#184 – Having Someone Enjoy Your Recommendation

Music. Food. TV Show. Movies. The list is endless, but the fact remains: when someone likes something you suggested they try, it feels really good.

The next level of this feeling is when you’re one of the first people to know about something, let’s say, a band. You have a pal you know would love them, so you pass it along. Like most things, your friend says “Sure” but doesn’t get to it right away. Days, maybe weeks, go bye and you hear nothing so you assume he/she either didn’t look up the band/artist or that they didn’t like them.

But, wait. The latter has to be impossible, no? HOW COULD MY FRIEND NOT LIKE THIS MUSIC?! Maybe your friend was tragically killed in a fire or lost control of his/her fingers.

And then, the e-mail/text comes, “Love that [guy/girl/band]”.  All is right with the world, you feel fully redeemed.

I’m pretty sure my grandmother instilled this in me. She had a way about her that would make you feel guilty if you didn’t like the things she recommended. She passed over a year ago and I still feel bad I didn’t want to go see Jersey Boys.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? Being either told that the band/show/movie/etc. sucks, or finding out about it last.

#159 – Having An Empty Seat Next To You On Public Transportation

The last “trip” I took via public transport was to Washington, D.C. It was also the first time I’d ever taken MegaBus. Waiting in line for my specific bus to arrive on 34th between 11th and 12th (for those of you not in New York, it’s an area of town that no one really goes to, especially considering how actually close it is to everything), it dawned on me that I was going to pretty much have my pick of seats when we finally boarded.

That much excited me, but I also realized, I’d be the guy that had the empty seat next to him for the longest, which seemed like a sure fire way to ensure that the seat would be taken.

I meandered to the top deck and grabbed a seat in the very front (a friend recommended I try that seat and it turned out to be really great). Now, I couldn’t see who was milling around on the bus behind me, but once I had gotten myself situated with my laptop and water bottle and snack exactly how I wanted them, the bus pulled away from the curb and off we were. I turned to my right and the seat remained empty. I turned behind me and every seat was filled. I almost did a cartwheel from joy.

Now, on the return trip a few days later, the same thing happened to begin things… I got there insanely early, was first in line, got to pick my seat in the front of the bus on the top deck… Except, this woman with the veiniest legs you’ve ever seen and absolutely no concept for what constitutes normal human cell phone volume sat down right next to me. Oh yeah, she also thought nothing of taking her shoes off almost immediately once the ride began.

Think about the difference between those two experiences and you can see why that empty seat is such a great feeling. Of course, length of trip and mode of transportation are mitigating factors, but empty is always better than occupied, unless of course it’s a really hot, single girl. But, what are the odds of that…

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: See two paragraphs above.

#172 – A New Pair of Socks/Underwear

This one is just slightly better than the sweatpants feeling. They’re not that different, I realize, but come on… this list is supposed to be 250 items long. If you really wanted, we could group all 250 feelings into, what, five groups? Sex, friends, sex with friends, beer and cookies? That’s probably even stretching it.

Fact of the matter is, George Costanza was on to something:

I think we’d all love to live in a world where we A) only have to do underwear laundry once a year and B) get to wear a new pair of underwear every day of the calendar year. Similar to sweatpants, the new underwear feeling (and socks) is centered primarily around comfort and newfound strength of elasticity. The bands are strong, they’re new. The socks won’t fall down or bunch up. Everything stays where it should, comfortable and well-held.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having those two socks that not only aren’t technically a pair but also have those really loose ends so that the top of the sock is about 5 times as wide as the bottom.

#244 – Writing With A Good Pen

I don’t lift my hand often when I write. I have fat fingers (relatively… they sort of look like baby sausages). I have what almost everyone would consider to be, at best, poor handwriting.

Finding a pen that fits me like a glove, that’s a great feeling. I want to love the rollerball pens, they just seem so fucking cool. But, like I said, my style makes whatever I’m writing a mess if I’m using one of those.

