Life Lists Gone WrongTanis Miller
One of the most tedious tasks, for me as a parent, is having to help my children with their homework. I never enjoyed doing my own homework when I was a student, so having to sit through another round of homework hell twenty years later just seems terribly cruel.
If only someone had told me about homework horrors when I was having sex 16 years ago. It would have been like birth control.
Yesterday’s assignment meant sitting down and formulating the equivalent of a life list. Name ten things you’d like to accomplish at some point of your life.
My son was about as excited to this as I was. Which was not very. But after last year’s scholastic struggles, no homework shall go unfinished, whether we both think the assignment is lame or not.
But I’m a kind and loving mother so I offered to sit down next to my boy and formulate my own list as he composed his. My theory was misery loves company and all.
Besides, I was on the cusp of turning another year older and at 36, perhaps it’s time I put to paper some of my life goals.
For a few moments, my son and I just sat there, tapping our pens to blank paper as we burrowed in our own imaginations, searching for inspiration to complete our quests. I watched as my son started to scribble across his page and suddenly felt inadequate that I couldn’t actually come up with anything worthy of documenting on a piece of loose-leaf paper.
And that’s when it hit me.
A ton of ideas of things I don’t want to do in my life.
I don’t want to watch bull fighting. Nothing against the matadors of the world, besides the fact they are wee and little and look better in bedazzled pants than I do, but I have no desire to watch a bull be put to it’s death after playing a rousing game of cat and mouse.
I don’t want to ever cook a thanksgiving turkey again. I did that once. I failed miserably. The bird was still pink on the inside, the guests were starving and I ended up boiling hot dogs to quell the starving children’s cries. My idea of a good holiday feast is one that is provided for me.
I don’t want to sky dive. I can barely stand on a balcony without hyperventilating; the thought of falling through the sky with only an oversized napkin to save my skin is not very appealing.
I never want to be pregnant again. Not to be confused with having another child. I could happily have more children but only if someone else gestated them. I’m done sharing my space with tiny human peoples.
On that note, I have no desire to watch an elephant give birth. Not that my life is rife with the opportunity to bear witness to this miracle of life but if the opportunity came along, I’m not sure it’s something I want to see. Dumbo would never be the same for me then.
I don’t want to clean my oven. Sure, I’ll probably have to do it multiple times over in my life, but damn it, I don’t want to do it. Ever. At all. If there is a more odious housekeeping chore out there, I can’t think of it.
I don’t want to go to space. I am quite comfortable staring at the stars from the comforts of my deck and wondering about the possibility of infinite life forms out there. I mean, I’ve watched Alien and as much as I admire the character Ellen Ripley, let’s face it, if I came face to face with a hostile life form, I’d scream like a school girl with a spider on her arm and run to hide under the nearest large piece of furniture. I know my own limits.
I never want to run for public office. I adore politics, but only when I can sit and judge politicians snidely from the safety of my own home. To actually step up to the plate and participate in the political landscape of our country, beyond voting on election day? Well, no thank you.
I don’t want to see Lady Gaga, Rhianna, Ke$ha or any artist who thinks they’re gangsta, live in concert. I’d much rather go to the local senior home on Tuesday Talent night and jive to the wicked skills of the accordion players. Really. I love the accordion. It’s a lost musical art. Loud crappy music alongside throngs of stupid people is not my idea of a good time.
I never want to learn how to do my husband’s job. I’m not really sure what it is he does, mostly because I tend to tune out when ever he drones on and on about it, but it sounds boring and hard. I do enough of my own boring and hard work. It’s called cleaning the toilet. Balancing the checkbook. Trying to relearn grade ten mathematics so my children don’t become convinced I’m stupid. I’m very appreciative of the hard work my husband does on behalf of his family but dang, I just don’t ever want to have to do it.
As I sat and scribbled my list, I noticed my son was staring at me. I put my pen down and asked if he was finished.
“Can I read your list?” I was curious to see what my son came up with. After all, I managed to find a few things to scribble out; I wanted to see where his path had led him.
He handed over his list and took mine to read.
He started reading my list and then snorted. “Mom, I think you missed the point of the exercise.”
I looked up as I finished reading his list of life goals and handed him back his homework.
“I think you may have missed the point too. Except I’m not being graded on the assignment and you are.”
“What? What’s wrong with my list?” he whined.
“While it’s admirable that your last life goal is not to be robbed by any hookers, maybe you should aim higher.”
I have no idea where this kid gets his smart mouth. It’s a mystery.