Friday, October 23, 2015

The things I wish I'd had the confidence to say in my first interviews

I sat in the interview for the major publication — a big newspaper for a big city and its big surrounding metro.

I was a 22 year old college senior, desperate for a place to go and write when I was finished with school, but with no real experience besides a handful of unpaid internships and an editorial position at an online student publication.

I didn't even want to write for this newspaper. I wanted to be a copywriter. But I suppose I figured I'd take this interview to get practice.

The editor sat across from me at a giant metal desk that took up two-thirds of the tiny, bare bones room they'd given him for the day to conduct interviews.

He'd come all this way to do some recruiting at our j-school. So there I was.

I shared with him some clips and attempted to charm (aka bullshit) the crap out of the editor.

"Well, unfortunately, we have all of our entry writing positions filled," he said, "And, we actually only hire Yale grads."

"Then why are you here?" I said.

"Why are you wasting my time?"

"Why are you wasting your time?"

Only I didn't say that. I didn't say any of that.

What I did say was nothing. Nothing memorable. I shrank into the itchy, woven chair I was sitting in that demanded slouching. The little confidence I did have deflated like a sad balloon.


I've heard horror stories about insane questions and hoop jumps interviewers ask of applicants. I guess It's not unusual that people holding interviews come across kind of … douchey.

But what I think interviewers forget is that just as they're interviewing an applicant for a right fit, applicants are also interviewing a job, a company, a culture, a boss.

But when you're 22 and the economy's in the toilet — especially the economy that hires WRITERS... with ZERO experience — you tend to lose sight of that fact. You put up with a douche bag or two.

I had seven interviews for a job once. Six on the phone. And for the seventh, they flew me down to meet the team. I left at 6am. The cab dropped me a mile away from the office. I walked to their high rise in 100 degree Texas heat in the middle of July.

I interviewed with the team for eight hours. They told me they liked me. They seemed cool. The work was copywriting. It wasn't the sexiest copywriting. But it was a start.

And in the final hour, the whole team and I met in a conference room for rapid fire insanity. "Do you ever cry at work?" "Are you scared of moving away from Ohio?" "Do you clash with people?"... DO I CLASH WITH PEOPLE? Like, if I did, I wouldn't tell you anyways.

You'd think I was going for a C-level gig. I wasn't.

I'd wished I'd had the cajones to tell them their interviewing was ridiculous. That they should know by now if they liked me or not. I wished I'd had the walk-away power to, well, walk away.

But I had no confidence.


Yet, I did have work ethic. And I had proof from keeping a minimum wage job for seven years. I had an auto-sorting brain that created outlines as stories unfolded. I had a ginormous heart. And spirit. And I also had drive.

If I could do it all over, I'd forget the bullshit. Because that's all it is … bullshit.

I'd tell them straight up, "look, I don't have experience. But I can promise you that I will work my ass off. And I won't settle for good work. I won't stop until I've done great work. And I can't prove that until you give me a chance to."

And if it was a company who decided they'd want to string me along for seven interviews and ask me questions about how likely I was to cry at the office, I'd walk away.

Imagine my surprise when I interviewed at my current company and they were interested in my heart. And my years spent volunteering. And they were excited to invest in me as a writer. And show me what kind of stuff we'd be doing as a team.

Our graphic designer and my now great friend applied to a position at our company right out of college that required 5-10 years of experience. In her interview she was honest and passionate (and had a kick ass portfolio which helped.) She told us straight up, "Obviously I don't have ten years of experience, but I do have raw talent. And I know I'll do great work."

And we were sold. Our CEO and creative team created a position for her. And now she's kickin ass.

Honesty in interviews, imagine that. That's no bullshit.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

No judgment. No problem.

As I stood there waiting to hand my ID and boarding pass over for the TSA agent to scan, he looked down at my shirt. 

It was a white Nike tank with a pinkish filtered photo of stairs on it. "No Gym. No problem," it said.

"That's my motto," the TSA agent said.

