1. Buy throw pillows and arrange them jauntily throughout your house. Adulthood means jauntily-placed home accessories, and the errant throw pillow is the crown jewel of such decor. Bonus points if they’re jewel-toned.
2. Have a really professional-sounding voicemail for absolutely no reason. The more legitimate and important it sounds, the better, even if you’re currently unemployed. In fact, especially if you’re unemployed.
3. Eat quinoa, and talk about eating quinoa.
4. Have a checkbook. It doesn’t matter if you never use a single check, or don’t even understand how a check functions. The act of pulling out a checkbook every now and again is akin to telling everyone around you that you have a mahogany study in your house.
5. Repurpose your jars for making cocktails in — though we must be clear that this applies for more legitimate-looking jars, and not, like, kid’s Smuckers jars with the Flinstones all over them.
6. Eat McDonald’s as discreetly as humanly possible. Not a single living soul should be aware that you actually love yourself the errant 10-pack of nugs.
7. Wear khakis with a crease ironed into them.
8. Start understanding what a blazer is, and how to integrate it into your wardrobe on both casual and formal occasions.
9. Keep an agenda with all of your various engagements penned in, even if it only consists of “get out of bed” and “try not to drink the milk directly out of the carton while standing naked in front of the refrigerator.”
10. Keep flowers somewhere in your apartment, even if they are completely fake and don’t even pretend to look real. Flowers always make a room classy.
11. Call people back on time, even if you don’t really feel like talking to an actual human voice.
12. Stock your house with at least a small smattering of breakfast options for when people crash (or have an adult sleepover), because nothing is less classy than waking someone up with a “Surprise! I don’t even have coffee!”
13. Actually listen to your voicemails. (I’ll let you know when I manage to do this.)
14. Don’t go out of the house wearing severely chipped nail polish, aka international code for “I’ve given up entirely on life and/or making a good first impression.”
15. Get an actual little square of that special fabric to clean your glasses and take it out at regular intervals to make them all clean and new-looking.
16. Learn how to make at least two cocktails that require special and unusual ingredients, so as to look extremely classy and interesting when you invite people over for drinks. (If you can’t afford it every time, at least try to alternate with your standard of Boone’s and Mad Dog.)
17. Talk about reading things like The Economist or Mother Jones, even if you don’t actually read them.
18. Force yourself to listen to jazz occasionally.
19. Accept to be the person at the table who tastes the wine to make sure it’s okay, even if they could literally serve you gasoline and you’d be like “YEP POUR IT UP.”
20. Wear more somber colors, especially things such as black-on-beige or grey-on-darker grey. Constantly look like you’re on the set of some murder mystery film taking place in rainy London.
21. Actually invest in a solid raincoat and rain boots for when it actually does rain.
22. Go to the dentist regularly, and tell people about it. “Yeah, gotta go to the dentist. It’s my annual checkup and cleaning — yeah, I go to those.”
23. Complain about taxes.
24. Talk about Jonathan Franzen and how he relates to your life. Wonder aloud if you are becoming suburban and bourgeois.
25. Wear turtlenecks with scarves over them and somehow not feel as though your neck is literally stuck inside a furnace going full-blast. Tell people that both are cashmere, even if they’re not.