1) Girls poop.
While this originally only bothered the feminist side of me, lately I’ve realized that what I thought was a predominantly male misogynistic idea has extended into female-female interactions as well. Like, why do I feel embarrassed when I poop in a public toilet, surrounded by only other females? Because even girls have grown to believe that it’s unladylike to defecate! Ladies and gentlemen, this is ridiculous. Do we need to provide every US citizen with a copy of “Everybody Poops”?
2) Politicians suck.
Stop pretending like you’re personally offended by the amorality of politics. That’s why it’s politics. The people you actually trust would make terrible politicians, because politicians are liars pretty much by definition. They want your vote, not your friendship, so stop expecting them to actually care about what you say. Unless you have money and influence, in which case they’re bound to listen.
3) Everybody can’t win.
Someone once affectionately referred to my generation as the “cupcake generation.” Everybody gets a cupcake. And that’s kind of true (even though I can’t eat cupcakes because they’re full of gluten). When I played Under-12 soccer, every person got a trophy at the end of the season, even though the team was terrible and I was terrible and nobody was really even remotely good at soccer. In fact, I ended up with a shelf covered in trophies that I freely admit I didn’t earn. There is no such thing as “A for effort.” Sometimes you actually suck at things, and you crash and burn and fail miserably, and nobody’s going to give you a trophy for trying. Life is full of competitions where there is a clearly defined winner, and everybody else loses. It happens. I mean, I’m a firm believer that everybody can win at something, but nobody can win at everything. Besides, getting accolades you don’t deserve just makes the real accolades less meaningful.
4) Kids are going to do whatever the hell they want.
I’m lookin’ at you, US government. Replacing the Pop-Tarts in high school vending machines with tiny packages of peanuts and banning coffee during school hours isn’t going to change the world, it’s just going to piss a lot of people off. Anyone who’s seriously addicted to caffeine is going to find a way to consume it, and large groups of obnoxious male athletes are going to end up at McDonalds every single day. This is just a specific example of a general need people have to exercise control over everyone around them. Educating kids about proper nutrition and safe sex is a way better idea than shoving kale chips and abstinence down their throats, because really, they’re going to do whatever they feel like doing, and they should probably at least be smart about it.
5) Adults are too.
Everybody drives at least 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. Unless you’re that asshole who remains at a solid 20 no matter what road he’s on. Rules are meant to be broken, right?
6) Watermelon-flavored things taste better than watermelon.
Yeah, I know real watermelon is healthier than fake watermelon. But that’s because real watermelon is pretty much just slightly flavored water with seeds in it. It’s disappointing, like drinking really diluted orange juice. Fake watermelon, on the other hand, is just the right combination of sweet and sour. Sour Patch Watermelon, watermelon jolly ranchers, watermelon jellybeans…washed down, of course, with a nice tall glass of water so you still feel refreshed. Now THAT’S a summertime treat.
7) There are things that don’t need to be proven.
Call it whatever you like – the Powers that Be, the hand of God, the way it is – but some things just are, without any satisfying explanation. Science and math are wonderful, beautiful things, and I am a huge advocate of using them to solve real-world problems. But it’s okay for science to leave some things unexplained. I mean, people have tried for years to prove or disprove the existence of God using complex mathematical equations, to no avail. And people who have real faith wouldn’t care even if there WAS a solution. The most meaningful things in life are those which cannot even be expressed in words, much less in theorems. Sometimes we just have to let those be. We can’t solve everything.
8) Grammar is a dying art.
You can fight like hell to make sure every one of your Facebook friends uses “your” and “you’re” properly, but the fact of the matter is that the next generation sees both of those words as “ur.” There’s nothing you can do about that. They will go through their lives probably never hearing the terms “gerund” or “dependent clause,” because Microsoft Word will essentially write their papers for them. It’s horribly depressing, I know, but we have to let it go.
9) The Kardashians.
I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory. Getting invested in Kim’s butt implants and failed marriages is probably doing nothing for you but lowering your IQ by a couple of points every day.
10) People make mistakes.
For some reason, we have a tendency to believe that there are some people in this world who are absolutely, 100% perfect. Sometimes it’s a celebrity, sometimes a mentor, sometimes a friend, but when we idolize people, we forget that they’re human too, and everyone ends up under a lot of unnecessary pressure. And then we run into problems like thirteen-year-old girls crying hysterically because Justin Bieber smoked weed. Well guess what, little girl, your parents probably did too, and they turned out okay.
11) Mental illness is everywhere.
We can ignore it all we want, but we can’t change the facts. According to a 2008 study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, about 5% of the US population had been diagnosed with a serious mental illness (defined as “a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder diagnosable currently or within the past year which results in serious functional impairment and substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”) And that doesn’t even take into consideration all the people suffering in silence. We seriously need to rethink the way we, as a culture, address the topic of mental health.
12) Shit happens.
Sometimes life deals you a crap hand and then kicks you while you’re down. It happens to literally everybody. You can’t escape the shit. But that doesn’t mean you should whine about it, either. Every experience teaches you something, even if it’s as simple as “I don’t ever want that to happen again.” You learn, you adapt, you change, you grow, and you almost always emerge from situations with a stronger sense of who you are. We could all benefit from realizing that even when things are going rather poorly, we are lucky to be given the chance to live through them.