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February 26, 2012

To the Inept

Some people emerge into adulthood as fully formed human beings, confident and able. These are people with clear visions of themselves, people who stride into the world with strong handshakes and winning smiles. I was not one of those people. As I entered adulthood, I had some vague idea about the kind of person I would like to become, but my expectations for myself never quite aligned with the reality I lived, the way a door sometimes hangs badly off its hinges.

In my head, I was a suave, debonair man about town, slayer of womanly hearts. In reality, I was a zitty, awkward introvert and a bad kisser who spent most nights alone in his apartment eating Buffalo chicken wings out of a cardboard box. Then one day I found myself living in the suburbs with a wife and two kids, utterly bewildered as to how I found myself in the circumstances of my own life.

So I wrote a book to figure out how I got here and what to do about it. 

The book is called You’re Not Doing It Right, which is a sentence my wife said to me the first time I ever smoked pot, but which I think pretty much describes how I have felt about myself my entire life.

I suspect there are many people out who feel as I used to, that everybody else has their shit figured out, that they are the only ones muddling through life with this intense feeling of incompetence, that any successes that have are accidental and any failures deserved.

But the older I get, the more I realize people like me, the befuddled and inept, are actually the majority. We’re like a massive army of morons. None of us has any idea what we are doing. Yet somehow we remain upright. Somehow we manage to tie our shoes and feed ourselves. Some of us find love. Some of us make babies, and sometimes it’s even on purpose.

And sometimes we fuck it all up.

If writing this book taught me anything, it’s that I cannot figure anything out. Not personally and not professionally. The plans that I make inevitably go awry, the choices I make almost always seem incorrect, and yet somehow here I am, forty years old and happy. Of course, I take a lot of pills, but still.

You’re Not Doing It Right will probably not grant you any wisdom. It will solve none of your problems. It will not give you washboard abs. But if you get anything out of it, I hope it’s this: we are all colossal fuck-ups, every single one of us, and if, by some reason, you are one of the happy few who never takes a false step and always knows exactly what is just around every corner, you’re doing it wrong.

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Sarty

Can't wait! Pre-ordered it in Feb, 2010, when it was still called "Clappy as a Ham". (Wow, I sound like a hipster, lol).

A Facebook User

So I fill that everyone's path is just a little different. Sometimes those that look most put together are the most inept in life, they just have been put into their places. Those that we get to follow there journey are the ones that endear to us. That said you have know Idea how crushed I am that you are married! lol I have had the biggest crush on you for so long and Wet Hot is one of my favorites because of you. Your Wife should loan you out for dinner with me one night.... Strictly as friends.

Jaime

"If writing this book taught me anything, it’s that I cannot figure anything out. Not personally and not professionally. The plans that I make inevitably go awry, the choices I make almost always seem incorrect, and yet somehow here I am, forty years old and happy."

AMEN!!!!!!! this makes my heart happy. The one absolute in life is there are no absolutes. Accepting our total smallness in the grand flow of the universe and that sometimes it wrings us out like a dirty towel, and sometimes it don't, and just not taking that personally (because the universe can be just a mean bitch sometimes), well, that's freeing. And the happy part is the important part. I love seeing you use the H word :) I can not wait to read this lovely thing you've made.

Grilder

Phew! Glad to know I'm not alone. Just 5 minutes ago I was feeling like the world's biggest retard procrastinator...Now, I only feel second or third biggest. Thanks so much, MIB!!! Looking forward to reading the book!

Renee'

You seem renewed, reflective, and content. Like a modern day Geroge Bailey.

Anyway, truly happy that you're happy. It suits you well. (So does that SUIT! Yum!)

Renee'

(Hey your site let me post without signing in to twitter or facebook. Magic.)

satan

But-but-but-but.... what about me? I... I thought I was doing it right...

At least you seem to be doing it right, particularly the cover. Couldn't picture anything better. Will need to pick this book up as soon as possible, it would feel.... right.

Jesse

Really enjoyed the book. Rarely do I laugh out loud while reading and this was a book I was able to do that with. I love pants

Terri

Very funny yet touching. And I got my hands on it first at the library! Yay!

Terri

Verry funny albeit touching. And I got to be the first one to get it at my local library!

Casey

Hi Michael-- can't wait to get your book. Have you heard of the podcast called Mental Illness Happy Hour? I could totally see you guest hosting it with Paul Gilmartin-- there have been some really amazing comedians on it who talk about depression, anxiety, or just stores about the business and art of comedy and laugh in general. Anyway, thanks for all the laughs, honesty, and hardwork.. you make me smile!

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Felicito personalmente a este comentario por el creador o creadores de este artículo tan interesante es precisamente lo que quería, muchas gracias por escribir y publicar. He leído artículos muy diferentes. pero al igual que sus artículos, y esperamos que usted va a escribir más y mejor. i les asesorara a la lectura de ellos, gracias

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That said you have know Idea how crushed I am that you are married! lol I have had the biggest crush on you for so long and Wet Hot is one of my favorites because of you. Your Wife should loan you out for dinner with me one night.... Strictly as friends.

Christina

The other day a woman told me my baby was "flirting" with her and I said "Yeah, he's a real cocktease." So basically, I'm the target audience for your book. It was beautifully written, warm and cool. However, you need some staff. I think your marriage would be peachier if you delegated duties such as hamster cage maintenance. Thanks for a wonderful book! As you lose your twinkish good looks, I hope you write you many, many more in the same vein. It might keep me from opening one of mine (not a cry for help, kids just really suck a lot of the time)

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sólo almacena información sobre el negocio y el arte de la comedia y la risa en general. De todos modos, gracias por todas las risas, la honestidad, y trabajo duro .. tú me haces sonreír!

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Damn boii you lookin good in that cover photo!!! you are so fine

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