But what if I, as a professional, seasoned journalist, and we, as a country, took a more measured, reasonable approach to life? What if we not only tried to acknowledge gray areas but to appreciate and celebrate them? Would that make us a more well-balanced society? The answer is simple: yes, no, or maybe somewhere in between.
So let us, the United States of America, come together as one, and have a look at 10 things that are perfectly fine.
Toyota Corolla: The MSRP on a 2020 Toyota Corolla is $19,600, which is a fair price for a reasonable car. It is available in eight different models, all of which look exactly the same. The 1.8 liter, four cylinder engine will not go too fast or too slow. The color options available are variations of red, white, and blue — except for black for buyers who really want to stand out. The copy for the “features” page on Toyota's website reads, “Striking Design: Don’t Show Off, Show Up.” This car was built for every Irish exit.
Arby’s: “We have the meats.” OK, but so does literally every other fast food restaurant. Do you know someone that loves Arby’s? Probably not. At the same time, you’re not going to refuse if your bestie wants to grab a turkey gyro twofer. The color scheme of the interior design just screams, “Please don’t be offended,” as it washes over you in a soothing palette of neutral browns and grays. You’ll probably leave Arby’s thinking, “That wasn’t bad” and then wait another three years before going back.
Shop and Save: Shop and Save has everything you are looking for and nothing you are not. Most of the groceries you’re seeking are exactly where they should be, except for the milk, which they seem to move around to keep customers guessing and to stay off some bullshit Best Of list.
Parenting: “When are you going to have kids?” some jackass asks you. I have kids. It’s fine. Like everything in life, there are moments of great pride and moments of great disappointment. For me, the pride and disappointment crashed head on when my son responded to my directive of “Just dip those fish sticks in ketchup and shove them in your mouth!” with “I’ll shove them up my butt.” “Am I supposed to discipline him for that? Because that was hilarious,” I thought to myself.
Vodka: “Clear alcohol is for rich women on diets.” - Ron Swanson. While vodka can go with nearly any mixer, it is at the same time essential to no cocktails. Martini? Nope, gin is better. Vodka soda? Sure, if tasting something is not appealing to you. Straight vodka isn’t a thing. Vodka is fine.
Ranch Houses: Often, there’s no upstairs or downstairs. The perfect house for people who don’t want to commit. You won’t have to make a decision where to be in a ranch because there is literally nowhere to go. And who needs the hassle of a dangerous sets of stairs? Not ranch owners. They prefer a level playing field for all.
The View from Mt. Washington: Sure, you could go to the top of Mt. Washington and look at the city. But you could also not do that, and that would be just fine. Just look at any Dave DiCello picture. There are some notable landmarks up there, as well as some nondescript buildings. “Hey, is that the house they were supposed to film The Real World in?” "I’m not sure, actually. It would be kinda cool if that were true. How do we get home from here?”
Wings: No one in the world can tell the difference between Tim Daly and Steven Weber. Look up pictures of them both, then try to identify each. It’s impossible. The plot of Wings revolved around the goings on at a small airport. Have you ever been to a small airport? Did anything go on there? No, which is exactly what you want when you are at an airport: everyone just being fine. (The theme song is awesome, though.)
Christian Slater: Christian Slater appeared in Zoolander, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Two and a Half Men, and Entourage as Christian Slater. This is an actor who is best known for playing himself. You will not love or hate any Christian Slater movie, unless it is Broken Arrow, but that’s way more of a Travolta movie.
Michigan: Michigan sits pretty close to the center of the map, hedging its bets. You have a couple of friends who used to vacation with their families in Michigan, but you can’t remember exactly where they went or whether they had fun. They probably didn’t tell you because the conversation naturally went somewhere else, like vacationers in the United States. Who’s Michigan gonna vote for in 2020? No one knows. Because their entire identity is indecision. You be you, Michigan. You are just fine how you are.