1. Our parents, for any and all of their shortcomings
I don’t have kids, but from watching my own parents for years (and from a few incredibly demoralizing attempts at nannying last summer), parenting looks hard. Really hard. Kids can be little shits when they want to be, and most of the time, teenagers are just terrible human beings (or at least I was). With the exception of abusive situations, I think we could all cut our parents a little slack. They tried, and if we’re sitting here with clothes on our backs and the internet to surf, I’d say they’ve done an okay job so far.
2. People who wear leggings as pants
I scorned them for so long, and then I tried it. They’re SO FREAKING COMFORTABLE. Let it happen.
3. People who choose not to go to college
University education is not the be-all and end-all, and the tried-and-true “college degree route” is not for everyone. Our generation boasts some of the most successful young entrepreneurs in history, and many of these millionaires never finished school, opting out to get a head start on their ventures. Even if you aren’t the next Zuckerberg, know that there are so many ways to learn and consume information in today’s world.
4. Deep-fried things
Go ahead. Have a deep-fried Oreo the next time you’re at the fair. Then, instead of hating yourself and viciously racing through your brain’s calorie-charts, just bask in the fact that somewhere, at some point in time, a human being thought to deep-fry an Oreo. Enjoy it. Don’t worry about it.
5. People who are religious
I’ve heard some people absolutely trash religion and patronize people who practice it like it’s their job. As a non-religious person who grew up in a very Catholic household, I certainly went through this phase of condescension. I held the belief that I was “above” religion intellectually—that it was simply something people cling to for hope and comfort. I now realize that I am not as smart as I thought I was, and that I have zero right to judge someone for believing in something wholeheartedly. Today I treat all religions with respect, and recognize the way that their traditions and messages enrich people’s lives.
6. Cheap dates
There’s nothing wrong with a budget-friendly outing, and I often find that expensive dates can be a little stuffy and awkward. I was out with a guy last week, and suggested that we stop by Denny’s for a cup of coffee. One cup turned into quite a few, and we ended up spending the better part of the night chatting it up in our booth rather than staring awkwardly over multiple place settings and wine pairings.