You had a job pressing orange price stickers on discount bottles of shampoo, a nametag pinned to your shirt tucked in to your bellybutton-high pants. In your free time, you re-organized socks at home and read your mother’s copy of 50 Shades of Grey. And be honest, you liked it a little.

This is how you spent your summer.

But your friends don’t have to know that.

Successfully fool those around you into thinking you spent a rocking four months with these simple tips:

 

Work With It

Your mind-numbing job has left you with a glaze over your eyes – use this to your advantage. By nodding slowly when your friends talk about their summer adventures, your now-permanent look of boredom will make you appear blasé, nonchalant and other vaguely French words.

 

Waste Money

Buy something unnecessarily expensive to flaunt during your friendly reunions. The gaudy items will make it seem as though you’ve been living large all summer. Your old friends will assume you befriended celebrities in Silicon Valley, and you might make a few new ones, attracted by your shiny baubles. You can afford to splurge this one time, seeing as the only thing you spent money on this summer was clearance-shelf chocolate.

 

Fake It

Somehow, the flickering fluorescents and perpetually-closed blinds have left your skin pasty and white. This is a problem, because if there’s one thing that says “bikini babes and beach volleyball,” it’s a tan. Actually: tan lines. Take some self-tanner and apply it around your sleeve, shorts, and watch edges. It doesn’t have to be perfect, heck it doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to show everyone how much time you spent soaking in the rays. If you’re feeling real crafty, put self-tanner on your face, outlining those Ray-Bans you totally lost on that girl’s sailboat.

 

Lie Through Your Teeth – Literally

“Well Venice was alright, I found it rather droll compared to the rich culture of Malaysian villages.” “The yacht was at least as big as BSB, I swear, when you include the dolphin sanctuary out the back.” “Interestingly enough, it turns out the hot-tub could hold another three people.”

“It was great.”

All these lies and more are at the tip of your cortex. Just make sure you keep your stories straight: was the redhead the one you skydived or snorkelled with?

Remember: as you spew these tales, just keep smiling. It’ll guard their trust.

 

At the end of the day, you’ll have spent a productive, useful summer avoiding skin cancer, but your friends will think you’re pretty much Batman. Batman, who spent his summer fanning himself with hundos in the British Not-Quite-Virgin Islands.

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