I couldn't make it through this book. By the halfway mark, I had to put it away so that I could make my own art! Then, of course, I went right back to reading, because I couldn't get enough of Danielle Krysa. I loved this book so much that I'm completely freaking out. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk, and mine is too.
Anyone who is anyone will get something out of this book. You don't have to be an artist. This needs to be said, because without the disclaimer, some of us will feel that we aren't allowed to read it. That's for Real Artists (TM). Not the likes of me. My constant yearning to look at art, read art books, buy or touch art supplies and materials, and hang out with Real Artists (TM) in no way indicates that there might be a shadow artist inside of me. Nuh-uh.
Every time I ever tried to sign up for an art class, it was full. I haven't had any formal training in visual arts or design since grade school. Perhaps this has helped me, because I've always thought my bad art was hilarious. I used to have a lovely roommate who had an MFA and had sold illustrations to national magazines. I showed her a sketch once and she literally laughed until she cried. I knew my drawing was naive and untutored, and I also knew that I have a certain gift for comedy, so this was a great result! I "can't" draw, just as I "can't" sing, but that doesn't stop me from drawing or singing when I feel the urge. If anything, it's a great way to troll my critics. Oh, does this bother you?? Perhaps I'll do it LOUDER!
(That, by the way, is the philosophy of my parrot when she feels she isn't getting enough attention).
Do what you want. It's harmless. Nobody but you knows a dang thing about your personal style. You are the authority on your own gift. Initiative comes from inside you, and the art wants to get out and live its life. Just let it out. You don't have to show it to anyone, or share it with anyone, or try to make money from it, and contrariwise, you have all the authority you need to put it on a billboard, declaim it from a megaphone, or put a ten million dollar price tag on it. There will always be a critic, just as there will always be a barking dog. If you can get criticized by random strangers just for existing within their field of awareness, might as well bring some of your work along, too.
I made this piece on my iPad with my index finger. I've never used it for that purpose before. (Either the device or the finger). I've also never done a work in color. It's a portrait from memory of my little cuppycake, who was unable to pose for me because she sleeps twelve hours a night. Noelie. I'm going to show it to her, and if past behavior is any indication, she'll kiss it with her beak. It's a work born of inspiration and true love, and it sucks, but I find it charming and I'll most likely do more. If you don't like it, blame it on Danielle Krysa and her partner-in-crime, illustrator Martha Rich.
Please let this book be a movie
Please let this book be a movie
Please let this book be a movie
Picture Jesse Eisenberg hiring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to live with him for a month and train him like a Navy SEAL. Now imagine that it's a true story.
This is one of the funniest books I've read all year. I was begging my husband to read it after the third chapter.
Jesse Itzler is a multi-millionaire married to a billionaire. He used to rap under the name Jesse James, if that rings a bell, although his wealth comes from various sources. His wife invented Spanx. They live a comfortable life, evidently a little too comfortable, and when Itzler sees the man he refers to only as SEAL, he knows he has to find out more about him. They're at an ultramarathon. One would think that an ultra runner would be tough enough already.
He is now, at any rate.
He somehow convinces this trueborn Spartan warrior to move into his ritzy Manhattan apartment, knowing nothing about him or his background. What follows is perhaps the best buddy story ever.
The workouts described in Living with a SEAL are unbelievable, scary, and hilarious. Anyone who enjoys exercise will be intrigued yet alarmed. Anyone who does not enjoy exercise can derive some comfort from sitting on a couch, reading this, and not being all sweaty. You might laugh hard enough to work your abs, though. I did.
I was standing in the laundromat one afternoon, folding my clothes. Another woman had brought her daughter and another little girl, both about five years old. They took a fancy to me, as little kids often do when they see mommy-aged ladies without children. The little girls asked me questions, in between running around the machines. One came back and patted me on the behind.
“THAT’S a big butt you got there.”
“That wasn’t very nice,” I said. Her mom piped up. “What did she say?”
I told her.
She snorted. She didn’t even pretend to disagree.
