Happy New Year!
I’ve been accused of being “too negative” around the blogosphere lately. “Cheer up, Natalia,” a bunch of you are saying. “Stop using indelicate words and hating on people quite as much.” I’m sure most of you have a point. But since none of you will read me if I’m going to go all zen and peace-love-and-incense-sticks on you this year (admit it. It’s true), here’s a definitive list of people you should resolve to avoid in 2016 (and all subsequent years too).
1. People who have a .com after their name
“WTF?” You are (rightly) saying. “You have a .com after your name, hypocritical scum!”
Learn from my mistakes. I put a .com after my name because several years of blogging relatively anonymously made me go to an extreme. And because I planned to have a proper media and writing career (which I sort of do. Sometimes I’m even on your radio, saying things about Russia and/or Ukraine. When they can’t get anyone better on). But honestly, *I* get to hang out with me 365 days a year. *I* know what a disaster I am. So honestly, just do yourself a favor and don’t hang out with me and people like me. Or go ahead and hang out with me, since I’ve seen the error of my ways, now that it’s too late to do anything about it.
2. Music snobs
Most of these people were severely traumatized in their youth, but instead of dealing with their trauma, they decided it sublimate it by becoming complete shitstains. And they are no fucking fun at all. Seriously, I am all for discussing Astor Piazzolla, not to mention listening to Astor Piazzolla, but every once in a while, it’s two a.m., everyone is drunk, and you MUST shake your ass to a really bad remix of “If U Seek Amy” (a song that was a triumph of lyrical genius in its own particular way). Anyone who judges that doesn’t understand human nature. Stay away from them.
3. People who have grand ideas about themselves
There is a law of physics or something (not yet defined, but I’m sure someone will hit upon the formula soon), that basically says that people who have grand ideas about themselves are often disabused of them. And when that happens, they take it out on whoever is nearest. Don’t let that person be you.
4. Dispensers of rudely categorial fashion advice
Fashion is a subjective thing. While I am comfortable in ankle boots, some other people are comfortable only in claw-like heels circa late 2009. That is normal. Forcing claw-like heels on other people at gunpoint is not normal. Also not normal are people who have weird, often achingly middle class rules for how they dress. For example, they’ll scream at you about how sheer stockings that make your legs look like shiny sausages are “absolutely essential” because members of some royal family or other wear them at all official events. Who needs people like THAT in their life? Not you.
5. People who think it’s OK to drink sweet sparkling wine
Will drag you into a pit of howling misery. Drinking sweet sparkling wine is like drinking shampoo.
6. Conspiracy theorists
Even if they seem fun at first, they will eventually turn on you. They always do. This is how paranoia works.
7. People who watch too much reality TV
Unless it’s part of their job/unless they’re your demented but overall loveable grandma nobody should be invested in that stuff. The other exception are the people who make great gifs out of it. I can sincerely appreciate and laud those people. You should too.
8. People who will use your weirdness against you
Everyone’s weird. People only achieve the appearance of normality by keeping most other people at arm’s length. But spend any decent amount of time with someone, and their own weirdness inevitably makes itself known.
Some of us, for example, really like to park their car somewhere dark, kill the engine, and cry along to “The Breaking of the Fellowship.” I’m not saying that “some” means me here. *cough*
But honestly, IF PEOPLE CAN’T ACCEPT YOUR WEIRDNESS OR WILL ATTEMPT TO WEAPONIZE SAID WEIRDNESS IN CONVERSATION – THEY ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOU.
9. Anyone who resembles a major character in Adelle Waldman’s The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Unless they’re that Hannah chick. Or Aurit. She was alright.
10. Actual Trump supporters
In the words of that one YouTube song: “Fuck this shit I’m out.”
11. People who want to sleep with you as a way of getting back at their significant other
Those who know me well are once again going, “Hypocrite much, you Whore of Babylon?” Yes, I’ve spent a significant percentage of my time on Earth emphatically not being a nice girl. I can’t even be bothered to pretend to be nice (laziness is sometimes the real inspiration for honesty). But, having used people in this manner, and having been used by them too, I must say that it’s a giant waste of your time. Relationships are funny things, ruled over by forces more mysterious than those in distant star systems. You let yourself get in the middle of those forces and you’re not likely to come out unscathed. Now, I used the phrase “learn from my mistakes” higher up – but you and I know that some lessons can only be learned when they’ve been tattooed on your own soul in fire and acid and tears and blood.
We all do what and who we have to do. And then we return to the internet comedy lists that told us precisely where we would circle back to before we started. So it goes. Take it from an expert.
12. People who are smug for idiotic reasons
Such as because they have wealthy parents. Or because they don’t like video games. Woo, pat yourself on the back if you’re one of those totally awesome and not at all grating individuals.
13. People who love to hear themselves talk
Back in 2014, there were at least three occasions when I ended up listening to other journalists mansplain the conflict in my native country (Ukraine) for me. The “don’t humor dipshits” resolution was the only one I made in earnest as 2014 drew to a close. It made 2015 a better year.
14. People who hate fiction
There are *some* exceptions, but the majority are joyless, pretentious assholes
15. People whose approval you feel compelled to seek
I know it sounds strange, but they will be the ones who disappoint you – not the other way around.
16. People who take everything extremely seriously
You know, the types who are going to show up in the comments here and scream about how there is ZOMG ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with certain types of sweet sparkling wine. Those people. Don’t bother with them – and you will have a great year. Maybe. Unless we’re all killed by an asteroid or something (a possibility one must mention at the start of every year, just to keep things in perspective).