There was an additional billionth birth this past year, which is a nutty thing when you consider what that means. I haven’t really taken the time to consider what it means, so instead I’ll focus on the type of people we should hope Mr. or Mrs. Billionth doesn’t turn out to be.
People who love their families too much.
Allow me to begin this with an arguable statistic: one in every three families will, before an untimely accident, end up going on a vacation together. This fact may or may not have contributed to the gradual decline of the nuclear family; however, after careful consideration of my uncareful decision to go to Orlando with my family for a week, I am finally concretely able to say that no, families are not meant to be together all the time, and yes this is a hard and fast rule, and no I’m not making a large blanket statement, and yes it is weird that you call your mom your “best friend” when the reverse situation of a 50-year-old with a 20-something best friend would be morally and ethically questionable.
There are few things more risky and draining than spending an elongated amount of time with the people that love-hugged on purpose and decided to mold their entire life and decision-set around your existence. And (twist, y’all) it’s not because you feel guilty for being their sole reason for getting up in the morning: it’s because when you’re in your 20s, and you reach a point when you could suddenly imagine just what it would be like to dedicate yourself to something/anything/everything except yourself, you lowkey thank your parents simply by putting up with them.
Dealing with family can be something of a summer and winter Olympic sport. And as with everything, the key is moderation. So what to make of these mutant-folks who probably watch The Kardashians because they find their 24/7 family festival relatable in the most unsuspected way? I know people that are far too obsessed with their families, and like those K-obsessed non-Armenians, they never seem to leave one another’s kitchens. Weirdly, these are always the families where everyone has a different last name, which is totally okay in a “whatever-man-it’s-2012” way, but is also slightly suspicious because having the same last name is an entry-level family requirement. What are they hiding? And are these families close because they are bound by a secret that they’ve buried, Desperate Housewives-style? I’ll never know, because anytime I call said-friend to ask, they’re out to lunch with their mom at 5:45, which isn’t even lunch- or dinner-time.
People who are obsessed with their leftovers.
I understand that I need to respect differences, and that people are like snowflakes or genocides — each one unique; no two alike. But my god, the spectrum of people who are obsessed with leftovers is so vast that it’s almost more important to observe the uniqueness of each leftover-lover more than it is to simply observe the differences of normal people. Because a leftover-lover comes in all shapes and sizes: someone who will take the half-slice of pizza home in a container that is so big it doubles as a musical instrument every time the micro-slice of ‘za slides around; the person who keeps their leftovers in their fridge for embarrassingly long, who needs to be told that the quality of curry doesn’t grow overtime, but, in fact, does the opposite; the person who loudly and empathetically yells “don’t throw that away,” as if the quarter-corner of your sandwich has only one eye and was staring at you next to a bag of kettle chips while Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” played.
I made a conscious decision some time ago to be more honest with myself when confronted with whether or not I want my leftovers, because, no, more often than not I don’t abide by the 20-something cliche that says I have to treat week-old leftovers as a treasure because who can afford food in this economy? Not everything one takes home is good substantially post-order. A great example of an inspiring “know thy self” moment was when my best friend refused to take a literal ‘cauldron’ of soup from a Thai house in Berkeley home with him. He hadn’t touched a droplet of it, and he pointblank, shamelessly, refused to take it to-go — and did it all while stoned (which usually makes one so horrifically unable to partake in any social interaction that logic and convenience are sacrificed in favor of just ending whatever conversation you find yourself half-in). He did this because sloshing that U-HAUL of soup all night while we wandered Berkeley would have been such an act of social suicide that he’d rather face the passive aggressive wrath of our waitress than do anything of the sort. We did, however, forget that the East Bay is littered with the homeless, most of whom would have welcomed a straight-up vat of hot soup. So maybe we screwed up there, but the essence of the story is inspiring.
People who “don’t know why” they love ____.
Learning about one’s “true self” is harder than former-junkies-turned-yoga-instructors make it sound, so I am sympathetic to the journey that is “coming to terms with blank.” But child, not everything that’s remotely unique about you needs to be punctuated with an erratic, “I don’t know why!” You do know why: because you do (‘do’ love it; not ‘do’ know why, though you ‘do’ know that too). A great example is a friend who simply could not mention the movie, Cruel Intentions, without yelling into my fucking face that she didn’t “know why [she’s] so obsessed with the movie.” Let me tell you why: because it’s about incest between ’90s heartthrobs, which aside from being an undervalued subgenre, also makes for great car-crash-cinema, which means everyone is obsessed and everyone also knows why.
Lovers of Cruel Intentions — and really anything else that falls in line with that same sort of “first-look-to-the-left-then-look-to-the-right” mentality — need to find Gaia and learn to love themselves, because you are fooling yourself by thinking you’re fooling us into thinking that you’re only moderately into what you’re into — sort of like how everyone who likes the smell of gasoline apparently has yet to come to terms with it.
People who think they are conversationalists, but, twist ending, are not.
Type A: What’s worse than when someone corners you just far enough away from where the alcohol is so that it serves as a ~*~PaRtY gUrL~*~ mirage, all to tell you that, “Guatemala was a really life changing experience. We helped build a Jamba Juice near this ancient waterfall, and it was just amazing.”
Type B: When someone asks another someone if they can ask a question, and that someone answers by saying “you already did,” it’s almost (almost) as annoying as when someone asks another someone if they can ask a question, and that someone answers “no.” Non-starters are irritating, because they imply that conversations are easy to have, people easy to relate to, and things are easy to do, all-around. So much so that we can make light of it with a total stranger and still be on the same page once we’re done reaching for a punchline. I hate people, for many reasons, but especially this one: some are more comfortable with others than… others. And the ones who are comfortable tend to be so irritatingly comfortable that they either (a) don’t take the other’s uncomfortably into account or (b) take it into account and treat it casually as a way of saying “it’s alright; I’m someone who gets it” (like if someone is willing to ask about an obvious facial scar that a normal normal person would bypass because maybe you don’t want to ~go there, but they ask because by asking it makes them seem comfortable relating to a stranger, and leaves them to assume that you’re a stranger comfortable with being related to.)