I looked at his heavy build. He was big — at least 300 pounds. He stood at the counter, his chair a good foot away from him, but I immediately thought his comment to be sarcastic. I thought thoughts no one should think. I questioned my purchasing the shirt, not realizing no gym, no problem could also be interpreted as, "I'm fine just never going to the gym" or "I'm fine just sitting on my ass all day and never doing any physical activity. No gym? No problem. Fine by me!"

All those thoughts pouring in a matter of milliseconds.

I snapped out of confusion as he scanned my information and I gave him a smile, thinking about how much of a smart ass he was for that comment.

"It's that very logic that's gotten me to where I am today," he said, "I used to be twice this size."


He continued, "It's that kind of thinking — that the world is your gym — that's gotten me moving, and has kept me going."

"Wow!" I exploded. "That is so awesome! Keep up the good work!" I was so inspired.

But in my head I felt so ashamed, for immediately jumping to "he must be using sarcasm."

I have always had a strict no judgment rule when at the gym or on a track or in a race — or when just generally seeing a person who was working on their health. Because you can't see an overweight person going on a walk and think, "they should really do something about that overweight problem," obviously, because they are.

But why stop there? That's total bullshit. Because we don't know everybody's stories. We really don't know where they are or what they've been through.

If I had lost 200 pounds, but still had work to go, I'd want everybody to know. I'd shout it from the rooftops, "I KNOW IT ISN'T OBVIOUS BUT I'VE COME SO FAR!"

But at the same time, I would have grown so much patience, and quiet confidence and perseverance. Things I often struggle with.

I could have hugged that man that day. I can't imagine the kind of pride he must have, and I think about him often. No gym no problem likely saved his life.

When I think I'm in a rut, or I'm not noticing any differences in my speed or weight lifted or ability, I think about him.

When an athlete I look up to breaks a PR and I know I will never have that kind of speed, I think about him.

When the people I love finally understand what I mean when they experience a new level of health, I think about him.

Everybody's journey looks different, but most people never know how good their bodies were made to feel. He's on his way there. And he's proud.

We were meant to find our own gyms. And they don't all look the same. Fitness isn't the same for everyone. Perfect form is relative.

There's another great Nike line: There is no finish line.

Great, because the finish line is always moving forward with you. It's dynamic and different for every person.

No gym. No problem.
Just freaking do it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


"I could be in Bora Bora by now."

There's something about airports that makes everybody savages.

All of a sudden we lose all perspective and immediately wherever you're going becomes so much more important than where anybody else is going.

I once saw a woman ask if she could get in front of a man in the security line because her plane was boarding and the man replied with, "I have a plane to catch too." I then saw him at my gate. For my plane. And I was two hours early.

I usually try way too hard to be exceptionally friendly and abnormally patient. I thank every employee. I let people in front of me in line even when they don't ask. Because I'm grossly nice. Like, disgustingly nice. But today I hit the end of my airport patience rope.

Two words: Stand by.

I fly a lot. I spend way too much money on airfare. So when a Southwest airlines employee who's a friend of my family gave me the opportunity to use a standby pass for free I took him up on his offer.

But I didn't think flights would be so full and I'd spend hours waiting to make flights. Even, worse I didn't know I'd be treated like the scum of the airport.

Empathy and good manners can only help so much when employees have no interest in helping you. That capitalized NON-REVENUE on my ticket was my scarlet letter. And no please and thank you rainstorm was going to get me out of this one.

I sit in the Seattle airport praying for the misfortune of others as flights fill up with paying customers — a slow TSA employee, a missed connection, the adorable drug dogs I'm not allowed to pet to find something in someone's bag, an alien abduction. "Please, God, anything. One can only watch so many miserable retirees who hate their spouses lose patience with each other. I know you like me more than them. That's how prayer works, right?"

The only thing that is getting me through this incorrigible experience is the families I've seen. I could watch five year olds who can't sit still excitedly squirm in uncomfortable airport chairs for hours.

Twenty four hours ago, when I was waiting to get onto my original flight, a great family sat next to me. The children — two, probably aged six and eight — were so genuine and polite and excited and well-spoken. They laughed with their grandparents and listened to each others' stories. None of them had pads or tabs or airs or beats. Just conversation. And it was so refreshing.

I didn't even care when the little boy playing with grandpa accidentally ran over my Quiznos with his roller suitcase.