I was a size 8 at the time, nowhere near my top weight, and I was only 20. I hadn’t been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or thyroid disease yet. I had no idea at the time how long a journey lay ahead of me. I knew I carried my weight in my lower half, a body type referred to as “pear-shaped,” and that that was supposedly healthier than “apple-shaped,” which corresponded with higher rates of heart disease. Other than that, I didn’t give it much thought. Having a big butt was sort of like being a car with a bumper, or a duck with tail feathers. Big butt, so what?
As the years went by, I learned affectionate terminology for this area. Booty. Junk in the trunk. Badonkadonk. Moneymaker (appropriate when you're always working your butt off...).
Every now and then, though, I would catch a glimpse of it, following me everywhere I went like some stalker. There it would be, photobombing me. There it would be, pushing its way into the dressing room where I went to try on clothes. There it would be, snickering at me when I left again to find the next size up. I remember one night when I tried on 35 different pairs of pants, trying to find one that simultaneously fit my waist, hips, butt, thighs, and short legs.
Now that I’m thin, 90% of clothes in my size fit properly. Who knew?
I started to make more money. This gave me more options in life, and that included clothing. I have always been a tightwad, and I started contemplating whether anything good might come of upgrading my wardrobe. Maybe better outfits would lead to a promotion. I was single and lonely, and perhaps adapting to a certain ‘look’ might help me meet an eligible gentleman. I felt an undefined dissatisfaction when I looked at my reflection in the changing room.
It occurred to me that what I wanted wasn’t new pants. I wanted a new BUTT.
I could spend any amount of my hard-earned money on higher-end fashions from higher-end stores. I could hire a personal shopper or wardrobe consultant to give me a makeover. I could buy some compression garments and try to squeeze myself into a different shape, although those tended to bulge above the knee, which needs a separate name because it’s upside-down from a muffin top. None of these options was going to give me what I really wanted, which was a caboose that didn’t look like a sack of potatoes.
How much of the beauty and fashion industry would still exist if all women felt total body pride?
I don’t color my hair – I like my tinsel. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t get professional manicures or pedicures. I don’t get anything waxed. I don’t have a dermatologist. I don’t wear high heels. Not only do I not wear Spanx, they don’t even make them in my size. I don’t have any store credit cards. I don’t “shop.” Other people can do what they want, and spend what they want, but personally, I don’t feel the need. When I walk down the street, I hold my head up high, throw my shoulders back, and shake that thang. Take your hats off, ladies and gentlemen; what you see before you is a marathon runner.
The thing about having a nice butt is that it works in every situation. It’s reliable. This is a butt that can get me up a 6,000-foot elevation gain. This is a butt that can get me over a wall obstacle. This butt has climbed a rope, jumped over open flame, and scuttled its way under barbed wire. It even fit through the dog door one keyless night. It’s a very capable set of buttocks.
The other interesting thing about my new butt is that I tend to catch my husband staring at it. Whatever you might say about marriage and long-term love, having a mega-fine posterior is not a hindrance.
I have stretch marks, and I always will. They start at my knee and work their way up my inner thighs, my hips, and my butt. They’re not red or purple anymore. Now they look a bit like sparkly silver lightning bolts. I don’t have a problem with this. They’re like the action lines in a comic book, indicating all the super-powers resident in my lower half. I’m proud of these silver lightning bolts because they’re proof of how far I’ve come, from chronic pain and fatigue to adventure racing and backpacking the world’s beauty spots. If you have a problem with my stretch marks, I will use my newfound lower body strength to kick you into orbit.
I didn’t really do it on purpose, of course. If I’d known the magic formula for having a nice butt when I was in my teens or 20s, I wouldn’t have cared. I would have thought I was above such concerns. Besides, I never looked at my own butt. How could I, when I was always sitting on it? Now it’s more like a consolation prize for being over 40. It’s hilarious to see young men check me out and then realize that I’m older than their moms. This butt of mine is the result of years of running and clean nutrition. It’s merely one symptom of an overall lifestyle that includes kicking serious ass as well as owning one.
