Monday, June 6, 2011

Life's little checklists

I'm not sure who was watching and who was taking score, but for a significant portion of my life I wanted to impress the judges.  I wanted to hit those major life milestones by all of the appropriate ages.  I wanted to hit my career stride by 25.  I wanted to live in New York and have a nice rent controlled apartment.   I wanted a boyfriend with a serious financial type job.  I wanted to like jazz and get invited to exclusive parties.  I've always been a good student.  And in life, I don't like turning in incomplete assignments.

But this year I've realized that none of the deadlines that I've imposed on my life are real.  Where I'm at is pretty much where I'm going to be and since I don't want to measure myself against the usual statistics I'm trying to figure out a new way to measure my growth. 

There are things I've done this year that are probably pretty impressive professionally.  And things that I've done this year that are disappointing personally.  And when I look at the changes that I've made in my life I can't help but remember that I used to fucking hate mustard.  Mustard was the enemy.  It appeared everywhere on all of my favorite foods, even when I didn't ask for it.  There is a pro-mustard agenda in this country.  There is only one brand of ketchup and literally thousands of mustard companies.  It is everywhere, infiltrating our picnics and our company barbecues. And one day they will figure out a way to preserve our dead bodies with it.  Just to spite me for a lifetime of hating the yellow goo the rest of you seem to fucking love.

But the universe has a sense of humor.  And one day this year I was at a nice beer bar with friends and ordered a plate of delicious sausage.  And it came with an accoutrement of mustards.  And I thought since I'm abandoning some old views of who I am I might as well go ahead and give the old bastard a try.  And I shit you not, it's delicious.  And I can't really explain why I hated it my whole life.

There have been so many changes in my life this year.  And there are areas where I continue to stumble.  And I'm not married and I don't have kids.  I don't live in New York and I'm not that cool.  But the fact that I've learned to like mustard after all of these years must mean something.  Because I think I'm starting to look at the world with fresh eyes.


  1. I think you are brilliant, in the British sense.

  2. I feel I am transforming, too. Trying things that I swore I never would. It's refreshing!

    (But I'm still a non-mustard person... not a fan!)

  3. Speaking of British, try Colman's mustard (make it from the powder - it's easy, trust me) but only if you like that inner nose burn that Wasabi gives you.

    Just started reading you recently and I love your style (writing and personal) -- I'm so excited when I see a new post up. Thank you!

  4. Seriously, girl, why didn't we ever talk in high school?!? Maybe I was intimidated of you and therefore mistook that for dislike. But we're soooo similar! These revelations are things that I've definitely realized over the past 2 years. Next time you're in the Chi, you me and Maggie are getting together over lots of wine and life chat. I feel like you're a very kindred spirit!

  5. Mustard is amazing. It's probably my most favorite condiment.