Now that I’ve changed the title of my site, you may be wondering what it is, exactly, that I don’t want to do. The answer is EVERYTHING. Just kidding. Sort of.
Maybe it’s best explained like this: every day, there are so many little things that I have to do that just plain stink. And in addition to the daily little things, there are big things coming down the pike that cause me to brood constantly. Picture a luggage carousel in my head, but instead of a piece of luggage coming out from behind the wall, a dreaded thought comes out, screaming, “Death!” or “College Applications!” or “Visiting Day!” or “Your Babies Are Not Babies Anymore!” or “Bat Mitzvah DJ!” or “Diet!” and oy vey, oy vey, oy vey, oy vey.
I tried to find a way to explain all of this without sounding ungrateful or overly anxious. I failed. So let me just say this: I know that these complaints are first world complaints, and I’m sorry if that offends you. I really believe that we must try to laugh our way through life, to the extent possible, or we will die from drowning in a pool of our own tears. Plus, if we only allowed the one person in the world with the most horrific list of complaints to complain, then you would no longer be allowed to complain about anything either, and then what would we all talk about all day long? A girl has got to vent, am I right?
So now that we’ve dispensed with “ungrateful” (I knock wood and implore and pray and ask forgiveness all day long), we should address The Scarlet Letter: A for Anxiety. I know that I’m anxious, and I think everyone is anxious to some extent. Have you read the news? Do you have children? Parents? Friends? Do you have a mortgage? Any other debt? Do you, or might you one day, have health problems? You’re anxious. Oh well. People survive with, and even thrive on, anxiety. And it’s kind of endearing when I won’t take a cab uptown on the FDR because the lanes are narrow, windy, and very close to the water. Right? RIGHT???
Now, you might be thinking, Silly Anna. You should focus more on the things that you do like to do every day. You should try to feel more #grateful and #blessed. This is excellent advice, thank you. I will try. I do try. In the meantime, I am also trying to be happy with myself just as I am; we can’t all be the same, and it’s unhealthy to be constantly unsatisfied with the way you actually are. Or so I’ve been told. By every therapist in NYC. Just kidding. Sort of.
Finally, the concept of “Anna Doesn’t Want To” encompasses much more than just the complaints on this list. Many of the topics I like to write about, whether it’s a strange interaction with someone or a tradition that seems meaningless, capture things that I don’t really want to be involved in, and I like to show the humorous side to them.
So with all of that being said, here is the list of “little” and “big” things that I don’t want to do. The very thought of doing these things makes me want to hide in my bed with Netflix and a bowl of microwaved M&Ms (trust me).
- Help my kids with their homework. After a long day of being a mom, which, for those of you who are wondering, entails being a nurse, firefighter, short order cook, housekeeper, bed and breakfast owner, plumber, electrician, COO, event planner, cable company repair woman, teacher, pharmacist, camp counselor, personal shopper, nutritionist, social worker, mediator, personal assistant, and engineer, to name a few, you know what I don’t want to do? Convert mixed numbers into whole numbers or improper fractions or whatever the hell it is that they’re supposed to be doing. What is an integer, anyway? Isn’t it just a number? Can’t they just say “number”? Geez.
- Dress like an adult. Sometimes people can’t believe that I have three kids, and it’s not because my skin is smooth or because there are no circles under my eyes. It’s because I dress like I’m in college. Sorry. I like to be comfortable. And what are heels anyway? They are instruments of medieval torture, that’s what.
- Act like an adult. I spend my whole life trying to avoid “adulting.” OMG. Am I a Millennial? I sound like one. Yet another thing to worry about. No offense, Millennials. You guys are awesome. I just can’t be one of you because my peer group will reject me.
- Confront people. Very hard for me. Usually I will only do this if I feel that one of my children is being threatened in some way. But you should know that most of the time I feel unsatisfied by the way I have been treated. LOL. Not.
- Say no. Also very hard for me. Basically, if you need a kidney, I’m the person to ask. (Note: not a legally binding offer).
- Take risks. I’m sure skydiving is quite the rush, but I prefer my feet (in Toms, of course) on the ground.
- Be in pain. Some people have really high thresholds for pain. I am the opposite of those people. Plus, since I’m a worrier and a Googler, everything is serious. Pain in my right side? Let’s see…*typing*…pain in the upper right quadrant…Gallstones! Hepatosplenomegaly! Primary biliary cirrhosis!
- Push myself physically. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: there are Navy Seals, and then there are those of us who tire from resetting the cable box. Thank God for Navy Seals. Seriously.
- Drown (especially inside a plane or a car). I bought one of those devices for our car that has a blade for cutting through your seat belt on one end, and a tiny, pointy hammer on the other end that you can use to break your window if your car is submerged. I even watched the YouTube tutorial video. I almost drowned sitting at my computer. I hold my breath when we drive over water or alongside water. I am a lunatic. Please send help.
- Look in the mirror right after getting my hair and makeup done. What am I going to see? Could be anything from Texas beauty pageant queen (not the winner) to recovering heroin addict.
- Watch the news. I am practically speechless when it comes to the news. Suffice it to say, on many fronts, enough is enough.
- Discipline someone else’s child. Please, can they play at your apartment?
