I read a blog post today by author Jacquelyn Mitchard entitled 22 Things You Should Never Do Again After 50.
I hate it so much.
It is the anti-Dylan Thomas post. It is an example of embracing the dying of the light. Ironically, Mitchard lists 21 things to quit after the age of 50 and then ends her list by recommending that you never give up.
“Never,” she says, except for the preceding 21 items, apparently.
Here’s her list, along with some commentary of my own.
1. Parkour: I’m eight years away from 50 and feel like parkour is still well within reach if I so desired.
2. Jell-O shots: I haven’t done them in a decade, but why eliminate this perfect alcohol delivery system as an option because of age?
3. Karaoke after midnight: Nothing wrong with this at all (unless you’re in bed by 9:00 every night).
4. Karaoke after Jell-O shots: This should be the recommended way of singing karaoke.
5. Trying to break a plank with your head: See parkour.
6. Mud wrestling (intentional): It’s sad when adults forget some of the pure joys of childhood. Why eliminate this possibility from your life?
7. Crowd surfing to the mosh pit: Mick Jagger is 70. I could certainly handle it at 50.
8. Joining the circus. Joining the ashram: This is a truly sad suggestion. Imagine saying no to the circus? And yes, I had to look up ashram, too.
9. Drinking champagne from your son's girlfriend's shoe: This was not a good idea at any age.
10. Drinking champagne from your daughter's boyfriend's shoe: See above.
11. Drinking champagne from your own shoe: Does anyone even engage in these bizarre champagne-footwear combinations, and if so, why?
12. Xtreme bingo cruises: While this would never appeal to me, it sounds like something specifically suited to senior citizens.
13. Collecting owls made of shells, frogs made of ceramic or lawn gnomes made of anything — really, really anything: I’m not crafty, so I’ll refrain from expressing an opinion on this incredibly stupid hobby.
14. Playing basketball in high heels: A failed attempt at humor. This should not be done at any age.
15. Throwing a wet T-shirt contest. Throwing a wet nightshirt contest: Sex does not end at 50. Nor should wet T-shirt contests.
16. Getting publicly and verbally excited about the number of stamps in your passport, zeroes in your paycheck, capital letters before or after your name (unless they're H.R.H.), number of names on your phone-favorites list, number of people you could have married, the size of your acreage … or the size of your anything else: This was never a good idea at any age.
17. Explaining your personal role in the fact that your kids "never really got into any of that stuff …": I believe in taking credit for as much as possible, including lucky bounces, unplanned windfalls and the success of your children despite your inattentiveness. Most importantly, reaching five decades of life should not impact this decision in any way.
18. Explaining your personal role in the fact that your kids got into an Ivy League college: See above, and c’mon. You had to do something right if your kid is going to Harvard.
19. Explaining your personal role in starting the rumor that Paul was dead: I don’t get this.
20. Single-spacing your Christmas letter: I submit all my manuscripts in single space. It annoys my agent and editor, but I like it. However, Christmas letters should have ended in childhood.
21. The Dougie: Dance until you’re dead, any damn way you please.
22. Giving up — ever.
Perhaps I despise this list because it amount to a series of endings, and I despise endings. Pile up enough endings and you’re dead.
I avoid endings at all costs.