Friday, September 6, 2013

My Reverse Bucket List

I have a Reverse Bucket List. This means I have done several things I’d like to take back. Oh, sure, they seemed exciting at the time, but they were wildly oversold and completely disappointing if not downright hazardous.

 Lest you charge, willy-nilly, into every idea that pops into your head, I shall share 10 of my mistakes with you:
1. Get your child a chemistry set.

This seemed the very picture of conscientious parenting. What kid wouldn’t be a brainy wonder if you got him a chemistry set? I’ll tell you who. The kid who uses it to splatter the ceiling with purple chemicals, ignite fumes that engulf the kitchen, create explosions that rattle the windows, and scare the living daylights out of all the neighbors.
2. Visit Hershey, Pennsylvania, the chocolate capitol of the world. Unless you decide to roll your windows down just as you arrive, so as to inhale the heavenly fragrance of this elixir of the gods, and then realize that to make milk chocolate, you’ve got to have cows, and, well, then you roll the windows back up again.

3. Grow your hair long enough to sit on it. Possibly the most overrated experience in the world, sitting on one’s hair pulls it and hurts. Years of effort towards this goal are now seen as a stupid investment in a ridiculous outcome. Bring on the scissors.

4. Go hang gliding. Everything about this experience is exciting right up until the crash landing, which scrapes up your legs, pulls off your gloves and rings, and leaves you bloody and muddy in a thistle bush.

5. Scuba dive in Mexico.  Except that they have interesting laws in Mexico, about where the sewage ends up.

6. Be a foreign correspondent. Oh, the excitement, the glamor! I spent a summer in college studying at the BBC in London, with the idea that only James Bond would have more stamps on his passport than I did. And then I met actual foreign correspondents who were all alcoholics with broken marriages. All of them.

7. Own a boat. And then discover why people say the second-happiest day of their life was buying a boat, but the happiest day was selling it.

8. See the reindeer herds above the Arctic Circle. Of course, you have to make sure the tiny airplane has enough gasoline, so you don’t’ have to crash land up there.

9. Go on a survival camp in Moab, Utah. And hope you don’t have the terrible timing to be there during a rare flash flood, trapping the entire group in a cave for the night.

10. Have natural childbirth. But after 36 hours with Pitocin and a posterior-turned baby, I think I’d like to turn the clock back and do that one just a tad differently. If only this child could grow up and invent a time machine! Hey, maybe if I buy him a chemistry set…
Some things are good to put on your bucket list—reading a Joni Hilton book, for one.  Okay, for twenty.  Get started now, by visiting or  I promise the worst that can happen is that you might laugh until your sides hurt.

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