Spike heard that his sister got to do a guest post about the philosophy of a parrot. Everyone knows that dogs are better than birds. Dogs have been man's best friend for at least 15,000 years, and parrots aren't even domesticated. Every dog has his day, and here is Spike's worldly wisdom.
Wag your tail, even if your tail is just a nub.
Wake up early and chase your tail before breakfast.
Drink lots and lots of water.
There is never a bad time for a nap.
Go for a walk every day, and if you can't, just jump three to five feet straight up until you've had enough.
Every time someone puts food or water in your dish, rush straight outside and do a couple of laps around the yard. Do it again when your sister gets her dishes filled just to be on the safe side.
When you chase your tail, make sure to stop and go the other way or you'll turn into a corkscrew.
Greet people effusively every time they come home.
You can hear everything in the world if you listen hard enough.
Gender isn't everything. I'm an N for Neuter and Sissy is a U for Undetermined. Defy categories.
There are over two hundred breeds of dogs, and that means at least one for everyone!
Bark at the mailman or he might get inside.
Ball. BALL. BALL!
Vigilance! Do a perimeter check of the yard and each room every day.
Ask nicely and you might get a belly rub.
Don't leave perfectly good food on the floor.
Conserve water and don't bathe unless ordered.
Get your shots.
Roll in the grass.
Every now and then, run with your leash off.
Carry your ID everywhere you go.
It's good to get back to the garden and get your paws in some nicely turned soil.
Nice dogs usually have nice humans.
I don't know. Am I a good boy?
Chocolate is actually bad for you.
Insects are high in protein.
Snuggle. Snuggle in groups.
Stuffed animals have an expiration date.
If you want to make new friends, bring them a ball and put it in their lap.
Appreciate delightful fragrances, or any kind of fragrance, really.
Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?
If you're good enough, you might get a cookie.
Noelie is an African Gray Parrot. She's just had her eighteenth hatch day. She'd like to share some of her worldly wisdom.
She was born and she also hatched. She's entered this world two different ways, and she sees things we don't see. Hatching out of an egg takes a lot of work. Have you ever spent that long doing anything that difficult?
Sleep twelve hours a night. It will give you a sweet disposition and a glossy red tail. Nothing interesting happens after the sun goes down, anyway.
Eat your vegetables, if you're lucky enough to get them. Zucchini! Kale! Green beans! Collard greens! Chard! Cucumber! Cabbage! Cauliflower! Broccoli! Bell pepper! LETTUCE!
Hang upside down at least ten percent of every day.
Stressed out? Chew on a block of wood, punch a bell with your face, or shred something.
Say "WHEW!" and pump your fist.
Start a hobby, such as chewing shoelaces, chewing wicker, or chewing library books.
Gratitude is happiness. Kiss your friends. Kiss the dog. Kiss babies. Kiss your toys. Kiss your water bowl. Kiss your foot. Kiss the wall.
Go outside and enjoy the garden whenever you can.
Look at the sky. There might be another bird up there, or an airplane. We live in a 360-degree world and you should take the time to notice all of it.
Eat until you're satisfied, and then throw the rest at the wall.
Never miss an opportunity to play on a swing.
Note to self: get more paracord.
Take time to eat the roses.
You may walk slowly and run crooked, but if you can stand on one foot for an hour and lift your foot to your head, let them laugh.
Grooming is a top priority. Every feather, every day. Chew your foot scales until they are presentable.
A world with SHOWER TIME is a perfect world.
Make new friends. They might be willing to scratch your head.
Watermelon keeps your tail red.
It's never too late to learn a foreign language, such as Sparrow or Starling.
About ten percent of the people who meet you may find you intimidating or scary. Don't mind them; it's their loss.
Music is everything, everything. Sing when you feel like it, and if anyone complains, sing louder!
Meowing is funny.
Plan to live a very long life in case you actually do. What if you lived to be 119? I might!
They're not looking at you, they're looking at me. Because I'm GORGEOUS, darling.
