#447 Walking into a crowded busy party and suddenly locking eyes with someone you know across the room

Ding-dong.

The door opens to you on the porch in your just-washed jeans and crispy clean shirt staring into a sweaty sea of strange faces. You walk in and stumble past a pile of shoes and a kissing couple while awkwardly scanning the room for some friendly faces. Stepping a bit deeper into the anonymous bass-thumping scene you move past empty bowls of chips, slippery wet countertops, and loud laughs … wondering for a second if you’re in the right place.

Then it happens.

You make laserbeam eye contact with a close friend smiling across the crowded room.

Suddenly it’s all confirmed.

You belong here.

AWESOME!

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#448 The smell and feel of bedsheets that dried outside in the sun

Drift and dream into that crispy clean.

It’s always good when you can leave the sheets outside and let the sun do what the sun does best: be hot, heat things up, keep being hot. Just clothespin your business to the line, point up at the giant fireball in the sky and say “Over to you.”

Soon you’ll be spreading those sun drenched sheets over your mattress and curling into their warm wind-swept arms as you slip and fade into a cozy little world of

AWESOME!

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#449 Staying up so late that everything becomes hilariously funny

Midnight is long gone.

Maybe you’re crowded around a kitchen table pasting construction paper onto poster board, squirreled into sleeping bags on a cold basement floor, or drinking cold coffee and leaning over laptops before tomorrow’s big deadline.

Either way, it’s time to face facts: you’re up way too late.

Your eyes burn a bit, your head spaces out, random arms or legs starts throbbing, and maybe your scalp gets really, really, really, really itchy. Point is, you’ve ignored your body’s Go to Sleep signals for hours so now you’re hunched over a walking stick squinting deep into the foggy darkness of four, five, six in the morning.

The good news is your brain has developed just the system to charge you up with extra juice and help you power through. Yes, we’re talking about massively lowered Standards of Hilarity which help make everything funny. Someone steps on Styrofoam Jupiter, kicks a can of Coke onto the pizza, or accidentally deletes the Powerpoint slides, and suddenly everyone looks up at each other with tired raccoon eyes and… just starts cracking up.

 

Late night laughing is a beautiful moment because we’re letting ourselves stand up and step back from whatever’s keeping us up. Gone are the stresses of the group project, hanging dread of the deadline, and tensions tying us together. Now the differences dissolve and we realize we’re all part of the same Bleary Eyed Giggling clan — telling bad jokes, laughing till it hurts, and smiling till sunrise.

AWESOME!

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#450 Those horrible fake accents made by close friends when they’re telling stories

Believe it.

It’s your girlfriend at the lunch table doing her dad’s lecture with a bizarre sailor with a sore throat inflection. It’s your grandson at Thanksgiving pretending to be his angry first grade teacher, hitting the squeaky high notes with fist thumps and furrowed brows. It’s your best friend giggling on your bed about her new college classmates who sound like they’re all from a tiny island off a made-up country.

There’s just something hilarious about watching a good friend tell a story with a horrible accent. If you’re lucky the terrible impersonation becomes a new joke itself and you end up laughing in a neverending cycle of

AWESOME!

 

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#451 Managing to wake up at the right time even though you forgot to set your alarm

That was a close one.

Last night you hit the pillow without a safety net and fell into a free-falling slumber with no end in sight. You could have slept all day, you could have slept all night, but somehow you got up just in time. Yes, you sprung up like a Jack-in-the-Box with your heart beating, eyeballs popping, staring in shock at your curiously quiet clock.

But that’s when you suddenly tap your temple with your finger and nod a slow nod at the genius of your own brain. Thank goodness that pink fleshy lump knew the deal and stayed awake counting seconds all night so you could pop up right when you needed to.

AWESOME!

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#453 Getting sweaty and jumping in

Time for some fun in the sun.

Spiking volleyballs in the backyard, tossing frisbees at the beach, or just running around in your bathing suit on the scorching sand, it’s always fun getting hot and sweaty before racing to the edge of the dock or tip-toeing to the front of the diving board. Now with your forehead dripping, eyeballs stinging, skin sticky and sweaty, you stare into the deep water and smile before splashing right into a cool refreshing world of

AWESOME!

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#454 Getting ready super fast when there’s no time to shower

My friend Mike taught me the power of Mustache Maintenance.