He apologized.
It was still delicious.

After a handful of full airplanes and cries on the phone to my boyfriend, I make a flight to Baltimore 27 hours after my initial attempt. I'm just thankful I got the heck out of one airport, even if it means spending more time in another before heading to Pittsburgh.

"This is all to get to effing Pittsburgh?"

As I'm double checking with the fifteenth Southwest employee of the day and first one in Baltimore what my odds are looking like for getting home, I think about the rollercoaster of emotions I'd experienced in the last twenty four hours. (Pardon my cliche.) I'd gone from sad-to-leave-Seattle to a "we'll get them next time" optimism and on to complete and utter hopelessness. At this point in Baltimore, I'm just feeling numb. Just a "whatever happens, man" kind of way.

I'm not interested in smiling at the employees or really even having any friendliness. I'm simply exhausted.

But as the PIT-bound flight starts to load, a middle-aged man who's missed his connecting flight starts screaming at the employee at the counter next to me.


F bomb. F bomb. F bomb.

"I am canceling your flight in the morning, sir. You will have to find another flight home."

Man doesn't comprehend that he just got himself kicked off his flight and walks away screaming. He's going to have a great morning.

"How are you doing?" the employee asks me.

"Better than him," I say.

I was being honest.

Yet at the same time, I know that my day had been three times longer than that man's. I'd been bumped back from eight total flights. I'd been talked down to by employees all day long. And yet here I was. Certainly not cursing at anybody.

Patience is a real virtue. I sound like Master Po, but it's freaking true.
Nonetheless, you don't have to have patience to treat people with general respect, and not think others as less than yourself. You could be the most impatient person in the world, but never in a million years consider to call someone a name because you missed a flight.

It's nice to be able to make light out of a situation like that with the Southwest employees. "I'm so sorry you guys have to deal with people like that," I say. And I mean it.

"It's part of the job," they reply.

I sigh and thank them for all they do as the man who yelled before starts walking back up to ask another question, as if he hadn't just cursed them out. That's what happens when you think you're better than others. You think it's your right to scream at anyone and get away with it. And then nonchalantly ask a question as if nothing happened. You lose sight of the fact that these people you're screaming at have a little more authority than they let on.

If patience is a virtue, arrogance is its evil twin.

I cheer as my boarding pass prints, give it a big kiss and head to board the plane before I have to witness the man lose his mind again, doing heel clicks all the way down the jet bridge.

In the end, I got a round trip flight to Seattle for free. I got to spend an awesome weekend with my brother and an extra night in a pretty cool city. Flying non-revenue is a privilege I am thankful for, and I think I still came out on top.

32 hours later, I was headed home.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I like to go to movies by myself

Universal Studios, Gold Circle Films

After a long day at work yesterday with too many minutes spent getting upset about things that don't actually matter — curse those darn days when I forget perspective — I looked up show times for Pitch Perfect 2 at a red light on my way home. (Bad, I know. Don't check showtimes and drive, Erin.)

But hey! There was one starting at 6:30 at the theater five minutes away. And it was 6:30! I'd miss the previews, but show up just in time.

I entered the theater and ordered my ticket and a small popcorn — six popcorn kernels for $9.00 each. What a steal! I made a quick comment to the three teenage boys working the counter about how the minions version of sour patch kids was total bull shit — they're just yellow and blue blobs. They then informed me of all of the different sour candy scams, like the Jurassic Park Mike and Ikes that are literally just Tropical flavored Mike and Ikes. Again, bull shit.

Kevin's my favorite. So much sass.

I asked where the movie was, and one of the kids said, "It's going to be Theater number five on your right."

I went to my left before actually comprehending what he said, turned around and headed in.

The movie had already started, which made sense because I was a few minutes late. I was weird to me how the movie began with the Barden Bellas already at the Acapella World Championships in Copenhagen, but I figured perhaps the premise of the movie took place after college, where Anna Kendrick's character takes on post-collegiate 'capella or something.

Immediately pumped though. Awesome performances. (Won't give any spoilers.) But, wait ... who were these mean German people singing Fall Out Boy? And who was this other girl? I don't remember the little girl from True Grit being in this movie? Maybe I had forgotten a part or two from the first Pitch Perfect.

