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They Meant Well

I want to live in the Cheese Store of Cedarhurst.

Sometimes people say things that are probably TRUE, but I do not want them to be true, so my natural reaction is to become enraged with the horrible person who is saying true things I do not like.

Prime example. A woman at a Weight Watcher’s meeting once said, “Getting to your goal weight is going to require accepting that cheese is a CONDIMENT, not a FOOD.”

Then I killed her. Then I ate her. “ARE YOU A CONDIMENT???” I screamed at her corpse, in my belly.

Okay, actually I just seethed and vowed that for me, cheese would always, always be not JUST a food, but one of the most beautiful foods. A PRINCESS among dirty-serf Foods. A FOOD ANGEL.

I have NEVER accepted cheese as a condiment, and I have never actually seen my goal weight, either.

Perhaps these things are related.

It’s irrational for me to still revile her, and yet, if she were to come and say it to my face again, my inner everything would scream, CONDIMENT MY CAT’S HAIRY BUTTOCK! And I would have to work not to smack her.

Another one happened yesterday when a fellow Yoga-Dork on the twitter said they had heard this great QUOTE. A perfectly nice bendy person, just trying to share a what they felt was a LIFE CHANGING quote from a Wise Person. The quote was this:

Yoga is not for self-improvement. Yoga is for self-acceptance.

My immediate response was to find Wise Person who originally said it, and then slap them. But then I got worried that GHANDI said it. I am pretty sure you can go to hell for wanting to slap Ghandi, even briefly. SO now I just want to slap the Tweeter who passed it on.


Which is just a backdoor into what I truly want, which is to make yoga into a competitive sport, and then WIN it.

I KNOW wanting to win yoga is inherently losing at Yoga.

I am working on it. Breathejustbreathejustbreathe. I spent the first part of class yesterday—a GREAT class—and I missed a third of it because I had to take the time to murder all that brain-stuff where I want to look around and compare and compile a nice list of all the ways I do not belong, do not deserve, can not, will not, shouldn’t, can’t.

I am tired of being in my forties, and I am not even halfway done. My forties make me introspective. My forties keep sending my gaze to my navel, and you KNOW I hate growing as a person. I want to be in my fifties, in the hope THAT is the decade of APATHY and NOT GIVING CRAPS.

Is it? If not 50s then WHEN is the NOT GIVING CRAPS time of life? Or was that my twenties and I MISSED IT because I was so busy worrying?

24 comments to They Meant Well

  • I’m telling the police that you considered slapping Ghandi so pack your jail bag.

  • Beth

    I turned 50 in September, and I still give a few craps. They are getting fewer and farther between, so I have great hope for the rest of the decade. I do remember my mom being almost ruthlessly perky, energetic, and completely NOT GIVING ANY CRAPS AT ALL in her mid-fifties to late-sixties.

  • Becky

    I’m a little ahead of you; I’ve tipped beyond the halfway point from 40 to 50. I worry a lot less than I used to, but I’m still crazy competitive about dumb things. Don’t ever, ever tell me a song came out in 1978 when I know it came out in 1977. You will become my mortal enemy. Or more likely, you’ll decide I should be given a wide berth.

  • The 50’s are definitely the “don’t give a crap” decade for me. Don’t care about the house, the car, and hardly the kids some days (to be fair, they are pretty well able to take care of themselves now…and that 12-year old is gonna get a job soon, I can just feel it.) Full disclosure, I never gave much of a crap through the 30’s or 40’s, so it might be genetic, BUT….you know how some people are always considered “mature” for their age? Perhaps this would be a good time for you consider yourself “mature” and go for it.

  • I suspect that, for me, the NOT GIVING CRAPS phase will not return until senility comes in and robs my brain of all reason. Seeing as that’s not a phase I await with giddy excitement, I’m going to have to settle for GIVING LESS CRAPS, whatever that means. I’m nearing the end of my 30’s, though, so what do I know anyway??

  • Yoga is NOT a competitive sport? Then how come all the gym bunnies wear such fancy, coordinated outfits so they look thin as spaghetti noodles while in warrior 2? And you know they’re keeping count of who can do headstands or crow and for how many seconds. They totally are.

    And cheese occupies its own food group. Along with that heavenly white sauce you only find at Japanese steak houses where they cook the food in front of you. (I was reviewing a vegan cookbook just last night and declared there is no earthly reason for anyone to replace real cheese with some freaky invented faux substance. Hence, I will never be vegan.)

  • I turn 37 in a few days (sidebar: everytime I say that I will be 37, I hear it in Dante’s (from Clerks) voice of incredulity “37?!? AT THE SAME TIME?!?). Ahem. I’ve made Not Giving Craps my motto. I’ve even lived it for most of my life. It’s some of my best advice: “Why are you caring what those people think?”. I’m, slightly, worried that my Not Giving Craps will fall too worry-wartedness in my 40’s because, well, I’ll be in my 40’s. My age has never been something I’m ashamed of, (hello! Turning 37 in a few days!) but what would happen if it suddenly DID start mattering? Egads. That better not ever happen.

