10 Things We Should Stop Doing Now
The I-Phone X. Kardashian pregnancy rumors. Our president's tweets to Kim Jong-Un. Justin and Selena back together. A hit show about penises. Blake Shelton as sexiest man. 2017 will long be remembered as the time to be alive.
With all of those social advancements, I don't know how we could propel much further into the future than we already are. But with 2018 knocking on the door, I'm asking, well kind of begging, that we make a few more social changes for the betterment of the people, and by people, I mean mainly me. I have the top ten things that we need to stop doing today!
Don't get me wrong. I love a good hug. There's nothing like a tender embrace after being apart for so long. I'm talking like an all out squeeze fest where your noses get scrunched up against each other's flesh, and saliva dribbles all over the neck, and tiny little squeals of delight escape from the throat. That's the stuff right there.
HOWEVER, what I detest, abhor, despise is the fact that hugging has become the norm in all social situations now. I saw you last week, but walk into the party and what do we have to do? Hug. Oh look your friend who is a complete stranger is being introduced to me. Hug. Now, we are leaving the party. I'm hugging the host. I'm hugging the host's boyfriend. I'm hugging Karen. NOPE! I want this to stop. I want the half-hearted, devoid of emotions hugs to cease. What's wrong with a handshake, a pat on the ol' dome, or better yet - NOTHING but a simple smile, and a nice to see you.
We didn't have an in-depth conversation about life nor did we make any deep connections that will bud into a lasting friendship. We drank a beer, shared some laughs, and in some cases said nothing to each other besides the old trite introductions of what's your name and what do you do. Yet, guess what? WE STILL HUGGED! Adios to this one in 2018.
Thankfully, these have already been sliding into the abyss of obscurities for the past few years or so; however, there are still some diehards that insist on waiting out the 20 minutes the operator takes to repeat your phone number back at record slow pace (Hello, you have reached 3...0....4....) only to utter, "Call me back." I KNOW! I saw your name under missed call. Lets all agree to let these go in the next year unless of course it's an endearing, funny voicemail. I'll still take those.
3) Letting Things Fade Too Quickly
Sometimes in life I just want to Whip Nae Nae, use the phrase YOLO, debate The Dress, flip a water bottle, get a group to do the Mannequin Challenge, or play with a fidget spinner. Yet, I am hit with an exhausted "Ughh please Ms. Barrett, that's so old. No one is doing that anymore." Excuse me! Why not?
Trends these days have a max life of about 60 days before they are considered uncool, which stinks for me because by the time I realize they are cool in the first place, everyone is already "so over it." Why can't these fun little fads be more like blue jeans and racism and stick around a little bit longer? Therefore, in 2018 I declare that we milk these crazes for about a year! It will be lit, fam! #blessed
4) Starting a Race in the Front If....
This is very specific to me since I enjoy running in road races, and they seem to be becoming more popular. Now, I am all for people getting out and exercising. Cheers to you! However, I want you to take a long, hard look at yourself and really evaluate where you think you should stand at the start line.
So without further ado, in 2018 let's all agree to stop starting a race in the front if you are going to walk, you have a stroller with you, you are dressed up in a bulky costume, you are going to just stand there when the gun goes off, you are going to sprint the first 100 meters and then die, you are below the age of 10, your hair is meticulously done and your face is full of makeup, and if you haven't trained for this marathon...at all.
This self reflection is going to take some serious pride swallowing, but all will reap the benefits of your decision to not gamble with playing human dominos. Back of the line, please!
5) Averting Eye Contact If You are the Only Two People to Pass Each Other in a Hallway and Know Each Other
"Hello! Yes, hello, you who is clearly passing me. There is no way for you to miss me. We are literally the only two people around at this moment. Don't pretend you are interested in the wall or you suddenly have a call to take. Look me in the eye and say hi. Thank you!"
We don't have to stop and have a long discussion about our feelings or chat about the weather. Trust me when I say that I don't want to do that. We don't even have to mutter a "hi." I am just asking that you acknowledge my existence here on this earth. You know me. I know you. We have spent time in some capacity together. In some occasions we have laughed, shared jokes, broke bread together, yet you still can't raise your pupils to mine and smile??
Consequently, in 2018 I am calling you out for this crap. I am going to say "Hi (insert name)," as loudly as I can and then hold onto you as I force you to stare in my eyeballs for at least a minute.
6) Feeling Guilty for not Attending a Life Event
Nowadays people have huge shindigs for 1st birthdays, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, sweet sixteenths, graduating preschool, graduating kindergarten, graduating 8th grade, graduating high school, graduating college, graduating med school, religious events, my son got into college, my daughter got out of rehab, coming outs, engagements, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, house-warmings, gender revels, baby showers, pets' 1st birthdays, promotions, retirements, 30th birthdays, 40th birthdays, 50th birthdays, 60th birthdays, 70th birthdays, the uh-oh we are getting closer to death, so now we need to start celebrating every 5 years birthdays, and finally funerals.
I know being the faithful friend that you are, you would love to attend every one of these celebrations with a gift in hand and a smile plastered on your face, but sometimes you just can't, and that is OKAY! I repeat, "It is okay." Why? Because, believe it or not, you have your own life and not to mention a limit on your credit card and a responsibility to your bank account.
While maybe you haven't quite reached as many milestones as Karen has before she's 30, you still got stuff going on (no one needs to know that "stuff" might be watching every season of Fuller House), and you owe it to yourself to sometimes say, "no," and not feel guilty. Au revoir guilt and hello less stress in 2018.
I never have it. It's gross. Only useful for making it rain. I end up having to scour my car in order to find change for the tolls. I feel better about myself when I actually don't physically see something disappear (which might be a bad thing actually hmmm). Let's get rid of it for good in 2018. End of story.
8) Competing Over Being Busy
I don't know why being busy has got to be a competition. I am over here casually mentioning one thing that I have to do and next thing I know Karen is rattling off everything on her To Do List like we are in some kind of head-to-head battle.
Guess what, K, you win because I am forfeiting. I am fine with the fact that sometimes I am not busy. I have things on my plate and sometimes I don't. That doesn't make me a second-class, less successful, lazy citizen. It makes me a less stressed, happier person who has to ability to say no.
Trust me once you stop competing with your fellow humans over being busy, you will find time to actually taste and enjoy your food, sit and just communicate (like a real conversation) with the people you love, write crap like this, and actually breathe. Bye, bye busyness in the next year.
9) Saying Do Whatever Makes You Happy
No, No please no. If what makes you happy is viciously killing other people, chopping them up to pieces, and then storing the remaining parts in your freezer to eat for later, I do not want you doing whatever makes you happy. I do not even want you doing whatever makes you moderately happy.
But in all seriousness, let's stop in 2018 allowing ourselves and others to always do what makes us happy. Because that is not what actual life is all about. As I tell my students, sometimes you are going to be bored. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice your pleasure for someone else's happiness.
Sometimes, you are going to be stressed, overwhelmed, challenged, and frustrated, and if instead you decide to give up those feelings to do whatever makes you happy in the moment, well one day you won't be happy in the future. Give it up in 2018! #BeatResistance
10) Hating On Group Texts
Yeah the twenty pings of everyone "liking" the same one text while you anxiously await that guy to text you back might be mind-blowingly annoying, but it's time to stop hating on them. Do we remember way back in the Stone Age when we had to text each person individually just to make plans?
Seems as if we have come a teensy bit jaded now, haven't we? So quit hating on the group message and embrace the fact that you actually belong to a group of friends. There are people who don't. You're fortunate.