Saturday, October 31, 2009

2 blog days in a row...

I was talking to my brother the other day about the anti-bucket list. It’s the list of things that you never did and you’re glad that you didn’t do them. I encourage you to write in to me with your anti-bucket list things and I discourage you from arguing with me about mine. Here are a few:

1) Tyler Perry movies. I’m sorry Tyler Perry had a bad childhood, but that doesn’t give him the right to make bad movies. He’s the Chevy Chase of black people and I can’t include Chevy Chase on my list because, sadly, I’ve endured one of his films.

2) Okay, don’t get all huffy on me, but Cirque Du Soleil. I’ve only seen youtube clips and the pretentiousness of even the clowns made me want to run over them with a tiny clown car.

3) I’m really glad I never had the “full enchilada” waxed. I think that would hurt. A lot.

4) White jeans.

5) I’m really glad that I haven’t been to the Middle East, the Midwest (does Ann Arbor count?), or most of Canada, which is uninhabitable beyond a certain point north.

6) I’m happy I will die without ever eating blowfish.

7) I have never been to a frat party, a sorority party, a scrapbooking party, or a Tupperware party.

8) I am perfectly fine with the fact that I have never tried cocaine, although I did mention to my brother that if I were a heterosexual man, I could see how it might be fun to sniff it off of a prostitute’s belly, since it has a certain iconic resonance. But I imagine even that experience would be highly disappointing.

9) I’m glad I’ve never been saved… I mean, spiritually. I’d love to be saved from ALS.

10) I have no regrets about never having discharged a firearm.

11) There are literally hundreds of men that I’m glad I never went out with and at least 20 that I’m glad that I’ve never went on a second date with.

12) I have never been to a Country Western concert although I would like to go to a Country Western Bar and I would have liked to have fucked a cowboy… Though I haven’t met very many straight ones.

13) To my knowledge, I have never worn a sweatshirt or T-shirt with an adorable puppy or kitten on them. If I can no longer speak or move and Edith puts one on me just to be mean, take it off, then shoot me.

14) I’ve never played stupid online games and posted my results on facebook.

15) I’ve never sent a text, except by proxy.

16) I’ve never used an internet acronym in a non-ironic context.

17) I’ve never told anyone I hated them, except this one guy and I really hate him. In fact, I would like to tell him I hate him again before I die… so we could put that one on the bucket list.

18) I’ve never gotten “Girls Gone Wild” level drunk. Although I was drunk enough to have a fierce battle involving rolling down a flight of pub stairs wrestling a life-size and real-looking Batman. I won.

19) I’ve never shoplifted. Or engaged in any kind of petty theft.

20) I never took a college-level math or science class. This makes me unspeakably happy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would rather have done some of the things on this list than sit around and not trying new things. Some of the things I’m most proud of are my colossal failures and the moments where I made a complete and utter ass of myself because I had a profound sense of how much I never wanted to do that thing again. Some of the things that I have done that I shouldn’t have done or maybe shouldn’t have done are probably more valuable than the anti-bucket list and as valuable as the bucket list. A lot of them, I can’t repeat. Not because I’m ashamed, but because they involved other people who maybe don’t want to relive a time when I was a complete bitch-slag. I will admit that I have been fired, I have been involved in reckless driving activities, I have broken someone’s heart, I have said really bad things that I regret, I have had falling outs with good people, I’ve dated stupid guys because they were cute, I have committed unforgivable fashion crimes, and I’ve let my friends do the same without intervening, which is tantamount to handing them the keys when they’re drunk off their ass because you know a fashion crime doesn’t just harm the wearer.

Did any one see the movie, Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow? The premise is there are different roads in life that we can take with different possibilities along the way. If I’m not mistaken though, she ends up with the same guy at the end of the movie regardless of which path she takes. Maybe each choice we make doesn’t have the butterfly effect with the vast consequences that we think it does. Maybe if we retraced our steps, and scrutinized the forks in the road, we would find that ultimately, they led us back to the same spot… Providing, of course, that one of our choices didn’t get us killed or convicted of a crime. Maybe life is just a balancing act where we alternate between taking great care that our emotional footprint doesn’t crush someone else and throwing caution to the wind and boldly daring to make mistakes and bravely learning from them.

Having said that though, I would only want to see Cirque Du Soleil the way Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd saw it in Knocked Up – wasted on magic mushrooms on a weekend getaway to Vegas.


Anonymous said...

I am quite content with never having had baked a turkey (thanks for hosting all those Thanksgivings Edith!)

And I guess I'm going to have to borrow one of my dad's guns, 'cause you know Edith's going to buy a cute kitty shirt for you now...


Anonymous said...

you are a genius
i can only pray for your mind
and sense of hunor
all-telling and

Anonymous said...

If you change your mind, or just to be mean, I will put a kitty shirt on you and we can take a trip to my hometown in the midwest where we can go to a sorority and frat party with a country western band and then come home and host a scrapbooking and tupperware party. I love having some of my favorite things on your list . . . I'll tell you #1 on my list in person. It's something you've done and something you told me recently moved it to the #1 spot. Love, E

Anonymous said...

