Things You Might Not Know How To Do Yet

You might not know how to be assertive in restaurants, in movie theatres, with brokers, or your boss. Your parents do though. When you go out to dinner together and their steak isn’t cooked to their liking, they won’t hesitate in letting the waiter know it. They will send their dish back while you’re eating your barely-cooked halibut, worrying about food poisoning, but are too scared to make a fuss. You might not know how to send a steak back or negotiate salaries or save a seat with conviction because you don’t know what it feels like to be old. Your parents have been on this earth much longer than you. They’ve experienced a lot of headaches, a lot of losses, and it has all resulted into them not giving a shit about anything. They’re not worrying about offending anyone over a crappy steak. For Christ’s sake, they might have a hernia.

You might not know the importance of money yet. You spend your paycheck on cabs, falafel and ugly rings from street vendors and are always left with ten dollars to last you three days. You wonder how you could spend so much money without ever feeling like you’ve lived lavishly. You can’t imagine a savings account, a 401k. How does anyone do it? You really don’t know. When will you know?

You might not know how to let someone love you yet. You think you do, think you’ve been doing it right all these years with your distant lovers, your fair-weather friends, your passive aggressive ex. But you don’t. You picked the ones who were unable to love you back, who wouldn’t pick you up from the airport, or hear about your awful day at work. Remember that one relationship you had where the person was kind and intuitive and would’ve picked you up from anywhere had you asked them? They were different from the others because they actually had the capacity to love you. You knew this though and that’s why you dumped them almost immediately. You didn’t know that they were all you needed to make you happy. You were so keen on being miserable. When will you know what you already know?

You might not know how to let go of things of yet. You avoid certain streets, restaurants and bars because they remind you of something good that you lost. You wonder how anyone could ever forget and move on from something so wonderful. How do people let things die? How do they go into the next phase of their lives and not become crippled whenever they pass their old apartment, the Jack In The Box on Sunset, or that 7-11 you hung out in front of once for five hours talking with your friends. How?

You might not know so many things yet but you take solace in knowing that you might soon. That’s how life works, right? You eventually stop buying the ugly rings from the street vendors, date the right people, and take that fucking steak back if there’s even a little bit of pink. You might not know now but you will know then. TC mark

image – Bad Teacher

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Brononymous

    Do you know, Ryan?

    • Michael Koh

      Why not? 

  • Dude

    If there’s no pink in your steak it’s overdone.

    • Ryan O'Connell


      • Jamie Daniel Littlefair

        Ahuh, ahuh…

    • neens

      Yeah, seriously. 
      That was my only beef (ha ha) with this otherwise perfect article!

  • Brian Frozone Smith

    i liked this well done

  • Dannii Marie

    Get out of my head.

  • Egle Makaraite

    This is really good. One of my favorites as of recent. :)
    Ryan, you rule.

  • Guest2992

    “You might not know so many things yet but you take solace in knowing that you might soon.”

    key word: MIGHT. Does anyone really ever have everything figured out?!

  • Anonymous

    Best I’ve read. :( It’s true and it’s sad. no one ever learns the easy way, you know by making mistakes.

  • Gregory Costa

    Today I ordered a hot latte with skim milk, caramel, and no sugar at Dunkin’ Donuts…I got an iced latte with whole milk, no caramel, and extra sugar.  The employee managed to combine my orders into that creation, and I was too embarrassed to send it back. I ended up giving it away to a co-worker.  It was a sad day.   

  • Anonymous

    Sending things back? No frickin’ way. Also terrifying: security guards who tell you you’re doing it wrong. Don’t know how to deal with that shit. 

    • Gregory Costa

      Just remind him that he’s a security guard, or someone who didn’t quite make it in life. 

  • Amy

    “You spend your paycheck on cabs, falafel and ugly rings from street vendors and are always left with ten dollars to last you three days.” 

    Who gave you access to view my bank account?

  • Maggie Lee

    I absolutely loved this.  Keep writing.  I get upset if a whole day passes and there is nothing from you.

    • Ashlerose Marie

      Me too!

  • Alex Thayer

    this article makes me feel extremely proud of myself.

  • scin

    this is called inspiration.

  • Amanda


  • J.S.K.

    im reluctant to send food back.

    i can never be sure it will come back sanitary.

  • Frida

    I think it’s all part of the journey.  
    So that we can appreciate the end result even more.

  • Sophia

    Loved this. Related more than I’ve ever related to your articles. Amazing.

  • Alex

    I love this! 

  • guest

    hmmm, I think mostly my parents don’t know any of this stuff or how to raise children, but they’re still cool


    Uh, send this article back plz.  It’s undercooked.


      JAYKAY LUH U BB ^________^

  • Sally Jenkins

    related to the part about avoiding places associated with good memories. if i keep enjoying life and avoiding places in this way, i will have to move to rural kansas by 2020.

  • Ahoy_cpt

    more like I avoid a certain song that I used to love, because it reminds me too much of someone who I will never see again, and the closest I can get to them is sitting in a plastic lawn chair next to a pile of red dirt and wilting flowers

  • Anonymous

    after working in a restaurant, i find it morally repugnant, or at least just inadvisable, to be excessively petulant with the staff in restaurants

    • Ashlerose Marie

      Then eat crappy steak.

    • Ashlerose Marie

      Then eat crappy steak.

  • Ahmad Radheyyan

    RYAN… I… uhh.. you haven’t given me an answer yet :(

  • Joseph Anthony Nicoletti

    you are so god damn good

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