For me, the ballpoint pen is my go-to. Give me a fresh pad, a ballpoint pen that has a full load of ink (and, more importantly, isn’t one of those pieces of shit that constantly makes a show of running out of ink when it’s clearly not low) and a nice grip and I’m a happy man.

For what it’s worth, there’s nothing like writing on a piece of paper. I do realize, of course, that like the button and the book, the handwritten word is going the way of the dinosaur. But, for now and until touch screens rule the world, enjoy the pen that works best for you.

(By the way, this site exists. Unreal.)

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? When a pen explodes in your pocket, or, worse, in your mouth. That literally happened to me in middle school. Side note to this side note: Am I the only one concerned that future generations won’t even know what this is like in the not so distant future? There won’t even be pens with ink to explode. I weep for the future.

#142 – Taking Off Your Work Clothes

I don’t know about you, but when I get done with a busy day at work, I can’t wait to get home and change into my hang-around clothes. Now, for some crazy folks, the preference is to stay in those same work clothes. To get home from a day of tucked in and khaki… and stay tucked in. It’s lunacy to me, but diff’rnt strokes for diff’rnt folks, I suppose.

I’m so anti-button and stuffy clothing that I’ve been known to start the process of undressing before I even get into my actual apartment. Granted, those times have almost exclusively been late at night (either coming home from work or coming home drunk from somewhere else), but still, it speaks to how much I value my clothing-related comfort that I’m willing to appear partially undressed in public.

Don’t get me wrong, men and women alike look nice in work attire. But, that doesn’t men it’s more desirable than a pair of sweats or basketball shorts and that one t-shirt we all have that is so old it’s nearly see through (or, a relic for other reasons… like my mom’s New Jersey Devils shirt—she’s never watched a hockey game in her life).

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: See paragraph one.

#173 – A New Pair of Sweatpants

I know some people that don’t like wearing sweatpants, that feel more comfortable in what they wear to work. Those people are fucking insane.

Now, I probably take sweatpant wearing to an extreme, but it makes sense. As an article of clothing, they’re associated not with work or serious activity, but with rest and fun. I’ll wear them to sleep, to play basketball, to go out and walk about town… even to work (where I work out in them). I’ve worn sweatpants to bars, I’ve worn sweatpants on dates, I’ve even worn them to a Bar Mitzvah once (one of those isn’t true).

Point is… I love me some sweatpants, of all kinds and colors (I have a pair of enormous royal blue ones that are as ridiculous as you could fathom). But, the best kind of sweatpants, and this much can’t be debated, are new ones.

Before the first wash, before the ends start to fray or rip or get the stains of snow/salt on them, before the inside begins to pill up… New sweatpants are like pants made of clouds and honey, a heaven for legs after the prison of denim or khaki.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? Putting on uncomfortable corduroys.

#238 – Smushing A Pudgy Dog’s Face

Are you fucking serious? Come on.

My family has always owned dogs that are alarmingly similar to us. That is to say, slightly overweight, short legs and frequent disinterest in other people/things. Our last dog, a Basset Hound named Homer, was all of those things and more. Frankly, when he eventually got sick at the end, it was hard to tell because he was miserable looking and lazy for the the final 10 years of his life.

Anyway, Basset Hounds, Shar Peis (a breed a friend once referred to as looking like a blanket), Bull Dogs, some Labs… those are the types of dogs I’m talking about. And please, don’t confuse pudgy for fat. Fat dogs (like this one) are gross, as far as I’m concerned. They need to get a job and start working out, but that’s for another discussion.

The feeling I’m talking about is when you’ve got one of those pudgy dogs and they’re either OK with you smushing their face a little bit or they aren’t OK with it but are gentle/lazy enough that they don’t give a damn. The best time to do it is in the middle of something that the dog typically enjoys, maybe mid-pet or mid-beyond-the-ear scratch or mid-belly rub.

I look at it like, those are for you, this one’s for me. And for fuck’s sake, let’s be honest, these dogs are living rent-free without any pressure to better themselves or their community. The least they can offer beyond companionship is their face for some occasional smushing.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? Having one of those dogs that’s too cool to even interact with you. I hate those snooty S.O.Bs.