Hi Sweet Girl,

Had a wonderful visit by telephone yesterday with your mother. Her first words were, "Have you read Carla's latest blog." I hadn't yet but she filled me in, not with the content, but the fact that it is brilliant, absolutely brilliant and I must read it right away. She was bursting with pride over your, as she said, "True Carla writing, funny and brilliant." How proud she is of your beauty, your courage, your talent, your obvious love of your friends, and your beautiful relationship with your son. I am so blessed to have her in my life. She brightens my days through e-mails, phone calls, and a wonderful CD slide show she created of our high school friends reunion in Palm Springs.

I did read your blog and yes it is brilliant.

I have never touched a snake and that makes me very happy.

Love, Pat

Anonymous said...

God I love you. This is pure genius writing. I want you this Thursday. I have an audition at the Aurora at 2:45 so i will sneak by and ask for 5 mins. (I am being too careful because i don't want to piss you off or bore you or give you a cold. ) Truth be told up until a month ago Hen and Sarah have had tag team colds...

I am quite content never to have shot up Heroin or sniffed cocaine. I am quite content not to have pursued an MFA though I tried to back in the day. I am quite content to have never played Juliet or Hamlet.
But you are wrong about the white jeans because you would look gorgeous in them. I got my first pair last month and wear them a lot. Molly

Kris said...

Although I dearly love frat and sorority parties, white jeans, and Cirque du Soleil, I'm with you on the shoplifting, the college science classes and the blowfish. I'm also really glad I never took tax classes in law school, lived in a college dorm, or stayed in a youth hostel. Thank God I've never gone hunting, snow camping, heli-skiing, or cliff diving. I'm also happy to never have played Russian roulette, hitch-hiked, visited a strip club, broken a bone, or taken up knitting. I'm considering buying a kitty shirt though, so I can wear it on my next visit to the firing range...

kickals said...

Brilliant!!!! That was the greatest thing I ever read!

Alison said...

I loved Sliding Doors, and I like the idea that no matter what you chose to do or not do, you may end up in a similar place at the end anyway (although one road might be more pleasant than the other one.)

Also, every time I think, "Well, I'm glad I didn't do that," I think in the next breath, "But if I had, maybe it would have been a great learning experience."

Like I'm glad I was never a drug addict or an alcoholic. Yet friends of mine who are in recovery say that that road is what needed to happen in order to bring them to the place of peace they inhabit today. Or it gave them empathy and humility which were the precise qualities they needed in order to do their life's work.

So who's to say whether something was a mistake or not? I don't think we have enough perspective to make those judgments.

I am glad I didn't bow to the pressure my mother and grandmother put on me to get a nose job or have my boobs reduced--most of the time. But I don't know how my life would have been different, maybe easier, if I had.

I'm glad I never gave up writing.

Glad I never had an affair with a married man, or broke up anyone else's family.

Glad I never ran up a mountain of credit card debt and then had to enslave myself to a job I hated in order to pay it off.

Mostly I'm glad i didn't let fear stop me, which is kind of a sneaky way of turning this into if not a bucket list, then a list of things that would have been on my bucket list had I not done them. I'm glad I didn't stop looking for love even after a lot of disappointment, because it has been so worth it. I'm glad I went to Africa even though I was nervous before I went. Glad I volunteered in Miami for a year, ditto.

And the questions never end, do they?

I wouldn't say no to Cirque de Soleil if someone offered me tickets. But white pants are NOT in my future. Two words: cellulite and dirt.


Anonymous said...

1. I'm genuinely glad I was never a cheerleader.

2. I'm glad I didn't study writing in school, because I much prefer the feeling I have of having taught myself. (and everything I learned about the value of risk and mistake.)

3. Glad I wasn't ever popular in school or on the inside or invited to school dances, etc...I have so much more freedom than I would have had if I'd ever worried about losing my "position".

4. Glad I didn't end up with the-one-who-got-away.

5. I'm always glad, in retrospect, that I let writing projects sit unfinished as long as they needed to because it always turns out I was waiting for a piece of information I didn't have at the time, and if I'd given in to the inner voice which was pressuring me to "get it done" I would have missed a valuable component to my work.

gail hildebrandt said...

I am glad that in grade six class I helped put grasshoppers into Miss Kendels drawers. (desk drawers, that is). I am glad I went to Girl Guide camp and put the leaders pj's up the flag pole. I love cats but not on my shirts and also love white jeans. I think it is true that doing wrong things can teach you good life lessons and will help you have empathy for those who struggle with life skills. Too many so called good people who have always travelled on the easy side, cannot see the goodness in people they consider to be lost. Life takes us down many roads and I only hope that honesty, trust and love of the human condition helps to push me in the right direction. Whatever direction that is.

Anonymous said...

Vegas is indeed terrific for people in wheelchairs. It's my favorite place.

-cafe venezia acquaintance

Marty Freedman said...

I'm glad I never heard the Sound of Music (I did attend a sing-a-long and didn't hear a word of the score).

I'm glad I can close my eyes real quick when there's about to be a gory event in a movie (and have chosen to miss Silence of the Lambs and the Killing Fields all together).

I'm glad I didn't end up in an office job pushing papers and staring at a computer (though I LOVE my Mac stuff). Being a cabinetmaker has pulled some tendons and cut and splintered my hands numerous times (all minor, thank Whoever).

Anonymous said...

Damn, I was about to invte you to my scrapping party-the one where you store all your supplies in Tupperware. I'm staying away due to family colds but hope to stop by soon with soup, once the flu shots have taken effect