- Criticize anyone, even if they’ve asked for my opinion. I am so sensitive that I can’t help but imagine being the recipient of the criticism. Don’t ask me if you look fat, or if I like your shoes, or if your necklace is too flashy. I will lie to you.
- Get in a car, plane, subway or boat. You know when you’re on a plane, and the flight attendants come around offering drinks and snacks, and some people watch movies or read? While they’re doing those things, I’m flying the plane with my mind while thinking, “HOW CAN YOU ALL BE EATING AT A TIME LIKE THIS???”
- Go to a crowded place. Yes, I know where I live.
- Drive. You know a car is a deadly machine, right? Even if your goal is just to get to the mall.
- Fail. Yeah yeah, we’re supposed to fail. But still.
- Apologize. So hard. So awkward. So necessary.
- See my kids get hurt (physically or emotionally). I get sick to my stomach when athletes get hurt, so imagine when my own kids get hurt. A few years ago, my daughter fractured her arm at gymnastics. I wasn’t there when it happened, and when she got home she really wasn’t in much pain. But the next day she didn’t eat breakfast and she didn’t bicker with her brother, so I knew something was wrong. When the doctor said her arm was probably fractured, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom because I thought I was going to throw up and faint. Twice. Please, can the kids play at your apartment? I will send you all of my doctors’ phone numbers. Some of them haven’t even met me yet.
- Diet. I just love you, food, you naughty siren.
- Throw up. Ugggggggggggggggggggh. Remember in college when you would throw up at midnight and still stay out until 3 a.m.? Yeah…not so much anymore.
- Get lice. I had a “comb out” over the summer because one of my children had one egg in his/her hair, and I lost half a head of my hair. I literally can’t afford to get it again. I will kill you in your sleep if you give it to me. Just kidding. Sort of. Note: if someone actually kills you in your sleep, none of your heirs, legal representatives, successors or assigns can use this post as evidence that it was me. I am trying to be funny. Not actually threatening anyone.
- Go to bed late. I have to wake up when our toddler wakes up, and I’m scared of feeling tired because my mother was a big proponent of sleep and would let me go into school late if I had been up late doing work the night before. This signaled to me that not getting enough sleep was REALLY bad.
- Look at my “to do” list. It’s oppressively long and filled with things I either don’t want to do or don’t know how to do.
- Have a fire in my building. Did you know that if you live in a post-war building, it is probably “non-combustible” and the fire isn’t supposed to be able to spread? Therefore, if there’s a fire in your building, you’re supposed to stay put. In a building that’s on fire. When we lived on the 28th floor of a non-combustible building around 10 years ago, there was a fire on the ground level of the building and you can’t imagine how quickly the smoke made its way up to us. We ran down the stairs, baby in tow, and had to go to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The firefighters thought we were insane for leaving our apartment. For months after the fire, I stopped at every firehouse I came across to ask if we did the wrong thing by fleeing, and every firefighter said we should have stayed. But it’s hard to convince yourself not to run when your building is aflame. Anyway, having to make that judgment call again is not something I look forward to. Note: I am not a firefighter or a fire expert, so don’t take my advice.
- Choke. Or have anyone around me choke. I took the choking/CPR class, but still. So easy to save a life, and yet so hard.
- Have the “how babies are made” talk with my kids. Ok, technically I’ve done this already, but I think I left them with more questions than answers. Can’t they just Google it???
- Be fashionable. There is almost nothing I care less about in this world than fashion. Clearly.
- Revise our family’s schedule. If someone is running 17 seconds behind on a Wednesday afternoon, the rest of our week is ruined. Making a single change would cause a domino effect that would likely result in an asteroid hitting the Earth. Luckily we have Navy Seals to protect us.
- Do things just because “everyone” is. I am very stubborn about this. I guess I don’t want to look like a follower? I will dig in my heels and glue them to the ground, even if it means missing out on something great. You know the idiom “cutting off your nose to spite your face”? That.
- Host a holiday. So. Many. Crumbs.
- Get ready for bed. I just want to collapse on my bed. Is that too much to ask? Of course it is, because first I have to floss and brush and wash and put on some kind of cream (pat, don’t rub) and spray my nose and brush my appliance (for TMJD, natch) and put on lash lengthener and fertilize my hair (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s very nice for you), and pee seven times and then ruminate on EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF THE DAY AND ALL THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THAT DAY.
- Remove body hair. I know, ew. What a pain, though, seriously. And, yes, I see the irony in the fact that I’m fertilizing my head while removing hair from my body.
- Return clothes I ordered online. Even though they make it “so easy” to return everything.
- Nudge. Contrary to popular belief, the nudger likes to nudge almost as much as the nudgee likes to be nudged. No one thinks “Change the light bulbs!” is sexy.
- Be awake before the sun rises. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy??? Note: I hate you, daylight savings. Even if you claim to give us more light in the morning, you are the ruiner of dreams. Literally and symbolically.
- Clean up vomit. Nooooooooooooooo. I just retched a little thinking about it.
- Deal with idiots. For example, I was trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a Monday morning, and the receptionist told me that the doctor had had availability “last Monday.” In the past. Dear Lord, why do you test me with these people? What is my path? I am so confused.
What are some of the things that you don’t want to do? Does the very knowledge of their existence make you cranky? How do you combat that crankiness? Do you meditate? Eat kale?