Y it’s not a dirty letter

Standard
Lena Dunham: another Gen Y'er who just expects handouts... in exchange for her hard work, talent, and courage to break new ground.

Lena Dunham: another Gen Y’er who just expects handouts… in exchange for her hard work, talent, and courage to break new ground.

So you’ve heard how the conversation starts, right?

“That’s not how it was in my day…”

“Yeah, it’s so much easier for them now. They don’t want to have to work for anything.”

“It’s all just ‘me, me, me’ and ‘I want it now’.”

“Flamin’ mongrels.”

Ok, so I may have gone to the Alf side there for a second, but hey, that’s me, I’m Generation Y, we’re sooo random.

Most of the time, my Gen Y comrades and I just nod and smile during those workplace conversations. Yes, we are lucky. Yes, we don’t have to fight for so much. Yes, the world is our oyster. What can we say, we’re younger, our lives are ahead of us, we’re not going to win this argument, just be grateful and smile.

All of this is fine… to a point. That point is when a complete stranger starts accusing me across a meeting room table of being a passive, consumerist, spoilt brat.

Well, the issue of good manners aside, does this very forward gentleman have a point? (My use of the word ‘gentleman’ there is part of a little game I like to play in all my writing called ‘Spot the sarcasm’.)

Have we just wandered into the world, ready to take whatever is handed to us? By the end of our lives, will we have made no mark other than to contribute to a healthier economy through our spendthrift ways?

This man, a former radical and member of Generation X, was in the midst of planning an exhibition and party for himself and the other former members of his ragtag team that published naughty things back in the 1970s and ‘80s.

I was actually pretty excited to meet them but his combative attitude, his distaste for my involvement due to my age and obvious ignorance was like a glass of ice cold water poured over my flickering candle of admiration.

As a younger generation, are we allowed to fight back?

Well, Generation X certainly did. But how exactly?

Those who weren’t known for being disaffected, apathetic nihilists were very good at complaining about things. In France, people of this age were called Génération Bof, or Generation Whatever.

Some of my favourite music, films and reading materials come from this generation’s complaints. They used these established vehicles, mostly run by the Baby Boomers, to make their complaints.

To what end? They let the world know they were angry before embracing ‘the establishment’ jobs and settling down with a couple of kids, marrying then divorcing, realising they were older and had a whole new generation about which to complain.

I’m sorry, was that an unfair, sweeping generalisation? How dare I.

In reality, I have no issue with Generation X. They are simply a group of people born during a vague period of time in the 20th century (no one ever seems to agree what the actual start and end birth years are for each generation). There are corporate ladder climbers, stay at home parents, criminals, artists, travelling gypsies, politicians, the full range of humanity.

But if we must talk in general terms about Generation Y, then can we at least acknowledge that there is a good side.

We are more radical than people think.

We don’t just do mischievous things in the spaces established by previous generations – we create the space, change the face of it or challenge its very existence. We make new rules.

We’ve shaped the realm of social media that continues to keep corporations, politicians and marketers on their toes. We hold them accountable for their claims. Surely that dispels the myth of a passive consumerist generation. We know what we want, we are resourceful, we research, we ask each other for advice.

We have embraced, for better or for worse, file sharing and the exchange of ideas and yet we are accused of having no sense of community.

My friends and I report the news to each other, providing links to several sources via social media and then engaging in discussion and critique. No one can tell us what to think.

We are made to feel selfish and spoiled because we dare to ask ourselves what it is we want and then proactively seek out the answer to that question. My friends are not lazy. My Facebook newsfeed is a constant stream of “Still at the office”, “Finished my first triathlon”, “Volunteering at the charity store tomorrow”, “Writing my thesis”, and “Completed the surf lifesaving course”.

It seems when you stop complaining and pointing the finger of blame at other groups of people, you start becoming a more valuable, productive member of society.

Huh.

Advertisements

Breaking up is hard… no actually, is getting easier to do

Standard
PROOF: Singing to yourself in your underwear helps.

PROOF: Singing to yourself in your underwear helps.

Going through a break up can make it seem like all of your Facebook friends are married and producing offspring, while another one of your attempts at a ‘happily ever after’ has turned to dust.

However, the more of these break ups I endure, the better I get at figuring out the way through to the end without causing serious damage to others or myself.

I have learned not to set fire to anything, to ask politely for any of my borrowed stuff back, and to accept my role in the relationship’s demise.

I have realised that I need to acknowledge that the relationship is over and that makes me sad. If I don’t make my peace with this, I become very good at pretending I’m happy and running straight into another man’s arms/bedroom. Cut to three years later and I’ll be going through another break up. Contrary to what I claim in job applications, it seems I am not a fast learner.

That leads me onto the importance of not having sex with any of your friends. Complicated, very complicated, and really just not worth it. Not fun in the end, I guarantee you. Ignore every stupid romantic comedy movie ever made about the love of one’s life having been under one’s nose the whole time. People are generally not stupid and realise pretty early on if they want to hook up with a new ‘friend’.

