‘How to… keep friends through your 30s, when every micro-decision acts as another brick in the wall between you and them,’ asks Eva Wiseman. Photograph: Alamy
Google (have you heard of Google? How to explain. OK, imagine shouting questions at a very tall pile of leaflets) has noticed a 140% increase in “how to” searches. Top of its list is “how to… tie a tie,” followed by, “how to… kiss.” “How to… get pregnant,” is number three, followed by “lose weight” and “draw”. Six and seven are “how to… make money,” then “how to… make pancakes.” Which make me think the world is holding back. Surely, surely it’s…
How to… just be, you know, a better person, because surely, whether you’re searching for seduction advice or the trick to a decent crumble, you are trying, trying… you are scratching upwards on that grim quest for meaning through knowledge, and if you can’t be good, well, at least you can make good pancakes.
How to… tell the story about the Tinder date and the poo, conveying its local majesty, the way the girl (the girl who, when the loo wouldn’t flush on a Tinder date, wadded her turd up in tissue and chucked it out the window, except, it landed awkwardly, and so she told her date – she told her date – and as they tried to retrieve it, this turd in tissue, the result of a Nando’s dinner, she got stuck, upside down, resulting in a) the fire service being called, to break the window and rescue her, and b) the conception of a GoFundMe page to raise money to replace the window) should have a Pride of Britain award named after her, and how this couple have redefined romance, for ever.
How to… reply to: “But surely you backed everything up.”
How to… keep friends throughout your 30s, when every micro-decision, whether romantic or academic, acts as another brick in the wall between you and the person you shared a toothbrush with between 1998-1999, and when the time you spend together feels so brittle and precious you don’t have time to relax, instead holding these rare lunches slightly apart from your body, as if for best.
How to… enjoy panel comedies in 2017, now that we’ve seen how they brought the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage into our living rooms, and turned them into jolly cartoons, into boys we laughed at rather than men with the potential to take a lighter and burn our rights in front of us, like a drunk Cambridge student with a £20 note.