It seems everyone has a “Bucket List” consisting of unusual things they want to do before death. The concept never made a lot of sense to me. If one believes in an after-life, why not wait until then to do those things? It’d be a lot cheaper and I’m sure your heirs would appreciate the extra cash you would have spent on Bucket List items. If one doesn’t believe in an after life, there will be no memory of having completed the List and therefore, in a way, the List itself would have never existed.
However, I’ve always found interesting what people put on their Bucket Lists.
I’ve asked around and received different answers that can usually be classified by gender or age. But even those that are gender/age neutral amaze me with their shallowness.
For example, people who do not have a tattoo usually put “get tattoo” on their List. Conversely, people who have tattoos usually list “have tattoo removed”. For reasons I fail to understand, a lot of folks want to jump out of perfectly good airplanes.
For some reason, travel is a big Bucket Lister, or at least what they call travel is popular. It consists of:
- Tell all your friends you are going somewhere and will see something interesting, say, the Sistine Chapel.
- At considerable expense, go there and see it. As proof, take a selfie proving you’ve been to the Vatican.
- Splash selfie on facebook.
- Return home.
- Tell all your friends you’ve seen the Sistine Chapel. Say you were surprised it was so small. Show them your selfie.
The entire process takes 3-4 days.
I’ve decided most people travel not to learn new things or go places or even see things they’ve already seen pictures of.
No, they travel so they can tell their friends they’ve been places and seen things. Strange exotic places and things. Of course, they never actually spend time in any one place or talk to anyone. That’s not really important to them.
I once had a friend who spent six weeks travelling through seven European countries. He didn’t trust European food and only ate at McDonalds. For some reason, he believed McDonalds had the only edible food in Europe. He went all the way to France and ate no French food, and in Italy, he didn’t even have a pizza. When he returned, however, he did show me hundreds of pictures. Going to Europe was on his Bucket List.
Lest you think I am above such things as Bucket Lists, I will share mine:
- Have a shopping trip to Costco where I do not have to wait in the checkout line for over an hour.
- Go for a motorcycle ride and not be nearly run over by either a soccer mom driving a mini-van or anyone driving a BMW. Soccer moms and BMW drivers are more deadly than drones.
- Live in a world without SUV’s, mini-vans, or BMW’s.
- Read a daily newspaper without at least one story about the United States invading a country somewhere.
- Go a whole day without looking at Facebook.
- Get a tattoo and then have it removed.
- Get somebody to explain the difference between the Hell’s Angels and the San Diego Yacht Club other than one organization likes motorcycles and the other organization has money and likes boats. Both have membership committees that weed out “undesirables”. Both clubs’ “undesirables” seem remarkably similar. True, Yacht Club members have better manners, but Hell’s Angels are more direct, so it’s a push.
- Spend an entire week without one person telling me they really need an assault rifle.
- Go a full day without hearing “Easy Listening Music”. Its neither easy to listen to nor music.
- Never hearing another man say a threesome is on his bucket list. I have ADHD and I can’t pay attention to one woman, let alone two.
- Show up on the FORBES “400 Richest Men in America” list.
- Go an entire week without any of my children asking for money.
- Learn to say no when my children ask for money.
- Surf big waves, I mean, really big waves, like at Todos Santos.
- Live in a shack on a beach in Punta Colonet south of Ensenada and spend my time drinking good beer. Or bad beer.
- Have a rug that actually ties the room together.
- Move to San Francisco.
- Have a third home in Costa Rica.
- Sail to Tahiti.
- Smoke pot with Willie Nelson. He has to provide the pot because my dealer has become an Assistant District Attorney and is paranoid about being fired.
- Go a year without hearing about anyone else’s Bucket List.
The problem with a Bucket List is that by the time you have enough money and time to do the things on your List, you lack the physical ability to do them. Or as Oscar Wilde said, “The problem with youth is it’s wasted on the young.” Not that I mind being an Old Guy. It’s being an out of shape Old Guy that I particularly mind. For example, I know I would never now be able to surf a big wave because I no longer have a good sense of balance and I fear my swimming ability has decreased. The whole thing seems like a nasty trick. When you are young enough to do a Bucket List kind of thing, you don’t have the money or the time to do it.
The problem is that by the time one has the money and time to live one’s Bucket List, one usually lacks the physical ability to perform the specified item on said Bucket List.
When one is young one is simply in shape. I came that way, but as I aged I found I had to work to stay that way. Then I was prescribed medication that made me hungry all the time. I ate, and I ate a lot of food that made me fat. I stopped the medication and lost weight, but not enough to be able to move well enough to get back into shape. So I traded one illness for another.
Another problem with aging is your body won’t do what your mind tells it to do. Your body gets an attitude like a rebellious teenager. If you tell it to do one thing, it will do another, which is usually pain inducing. Your children will then tell you of people much older who do the things you can’t do. Don’t worry because they’ll be old someday, too, and will have children who say the same things to them.
To all you future parents out there, never use this line on a child: “When I was your age I could…(fill in what they can’t do).” It’ll boomerang back like a Frisbee thrown directly into a wind gust and render you toothless.
Despite what psychologists say, no child will announce, “I wish I could spend more time with Mom and Dad.” In fact, only a few children even want to be seen with Mom and Dad. It just reminds them how dependent on Mom and Dad they are.
I’ve read multi-generational households are becoming common today because it is hard to find a decent job and if a young people do find a jobs, they frequently carry so much student debt (necessary to get the educations required to get the jobs) that living with good old Mom and Dad is required for their survival.
This is a circuitous way of saying what the last item on my Bucket List is: Seeing the day when my children can live on their own. I’m certain that’s the first thing on their Bucket Lists.