The Fallback Plan: Advice for the Boomerang Generation
The Fallback Plan is a weekly column, offering advice to those undergoing a second adolescence. For an illustrated fallback plan of your own, write to Leighstein@thefastertimes.com
I am writing you because I’m seeking your advice, and maybe you can even come up with a Fallback Plan for me, as advertised. (Although I doubt it.)
Here’s my issue: I may become a spinster. Or I probably already am a spinster (I won’t reveal my age), due to the general exceeding hopeless disappointing deficiency of men. Any ideas?
Is that a stray cat hair I see on your letter? Just kidding. Contrary to popular belief, not all spinsters keep cats (some are allergic).
Before you settle for a life of bitter despondency, lets look to some famous spinsters for tips on staying fabulous:
Little Edie Beale (Fallback plan = wear cardigan as turban, keep in shape by baton twirling)
Emily Dickinson (Fallback plan = wear white, deliver letters and cookies by dropping basket from window)
Elizabeth I (Fallback plan = wear wig, paint face with lead, defeat Spanish Armada)
Until you find a guy that knocks your handknit socks off, keep marching to the beat of your favorite Icelandic techno, and thank God you weren’t born in Yemen, and married off at 10.
What if I don’t make it as a writer?
Your anxiety has been felt by all the greats, from Aesop to Adolf. There’s a line in Mein Kampf (and I’m paraphrasing here) that basically says, “What if I don’t make it as a painter?” I’m not saying you should quit writing to essentially usurp the Weimar Republic and become a notorious dictator, but I am saying: all the greats go through this.
Here are some things you might try falling back on: a body pillow. Your dad’s shoulder. A school of baby chicks. Clouds shaped like unicorns. Sheep.
Whatever you do, keep writing, and keep believing. No way did Adolf get where he is today by giving up his dream.
I have low self-esteem, which causes me to be very anxious and makes it hard for me to talk to other people, because I see myself as being very awkward. How would you recommend improving my self-esteem?
I had a friend (let’s call her Maryann) and this friend was in a similar position: she wanted to improve her self-esteem. So she signed up for a self-esteem workshop at the School of Burlesque, and asked if I wanted to go with her. “Am I going to have to get naked?” I said. “Probably,” she said. “No thanks,” I said.
Later, I found out that Maryann and her classmates had to sit in a circle, talking about their least favorite body parts, and then showing them to the class. It concluded with a nude catwalk. Why do I tell you this story? Because I think you’re more like me than Maryann. I suspect you want a solution that you can practice in private and here’s how:
First, listen to some Cee Lo Green (I suggest “It’s Ok”), and then spray yourself with a moderate amount of something that smells good. Listen to more Cee Lo. Then listen to ADELE. Think about what the world would be like if they were married. When you feel ready, go forth and find someone to talk to, even if this person is your mom. And instead of worrying about feeling less awkward yourself, focus on making the other person feel less awkward. Think to yourself, “At least I’m not naked. At least I smell good.”
If it goes horribly wrong, you always have the Internet to fall back on. You smell like roses from here.
Cartoons by Sommer Browning
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook
- 10 Shaq Confident He Will Eventually Make Funny Quip on TNT