1. Your favorite flavor is habanero anything, but especially mango habanero wing sauce, which you view as a major innovation in the wing, perhaps the only actual improvement to traditional wing sauce that even can be made. However, as you age, your body has begun to rebel. Now, when you eat anything with habanero in it, your bowel actually tries to turn itself inside out and you have cramping diarrhea so painful it leaves you light headed. Still, you keep ordering mango habanero wings. This cycle of pain and pleasure seems entirely inescapable.
2. Your kid is only three, but his favorite color is black and his favorite character is Darth Vader, even though he has not yet seen Star Wars. You walk to the Starbucks with him and admire his pale vampiric skin, his all black outfit, his odd, uneven haircut. You think he is so cute it is hard to breathe.
3. There is a movement in your company to encourage fitness. Guys who were once comfortably fat are now getting standing desks and taking Judo classes. It feels like a betrayal. This culture welcomed you into its nerdy embrace when you were but a teen, cried, “Yes! Yes! Having a body is awful! Let’s pretend we have no bodies at all!” And now it has changed its mind just when you are entering middle age and even walking kind of hurts.
4. Your dad died last year and you still don’t know how you feel about it. You loved him, that’s not the confusion. The confusion is over the void and death and what consciousness is. The worst thing you can even imagine is your wife dying, but that means you imagine it all the time.
5. You get most of your parenting advice from Reddit. You can’t help it — all the other websites are cloying and badly designed with unusable breadcrumb navigation.
6. Your most recent parenting query was how old your son should be before he sees Star Wars for the first time. The general consensus on Reddit was four years old. But he is a very mature three.
7. You have begun eating an alarming number of nicotine candies at work. Nicotine does factually improve cognitive performance, but you still don’t tell your wife because it would worry her.
8. Your wife wants to have more kids and you are scared. You just like the one kid so much. To her, this is an argument for more, but for you it is an argument for stopping while you are ahead.
9. You never in your whole life imagined yourself this happy. Being an adult is infinitely better than being a teenager. Still, even though you are the happiest you have ever been, you are aware that you are probably still clinically depressed.