Chapter 2

Okay, then. Where were we?

Rule #17:  Always Pack Yourself a Lunch

53 Packing a Lunch

We’ve already been over the dismal selection of vending machine food, and a nice hummus and veggie sandwich just when you need it is the best feeling in the world. You know somebody loves you, even if it’s only yourself.

Rule #18:  The Friendly Food Vendor Does Not Have a Crush On You. Being Nice Is His Job.

54 Feeling All Right

Ask me how I know. Okay, you don’t have to ask, I’ll just tell you. Later. We’ll get there.

Rule #19:  When You Get Caught Slacking at Work, Write Something Down in a Notebook

55 Writing Down Some Science

Makes you look busy and important. Oooh! Better write down this . . . science, so I don’t forget! So many work-related thoughts in my head! Can’t contain them all!

58 MIne's Homemade

How you enjoying that freezer-burned pig sandwich, there, Vivian? Mine’s homemade!

Rule #20:  Inspiration Can Find You When You Least Expect It

59 So What It Counts

Don’t judge, and don’t dismiss your toilet epiphanies! This one was a particularly amazing idea for a replicator. It made millions! (For the lab, of course, not me.)

61 So This Happened Again

I’m telling you, Rule #7. Never fails. Why did it happen? And then, why did it happen . . . again?

63 Take That Sucker

Hehehe. Stupid Marcus.

Rule #21:  Vampires Are Real

65 U Need Somthing

They are real and they will knock on your door in the middle of the night, enter without waiting for an answer, and take what they want.

66 Alt

You will be so tired the next morning.

67 Didn't You Have Hair

Honestly, I think your best bet is to have roommates. If someone’s awake the vamp won’t come in, and if they do come in there’s at least a chance the pointy-toothed jerk will pick someone else.

68 Delicioso

Although, I mean . . . truth be told . . . It’s a little sexy. And more than a little flattering. I vaguely remember through my hypnotized haze hearing him say how delicious I was and that he’d definitely be back for more. He never did come back, and I can’t lie, part of me is a little sad about that. It’s nice to know your blood is delicious. Puts a little extra spring in your step.

69 Dig Dig Dig

Work, work, work.

70 Geo Council

Good old Geo Council. Incidentally, the nice-sounding guy at the Geo Council doesn’t have a crush on you, either. And you’re not friends even though you talk to him on the phone more than anyone else in your life. Trying to cross that line will only earn you a world of embarrassment and awkward phone calls going forward.

74 Want a Bite

Addendum to rule #18:  You will have the option to feed that Friendly Food Vendor a bite of your dinner. He will have the option to accept. Just because he accepts your very, very last bite of sweet and sour eggplant does not mean he wants to father your children. Maybe he’s being polite. Maybe he’s really hungry. Probably he’s just got woohoo on the brain.

75 You're Cute

Even if he stares into your eyes . . .

76 I'm Cute Too

And admires your flirtatious posing . . .

77 Not That Cute

He still might reject your attempts to embrace him and make him your very own. He is, after all, just a friendly food vendor. This is not what he signed up for.

Rule #22:  Karaoke Always Makes You Feel Better. Always.

78 Dancing On My Own

I mean, it’s not like you can get more embarrassed than you already are. And wailing “Weekender” into a scratchy microphone is the best therapy I’ve ever come across.

Rule #23:  Festivals Bring Out the Weird in People

82 Festival Akira

Recognize that mug? He’s still gorgeous under those extremely numerous layers of accessories. Good Old Uncle Akira. Always around to be devastating and kooky when you need him.

85 Rejected

And to completely destroy your self-esteem when you try to get your flirt on. But honey, when the time comes for you, remember Rule #3. It’s not you, it’s him. Him and his unacknowledged feelings for his pretty roommate. (I’m speaking metaphorically again, of course. Do NOT actually flirt with your Uncle Akira. That would be weird.)

Rule #24:  Your Real Friends are the Ones who Call at Just the Right Moment to Invite You to A Crazy Dance Party at the Ruins

86 Impromptu

Jaleesa, from work. Not a Spencer nor a Kim nor a Lewis, but still managed to score a gig as a scientist somehow, just like me. You never knew her well because she was older and died when you were still a kid. But, man, did she know how to party. And her timing was impeccable. I hightailed it away from Akira and the Spice Festival and had, if not a great night, at least a relatively anonymous one. Strobe lights hide shame really well.

89 Lolz

Plus, this was hilarious. Don’t judge. I’d had a hard night, and I needed a good laugh.

90 This is Okay

And a little bit of a cuddle. He’s still just being nice, but a little no-strings-attached fireside snuggling when the DJ plays a slow song isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Rule #25:  Put a Plant On It

91 Be Something Better92 Meh It'll Do93 Boom Decorating

Boom! Decorating!

Don’t feel too bad for your old Mom and her bumbling attempts at romance, okay? Your Dad comes along right when I need him, and that should happen in the next installment of this letter. Hang in there.




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