[Warning: this post contains a few curse words].
The word ‘idiot’ is my pet peeve. I don’t get called an idiot very often, although it has happened, in spite of the fact that I carry my Mensa card in my wallet. It’s not about me. I don’t like hearing people calling other people idiots. It’s a sign of a particular way of thinking that is particularly unproductive.
Let’s do a thought experiment.
Someone is an idiot. Then what? What is your request? What is your desired course of action? Do you want this person put in the stocks? Are “idiots” supposed to wear a special t-shirt or have their driver’s licenses revoked? Are you simply trying to warn other people to stay away from this alleged idiot? Are the people you are telling about the idiot running any risk of encountering this person, or was it merely a passing encounter? Do you want someone to reimburse you for the time you spent thinking about the idiot in question?
Someone is not actually an idiot. Then what? Is your idiot detector malfunctioning? Have you been bamboozled by a master of disguise? Could it be that the “idiot” is actually a highly intelligent, effective person and you aren’t clever enough to realize that you are in fact in the presence of greatness?
Someone is an idiot, but you are, too, sometimes. The only answer for this debacle is gladiatorial combat.
Does ‘idiot’ have a clinical meaning? I’m a firm believer in the concept that Words Mean Things, and I like to be precise. I’m currently at work on a thesis parsing the difference between a dumbass, a dumbshit, and a dumbfuck. It’s a hot topic in the field of linguistics. Theory would indicate that the grammatically permissible options of ‘dumbhole’ and ‘dumbbag’ lack sufficient punch and would only qualify as insults through backformation. Anyway, back to idiots. An ‘idiot’ is a type of person who suffers from low intelligence, acts in a self-defeating or counterproductive way, or says or does stupid things.
Hmm. Maybe I am an idiot. I do and say stupid things every day!
Technically I do stupid things on accident, and say stupid things on purpose, except for when I don’t. I’m not scared. Stupid things happen when you leave your comfort zone sometimes. Experience has taught me that the lessons I learn through stupid mistakes are permanent, while the lessons I read or see tend to get forgotten and fall by the wayside. Knowledge is fleeting; insight is forever.
I fell up a flight of stairs in front of a group of people once. Well, I’ve done that more than once. This particular time, I was walking and reading a book at the same time, and I fell because I wasn’t looking where I was going. It was really stupid. I didn’t get hurt, though (or quit doing it), and several years later, technology caught up to me. I started listening to podcasts and audiobooks while I walked instead. It was this new habit that helped convince me I could train for a marathon without getting bored. It’s not idiocy, it’s a bias toward action!
I’m not defensive about doing and saying stupid things because that’s how I learn new skills and languages. It’s the gauntlet that must be passed on the way to mastery. You can’t get to 100 without starting at zero. Everyone was born into this world a naked, clueless baby, too dumb to tie a pair of shoes or spell its own name. Babies are also terrible drivers. They can’t figure out which way to turn a screwdriver. They don’t clean up after themselves, they never apologize, they have no manners whatsoever, they’re hopeless at writing succinct email, and they’re totally unproductive. Talk about someone who needs constant micromanaging. Babies, I tell ya. I wouldn’t hire one.
That’s the thing. If a person truly has low intelligence, where is the blame? I haven’t seen someone mock a mentally handicapped person since middle school. That’s about the lowest, meanest thing anyone can do. What are they supposed to do about it? Snap their fingers and get smarter? How very, very unfair. Someone who is below average intelligence deserves compassion and the occasional helping hand. Someone who hassles that person instead deserves a kick in the ass.
Or does he? Could it be that someone who ridicules others doesn’t know any better? Maybe that person has always felt rejected and insulted, and doesn’t know of any other way to behave. Maybe that rude person is on a fruitless quest for respect and doesn’t understand how dignity works. Maybe that person has never seen compassion in action, or has, but didn’t understand what was happening. Adding contempt to contempt doesn’t seem like it has ever done much good.
