Do not read this if you have a problem with profanity. I mean, don’t read the book, but also, definitely don’t read this post. I am pro-fanity (a joke I stole from Mike Pesca of The Gist), and if you’ve met me in person, you probably know how much I love to swear. I generally don’t do it in print, but today I’m going for it, because I’m working on taking more risks. You’ve been warned. Cursing to commence immediately.
The honey badger doesn’t give a shit. My husband and I talked about what animal doesn’t give a fuck. I think it’s the camel. The actual camel, not the enthusiastic one from TV commercials. Camel will just spit on you and go back to not giving a fuck. Which is rude, and gross, but… camels. Don’t pretend you didn’t know camels do that.
Now, back to the book. Sarah Knight’s book is styled as a parody of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s a real book, though, and it barely references Kondo, other than offering a NotSorry Method. (Rhymes with KonMari…) There is some very helpful practical philosophy in here. The idea is to detach from social comparison, insincerity, and people-pleasing. It’s minimalist. Do what is truly important to you, focus on the people you truly care about, and don’t worry if other people have issues with that. This would be a good book club pairing with Brad Blanton’s book, Radical Honesty, and if your book club actually goes for that, please Skype me in.
My husband and I had a conversation regarding things about which we give no fucks. It was refreshing. Call it a trust-building exercise. We don’t give any fucks about coffee tables, reality television, manicures, tattoos, cruise ships, or whether Twinkies continue to be a thing. I found out that he actually kind of does give a fuck about convertibles and ferrets. Who knew?
Meanwhile, there are all sorts of things I really want to quit giving a fuck about, but haven’t managed yet, such as missionaries coming to my door, despite the sign I hung on our gate that says “No religious inquiries, no exceptions.” That may be the ultimate example of giving too many fucks: invading other people’s privacy to talk to them about their most deeply personal spiritual beliefs. Do I know you?
It is a huge mystery the way that certain people seem to give fucks about things that don’t really have anything to do with them. For instance, I don’t care what other people eat, but they think I do, because I’m a vegan. So I get these regular manifestos and speeches from people, a propos of nothing, about why they believe they are entitled to eat meat, as though I’m some kind of omnivore confession booth. Hashtag zero fucks. As the book says, “I do me, you do you.” Another example is a conversation that happens to me at least once a month, that goes roughly like this:
Person: Have you seen that one commercial that goes like this? [description]
Me: Sorry, I don’t watch TV.
Person: [continues to describe TV commercial, then remembers conversation as me bragging and droning on about how I don’t watch TV]
Person: Did you see that episode of whatever show? Because I totally was not caring when you already told me you’re not into TV.
Person: [describes episode, evidently having literally no other possible topics of conversation]
I am really, really, really supposed to give a fuck about TV. Comcast shows up at my door about once a year to sell me cable, and when I tell them no thanks, they make fun of me. Our internet provider called to try to upsell us on cable, and when I said I didn’t watch TV, the caller said, and I quote, “That’s crazy!” So yeah. The moment you quit giving a fuck, you start to find out how much time other people spend giving metric assloads of fucks about how other people, even total strangers, spend their time.
There is one glaring problem with not giving a fuck: it alienates and confuses people. I don’t give a fuck about beer, wine, bacon, coffee, superhero movies, fantasy sports, scrapbooking, stand mixers, other people’s grammar or spelling, or a large number of other things. This means I don’t have much in common with a lot of people. I do give a fuck about a separate list of things that most other people don’t seem to. I’ve had to learn to quit giving quite so much of a fuck about not necessarily winning any popularity contests. I have tried pretending to care about things, and I just can’t fake it well enough to convince anyone. Oh well.
The good news is that I can confirm it’s true. Not giving a fuck can be really liberating. I quit giving a fuck about commuting to a day job, owning a house, not being able to have children, or intimidating people by being thin and having a clean house. I don’t give any fucks whatsoever about my ex-husband. I don’t wear makeup or heels, I don’t do my nails, and I started “going gray naturally” when I was 17. Guess what? My fuck bucket is empty. It does tend to free up a lot of time for the things that interest me.
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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.