An hour ago I was in my bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror and deciding how much I’m allowed to hate the way I look today, when all of a sudden in the corner of my eye, I saw something small, orange and terrifying. I adjusted my eyesight and nearly screamed when I found out what it was: a copy of the self-help book/meme Keep Calm And Carry On!
What the hell is this Bible for Basic Bitches doing in my apartment? I thought to myself. I immediately texted my roommate — a vivacious redhead who doesn’t seem like the type of person to fall for this sorority girl/bumper sticker logic—and said, “Keep Calm And Carry On? Really hon? Are you going through a hard time or something? Should I call a family meeting?”
She texted back, “Ew, stop it. My 50-year-old co-worker Alida gave it to me. I haven’t read it.”
“Is Alida trying to KILL US?”
Okay, to be fair, I’ve never read Keep Calm And Carry On. I kind of just assumed it was geared towards those girls that wrote “DANCE LIKE NOBODY’S WatChIng…” or “JUSt bREathe!!!” on their Facebook profile. So, to get a more informed opinion, I decided to open it up and actually, you know, read it.
This was the first quote I came across:
“To be happy for an hour, get drunk; to be happy for a year, fall in love, to be happy for life, take up gardening.”
Wait, what? But I hate gardening! Are you saying that the only way for me to be happy forever is to garden? Because, no. Also, LOL, at this being labeled as a Chinese proverb. It sounds like something Suzanne Somers would say.
There’s more. And most of them are quotes from dead white guys! My fave!
“The crash is not going to have much effect on business.”
There’s an entire section in here dedicated to the stock market crash of 1929, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. When a twenty-something spends its last ten dollars on five different kinds of figs, they’re not going to want to read quotes from almost a hundred years ago. Besides, we know that if we’re ever in a bind financially, we can turn to foot fetish modeling or sell our clothes at Buffalo Exchange!
There’s also a section on Big Business and Banking, which makes me think that this book is targeted more towards out-of-work dads than it is for 23-year-old recent graduates named Brittany. None of this shit is useful! If I want financial advice, I’ll watch Suze Orman.
If you want to know how one truly keeps calm and carries on, listen up. This is more relevant than this little book full of quotes that probably cost 50 cents to make, has no original content, and retails for $8.99.
If you’re really freaking out all the time, you should go see a therapist or have sex or burn candles or take benzos or go to the movies by yourself at 2 p.m. or call someone who really knows you and is NOT a shithead or write it all down in a notebook (not your Tumblr) or take a long hot bath until your skin prunes or go out to a three hour dinner or do yoga or call your mom (unless you hate your mom) or JUST LISTEN TO MUSIC AND STARE AT YOUR CEILING UNTIL THE ICKINESS WASHES AWAY.
There you go. This advice might’ve not come from Plato but at least it’s applicable. Now keep calm and carry on!