The internet is a wonderful invention. So much information on so many different subjects and more porn than you can shake a stick at, (in fact there are many niche sites dedicated to videos of people shaking a stick at it. Apparently). It has also spawned the devil that is social media, a devil that sucks up hours of my life as I read articles, look at videos of people icing cakes or stapling Go Pros to their dog’s head to see what they get up to in the day, writing witty posts, showing off about how very interesting my life is, trying to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers and, more importantly, trying to avoid the worst thing – the motivational post-er.
I hyphenate the word for three key reasons:
- Post-er – Noun: One who constantly posts motivational posters/memes or messages. See also: annoying arse, sycophant, person who rarely takes their own advice.
- Post-er – Noun: A post about how to live your life, which can also be seen hanging in a frame on the wall of a dodgy car insurance office under the heading ‘teamwork’ or ‘success’ or ‘determination’, and which are normally situated in the staff room by the noose from which people hang themselves after staff briefing.
- Post-errrr – Exclamation: What one says in response to the phrase ‘Have you seen Collin’s new meme? Yes, another post! Errrrrr!’
Let me give you some examples of the most nauseating ones I have seen so far…
OK – if by it you mean running, the answer to why is probably ‘because the sleeve of my cardigan got caught in an ice cream van window’. The answer to how is ‘reaching for an extra flake’, and any other questions would be met with a ‘why are you still asking questions? Just unhook me, my Mr Whippy is melting!’
I am particular nauseated by the motivational post and/or meme that covers relationship advice.
Good advice, as long as the light bulb didn’t shag your sister.
Here are some others that actually make me dry retch. You can feel the arrogance oozing off the page…
Ohhhh, right. Thanks for that outstanding piece of advice. Mind. Blown. ‘Don’t’. Brilliant.
Undermines my message.
I do like this one though…
Allow me to move on to my next point – the annoying banality of it all. Look at this phrase…
Yesterday’s today is the beginning of a new today tomorrow.
A load of bollocks, right? Makes absolutely no sense at all.
Now look at this…
I made this meme.
I guarantee that you can take any old bollocks, stick a glacial landscape behind it, and you’ve got words of wisdom to live your life by.
The main problem I have with these posters, truth be told, is that they make me feel guilty, guilty for not running or swimming or dieting or spending less time snarling at motivational posters. I am fully aware of what it is I need to do, and I’m happy for those who do it, I guess I just don’t want a slogan and some clipart reminding me that I have been sitting down for five straight hours, and the Tim Tam I lost an hour ago is nestled and gently melting under my left boob.
Yes, there are lots of things I should be doing – travel, adventure, reading books, progressing my career. There are lots of things I need to do – hoover under the beds, clean the oven, talk to my husband. It’s all a bit overwhelming at times, and the guilt can be overpowering.
So, I have made a decision. I will not feel guilty anymore. I will take a proactive step in getting rid of the guilt. And in order to start that off, I have decided to compile a list. An anti-bucket list.
Now, an anti-bucket list (a fucket list perhaps?) may sound like a negative life draining exercise to some, but to me it has actually been quite life-affirming. I have realised that it is perfectly OK not to want to do things. Not thinking about all the things I really ought to be doing has freed me up to do all the things I actually want to do, and at no point will I be bombarding you with motivational posters about how many Krispy Kremes it is possible to fit into your mouth at once (discovered through extensive doughnut-based research)…
1.The first item on my anti-bucket list follows a conversation I had with the minx (now 7, can you believe), who berated me at Sea World on the Gold Coast for not wanting to take a pleasure flight (an oxymoron if ever I saw one) over the coastline. The conversation went like this…
Minx: Ooooo, Mummy! Let’s go on a helicopter, it will be fun! Shall we go? Shall we? Shall we?
Me: Absolutely not.
Minx: Arrrrrrrrrrr. Why not?
Me: Because I can’t think of anything worse.
Minx: I can think of a lot of things that are worse. Being eaten by a bear, for instance.
Me: Yes, but I would never put myself in a situation where I could get eaten by a bear, just like I would not get myself into a situation where I’m hurtling through the air in a metal ball of death, held up by two rotating, metallic lollipop sticks.
Minx: Are you scaaaaaaarrrrrreeeed? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Minx: Oooooo look! A seagull!
Thank God for short attention spans.
So, there is number one.
I will never want to fly in a helicopter.
2. The second one is very similar. The thought of sitting in a flammable wicker picnic basket under something that can set fire to wicker picnic baskets, namely fire, weeping uncontrollably as someone points out the hill we’re about to career into is not appealing. Hence, number two.