Or maybe, the movie was going to be made up of flashbacks. Everybody likes a good out-of-order story. They remind me of color-by-number pages where you don't get the picture until you've used all the colors. You fill in the holes until you have the whole picture. What a cool way to do it, I thought to myself. Bravo, Elizabeth Banks.
This color-by-number is so obviously a mariachi puppy.

They then initiated the girl from True Grit into their Barden Bellas, made her go through their rituals, and then the title sequence began.

Only it wasn't the title sequence.

It was the credits.


Yesterday I went to a movie that I thought started at 6:30pm, but it turns out I'd had checked showtimes for the wrong theater. The next showing of Pitch Perfect 2 wasn't until 7:45pm, and I'd watched the end of a 4:50 start. I walked out and joked with those three teens from before about how big of a doofus I am. I guess it happens all the time, they told me. But I think they were just being nice. Fortunately, they let my come back at 7:45 with my half-eaten bag of popcorn to watch the whole movie. Everything was much less confusing the second time around. Everything was in order. The German singers were still mean.


My friend Joe used to laugh about the concept of going to the movies in a big group. It's true that it's not exactly the most social of activities.

"Let's all sit in a dark room and not talk to each other," he'd say sarcastically.

And, for someone like me or him, who find great energy in conversations about both topics that don't matter and topics that matter a lot, going to the movies and not talking doesn't seem like much bonding.

But there are people who find comfort in spending time with people, not necessarily conversation. My boyfriend is one of those people. He feels close with people who he feels like he can be alone with. People he doesn't have to be "on" for.

I've mentioned before how much I like hanging out with myself. I enjoy being the kind of person who can sit at a lunch counter and enjoy a sandwich without having to have someone with me. Without having to stare at my phone.

Which means, that while I don't particularly enjoy going to movies with a big group of friends, I do enjoy going alone.

Since finding this joy, I've noticed how many other people do it, too. Seriously, next time you're at a movie, look around. I'm sure there will be tons of people there by themselves. And it isn't because they're creepy. It's because they like the movies. They like the big screen. They like getting a bag of $18 popcorn and just spending time with themselves. It's therapy.

You have to take yourself out sometimes. You have to love yourself, and to love your own company. Because you're the only person who's going to be with you everywhere you go.

And if, by chance, your favorite kind of alone time also happens to be in a movie theater, remember to always double check the show time. And never while you're driving.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The runner wave

When running first began as a recreational craze in America it looked like the book below.

That's the cover for a book called Jogging. It was written by William Bowerman in 1967, and it was one of the first takes on running for your health. If you can't read it, the cover quotes The New York Times: "Jogging is an in sport." Thanks for that Times. Thanks.

Newsweek, apparently having just learned what a pun is, is also quoted on the cover: "Many doctors recommend jogging, literally tell patients to 'RUN FOR YOUR LIVES'." Good one Newsweek. Good one.

Some think that recreational running only appeared within the last few years, but remember the olympics are a thing. A really old thing.

Nonetheless, a culture of recreational running started to develop in the mid-sixties, when people started to tap into that endorphin resource that comes with a good jog. (mmm endorphins...) Companies like Nike developed special running shoes and the coveted swoosh, and now we get to wear kick ass tights like these. The rest is history.

Today, everybody does it. Everybody has at least been on a jog (many to realize that it really does suck most of the time). I can't tell you how pumped I am about this. I'm pumped about the high percentage of my Facebook friends who have somewhere in their profile pictures a shot of them crossing a finish line, or holding up a medal or chugging a post-race IPA. Hell yeah! I'm pumped about cities that once found themselves the fattest and are now among the fittest. Average people are pushing themselves to compete in things like ironman triathlons, ultra marathons in the middle of deserts, and CrossFit (haha, just kidding).

Running culture is a really cool thing.

I like to talk to my older running friends, who've been at it for a while. Whose miles could have got them to the moon by now (… you know if running to the moon was an actual option…) "What was it like?" I ask, "What did you wear? How was an East Coast winter without $100 running tights and thermal Under Armor?"

