#11 – Getting Away With Not Getting A Ticket

maxresdefault1I am a white kid from the relative suburbs.

Generally speaking, I’ve stayed out of trouble.

Weighting the first sentence about 95-99% and the second sentence picking up the remainder, you can see why I have no legit beef or fear of the fuzz.

That said, no matter where you come from no one likes getting pulled over. Unless you’re one of these people. In which case, good for you–there still is joy left in this world, apparently.

It’s probably also worth adding in here that I drive a Toyota Corolla, a car known not so much for its blazing speed but remarkable dependency and incredible ability to somehow look like every other four-door sedan on the planet.

I say all this because, in fairness, it’s not as if I’m constantly ducking and dodging my way out of a ticket. I generally stop at red lights, I consistently stay within 20 miles an hour of the posted speed limit and when convenient I will typically go hands-free when making a phone call.

No matter how careful you are as a driver, however, you’ve likely experienced the dread that is squalie either following you for an inordinate amount of time or—gasp!—peeling out from a speed trap after you pass.

Hell, sometimes it’s not your fault. Perhaps it’s that time of the month, quotas aren’t being met and the man or woman behind the wheel of the ole blue and white had a bad day. Or, maybe you’re doing 80 in a 55.

EITHER WAY… there’s two stages to this feeling.

Stage 1 is the feeling of thinking you’re getting pulled over… and you don’t. The best of this is when you’re cruising down the highway, blasting some non-ironic 90s boyband bangers mixed in with the occasional “Notorious Thugs” as you notice you’re suddenly going way faster than anyone on the road.

Why?

Because you’re the only dickhead that’s too into your music to notice the po-po posted up about 200 yards ahead. So you do the thing we all do, the most subtle option available: you slam on your brakes and pretend as if you’ve been doing the speed limit this whole time.

187 somehow doesn’t fall for this Daniel Day-Lewis performance and decides to pull out behind you as your car passes the post.

That moment 5-0 pulls off your tail (be it other-worldly intervention, something actually important happening that calls their attention elsewhere or anything else)… that’s the deepest exhale you’re going to take for a while.

Stage 2 is when Jake actually pulls you over. It could be for not having your seat belt on, it could be for having drug paraphernalia on your person, it could be for stealing a mini-van with a family in it. No matter what’s going on, it’s never a good moment when they’re walking up towards your car. Or, the car of the family you stole it from.

The heat is coming and you don’t want to face it.

And then, again by some miracle, you’re off without a ticket. Sure, they’ve probably issued some bullshit warning along with a pedantic and ridiculous lecture about how “they’re going to let you go, this one time” as if they’re doing you an actual favor and they don’t work for us, as opposed to the other way around. No, that’s not a chip on my shoulder. Keep moving.

Either stage you’ve found yourself in, that moment when you realize your whole day is going to be completely different is where this feeling resides. You went from completely carefree to having to deal with AT BEST paying a trumped up fine and AT WORST paying that insane fine plus your insurance potentially going up and your license getting points.

Think about how sweet it is, then, to go back to carefree. Exactly.

Go ahead and exhale.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: You already know.

 

#12 – Routinely Having Intercourse (with the Same Person)

older20people

Some treatments may not work for you. Consult your doctor before taking Eliquis.

I’ve always enjoyed that word. Honestly, it never fails to elicit a chuckle either from me or from the person listening to me say “intercourse” instead of any of the more coarse synonyms.

Seeing as how this is a family site, I’ll attempt to keep it as clean as we can.

As we’re nearing the end of this list, the feelings from this point out are real no-doubt-abouters. The sort of slam dunk-type feelings that almost everyone has enjoyed at some point and plainly understands how unbelievable they are.

This one is no different. Of course, I should point out that something very similar will be even higher on this list, for reasons you’ll read in a few weeks. For now, let’s focus on why we included the caveat of “routinely.”

If you’re routinely having sex with someone, it likely means one of two very good things is going on in your life.

  1. You have an amazing hook-up with someone and both of you are on the same page about what is actually transpiring between the two of you.
  2. You are in a healthy, fulfilling relationship with someone.

Those of you that know me personally are probably surprised to read that last one from ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge of Dating, the Grinch of Boyfriends past over here.

But if I’m being honest with myself and the relationships I’ve been in throughout my life, there is something undeniably amazing about routinely getting it. And not just because you’re doing the one thing nearly all of us spend some amount of time in our lives thinking about. No, that’s great but it’s not just that.