I will never want to fly in a hot air balloon.
3. I never want to sit in a cage and look at Great White sharks. I’m not even going to explain that one.
4. I never want to go to a Robbie Williams concert. In fact, I would rather set fire to my armpits. In a hot air balloon.
5. This next one I have made mention of before, as it comes straight from the eye level shelf of Satan’s Pantry. I dislike a range of foods – marmalade, grapefruit, Camembert, spinach – but at least they are aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eye. But what the fuck was God thinking when he created the oyster? Picture the scene if you will…
St Peter: Morning, God. Fifth morning to be precise. Time certainly does fly. What’s on the agenda today then?
God: Well, Pete, I was thinking that today, I would create all of the birds and all of the living creatures of the ocean – ACHOO!
St Peter: Gesundheit. Well, that sounds delightful. What have you done so far?
God: Well, you see this here? This tiny, winged creature with a long tongue and frantically flapping wings? That’s a hummingbird. AAAAAASSSSCCCHHOO!
St Peter: God bless you. I mean – never mind. That is quite beautiful. What else?
God: Well, here, I have lots of shells lined up to make into crustaceans and other delights of the ocean. Ah-ah-ah- AAAACCCHHHOOOO!!!!
St Peter: God, I’m not being funny and I’m not telling you what to do, you being the creator of all things and that, but I really think you ought to have a rest today.
God: Rest? Rest? If you check my diary, Peter, I think you’ll find that rest isn’t scheduled until the day after tomorrow. Oh, here comes another sneeze. It’s a biggy. Pass me a hanky will you?
St Peter: I don’t have a hanky. Here, use this!
God: AAAAAAACCCCCHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!! Yikes – that was moist. What the hell have I just sneezed into?
St Peter: A shell. Sorry, it was the first thing that came to hand.
God: Blech. That looks gross. It’s sort of swimming in there, like a tiny floating island of phlegm.
St Peter: Ewwww! Throw it away! It’s making me feel sick.
God: Now, now, let’s not be hasty. Want not, waste not and all that. We could do something with this. We could market it as a tasty snack or amuse bouche. It could be served in fine dining establishments all over the world or in shitty seaside food vans on the east coast of England. Just put a lemon wedge on the side of it and voila! We just need a name…
St Peter: OYSTERS!!!!
God: That’s a great name! Did you just think of that?
St Peter: No, I threw up.
Et voila, the next one on the list of fuck its…
I will never, ever eat an oyster.
6. I never want to record my life’s activities on a GoPro. Mainly because people don’t want to watch a close up video of my forehead as I eat a Toblerone and complain about the pain of eating triangular chocolate whilst binge watching Geordie Shore.
7. I never want to have a colonoscopy. Or anything with the suffix –oscopy. As I keep telling my husband, I do not want anything shoved down the back of my throat or up my back passage thank you very much. I realise that this is not something that anyone wants to do, but I felt it needed saying.
8. I never want to watch videos of doctors lancing boils or pimples. I mean seriously. What the actual fuck?
9. I never want to trek the Himalayas. If I want to get dizzy and short of breath, I’ll reach to the top shelf for a custard cream.
10. I never want to get a Brazilian. I really can’t think of anything more humiliating. I mean childbirth strips you of any human decency and decorum. By the time the 20th person had ‘examined’ me in the labour ward, I felt like Sooty and, after 48 hours of labour, it got to the point where I was so tired that I didn’t care if they were actually doctors anymore. But at the end of all that, I had the minx, and you do forget all of the cripplingly embarrassing stuff. But with a Brazilian, you have someone buggering about with your bits, pouring hot wax on your foof and ripping it back off again, seeing what God gave you and how much fur he covered it in, and I’m sure there must be an odour. I’m guessing it must be like trying to pluck an otter. Anyway, I digress. I’m imagining that the pain is unimaginable, and at the end there is no baby, nothing to coo and blow raspberries at (I would hope anyway). Just a bald front bottom. And two weeks later, you’ll be sitting in a meeting, desperate to scratch your undercarriage when the hair starts to grow back, attempting to sit in different positions, shifting around in your seat to relieve the insane itching. No thank you very much.
So there we go. I must say, I thoroughly recommend this exercise. It is quite liberating. It has also appeased some of the ‘mummy guilt’ I feel on a daily basis. You know the kind, ‘if my daughter sees that I am afraid or I have any kind of negative feelings about anything, then she will turn into a psychopathic serial killer, or worse, an estate agent’. I now just explain to her why I do not want to do something, and I am not afraid of admitting my likes and dislikes – I just try to do that in equal measures. Basically, I try to remember…