Having "a guy"

When I turned 24, my dad had the talk with me. You know, the talk about adulthood and manliness and responsibility. You might be thinking it was about sex and not having babies too soon, or building my credit score, or the wisdom of real estate investments and preparing for retirement early. Nope.

The talk my dad had with me was about having “a guy” for things. He told me that when he moved from China to the US, he didn’t know how to plan for a successful adult life, and didn’t want me to make the same mistakes. Then he told me that he’d introduce me to his accountant, and in time, his lawyer. He also encouraged me to make sure I had a doctor and car guy (repairman? technician?). I told him I had a good start - I have a barber, a tailor, and a bowling alley I’m a regular patron of. So, without further ado, here is my list of “a guy”s that I have, or want to have, in my life.

Oh, before I get started, I want to make it known that by “a guy”, I mean “a person of unspecified gender”, but you know, brevity is the soul of wit and etc. Correct idioms: also impressive. I’m totally okay with my “a guy” being a woman. And yes, I recognize that this is further ado.

  • Barber/hairstylist - I got free haircuts for a while for tutoring my barber’s kids for the SATs.

  • Tailor - Mine isn’t nice, which is a bummer. Does a great job making me look less fat though.

  • Sailor - Because nothing looks more chill than when you are out on the water with wind whipping through your hair and a mast behind you.

  • Doctor - I was uninsured for a frightening four months, and now I can do reckless things again.

  • Dentist - Because cavities should make you feel guilty.

  • Orthodontist - If you...have braces?

  • Architect - I just saw one of these walk in holding a bunch of glass samples, which seems cool.

  • Carpenter - To “help you with” (make) your reclaimed wood furniture.

  • Optometrist - Rounding out the medical professions.

  • Florist - Important if you have a nice lady in your life (that includes moms).

  • Interior decorator - To validate all the home decorating advice we will have on this blog.

  • Chef - Can substitute with a culinary school grad for the moments you need cooking advice. Cannot substitute with a foodie.

  • Barista - I don’t drink coffee, but my friends who have a barista get free coffee, which seems nice.

  • Bartender - Barista, but for alcohol.

  • Accountant - Someone has to count your money and do your taxes, and you don’t want it to be you.

  • PR agent - For when you get famous after taking all of our advice.

  • Cobbler - Surprisingly, not someone who makes cobblers.

  • Insurance agent - I...actually have nothing to say about this.

  • Lawyer - You know, I feel like you only need this if you are rich or if you do bad stuff.

  • The rest - Portrait artist, plumber, electrician, librarian, photographer, etc.

So you might have noticed I’m just listing careers now as an excuse to write more stupid blurbs. You’ve found me out. Writing stupid stuff is why this blog exists.

Anyway, aside from each of your “a guy”s being useful for his or her talents, talking about them makes you sound like you are somewhere between a fully-functional adult (“Oh, my doctor/carpenter/florist…”) to a metaphorical rockstar who clearly has his or her life together and is totally not a criminal (“Oh, my PR agent/lawyer/accountant…”). Every adult is impressed by other adults who seem responsible and stuff. Personally, I think everyone is faking it.

Seem Busy

Chris told me two days or so ago he probably wouldn’t have time to write a post this week, so this is me covering for him by writing about something he does very well: seem busy. I think the logic goes: busy people are accomplished people, and accomplished people are impressive people; ergo, I will teach you to seem busy so that you will seem impressive.

Okay, first things first. Don’t be the person that says, “I’m just so busy!” all the time, or answers, “How are you doing?” with “Busy.” Some people say that only people who aren’t busy say stuff like that. I disagree. That’s obviously not true. However, saying you’re busy is super annoying.

The easiest way to seem busy is to actually just be busy, but if you are actually busy, you probably aren’t reading this. If you’re actually busy and still reading this, you definitely have your priorities straight. Good job.

If you aren’t actually busy, but want to look busy, here are some ideas:

Pro tip: combine two hobbies. Make a podcast about ceramics, or learn to sew a surfboard. ( img src )

Pro tip: combine two hobbies. Make a podcast about ceramics, or learn to sew a surfboard. (img src)

  • Find a new hobby. Ceramics, swimming, sewing, surfing, singing - all hobbies that start with an s sound. Okay, others: play the ukulele, work on your car/bike/razor scooter, learn about real estate investments, make one, record a podcast, develop a stand-up routine.

  • Find something fun to do that would take a while (or some regularity), then prioritize it way too much. Something like watching all of The Wire, then all of Breaking Bad, then all of The West Wing. When people ask you to hang out, you can say something like, “Sorry, I already have plans tonight,” and when they ask you what you are up to, “I’m exploring an art medium I’m not super familiar with. I’ll let you know how it goes!” This one conveniently requires a commitment to not hanging out with people.

  • Pretend you are doing the last one, but don’t actually do it.

  • Commit to keeping up better with old friends, or making new ones. Aim to meet or connect with one person you wouldn’t otherwise connect with per week.

  • Or, invent an imaginary friend you’ll spend lots of time with. Okay, not really, but you can commit to taking more purposeful alone time to read, write, or pick your next television saga. Or do the imaginary friend thing. You do you.

So all of these (or at least, all the serious ones), besides making you look busy, have the additional benefit of making you a more interesting person. And, in my opinion, interesting is impressive.

Also, if you were curious about what that period on top of a comma thing is, it’s called a semicolon, and you can read all about them here.