When it becomes routine that means, sure, you’ve maybe lost some of that BRAND NEW, HOLY SHIT, EVERY SINGLE TIME IS A DISCOVERY OF LIFE feeling. But what you’ve gained in its stead is much, much better. You both know each other far better, you trust one another, you understand comfort levels and preferences and desires and turn ons.

There’s really no denying that while the absolute WOW factor may have diminished, it’s definitely better after that point in time. It may never be as novel or as shock-and-awe as it was initially, but that’s ok.

Plus, what’s better than coming home from (insert anything on this earth that takes you away from home) to return to your significant other and know you both want to and will have great sex with one another.

OK, aside from the NBA.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Going so long in between sessions that you forget how long it’s been since the last time.

#13 – When a CD/Movie Lives Up To Your Expectations

maxresdefaultNowadays, it’s almost impossible to really achieve this feeling.

When it comes to movies, you have to go out of your way not to see trailers and teasers of trailers and second trailers and first looks and any other number of things that, essentially, serve as a way to raise your expectations so goddamned sky high that nothing could possibly match the hype.

Of course, you go see the movie anyway so that’s really all that matters to them… but it’s not as enjoyable of an experience.

In the music industry, it’s not quite the same… almost the opposite in many cases nowadays because artists are more frequently dropping albums without any buildup. In the long run, I think that’s a good thing.

Take someone like Nas, for instance. His last album came out in 2012. He’s been rumored to be releasing a new one for the last 24-36 months. For some context, consider this: in the time between Nas’ two albums, DJ Khaled will likely have released three albums–at least two of which contain songs boasting about the Nas album being done or near done.

This is all to say that with each passing day his album doesn’t come out, it gets just a little more difficult for it to live up to its own hype. And barring something completely unforeseen or unfortunate, this album will come out and it will, at the very least, be solid. But had it just come out right away or with normal fanfare as opposed to the multi-year build up… it probably would be met with better reviews.

I bring up all this negativity to illustrate just how difficult it is for something to reach expectations. Largely, I think this is because we only really create expectations for things we love and as such, we then tend to build them up higher in our mind than they should rightfully be.

Of course, such is the curse of being a super-talented actor, musician, etc. The better you get, the more well-known you are, the higher the expectations are for each new things you produce.

As the non-talented consumer of those people’s art, all I have to do is hope their shit is as good as I expect it to be. Seems simple enough.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Each of Kanye West’s last two albums. I’ve never felt more disappointed in an artist that I used to love.

#14 – That Middle-of-the-Night Drink of Cold Water After A Long Evening of Drinking

istock_000045207098_large-2e16d0ba-fill-735x490Apparently, drinking water throughout an evening of heavy boozing is good for you. Who knew?

Assuming you’re not exactly among the most hydration-conscious of us, you likely have returned home after a night of high-volume drinking without having so much as a single glass of water. And that’s fine. For now.

You sloppily take your shoes off, toss your clothes aside and perhaps even remember to brush your teeth before you crash, face-first, into your bed. It feels blissful to finally be off your feet and surrounded by pillows and blankets and comfort.

The room has begun to spin, ever-so slightly, as all the beer and shots and other poor decisions from earlier tonight have come home to roost. But again, for now, it’s all good.

You close your eyes and drift quickly off to what will be a fitful and interrupted sleep, but a rest nonetheless so you welcome it with closed eyes and mind.

Until, of course, you’re woken up three and a half hours later because someone has broken into your home in the middle of the night and stuffed your mouth with sand paper, cotton balls and sawdust.

There isn’t a word in the english language powerful enough to describe your exact level of parched. You have no choice but to get up, head to the fridge and poor yourself something to drink. For some it’s soda or Gatorade… for me it’s always water.

Crisp, clean and clear H2O.

You pour one glass and as it’s being guzzled it down, water dripping down your chin and onto your t-shirt, you’ve already mentally prepped for another pour. You’re drinking as if you’ve never had access to liquid in your life, let alone hours prior. The cold relief washes over your insides.

Three glasses later, you’ll return to bed a new person, satiated and ready to get back to sleep.

And while that’s a wonderful moment in and of itself, that’s not the feeling. The feeling is that moment of consumption, the trip from absolute desert-of-the-mouth to complete refreshment is astonishing.

I’ve never been a caterpillar, but I’d imagine this feeling has to be extremely close to what it feels like to become a butterfly after being holed up in that coccoon for a while.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having this feeling at someone, anyone, else’s house. You have no idea where anything is or where to get something cold. Actually, the worst version of this is at a hotel because you’re basically forced to guzzle hotel tap water. Yay.

#15 – Knowing You Look Damn Good

topless-man-pointing-himself-mirror-high-spirits-smiling-young-bathroom-54182660This doesn’t happen to me that often.

