#165 – The Moment You Realize The Rollercoaster You’re On Is Fun and Not a Death Trap

maxresdefaultI don’t go on roller coasters that often any longer, for a number of reasons primarily centering around how most of friends are “having kids” and are “too professionally responsible to take off on a weekday so we can avoid lines” and “don’t see the need to scare themselves voluntarily.”

But, even when I went more frequently, I still had the same fear each time the ride would start up. Every single time, as that ka-chunk ka-chunk! noise would get louder and louder as I ascended higher and higher, I’d think to myself: Why are you fucking doing this? This is insane behavior. You not only will not have a good time or enjoy this, you may not live to see the end of it. Was it worth it? 

That feeling lasts until just after you’ve hit the top of that hill. Once you begin your rocketing descent, it all dissipates and what you’re left with is this feeling… that you do this because it’s fun, that it’s not insane, that you will have a good time, that you will enjoy it and you won’t die because it was worth it. All of that, all at once.

But you know this, right? That’s why you keep coming back. Just need to get over that first hump.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Sitting on any line at any of these theme parks. Even if you have the fast pass or whatever the hell the place calls it, when you’re actually stuck on the line and have nowhere to go outside of a $6.99 lemonade, that’s awful.

#63 – Wearing Sweatpants in Public (And You’re Not At The Gym)

 

sweatpantsxx-3-web

I’ve been scolded a fair number of folks for my predilection for wearing sweatpants in public.

Once, I showed up to lunch with a friend in the town we both live in wearing a t-shirt with a whole in the armpit and sweatpants. She told me, in some language, that this wasn’t how adults dressed. I told her, in some language, that I did not give a shit.

Wearing sweatpants is more comfortable than wearing regular pants. I’m sorry, it’s just a plain fact. Anyone who says they enjoy the feeling of wearing denim or khakis or corduroys or any other such material is full of shit. They may not like wearing sweatpants in public because it’s slovenly and makes you look like you’ve either given up on life or are a homeless person (or both). Those are perfectly good reasons for them not to like wearing sweats in public. But, don’t let them lie to you that it’s because they’re just not that comfortable in them.

So yeah, part of what makes this such a great feeling is the forbidden nature of it. I mean, if you’re me and have accepted that this is one of the social mores you don’t give a damn about, it’s not a huge deal. But for the rest of you that haven’t given up and still are trying, that random trip to the grocery store or jaunt to run some errand in sweatpants is really true bliss.

Even the sweatshirt doesn’t compare because it’s really not an issue to rock sweatshirts. But for some reason, when the sweat part of the clothing extends below the belt, people lose their goddamn minds.

I say, the hell with them. If it was socially acceptable, I’d drape myself in sweatpants. No questions asked.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Putting on a pair of pants you were sure fit you the last time you wore them, only to discover one of two things, the latter being way more likely: you either put on some weight or someone snuck into your closet and changed your pants out with slightly more snug versions of them.

#169 – Checking Future Weather And Finding Out It’s Going To Be Nice For Whatever You Need It For

article-2251450-169c33a5000005dc-74_964x539I try not to get too caught up in weather forecasts. If it’s what you’re looking for, you never doubt the weather people. If it’s not, you espouse your well-researched opinion that all weather reports are generally bullshit and not to be trusted.

But, there is something sweet about eying up that weather app on your phone for your impending trip to Florida or (insert place where people spend real money to stay in the freezing cold and careen down mountains with sticks on their feet) and you see exactly what you’re hoping for.

In your head, you know it’s a week out and things can change. Hell, even when it’s a rain cloud that doesn’t mean it’s going to rain all day… it’s really just a 40% chance it might rain at some point during the day. Plus, that Thursday weather that doesn’t look so hot has you a little nervous it could creep into Friday.

But the hell with all that thought… you just saw three suns in a row for your upcoming vacation. You are in the clear.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Checking again before your flight takes off and seeing all those suns replaced by those dark cloud emojis and the dreaded “T-storm warnings.” Is it too late to get a refund on your trip?

#42 – Letting Go Of A Secret

20142f012f262fef2fwhisper-dd31c

I hate when people start a conversation with me by saying: “Don’t tell anyone what I’m about to tell you” or some other variation of phrasing that indicates a few things:

  1. They’re likely betraying someone else’s trust by even telling me this “secret” because no one can keep their fucking mouth shut.
  2. This thing, whatever it is, likely isn’t as bad or as secretive as they’re making it out to be.
  3. If, in the rare case it is that bad or does need to be held secret, there must be a reason you’re being told.

There isn’t a version of this I enjoy. If it’s the 2nd scenario, I find it ridiculous that I have to keep something a secret that no one, myself included, gives a shit about. If it’s the 3rd scenario, I’m now riddled with anxiety or guilt or nerves about how A) I could be the one trusted to keep this secret and B) how on Earth I’ll be able to actually keep it from anyone.

