of useless knowledge. Every other week, I’ll put that pointless wisdom to work to answer your questions about Life Problems, Romantic Conundrums, Domestic Dilemmas and ’90s R&B. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer your questions anonymously. Adult discretion is advised.
Q. Any tips for quickly freshening up to make a Sunday morning walk of shame look a little less shameful? We’re talking desert island resources: I usually have toilet paper and tap water at my disposal.
A. I’m guessing you don’t scrub off your facepaints before falling into bed on Saturday night and you usually wake up looking like Lori Petty in “Tank Girl.”
First, dab a little water onto a wad of TP and scrape the old mascara and eyeliner off your face. Your hair is probably fucked. Put it in a ponytail or, if you have curly hair, flip your head upside down and go for a ’fro. You’re allowed to rummage for toothpaste because this isn’t the South and morality is relative, so swish some around in your mouth with water. Spit. Rinse.
Now, for the bad news. Look down. You’re kind of dressed like a bookish strumpet. It was cute by cover of night, but by day, you look like Miss Havisham. Again, I am all for this, and I wish we as society could agree that this is an acceptable mode of dress at all times and if I have a daughter, she will live in this better world, but it is not our world.
Borrow a flannel to throw over your beaded shift or laser cut tunic or whatever the fuck weird thing you’re wearing. If you have tights or jeans with you, you are home free.
If you don’t want to see the flannel’s owner again, that’s okay. Even if you do, the next steps are the same: Go home, shower, nap. Wash the flannel. Wear the flannel to bed later that week. Wear the flannel to class the week after. Feel awkward when you run into the flannel’s birth parent while wearing the flannel.
Do not return the flannel.
Q. Why, after so many years of college, am I still unemployable/unqualified to be an adult/an idiot?
A. We go a liberal arts school. Supposedly, we’ve spent the last few years learning “how to think.”
That’s extremely open-ended and impossible to motivate yourself to want to do. I major in literature. All I ever really think about is soup, my bathroom cleaning schedule and Beyonce’s thighs. (Sorry, Jordi Gassò, but you don’t have the monopoly on them — they belong to all of us.)
I don’t know what you think about, but it sounds like much of it is negative. You’re an adult already! In America, 18 means grown-up. No takesies-backsies on that. Even if you’re an aimless adult, you’re no bump on a log.
You have to be nicer to yourself. Sit down with a hand mirror and gaze into your eyes. Don’t literally try to search for your soul because that’s stupid. Tell yourself you don’t suck. Keep doing that, all the time.
Think about what you like and look for jobs that are relevant to your interests. I’m pretty sure I missed the meeting where UCS handed out the business cards of every major player at “Saturday Night Live” and Sotheby’s, as well as lots of brightly colored strings to pull, but hey — maybe you have those things. Barring that, practice inflating the weird summer-fillers on your resume (any job you got through Bulldogs in the Obscure American City That’s Actually A Hidden Gem We PROMISEEEEE) into legitimate-sounding experiences.
Try to get a job you love, and if you do, give up on the idea of ever being wealthy.
(I know I just lost like half of you. Fuck that half of you.)
Q. What was the hipster anyway?
A. The hipster was Chuck Klosterman before “Killing Yourself to Live” but after “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs.” Also, those decals that make your MacBook look like a typewriter, and tattoos of old furniture.