Advice My Parents Gave Me: Go to college and major in what you love.
Advice I Will Give My Kids: Go to college only if you’ll major in science, engineering, or money. It’s a bleak job market, and majoring in English literature or anything with the word “English” in it has been useless since the Taft Administration.
My Parents: Never show up to a party empty-handed.
Me: Never show up to a party. Send a text to the host twenty minutes before the party starts to say that you’re “sooooooo sorry” to cancel but your stomach is feeling “weird.”
My Parents: To find a job, walk into the offices of ABC News’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and ask for one.
Me: Apply to jobs via LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, or nepotism. Write a cover letter and attach your résumé, then manually enter the same information through the company’s portal, which looks as though it was designed in Microsoft Paint. Do this twenty times a day for two years, and you’re bound to make it to a third round of phone interviews before getting ghosted.
My Parents: Don’t put photos of yourself on the Internet. You’ll get kidnapped!
Me: Post thousands of carefully curated photos of your life on Instagram so you can build a following and attract sponsors who reflect your core values, such as Bacardi and MeUndies.
My Parents: Spend your twenties finding true love within a two-mile radius of your village.
Me: Spend your twenties moving between L.A. and New York to figure out what you want in your ideal partner by dating all the worst people from both coasts and Austin, Texas.
My Parents: Show how much you appreciate your friends by making them elaborate, cellophane-wrapped gift baskets. Fill the baskets with gourmet biscuits, teas, and an ornate sugar spoon that says “Gimme a little sugar, baby.”
Me: Just Venmo them five dollars.
My Parents: Never date someone who rides a motorcycle.
Me: Never date someone who rides a unicycle ironically (unless the person got a MacArthur “genius” grant for it).
My Parents: Learn the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth I.R.A. so that you can start investing early.
Me: Learn the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth I.R.A. so that you can explain it to me.
My Parents: Marry someone from a good family.
Me: Marry someone from a good tech startup that has Series P funding and a robust diversity-and-inclusion program that was created for ethical reasons and not because it’s a useful corporate litigation shield.
My Parents: Never wait to do your taxes.
Me: If you wait long enough to do your taxes, there might be a global crisis that forces the federal government to extend the deadline. Then you can wait some more and do them right before the new deadline.
My Parents: Don’t talk to strangers on the Internet.
Me: Talk to every stranger on the Internet, because meeting new friends in your thirties is really fucking hard. In fact, I met your dad on Twitter when we realized that we both replied “THIS” to the same sponsored tweet from La Quinta Inn.
My Parents: Always keep extra money in an emergency fund.
Me: For emergencies, check your Venmo balance. Maybe you forgot to cash out a friend’s five-dollar gratitude payment?
My Parents: Work hard so you can save for retirement.
Me: Retirement is something you’ll read about in your history books under the rubric “Abstract Ideas.”
My Parents: When we’re gone, look after your siblings and never fight with them over money!
Me: When I’m gone, clear my browser history. Don’t squabble with your siblings over who gets my monthly ten-cent payments from Medium. And, if my ex shows up at the funeral, be sure to kick him out. He’ll be the one riding a unicycle.
My Parents: Get a Costco membership.
Me: THIS. ♦