Kicking the Bucket List

It’s not my idea to come up with a f**kit list.  I give the credit to a mention of comedian Michael Ian Black’s list of the same name in New York Magazine‘s Daily Intel:  But I’m happy to come up with my own list of Things I’m Never Going To Do, Ever — i.e., the very opposite of a bucket list.  So I’m permanently forgetting about:

reading anything by James Joyce

getting anything but my floors waxed

eating goat cheese

trying to carry a tune (it’s too late for me.  But then, it was always too late)

wearing mini-skirts (I mean, who am I kidding?)

keeping houseplants (I admit it: I’m happy when they die)

listening to Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter to “understand the other side” (I was born and grew up on the other side; I understand it; it drives me nuts)

wearing a bathing suit — or even trying on a bathing suit (who needs the torture?)

using terms like self-esteem, closure, empower or healing (in the emotional sense); ick

pretending Jane Austen is my literary idol

camping out

being a vegetarian or a vegan

doing without sugar or carbohydrates (which would rob my life of meaning)

running a marathon; running a mile; running, period

practicing law

talking baby talk to anybody of any age

pretending I’d like to live out in the country

using emoticons

deluding myself that one day I will become organized

deluding myself that one day I will learn to like change

forcing myself to become a perky morning person

joining a book club

trying buttermilk or liver

lifting weights

doing my own taxes

becoming an ex-patriate

learning to twitter or tweet

moving to Canada, no matter how bad the U.S. political scene becomes

apologizing for the politicians Texas sends to Washington, D.C., when, in fact, George W. Bush is from Connecticut and was educated at Andover, Yale and Harvard, all non-Texas institutions

(Copyright 2009 by Ruth Pennebaker)

16 comments… add one
  • I’m glad somebody else has Twitter on their list.  I just don’t get why anybody would care if I’m drinking Irish coffee right now, but I’m probably just being ornery again.   

    My favorite on your list, though, is “deluding myself that one day I will become organized.”  I still do that!  I buy plastic paper holders and other organizational crud for my office.  I still have a chaos of paper and books laying around the room.  The only difference now is that I also have plastic organizers laying around unused.  I think it’s time to add that one to my list, too.  Thanks, Ruth!

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    How many times have I gone to the Container Store, certain I was going to change my life?  I’m sure my husband would be happy to remind me.

  • Craig Link

    Now I remember why I like you.
    You make an old cantankerous fool like me look like a sorority  girl.
    I am positively bubbly compared to you, and I think you will be twittering  like Emily Gould in no time.

  • Oh, Ruth!

    I so admire you, and have often thought we were alike when I have read your posts (isn’t that how it is supposed to be?  you write posts into which readers can project themselves?)

    Your Emancipation Proclamation ( =f**kit list)  was pretty much the opposite of my world:
    I’ve read every word of Ulysses, grumpily for the first couple of hundred pages, then with grudging admiration for the next hundred or so, and then finally, with actual pleasure.  I don’t suppose I will do that again, but I still reread the parts of the Dubliners.  The Dead has some of the most beautiful prose in the English language.  You shouldn’t miss it.  (I haven’t even mentioned Portrait of the Artist…)
    I have never had my floors waxed, but I have waxed (in the active voice and in the privacy of my own bathroom)  legs and more.  I especially recommend the more.  No razor rash or irritation.

    I love goat’s cheese, except that weird, sweet Norwegian stuff.

    Like you I am unable to carry a tune and know that I am sadly too old for mini skirts (but you have posted a picture of yourself curled up in shorts and I am not the only one jealous of your legs).

    I am selective about my houseplants but feel terribly guilty when they die.  They usually don’t.

    I wouldn’t dream of listening to Rush Limbaugh even if he were broadcast in England, which he isn’t, and I have never heard of Ann Coulter. 

    All those “empowering” words are ugly and I am ashamed if I accidentally use one.

     I spend a lot of time thinking about words.  I wondered all day why it was ruled in my workplace that a Scottish employee would be rude if she put a sign on her office door that said, “This office is shut” but it would be okay to say “This office is closed”  I meant to come home and investigate.   My operating theory is that shut is Old English and closed must be French and therefore more genteel, but I haven’t had time to look it up because I am writing on your blog instead. I used to know stuff about history of the language.

    I cannot imagine what it would mean to eschew Jane Austen as a literary idol.  Are you saying that you would not like to be funny as she is?  That you would not like to be able to write her crisp prose?  That you would not like to be an idol a couple of hundred years after your untimely death?  (Granted too late for untimely.)  Or just that you are throwing the towel?  Would that that were an interesting concession!
    I love camping out, though I like it better when it is camping in. 