Whenever we were running late on a Friday night back in college Mike would race up the stairs and shave off his mustache fuzz in ten quick seconds. It took away his dirty upper lip look without taking all the time of a full shave and we’d be on our way to meeting friends at the bar without spending much time getting ready.

Over the years whenever I’ve been running late for school, work, or a social event I’ve pulled off Mustache Maintenance with great results. Because let’s face it: whenever you don’t have much time to get ready it’s always beautiful when you can just sorta fake it:

1. The Old Spice Shower. Sure, the full shower’s great if you can get it, but there’s only five minutes to spruce up it’s time for a few swipes of deodorant, a spray of perfume, and the ol’ sniff test. Feel free to wet your hair a little bit too.

2. The Underwear Refresh. Sometimes you’re a little sweaty down there but there’s no time to pick out a new wardrobe. That’s when you strip it all off, swap the dampness for dryness, and get back to business. Sweaty socks, wet undershirts, everything must go!

3. Ditch the kicks. Cramming your feet in there and tying up shoelaces could slow you down so consider scrapping the shoes and hitting the town in socks only. (Note: Only applies to babies.)

4. The Smooth Strip. If you’re wearing a business suit but don’t have time to iron your entire shirt then just take care of the little front patch that people will see. Make sure to leave your jacket on all day otherwise everyone will call you Ol’ Wrinkly Arms.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with some serious primping and preening before the party. All we’re saying is that when you don’t have time to get clean and groom then it’s fine landing somewhere in between. Just relax knowing you put on a good face even though you didn’t have time to wash it.

AWESOME!

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#455 Digging a giant hole in your mashed potatoes so you can fill it up with gravy

Get your mash on long.

Get your mash on strong.

How great is it that a bunch of rock-hard brown things yanked from the dirt can turn into a creamy smooth-n-salty canvas of deliciousness right in the middle of our plates? I’m talking salty lumps, I’m talking tasty bumps, I’m talking mashed potatoes, people.

Mashed potatoes are one of the few foods who achieve that rare 10 out of 10 on sculptability:

Lakes and ponds. The classic. Nobody’s bending burgers into teapots or folding pancakes into salad plates, but we’ve got no problems curving sloppy potatoes into gravy swimming pools in no time flat.

Broken dams. Need some gravy on that turkey? No problem — just slice a gully in the side of Lake Gravy and watch the salty brown goodness lay a flash flood on that bird.

Retaining walls. Sorry? What’s that? Unruly cranberry sauce is threatening to contaminate your casserole? No problem! Just smear some mashed potato paste across your plate like mortar and keep all the flavors where they belong.

• Buried volcano. When you got the gravy pond sitting pretty on your plate it’s sometimes fun letting it soak in and then quickly flipping the entire structure onto itself, completely submerging the gravy under a thin sheen of potato. Now you’ve got a starchy chest full of treasure.

And because mashed potatoes offer so much potential it’s not uncommon to see other creations like green-bean porcupines or lumpy Pyramids of Giza in the middle of a mashed potato plate. There is really no limit to the possibilities so just remember to dig for the moment, sculpt for the memories, and build for your life.

AWESOME!

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#456 When your friend returns the book they borrowed and they actually read it

Man, I’m a master of the Ghost Loan.

This is where I borrow someone’s favorite book and them promptly leave it on my shelf for months without touching it. Sure, I see it, I look at it, I think about it, I want to read it, but I just… don’t. And then I keep it for a while, thinking I’ll eventually get to it, but eventually I just admit defeat and return it unread, unfinished, unsatisfied.

It’s always a sad moment because that’s when your friend looks up at you with wide, eager eyes and asks “So what did you think of my favorite book in the whole universe, the one I kindly lent you for months on end, depriving myself and other readers of its powerful words so you could enjoy them?”

That is true pain.

Of course, that’s why it’s great returning a friend’s book after you actually read the thing. And hey, special props if you even liked it. Now you get to give it back with some extra dents, extra creases and share your thoughts with your pal.

Books are such personal pleasures of secret silent moments between you and the pages. They lift you up, drag you down, and stir emotions and memories deep in your bones. When you return a friend’s favorite book it’s like you just got to share all those secret silent moments with them too.

AWESOME!

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