1. Super bitter alcoholic beverages. At a certain point, we were all “I would like to drink the most amount of alcohol that tastes like it has the least amount of alcohol,” which often amounted to “Everclear mixed with Tang.” And then, somehow, that became “I want to prove that I am stronger and more evolved by ordering this drink made out of bourbon, bitters, and poison oak.” Ordering a drink that tastes like Kool Aid and gets you slizzered is now frowned upon, and we’re all in a competition for “who can impress the bartender most with our order of a scotch that tastes like burning tires.”
2. Tough Mudders/Spartan Races/marathons. No one likes this shit, they just like how awesome and fit and #BeastMode they get to look when they post pics of themselves covered in dirt and water, holding up a participation trophy. And you know what? They can have it. But let’s not pretend that anyone enjoys a Tough Mudder.
3. Buying cast iron skillets. Don’t get me wrong, cast iron skillets are awesome, and I love cooking in them as much as any other young urban professional. But let’s not pretend that the whole process involved is in any way fun. And honestly, the fact that you have to treat them like an eighth grade science experiment before you can actually use it is work, not play. Let’s not confuse the two.
4. Coconut water. This shit is gross and people drink it so that passerby will think that they are healthy and fit and trim. Hate to break it to everyone, but coconut water is not an optical illusion, and it doesn’t make you look like a dewy Jessica Alba on her way back from the gym. It just makes you look like a sweaty random drinking bottled saliva.
5. Flea markets. Like cast iron skillets, it’s not that flea markets can’t be awesome, it’s just that there’s no reason that anyone should be getting SUPER FUCKING HYPE about paying 2 dollars per pear and navigating a heap of scrap wood to find one usable chair from the 1960s. They’re fun to walk through, you can find some cool stuff in them, and if it’s not a billion degrees outside, it can be a relaxing way to spend a Sunday. But we shouldn’t be in an age bracket-wide competition for who can derive the most spiritual affirmation out of a flea market.
6. “The theatre.” Is anything classier than “we’re going to see a show tonight”? Is anything more boring 9 times out of 10? You do the math.
7. The social activity of your crush. This isn’t college, where everyone has their activities and clubs they can try at a moment’s notice — this is adulthood, where “hobbies” are usually “trying to see my friends for an after-work drink before I pass out next to my laptop.” So if you meet someone with a solid hobby, it’s time to pretend to enjoy the shit out of that, because otherwise you’re going to appear as the uncultured lame you really are.
8. Keeping plants alive. Owning plants looks swaggy and makes you feel accomplished, but let’s be honest, no one actually enjoys taking care of those things. Having to put “water green thing that cannot show me affection or contribute to rent” and/or “convince a friend to come water it for me while I go on vacation” on your Google calendar is simply depressing.
9. The prospect of owning a dog. You are not in your mid-20s until you’ve engaged in a circular, totally hypothetical conversation about whether or not you should get a dog. You know full well that you can barely take care of yourself or your dead plants, and that you are absolutely not ready to give up impromptu bar trips to take care of a living being, yet you pretend that it’s a viable option that you’re weighing out. No one is fooled, you’re not getting a dog.
10. Purchasing art. We either pretend to be interested in the prospect of buying paintings/rugs/knick-knacks because that is the mark of an adult home, or we actually go through and purchase them and are immediately filled with regret, and resent looking at it forever.
11. Talking about how busy you are. If you’re honestly really busy, you pretend to be loving that #9to5Grind, but inside you are filled with rage at the fact that you receive work emails at 11 PM, and, almost against your will, you actually answer them.
12. Eating healthy. You are taking pictures of your kale because you want people to acknowledge that you’re healthy, and also because you want some sort of reward in the form of likes for not having chosen pizza when you very well could have. No one is fooled.
13. Having a 5-year plan. Everyone likes to talk about where we’re going to be in our early 30s, and everyone loves to pretend to be really self-assured and excited, but nothing could possibly be more anxiety-inducing. Outside, we say “Oh, yeah, I can’t even think about kids until 29 or so… I really have to focus on my career right now.” Inside, we think, “I have 14 dollars in my checking account and I fully intend to spend that on two rail drinks, so please don’t let me near a child for several years.” And we should just be honest about it.
BONUS: Volunteering/teaching in impoverished countries. If you are posting upwards of ten Instagrams a day of you feeling #blessed to be with such #beauty in such a #troubled nation, chances are you’re not really getting something lasting out of the experience.