ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Remember When Life Was Easy? BECAUSE APPARENTLY I DON’T.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

I used to know how to dress myself.

Or at least, I used to know how to put on pants before putting on my shoes, because apparently when you make the decision to PUT A SHOE WITH A GIGANTIC SPIKE on your foot before you put your pants on, you spear a giant hole right through your pant leg.

Remember when life was easy? Because I don’t. Because this is just one example of how I’m old now. And ain't nothing easy anymore. Not even using the word “ain't” in a serious sentence. Just too old to pull it off.

As another example, the other day I tweeted the number “1.” That's it. Nothing else. Just the number one. I played it off like it was totally intentional—why yes, I am making a vague, ahem, minimalist statement. You know why I tweeted the number one? Because I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THOSE CRAFTY LITTLE SHITS PUT LINE BREAKS IN THEIR TWEETS. I thought I would experiment. You know, maybe a little shift + enter action. Nope. Hootsuite didn't like that. Hootsuite ignored the shift key and just said, BOMBS AWAY! Alas, there I am going, “Should I delete that?! Did anybody see that?! No, just leave it. Who cares. No, delete it. No, who cares. Nobody cares.” …and then three people tweet back: You're a dumbass.

Okay, just kidding, they didn't actually tweet that, but kind of sort of in a roundabout way. But that's because they don't know that I'm old. Because I'm telling you, when you get old you do stupid things. Like forget how the internet works. Or maybe never know in the first place. (Update: I've been informed this line break feature works perfectly fine on Twitter.com, so look out everybody, I'm going to be putting large amounts of awkward silence into my tweets, starting NOW.)

Another way I know I'm getting old is that not only did I just almost spell “said” like “sayd” (which would almost make me look like a hipster if I actually knew what a hipster was), but I also can't seem to nail the word “commitment” with any certainty anymore. Is there one t? Is there two? Am I just allergic to the concept in general? Is this the universe trying to tell me something, in a smokey-lunged Jersey accent? Don't even try to spell that word, sweetheart. That ain't ya cup of tea.

For the love of christ. The furrows on my face aren't half as embarrassing as the ones in my brain. Like the other day when I went to visit one of my best friends to her new lake house in Pennsylvania. (I have friends who have lake houses. This, by default, makes me old. Maybe mature is a better substitute? But I wouldn't shop in the “mature” section of any department store, so this can't be right. Back to the drawing board.) We walked by some wall art and she goes, “Remember that?” I'm like, “No.” And she's all, “You gave it to me for Christmas, douche.”

So, I think the moral of this story is that I used to think I was really on the ball, but apparently only in Spanish. While the English meaning of this phrase means snappy, quick, smart, and with it, the Spanish meaning of this phrase basically means you're drunk. Which I can appreciate.

I think the nail on the coffin was just the other day, though, when I visited a different friend. We ordered pizza. There was some left over. And you know what she does? Do you? Do you know? I'll tell you what she does. She packs it. In the refrigerator. With wax paper in between the pieces.

I don't care what anybody says—wax paper in between your leftover pizza slices is the universal sign of sophistication world-over. It's like a silent handshake among adults. You use wax paper? Oh, phew. I almost took you for one of those psuedo-adult hoodlums.

On the upside, the next time I have people over I'll make sure they see me doing that shit so then we can establish that I am not just old, but sophisticated. Perhaps I should have busted out a roll when I was checking into my new hotel just now. I should buy a travel roll just for occasions like this. Because even though I'm old, sometimes people don't think I'm old.  Or something. Because the woman doing check-ins definitely didn't think I was old enough to be taken seriously.

Her: “Can I, um, help you?” *looks at me and my giant red suitcase with disdain*
Me: I, um, have a reservation. *looks at her with disdain*
Her: Name?
Me: Ambirge. A-M-B-I-R-G-E
Her: You're not in the system.
Me: Are you sure?
Her: Do you have an ID? (Which she says in the most condescending way ever, as if I had just waded through the Rio Grande to cross the border.)
Me: Uh, yeah, of course I have an ID.
Her: Still not in the system. *scratches psoriasis*

And then I immediately realize what the problem is: I'm wearing electric blue eyeliner.

This is definitely the problem. It's the eyeliner. That, combined with my short new haircut, definitely gave the impression I'm some Rio Grande crossing college student. Or…something. Because I'm really not sure how we could confuse me for a college student at this point. But at the same time, I'm slightly intrigued because if this is true, I'm going to bathe in blue eyeliner. Blue eyeliner for everybody!

Her: Oh, wait! Here you are… Oh, you're a platinum member!?!
Me: Mhmmm…
Her: Oh, welcome! Welcome! You're entitled to a free upgrade! How about the deluxe King executive suite…with a view?!

AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE SMUG ABOUT BEING A CARD-CARRYING PLATINUM MEMBER OF ANYTHING. Apparently this thing gives you insta street cred with the bitches. Who knew? Anyway, the moral of this story is that I'm old as dirt, and businesses need to watch who they hire. Customers, like me, are actively forming an impression of the entire brand with every interaction with its staff, particularly the first interaction. And when that one is unpleasant? You're done-zo. There is no going back. Impressions are tricky things. And you've got to go at length to craft them.

Which is why I was pretty delighted to hear about Pret A Manger's free coffee policy, which I first learned about on my friend Andee's Facebook wall.

 

Pret a Manger

 

I wonder if I show this to my new friend at the hotel if she'll give me free coffee. Probably not. Then again, who wants a regular coffee when Irish coffee exists? Let's be honest. And not for anything, but I'm pretty sure that's the biggest sign that you're old: You go to bars and order coffee. Even if it is Irish. To which I should probably admit I'm doing that very thing right this second. Caught red-handed! Or green handed? Remind me to go to Ireland sometime. Right after we're done with our Life Hooky trip to Italy this fall.

Or maybe I'll just tweet my new friend. The number one is where it's at, sweetheart. Just the number one. That way, she can think it really is some kind of secret message that she just doesn't understand. Which works out nicely for me, because little will she know it really IS. And the secret message is: YOU'RE OLDER THAN ME SO SUCK IT.

And then I'll go back to being on the English ball. Or at least pretending to be. After hearing about this new math phenomenon, I'm pretty sure it'll be temporary. Who was the jerkoff who thought math wasn't hard enough already? Is this some large scale effort to trip up the Chinese? What if they start changing the alphabet next? What if we're all sent a new rulebook, where B becomes M, and C is actually a T? Can you imagine the confusion typing on the keyboard? Hopefully Apple will handle this.

Ain't nothing easy anymore, you guys. And getting old just adds a thick, moldy layer of butterscotch icing on the cake of life, to which I say: Hold the butter and pass the scotch. Because that's another thing you do when you're old: Scotch. Which might explain why I can't put my pants on. Maybe if I just put some wax paper in between my legs, everything will be okay.

I guess all we can do is hope. Or do something wild, like order a fruit cup at breakfast. Maybe the benefit of being old is that I'll finally be skinny. Can't put on pants, but who needs 'em when you're skinny?

Maybe I'm figuring out this life thing, after all.

All I want to know is: Where the hell can I sign up for that reward program?

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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