#109 – Getting a Good Deal

cyber-mondayJust over a week ago, I bought stuff online. I hadn’t planned to. I typically don’t. But, I was having lunch with a friend–a savvy shopper in her own right–who suggested that if there was anything online I was looking to buy, now would be the right time.

It turns out, Cyber Monday is a real thing.

I wound up buying a pair of headphones (for $80 down from $200) and then 7 separate articles of clothing (for a combined total of $160) all in the matter of a few hours.

I have yet to receive all of these items and, of course as is the case with most shopping, I didn’t absolutely need any of them… but simply the idea that I was able to buy them all for so (so, so, so) much cheaper than they originally cost made it all the sweeter.

In fact, even as I use these various things, I don’t think the joy I’ll get out of them at any single time will equal the joy of knowing how good of a deal I got.

The super-sized version of this feeling is when it’s not a massive deal, when it’s something relatively (or very) exclusive. Obviously, everyone’s in on Cyber Monday. But when you (somehow) get a good deal on a car or know someone somewhere who hooks you up in a way most people aren’t, that’s the real winner.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking you got the deal of a lifetime on, say, a car, only to find out that a friend got a way better deal than you. And you’ve already made your purchase.

#235 – That New Car Smell

new-car-smell-690x390This one is pretty self-explanatory, I think.

Let’s be fair, it’s so engrained in culture at this point that the scent has literally been packaged as it’s own air freshener—which by the way doesn’t do the real smell justice and is just a tease, if you ask me.

The reason we like the new car smell is, in my opinion, two fold… One, we’re all cheap whores for that leathery smell for some reason. Like the need to eat to continue life, the scent of leather drives us all forward for one reason or another. Two, it implies you just bought or leased or borrowed or rented a new car… which has its whole separate and obvious list of good feelings.

I wouldn’t recommend buying the air freshener.

Just buy the car.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having that odor in your car you not only can’t get out (windows open, full-scale cleaning, etc.) but can’t identify.

#67 – Taking Sweaty Clothes Off After a Workout

sweaty-woman-workout-clothes_3There’s something about the peeling off of drenched workout clothes that brings with it a satisfaction hard to describe.

It’s basically the only tangible proof that you, in fact, just worked out in either a strenuous fashion or a gym with no temperature regulation.

You’re not yet sore so you don’t feel bad. You’re still riding high on endorphins or dopamine or whatever the fuck it is that keeps you from not jumping into oncoming traffic and you’re about to hop into the shower and get on with your life.

But before you do, you slide that shirt off and marvel at how hard you—yes, you!—were able to work that this shirt has basically been reduced to a thick puddle. Good for me, you think, I should be some sort of an Olympian the way this shirt is so fully drenched. Did I go swimming in my clothes and not tell anyone? I am impressive.

And on an obvious note, there’s the simple fact that you get to take off what is otherwise disgusting and uncomfortable clothing in favor of warm, normal clothes.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling? The start of every single workout, ever.

#178 – Recognizing Someone in a Place Where You Shouldn’t

513956894Tonight, I was at a Nets game.

Don’t worry about why I was at a Nets game or how sad my life has gotten that I, indeed, found it to be a good way to spend my time to go to Brooklyn to watch Sean Kilpatrick and Isaiah Whitehead get starter’s minutes… I was there, that’s all you need to know.

Point is, once the game was over, my friend and I sat in our seats for a while as the rest of the crowd filed out. We had no where to go, so we waited for the traffic to die down.

Then, I heard this:

“Is that fucking Scott Spinelli?”

The answer was, of course, “Why yes, dear fellow.”

All jokes aside, it was a kid I’m friends with from growing up and high school that–completely randomly–also had nothing better to do on a Thursday night than watch the Nets play live and in person.

We’re not best friends in the whole wide world, we don’t text every day… but seeing him was a fun surprise. The three of us hung out for a while after the game, shooting the shit and it was all by random chance. Had we simply left earlier or sat somewhere else, no dice.

In a crowded place, to see someone you recognize somehow makes the whole place more familiar. Like it’s always been your little cove.

Polar Opposite of This Feeling?: Thinking someone is someone else and being wrong, or waving at a person you do know and having that person either not see you or ignore you.

#147 – Getting a Check in the Mail from Your Other Job

securities-checkWe’re all on our grind, hustling to make an extra buck.