I'm thankful to have had people in my life who've been in the jogging game since practically its inception, mostly because they were able to teach me one sacred thing: the runner wave.

What is it?

When you're on a run and you see someone else who's also on a run … you wave.

It's awesome.

It says, "Hey, we're both running, and I'm acknowledging this."

But it also says so much more.

It says, "Hey, I'm not a murderer."

It says, "Hey, I don't take myself too seriously."

It says, "Hey, I may be running 30 miles and you may only be running two, but I think it's awesome you're out here."

"Hey, we both have icicles on our mustaches and snowflakes on our eyelashes and we're in this together."

Most importantly, it says, "You've got this."

No matter what you look like, or how much of a hard time you're having, no matter how far you're going, or how far you've gone, it says, "You've. Freaking. Got this."

So why don't as many people know about the runner wave any more? My theory is this: The population growth of running culture happened so widespread and so quickly that education on proper waving protocols was not adequately delivered to new members of the running tribe.

I'm trying to change that.

I'm determined to spread awareness of the runner wave. Because it's a really awesome thing. My goal is for an entire wave of people (see what I did there?) to know about it, and practice it regularly on a run.

And it's important to note that there are people out on the trail/pavement who are on their run to get away from the world. Trust me, I get that. The last thing these people want is to smile and wave at a stranger. They'd rather just face forward and get in the zone, and put on their Bitchy Resting Face and be left alone. They're still worth waving at.

Because motivation matters. If you're a runner, you get that. There is a battle going on in your head, telling you to slow down, telling you to walk, telling you that you're wasting your time, telling you that there is a Hot Pocket in the freezer at home. It's our duty to not be a holes. It's our duty to wave each other on.

Smile at strangers, and wave at other runners. (Hell, wave at walkers too.) Let the others know that you feel their pain, that you meet them where they are. Let them know that you get it.

Alas, those of you who decide to take this wave and roll with it, know that not everybody knows about the wave yet, and not everybody is going to wave back, but whatever you do, don't stop waving. If they ignore your awesome gesture of motivation, that's on them. Not you. So rock on.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The burden of being observant and kind

There is incredible burden that comes with being simultaneously observant and kind.

For starters, you're always noticing great ways to help others.
For another, you notice all the time how very often, you're the only one.

I'd argue that this combination can be exhausting. Ones who share such a burden think, "I'm always the only one noticing the old lady with the groceries and helping her cross the street," "How come I'm the only one who thinks to send the thank you note?" "Why am I the only one who understands how freaking loud that ridiculous Dyson air blower is in this bathroom and some people who might have sensitive ears like I don't know maybe this infant in the room might be bothered if I use it to dry my hands for an exceptionally long period of time?"

First of all, take a deep breath.  If this is you, you aren't the only one. I swear! There are tons of people like you! And there is hope!

I've deduced that there are four types of people in these possibility-of-helping-another-if-only-someone-was-paying-attention situations:
  1. Kind, but not observant.
  2. Kind and observant.
  3. Unkind, but observant.
  4. Unkind and unobservant. 

Type 1: A pregnant lady gets onto a crowded subway. This person, seated, does not observe the pregnant lady's situation and therefore doesn't think to give this lady his or her seat. (Perhaps someone taps her on the shoulder and points out the pregnant lady. Then this kind person will give up his or her seat for the pregnant lady.) I believe there are lot of people who just don't pay attention, no matter how big their hearts are.

Type 2: A pregnant lady gets onto a crowded subway. This person, seated, notices the struggle and invites the pregnant lady to take his or her seat.

Type 3: A pregnant lady gets onto a crowded subway. This person, seated, notices, but does not want to give up the seat to anyone, as getting a seat is hard. Perhaps person type three will justify not giving up his or her seat because they had to stand the last time, or perhaps they let an old lady sit there once before. It's someone else's turn to give it up. Being unkind also doesn't mean you're conniving, it just means you don't want to go out of your way to do nice things for strangers.

Type 4: A pregnant lady gets onto a crowded subway. This person doesn't notice because they're too busy pickpocketing the old blind man in front of her.

