If you have to buy Girl Scout cookies… don’t. Just don’t. Girl Scout cookies are crunchy, disgusting, and not worth the $4 or the 200 calories to get them from the order sheet to your mouth. Also, if your coworker is honestly offended that you didn’t cough up cash to pay for cookies so that little Stephy can get a keychain for selling 100 boxes, you should start hanging with actual grownups at work.
If you have to order your own drink in front of other people at Starbucks, make sure you know the proper way to describe it. I can’t even offer any tips on how to order correctly; my inability to remember how to order my favorite drink is why I usually end up with a grande decaf coffee. When I get up to the counter, I forget that I want a half-caf skinny cinnamon dolce extra-hot extra words here I have no idea (did I already say skinny?) latte.
If you have to buy, receive, or otherwise play a part in the diamond purchasing process, you have to pick the right diamond. The recipient will likely own the diamond for decades and the resale value of engagement rings, frankly, sucks. Therefore, it’s pretty important to pick the right one. Know the 6 Cs of diamonds (Yes, 6. You read it here first, folks.): carat, color, cut, clarity, certification, and cost. Know what’s most important to the recipient and what she would sacrifice in order to get a bigger (clearer, etc.) stone. Would she be happy with a smaller stone if it had no inclusions? Would she accept a slightly yellow stone if it meant it would be bigger?
If you have to go to lunch (or brunch *shudder*) with a bunch of women, you’d better know what to order and how to eat it. This applies whether you are a man or a woman or something in between.
For most folks, in order to survive this social situation, you’ll need to eat something before you go. Make sure it’s not aromatic (no garlic!) or has the propensity to leave something in your teeth (no broccoli!). You won’t be eating much at all at this lunch, so it will need to be somewhat substantial. Crackers will not suffice. Try a bowl of cereal or a sandwich.
You’ll need to have reviewed the menu before you arrive. Have a salad and a sandwich option at the ready, and don’t even think about ordering a burger unless you want to only eat 1/4 of the burger and none of the fries. Do everything you can so that you don’t have to order first. This will probably entail staring at the menu with a confused look on your face when the waiter/waitress arrives to take orders. (Also, you must ALWAYS order iced tea. It’s the drink least likely to offend, annoy, or encourage condemning remarks.) You can order either your salad or your sandwich if at least 25% of the ladies who have ordered before you have ordered the same. PLEASE NOTE: If the first person who orders gets a salad, you MUST order a salad, regardless of other orders.
When your [unsweetened] iced tea (lemon optional) arrives, you are permitted to use one packet of any form of sweetener. More than one packet encourages derisive commentary. Drink with a straw.
Hope you’re not hungry by this point, because you won’t be eating much, and you can’t take it home with you. If presented with a bread basket, you may take one piece (no butter), and you are not permitted to consume more than half of the piece/roll.
When the food arrives, pick at it, whether or not you are actively conversing. Take small bites. Push the food around your plate. Imitate a 4 year old who doesn’t want to eat spinach.
Dessert? …Are you kidding? Haven’t you been paying attention? You’re “stuffed” and you “couldn’t take another bite.” (You can pick up some cheesecake on your way home.) You must clearly and loudly relay to your lunch comrades that you are full.
When lunch is over, leave immediately, lest you get stuck in a seemingly endless discussion about how “this was nice,” and “we should do it again soon,” and “next time, we have to invite Brenda.”
As you drive away, take a deep breath and remember… Ladies’ lunches do not happen every day, but if you have to go, you have the tools necessary to survive.
So enjoy that cheesecake.
If you have to make fun of an intelligent (or seemingly intelligent) person, you’d better use the correct terminology.
Nerd: The most general of all the terms. While “nerd” used to be a strictly negative term, movies such as “Revenge of the Nerds” and shows like “The Big Bang Theory” have gone a long way to destigmatize nerdiness. Due to its lack of specificity, other terms are often mentioned in the nerd description (e.g., “biology nerd,” “book nerd”). Some believe in instances of “nerd swagger,” although the only confirmed case is Johnny Galecki, as he was able to date Kaley Cuoco in real life as well as his character Leonard Hofstadter dating Cuoco’s Penny in “The Big Bang Theory.”
Dork: Implies social awkwardness. At one extreme, dorks can be reserved wallflowers. Alternatively, a dork will make comments at inappropriate and/or strange times in conversation. A “dork” diagnosis will often be a comorbid disorder. This person will oftentimes also be a geek (see “dweeb”) or a nerd (general classification).
Geek: Geeks have a specific area of expertise, and there’s absolutely no hiding what it is. They will discuss the topic at length when prompted, and, most irritatingly, when unprompted, unwarranted, and unwanted. Areas of expertise can be as specific as a particular area of the periodic table or as general as “computers.”
Dweeb: A mix between a dork and a geek. Dweebs are socially inept, don’t dress well, and and are caught up in their field of expertise to the point where they really don’t make sense to normal people.
If you have to change your cell phone number, do yourself a favor and go into a corporate store of your service provider, be overly (although sincerely) nice to an employee, and ask if you can choose your phone number. At the very least, they can give you a list of numbers from which to choose. This goes double if you’re switching two numbers. You might even be able to get numbers one digit apart.
If you have to subscribe to a magazine (you know, if there’s no digital version available or you are, in fact, 90 years old and also subscribe to a paper-and-ink newspaper), DON’T USE YOUR REAL NAME. They sell those lists like crazy. It’s easy to then track the reach of your magazine subscription by watching the mail for everything that comes for “Captain America” or “Beelzebub Jones.” At least you’ll have a little laugh as you’re throwing away all the junk mail crap you’ll be receiving.
First one. General rule of thumb: if you have to sleep somewhere away from home, choose an inn over a hotel, a hotel over a motel, and a place that doesn’t mention any of those words over an inn.