The only viable outcome in any of these hopeless nightmares is that you forget you even were told the secret, its contents so fleeting and unimportant you don’t even need to participate in the act of holding it from anyone.

However, barring that magical outcome, there usually is a period of time where you can’t talk to those people about that thing.

BUT… once it’s over… it’s sweet release. Usually, this release isn’t even accompanied by a verbal expulsion of what you’d been holding in for so long. In fact, by the time it’s OK to share this “secret” most people probably already know. But you no longer have to watch what you say around them. You no longer have to worry about it being brought up and people finding out you have the world’s worst poker face.

You can live. Free.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being too comfortable with someone that the “secret” concerns and letting it slip out.

#73 – Finding Out You Bought Good Fruit

300px-rotting_fruit

Whether or not you’re at the regular supermarket, the farmer’s market, the expensive “we’re better than you supermarket” or the guy on the corner with the cart (where does he go with all that extra fruit every day? Does he go back to his home with a truckload of fruit EVERY DAY? Where does it all go?), you are entering into a blind purchase every single time you buy fruit.

Of course, you could say the same for most non-processed food items. But generally speaking, you can tell by looking at most things if they’ve gone bad and shouldn’t be purchased. Fruit, on the other hand, is a completely different ballgame.

Outside of the obvious dents and pockmarks and out-of-season rules (which some people seem to know with encyclopedic knowledge), you really have no idea what you’re getting into.

You could be buying an apple with a perfect outward appearance, in it’s season, without any blemishes of any kind. You get home, take a huge bite expecting orgasmic-level relief, and it’s mealy. Or that bag of grapes… the first few you tried were good, but the rest are somehow disgusting. Cantaloupe? Honeydew? Those two are hitting at no better than a 30% clip.

But when you get back and that apple bite rips through the skin with a loud crispy crunch, the melon is sweet, the grapes are tart and firm and sugary… that’s ecstasy, friends. You’ve hit the jackpot with this purchase. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Pretty obvious one, no? But let’s be real, if I started a reverse of this list, how does “Biting into a Mealy Apple” not land in the top 5?

#140 – Successfully Installing Something From IKEA Without Smashing It First

broken_chair-1My senior year of college, my parents came up to help me move into the house I’d live in that year with five of my closest friends.

As it was a new year and my first and only full year out of a dorm (I went abroad for a semester junior year after two years in dorms to kick things off), I needed some new “furniture.”

I put that in quotes because, of course, we’re not talking anything serious. We’re talking a bed frame, perhaps a stand to stack some of my books and my SONY Dream Machine CD Alarm Clock (which I still use… long live CDs!) and, of course, a desk.

The desk was the only thing that was new and actually needed to be put together.

To be clear, this was that desk. It consisted of four total pieces. And yet somehow, my father and I could not, for the life of us, get it together.

Actually, at a certain point it really was just on him as I stepped back to watch him increasing his chances of having a heart attack at some point in his life, muttering (then screaming) curse words, reddening his face and ultimately threatening to “throw this fucking thing out the goddamn window.”

By the grace of god, my roommate was not only handy but in the house at the time. He fixed the “issue” for us in literally less than 10 minutes. Again, that word is in quotes because the issue was simply removing both my dad and I from the equation.

It is with that back story that I present this feeling because, no matter how unbelievably simple those instructions look, it’s not nearly as easy for me or my kind (that is, Spinellis) to put these goddamn things together. The little booklet they come with has about six pages, all with instructions so large my deceased grandparents could read them, and one of those little Allen wrenches that should come pre-lost to save you the time (side note: that’s going to be my fake name to check in under at hotels… Allen Rench).

Since that fateful but hysterical day in college over 10 years ago, I’ve constructed several things from IKEA on my own and have only broken a few in anger. That’s progress.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Immediately post-smashing (which DOES FEEL FUCKING GREAT, I DON’T CARE HOW STUPID IT LOOKS, MOM!), the realization that you’ll either have to A) clean it all up, B) make it again) or C) both. Ugh.

#232 – Having Your Gas Tank Filled By Someone Else

gas_tankI’m not even sure the last time I let someone borrow my car for any length of time. Frankly, I’m not even sure why I have a car at all at this point. I do enjoy hammering out a not-as-good-for-me-as-they’d-like-me-to-believe deal with the dealership folks, but that aside…

You get in your car after your mom or dad or brother or deadbeat cousin borrowed it for the day, weekend, to go to your other deadbeat cousin’s house and play World of Warcraft for hours when you had said you had plans earlier in the day (those are all hypotheticals).

