#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.

#84 – When Technology Works Exactly As It’s Supposed To

Who hasn’t wanted to do this?

I honestly have wished for extreme wealth if only so that I could feel free to smash my electronics whenever they didn’t work they way I’d like.

My mom used to always complain that the iPad wasn’t working properly for her. Perhaps it was the internet itself that was betraying her. My dad’s main culprit used to be the lack of passwords, though that afflicted my mother as well. Point is, in their minds, the tech was always seemingly letting them down (except of course for the hours and fucking hours it worked perfectly fine).

But if you step back and think about it, how nice is the feeling when you’re trying something slightly above your normal ask and it works perfectly fine?

I’m not talking about your phone’s Google app working properly or your iTunes shuffle making you think that there’s someone in there that knows your moods (admit it, you’ve considered this before).

I’m talking about something like streaming some livecast of something on your phone then onto your TV via some new thing you know everyone else has but you’ve never used and can’t possibly imagine is as simple to use as they say it is but it turns out it is because of course it is did you really think Nick could use it and you couldn’t. Exactly.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: The next time you try whatever it is you just did, and it doesn’t work. Get your hammer out.

#226 – Getting Shaved by Someone

barber-shop-one-0011

This isn’t the first feeling on this list that’s been pretty much an exclusive male sentiment. I can’t imagine women love getting their faces shaved in public. If they do, good for you. Enjoy yours, kid.

But, as a man that grows a beard often—more accurately put, as a man that doesn’t shave regularly and looks like he’s growing a beard but is really just too lazy to shave and then gets caught in that in between area where it’s not quite a beard and not quite stubble but he has to go to work so he shaves it into the beginnings of a beard just to keep appearances, even though he has no real intentions of keeping it much longer—there’s not much that beats the hot towel, the cooling sensation of the shaving cream and application therein and the actual shave with the single blade.

What’s safer than letting a stranger take a blade to your throat while you keep your head back and eyes closed? If you can think of it, let me know. Leave it in the comments, because for me that’s about as comfortable as it gets.

And, this says nothing of the fact that it’s almost always the closest and best shave you could ever imagine.

Feels great and looks great? Outside of Men’s Wearhouse, that’s impossible.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Watching the person giving you this shave dip the blade into that fucking blue liquid. Barbacide? Is that what it’s called when barber’s commit suicide? Or, more to the point, is that what it’s called when barber’s commit homicide via their tools?