Whatever your extra hustle, it’s a pretty nice feeling to look through that pound of junk mail and see that legal envelope you’ve been waiting for.

The funniest thing about this feeling is that, more often than not, the work you’re doing on the side is never for that much money. It’s rarely a huge commitment, rarely something that’s entirely worth it. You are doing fine and could, honestly, live without the money.

You’re not moving into an extra income bracket because of that once-a-month check that comes maybe 5-7 months a year. Even when it’s not a check (say, from umpiring baseball games or babysitting), the point remains.

But there’s validation in two places in this feeling: the extra hard work that you know you put in which makes you feel like you’re a better person than you actually are… and the fact that you can now justify having spent $140 at the bar last night.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Thinking you no longer need the money because you’re just that much of a baller, only to realize you’re not after those first few checks don’t come.

#222 – The Perfect Pump (of Gas)

mike-reaches-perfect-pump-blissThis one sadly excludes my New Jersey brethren. And, I suppose, my Oregon thugs. I see you! (Although, not really, but you gangsters still hold it down.)

While we’re sitting comfortably in our car, not having to get out in the cold weather or do a damn thing, the rest of you fucking losers have to pump your own gas, like peasants.

However, in what can only be figured as cosmic payback for not having the amazing fortune of living in Jersey or Oregon, you do get to experience this feeling every so often.

I went to school in Syracuse, so for a portion of my life, I pumped my own gas. Now, obviously, in this day and age wherein credit cards are used so frequently, the thrill of this perfect pump is limited. Hell, if this post was written in 1997, it may have been a top 50 feeling.

Still, there is something to be said for the satisfaction of landing RIGHT on the whole number. Seeing the three zeroes in your total, knowing you landed right on it. There’s no real losers here, but there certainly are winners.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Being from New Jersey and getting gas outside of it for the first time in a while, you sit in your car when you get to the station for a good 2-3 minutes before you realize—no one is coming to help you.

#218 – Guessing a Number Correctly

4296edf0407df83081a04598bc9a2ef2This one is super vague, I recognize that, but stay with me for a sec.

My friends and I, when we were actually friends and would do normal things like go out for food or drinks regularly, would play this game of trying to guess the exact total of the bill. Only once in the game’s history was it ever guessed properly. My friend Chris got it, nailed the exact total, and if I may speak for him, I’d have to imagine it was and continues to be his proudest moment.

I suppose it’s worth pointing out the following: he’s a husband to a lovely wife, father to two wonderful daughters, a homeowner and does something that I’d imagine people are impressed by in the finance world.

Still, we all know he’s the only one to have won the game. Hell, he never lets us forget. So really, all this begs the question: considering that quite clearly it’s the best thing he’s ever done… how is this just #218?

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: I’m not sure there is one here. There’s absolutely no embarrassment in getting it wrong. I guess I can use this space to say that the feeling is, obviously, correlated to the randomness of getting it right. It, of course, being a bill total, the number of fingers behind your back, how many shots Russell Westbrook took last night… the lower chance you have of getting it right, the better the feeling is when you do.

#51 – Getting an Unexpected Peek

hqdefaultThe story I’m about to share is one of my classics. All of it is true, despite the fact that it will sound wholly embellished and as if it was a major plot line in a Revenge of the Nerds sequel.

Summer after freshman year of college, a friend and I got jobs at Domino’s Pizza as delivery men. We would work for (maybe) three hours a day doing the lunch “rush” in our small radius of towns in Northern New Jersey.

The way the system was set up–so as to not display favoritism to higher tipping areas–a call would come in, the order would be placed and a computer that, as I think of it must’ve still been running MS-DOS, would link up the next driver in the cue to that order. And so it randomly went, on and on.

One midsummer’s day, my friend got an delivery and shortly after, I received mine. We left at around the same time. By the time I came back, I had this story for him.

I parked my car in the driveway of a monstrously sized house on what was easily the hottest day of the summer to date. Following strict Domino’s protocol, I went up to the door and rang the bell. No answer. Tried again, still, no answer.

Then, just as I was about to return to my car–a white, 1997 Geo Prizm–to call the house number, I heard a voice shout from what I perceived to be the backyard: “We’re back here!”

