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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Listed

I confess that on New Year’s Eve I heard Ryan Seacrest say something to the effect of “New Year’s Eve in Times Square should be on everybody’s bucket list!” I confess that I agree with no part of that statement.

Seacrest appeared to say this from a studio room about ten stories above Times Square. He also likely said this with knowledge of seven figures in his bank account for hosting this huge event. So forgive me for not trusting that his view of the event is skewed from reality.

Maybe I’m being pessimistic, but I’ve been to Times Square. It was a non-descript Thursday afternoon and it was amazingly crowded. This struck me as strange since it seemed to just be comprised of all the stores and restaurants you’d see in a mall or suburban plaza, just bigger versions that were more crowded and more expensive. It was the one place I went in New York where, even as a tourist, I thought, “Boy, this is nothing but tourists.” In short, I hated it.

I can’t see how it wouldn’t be even worse with more people, what appears to be limited ability to move around, and sixty less degrees on the thermometer. That sounds like a nightmare to me and I didn’t even mention the lack of alcohol and slight chance of being subjected to Jenny McCarthy.

The other part of the statement I take issue with is the implication that everybody should have a bucket list. As far as I know, this term gained popularity after the movie with the same title. I didn’t see it, but from what I gathered, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson made their bucket lists because they were dying. I suppose I can see the point in their situations, but for a healthy adult to make a list of things they’d like to do before they die? It sounds like the most depressing undertaking imaginable.

I made the mistake one year of putting pen to paper and creating a list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s true it felt good when I was able to check items off the list, but you know what was the main accomplishment of that exercise? Achieving an omnipresent low-level anxiety. What used to be a quiet moment to myself turned into a chance to realize I wasn’t making progress toward arbitrary goals of questionable value. A bucket list would serve to extend this feature out over my entire life. Um, no thanks.

Come to think of it, I confess to list fatigue overall. They’re ubiquitous at the end of the calendar year. Best of this. Worst of that. You know what tops the list of lazy writing exercises? Lists!

What about you, good reader? Can you list for me the things you regret doing over the past week?

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January 4, 2013 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional

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