A year and a half ago, my best friend and I started doing things we never usually would and saying yes to things we never usually did all in the name of "doing it for the story."
We figured that even if things went terribly wrong (barring any violence or endangerment), at the very least, we would be left with a good story — and we certainly were.
At the end of the day, it is our stories and experiences that make us who we are, so it's important to own them.
Here are seven everyday situations I recommend you say yes to — for the story:
1. A date with someone who isn't your type.
At the very least, you’ll find out exactly what you don’t want. For example, I now know I don’t want to be with guys who have kids, who are 18 years old or, God forbid, guys who invite themselves to Sunday brunch with the girls.
If that’s not enough, at the very, very least, go on the date for the free meal and wine.
I mean, if things start going south (or if they were never north), carb up and pre-drink for when you and your girlfriends go out afterward to find “real men.”
If I had never gone on these dates, the Sunday brunch debacle, in particular, I wouldn’t have the pleasure of reminiscing with my sister about the one time she flew across the country to visit and my "date” from the night before decided to unexpectedly invite himself to our hungover brunch when I was under the impression we were driving him home.
He casually asked, “Where are WE going?”
Excuse me? "We?"
Guys, my Sunday brunches are to drink mimosas and talk about you, not to have you sit beside me and judge my champagne to OJ ratio.
This story is always a crowd pleaser and I don’t know about you, but I love pleasing a crowd.
2. A party that’s not your usual crowd.
Now, I’m an outgoing person, but I’ll be the first one to admit that unless I have pre'd the pre like a sailor, showing up at a party where I know no one just results in me downing as many shots and doing as many keg stands as possible before I can walk (stumble) around like I own the place.
I once went to a party where I knew one person, and though my first drink went down impressively fast (as to mask my social awkwardness), within the hour, I was twerking on the counter with my new best friends.
Parties and pregames are quite possibly the easiest place to make friends because everyone just wants to have fun.
Not to mention, there is a houseful of new people you’ve never made out with… win-win.
3. Going out when you have a paper due the next day.
Hemingway was right with “write drunk, edit sober.” I’m not saying hit blackout city then try to hammer out an article review of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, but a little liquid creativity never hurts.
You probably won’t remember the grade you got on that paper, but you’ll certainly remember the trouble you and your friends got into the night before it was due (scoring free pizza from the Little Caesers employee by letting him stick his tongue down your throat at 3 am).
4. When a guy asks for your number.
Now, this one is simple. I don’t care how weird this guy is or how unfortunate he looks, always give your number.
Now, you’re probably sitting there like, “Taryn, are you crazy? I’m not giving my number to anyone who asks, I have standards.”
That is great and true, but whether he's below your league or not, this guy may just have hot friends and that is reason enough.
Once upon a time, I spent the night with a certain NHL player all because his friend asked for my number first.
5. Meeting that random Tinder guy.
Tinder meet ups are always a little weird. You’ve texted, Snapchatted, creeped each other's Instagrams, but you still have yet to physically meet.
There is a very small percentage of Tinder matches that end up turning into something real, but chances are, “John” who plays hockey and has better hair than you isn't "the one."
On a night that my roommates and I weren’t entirely planning on going out, Tinder guy mentioned he and his teammates were going out.
Naturally, my roommates and I said f*ck it, let’s go.
The next morning, we woke up to the second, third and fourth-string quarterbacks off of our university football team (and trust me, we would have gone for the first if we could have), and it's easily one of the most hilarious stories we had.
Moral of the story: Tinder is pretty f*cking weird, but the stories are too good to turn down.
6. A ride home.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION. While it can certainly result in a good story, like when my roommate got a ride home from the drunk tank with some scrub from the city college and ended the night finding love in his backseat, there are a lot of weird f*cks out there, and she just got lucky.
You really don’t want to play the leading role in an amateur version of "The Hitcher," so this one entirely depends on the circumstances.
7. That one extra glass (or bottle) of vino.
My father always told me that two drinks is fine, but once you get that third, you're committed to the night. You know full well when you pour that third glass of wine (or if you’re like me, your sixth), there is no going back.
Whether or not you’ll admit it to yourself, you are fully aware of what will happen when you finish it.
It will be something to the tune of endless rounds of shots, making out with Joe Shmoe in the corner of a booth and/or worst-case scenario: Face-planting on the sidewalk and breaking your heel in half (true story).
While sometimes you'll wake up mortified with a swollen face, it usually wears off once you hold a cold beer to your bruises and realize how f*cking hilarious you are.
I’m not suggesting you stop off at train wreck city every time you have a glass of wine, but nine times out of 10, the story is more than worth the hangover.
Hopefully it’s obvious that chances are, saying “yes” means you will get a great story. You only get 10 years to be in your 20s, so revel in the time you have to be young and resilient; be both successful and a little bit of a train wreck.
When you're wrinkled and weathered, all you really have left are your stories, and if living every single consequence and experience there is gives you some good ones, then why not?
When I’m old as hell, chillin’ on the porch at Thanksgiving with my extensive grandbabies, I want to have some good sh*t to tell them.
How do you get good sh*t for the grandbabies? Say yes for the story.