Weird but Understandable Questions


    A reader asks Miriam to parcel out which of a list of "23 Weird But Understandable Questions You Ask in Your Twenties" are things people really worry about it, and add anything that's missing.

    Dear Miriam,

    I recently came across a blog post called "23 Weird But Understandable Questions You Ask in Your Twenties." How many of these are things people really worry about? What's missing? Could you pick a couple of your favorites to answer?

    Weird but Understandable

    Dear Weird,

    That is a charming little list of questions, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I wish, though, that it were titled, "23 Weird but Understandable Questions You Might be Asking if You're in Your Twenties in 2013," because, let's be honest, very few of these are universal or even transferable by a couple of years. That's O.K., though, because this is a viral kind of list, and viral content is only meant to be relevant for about a minute. 

    The questions seem to fall into three basic categories: technology, life skills and personal health and happiness. The technology questions are fine; I'm sure some people do struggle with whether or not to endorse on LinkedIn. The life skills questions about things like doing taxes and tipping service employees actually probably are on a lot of people's minds, but I think they're hard things to ask because they're hard things to admit that you don't know, even if no one else knows them either. The health and happiness questions (eating fast food, being physically fit, having it "together") are, actually, pretty universal. Eventually, you can make most of these questions come back to real questions of, "Who am I, and what is my purpose in life?" The minutia is all just leading up to these. But you already knew that.

    In terms of what's missing, here are some things I hear:

    • Am I a social outcast because I don't consider myself a foodie?
    • What do I do if the best picture for my online dating profile has someone else's arm in it?
    • Should I friend my ex on facebook? (I think I've answered versions of that one a few times.)
    • Is it weird that I miss watching ads when I watch shows on DVR?
    • Why do clothes have to be dry cleaned?
    • Is it too late to start watching [fill in the blank TV show]?

    Finally, here are some answers:

    #14: Am I too old for clever graphic tees?

    Probably, but that doesn't mean there isn't a little wiggle room. Certainly if you work in any kind of professional setting, you're too old to wear them to work except as an undershirt. You're not too old to wear them on weekends or as pajamas or to the gym. You also may be too old to spend money on new ones, so focus your weekend/pajama/gym wearing on the ones you already have. And when you buy new clothes, focus on items that have more options of where and when to wear them. Then, browse your favorite clever tee websites and enjoying reading them and moving on. (There are a few in the slideshow on the right if you're looking for some cleverness right now.)

    #17: Is it O.K. that I don't pay super-close attention to social justice issues?

    Sure, it's O.K. You can pay attention to whatever you like. You don't have to have a cause or be an activist to be a respectable adult (or even a respectable twenty-something). I don't think it's O.K. to be completely uninformed, however, and there is often a fine line between current events and social justice issues. If, for example, you didn't know there was a typhoon in southeast Asia where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, it doesn't just show a lack of attention to social justice issues but a lack of attention to the world. You don't have to know everything about an issue or even care about what's going on, but it's good to be an informed listener when people around you are engaging with broader issues.

    If you haven't already, peruse the rest of the list, and who knows, if I don't get a question some week, you just might be seeing some of these again.

    Be well,