Okay, then. Where were we?
Rule #17: Always Pack Yourself 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.
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
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!
How you enjoying that freezer-burned pig sandwich, there, Vivian? Mine’s homemade!
Rule #20: Inspiration Can Find You When You Least Expect It
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.)
I’m telling you, Rule #7. Never fails. Why did it happen? And then, why did it happen . . . again?
Hehehe. Stupid Marcus.
Rule #21: Vampires Are Real
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.
You will be so tired the next morning.
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.
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.
Work, work, work.
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.
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.
Even if he stares into your eyes . . .
And admires your flirtatious posing . . .
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Plus, this was hilarious. Don’t judge. I’d had a hard night, and I needed a good laugh.
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
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.