Look, I love When Harry Met Sally as much as the next person, but in reality, the movie’s ending translates to this:

Harry was so horny one New Year’s Eve that he decided to go apologise to his friend, the last person he slept with who still liked him afterwards. Sally was on a bad date and feeling pretty depressed so they decided to get married to ensure they’d at least have sex and company. Sally was then able to concentrate on her career as a journalist and Harry went back to consulting with politicians (or whatever it was he did).

I may even understand now how to stay friends with an ex. So long as I never see him with a new girlfriend. That’s realistic, right?

The most important thing to remember is to reach out to friends and family for chats, alcohol, flowers, puppies, chocolate, and hugs.

They will give you validation that you still ‘got it’ when you roll up in your car blaring Beyoncé and emerge wearing tight pants. Just don’t bang them. Seriously, no banging.

And this is that Beyoncé song you need to listen to. It actually includes the line, “Sucks to be you right now.” Better than Neil Sedaka.

I’m coming out of the closet… with a jar of Nutella

Standard
Sunday night dinner.

Sunday night dinner.

Blogging is great, isn’t it. There’s such a feeling of safe, almost anonymity.

In the spirit of this feeling of security, and while I’m also under a blanket on my couch on a chilly Sunday evening, I am going to confess a few things to you. They are the obsessive habits I have cultivated throughout my life that I have been too ashamed to admit until now.

  1. I own all 10 seasons of Friends on DVD and have watched them repeatedly for the past nine years.
  2. Sometimes when I’m alone at night, I dine on spoonfuls of Nutella. As far as I know, it’s not not a healthy meal replacement.
  3. I perform concerts in my living room when home alone. If I don’t look in the mirror, I can convince myself that I am Eddie Vedder.
  4. When I’m reading a book and the author describes a strange sound that an animal is making, I start trying to quietly make that sound.
  5. I talk to my dog so much that I start truly believing she understands me and is responding with a series of head tilts, barks and leaving the room.
  6. I also speak encouragingly to food as I am cooking dinner. “Ok, tomato, so what I’m going to do is just turn you like this and make a quick incision right here. See, that doesn’t hurt too much, right? You look fabulous, by the way.”
  7. I make meaningless lists. Like titles of books I will write some day that I currently have no story for, female celebrities I would befriend if I were a famous film director, and lists of obsessive habits about which I can blog.
  8. Of course, I also spend a lot of time with my laptop and can spend up to an hour staring blankly at my Facebook profile, trying to figure out how to make it more interesting.
  9. I google celebrities I find attractive to find out if they are currently single and potentially open to dating me.
  10. My favourite thing to do is make dramatic resolutions to learn a language or take a course. Thanks to the Internet, I have quite a collection of phrase books in various languages and a folder of university courses on pretty much every subject imaginable. I only follow through on about one per cent of these ‘commitments’.

I welcome you to come out of the closet and share your so-called weird habits. It’s kinda like getting drunk together.

Live like a boy for a week

Standard
"You know how I know you're gay..."

“You know how I know you’re gay…”

Are you feeling stressed, exhausted or strung out? Forget expensive day spas, massages, alcoholic beverages and gorging chocolate whilst watching misleading romantic comedy films.

How would you like a free vacation from all your worries and cares?

Wondering where the hell I’m going with this?

Four words. Four simple words and you will thank me, non-verbally and probably just in your own head, for the rest of your life.

LIVE LIKE A BOY.

You might say, ‘why would I want to do that?’ or ‘what do boys know?’ or ‘hey, I used to be a boy’ but do you really understand what makes The Boy so great? Do you know his essence (no, not that kind of essence) and can you really make use of it (no, not like that, stop it) and wear it with pride (whatever, grow up)?

I’m going to break this plan down into three (that’s the same as 3!) easy steps because everybody loves numbers of things. It’s that simple.

#1 In the office

Perfect the art of nonchalance at work. If you act like you don’t care if you get fired, you will never get fired. In fact, you will probably get promoted.

See Exhibit A: the fine, critically acclaimed film Office Space.

Practise shrugging in response to questions, and see how quickly you can hit the floor under the meeting table when the boss asks for volunteers for additional work.

Make sure you never contribute food to birthday morning teas but always be sure to eat the most after turning up late. Don’t participate in singing ‘Happy birthday’ because only lame people do that.

In fact, do not, I repeat do not, turn up on time to anything ever. Make sure you are at least half an hour late to the office everyday and don’t offer any explanation as to why you were late. If directly asked, say ‘I was sleeping’. If pushed for further explanation, tell them you had a late night at the pub.

Ignore all electronic meeting requests and always always respond to questions with ‘I dunno, ask [insert your most annoying work colleague here].’

Trust me, work stress will soon be a thing of the past.

#2 Recreation time

It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to be ‘productive’ with your spare time and fill hours with grocery shopping, cleaning, gardening or visiting family and friends. Reading a book, well, that just makes me laugh… and then feel sorry for you.

Keep it simple, stupid. Get an Xbox and play from Friday night through to the wee hours of Monday morning. Imagine the kills you’ll get in that time and the people you’ll avoid getting into complicated discussions with.

