1. Facebook stalking your exes.
It’s a rule of dating someone that when you breakup, eventually they will move onto other people and they will probably start dating those people and take inappropriately adorable photographs with them that will make you want to eat the contents of your entire refrigerator. Mooning over other peoples’ happiness is the reason that Facebook was invented (and to brag about your newborn babies) and it’s a depression enabler, a trap. You could spend your entire life hating yourself for not being like other people. Or: you could be one of the people that other people obsess about. That’s what I want.
2. Living up to your parents’ expectations.
You’ll never do it. Ever. Even when you think you’re there, you aren’t. The first time I was published in the Huffington Post (which made me so happy I cried about it in a bus full of strangers and old ladies), I called my mom to share the news. And all she could talk about was the interesting thing the dog did. (Spoiler: It wasn’t interesting.) I was mad about it at the time, but I learned something from it: Never live to make other people happy or impress them. The only person whose expectations you need to meet is your own.
3. Reading In Search of Lost Time.
Do I want to be one of those people who’s an “expert” on Marcel Proust and can wax nostalgic about trudging through all 4,211 pages of his greatest series? Yes, of course I want that. But I also want to be able to do other things, like sleep or have the time to do literally anything else. Besides my masturbation schedule is very daunting. I have standards to maintain.
4. Obsessing about what other people think of you.
I’m going to paraphrase here, but Jerry Seinfeld once said that people want to be liked amongst a large network of people that we don’t really care for. In high school, I spent my entire Freshman year trying to make the girl who sat next to me in English class like me, only because I knew she hated me and I couldn’t figure out why. I spent a whole lot more energy on her hatred than she did disliking me, which probably only made her hatred of me worse. She liked me enough to sign my yearbook by the end of the year, but what did it get me? Another half-hearted adage? Now I can’t even remember her name. I think it was some sort of food, like Cookie or Banana or Fig Newton. I think she might have died.
5. Trying to find that missing sock.
Why is everyone so obsessed with them? It’s like life ends if you can’t just find one tiny, inconsequential article of clothing that you can just re-buy at Sears for $4.99 a pack. Let it go. Although I did once have a pair of Power Rangers themed socks when I was a kid that I was very upset about losing, but that just makes sense. Like Beyonce, those were irreplaceable.
6. Figuring out why Pitchfork picked “Oblivion” as the song of the year.
Internet, I tried so hard. I’m a MOJO magazine kid at heart (because they give you free CDs), but as a devoted audiophile, I listened to that song over and over again to try to figure out why they liked it so much or how it could possibly be better than everything Frank Ocean has done in the past year. (Marry me.) BUT I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND, and I think I’m not meant to. There are just some mysteries of the universe that are beyond comprehension, like Last Year at Marienbad or the fact that Tom Cruise and Cher dated. We’re not always meant to get it, and that’s okay.
4chan is a black hole of death and evil, a vortex of all that is horrible about living in the world. You can spend days on end there or on the Men’s Rights Reddit hating life and lamenting the fact the world was created. I know people who devote their lives to being factories of moral outrage. (I do dabble from time to time, like when Mike Huckabee speaks. Because people sadly listen to him and that saddens me.) But what’s the point? Being angry all the time only serves to validate the sources of your strife, or why else would Ann Coulter still exist? You can do what I do when my father criticizes me: laugh at the bastards. Because who do you want to be: Ed Schultz or John Stewart?
8. Arguing on Facebook.
This is an extension of number seven, but worth its own section. A dear friend of mine, bless her heart, has a marked tendency to get in Facebook status wars with people, because she’s always updating pointed political things that anger her conservative friends. (I tend to agree with her, so I love her. I’m a rare bird who doesn’t mind seeing political statuses on Facebook. Better that than Honey Boo Boo.) And she will spend hours on end arguing with these people and trying to tear them down, which almost always ends in a defriending or a heated version of “agree to disagree.” A little healthy debate makes the world go round, but flinging bile at people on the internet gets you nowhere. They don’t call it “trolling” because it’s a desirable trait.
9. Figuring out why the Oscars do what they do.
The Oscar nominations are due out on Thursday morning, which I wake up bright and early for every year, praying my dream nominations get it (#teamkidman). But every year, I get sucker punched by something horrible, like them deciding to nominate Stephen Daldry for things AGAIN or that The Blind Side merits a Best Picture nomination, words that can never be taken back. This year, like every year, I can be pissed off about something (I’m still mad about The Reader getting nominated over The Dark Knight) or I can make it into a drinking game. This year, take a shot every time an old white dude thing gets nominated for something. This will count most of the Best Supporting Actor field and every nomination Lincoln gets. Be ready to get hammered.
10. The Kimye relationship.
Look. We get it. They’re dating. I know it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened and that child will probably be the anti-Christ or whatever the half-Lebanese, half-douche equivalent of that is. But the more attention we give them, the more powerful they become. They might as well name that baby “Publicity Stunt West.” So, let’s move on. I’m sure Lindsay Lohan is doing something really stupid this week. It’s good to have things you can count on.