1. Climb Mount Everest. As tempting as this might be, what with all of the dead bodies scattering the pathway up and down, I hope to never accomplish this feat. Everest is in the Himalayas. The Himalayas are cold, and precipitous. They have glaciers, another thing I hope to never see in my lifetime. Every stinkin’ picture I see of Everest shows snow and crags. No thank you. I like my vacations to be warm and to require very little physical effort on my part. I’d rather sit in my warm bed with a hot cup of coffee and read Into Thin Air.
2. Learn a new language. Listen, I’ve done this. I learned English as a toddler, and that was pretty tough. Then I studied French for seven years in high school and college—also a lot of work. Here’s what I remember: learning a new language is hard. I didn’t enjoy it. Plus, my grandmother taught me a few choice words in Greek, so I think I’m good. I’m already practically trilingual.
3. Run a marathon. There are two words in that sentence that immediately turn me off: “run” and “marathon.” Run implies physical exertion on my part, and I think we’ve already established that I don’t care to do that. Marathon implies a long distance (I don’t know how long, exactly. My Greek solely consists of swear words and words that sound like swear words but aren’t. Λεμόνι!) I will not be running anywhere unless there are free Double Stuf Oreos at the end of that sprint.
4. Do an extreme sport. There are actually people (or, as I like to call them, lunatics) who seek out experiences like paragliding, bungee jumping, and skydiving. Nope, no, and nuh-uh. I don’t like heights. Also, I value my life. Pass.
5. Sing to an audience. A fun little fact about me: the last time I sang out loud, in the privacy of my own living room, the neighbor called to ask if my cat was in heat. I cannot identify nor can I match a note or tone in any song I hear. I would not put myself nor an audience through that kind of torture.
6. Volunteer at a hospice. Yecch. Sounds depressing. No thanks.
7. Befriend a stranger. When I was a young girl, my mother used to scold me for talking to strangers, but in my defense, the toothless winos wearing trench coats (and nothing else) that I’d greet on the streets of Hartford seemed really friendly. As I got older, my amazing lack of judgment only got worse. I remember looking at a picture of Ted Bundy and thinking “Ooh, cute. Who’s he?” For my own personal safety, I’m going to pass on this one.
8. Try out vegetarianism for a month. There are certain things in this world that I not only shouldn’t give up, but have never had the desire to. Animal fat is one of these things. It’s good for your brain and good for your soul. I thought a bucket list was for things you wanted to do before you die, not things that make you want to die.
9. Have dinner with someone you’ve always wanted to meet. I have a happy reason for not wanting to do this: I’ve met most everyone I’ve ever wanted to meet. And a sad one: the other people I’ve always wanted to meet are all dead. Not that I would turn down dinner with, say, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but if I actively try to achieve this, there could be trouble. California has some pretty strict stalker laws. It wouldn’t end well.
10. Conquer your biggest fear. Without a doubt, my biggest fear is needles. I can’t even see a picture of one without getting queasy. Writing about them right now is actually making me uncomfortable and weepy. According to experts like the producers of Fear Factor, the best way to conquer a fear is to immerse yourself in the thing that scares you most. Since a tub full of hypodermics is out of the question, probably the best way to do this would be to get a tattoo. My mother would never forgive me. I try to make it a point to not disappoint my mother. Shame on you all for suggesting that I break my mother’s heart like this!
I could go on and on, but sharing this list with you all has made me realize what’s really important in life, and life is short. I think I’ll grab my copy of Into Thin Air, go to my mother’s house, and eat all of her bacon and Oreos.