“Actually, that’s not quite right…”

At first, I ignored the interruptions of the man behind me in line at Chipotle, who was so kind as to inform my friend that her analysis of wealth and power in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was all wrong. Despite the fact that she is getting her PhD in 18th century British literature from Columbia and he works the graveyard shift at Walgreens, Kurt is undoubtedly more qualified to speak on the subject.

To properly address my problem with men inserting themselves into conversations they aren’t part of in random public places, I will spend 2019 doing my best to soothe these fragile (mostly white) male egos by wearing a large white t-shirt with the words “What a great point to make” printed on it in all caps. I will be wearing this shirt at all times, even to bed. Never again will a strange man in Target at midnight on a Tuesday feel that his opinions on what laundry detergent I buy aren’t equally valued. Thanks, Kurt!

“Just calm down”

Sure, I had just found out that my car had been towed and I was three days into a juice cleanse to clean out my toxins, but my Uber driver Kevin was definitely correct when he told me that I just needed to calm down. I had only known him for three minutes, but he knew my situation and emotions better than I could have ever known them myself. At the end of our ride, he informed me that he was giving me a 3-star rating for getting tears on his plastic seat coverings. Very fair if you ask me. I gave him 5-stars and an $8 tip.

To address my Uber hysteria, I have implemented a strict regimen of meditating, cucumber eye-masks, and screaming into a pillow during my morning routine. This will ensure that I never have another disruptive outburst in the back of an Uber, Lyft, Via, taxi, bus, horse, etc. Thanks for the unsolicited but totally necessary and warranted spiritual guidance, Kevin!

“You should smile more”

I’m honestly so grateful that this was pointed out to me by male colleagues, classmates, and complete strangers exactly 947 times in 2018. How else would I have known that I don’t smile enough? It’s hard trying to tailor your appearance to fit the specific standards required by Ed from the Whole Foods produce aisle.

To remedy my resting bitch face, I am going to pull my lips apart with duct tape so that I will have a permanent smile. Once I smile enough at work that my boss finally promotes me, I will have enough money get the surgery required to make my toothy grin permanent. Thanks, Ed from Whole Foods.

“Are you really going to eat all that?”

Yes, and so much more. At first, I was annoyed when Fred, my waiter at Chili’s asked me this question after I ordered a salad, a pasta entree, and two pieces of apple pie alone on a Thursday night. But now, I realize he was just doing his job and looking out for my well-being (life hack: don’t order pasta at Chili’s). My initial reaction to Fred’s comment was annoyance, but I quickly gained a new level of appreciation for how helpful and attentive the waitstaff at this specific Chili’s establishment was. On my way out, a busboy went out of his way to comment that I should do more squats at the gym as he bent over to pick up an angel hair that had escaped my fork. I left a 45% tip and went on my way.

To incorporate Fred’s suggestion into my daily life, I now only order a Caesar salad when I go out to eat, like most normal women. I also do 400 squats at the gym twice a day, and my quads are 54 inches wide. Thanks, Fred!

“Is that what you’re going to wear?”

A kind gentleman by the name of Mr. Grossman (he introduced himself after I told him to fuck off), asked me if I was really going to wear the size 6 skirt I was attempting to shimmy myself into over my jeans. I asked him why he was in the women’s section of the Peoria, Illinois TJ Maxx at 9:30 on a Tuesday night. He said he was looking for a birthday present for his wife, but decided I could use some fashion advice from a 58-year-old man dressed like an adjunct English professor from 1995 instead. I politely gave him the finger and returned to shimmying into the skirt I was now ten times more determined to stuff myself into.

They say hindsight is 20/20, so I must issue an apology to Mr. Grossman. Though I do not know what discount clothing outlet he is offering unsolicited advice in tonight, I want to extend my sincerest apologies for not taking his passive-aggressive, totally unnecessary, sexist, derogatory, creepy, mildly-alarming, stuff McDonald’s fries into my mouth in the back of my car-inducing comment to heart. In 2019, I will be periodically asking older men buying scented candles and cheap lingerie for their wives in department stores their advice on what I should wear.