It’s not often that we give out advice on ZQ, but sometimes we’re in the giving mood and want to help you, the reader, out. Life is tough enough as it is without our parents nagging at us to find a mate and birth them children to look after, or our significant other complaining about us procrastinating on something (I mean seriously, six times in eight months is excessive don’t you think?), or our back breaking work schedule eating up our valuable video gaming or couch cushion impressionist time. So we’re here to help pass on some life lessons to help you get back on track and become that super awesome person that you once were. Was. Still Are.
The economy isn’t what it used to be and now you find yourself pinching pennies and looking for ways to save money. We all do it, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Even businesses are tightening their belts and skimping on things they used to give away for free. (thanks fast food places, now I have to BUY my own napkins and ketchup like a normal rich person!) But while doing this can eventually help out the bottom line at the end of the year, we sacrifice our daily life comforts and become more and more prude and eventually become angry or depressed even. Like that old cat lady who keeps all of her Yellow Pages books and builds cat forts out of them, or rips out the pages to soak up the cat pee all around her house. Ew, gross. Don’t be that cat lady. Never be that cat lady. In fact, I think I’m going to call the city about that cat lady so even she can’t be that cat lady.
But the fact remains that even though we try to tighten up our budgets and milk every last ounce of toothpaste out of that tube, we’re compromising much more comfort for not enough results in the end. And I don’t care what anyone says, cereal with water is freaking nasty! So instead, we’re here to drop a list of things we suggest you do throughout the year, so you can still keeping doing you and still stay sane while trying to slim down your budget. You don’t have to do all of them, but try to break yourself away from absorbing into this scrooge who pounces at every dime that he see’s on the ground. It’s also kinda illegal to jump into a water fountain and fish out all the change too, don’t ask me how I know. It’s embarrassing, and you get your face plastered around the mall banning you from it. Man, I sure do miss eating at Sbarros though.
Numero uno) an incredibly expensive pair of underwear.
Ladies, it could mean an entire lingerie outfit. Guys, ditch the tightey whiteys and go with a pair of ultra plush boxers, silk even. Look to spend at least $10-20 or even $50 for it. (Ladies can double that because who doesn’t love seeing them in lingerie?!) Why underwear? Because it’s the first article of clothing that touches your skin and the first layer that you put on, so you want it to be the most comfortable underwear ever. But why just one, why not replace your entire underwear wardrobe with these? Because unless your last name ends with Bill Gates, you’re probably still buying underwear by the 4-6 pack at Target. Clearance rack, mind you. No, you just need one good underwear to have and to wear on special occasions. Wear it before an important job interview, or before meeting some hottie for the first time. You want to feel empowered, energized and ready to take on the world! And the thing that can help you do that is the one thing that’s hugging your private parts, because if you’re bold and confident, that hottie might be hugging your private parts later that night before you get up in the morning to go to your new job!
2) A huge steak dinner.
Nothing says excessive than a huge steak dinner with all the trimmings. Ok, there is one other thing that says excessive, and that’s TWO huge steak dinners! But if you want to fit into #1 on the list, we’ll just settle for one. A steak dinner with your love one will give you plenty of time to talk (in between bites) and to catch up from your busy lives. Reconnect with each other, enjoy the company and atmosphere. And most importantly, enjoy your steak. Savor the tenderness, how each bite practically melts against your tongue. It’s also the epitome of success, to indulge in a dinner that’s so large you’ll need a box or two to fit the leftovers. If you’re a vegetarian (my condolences), or if you don’t like steak then you can substitute with another slab of meat: stuffed porkchops, leg of lamb, a rack of ribs, a Brontosaurus bone. But make it excessive, make it large. Feel like a success and you’ll become it. You worked damn hard and you deserve this! Just once though. You’ll feel great for it, if only for one night.
3) A landscaping service.
Now hear me out on this before you slap me for even suggesting that someone else touch your lawn. It’s a man’s responsibility to maintain his lawn, to trim and prune his bushes, to keep a clean and clear driveway. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone to help tackle trimming the branches from near the top of the tree, 20 feet high. If you attempt this and fall, and if you’re anything like me there’s a high possibility of that, you want someone else who’s more skilled (and highly insured) to risk his neck to get those dead branches down. He’s probably done this a few more times than you, so let him handle it. You’re still the master of the ground stuff. Letting someone do the other hard stuff gives you more time to stand around with a cold beer in hand, appreciating your lawn. Go ahead, crack open another one.
4) Catch a matinee movie.
We know you’re trying to save money, yada yada. But we’ll be damned if we’re going to miss Transformer 4 in Ultra HD Widescreen! So as a compromise, check out a movie during the afternoon matinee. Sure it feels weird going into a movie theater when the sun is still up, but you save a couple bucks off the ticket. Every little bit helps, right? And if you do go, then totally get an entire large tub of extra-buttered popcorn all to yourself. I recommend chowing through it all during the previews though, so you can hurry up and get a free refill before the movie starts and begin with a fresh, warm, salty tub while watching my favorite man-crush, Mark Wahlberg, on screen. Also remember to bring your sunglasses with you, because you’ll feel like a vampire emerging from that theater and it’s bright as hell outside still.
5) An enormous dessert.
Now you’re probably thinking, “ZQ, you seem to talk about food a lot”, but hear me out. Food is central to our lives, it nourishes us and gives us strength, it gives us flavor and sustenance. So it’s important to surround yourself with good quality food, become the food, be one with the food. And if you’re adventurous, sleep with the food. But just remember that it can get a little messy.
