35 in 35

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.

53 responses to “35 in 35

  1. I’ll never be able to look at the word “sophisticated” the same way again!

    One of the life lessons I’ve learned is never go to the toilet after chopping up chillies and if you must, SIT DOWN.

  2. Worm farms DO smell when rats eat all your worms.

  3. Alas, I do need a hairdryer, and straightening irons, but mainly because I have ridiculously thick hair, so it doesnt dry quickly, and tends to go FRIZZ, which doesnt work with the Louise Brooks bob I sport.

    “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.”

    I wish they’d tell this to everyone entering the workforce. Learned it the hard way, me.

    • I couldn’t agree more. For an education system that apparently is geared to preparing student for the workplace (I don’t think that should be the focus but that’s another topic) it really does fail at preparing kids for the realities of working life.

      Along those lines:
      * Any payrise that is less than CPI is actually a pay cut.
      * Accepting a dodgey salary just makes it’s harder for everyone else to get a decent salary in your industry and devalues your skillset.
      * Your manager may praise your work today and become completely amsesiac when your review rolls around – write it all down, horde all complimentary emails and CYA.

      • and:
        “If your contract states a reasonable amount of overtime is implied in your salary packaging, your boss will screw you for as many hours as they can”

      • Also, any boss who makes you bargain (ie, beg) for the CPI is an arsehole and you don’t need to work for dickheads like that.

        • And this is one for student journalists – never say you’re a student. Always say you’re a freelancer. Particularly to editors. If your work is good enough to publish, then it’s good enough to pay for. Don’t let them get you to write for them for free.

        • I’d extend that to say ‘any workplace that makes you beg for ANYTHING’ isnt worth your time or loyalty.

          • One of my husband’s first jobs as a tradie (after years as a suit etc) was in a place where provided you could justify it, the owner would buy tools or equipment up to around $25k….job after that that was much closer to home, the owner would be extremely reluctant to buy tools worth even $250, even if he could make it back in productivity within a WEEK. An even more recent job one has to beg for even $25 handtools – it is really demoralising! And turns people into jealous Smaugs with hoards of their own personal tools. Not ideal management practice.

        • My husband spent four years in a job asking for a raise (while I spent four years asking him to look for a better job) until his boss finally, grudgingly offered him….84c more an hour. Princely. Coming from a public-service family (Really – Mum, Dad, and 2 each of my brothers and sisters, as well as some in-laws) the world of small-business manufacturing is a scary place.

          • My last fulltime position made me go through a humiliating process of begging for some simple concessions that would have not only made me more productive, but would have helped me out in a VERY rough time (my mother had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was not coping well with the 12 hours days they were expecting of me). I quit the next day.

            They took 8 months to replace me, and only did so partially.

            Flipside, of course, it got me into contracting, and I love what I do now.

  4. It just occurred to me to add – Happy Birthday-in-a-few-days!

  5. Fantastic list, thank you! Also, I now need to buy some braces and help my husband to put them on … oh god I can’t wait …

  6. *Never leave the house without sunglasses. Even at 11pm at night.
    *Don’t make plans on Sunday.
    *Not eating KFC for 6 months will not magically make it delicious.
    *Despite what people who don’t smoke pot think, some people are stoned so often, that you wouldn’t notice the difference 🙂 (also, those who are stoned, probably don’t care if you can tell or not).
    *Just because cigarettes ‘look good on a woman’, that is not a good enough reason to keep smoking out of your 20’s.
    *Silverbeet in soup is not a good idea, unless you like to eat something that looks like swamp slime.
    *McDonald’s fries do not count as part of your 5 plus a day.
    *Sometimes your friends are right, and sometimes they are wrong. But if they are you friends, they should always have your best interests at heart.
    *Mother’s can be annoying as fuck, but (mostly) they also just want to protect you.
    *Sometimes it is OK to just go ahead and be offensive.
    *It is possible to be shy and extroverted at the same time.
    *Infantile is perfectly acceptable state to be.
    *Bad grammar is really irritating.
    *You don’t have to be a dad to make dad jokes.
    *Hugs are awesome. Even in the work place.
    * Unless you actually know how to do the running man, you should never attempt it. Ever.
    *Pingu is the greatest 5 minute TV show for kids, ever.
    *Making the impossible happen is a great feeling.
    *Ya face is an appropriate response to most things.

    • Nice list. But you’re wrong about the being stoned bit. Not only can we tell, but we take it as an insult that you have to be stoned to hang out with us. And then we love you just a little bit less.

      • I think you are speaking about a specific case (the having to be stoned to be around you) which is not the case in general. I certainly I didn’t feel I had to smoke pot to be around people, but sometimes I wanted to be stoned, which had nothing to do with it being a coping mechanism to deal with the people I was around. It just meant I wanted to be stoned. You don’t not drink around sober people (thank fuck).
        And your face loves you a little bit less 😉

        • Nope, not thinking about a specific case, just in general. If someone is always stoned when they hang out with you, it’s rude and shows a lack of respect. Like lateness. Rude and says that your time is not important.

  7. On number 9 I am not sure. I have always used the laughing technique but there are so many men who want to be humiliated that I am not sure whether that feeds their fetish. Perhaps a lecture on good hygiene or something boring might be a better approach.

    • Hmm. I’ll keep that in mind. It’s somewhat related (which is why it just popped into my head), but a friend’s housemate used to work as a dominatrix, and when the house was messy she’s threaten to get one of her clients around to clean it while wearing a nappy. Apparently the threat worked and they cleaned. Personally, I’d let the dude clean it.

      • I would be SO down for someone else doing my dishes, nappy, maids outfit, or pink bunny suit – I dont care.

        Kaz Cooke had an excellent section in one of her books (Real Gorgeous, maybe?) about innovative, funny and empowering reactions to street harassment. Most of them were a bit impractical due to length and it being a better idea not to engage, but it’s good to have a laugh. My favourite for flashers was ‘awwwww cute! It’s travel-sized!’

  8. I have tried worm farms a number of times but have always ended up with a massacre. Will never try that route for veggie scraps again. Will always use a compost bin, they will happily decompose over years without any need for constant nurturing.

  9. And Happy Birthday…a Leo Dragon………Very strong and courageous.

  10. Happy birthday. I am very delighted to be comment #35, because I’m a bit OCD that way. 🙂

  11. ‘up your falcon’ that is brilliant.

  12. I love you.

    That is all.

  13. Is good. Happy impending birthday. remember :

  14. Pingback: Call me a rude name | the news with nipples

  15. I read this list in the computer lab at my university and almost fell off my chair laughing when I read number 35 I have not laughed that hard in a long time and I needed a good laugh to help relax my brain enough to return to studying so thank you.
    I used to wear braces as a child because I had long legs and no waist what so ever so any pants that were long enough in the leg were also way to big around the waist, thankfully when I turned 7 my dad felt it was silly that I could never have pants that fitted and he bought my first pair of Levi that actually fitted my leg length and waist, it was a wonderus day I had no idea that pants/clothes in general could actually fit properly. ( I was terribly gangly as child)

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