How to be an underachiever without really trying: I’ll be there for you

“How do three grown men not have $300 between them?” Ah, sweet Dee. I feel so very represented by the characters on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the only problem is that I’m totally ok with that. It started with Friends. For the pop culture junkies of my generation, the idea of being in your late twenties and having absolutely no direction didn’t mean you were a failure; it just meant that you were charmingly bohemian and the wacky adventures were just around the corner!

Hi there. I’m Melanie Dahling, I’m 28 and I have a lot of potential. The “p” word is one that has been thrown at me since High School. Being a stand-up comedian, actress, writer and sometimes singer I know that there are things I am good at. However, for most of my adult life I’ve experienced moments of impressive brilliance followed by long periods of “meh.” When I add all of that up, it feels a lot like I’ve been spinning my wheels for a decade. I mean, I’m making all the “vroom vroom” noises and it’s cute and everything, but I think it’s time I actually got somewhere.

I have a fantastic group of talented, funny friends who spend most weekends playing laser tag in dusty, guitar-infested warehouses after working at fireworks factories and candy shops. There’s nothing I’d change about us, but I think we’re all wondering how to get to that stage of life when we can choose to buy groceries AND go to the dentist- not one or the other.

We’re a lot like the cast of GIRLS only older, and instead of an hour a week it’s all the time. Forever. No one yells “cut!” and no one goes home to fat stacks or rockstar boyfriends.

So I’m thinking all of us whimsical kids have until we’re 30 before we properly seal our fates as kooky aunts and weird uncles. I don’t want a white picket fence or anything, but I’d like to make some real money, move out of my mom’s house, get into a successful relationship, and put more stamps on my passport… At the very least I should have my driver’s license and go to the gym more often.

Sometimes people in my life will use me to make themselves feel better about not having accomplished anything. I’m thinking that could be my relationship with you, dear reader. Follow my frail Bambi legs as I force adulthood upon myself. We’ll have some laughs.

I bought a white button up shirt, so I figure that is a step in the right direction. Ok, my mom bought a white button up shirt that didn’t fit her, and the last time I wore it I got black out drunk, but still.


Melanie Dahling is a stand-up comedian, actor and freelance writer.