What do you order at Starbucks?
A) Chai latte
B) Triple espresso
C) Two lattes. One for you, one for your boss, because no way in hell is Sharon getting that promotion over you.
D) You wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks. “What trash,” you think, steeping your loose-leaf Oolong tea and listening to NPR’s Morning Edition.
A man approaches you on the sidewalk and hands you $200 in cash, smiles and walks away. How do you spend your newfound wealth?
A) Donate it to a shelter for blind dogs because you spend your days wondering in agony, “Who will guide them?”
B) Buy a nice set of knives
C) Check the stocks and invest in a bull market. You’ll liquidate it later. You’ve got an eye for these things
D) Follow that bastard. What’s his story? Does he think you look like you need $200?
At a house party, you’re most likely…
A) The host, wishing you’d bought cheese and crackers for more than eight people
B) Alone in an upstairs room, chain-smoking like it’s the 60’s, possibly with another girl’s boyfriend passed out naked beside you
C) Sharing your flask of expensive whiskey with a handsome stranger in the backyard
D) Taking selfies on the couch while waiting for your Uber because “Oh goodness it’s 11pm”
You’re at Trader Joe’s at rush hour with seventeen items in your cart. Express Checkout clearly states “15 Items or Fewer”. What do you do?
A) Calmly get in the next line over, which has trickled into the canned veggies aisle. Rules are rules, after all
B) Set off the fire alarm and yell “BOMB!” then as chaos erupts, stride out smoothly with your free groceries
C) Ditch the whole scene; abandon your cart and all its contents and go home. You just came for free coffee and can live without 17 impulsive frozen lasagnas
D) Get in Express Checkout anyway. In fact, you throw in a few chocolate bars and a bag of artisan kettle corn from the shelf by the register, because fuck it
In a dystopian society, you would be…
B) An undercover agent, turning in lists of rebel citizens to your tyrant in exchange for whiskey and shampoo
C) Living in an old semi-truck, training rigorously with a Krav Maga master
D) Advocating passionately for zombie rights, specifically their dental hygiene
It’s Thursday evening, and you have plans in an hour with your old friend Jessica whom you haven’t seen in “forever”. You two are grabbing drinks then catching the new Anne Hathaway flick because you have terrible taste in films. Suddenly you get a text from Kyle, that dude you’ve been casually seeing for a few weeks: “Hey cutie. Netflix and chill at my place?” What do you reply?
A) “I so wish I could, but I already have plans. Maybe tomorrow night?” Then anxiously await an unlikely response all night
B) You want the D. Jessica can’t provide that. Text her that your grandmother just passed so you have to cancel, then scrub yourself with Summer’s Eve as you wait for Kyle to pick you up
C) Don’t reply until you’re at drinks with Jessica, then shoot him a “Sure, why not”. Tell Jessica you’re feeling contagiously sick, finish your drink, then skip the movie and head to Kyle’s
D) Kyle’s been out of the picture since he pronounced “Quinoa” incorrectly a few weeks ago. You delete his number while thinking fondly of Anne Hathaway
Mostly A’s: Accidental Bitch. Sorry, hun. You’re one of the few females who tries hard to be nice to everyone, but in a world overflowing with people worse than you, purity of heart and unwavering kindness are bound to backfire. You told Kaitlyn that dress was cute when it was actually way too tight and totally see-through, so now it’s your fault she looks so awful. Due to your profuse apologies, many girls erroneously accuse you of belonging to the “Two-Faced Bitch” category.
Mostly B’s: Authentic Bitch. In grade school, you refused to smile on Picture Day because nothing about that “staged bullshit” made you happy. You revel in your lack of friendships, and criticize others not due to some deep-rooted insecurity, but out of an all-consuming superiority complex spawned from innate malice. The weaker your peers become, the stronger you evolve. You’re like Voldemort with a Brazilian bikini wax and a nose job.
Mostly C’s: Calculating Bitch. Your overall demeanor is friendly and agreeable because you wait til it counts to release the bitch within. A sweet smile conceals an inferno of judgmental resentment. Seldom do you wield harsh words, but when you do, it’s like that time your newborn baby cousin screamed in Latin during Easter brunch. Witnesses are dumbstruck, the threat is clear, and Deviled Eggs take on a whole new meaning.
Mostly D’s: Self-Righteous Bitch: You say “Gracias” to anyone in the service industry. You’re complex: you hate the outdoors but love what you look like posing in front of tall trees. You dream of the day you can layer forty-seven Honor Student bumper stickers on the back of your hypocritical Prius.
You skipped to the results: Dumb Bitch. You tried putting chapstick on your Scantron on your high school final exams because you heard it’d give you a perfect score. You didn’t know Bill Nye was dead. If there were more examples on this list, you wouldn’t read them because you don’t like when too many words are together in the same place. You also just Googled that Bill Nye thing and look at that, tricked again.
It’s 3am Saturday. Your judgment and delivery options are limited. Be resourceful.
Let me guess: New Year, New You? You’ll be saying that next year too and you know why? Because you aren’t going to change. But don’t get me wrong, your optimism is cute.
I am all about baby steps. No need to set lofty goals only to have them loom tortuously out of reach all year. That is a gluten-free recipe for disaster.
I’ve always been this way. Last month my stepmom gave me some old note cards she’d kept from when I was 12 and 13, on which I’d written my New Year’s resolutions. Some particularly ambitious goals were “Take a drama class”, “Get a perfect score on DDR” and “Turn 13”. Congrats, preteen Helen, you did it all.
Here’s an objective scan of my progress one week into 2016.
smoke less cigarettes: so far, I have smoked far less cigarettes in 2016 than I did during 2015. So this one is going wonderfully.
cook one “real” meal a week: apparently pretzels and soup don’t qualify as nutrition so I’m trying to step up my health game. This morning as I ate a handful of cookie dough for breakfast, I realized actions speak louder than words, and if I ever have a husband I need to be good for something other than sex. So tonight at my house I will be performing a one-woman adaptation of Pixar’s Ratatouille. Get in line, boys.
read happier books: I tend to lean towards melancholy existentialist literature and often wonder if this is because I’m cynical, or if this is why I am. Chicken or egg, it might be nice to brighten up a bit. Right now I’m reading Dead Babies by Martin Amis, which I started in 2015 so it doesn’t count. When I’m done with that I’ll get cracking on something more Devil Wears Prada. Maybe.
go somewhere new every week: this is worded vaguely on purpose. Ideally this goal will motivate me to hitchhike up to Seattle and stay in an AirBnb treehouse, but so far it’s just taken me to the Lagunitas Brewing Company. This weekend I might get gas from a different Valero station. Who knows?
listen to other people: I’m the most insecure narcissist you’ll ever meet, and I don’t shut up about myself, ever. I bet other people have interesting perspectives to share, but I can’t be sure because I always interrupt them with my own voice. To change this, my current strategy has been keeping my mouth shut and mentally repeating “Don’t say anything” as a fellow human speaks. It’s better than nothing, but I don’t catch anything anyone says.
don’t get more tattoos: my most recent ink is a lyric from Gods and Monsters by Lana del Rey. Yeah, I know. I hope to refrain from another permanent impulse buy, even if it means 20 more body piercings.
With my humble standards it’s hard to slip up, so I can stay motivated every week. Besides, what’s the point in attempting an extensive personal makeover when chances are the world is ending in the next five years? Make your dwindling time count by finding a happy medium between self-improvement and daily contentment. Like they say, you can’t fly before you run, you can’t run before you walk, you can’t walk before you crawl, and uhh…
if you can’t crawl, take a cold bath and stop mixing the wrong drugs.