Why is Mindy Kaling more popular than me?

I seriously do wonder about that, but not as much as you’d think. I used to watch a lot of The Office because I worked in an office-type setting where I was probably more of a Dwight than a Jim. This was where I cultivated my momentarily-fantastic taste in music, for there was often little to do at this job except jam ecstatically in my giant solo office with my very own door closed. It was like having my own little kingdom that I ruled by way of my badass air guitar skillz.

That’s not true. I swear that’s not true. Oh my God Shannon if you read this I swear I did my work. The previous paragraph was just a gag. Really.

Sigh.

Anywho, I’m always impressed when I see someone like Kaling, who effectively ignored the rules that I scrupulously followed into a day job, massive student loan debt, and responsible adult stuff like that, succeed. I wonder how they knew. I also wonder if I would have done anything differently if I’d known. Probably not. I have a pretty sweet life: ubiquitously wonderful fiancee, great home city, two simultaneous careers that I like equally well, plenty of friends, no substance dependencies. Plus, I live in The Future, so I get to overshare at will on this blog.

And yet…

I do think of alternatives fairly often. After all, it’s not too late to do a Crazy Ivan if I start feeling constrained by the high-pressure librarian existence. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Kerouac it up
This plan involves persuading my fiancee to join me in an epic lifelong trek across the globe, making our living as traveling gambolers of the Medieval variety. We would modify an RV into a tiny house on wheels that runs off of kitchen scraps. Quaint, no? The only potential negative is the presence of our three cats. I do not want to imagine how we would handle the litter situation in a tiny house on wheels.

2. Artiste Mode
Imagine me, wearing a beret and headphones, hunched over my Macbook in some hip cafe. A sonic wall of music gently numbs the mind as percussive spits of industrial alt rock leak from my headphones and into your brain. You look over my shoulder to check my contract. Five dollars an hour for erotica? How painfully hip! You may choose to offer me a cigarette, giving me the opportunity to whip out my inhaler and give you a superior stare as I suck down a double dose of asthma medication. “I want you to know,” I would say, clearly suffering, “that I paid for this out of pocket.” What an artist.

3. Superhero
I’d really just run around after my fiancee saving her from stuff. A dog? I’ll save you, dearest! A homeless guy? Quickly, run to safety – I’ll distract him with this dollar! My drive: to keep her safe. My reward: her limitless amusement.

4. Houseywife
Believe it or not, housewifery holds a certain appeal for this otherwise rock-solid butch dyke. My father stayed home and raised the kids while my mom supported the family, so I feel like I have a pretty good template. All I have to do is build a house while simultaneously baking a chicken and cleaning the toilet and doing a kid count every three minutes. No sweat. I’ll start right now. Child roll call: 0. Damn. Now I’m depressed. Maybe if we just keep trying?

5. Consultant
I don’t know what it means. I don’t know what I’d do. But if it keeps a pestilent, syphillis-ridden clown like Joe Murphy in bacon, I imagine I’ll be a millionaire before the year is out.

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