I'd also like to point out the bystander effect. Perhaps we see someone in need of help and assume someone is coming for them. For example, a car blinking on the side of the highway. We assume, "they've got a tow coming" or "someone else will help." I'd argue that the widespread use of cell phones has helped millions of Americans escape the perils of a flat tire or a dead battery, but it has also created an alternative scapegoat. I don't think it's right to assume "someone is coming," however, I do see its justification.

It's fair to say that these four people "types" are fluid. For example, you may be an observant person, but if you're always looking at your phone or stop practicing your observation skills, you become less observant.

There is the possibility a person started out as kind and observant, and over time, became a little hardened by noticing general disregard all of the time. This is the burden I'm talking about. It is exhausting to constantly notice how shitty people treat each other. It can lead to some serious cynicism.

On the other hand, you may be very kind, and decide you want to help people more often, but you rarely know how. Being alert and on the lookout for situations where you can lend a hand helps. Keeping the thought on your mind gives you a greater awareness of those around you.

Being a thoughtful and observant person has its burden.

Yesterday as I was walking up to Starbucks, I noticed there were two entrances: One was a double door — the kind where you walk through a small room to get to the actual entrance — the other went straight into the Starbucks. I noticed the doors and I thought to myself, "hmm, it's furiously cold out. I should use the double door because then people won't get as bad of a chill."

I posted up in Starbucks and spent the next hour being blown in the face by one hundred people using the single door. Some even threw open the door and it didn't shut behind them.  I am one of four people who used the double door during the entire hour I was there. Even the Starbucks workers didn't think to put a sign up that says please use other door because it's cold.

It's not that people are bad, or trying to make everyone in the Starbucks cold, it's that they just aren't making this observation and applying it to possibilities for the future. Kind people walked through the single Starbucks door, obviously. Unless you're a supervillian, I really doubt any conniving ass holes walked through the door thinking "I'm going to make everybody freeze!" Unlike me — the freak of nature —  people just didn't think about it at all.

Nonetheless, If you're one of these people — the thoughtful, observant and kind — it is imperative that you not give up hope.  Surround yourself with the kind of people who take pleasure in the amazing people around them. Surround yourself with the kind of people who would give their seat to the pregnant lady on the subway. 

In the end, I would rather be the kind of person who thinks about doing nice things and does it, than someone who thinks about it and doesn't?

I'd rather pull up close in traffic so the person behind me isn't stuck in an intersection, even though nobody will ever know that's why I'm pulling up.

I'd rather see my neighbors garbage bin rolling down the hill and put it back in its place, even though they will never know it wasn't properly put back by the garbage collectors.

I'd rather notice the little boy with the armful of books who's about to walk into the library behind me and push the wheelchair button . (I also have an empathy theory that refers to how a kid in high school pushed my books out of my hands and pushed me on the floor  (I know wtf?!) but this blog is getting long.)

I believe that cynicism is a horrible and contagious disease of the heart. I don't think it does any good for anyone.

Subsequently, I believe doing nice things for people is good for your heart. It makes you feel good, even if nobody ever sees. Because you see.

I am not good at distracting myself on a train, so I will likely remain observant until my brain fails me from observing. I don't see avoiding observation skills to be a choice. If I'm going to be observant for the long haul, then I'm stuck deciding between two options: Am I going to be unkind or am I going to be kind? Am I going to open my heart to the places it needs to spread or am I going to avoid eye contact and cynically justify the shear numbers of how little helping one person could make on the world?

The answer is obvious.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

100 things cooler than my phone

I took this photo at the Mona Lisa while visiting the Louvre.

I just read about a new fear called nomophobia — the fear of losing your phone. A survey found that 77 percent of people aged 18-24 years old felt they had some sort of this fear. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I'm thankful for Google Maps that get me around the godforsaken pile of spaghetti they call roads in Pittsburgh and great Snapchats of unexplainable things to my best friends, but for the love of god 77 percent?

People are always on their phones. I once sat in a room trying to spend time with like six people from college I hadn't seen in months... and their idea of hanging out was sitting on their phones. I ended up leaving early and going on a sweet walk or something.

I made this list with 100 things that are cooler than my phone. I'm not sorry that at least 34 of them are food and beverages.