    I lived virtually carbohydrate free, unless you count wine (I know you do count wine) for 3 years

    I ran the London Marathon in 2001.  Four hours and 52 minutes, since you ask.  I beat at least one of the guys in a rhinocerous suit.

    I prefer skinny dipping but usually find I need a bathing suit (or swimming costume as we call it in these parts), however unattractive I may look in it.

    I have never joined a book club.  I don’t practice law or ever talk baby talk or like change.  I live in the country.  I do Brit taxes but spend unreasonable amounts of time trying to get someone to do my American taxes.  I find emoticons useful for talking to IT professionals when you want them to sort out your buggered  — fill in the blank (inbox, files, whatever).  I don’t care if IT professionals don’t respect me.  I just want them to fix it.  The emoticons make them understand your complete surrender.

    I’ll never be organised; I used to lift weights and I have drunk buttermilk. 

    I am trying to make sense of Twitter and Tweeting.

    I am an expatriot. 

    I will never live in Canada.  I believe that America is the Empire of Liberty and a cynosure for the world. 

    I grew up in Andover.  I was educated at Harvard.  I never apologise for Bush.  I marvel at Obama. 

    It is possible that you and I are matter and anti matter (except for the organised, book club, icky words and carrying a tune stuff).

    I think I ought to write a blog post and stop clogging up your comments box.  Apologies!  But I have enjoyed thinking through your list.

    Let’s be sure not to meet.  We might annihilate the world. 


  • A Fuckit List. I love it. Mind if I try it on my blog too? Btw, I LOVE goat cheese and Twitter. Sorry. (Think how much you are enjoying Facebook – Twitter is at least as much fun.)

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Craig — I guess it was my broadside at plants that impressed you, huh?

    Duchess — Well, I do like Portrait of the Artist.  I also like Austen, but get a bit tired of all her slavish devotees.  Did I mention I also dislike Katharine Hepburn?

    Tessa — It’s not original to me, so, please, take it and run.  I’m not giving in to Twitter and don’t really do Facebook that much.  But at least it’s cut down my Craigslist time.

  • This is a great, fun idea.  I can’t wait to think through my own.  The ones I most identified with you about are listening to Rush and Ann (I’m jealous of Duchess who never heard of her), and wearing a bathing suit.  Not ever!

  • Wonderful piece!  I’m sending it to my sister who is turning 60 soon, and I SO relate, because I am even older than she, and long ago decided that aging is simply a process of peeling away things and goals.  Of course none of us will agree with what is essential to life. I for instance, decided on my Bucket list to get my ears pierced. It didn’t work. They wouldn’t go back in because the holes healed up or something. So now pierced ears are on my Fkit list.
    And I twitter
    Although all that knowledge stuffed in my brain will go to waste in a few years, I still keep stuffing it in.

  • Sorry!  I am a hopelessly literal person and was trying to convince you that James Joyce was worth a try and Austen a reasonable aspiration.   I’ll come back and reply again when I have learned to understand ironic understatement.

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Probably my fault for not using emoticons.  But I’m terminally ironic.

  • Cindy A Link

    Ah, terminally ironic. That’s a good term.  Might be the true me.

  • Reading Proust: gave up the attempt years ago.

    Have you noticed that  the Touchie-Feelies and their merchandising imitators use “healing” the way the Religious Fruitcakes use “saved”? This morning in the grocery store I was rude (yes, rude!) to the woman hawking herbal teas as “healing.” Ick. Doesn’t that sound tasty? Giving her the gimlet eye I said, “Thanks, but I’m already healed.”

  • I can’t think of anything the Duchess didn’t say, except would someone please tell me what an emoticon is?
    I agree wholeheartedly on the icky words and would like to add “gifting” and “sharing”.

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Agree about Proust — je m’excuse — and healing, gifting and sharing.  Emoticons are those cutesy little facelike signs that let people know you’re kidding.  Kind of like LOL, except you don’t have to be literate.

    Yes, terminally ironic.  It’s a destination.

  • Ann Holcomb Link

    Can’t get through to subscribe to RRS feed.  Site comes up with a lot of misplaced letters.??  Would like the newsletter.  Appreciate your consideration!

  • ruthpennebaker Link

    Ann — Thanks for alerting me.  I’ll check on this. — Ruth

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