Most of us know better than that. I assume we’re only using the pejorative term ‘idiot’ when we believe the target subject is of at least average intelligence and is misusing this native gift. This is when we reach the part of the definition that includes acting in a self-defeating or counterproductive way. Again, are we assuming this person is doing it on purpose? I deliberately popped myself in the eye with an umbrella handle because that’s my idea of a good time? I sat in grease at the movie theater because I saw it in the seat and thought, “Ooh, what larks!”? I walked around with static-cling nylon panties hanging out of my sweater all day because I was hoping someone would take my picture for the yearbook? I threw my keys in the dumpster because it’s part of my CrossFit WOD? I could go on; I did state clearly that I do stupid things all the time, and I also said I like to be precise. Do I do counterproductive things? Like procrastinating? Never! DEATH FIRST! I never do counterproductive things, and neither does anyone else. That’s why gaming is a $90+ billion dollar industry and snack food is over $370 billion.
Self-disclosure: I’m a life coach. It’s my vocation to work with people who struggle with things that come easily to others. My people are all not just above average intelligence, but in the top tier. That’s because intelligence has nothing whatsoever to do with success. Intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with friendship, romance, body image, or lots of life’s prizes. My people tend to have some issues with organization, something that never came naturally to me either, and they also have a lot of problems with shame. They feel like failures, like their efforts never amount to anything. Whenever we encounter insults, trolling, sarcasm, snarkiness, or even pointless one-star product reviews, we think, “It’s true, we are all swimming in an endless sea of criticism and contempt.”
It is true. We are.
The main reason not to talk about idiots, other than the fact that it’s cruel and leads to a heartless, cold world, is that it wastes time. Why would I spend my time thinking about people who are doing dumb things, much less talking about them? Don’t I have better things to do? Well, it depends on the nature of the dumb thing. A lot of idiotic things are hilarious to watch and some are a lot of fun to try. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where there was no room to be silly. Unfortunately, it’s too late; I already live in a world where there is no upper limit to criticism, mockery, ridicule, or public shaming. That’s why I’ll never stop doing and saying stupid things. It’s the best way to always do what I want and live without fear. It’s also a great way to help other people not to feel alone when they occasionally screw up or get unintended results.
If you think personal finance is boring, and therefore don’t know much about it, Ramit Sethi is your guy. He’s hilarious, though totally not PC, and he knows his stuff. I Will Teach You to be Rich is the kind of book that is still constantly being recommended and mentioned by, like, everyone in the Universe, even though it was published in 2009. If I meet him, I’m definitely going to ask him to put on a Speedo and feed me peeled grapes while we talk about finance. He’d probably do it, too, because that’s his type of humor. Maybe we could get other luminaries of personal finance to join us in a hot tub, like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. When audience members would tell us about their poor spending choices, we could pelt them with the grapes.
Anyway. I have no claims to fame, but if I did, one of them would be that I broke even in the crash of 2008. I would say that everything in I Will Teach You to be Rich is consistent with what I did to achieve that. I had to read every single personal finance book in the public library, though, and you can skip all that simply by reading this one volume.
I presumed that Sethi’s book would be about marketing and business development, and that made me skeptical. Instead, it’s about managing the money you have once you get it. There are a lot of counterintuitive, contrarian elements about this book that I really like. For instance, the advice that home ownership isn’t for everyone tends to make people start going “But but but” like a little outboard motor.
What I liked best about the book, besides the fact that it made me laugh until I snorted, was that it’s loaded with insights I had never seen in a personal finance book before. Most importantly, Sethi opens by talking about how people prefer to debate minutiae rather than take action. We get caught up in analysis paralysis. He goes on to suggest ways to open discussions about debt with your parents and with anyone you’re thinking about dating. That is SUCH a good idea. If I had had the conversation I had with my second husband, with my first husband, then my second husband would have been my first husband, if you get what I’m saying.
The gist of I Will Teach You to be Rich is to spend several hours apiece doing a bit of research, making some major decisions, and then setting up a simple system. It works. It works in the same way that physical fitness, housework, and interpersonal boundaries do. You figure out what you want, talk it out with anyone who needs to be involved, execute, and then get on with things. This book is so approachable and funny that you barely notice how much you’re learning. If you want to empower yourself and you’re not sure where to start, start with the money.
