Life is one long blind march through a forest of thorny brush, hungry bears and assholes trying to dim your shine. Fortunately for us, Jane Lynch exists.
For the better part of the past three decades, Jane Lynch built a career playing characters with a strong sense of self, who dare to be authentic-bordering-on-terrifying in a world that will never understand them.
Constance Carmell in "Party Down," Sue Sylvester in "Glee" and even former-pornographic-actress-turned-folk-singer Laurie Bohner in "A Mighty Wind" all delivered viewers chestnuts of invaluable knowledge for living free of the pressure of others' expectations.
Today, Jane turns 56. To honor her, we've compiled a list of top-shelf lessons we've learned from her characters (but, let's be honest, mostly Constance) over the years.
1. Don't take life too seriously.
Live. Laugh. Love. Get high at work and forget to finish your job. Whatever.
2. Seek originality and celebrate creativity, regardless of how it's presented.
The kid you're babysitting won't stop putting lunch meats on her face? Beautiful. Paint her portrait. Snap a moody black and white photo. Write a song about her, call it "Ham Face Gina" and watch as the American people adopt it as the new national anthem.
3. B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E
Sometimes setting boundaries isn't enough. When someone gets in your face, make it clear there is a consequence for every action and the consequence is almost always stabbing.
4. Let your current career pave the way for future opportunities.
If you're not interested in making porn loosely based on the plot of "A Christmas Carol" for the rest of your life, use your time on the job to pick up a skill that will help launch you in a new direction.
Whether that skill is playing an instrument, making the world's best cup of coffee or coding for app development, it will make you feel confident and accomplished when you realize your work week no longer demands you have sex on camera with the youngest Cratchit.
5. Never stop cruising for fresh ass.
So what if you're at work/a funeral/your presidential inauguration? Getting laid is a stress reducer and a confidence booster. The moments you're not trying to secure yourself a ride to the Penetration Station are the ones in which you're letting yourself down the hardest.
6. Never stop cruising for Ed Begley Jr.'s ass.
This is the optimal implementation of lesson number five.
7. Hold everyone accountable for his or her moral and ethical obligations.
Sexism? NOT OK. Racism? NOT OK. That thing where a co-worker has a party and you're one of, like, six people not invited and no one even tells you? NOT OK.
There's a social code that allows us to express honesty, respect and compassion toward one another on a daily basis. If your spineless, piece-of-shit friend Mark can't follow that code and defend you in the face of adversity/low-key invite you to ONE GODDAMN WORK PARTY, call that bitch out.
8. Keep an eye out for social parasites.
The v, v, v, v, v popular among us know all too well the feeling of being used for our charm and influence. If someone is not popular or, at the very least, super hot, do not give him or her the benefit of the doubt. You're too valuable to be taken advantage of by some pariah with a "nice personality" and a "sense of humor."
9. Own up to your mistakes.
It sucks, it's difficult and you probably had a great reason for doing whatever you did, but personal responsibility builds character. Also, flaws make all of us more relatable, if that's something that even remotely interests you.
10. Establish yourself as a fuck object.
There is such a thing as being too respected. Men become easily confused as it is, and the task of viewing a revered woman of the world, such as yourself, the same way they view whatever Fleshlight or baked good they're jamming their weird little crotch pastas into these days can be a challenge.
This Madonna/whore dichotomy has plagued the world's genitals for years. Establishing yourself as a part-time fuck object will help you get the attention you seek as a whore without forsaking your Madonna status.
11. Protect your dignity.
I mean, do your best with this one. Don't go nuts.
12. Lie your way out of tough situations by pretending you have to take a leak.
Lying is technically wrong, yes, but occasionally it becomes a necessary tactic to buy time. Does your best friend want you to come over and meet her newborn, but the baby is so ugly it makes you physically uncomfortable? That's a tough situation.
You can't avoid your BFF forever, but you CAN spend your whole visit faking a UTI to get out of the nursery and steel yourself for the hours of busted-ass baby face you'll have to endure.
13. Dance like no one's watching.
But make sure every last person in the goddamn room is watching because otherwise what's the point?
14. Understand sexual mechanics.
You can't work it if you don't know what you're working, nahmean?
Familiarize yourself with the sexual organs you'll be coming into contact with before that time comes. If you take a mature lover without first asking yourself, "Could I be in for a surprise or two?" you're going to end up with a face full of dust and no one to blame but yourself.
15. Refuse to let time slow you down.
Whether you're partying at your Sweet 16, binge drinking your way through your 30th birthday or, like Jane, celebrating 56 years of life successfully lived, going super hawrd forever remains an option.
The minute friends or loved ones try to talk you out of getting hammered, climbing into your tub and lighting up a box full of sparklers left over from the Fourth of July, pity them. Pity them, for they are prisoners of time, and you are truly free.
Thank you eternally, Jane, and happy birthday.