  • Jenn

    I read Tenessa’s advice as “Why are you CARRYING what those people think?” which is really a good way to look at it. You can be weighted down by worrying about what people think. Maybe that’s why my shoulders hurt so much. Really looking forward to the era of not giving craps!

  • I am here to tell you that 50s are officially ‘not giving a crap’ time. Unless there are things about which you want to give a crap, and then you are free-er to give more of a crap about things you care about. Please do not slap Gandhi.

  • Beth

    I’m also 37, and every time I say it I have to say it in a British accent like Monty Python: “I’m not OLD! I’m 37!”

    I don’t give craps about lots of things, but I will confess that I do give craps about yoga. I also want to win. And that is so, so effed. I love yoga so much and what it does to my mind and stuff, but I also want the yoga booty and to hold my plank just a leetle bit longer than everyone else.

    I hate to admit that, but I feel slightly better admitting it to the Internets.

  • I am almost 57 and it has been my least apathetic decade so far. I wanted to believe what Oprah said was true, that this was the decade when it all came together. It hasn’t happened yet and time is running out. Maybe by the time I’m 60 I won’t care so much.

  • Therese

    Hmm. Well. I am about a decade ahead of you, age-wise, and still too tightly wound to not give a crap about anything. The only improvement I’ve seen here is that I can, occasionally, with conscious effort, for specific things, let go of the crap-giving and let it lie on the floor in a lump while I walk away. I think, maybe, my buttons are harder to push, but that may be self-delusion. And I still want to win at EVERYTHING, even if it’s only winning in my age bracket.

  • Barbara

    I’m on the downward slope of the 50’s and have found them to be liberating. It’s not that I don’t give a crap. It’s that I’m much more selective about the things that are worth my time and consideration so as a result many things that used to have been a big deal have gone over to the “why worry” side of life. Family matters, health matters, friends matter, laughing with friends matters, having lunch matters. What doesn’t matter (also known as “don’t give a crap”): the gray in my hair, not having a flat tummy ever again, having a spotless house (which is a good thing becuase my house has never been spotless and I worried way too much about that), what people think of what I wear (they probably don’t care or even notice). You get the idea. So yea – 50’s have been okay.

  • I’m on the downhill of 40 and I SO give a crap. But I am high strung and will probably be giving a crap on my deathbed, worrying about how they will do my makeup and hair in my casket. I know it is vain, but I can’t help it. That is the way I was made. I put on eyeliner to do Pilates.

  • Kristin

    I have to go eat some cheese now. There will be tortillas and meat and spices and lettuce and tomato and sour cream too…but cheese is the most essential ingredient.

  • Just turned 42 and, despite my best efforts, I keep giving more and more craps about the small stuff. Have a sneaking suspicion I passed the stage where I was as close as I’ll ever be to Not Giving Craps in the dorm rooms and wine bottles of my twenties and early thirties. Then I woke up one morning and figured out I was mortal and – POW – Craps!! Like Crissane, I suspect Not Giving Craps will come back in my senility but cannot bring myself to look forward to that stage.

  • Melissa


    Which is just a backdoor into what I truly want, which is: (TO EAT CHEESE!!!!)”

  • Mo

    Just signed up for four rounds of extended bikini line hair removal laser treatments. I’m being proactive in my hope that when I can stop giving a crap I will still be well-groomed.

  • Aimee

    Perhaps you need the bumper sticker my sister saw a while back. It said, simply, “Namaste, bitches”

  • Brigitte

    Ha! I bet if you went to any 3rd world country (or even 2nd world, wherever that is) and held up some cheese and asked “Is this a food or a condiment?” it would be snatched from you and eaten as FOOD before the words were even past your lips.

    I’m 49, and still can only not give a crap with some good meds. And I know I shall NEVER be introspective enough for Yoga. The poses look fine and healthy, buteven seeing it on TV in the solitude of my own home, I was inwardly writhing in uncomfortableness and embrarrassment at the centering and om-ing stuff. Shudder!

  • T

    1.) Get Belly Button pierced in order to have something bling-y to gaze at whilst navel gazing.
    2.) Open a bank account dedicated to cheese – I am French, a cheese budget was required even when I was a starving student (single creme Brie in those days… tried a lovely Ash Chevre the other day…mmmm…)
    3.) Yoga – just do it

  • Ruth

    Getting to the point where you don’t give a crap IS growing as a person! Especially when what you don’t give a crap about is people who say cheese is a condiment.

  • Cheese isn’t just A food. Cheese is THE food. Cheese is its own amazing FOOD GROUP.

  • Michelle-Who-Is-Shelley

    At least you have used your introspection — however painful to you and anxiety-creating — to write novels that give readers a way to grow as people and be entertained at the same time. That is much better than being someone like me who just has the introspection and worry WITHOUT the writing or managing to accomplish anything worthwhile at all.