Okay, so sometimes I struggle with decision-making. I tend to put too much pressure on myself, convincing myself that a right decision will lead to blissful happiness and a wrong decision will lead to sadness, despair, frizzy hair, and the loss of everything I love.

I’m nothing if not even-keeled.

I’ve learned to recognize this tendency toward All or Nothing decision-making and, more importantly, I’ve learned how to temper my instincts and calm the hell down. But sometimes, rarely now, but still sometimes, I need a bit of extra help. So about 4 years ago, I did something that changed my life forever.

I got a Toommate.

A Toommate is a great thing; he or she approaches life from a completely different perspective and can, therefore, be as helpful as Pat Morita when it comes to philosophical life decisions. And although I no longer live with my Toommate, she is still coming in like whoa whenever I need an extra pair of eyes on any tough situation.

Toommates aren’t just good at solving current issues, nay! Toomates also provide small, yet valuable pearls of wisdom that act as universal problem-solving guidelines. My Toommate was no different. Examples in a bulleted list? Okay!

Toommate’s Bits of Wisdom

(On Dating…)

“Always peek behind a guy’s shower curtain. Frou frou bath products could equal a candyass.” See, Toommate used to date the Tooliest Tool who ever Tool’d. And evidently his Paul Mitchell Tea Tree hair tonics and creams and shampoos were very important to him. So important, in fact, that he’d yell at Toommate if she ever tried to touch his hair. Of course, this is the same asshat who yelled at her for wearing pajama pants to the grocery store because *obviously* a girl who wears pajama pants to the grocery store is trashy and wants to have sex with the man bagging her groceries. Yes, the Tool pretty much was a candyass and Toommate is convinced the hair products should have been her giant red flag.

So yes, bad things to find in a guy’s shower: Paul Mitchell Tea Tree hair products. A loofah. Baby Oil scented shave gel.

Good things to find in a guy’s shower: Some sort of 2-in-1 shampoo and a bar of soap.

“No one wants to f*** the girl wearing sensible shoes.” I’m not sure of the validity of this claim. Perhaps some of the guys might need to weigh in on this, but it seems like a wise piece of advice. And it creates a nice visual: Toommate, at the ripe old age of 94, sitting in her rocking chair and shouting at neighborhood children, “Hey! HEY!! You there, in the Crocs! Nobody is ever going to f*** you if you continue wearing those fugly shoes!!”

“Don’t kiss nasty boys.” This one is basically self-explanatory, I realize. But it’s still good advice and should be heeded by everyone at all times.

(On Life…)

“There are a lot of things in life that are better than being hit by a bus.” Perspective, kids. It’s *all* about perspective. Maybe you had an awful day at work and your computer exploded and your boss kicked you in the shins and then you were fired and you went home and your DVR exploded and your mac and cheese boils over and you fall to the kitchen floor, sobbing over the mess that is your life. BUT! Were you or were you not hit by a bus on the way home?


“TRUST IN THE CRACKLES THE CRACKLES WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!!!!” I know. I realize those are giant, shouting, boldy letters. And I realize it’s a run on sentence. But this is how she always said it.

See, Toommate and I are big believers in The Crackles. The Crackles describe that feeling you get, randomly, that big things are coming. The Crackles are like sparks that hit you so quickly, grab your attention, and then they’re gone, leaving you with a sense of excitement and wonder.

The last time I felt The Crackles was in August of 2006. My relationship had just ended in July and I was sad. Very, very sad. So I started walking at this park near my apartment. The park had ten mile trails and, if you walked about 2 miles in, was set in a really woody area. After 3 miles, it was easy to fool myself into thinking I wasn’t in Arlington anymore. So I was sad and I walked. And then, about a month later, I got angry, so I ran. And as I was running, I went over a small hill and saw the trees on either side of the path had grown leaning toward each other, creating an archway. The leaves were falling, almost in slow motion, and there was no sound at all, just my feet pounding the trail and my breathing, slow, steady, rhythmic. And then I felt them. My heart, which up until that point, had hurt so much that I could *feel* it throbbing, felt the shock of The Crackles and stopped beating for a split second. I stopped running and fell on my knees. And then, as fast as it had stopped, my heart began beating again, this time with a feeling of expectation, excitement, purpose. I took a deep breath, turned around on the trail, and faced my life.

The Crackles came at a moment where I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. The Crackles came and then I knew I would thrive in this new, strange life. So I didn’t look back anymore. I didn’t wonder, “what if.” Instead, I focused on, “what now?”

I felt The Crackles a few times in the last year, all the way up until I moved to Seattle. And recently, I’ve felt them again. I’m not sure what they’re trying to tell me this time, but I’m aware. I’m listening. And I don’t doubt them.

Because if you doubt The Crackles, Toommate will kick your ass.

See? Everyone needs a Toommate. And even though we don’t live together anymore, even though I’m out here and she’s kicking ass at her Major Corporation in her stylin’ new Jeep, she’s still present, in her advice and her assurances.

Plus, she’s a sexy bitch you aren’t soon to forget.

Edited to add Toommate’s definition of Crackles: “Crackles are a random, very fleeting glimpse into the future, not of a specific event or person, but more a feeling that something is going to happen in your life (something good – crackles can be confusing but are never negative). They can be triggered by a place, a smell, a sound, anything. They start and stop in the blink of an eye, and they give you hope.”