But the reason why dessert is also on the list is because it’s delicious. Don’t order this enormous dessert at the end of your huge ass steak dinner though, no that would be too much for one night. This dessert you want to have by itself. Wait for another night and go out to order an enormous dessert and nothing but. Find the sweetest treat you can order, sit down and dig in. Forget all the other people watching on as you devour this mountainous dessert. Get sloppy, get in there and dig out the bestest, coldest, creamiest part. When the waitress comes by and offers you napkins, politely decline. Lick the spoon, lick your fingers, lick your lips. And if you brought along a partner to share in this masterpiece, lick their spoon, fingers, and lips too.
6) Over-the-ear headphones.
Our senses are often assaulted throughout the day, loud commercials, loud colors, loud cars, loud bosses, loud music. Put all that together and you get a lot of loud noise. When we can’t concentrate due to this distractions, we start to tune out certain things. We may shut out an important message, or not pick up an emergency phone call because we just want to be left alone. I’m guilty of this as I’ve often been asked why I spent $600 on a phone and not pick up any calls. Ooops! But we do this because we don’t want to be bothered anymore.
Sooner, than later, get yourself a pair of over-the-ear headphones. The kind that actually covers your entire ear, not just earbuds. You’re looking to cancel out everything in this world that’s distracting you and concentrate on just the one thing that’s playing in your ear. Pick a quiet night, don’t make any plans. Fire up Pandora or iTunes and pick a channel. My favorite are comedy channels. That’s right, it doesn’t even have to be music. I like to sit down and listen to some comedy, stand ups like Louis CK or some Chappelle. Why? Because laughter is an awesome drug. (and also very legal) Block out all the noise in the world and listen to something funny. It’ll bring you down from the high that a stressful day has taken you, it’ll relax your shoulders and release the tension. And most of all, it’ll mix together up in your head some magical stuff, the kind of stuff that makes sense but is also funny at the same time. Things that make you go “I can totally relate to that!” Comedy is just that, us relating to the comedian and his weird or funky observations. And for once, we’re not the butt of any jokes. That in itself is relief enough for some of us.
7) A full service car wash.
If a man’s castle is his domain, then a man’s car is his portable domain in a can. (get it? get it?) We live in our cars just as much as we live in our actual homes, often times spending grueling hours stuck in traffic. So naturally our cars get dirty and we wash and clean them periodically. And if you’re one of those crazys who don’t, then you’re a filthy pig! But for the rest of us, we need to clean our cars. Now I don’t recommend you take it through a $3.99 special at the local Scrub-a-Dub car wash, not just because it’s cheap but also because you’ll scratch the shit out of your paint with the sandpaper they use in their machines. And not to mention every other car that’s gone before you will contribute to even more rocks and debris in the washing pads that attack your car, you’re better off spending a couple bucks more in a touchless car wash. But even better than that, pony up for the full service and detail at the local hand car wash place. These guys will hook you up with the full service treatment and help prepare and protect your baby’s paint. They’ll also clean out the interior by scrubbing deeply into the carpet and seats to get out whatever stains you may, or may not, have. (don’t worry, they’ve seen it all and they don’t judge)
After you see your car fresh out of a full detail, you’ll feel like a proud new father seeing their infant child for the first time again. You’ll coo and go gaga over the pristine shape she’s in, you’ll get inside and take a deep breath of the fresh pine scent and grip the steering wheel like you’re driving her right off the showroom floor. You’ll feel like the king of the road, radio on blast and leaned back. You’ll wave at other cars passing by, winking to the girl in the convertible who’s now checking you and your fresh whip out. You give her a little throttle, let her know you mean business. Let her know that you’ve got some muscle underneath that hood, and you’re ready to pounce on her rear bumper and squeeze her headlights. A car is a man’s portable domain and an extension of his penis…I mean, personality.
8) Expensive pair of jeans
Paired with #1, this is an unbeatable combo! They say that everything starts within our hearts, but we’re to say that they’re wrong. It all starts in your pants! It all emanates from your crotch outwards towards your extremities and shoots out of our finger tips and hair ends. We’re talking about your mojo, the giddyup behind your steps. (no, please don’t call it swag) An awesomely fitting pair of jeans will empower you even more as it firmly plants you in place with feelings of a solid foundation and just good vibes. Wear them around the house, wear them while going out or just staying in. Wear them to bed even! But whatever you do, do not wash them after every time you’ve worn them. Give it a week or four. Let it accumulate whatever it is that falls on it, let the stains show. Yes, we’re telling you to not wash your expensive pair of jeans. Because if you can do that, you can pretty much accomplish anything else that comes your way. You’re learning our way now!
The reason why we chose 8 things is so that you can have something to look forward to once a month or two to indulge yourself in. Kinda like a cheat meal in a strict diet plan, something to wet our palette and break the cycle of mediocrity and stagnant restrictions. As stated before, you don’t have to try all 8, but do try a couple to change things up a bit. You’ll find yourself more refreshed, more relaxed, and more like a normal human being who isn’t forced to eat noodles for weeks at a time. We can only take so much before we cave in, so before we do that, we need to open up ourselves to enjoy some of the finer things in life. After all, excess is only detrimental if indulged upon repeatedly, you then become gluttony. We just want you to quietly enjoy things so you can put into perspective why we do the things we do. Be you and no one else but you. ■