If you sometimes crave human connection, get a headset and talk smack about your mate’s mum whilst sneaking up behind her and shooting her in the head. You didn’t really murder your best friend, it’s a game, silly. But it does prepare you to fight in the army, defeat an alien invasion and/or drive prostitutes to their next appointment.

Come Monday morning, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, stress relief from killing so many Nazis and you’ll feel super tired at work which will help you carry out step #1 of this program.

See Exhibit B: Vince Vaughn (that man has taught me so much) in The Break Up, which leads me to…

#3 Relationships are for suckers

Who needs a human lover when you have an iPad or similar mobile device? Touching a touchscreen is so much more satisfying.

Even when Siri does talk back, she at least apologises first.

Who needs the kind of pressures and expectations from a boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband?

But if you must maintain your relationship during your vacation time, make sure to do the right thing and FART.

That’s right, F.A.R.T.

F – Yes, literally Fart on your lover. But don’t just fart. Get creative! Fart blossom, when you use your hands to help waft the odour directly into their face. Dutch oven, when you fart under the blankets and then force their head underneath the covers. Take a romantic bath, take quiet and tranquil pause, gaze into your lover’s eyes and fart underwater. It’s Fun.

A – Ensure Accuracy. Hey, you’re not going to let go of your mobile device so why not use it in your relationship? Fact-check every statement that your partner makes. Is that really a French wine? Does their family really originate from Ireland? Were they popular in high school? Make enquiries, do your research, join online communities, google. It makes whatever they’re rambling on about so much more interesting if you can disprove it. It makes you an Asshole, which is so much fun to be. See Exhibit C: Denis Leary’s classic song Asshole.

R – Delay Response time. Just because they ask you a question, it does not mean it warrants an answer from you. Inane questions like, ‘what are you thinking?’ when clearly you’re thinking about how to kill the enemy in Call of Duty, hardly deserve a response. Just pretend you have gone deaf for three hours. It’s liberating.

T – Turn off. Seriously, this is where your mobile device truly does become a smart phone. Ignore calls, turn off your phone, remain un-contactable. If you get a long text message with a lot of detailed questions about dinner tonight, ignore it until 9.30pm and then text back, ‘hey, what up?’ It keeps your lover on their toes, gives you solitude and keeps the fire alive.

Just use these 3 easy steps and you’ll be enjoying the carefree life of a boy in no time. And if not, whatevs.

McDonald’s, let’s do this right

Standard
We need to talk.

We need to talk.

Ok, Mr Ronald McDonald, I don’t visit you very often but when I do, I’d like us to be courteous to each other and help others do the same.

First of all, I don’t dress and wear my make up to scare you and I also don’t associate with thieves or ‘hamburglers’. Please wipe that insane smile off your face and rid your establishment of criminals.

Secondly, please advise your staff that if they can in any way hear me, that they can take my order. If I’m at the first speakerbox and there’s no car behind me in the drive thru, and the person with the headset can hear me say ‘cheeseburger’ then I shouldn’t need to drive to the next speakerbox, I’ll just get the cheeseburger at the window. Let’s just start the conversation. Meet me where I’m at.

If a person in the drive thru speaks to you for more than 10 minutes about what they want to order, you should open a trapdoor underneath their car and keep them in timeout until they realise that they are wasting their time and that the only real reason to go to McDonald’s is to get a cheeseburger.

Why have an American themed, limited time only menu in Australia? As far as we’re aware, the entire McDonald’s menu is already American themed.

Why doesn’t the McOz burger contain kangaroo meat?

Why don’t you universally call the Quarter Pounder with Cheese the Spanish name: ‘cuarto de libra con queso’? It sounds so much prettier and then you could put it on the ‘little bit fancy’ menu.

And on that, I think you need to realise that a clown wearing stripes and yellow overalls isn’t expected to serve food that is even a ‘little bit’ fancy. Your attire suggests carny fare. Your friend is a purple blob who I can’t imagine cares whether or not his burger meat is genuine Australian Angus beef or if his hamburger bun is soft sourdough.

The new addition to the menu should be dagwood dogs. And please, make sure you refill your ketchup bottles in preparation for this. It is already very offensive to receive each Quarter Pounder with the remnants of a sauce bottle fart barely visible in the middle of the cheese.

Your eyebrows are so high. Why are you so surprised, Mr McDonald?

I could dance circles around the world like a fun-loving, superhero-style Chuck Norris

Standard
Kindness

Kindness

Welcome to my blog.

Here’s a little about me:

I think crazy cat ladies are extremely misunderstood.

[You still there?]

I can’t think of a single occasion that a bow tie is inappropriate.

And I love small acts of kindness, like a school friend giving you 50 cents to buy a jelly cup from the tuckshop or a special friend giving you a gold framed hologram picture of a unicorn for your desk at work and then a colleague kindly complimenting your ‘lovely artwork’.

This blog will be a random collection of what’s the deal withs, what ifs and come ONS!

My next blog post will be “what’s the deal with the people working the McDonald’s drive thru pretending they can’t talk to me at the first speakerbox. Come ON! We just met, let’s start the conversation off right. Can you hear me?? CHEESEBURGER! See you in a sec.”