I don’t say that self-deprecatingly, fishing for some sort of undeserved compliment.

I’ve said what I’m about to say multiple times, to women I’ve dated throughout the years: I’m neither good nor bad looking. I don’t have a third arm or goiter protruding from my neck. At the same time, no girl is going to see me out, elbow her friend and say, “Would you look at that fucking guy!” That will not happen.

Typically when I go out somewhere, I get dressed in some version of the dark, take a quick look at myself in the mirror and then leave. If I spend too long on any of these steps I’ll likely decide it’s not worth it and ruin the whole thing. So, I don’t.

The only time I’m that locked into my own appearance is when I’m attending a wedding. It’s not often I like or give a shit about the way I look in a piece of clothing. Suits do that to me. I suppose it’s because I never wear them aside from special occasions.

I’ve started upping the sock game, introducing the pocket square, embracing different colored suits and shoes than I’d ever thought I’d be comfortable with (in the first 20+ years of my life, the suit was either dark, dark blue or dark, dark gray and the shoes were black… no exceptions).

For those of you that know me, this part is probably the most shocking: I actually put product in my hair. Prior these weddings over the last few years, I’d last put gel in my hair for my sister’s wedding over 10 years ago. It’s just not something I do or (get ready for it) give a shit about.

Anyway, when it’s all over and the hair has been gelled, fresh white shirt put on and tie applied perfectly, cologne spritzed gently, pocket square angled just right and shoes shined… I look in that mirror once before I leave, put on my sunglasses and know one thing is certain… I look damn good.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being as stunningly good looking as I am, I honestly have no idea how the opposite of this might feel. Best of luck, though!

 

#16 – Drunk Tailgating and the Game Hasn’t Even Started Yet

26-030333-how_much_the_average_fan_spends_on_an_nfl_tailgateI don’t really enjoy going to football games.

It took me a while to realize this, decades in fact.

I wasn’t able to piece it together because it’s not as if I have a bad time when I go to a game. In fact, quite the opposite. I usually have an incredible time to start, then it tapers off and I find myself experiencing the remainder of the day either really having to pee or waiting on line to pee.

Sometime a few years ago it dawned on me that the part of the day I like the most is the tailgating. And honestly, it’s not even close.

Unless my team is playing, I have no reason to go to the game. All going into the game signifies to me is more expensive food, more expensive beer, longer lines for the bathroom, more uncomfortable sitting/standing arrangements and less ability to bullshit with my friends.

To be fair, I only really tailgate once or twice a season. When I go, it’s with a fairly large group of people and for them it’s one of their only tailgating opportunities of the year. So, we bring the good food and the beer (notice how I omitted the qualifier “good” before the beer, of course). We get there hours before the game and get the music and games and all that shit going early.

It’s an absolute motherfucking blast and if the weather’s nice there’s few things on this Earth better than a really good tailgate with your best friends. If the event you’re tailgating for is something you’re super-psyched for… all the better.

But that’s what makes the tailgate so amazing. Rare, if ever, is the occasion where the pre-party the clear topper of the party.

This, friends, is that situation.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: That moment when you realize the tailgate is over and you’re inside the walls of the event. Lines longer, beer more expensive. It’s a nightmare, and it’s only just begun.

#17 – Successfully Hitting On Someone At The Bar

article-2510597-1989cb1500000578-737_634x382In my life, I’ve successfully hit on a woman I met that night at the bar no more than ten times. Of course, what qualifies it as a “success” is relative to the individuals involved but I think it’s fair to say we’re talking about anything that’s a step above a good conversation and a number exchange.

TO BE FAIR… there’s nothing wrong with–in fact there’s many things great about–getting a number. If both parties are honest and hopeful, it could mean the start of something good. It could mean the beginning of a relationship.

Of course, it could be the woman’s way of finally getting you to leave her alone because you won’t stop talking to her all fucking night.

But, and let’s be honest with one another here for a moment, sometimes we go to the bar and we’re looking for a little more… and I’m not just talking about men here, nor am I speaking specifically of the one-night stand.

Think of it this way:

As the night began, all you could focus on was that guy or girl across the bar. The way they looked, the confidence they carried themselves with, the manner in which they seemed to laugh so effortlessly with their friends. It was intoxicating.

The very notion that this person would go from complete and total stranger you could only dream about to an active participant in your life story… it’s simply unbelievable.

Whether that means you had a great conversation at the bar, got their number, sloppily made out before going to McDonald’s, went home with them or even slept over… well, that’s a matter of how you define success, wouldn’t you say?

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Getting shut down. Big time. In front of all your friends.

