A look at the least important things in life

10 things you don’t have to do before you die

The following happens to all of us, and we never think about it and we never think that we need to tell people to shut up.

Ever have a friend go do something ‘life-changing’? Have an experience that expands horizons, gets them out of their comfort zone, and opens new worlds? When this happens, they will often tell you how you have to do it; that ‘everyone needs to experience (insert whatever the activity was) at least once in their life.”

Wrong.

People are stupid. I know this because I’ve been a people for more than 25 years now. The fact is, most of the things that people do that ‘everyone’ should do, either really suck or are completely pointless.

One of the most common examples of this phenomenon is learning to play an instrument. I did this once upon a time, and I can tell you with 100 percent certainty: my life is in no way enriched because I spent four years learning to play the trumpet. I haven’t been asked to read sheet music in a decade and I suspect I never will be again.

(By the way, I recently got drunk and tried to play the trumpet again. I was ‘Charles Barkley’s golf game’-level bad. I terrified small children. It was hilarious, probably.)

So you don’t get tripped up in the malaise, here are a few more things people will tell you are life-changing that are definitely not:

  1. Travel overseas – I plan to do this; if I return from a trip telling people ‘they HAVE to go to (fill in the Franciscan monastery in Nowhere, Spain)’, you can set my fingernails on fire.
  2. Skydive – Nope. I’m good to not ever jump out of an airplane, or off a building, or do anything that involves falling through the air. Just watching Felix Baumgartner’s fall a couple of weeks ago was mildly terrifying for me.
  3. Try bizarro foods – I’m sure authentic Turkish food is delicious to the kind residents of Istanbul; I’d just rather have a steak. Thanks though.
  4. Run a marathon – Look, I’m proud of all of you. Running a marathon is an AMAZING physical achievement. I’m just not interested in picking my toenails out of my shoes when it’s over, and I don’t think that’s something you’ll ever be able to sway me on.
  5. Home remodel projects – This example goes out to my friend Landon, who has done what amounts to a frame-off restoration of his new house. It looks not fun, especially for the lazy.
  6. Sing karaoke – My life is not going to be richer because I rocked out to ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ in front of a group of drunks at a karaoke bar. I’ll sound less like Brian Johnson and more like Bon Scott, who’s been dead for 30 years.
  7. Coach a sports team – I’m torn on this one, since I assume I will wind up coaching a child’s sports team at some point. I’m hopeful I don’t start blurring the lines between my ‘coaching’ and real-life: drawing up plays in my spare time, writing down various starting line-up combinations on cocktail napkins, etc. Regardless, never feel the need to spend your free time with the children of strangers. It doesn’t make you a better person.
  8. Learn to parallel park – I never learned to parallel park and I turned out just fine. Frankly, I believe that any area that doesn’t offer spacious parking garages, a subway system or plenty of parking lots is a breeding ground for terrorists.
  9. Stay up all night to see the sunrise – Did this once. Was not worth it.
  10. Grow a garden – My parents did this for years. And if I thought I would eat six dozen ears of corn, or could give them away, maybe it would be something nice to do. But it seems like a lot of work, growing stuff and keeping it alive only to throw it away when it goes bad.
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