I’m 35 in a few days and it’s pretty exciting. It feels like it should be a milestone, like I’m an adult now – even though we all know I certainly don’t act like one – so here’s a list of 35 things I’ve learned in 35 years (hat tip to Amanda Hirsch for the idea).
1. When you’re doing a nudie run in another country, try not to get arrested.
2. Don’t buy a cheap vibrator. It probably won’t kill you, but it can’t be good for your health to have Bisphenol A (BPA) up your falcon.
3. The ability to drink five bottles of red between two people and not be hungover is a rare superpower and should not be abused.
4. You don’t need to own a hairdryer. In 35 years, the only time I wished I had one was when a skirt was too wet to wear. I ironed it dry, which brings me back to the start of this point.
5. When dealing with HR, it’s good to remember that they aren’t there to look after you – they’re there to make sure you don’t sue the company.
6. Having a loudly ticking clock in your carry-on makes people very nervous.
7. Buy Schultz bacon. Everything else is just a waste of your taste buds. As McDonkey would say, we’re not here to fuck spiders.
8. You don’t need to suffer from allergies. Immunotherapy, FTW!
9. If someone flashes you, point and laugh. (This was advice given to me when I moved to Sydney as an 18-year-old. Disappointingly, I’m still waiting to use it.)
10. Ferris was right: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
11. Bath crayons are handy for jotting down notes in the shower.
12. There will always be people you think are smarter/funnier/more attractive/better writers than you. Everyone feels like that, so don’t let it stop you doing anything.
13. There will always be people who think you are smarter/funnier/more attractive/a better writer than they are. See how this works?
14. If someone says they like Top 40 music, RUN! Get the hell out of there because beige could be contagious.
15. Lamb shanks cooked in paprika, red wine and brown sugar taste so much better than the regular tomato-y ones.
16. You don’t need a new outfit for every wedding. Spend the money on a fabulous present for your good friends instead. After all, they’re spending a lot of money on feeding and watering you.
17. If a flatmate has a “serious” girlfriend that you’ve never met, then she’s imaginary. Also, he’ll steal your underwear.
18. When people complain about political correctness, they’re really just complaining that whenever they use race/gender/disability/religion as an insult or a joke, someone points out what an arsehole they’re being.
19. Childlike joy is important. Especially if you giggle at things like “sophisticated” (ha ha, fist) and toilet paper that’s “lab[ia] tested for softness”.
20. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is, don’t get your legs waxed at a place that looks dodgy. It takes loads of antibiotics to kill folliculitis.
21. People know when you haven’t blogged. I don’t know how, but they just know, and they stay away.
22. If someone has their fly undone/skirt tucked into their undies/food on their face, tell them. Don’t be the arsehole who lets them walk around like that.
23. Cheese makes everything better.
24. Double-delete the card games on your computer.
25. There’s no such thing as seeing too much live music. If you develop tinnitus, just think of it as your ringy friend.
26. If you want more time in your day to do stuff, don’t turn the tv on unless a show you want to watch is about to start. (I’m not always very good at this one.)
27. Doing a PhD is very isolating. No one tells you that you will be the hardest part of your research.
28. Beer is a soft drink in Russia.
29. The question that still freaks me out the most is, “what do I want to do with my life?”. But when I ask “what do I want to do for the next 12 months?”, it becomes less scary.
30. Despite what stoners think, it’s really obvious when people are stoned.
31. Get fitted for bras so you don’t get Picasso boob.
32. Know when it’s time to step away from the computer.
33. Compost bins/heaps are not for lazy gardeners because they smell if they’re not turned regularly. Worm farms, on the other hand, don’t smell.
34. It’s not until you work in an office that you discover that lots of people have bowel issues.
35. When wearing braces (the elastic ones, not the mouth ones), make sure you don’t accidentally attach the back clip to your undies. If you do, you’re in for a rude shock when you sit down.