1. Your friends don’t trust you with their clothes.
Once a mess, always a mess, is how people tend to think of you. Who knew a couple contretemps with sloppy joes in 8th grade would end up costing you this much? You didn’t, that’s for sure. Now your friends think you’re utterly incapable of keeping anything clean, when in reality that’s actually not it at all. You, my friend, are simply misunderstood. You can stay clean; if an occasion should call for it, you could avoid things like stilettos and the edges of tables. It’s just that these “occasions” require effort that you’re not willing to expend — and plus: they’re few and far between.
2. Red wine is not your friend.
Plain and simple: red wine is never an option — not on nights when all you want to do is relax and doze off to some Tim & Eric, not ever. Nope. And certainly not in the same blasé and reckless manner as Olivia Pope would. Red wine, over the years, has proved to be a vicious, heartless friend who seeps into your silk clothes and white sheets with a stubborn tenacity. So you’ve been forced to find alternatives, ones that you know, deep down, Olivia Pope would not approve of. That, or you just choose to drink red wine from a sippy cup.
3. Growing up, a lot of your clothes were “off-limits.”
At the dinner table, you would demonstrate impressive displays of uncouthness. In hindsight, you really can’t blame your mom for writhing and cringing in discomfort as she watched you comb your fingers through a pile of spaghetti with meat sauce. And though she couldn’t ultimately control this, that certainly didn’t stop her from trying. Delaying the stain pain was her primary goal — anything to delay the stain pain. And so she would take you shopping and only after, when you got home, tell you that you can’t wear the clothes, at least for an obscurely long period of time, with the hopes of delaying the eventual ruin of said clothes. As a kid, the only way I could convince my mom to buy me anything was if I promised her I’d wait six months to wear it.
4. You’re not cute on dinner dates.
You’ve had some time to think about it and you’re not quite sure what it is that makes you so messy, but you know it’s sometimes due to your bad eating schedule. Not being the type to always have a bag of almonds handy, you tend to wait until you’re debilitatingly famished to find some food, at which point you have lost all manners and eat like a caveman. But regardless of what it is this time that’s provoking you to turn your white t-shirt into a marinara-splattered one, looking cute while on a dinner date will still never be in the cards. Blame it on bad luck, but these nights usually end at the exact moment you and your date lock eyes, just as you started pulling a gross string of fat from your mouth off that last bite of chicken.
5. It’s somehow become an indelible part of your character.
As someone who’s been told quite a lot that you shouldn’t “own nice things,” you know that, at this point, it matters very little whether or not you’re even still messy. You were an uncivilized kid, the label has stuck, and your friends and family continue to perpetuate it. It’s a label you can no longer run from, and one that will haunt you forever. What matters is this: the number of stains you’ve committed outnumbers the clothes you have, and it’s been unanimously decided by your friends and family alike that you can’t be trusted to keep an item of clothing clean. It’s an ongoing joke — part of the glue that holds your friendships and family together. Hell, you’ve even made it into an ongoing joke, the lazy wrist saga. You’ve secured and solidified it in your identity and now there’s just no turning back.
It’s safe to assume that, as someone who “shouldn’t own nice things,” you’re probably not very graceful either. Tripping on curbs or cracks in sidewalks is sort of your MO – it’s the name of the game. And though it might happen to you every day, it’s still not something you’re ever going to get used to – neither the rough concrete scraping the palm of your hands as you gawkily reach them out to break your fall, nor the attempted giggle as you heat up and begin to blush because you’re actually in loads of pain.
7. Dry cleaning is something you have to do more often than others.
And it’s really starting to eat away at your savings account. You challenge your local dry cleaners in ways they have never been challenged before; daring them to tackle a lace shirt that looks like it’s had a filthy tryst with a jar of peanut butter. You challenge them, yes, but you also keep their jobs exciting (and in business).
8. Your computer has taken the beating of a lifetime.
And it has BEEN. THROUGH. IT. It’s been accosted by champagne, assaulted by coconut water and raped by cookie crumbs. Frankly, it’s scared of you. Every time you approach it with your ketchup hands, it takes a deep breath, savoring it as if it were its last.