Your friend is in rut. Due to a variety of circumstances which may or may not be under their control, several things are not good. It’s ok! It happens to everyone!
What sucks is that at this point, you can’t really do much about it. I can’t either. I don’t know your friend. But having crawled out of a few sad holes of my own, I offer you this highly subjective and possibly questionable list of stuff your friend might need right now, in order from urgent to celebratory. Let’s get ‘em back on track before the rest of their life implodes. ‘Tis the season!
A Jug of Heavy Duty Odor Cleaner
This particular brand kills any scent of mess and despair and is very economical! Fuck this “tidy home, tidy mind” bullshit. They’re not going to feel better just because their kitchen floor is no longer covered with soup puddle and crusty bong water. But they probably don’t feel like cleaning right now and the neighbors are starting to complain about the smell. Scrubadubdub! (OdoBan, $19)
I’m sure they don’t want to talk about it either. This is where we are now. And even if last Tuesday your friend made eye contact with the mouse eating their delivery food leftovers on top of the trashcan pile, even if your friend named the mouse Robert, even if your friend texted you that you’re never going to believe how smart Robert is, Robert just pushed the bedroom door open all by himself... We all know that Robert has to go. The Jawz mousetraps are very effective. They come in a pack of two in case Robert also has a friend, and you can use solid and liquid bait, which is convenient. Robert will die via a “high tension spring.” Don’t tell your friend. (JT Eaton, $7)
A Good Umbrella
And now it’s time to go outside! Maybe it’s not time yet. But let’s say it’s time! Get them a solid umbrella. No more bodega/convenience store umbrellas for them! The Repel Easy Touch Umbrella 11.5-Inch DuPont Teflon Travel Umbrella is compact, light, resilient, and it’s got a life time guarantee. What an inspiration. Here’s a fun idea. Don’t buy a black umbrella. Yellow is a good color too. (Amazon, $24-$50)
Nice Soap for the Bathroom
That was a really nice walk. Your friend actually ran into another friend who is more attractive than you and had a nice long chat about that great yellow umbrella they just got and made plans to hang out sometime. There is going to be a lot of things to do, but first things first: there is no reason not to have nice soap in the bathroom. Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap Lemon Verbena is a nice soap and can be ordered in threes. (Amazon or anywhere, $10)
Don’t Break the Phone
You know what is really distracting? Dropping your phone like a goddamn idiot. But it’s not your friend’s fault right now. I highly recommend the Speck Presidio Grip Phone Case with the ridges. It’s not stylish. Not at all. But it doesn’t just protect the phone when it falls, it keeps the phone from falling out of your grip in the first place. So when everything goes wrong again and they’re stumbling through a public park crying and trying to catch Pokemon at 3am, this is a good case. Here’s also a pretty and less intense case just in case. Get some screen protectors too. (Speck, $40)
Desk Stuff to Do Desk Stuff With, Later
It’s time to get some shit done. Make some lists. Get the things on the list done. But first, get some post-its. Notebooks. Organizers. That’s the stuff. I like Poppin specifically because you can literally browse by color. Get a whole desk of stuff in a gentle mint green, an optimistic cobalt or a determined orange. It’s almost like house decorating, so it won’t feel like a pity gift, which it’s absolutely not. These are nice things your friend deserves. (Poppin, $55)
An Art That’s Also a Snow Globe and Also Says “FUCK”
I earnestly recommend this cheerful decorative snow globe from the New Museum store. Great for mid-way points and freshly cleaned and organized tops of tables. It expresses feelings from frustration to triumph; it is fluid. It’s designed by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, a hotshit collaborative artist duo since the ‘80s. So this is an actual art piece. It says “FUCK.” (New Museum, $70)
A Portable Battery
This Jackery portable battery has been recommended to me by someone who carries a lot of different gadgets with them for photojournalism purposes. Your friend might not need every thing in the Jackery Giant+ Premium 12,000 mAh Dual USB Portable Battery Charger & External Battery Pack with Panasonic Battery Cells and Aluminum Shell. But it will come in handy when they want to take a much longer walk outside. It will also help you back off and give them some space. It’s ok. Their phone is charged. All of their devices are charged. They’re not dropping off the radar. They just don’t need to talk to you right now. (Jackery, $28)
A Cordless Drill to Fix All the Things
A nice cordless drill could change your life. And if life is going pretty ok right now, you can use a drill to fix sagging shelves, unhinged bed frames (for the time being, get a new bed frame later) and all kinds of long-broken things around the house. Just think of the short term possibilities! (Bosch, $99)
Maybe their apartment still needs some work, but the Philips Bloom lights are really sweet. I mean, if you think they need one of those special lights that NY Mag says Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital uses for light therapy, get one of those. This light has no special happy powers, but just one or three of these guys will spruce up the whole room into a wonderfully multi-hued fun zone. But please, don’t forget to also get them the Philips Hue Bridge that makes the whole setup work, or they’ll spend an hour trying to figure out why their light isn’t working and how that’s their fault. (Amazon, $60)
Do not give anything like this to your friend unless you and your friend are on the same or adjacent plane of intimacy, or you’re going to be a creep. But if you feel like it’s ok, and they’re spending most of their time sighing into Tinder and doing something less effective at home anyway...
The Lelo Ina 2 waterproof rabbit style vibrator is quiet, waterproof, and has eight settings. If that’s a fit for you, great. If not, you get the point.
Jalapeños Poppers Stand
This is it. This is the final level. Nothing says you have your shit together like a stainless steel 36-hole oven stand created specifically for serving a single kind of appetizer—the jalapeños popper, a wonderful hot and cheesy treat. That’s all this thing does. They can do that now. They have just the thing for just that, and that’s beautiful. (King Kooker, $13)