Coworker: “What are you doing?”
Me: “Working on my follow through.”
Coworker: “You’re so weird.”
The above back and forth is a real thing that happened. Yes, in 2015, a man can still be questioned for taking air swings in the break room while he waits for the Keurig water to heat. A year or two ago, I probably would’ve been a little more defensive, but I’ve had a spiritual awakening of sorts recently. Let me clarify: I’ve embraced what I am, and I really don’t give a fuck if it’s weird, or even slightly off-putting. I’m thirty, I wear the occasional Hawaiian, I spend a good portion of my day thinking about golf, and drinking three beers on a weeknight makes me feel just as terrible the next day as drinking eight, so I’ll probably drink eight. There’s no changing it.
Am I open to criticism? Of course. There’s always room from improvement. But when a young, female coworker makes a crack about me dressing like her father, I don’t require a defense mechanism. Why would I? I know what I’m doing is awesome, and given the comparison, it sounds like my young, female coworker’s dad is awesome, too. In fact, in the event that I ever find myself in the above referenced scenario again, I’ll probably request my coworker’s clearly radass father’s contact info to see if he’d like to get nine in after work sometime.
Ponder the opposite of embracing it for a moment: Trying too hard. This is one that I witnessed very recently. A friend of mine, a very dear friend, was out with a group from work, marg-lifing hard at happy hour. Now, maybe you’re still one of the hip, young new hires in your own office, but if you’re anything like him, that ship sailed years ago. There’s nothing wrong with it. So, he’s out there trying to look cool and vibrant, buying Fireball for the interns and what not, but everyone saw right through him. “Where to next?” he asked. This man clearly hasn’t embraced it.
That’s a sad, sad sight. A 35-year-old dude out there trying to hang with the new blood in the office. They saw right through him. Desperation is a bad look, and he was trying way too hard to keep the party alive. You keep getting older, and these entry-level employees stay the same age. You’ll gain more respect if you just own up to the fact that you’ve got a family at home, and you’ll be sleeping on the couch if you don’t make it back before 10 p.m. There’s nothing wrong with the distinguished vibe, but there’s something very wrong with trying too hard. It’s a surefire way to torpedo your standing amongst your peers.
It’s not just 30-year-old dudes, either. If you’re basic, and assuming I’m even using that term correctly, then you need to own it. There’s really nothing wrong with the Golden Doodle you’re begging your boyfriend of four months to purchase you. They’re actually awesome dogs, and they’re hypoallergenic. You’re going to eventually talk your soon-to-be fiancé into getting one, and you’re probably going to name it Ava, or Khaleesi. That’s fine. Was it predictable? Probably, but how fun will it be when you can discuss Game of Thrones with strangers you meet at the dog park?
“Can you believe Stannis? I was just starting to root for him, too!”
Don’t run from it. Be the most basic betch on the block. If some website makes fun of engagement photos, and you take it personally because you and your man took the most adorable engagement pics in the middle of a wooded area while seated upon hay bails, just laugh it off. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then it’s already over for you. This morning, as I rolled into the parking lot in my mid-size SUV with “Country Grammar” blowing out my factory speakers, I made eye contact with myself in the mirror and thought, “I’m a generic white dude, and that’s fine.” I’ve officially embraced it..
Image via YouTube