Things Society Thinks I Need to Do That I'm Not Feelin'
(brought to you by Pearl Jam...)
1) Learn to Cook
I did not come equipped to this planet with a desire to create food, for myself or others. This is terribly ironic given how much I enjoy eating. Growing up the daughter of restaurant people, I've loved food and the life events it centers around. I love mulling over a bottle of wine and a huge plate of pasta and talking about God. I love a steady flow of parmesan cheese on pretty much everything. I love huge salads, meatballs bigger than your face, beef stews, and potato everything. You know that expression, "it tastes so much better when you make it yourself?" I'm calling bullshit! At least for myself. No, things taste way better when someone else makes it for you.
Now, this is not to say that I don't boil water and toast sandwiches and crack eggs. I'm not a cave woman guys, I do know how to do some (very) basic things. But entering my mid twenties (ha that's hilarious) I recognize the growing pressure and, for some women, sincere desire, to buy cookbooks and follow recipes and generally learn how to sustain your body on your own. I have total respect for that, and the world needs you, people who like to cook, so you can cook for people like me who don't.
Most people would agree that learning to cook is an essential life skill, like swimming or not rolling your eyes when someone says something stupid. Unfortunately, I also can't fight the eye-roll, and I do the breast-stroke for about three minutes before drowning in 3 feet of water. Oh well! That's what restaurants are for. (And life vests!) And as long as there are restaurants, I will be shelling it out for a good cheese plate whenever I can afford it.
2) Be One Half of One Whole Person!
Wow, I know how annoying it is to listen to a single woman bash relationships - so that is not my intent. Neither will I proclaim LOVE IS DEAD or LOVE IS A LIE even though you gotta admit, those are two pretty convincing arguments. What I will note, however, is that Tis The Season for people to remind you life is modeled around finding your other half.
There are loads of benefits to NOT doing this. For one, you have to lie a lot less. "Yeah that shirt looks great," "aw you look JUST like (insert hot celebrity you fantasize about)" or "your family is GREAT!" and you get to spend a lot more time re-connecting with who YOU are. Some people are better at this than others. My famous play is buying a bunch of books I tend not to read. Dude, I'm totally gonna read all this literature and know a ton of shit and then when I do go on a date I'll be like WHOA can you believe Hemingway? And he'll be all...I don't know who Hemingway is because a lot of boys are stupid.
In the end, I think I'm enough of one half of one whole person for any other halfsie to handle.
3) Listen to Stupid People
There is too much "let's agree to disagree" bullshit out there. You know what I want to see more of in 2013? "I think you're wrong, go away!" Why isn't that a thing?? Is this just a Midwestern situation, or what? Moral relativism is overrated. It's time to acknowledge that not all opinions are created equally. For example, don't you think "what do you do?" or "any big plans for the weekend?" should no longer be acceptable forms of conversation?
4) Belittle Enthusiasm
If you can't be passionate about something, you're dead. Pay attention to what excites you - and what excites other people. If it's rallying for a good cause, or the perfect chocolate chip cookie - those are equally wonderful signs that you are a human being and you can still get excited about something. I hope no matter how cynical you or I become, we still long to express a passionate response to human existence. Some are more expressive about their passions than others. That's okay too. I hope a smile at least crosses your face when you think about the fact that you can do anything you want at any time in your life. That you live in a time and place where you have endless opportunities - and instead of letting that shut you down, I hope it opens you up. Trying not to shut down in a world where it would be tremendously easy to do so is a daily challenge. But it's staying open to the passion and joy and purpose of life that makes us able to connect with others who feel it too. It's staying open that allows enthusiasm for life's small things to enter through us, and keeps us from becoming paralyzed and cold - towards ourselves and others.
5) Reference Dumb Quotes
"Live, laugh, love, bitches!!!" or "I wanna be the girl that ALWAYS SMILES EVEN THOUGH SHE'S HIDING SOMETHING." Can we stop getting our words from Marilyn Monroe? Someone start handing out Emily Dickinson to these girls, PLEASE.
6) Get Wasted 24/7
Not claiming straight-edgeness or even attempting to condemn drinking to have fun. Just sayin - DOES ANYBODY LIKE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE BUT DRINK. I mean, is there anyone who will hit up a museum with me, go to a concert, walk around the lake, or see a show that isn't over the age of 30 with me because I'm struggling here. I'm a whiskey girl, and it's definitely gotten me in trouble slash contributed to some awful moments in my life. Nowadays, I enjoy a few cocktails over dinner, and sometimes like to go dancing or situate myself at an Irish pub. But I genuinely do not want to black out. I genuinely do not care about getting so out of control that I don't remember what happened the night before. It seems like our 9 to 5 culture gives us permission to turn into a total fucking asshole Friday night and forget that we're miserable during the week. It's like we think we DESERVE to get drunk for how hard we work. I can see it now on someone's FB profile. "Bill works hard, and PLAYS HARDER." See Bill drink. Bill acts like a dick. Bill is not happy with himself or the discontent he's never dealt with, and now Bill is going to spend a bunch of money buying girls drinks that have no interest in him. It gives me weird feelings, bros. It gives me lots of weird feelings.
I've spent too much money on therapy and too much time thinking back on things to believe that drinking too much will let you forget what you're not happy with. It won't. It will just keep those nagging thoughts at bay for you until you're ready to really handle them.
7) Apologize for eating.
"Oh my god I ate SO MUCH." Okay. Did you enjoy yourself? I'm not sure what you want me to say to that. And can we stop with the "THINSPIRATION" boards and crazy detoxes? You think those gorgeous Italian women from the 1950s drank nothing but vinegar for four days after eating a bunch of pizza? No. They did not. They were practical, and they were practically perfect.