Life is full of unpleasantness – that’s a fact. In fact, if you were a practitioner of a particularly potent brand of cynicism, you might even say that life is a study in how we deal with increasingly crappy circumstances. A big part of that crappiness can be attributed to unpleasant experiences and tasks that, while often a necessary part of the growing-up process, are things we’d prefer never to have to repeat.
Here are three things I never want to do again (but most likely will anyways).
Do you know how much your life weighs? There’s no better way to find out than to move out of your mom’s house into your first (and then second) apartment. When I first moved out of my childhood home, I found about 58,000 pounds of crap that I chose to throw away instead of pack into boxes. As a result, my mother eyed me with suspicion as I dragged about fifteen 42-gallon contractor-grade trash bags to the curb.
Moving is awful. I made three round-trips between my mom’s house and my new home in Central Pennsylvania. It wasn’t the fun kind of road trip, either. I wasn’t in a sporty Mustang with the wind blowing through my hair; I was in an eleven-year-old Subaru Outback with 900 pounds of furniture crammed in the back, an office chair strapped perilously to the roof rack, and a bearded dragon on the passenger seat beside me, fixing me with a look that was both hopeful and mortally terrified.
2. Ring a Stranger’s Doorbell
When I was a kid, I was a member of the local Boy Scout troop. An annual tradition for just about every scout is selling Trail’s End popcorn door-to-door. It served as a general fundraiser for the troop as well as a way to pay for each scout’s annual trip to summer camp on an individual basis.
Can you even imagine what we were up against, though? When your doorbell rings, everybody secretly hopes that there will be a small girl on the other side, selling a variety of cookies of otherworldly deliciousness: cookies so excellent that nobody has ever managed to reverse-engineer them with any measure of success.
Now imagine the crushing disappointment when it isn’t a small girl selling cookies, but a pimply, awkward little boy with a goofy uniform selling outrageously overpriced popcorn. Ever since those days, I’ve had a fairly irrational fear of ringing doorbells, even at homes I’ve visited before.
3. Fall in Love
To err is human. To doubt is also human. And it turns out that no matter how secure and confident you are in your love life, and no matter how many of your eggs you’ve put in a relatively fit and well-groomed basket that has a great sense of humor and shares your interests, somebody or something could always come by and upset your apple cart.
To mix metaphors is also human.
I’ve been in love a couple of times now. Maybe it’s because I possess an anemic or missing sense of self-worth, but some combination of experience and low self-esteem has convinced me that the ruination of my love life waits in the next room like a stalking butler, waiting to drag me, thrashing, back into the world of loneliness and Hungry-Man frozen dinners.