Forever Young: Reality Bites

RIGHT?! That’s exactly how you feel after college and before job-world. And there’s always a fucking guitar around.

Also, Reality Bites is on Netflix if you haven’t seen it.

Image via popreflection.wordpress.com

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When unlimited texting plans are your enemy

This has NEVER, not once EVER been true. And if you're taking advice from a pair of boobs and an ad that looks like that, PLEASE GOD don't take that advice. Image via textingagirl.com

I’d like to say that modern day dating is a lot more annoying that our ancestors 20 years ago. We can thank unlimited text messaging plans for that!

Have you ever given your number to a cute guy or gal and then get bombarded with way too familiar texts using pet names you haven’t created together yet? Those people should be excommunicated from the dating world and sent to text each other into oblivion. Or, we can make them stand in a foot of water and dare them to keep texting. Or make them be cannibals so their thumbs fall off a la The Road. It can be called “The Texting Games.”

Maybe these serial texters think it’s hot, or attentive, or a good way to drag you down and make you cave into hanging out with them (in their parent’s basement or worse-Applebees). Buuuut just about everyone I know gets immediately turned off with a newbie that doesn’t know when to stop sending the dumbest messages alive. Don’t you? I’m not talking about a guy or gal you’re really into keeps texting you because you’re BOTH really into each other. I’m talking, met last night, drunkenly handed over your number, and the grammatically incorrect texts haven’t stopped since then.

Yup! Image via stoppopculture.com

Seriously, where has society failed these people? Was it our dwindling class schedules during the Bush years? The unavoidable era of emo kids who didn’t speak but emoted through text and spoken word recitals? The cancellation of Arrested Development? Or is it those $40 all-inclusive phones you can buy near the register at Walmart and the gas station? Great. So the people you and I hand our numbers out to probably buy their cell phones at gas stations and wore black exclusively from 2003-2008.

My advice for them: If you want to have a long conversation to get to know someone, get a fucking cocktail, don’t text them for three hours and then stalk their facebook ‘likes’ for possible points of interest. It’s creepy, unattractive and every other apalling adjective you can think of.

I’ve always thought the “text three days later” thing was bullshit. Of course there are exceptions, but maybe there’s some serious truth to it for most interactions. It’s nice to want and miss things, right? If they’re just handing over their affection immediately, it feels cheap and mass produced, like a hamburger from McDonalds. There’s nothing special about a hamburger from McDonalds. Don’t be a hamburger from McDonalds! For the love of God, make a plan to be with humans and put the phone down. It’s really best for us all.

 

Dating: 20 something style

Dating with extremely limited funds can be stressful due to normalized date activities like going out to dinner, to a movie or some other event that costs money. When dollar bills are tight, there are still fun things you can do with your dates without having to spend your shitty, one-bedroom rent money.

20 somethings are poor. If you're not, you're doing it wrong. Photo: Dan Perjovschi
20 somethings are poor. If you're not, you're doing it wrong. Photo: Dan Perjovschi

 Plan your Netflix accordingly 

There’s only so much joy we can all squeeze from Netflix instant. If you plan your queue correctly, you can have your movies arrive just in time for your low-budget date. Plus, there’s something retro about watching a movie on a DVD. Traditional, even. That is if you still own a TV and DVD player. If not, cuddling up close to see your small laptop screen is good too.

Learn to cook, you lazy asshole

Cooking is not that hard. Of course, mistakes can be made, but you’ve gotta stop being such a wimp and get back on that horse, sport! Cooking at home is not only fun (I swear!) but can also be relatively inexpensive, compared to going out to a restaurant.

Cooking dinner together is a really fun date anyways. Get an inexpensive yet not god-awful wine, break out the cookbook and ingredients and let the kitchen fun begin. You’ll have something to keep your hands busy, a drink in your hand and a (hopefully) amazing dinner to eat at the end of it. Otherwise the fast food you order will be a hilariously good time. Win-win.

Game night, bitches

Game nights are awesome. Don’t pretend like you’re too cool for game nights. A bottle of wine, a double or triple date and a hearty game of Apples to Apples is the definition of fun, folks. Plus you get to yell at people and tell them why they suck for not picking your card, which is great stress release.

Anything free

There are always free activities to take advantage of, whether they are free days at the museum or some friend of a friend’s crappy band playing a crappy house show. In the summer, lots of cities and communities have free concerts that are more than perfect for 20 something dates, as they provide the perfect environment to be snobby about your music preferences. That’s love, kids.

Food: Pizza bagels

20, poor and fabulous. Well, in-my-20s, poor and very fabulous. Minor details.

Having little money, an aversion to fast food and a pantry full of parent-friendly 16 grain bread and such, I am often forced to be very creative with my late-ish night snacks. 9:30 isn’t very late, but when you live with your parents and they love a 5:00 dinner, 9:30 can feel like a lifetime.

In between reruns of Sex and the City, my appetite, and thirst for wine to take the unemployed edge off, run rampant. I could take the easy way out and hit up Taco Bell, but I’m not that stupid. Eating that shit is stupid enough in the day light, let alone hours away from bedtime. So I find creative, sometimes awesome, oftentimes disgusting ways to fill my belly with healthier options right from my parents pantry.

Tonight it was, you guessed it, 16-grain bread, organic pizza sauce and pepper jack and mozzerella cheeses. Maybe it sounds good, maybe it sounds bad, but it wasn’t all it lived up to be. I’m no slouch in the kitchen, but sometimes when you don’t have what you crave, you have to get creative and hope for the best.

Yummmmmmmmmmmm, Photo: smellslikefoodinhere.blogspot.com
Yummmmmmmmmmmm, Photo: smellslikefoodinhere.blogspot.com

However, I can entrust you with a simple, inexpensive and amazing late-night alternative to 16-grain pizzas and a call to Papa Johns (but holy shit, that garlic sauce is fucking awesome.)

Late Night Pizza Bagels

There are a few ways to make late night pizza with things not involving Taco Hut. Bagels are an awesome option in place of 16 grain bread. But when it comes down to brass tacks, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Ingredients

Bagels

Jar of pizza sauce

Italian cheeses, mixed bag or cheeses of your choice

Optional: Meats, veggies, anything that can go on a pizza

Cut the bagels in half and place on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the pizza sauce over the cut bagels covering the surface and using as much sauce as you’d like. Then sprinkle the cheese over the sauce. Place any toppings you’d like on top of the cheese. Pepperonis work great, but I don’t know many people who just happen to have pepperonis on hand. Put the bagels in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the bagels feel crispy and the cheese has melted.

My good-intentioned 16-grain pizza debacle.
My good-intentioned 16-grain pizza debacle.

I hope you enjoy your fool-proof pizza bagels. Try them, they are so so easy to make even if you hate cooking with all of your soul. They are seriously awesome, and a bajillion times better than the disastrous 16-grain pizzas I made tonight. Which may be attributed to my hatred of 16-grain bread.