The mirrors, naturally, are out of whack. Depending on the season, the air conditioning or heat is blasting, the seat position is all fucked up and there’s definitely a new radio station among your presets. In other words, it’s a veritable disaster.

Then you look at that gas gauge. And you realize that there are still shreds of humanity left in this godless, soulless world.

You wouldn’t have been out of gas, not by a long shot. In fact, you still had at least half a tank. But, that deadbeat fucking cousin of yours finally did something worthwhile with their fucking lives and filled you up. Not because they had to, but because it was the right thing to do.

Also In The Running: Instead of polar opposite here, I’m going to simply point out that this feeling is basically the same thing as when you were younger (or, if you’re lucky, still as an older person) and your parents would unexpectedly take you grocery shopping. Basically, any time someone pays for a menial, non-meal-related task that you didn’t ask for, don’t need and can certainly handle on your own.

 

#164 – Showing Up to Blind Date to Find Out the Person Is Hotter Than Expected

636011801218510759-1786568383_bad20first20datesThe term “blind date” isn’t really used any more. Hell, for all I know it may be offensive nowadays.

Either way, just because that exact phrasing isn’t used any longer doesn’t take away from its accuracy.

According to research I haven’t done and isn’t even close to accurate, 73% of all first dates in major US cities are what, in a previous time, were known as “blind dates.”

Which is to say that the individuals on the date didn’t know what the other looked like before they arrived. It doesn’t imply that one or both of them was actually blind.

You may argue that the concept of blind dates has gone away with online dating, but I’d simply say that you, my good friend, have never online dated. If everyone looked exactly like they did in their pictures there wouldn’t be dating any more—either because everyone would’ve paired up or everyone would’ve given up, but nothing in between.

So when you agree to go on a date with another person, a relative stranger aside from some texts and the like over the app, you really don’t know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Sure, the savvy among us will look up any extra photos there are to find of this new person but still, you’re going in with a curated version of what this date wants people to think they look like. The real thing can be quite different and it goes in both directions.

This feeling is about when it works in your favor. Whatever it is (hairstyle, height, weight, appearance… that bullshit that “I just don’t look good in photos!”), the person simply shines in person more than they do in the app.

That’s a fucking win.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: You’re waiting outside the bar or restaurant for this date to arrive, you see them approaching and you’re stoked because of how much more attractive they are than you anticipated… then you speak to them. And it’s like talking to zucchini. Have fun for the next two hours.

#214 – Getting A Light To Come Off Your Dashboard

bigstock-check-engine-light-4002090This feeling excludes those without cars, naturally. It also excludes “car people.”

I’m not a car person. I have one, I drive it to and from work, but I’d just as soon not have it. I drive, and have driven, a Toyota Corolla for years and “upgrade” every few. It’s a car likely known best for it’s regularity and stability, two attributes great for a car and less great for a first date.

Point is, anything outside of getting gas as it relates to my car, is a nuisance to me. That light—and to be clear, I literally mean any light on that dash, from the “hey, fucko, get your oil changed!” to the “uh, I hate to tell you this, but you likely have a nail in your tire”—just needs to go away.

Usually this is solved pretty easily and it’s almost always solved because someone with actual expertise took care of it for you.

One way or the other, you definitely drove around with that light for longer than you probably should have. And, you certainly didn’t know exactly how serious the light’s warning was to be heeded. You probably just got lucky, avoiding something worse by pure happenstance.

But, the light’s gone.

You can live free, once more.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking the light is the benign kind and finding out it’s the “you’ve got a serious problem on your hand, but not serious enough that we’ll give you a rental car, you’ll just have to sit in the waiting room for hours before paying us well over $300”-type of feeling.

#212 – Learning A New Supermarket

maxresdefaultALERT TO THE ACME SUPERMARKET IN HOBOKEN: THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO CONTINUE SWITCHING THE FUCKING AISLES.

PLEASE, STOP DOING THAT.

You should see it in that place. It’s like going through Times Square. Everyone is walking around slowly with a look of mild bewilderment, eyes to the sky, trying to figure out where the fuck they are.

No, this is a feeling about being in a new spot, whether it’s going to be permanent or just for a vacation. It’s that feeling of going to a new grocery store and seeing all the new shit they have. What sort of meats/fish do they have? How about the prepared food? If you’re in another area of the country or world than where you’re from… what are the regional flavors of big brand items? No way they have the red Fanta or those fucking bonkers Doritos flavors. God help you if Tropicana is pimpin’ the Blood Orange Juice.

Yes, I know I’m a nerd.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: When your supermarket switches everything around without consulting you personally. And then they get rid of the discount card, again without consulting. You know it’s the same pricing, but you like seeing it come off at the end, damn it.