  1. Mustard
  2. The last green leaves holdin' on for dear life and holy chlorophyll on the trees in October
  3. Golden Retrievers
  4. Winning the lottery
  5. When icy roads get salted before you need to drive on them
  6. The sun peeking through the cloud all like "HEY! IT'S ME GOD!"
  7. How to Train Your Dragon
  8. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  9. Positive vibes
  10. Cloudless sky
  11. Cards Against Humanity
  12. Napping
  13. When the brakes on your car work
  14. When you drive down a huge hill after just filling up your Prius and your fuel economy reads 100 MPG and you're all like "I HAVE A CAR FROM THE FUTURE."
  15. Having a license plate with an otter on it
  16. The fact that paying for stranger's coffee is a thing that happens frequently
  17. The first 70 degree day in the spring
  18. Downton Abbey
  19. Hiking
  20. Feta cheese
  21. Penguins
  22. When your favorite book becomes a movie... and it's actually really good
  23. People who use the word whom correctly
  24. Red wine blends
  25. Board games 
  26. More specifically, word board games
  27. When I don't have to explain what a copywriter does
  28. When you run into another Ohio University Bobcat 1,000 miles away from Ohio
  29. Climbing on top of giant rocks and shouting profanity
  30. Having actual designated pajamas that you wear every night
  31. Curiosity
  32. National Public Radio
  33. Catching every green light on a long road
  34. How quickly poop stories escalate
  35. Emerald Green
  36. Using map my run after a jog and finding out you've gone longer than you thought
  37. Getting actual physical pieces of mail from friends
  38. French fries that still have a little bit of potato skin on them
  39. Giant pickles
  40. Books you can't put down
  41. The Moth radio hour
  42. Dog adoptions
  43. Amazon Prime
  44. Cold winter air filling your lungs on a run
  45. Finally peeing after having to hold it for way too long
  46. Genuine in person compliments
  47. Buffoonery
  48. The person who decided putting fruits like berries and apples on salads was a good idea
  49. Vanilla ice cream
  50. Velveeta shells and cheese
  51. Coffee naps
  52. Voting
  53. Getting quoted in the newspaper
  54. Hockey
  55. Fleece
  56. Not referring to college as the "best years of your life"
  57. Scarves
  58. Getting tomato juice on airplanes
  59. Waking up feeling good before your alarm clock goes off 
  60. Getting to Chipotle right before the lunch rush and not having to wait in line but then you look behind you and the line starts to form and you're all like "hell yeah, my timing is perfect."
  61. The actually well done news stories side of BuzzFeed
  62. Crayons
  63. The first sip of apple cider in the fall
  64. The crazy drugged-out person always talking to himself on the bus
  65. The insane amount of inspirational metaphors on The Biggest Loser
  66. Nurses
  67. The fact that Betty White just turned 93 and she's peaking
  68. Twice-baked potatoes
  69. The invention of ground turkey to replace ground beef
  70. Meaningful lyricism
  71. Marching bands
  72. The smell of a blown out match
  73. Pop culture references
  74. Glass ceiling crackers
  75. Cracker crackers
  76. Fresh new kicks
  77. An oddly trafficless commute
  78. Ab-hurting laughs
  79. Sharing dessert
  80. Gift cards
  81. Paint
  82. Seeing children at restaurants without tablets in their faces
  83. Being invited to your neighbor's 4th birthday party — especially when it's dinosaur themed
  84. Diving to ship wrecks 100 ft. under the sea
  85. Chapstick
  86. When two friends start dating and everybody's baffled they didn't think of how perfect they were together
  87. Smoothies
  88. S'mores
  89. Nachos
  90. Having a clean car in the middle of January
  91. Actually taking the time to understand other religions
  92. Family dinners
  93. No phones at the dinner table rules
  94. When you aren't the only one who isn't on her phone
  95. People who make a point to keep their phones away while they're driving
  96. Being able to confront humans when there's been a miscommunication or we're feeling confused or upset
  97. Looking people in the eyes
  98. Giving actual, physical hugs
  99. Having actual, real conversation
  100. Spending actual, physical time with a human being