Here’s the list of ten things I do NOT want to do before I die. So far, so good.
10.) Run a marathon, participate in a tri, or cycle 100 miles in support of disease research. Now before you get judgmental, I promise you that I am all about supporting disease research – in fact, check out the Beyond Batten Disease foundation where my sister in law has worked if you’re looking for an illness that truly needs research dollars right now. And I sponsor any of my friends who are participating in these runs, walks, hikes and swims. But me? I’ll pay you double the suggested sponsorship amount, if you’ll just let me stay on the couch watching Downton Abbey reruns.
9.) Go permanently vegetarian. I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism for years; essentially, when my husband is traveling for work, I go temporarily meatless because I subsist on peanut butter sandwiches eaten over the sink rather than sullying a frying pan and/or dinner plate. However, when he’s back in town, I am ready to tuck back in to a nice pork loin studded with rosemary and garlic, or his famous fried chicken nuggets. And the hamburger from Hudson in Oakland? Plate-lickable. It’s transitory vegetarianism only for me, I’m afraid.
8.) Read Ulysses. You know there are some books in the canon that everyone has to read to understand the nature of Western Civilization? Well, I’ve managed to give this one the slip so far. It’s not personal, it’s just that I think this book is best digested in a high school AP English class or a college seminar if you’re going to get anything at all out of it. And since, as my dad once said to me, “You’ve run out of things to graduate from,” the window here is simply closed.
7.) “Find myself” by visiting a third world country. It’s very en vogue, I know. But I have two problems with his. One, I’m not lost. I’m imperfect, but that’s different. Two, I hate the idea of gaining perspective by looking at people in a different country and saying, “Well, at least I’m not THEM! Their life sucks!”
6.) Do a cleanse. O lord deliver me from wheat grass, brown rice, or that maple syrup/lemon juice concoction that Beyonce is always going on about. I am a Taurus. We are the sign on the Zodiac that demands food, real food made with butter and cream, and preferably washed down with an old vine Zinfandel. We’ll take the consequences.
5.) Open a bakery. I’m afraid my dear friend Ledette is to blame for this one. She was living the midlife crisis dream (admittedly for her it was not a crisis but a canny career move in her ’30s,) running a wonderful, successful, and wildly popular bakery in LA. And, as I saw firsthand many times, working 18 hour days, 7 days a week. No amount of access to cookie dough in the freezer or pride of ownership is worth the daily baking grind, or the people who wander up to the cash register that sits next to the giant display case of cupcakes and ask, “Do you sell cupcakes?”
4.) Foster feral cats. I just won’t.
3.) Convert religions on my deathbed. First because I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got. Second, what if the paperwork gets lost in the shuffle and you’re standing at the Pearly Gate and they’re saying, “But you’re not on the Buddhist manifest, I’m sorry. Maybe you’re still with the Lutherans? Hard to say. It can take a few days to process the forms. Do you have an conversion confirmation number?” Just makes me nervous.
2.) Watch Silence of the Lambs. Similar to Number 8, this is a movie that every human being on the planet has seen except me. I do have an aversion to gore, so that’s a big part of it. But now my resistance has become philosophical in nature: I’ve made it this far through life without seeing it, and surely I can go another day.
1.) Miss my last meal. Cream, butter, wine, meat – just make sure you wake me up and feed me before I go-go, so I die with the taste of heaven on my tongue.