Screw New Year’s Resolutions. We are all perfect just as we are. Why change? Why change a thing? Let entropy do the work. Let’s make next year just like last year!
By this time next year, I am going to:
Be further in debt
Have less money in savings
Lose at least one more friend via social media
Hold a grudge
Take more things personally
Add body fat
Lose muscle mass
Lose cardio endurance
Have more clutter
Leave more projects incomplete
Keep paying on my storage unit
Spend more total hours watching TV and movies
Spend more total hours playing games
Generally stare at a screen as often as possible
Forget old skills, like playing an instrument or speaking a foreign language
Spend more time consuming than creating
Sleep-procrastinate and be as tired as possible every day
Replace any passion in my life with food
Convince myself that New Year’s Resolutions are for suckers
Try to be more cynical
I have all the motivation and willpower I need to do everything on my list!
On the 55th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
55 yesterday’s Halloween candies
54 lights a twinkling
53 carols tinkling
52 cards a mailing
50 texting drivers
49 pumpkin lattes
48 cookies baking
Now begins Diwali
Prosperity and triumph
Of goodness over evil
It gives props to marriage
And the bond of siblings
42 boycotting Christians
Duped by profiteers
And manufactured outrage
39 days until Christmas
Which suddenly lasts two months
Why not 'til Valentine’s Day?
Buy more gems and candy
Ching ching ching ca-ching
Register bells are ringing
Veterans are homeless
Now it’s Thanksgiving
Boycott Black Friday
If you’re for “family values”
Shopping isn’t worship
It’s still November
Now it’s December
It's not Christmastime yet
That's the 25th
That's not persecution
Hanukkah starts the 6th
A minor festival
Of spiritual over material
More commercialized than Yom Kippur
The holiest day in Judaism
But that's in September
Jews don’t proselytize
For which they deserve credit
Not a pseudo-Christmas
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 horns a beeping
9 crazies ranting
8 brands a bilking
7 brawls a brimming
6 speakers playing
5 useless things
4 galling words
3 French fries
2 Starbucks cups
And a pointless controversy.
Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings, which traditionally were festive expressions that referred to the upcoming New Year, and which are effective ways to respect many cultural attempts at getting through wintry weather, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.
Now let's get back to Fall.
Hating cooking is a vital part of one’s identity. It is important always to make sure one broadcasts one’s hates, irritations, and pet peeves. It’s a quick way to bond with others and surround oneself with others who hate the same things. This is likely to have more immediate results, in the form of increased social connections, than learning to cook, which would be yucky, boring, and messy. It is known.
Hate to cook. This is the best way to limit the quality of one’s meals. Relying completely on others to prepare meals is a way to learn the boundaries of disappointment and unsustainably high expectations. Nobody else will ever be able to cook perfectly to one’s particular tastes – except oneself, and that ain’t happening – so each meal is a fresh chance to confront reality and develop stoicism. Perhaps it may also provide an opportunity to show one’s natural analytical faculties or leadership skills by critiquing others’ cooking until they get it right. They should appreciate this service and see it as a favor.
Ready to get started? The first step to hating cooking is to always wait until hungry before deciding to cook something. Then wait at least another 20 minutes, or better, two hours. This will only work in the absence of a meal plan or sensibly stocked kitchen. The only convenience foods should be unhealthy light snacks. There should not be any convenience foods that look like proper meals, whether canned soup or a frozen dinner. Absolutely no leftovers are allowed; heating up leftovers is much too close to cooking for our purposes. Meal planning is imbecilic. What kind of unimaginative cretin would think someone might want to eat meals at the same time intervals, each and every day? How could someone possibly predict when hunger is going to strike?
