“I have no bones,” is something I’ve been saying to my close friends for about a month now. What was initially a phrase met with extreme confusion and concern, has now become a unifying and widely understood statement of resignation. This is all thanks to @jongraz on TikTok and his 13-year-old pug, Noodle.
Every morning, Jonathan and Noodle play their favorite game, “No Bones,” in which they find out if Noodle woke up with bones that morning. A “Bones Day” occurs when, upon being propped up by his owner, Noodle stays standing up on his strong little cannoli legs, just like the good boy that he is. A “No Bones Day” on the other hand, is indicated by Noodle falling back down, like a noodle, into his cuddly resting position. Yes, it’s as cute as it sounds.
For many people, including myself, Bones or No Bones has turned into a sort of daily Groundhog Day, horoscope type of thing, that predicts what kind of day we’re all going to collectively have. On a Bones Day, Jonathan tells us to really go for it, “Buy that jet ski! Buy insurance for that jet ski!“ It’s a good omen for all of us, and honestly, the best thing to wake up to in the morning. A No Bones Day, on the other hand, is more of a stay in bed, just take it easy sort of day, because if we do decide to go out, the world may not be sending us the best vibrations. If you do brave the outside on a No Bones Day, you can do the maximum of going through a Dunkin Donuts drive-through, but that’s just my opinion.
Of course, Noodle in his infinite wisdom only has so much sway over the real world and our daily routines. We, unfortunately, can’t actually use a floppy little pug as an excuse to never leave our homes. However, it’s really nice to see this universal recognition of the “bad day” in places we may not have seen it before. I’ve seen so many TikToks about Bones or No Bones signs on people’s office doors, and banter about skipping a meeting because of Noodle’s boneless forecast. While these things are quite obviously done in a joking nature, I think we can consider this progress. In a very unique and adorable way, Noodle has unknowingly helped to spark conversations around mental health everywhere, in work, school and even in our social circles. It’s pretty much common knowledge by now that discourse around mental health is usually stigmatized and lacking in most places, despite it being an integral part of everyone’s lives. Even if it’s in a humorous way, talking about how some days are really just not our day is really important.
I often find myself striving for perfection and being so hard on myself when I slip up and don’t do my best. Like many college students, failure is one of my biggest fears, and I often feel like I can’t afford to have a bad day. So, when I inevitably do every once in a while, I go into denial about it, and obviously, this doesn’t help me or anyone around me. I think we can all learn something from Jonathan and Noodle, which is that bad days happen to literally everyone, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes, we just need to close the laptop, or get back in bed and try again tomorrow. Because you never know, Noodle might just have some bones for all of us to celebrate.