Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday, ranking only slightly behind America Day (July 4). What makes these two holidays so great? Well they share several key elements that distinguish them from the rest of the pack; the general acceptance of consuming massive levels of food, celebrating the founding of this great country/continent (I like to think of Thanksgiving as the O.G. America Day), and beer… lots of beer. And what Thanksgiving lacks in fireworks, it makes up in turkey, pie and football. However, the combination of family, friends, and gluttony can always yield potentially volatile results, so I thought I’d help you navigate the somewhat treacherous aspects of this time honored holiday with five tips for preparing for Thanksgiving as a 20 something.
Even the beer snobbiest of beer snobs will likely order a bottle of wine at some point in their adult life. If you’re not accustomed to the process it can seem a little daunting, but it’s simple enough once you know to expect.
Instead of going through how to fake an adult-like skill this week, I decided to compile a list of things you can stop doing to help cultivate an aura of maturity, intelligence and worldliness. We can all use a little help there.
Do you watch Sherlock? I’m thinking specifically about the corpse Sherlock examines on the banks to the Thames in “The Great Game”. He’s able to figure out where the man worked based on what he looks like, is wearing, and what’s in his pockets. Although I’m not suggesting there’s an arsenal of Sherlocks running around, try people watching one day. You’ll never know whether you’re right or not, but you’ll probably be able to formulate a story about people based solely on what they’re wearing and what they look like.
If you’re going to fake it til you make it as a big kid, you’ll need to look the part. If you want to dress to impress, there are a few swanky accessories that class-up any outfit, even if you got it from Goodwill.
Crap! People are coming over in 30 minutes and your apartment looks more like a hobbit hole than anything a human could inhabit. It’s bad enough if your friends have it relatively together—maybe they are married but don’t have kids, so their home is all crafty and hasn’t yet turned into a war zone— but if this is a potential love interest… well, there really is nothing like the fear that your crush will discover that you’re actually a horrible slob to make a girl go into a cleaning frenzy.
Regardless, you have a very limited amount of time to clean up and make your place look habitable before your guests arrive and discover your messy little secret. Here are some tips on frantic speed cleaning, from my own personal experience.
As of July 7, 2013, I have officially been driving the same car for the last 10 years. My parents did me a huge service by making the downpayment on my beloved Toyota Matrix when I was 16, and then passed the monthly lease payments off to me for the next 6 years, until I owned my car outright. By with the realization that I’ve been driving the same car for the last 10 years comes the thought: how long can this last?
Thank you notes were a big deal in my family growing up. You wrote them to everyone, for everything. Someone took care of your parakeet while you were on vacation? Thank you note. Brother brought you soup when you were sick? Thank you note. Your friends threw you a surprise party? You guessed it– thank you notes for everyone!
Despite understanding why it is important to thank people for their small (or large) acts of kindness, I was horrible at writing them. I’m still not great at remembering to write them, but over the years I developed a system for composing them so that I stopped blankly staring at the paper once I got down to it.
It’s really the little things in life that make a difference in your day-to-day, right? Small things that you don’t let become big things, or tiny gestures than make you smile. Or, feeling accomplished when you complete a simple adult-type task like some basic sewing. In a world where most jobs don’t require that we don’t use our hands too much, being able to replace a button or hem some pants makes me feel strangely self-sufficient (even if I’m not actually).
I don’t know what’s so impressive about being able to mix up anything more than a Cape Codder (cranberry juice + vodka), but there’s something about it that says — in a very cool, collected and understated way — that you’ve got it together. For non-beer drinkers, being able to mix up a legitimate cocktail, is akin to bringing the perfect six pack. Here are a few simple cocktail recipes to get you started.
One of the biggest differences we experience in the transition from childhood to adulthood is having more stuff to keep track of. When we were young, everything we “had” to do that day included running around the woods, playing foursquare, and maybe cleaning our rooms. Now it seems like everyone is rushing around to do as much as possible. Not only can that make you frazzled, it can also make you forget to do things. Here are some time management tips and tools to help keep you on track at work and in your personal life.
It’s that time of year again. The weather is nice and everyone is eager to get out. Out of their apartments, I mean. I don’t understand what it is about the stir-craziness that makes people want to leave their current dwelling for something new, but I always find myself near obsessively searching Craigslist around this time each year. As a result, I’ve just finished moving for the fifth time in four years.
The build up to any move is great: new hopes, plans, the promise of a (somewhat) blank slate at your new place. Then you start boxing up things, and reality sets in. I have too much stuff. I have so many places to call. So many errands to run. How on Earth am I going to get my couch up three flights of narrow stairs?
Maybe you won’t move as much as I have, but chances are if you get a new job, a raise, or a significant other that you want to co-habitate with, you’ll move at some point in your adult life. Hopefully, my extreme organization (or OCD, depending on who you ask) can help make your move a little easier.
A prime example of the many differences between adults and children is that adults know how to feed themselves. Do you, man/lady-child?
Last time in this series I wrote about fiscal responsibility. One (less boring) way that adults take care of themselves financially is by eating out less, and cooking more. This does not require you to know a ton about cooking, but it does require some grocery shopping to be able to blunder your way through it. Added bonus: if a functioning adult-type person looks in your fridge, they’ll see some recognizable staples, not ketchup, a couple take-out boxes, and beer. Although, to be clear, beer is definitely a staple.
Along with being “an adult” comes an expectation that you suddenly, magically know how to do things. That you understand how your finances work—or rather, should work. If you took an economics class somewhere along your path to wherever you are today or excelled in math, congrats. If you didn’t, here’s a basic breakdown of one of the most common concepts that can bite you in the ass: interest rates.
So, you’ve arrived in your 20s (or 30s or 40s… we’re not ageist here) and now it’s time to be an “adult.” Whatever that means, along with it comes this expectation that you suddenly, magically just know how to do things. Maybe you’ve led a life full of experiences already, or maybe Mom and Dad took care of everything for you as a kid and now you’re discovering that you don’t actually know how to function on your own; regardless, I’ll endeavor to find some key adult-type skills to help you at least pretend you’ve got your shit together. This week: hangover cures. (It just wouldn’t be fair of a beer blog to tell you about all the tasty drinks you can have without helping you to get through the next day.)