#18 – The Feeling of Coming Up With That Person’s Name When You Couldn’t Remember

p13531_d_v8_aaNowadays, this feeling gets experienced less and less every passing second. With smartphones being omnipresent in society, there’s really no need to ever have to think about the answer to a question.

Just look it up.

But picture, if you can, the days before smartphones were everywhere… or, if you’re friends with me, picture hanging out with me somewhere and me saying, “No wait, don’t look it up just yet!”

We’ve gotten into a good conversation about this movie or where that basketball player went to college or some thing that happened when we were all in 7th grade together.

If it’s a small group of people, there’s always going to be the one person that can’t possibly imagine a universe wherein they’re expected to wait for more than fifteen milliseconds to know anything. How on God’s Earth could they not look it up? Better question, why would they not look it up?

I’ll tell you why: so they could struggle and feel the unquestionable joy of saying, “The Super!” twenty minutes later, long past the point where anyone gave a shit. The question of course was, “What was the name of that movie with Joe Pesci where he plays basketball in Harlem?” No one knows, except you. Only problem is, your memory isn’t as good as it used to be because you’re no longer 12-years old or you’ve been drinking all night. Or both.

Regardless, you know two things to be true…. The first is that despite your temporary amnesia you do know the name of this movie and the second is that you know you could find it out instantly… but that’s no fucking fun.

So you soldier on, a warrior of an older generation that prefers slower speeds and harder work for the same payoff in reality.

But, when mental lightning does strike and you’re gifted with that freeing of the mental energy you’d been spending on trying to think of that movie… you’ll know you spent your time wisely.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: That interim period where your group has moved on to talking about something else and you can’t even contemplate participating because all you can think about is that fucking movie title.

#20 – Getting to Sleep in Your Own Bed

happywomansleeping

This one probably never would have made the list if I did this all between the ages of 12 and 17.

I was never a great sleeper, but I certainly didn’t give a shit about where I laid my head nearly as much as I do now.

As currently constructed (and I know I’m only getting worse by the day), I’m sensitive to light, sound and movement. Basically, I need to sleep in a temperature-controlled, perfectly silent, perfectly still hyperbaric chamber… that also happens to be large enough that I can roll around multiple times and not have any issues.

Oh yeah, I am a mover when I sleep. I’m a real joy to rest with.

Anyway, this is all to say that at this point in my life every time I go to sleep somewhere other than my own bed, it’s all I can do to not think, “That is one less good night’s sleep you will have in your life. I hope you’re happy.”

Sometimes it’s worth it (staying over a girl’s place) and sometimes it’s not (staying over a girl’s place). Whether or not the reason you’re staying somewhere new is a good one is  irrelevant.

What’s important is that you’re no longer on a futon or a hotel bed or a friend’s couch or a spare bedroom or some new chick’s bed with her cat… you’re in your bed, with your shitty pillows and your unmade set of sheets.

It’s catered to your exact specifications… which is why you’d probably prefer to never leave.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: This is obvious, right? Sleeping in someone else’s bed. But, to give an example I’ll expound upon the cat thing from a paragraph or so ago. I slept over this girl’s apartment maybe 2 years ago at this point. It was a fun evening after our third date, she was a cool girl and everything was, at worst, fine. It turned when we actually began the legit sleeping portion of the evening. She had an air conditioner that sounded like it was running off a Model T engine, a cat that she refused to keep in the bathroom and allowed to crawl all over us and sheets that made steel wool feel soft. I pretended I had something to do at 5 in the morning just so I could go home and sleep.

#22 – Avoiding Traffic

wazeI’ve written a lot, in this space, about traffic. In fact, in looking specifically into exactly how many times I’d written about traffic in this list I discovered I’d done the same feeling, worded differently, twice.

The feeling of being stuck in traffic that suddenly starts to move was so wonderful to me, I placed it at both 60 and 103. There’s even a feeling about watching jerkoffs in traffic finally get caught for being… well, jerkoffs.

But this feeling is better than all of those for one simple reason: you’ve avoided the worst part.

Traffic is, by any measure, awful. No one enjoys it, no one likes it, no one prefers it. It’s awful in every conceivable way.

Most feelings on this list revolve around that moment when the less-good thing stops or finally turns into the more-good thing.

This feeling is the absence of that less-good thing entirely and going straight into the more-good thing.

And what’s more, you know the less-good thing is still out there plaguing other people but you were smart enough, cagey enough and by golly lucky enough to not have to deal with it this time.

Good for you.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking you’ve avoided traffic, you’re really starting to cruise where ever you’re heading… and you run right smack into a whole brand-new mess of traffic.