Never Have I Ever (aka: Stuff I Should Probably Try)

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My oldest kid, a senior in high school, did something recently that he has never ever done before. He went to his high school’s homecoming dance.

Yes, I know, lots of kids go to school dances, not a big deal. But for my son, a late bloomer, it was a first. Truth be told, he didn’t enjoy it all that much, thanks to a group of party-pooper friends who bailed halfway through. But he saw the value in attending, if only once in his lifetime. Now if I can just convince him to go to prom, too…

Have you ever played the game, Never Have I Ever? Here are the classic rules:

  • Friends sit in a circle with ten fingers pointing in.
  • Someone makes a Never Have I Ever statement, such as, “Never have I ever played Chinese Fire Drill at a stoplight.”
  • Those who have actually played Chinese Fire Drill remove one finger. Those who have never done it do not remove one finger.
  • The winner is the one who still has fingers remaining in the circle when everyone else has been eliminated.

drinking-gamesThis game sounds an awful lot like The Purity Test, which I used to play back in college and win every time, with a score of around 95% pure. And apparently, Never Have I Ever is also a popular drinking game, which I wouldn’t know, because Never Have I Ever played a drinking game of any kind.

While I’m trying to guide my kids toward taking calculated risks in life and trying a few things they’ve never tried before, I become glaringly aware of how many Never-Have-I-Evers are still on my own list. Of course, there are plenty of Never-Will-I-Evers on the list, too, like sex with a stranger, smoking cigarettes, or inciting a riot, but let’s just ignore those.

 

NEVER HAVE I EVER…


…caught a fish
(and likely won’t, unless I actually try going fishing one day).

…been intoxicated (What can I say? I’ve never had occasion to overindulge with alcohol. Once I drank three glasses of wine while relaxing at home alone, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t too affected).

…traveled somewhere that required a passport (unless you count those teen missionary trips to Mexican border towns back in the no-passport-required days).

…gone out dancing as an adult (Well to be fair, I did get to dance at a couple of weddings around 20 years ago, and once at a conference party for writers. But I’ve never been out to dance at a club, which is probably weird for someone who loves dancing as much as I do).

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…been on a cruise (unless you count those 1-hr. ferry tours around the San Francisco Bay, but that’s not really the same thing).

…fired a gun (And to tell you the truth, I kind of have a phobia of guns and even the idea of holding one freaks me out. Can I play the girl card?).

…played golf (Seeing as I’ve played soccer, tennis, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and a slew of non-ball sports, too, it’s probably just a matter of time before I get sucked into golf world).

…been camping in the desert or on the beach (one of these days…).

…gone wine tasting (which is strange for someone who enjoys wine and lives less than two hours away from Napa Valley, California. But wine tasting just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing one does alone).

…been to an NFL or NBA game (another thing that sounds fun to do, but not by myself. Maybe I’ll take the kids one day, when I can save up enough money).

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This list could go on and on. There are just so many things I’ve never done which many people have by my stage of life. Some things I’m not sure I’d really want to do anyway, but others I would absolutely love to try. Some of these things I could totally choose to do at any time. Others seem just out-of-reach, either due to a lack of financial resources or a lack of social companions to do them with. In just reviewing my personal list of Never-Have-I-Evers, there are two things I can say for sure:

  1. I still have a lot of things to look forward to experiencing in life.
  2. I would totally win the game of Never Have I Ever. Which I have never played, by the way. I guess I should add that to my list.

 

Happy Opposite Day! (My New Year’s Fail List)

new year resolution failsLooking for a tried-and-true recipe for failure? It’s simple — just make a New Year’s resolution. You are pretty much guaranteed to fail every time. The typical American pigs out on sweets during the holidays, then creates a guilt-induced list of promises that looks something like this:

I Hereby Resolve to:

1. Go on a diet and lose 15-20 lbs.
2. Exercise every day
3. Stop eating sugar and white flour

And of course, there is a great camaraderie throughout the month of January, as an army of well-intentioned men and women march in step together toward the gym, fill their pantries with brown rice and whole wheat bread, and guzzle water in place of soda.

“This year,” we swear, “things will be different.”

But then, just as the warm holiday glow begins to fade and cold, dreary February comes creeping in, the couch begins to look much friendlier than the treadmill, and we lose our resistance when faced with Valentine’s chocolates and heart-shaped cookies.

“Oh well,” we sigh as we return to old habits. “Maybe next year.”

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It’s Opposite Day!

Somehow, I think that we are going about things backwards. Maybe we should think of New Year’s Day as Opposite Day. The trick to success is to set ourselves up to fail. Okay, here is my attempt:

In 2013, I Hereby Resolve to:

1. Sit around on the couch streaming movies and TV shows instead of cleaning, or doing handicrafts, or something productive.

2. Shrug my shoulders at my messy house instead of attempting to get more organized (because I will not invite anyone over to see it anyway).

3. Eat whatever the hell I’m in the mood for and not count any calories, because life is short, and bacon is good.

4. Let my bicycle continue to collect dust in the garage. Drive everywhere and spend all our money on gas.

5. Keep writing stories and poems and publishing them for free instead of actively seeking to become a legitimately published author.

6. Be totally antisocial. Don’t call or text anyone, continue being shy and hardly speaking to anyone unless asked direct questions. Keep avoiding Facebook and being social on social networks (because loneliness is so much better).

There. Now surely, if I keep to this list, then I am guaranteed to succeed in every endeavor this new year. On the other hand, should I keep to tradition by failing in my resolutions, then score! This just may become a very happy new year indeed.