After waiting to be hungry before preparing food, the next step is to treat the kitchen with the contempt it deserves. Anyone can heat a can of soup in the absence of a kitchen, whether with a backpacker’s stove, solar oven, hot plate, or microwave. Hating to cook in a well-equipped kitchen is not for amateurs. Making a modern kitchen impossible to cook in takes at least intermediate abilities. With faith and focus, it can be done. Pile it with dirty dishes. A real pro will be able to fill the kitchen with ALL THE DISHES. This is hard for households that don’t cook, but it is ultimately manageable. Keep the countertops and stovetop sticky. If they are still usable despite dirty dishes and grime, it is a simple matter to blockade the counters with canisters, appliances, cookbooks, decorations, papers, or, if necessary, objects from other rooms. Make sure the microwave is liberally coated with burnt-on, congealed cheese. If there is dish soap, a clean sponge, and a pair of dish gloves available in the kitchen, someone is sabotaging this effort. The kitchen is usually the main arena for household power struggles; trust no one. If there is a dishwasher, it should always have at least one clean dish in it, and no signage, so it can’t be loaded with dishes as they are used. Hating to put away clean dishes is a natural sign that one may have been born to hate cooking.
A single person who lives alone will almost certainly hate to cook. It’s challenging to buy ingredients in small enough portions that they don’t spoil. There is nobody with whom to trade cooking or cleaning. There is nobody to impress with the intensity of one’s hatred for cooking. There is nobody to blame or criticize. If one were foolishly to start cooking meals that one actually liked, for oneself, it would set the bar unsustainably high if one ever chose to share a meal with someone else. Fortunately, this circumstance is unlikely.
Hating to cook for others is the main subject of our master class. Cooking for one’s mate has the dangerous aura of quid pro quo. It’s as though one is currying favor and expecting reciprocation. How much more honest to start out with low expectations and keep them there. Otherwise, one’s mate may take an interest and start cooking, too, and that just opens doors to changing the power dynamics around cleaning, finances, and other areas that may currently be stuck in a comfortable détente. Laissez faire. As long as nobody spends too much time in the kitchen, all is not lost.
Cooking for children or roommates? Pfft. One doesn’t even need to hate cooking to know that these are terrible ideas, right from the get-go. Next, some wag in the back row is going to suggest cooking for guests, holding dinner parties or potlucks, or hosting a holiday gathering. As though this could serve as some sort of interesting hobby or love offering! Moving right along.
If one is determined to hate cooking, one must never look at new recipes or food photography, browse cookbooks, or watch cooking shows. The inevitable result of this is that one will meet people who… *cough*… love cooking. The moment one meets a passionate foodie who loves cooking, one is in mortal danger. Only minutes will elapse before recipes are exchanged. After that, the floodgates are opened. It is harder to avoid recipes on the Internet than it is to avoid pornography; they are closely related, after all, and some poor victims even refer to food porn. Both are available by phone, computer, book, magazine, or at specialized bookstores. Use filters and stay strong.
Summing up, it is easy to hate cooking, as long as one perseveres. Keep the kitchen cluttered and greasy. Don’t have a meal schedule, meal plan, or grocery list. Don’t go to the store on a predictable basis. Don’t try new things, whether new products, new recipes, new cookbooks, or new restaurants. By all means, stay away from books or articles about physiology, nutrition, or dietetics. Restrict the palate. Have the highest of expectations for others to cook perfect meals that are delicious and perfectly nutritionally balanced, while always meeting the most exacting individual standards. Refuse half-measures or transitional techniques such as adding fresh produce to packaged meals. INSTANT PERFECTION OR NOTHING!
Graduates of the Hate to Cook course may wish to continue their education. The next class in this series is called Stay Sedentary and Develop Chronic Health Problems. Maintaining a low energy level, chronic pain, fatigue, poor posture, erratic sleep habits, dehydration, headaches, susceptibility to swings in mood and blood sugar, mysterious health conditions, and reliance on pharmaceuticals is highly complex. Prerequisites must be met before attempting to enroll in this course. Hating to cook is vital for success in this course. Don’t let a nutrition upgrade happen to you or anyone in your family!
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.