11 Signs You’ve Finally Made It

Romeo + Juliet / Amazon.com
Romeo + Juliet / Amazon.com

1. You’ve swallowed street water.

Ideally it wasn’t intentional; ideally, it caught you off-guard during a thunderstorm when you were standing too close to the curb. Perhaps you’ve been splashed by street water before and you’re wondering, “but how do I know if the water touched my tongue?” And to that I say, dear reader: if street water found its way into your mouth, you would know it. There would be no mistaking it — not for rain water, not for nothing.

2. You’ve hit 500 followers on Twitter.

I was looking at my followers today (1109, but seriously, who’s counting?), when it hit me: sadly, not everyone is as fortunate as I am. But, it must also be said: like Jennifer Lawrence, I too have not forgotten whence I came. I may be an invaluable Twitter presence right now, but things weren’t always this peachy. I remember the day I hit 500 followers; I remember the elation that rushed over me. And no additional followers (okay, maybe like 23k additional followers, but that’s it) will let me forget it.

3. You’ve gotten some cool and/or exciting followers.

As it usually happens, hitting the 500 follower mark is typically followed by a couple spectacular — dare I say: verified — followers. For me those followers were @girlsHBO and @JenSelter. As for the latter, I like to think she saw a potential Selterer in my buckling knees and obvious upper-body-strength.

4. You keep winning things.

Ever won the lottery? Me neither. In fact, I can barely recall anything I’ve won aside for maybe a wheelbarrow race in 4th grade. Cue: eBay. To all those who never won their high school spelling bee, any sports trophies or Rhodes scholarships: eBay is your friend. Spend a mere hour on the website and you can win oodles of items. And it’s fun too: to watch the auction end in real time, to see the invigorating “you were the highest bidder!” pop up on your screen, and to receive an email with the subject heading: “You won!” If only your high school field hockey coach could see you now…

A side-note: These declarations of “You won!” will probably be followed by personal, threatening messages like “Where’s my money?” and “I’m going to report you.” Ignore those dubious threats; I don’t know who these people are.

5. Someone awesome tweeted at you.

I’ve mentioned the triumphant 500 follower mark and the always-thrilling sight of seeing a verified Twitter handle starting to follow you, but being re-tweeted or tweeted at by an esteemed Twitter handle is in a league of its own. Mine happened earlier this year, after I wrote that piece about Jewish boys that WILL NEVER GO AWAY:

6. You’ve been mistaken for a celeb.

I always say it’s better to be mistaken for a celebrity than to not be a celebrity at all. The first time it dawned on me that “Wait…I think I may have just made it!” was when I found myself, at 17 years old, running at full speed up 86th street, trying to evade the homeless man who was chasing me and asking me for my autograph. Oh, and to clarify: he thought I was Amanda Bynes. Now I’m more often likened to the less salacious, more little-man-looking Ellen Page. Sometimes people even go so far as to cut the bullshit and say it like it is: Juno. That is to say, not Ellen Page from Inception, nor Ellen Page from To Rome With Love; but Ellen Page from Juno.

7. You’ve turned down a street style photographer.

Whenever a street style photographer asks to take my photo, a wave of excitement washes over me that I try my hardest to subdue. I used to think that was the pinnacle; the crowning point; the apex. Then one day I discovered a new peak, one I never even thought possible. I was in a rush, a street style photographer asked for my photo, and I had to TURN HIM DOWN. As in tell him “No — I can’t.” The best was my thought process: that there are just too many street style photos of me online already, and I don’t need another one if it’s going to make me late for work. Reaching new heights every day.

8. There was a shooting on your block.

A friend of mine blacked out the other night and woke up, face down, in McCarren Park. In any other decade this might be cause for concern, but this is 2014 people. And so you know what he did? He thanked God for this singular Instagram opportunity, secure in the knowledge that he had finally made it. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have similar feelings about the shooting on my block this past weekend. Yeah yeah, gang violence, tragedies, horrific gun laws that allow 12-year-olds access to them, blah, blah, fucking BLAH. Let’s cut the bullshit and focus on what really matters: that this is an Instagram goldmine and proof to all the proud Bushwick residents that I’m kind of hard too.

9. Kristen Wiig has beckoned you.

What do you want me to tell you — that I was her slave? Because I was, okay? I was selling clothes at a shop she came into, and I was her unofficial, but more importantly, WILLING and EAGER slave. As the story goes, she asked me my name, I was trying to keep a casual distance between us, it appeared she wasn’t having that distance and so beckoned for me with a sweet “Rachel????!”

10. You’ve walked out of Sweet Green…alive.

When I was at college in Washington D.C. all of the tight-knit groups of GW girls would migrate over to Sweet Green and swap stories of sharting in their crush’s bed while picking quinoa out of their teeth. I always looked upon them enviously and finally realized my chance had come when Sweet Green opened up in New York City — a city where I happen to have more friends than I did in D.C. “This is my time to shine!!” I told myself. But when I went yesterday, conspicuously alone, I was shocked by the revolting client base. I looked over at the soy grilled tofu, then at Jamie, a girl who I threw up on in 8th grade; then I looked over again, this time at the diced lacinato kale, and back again at another girl I recognized from my bat mitzvah lessons. Long story short, I was out of there faster than you can say “dressing on the side please!”

11. You’ve pulled off the victorious crouching selfie hidden flaws.


You found a full-length mirror, you crouched, you positioned the phone so as to not cover your face and you snapped — oh you snapped alright. I was awarded extra points for looking eerily similar to James Franco’s character “Alien” from Spring Breakers. TC mark

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