Figuring I had nothing to lose outside of possible intrusion on someone’s private life, I goofily headed behind the house. I use that qualifier because I think it’s important to point out, once again, that I was delivering for Domino’s, and in that shallow, tan hat and those shirts and that cargo short I was wearing, it’s impossible to be anything less than a full-on member of the fucking Goof Troop.

As I rounded the corner, I saw not one, not two, not three… but between five and seven completely topless women. All of them were relatively in shape and all of them were at least my age or older (likely older).

I think I only got between two to three milliseconds of staring in before I was “caught”, at which point they “shrieked” in horror and all covered up. The ringleader of this fucking fiasco pointed to the pinned wad of money underneath a folding chair she’d been previously tanning on, so I could collect my money.

I use quotes around those words because I have a strong suspicion I was setup. What joy they got out of it, I’ll never know. Frankly, I never got to enjoy it and even if I had more time, I probably would’ve looked away or just freaked out and said something stupid and awkward. I can’t be expected—hell, no one can be expected—to be delivering pizzas like a doofus, then suddenly get hit with naked women as a shocker and react cool and calm.

But yeah… who calls for delivery and then goes out suntanning nude no more than 20 minutes after making the call? This is Domino’s, brah. We didn’t fuck around.

Either way, then you also pin the EXACT (they were terrible tippers, but I guess they figured the show was the true reward?) amount you want to pay under a chair outside? Doesn’t add up.

Point is… you need to be prepared for the peek. I wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great feeling.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Getting caught? I’m not sure what to put here, because the whole idea is that it’s not some sort of disgusting, peeping-Tom thing to begin with. But getting caught sounds right.

#124 – Accurately Guessing Between Pants and Shorts

pofgucu0is1couhI’d honestly guess that over the course of my whole adult life, I’m probably coming in at around .500 when it comes to the decision of Pants vs Shorts. I have no empirical proof that this is the case or that it’s a bad percentage, I just know anecdotally that it’s true… and that’s enough for me.

For point of reference, I’m pretty sure I’m hitting about .200 when it comes to picking the right line at the supermarket, so in this area I’m doing alright.

Either way… it’s late May (maybe even early June, if you’re feeling frisky) and you’re going out for the night. You haven’t left your apartment all day and while it looks pretty warm outside (and feels it in your apartment… though that could be because the walls are paper thin and the insulation is terrible), you truly have no idea if pants or shorts are the right play.

On the one hand, you know that eternally you look better in pants. God didn’t give you legs like that so you could show them off. On the other hand, sweating like a crazy person in the crotch/ass area while at a bar that will likely be crowded isn’t a good idea either. Then again, do you want your bare skin touching anything in that bar? Has a woman ever gone home with a man wearing shorts? Are cargo shorts really out of style? Why?

Seriously, why?

It’s a conundrum wrapped inside a riddle baked inside of a pregunta. No one wins.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: I mean, come on. Getting it wrong.

#118 – An Enormous Sweatshirt

c022a62c5c8bd3dc31b91f308036bf20This is one of the few feelings I’m writing that, I’m going to guess, a woman enjoys just a bit more than a man. The reason for that is simple: it’s not nearly as weird or uncommon for a man to comfortably rock a baggy sweatshirt in every day life. Women obviously do it, but the freeing relief of not having to wear tight fitting shit has to be greater for women. It just has to.

Evidence of this is based both in actual observation of society, but in my real-life dealings with the opposite sex. Twice, I’ve had baggy articles of sweat clothing swiped from my apartment by women I was dating. A pair of sweatpants and two sweatshirts, all in the name of love or simply being too cold, were given away without regard. All are no longer in my possession.

Side note: I’d love to live in a world where it wasn’t completely Tom Petty to ask for that shit back. But, alas, that is not the case.

The baggy sweatshirt feeling is simply one of comfort. Comfort in your own skin, comfort of the material, comfort of knowing that you don’t look your best and you don’t give a fuck, comfort in knowing you’re likely doing something very non-stressful at the moment.

For me, I refuse (at least as of this writing…) to get with the whole tight, fitted sweatshirt/pant movement. Joggers, I believe the pant version is called. That’s a serious Captain Nay-hab from me.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: The first time your new sweatpant/shirt comes out of the wash and the inside is starting to pill up and has lost that new feeling. Fuck.