“Recipes That Work: How to fail at life”

Decide you’re going to improve

  1. Tell your parents you’re finally moving out. They won’t believe you, seeing as how you’ve “moved out” five times in the past two years
  2. Pack boxes with all the stuff you won’t need. Use your clothes to wrap up the fragile stuff (except your heart – leave that for last)
  3. Tell your mother that this time you’re gone for good. Tell her you found a job in Long Beach. She’ll say that they’ll keep your room furnished. Just in case
  4. Move out
  5. Love your new place. Tell yourself that the mold on the walls is part of the decor
  6. Love your job. Feel convinced that 9-5 deskwork is better than sleeping in your childhood bedroom
  7. Miss your mother
  8. Miss your mother’s cooking
  9. Eat lunch at the same diner everyday. Make friends with the waitress
  10. Be extra nice to your boss at work. Hope he gives you a promotion
  11. Call your parents. Tell them you love it in Long Beach. Don’t mention that you have yet to see the beach
  12. Ask for overtime
  13. Open a savings account for the first time in your life
  14. Spend four months debating whether or not you like your job
  15. Decide you hate your job
  16. Start looking for another job
  17. Talk to your friend at the diner. She’ll tell you there’s a cashier position open. Take it
  18. Call your parents. Tell them you got a new job. Tell them you’re a finance manager at a local restaurant. Don’t specify that the restaurant is a diner. Or that finance manager means cashier
  19. Think that the diner isn’t so bad
  20. The waitress quits and gets herself a better job. Feel betrayed
  21. The manager asks you to work nights and clean up, on account of the waitress quitting
  22. Mop the floor
  23. Wipe the tables
  24. Decide you’re tired of the diner
  25. Leave without telling anyone
  26. Start looking for another job. Wonder whether you should tell your parents
  27. Fail at finding job openings
  28. Scream
  29. Cry
  30. Complain to the moldy walls
  31. Cave in and call your parents
  32. Scream
  33. Cry
  34. Complain to your mother
  35. Allow yourself to soak in her comforting advice
  36. Ignore your father when he says he’s sure you’ll find another job
  37. Mope around the apartment
  38. Argue profusely with yourself (out loud)
  39. Make a valid argument for why you should leave Long Beach
  40. Go to the beach. Act unimpressed when you watch the sunset, even though you’re deeply moved
  41. Decide that you haven’t moped enough. Eat a bucket of Ben & Jerry’s mint chocolate ice cream
  42. Cry because you know you shouldn’t have eaten that much ice cream
  43. Crave Chinese food. Order a meal that could feed six people. Eat it all. Resist stabbing yourself in the eyes with the neon orange chopsticks
  44. Blame the walls for being moldy
  45. Blame your parents for letting you move out
  46. Blame the diner manager. Blame the waitress. Blame Long Beach
  47. Blame yourself
  48. Resolve that you’ve done enough blaming to last at least a month
  49. Get a haircut. Realize that it didn’t help. Cry for the eight inches of hair you just paid to get chopped off
  50. Hum the tune of the most depressing song you know
  51. Make a habit of sighing and feeling sorry for yourself
  52. Go back to the beach. Watch women your age laugh with their perfect families. Be jealous
  53. Go back to your sad excuse of an apartment. Glare at your moldy audience
  54. Become an insomniac. Each night, lie in bed and stare at the pockmarked ceiling
  55. Think until your head hurts. Call your mother
  56. Cry together. Tell her you’re tired of being an adult. She’ll tell you she understands. Know that she doesn’t
  57. Hang up
  58. Pack boxes with all the stuff you won’t need. Use your clothes to wrap up the fragile stuff, including your heart
  59.  Alternate between laughing and crying
  60. Finish packing
  61. Go back to Boston
  62. Take a cab to your parents’ place. Knock on the door
  63. Try to ignore the look on your father’s face
  64. Hug your mother. Ask her what smells so good. Try not to barf when she says Chinese
  65. Go up to your old bedroom. Dump the box with your heart in it on the twin size bed
  66. Smile
  67. Decide that self-improvement is over-rated

 

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