Don’t you love all of those great YouTube videos and articles on Facebook that tell you how to fold a dress shirt in forty two easy steps that guarantee it won’t be wrinkled when you take it out of your suitcase? Or the one that gives you a delicious recipe for ice cream using only bananas and laundry starch? I know. They are all so helpful.

I have a few hacks to add. Mine aren’t just ones for household application. I have hacks for just about every occasion. Here are three foolproof life hacks that really work:

Cocktail parties and small talk: they go hand in hand. You can either arm yourself with three all purpose questions that work across the board (Do you like dogs? How many pairs of socks do you think you own? Have you ever tried rutabaga?), or you can do what I do, and just send your husband to the party, stay home, and binge watch something. Avoids the small talk altogether.

Waiters and waitresses. They are altogether too friendly these days. So if one of them refers to you as “you guys,” or if you are unfortunate enough to have one who enjoys squatting by your table to chat about what they are majoring in at college, simply place your order and go to the restroom. After you wash your hands, play three games of Ruzzle on your phone before returning to your table, where your husband will finally be sitting by himself, musing about the fact that these days, one can major in Advanced Steampunk Architectural Music at the local college.

Your appearance. If you are a man, nobody ever notices your haircut or your face, unless you have had a huge mole removed from your nose, or you cut your own hair. But that doesn’t really matter, either, because men are immune from being judged by what they look like. For women, this is untrue–we are judged by our appearance all the time, even if we are running for President and have a higher IQ than Stephen Hawking (who, by the way, is no Cary Grant). So if you did not plan to go out and thus have absolutely no makeup on, but suddenly you realize you have to make an emergency run to the store for toilet paper because your husband insisted on having hot sauce on his baked beans for lunch and then those frozen jalapeno poppers during the PBS Newshour, and now it’s ten p.m., do what I do: put on a thick layer of bright red lipstick. Everyone you see will be fixated on your lips. No one will even notice your unplucked eyebrows or that your roots are coming in.

As much as I appreciate all of the hacks out there for storing plastic bags in Kleenex boxes, using hand lotion in your muffin recipe if you are out of vegetable oil, or polishing your shoes with Vaseline, I really wish somebody would come up with a hack for my husband. So if any of my readers know of a hack to stop a seventy-some guy from telling that joke about the short guy that goes into a bar, I would appreciate your sharing it with me. So far, the only hack that I have come up with for this particular life problem involves duct tape, and that just seems cruel.

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