These are not bucket list items, just reasonably common things many people have done in their lifetimes. Are these things I think about accomplishing, just so I can say I have done them? Perhaps these would aid me in small talk at the next dinner party with the Queen? Hey, your Majesty, want to see my tattoo? If you expect me to converse with a waiter at a French restaurant or talk pheasant hunting or compare notes on New York delis, the conversation will be brief. Will I accomplish any of these? Several are possible, most are not likely.
Traveled outside the United States. If you consider inter-planetary travel, that I can check-off. Outside of the borders of the U.S.? Nope. In today’s uncertain world, and even traveling to “safe” countries, travel abroad is not high on my list. I have wanted to see Canada, not to hunt or fish, but to see the country. It used to be that being on a cruise ship in the Caribbean or Mexican coast was like a trip to the mall. Given the horror stories of being stranded at sea, shipboard pandemics or mysteriously falling overboard, this item sinks on my list. Or just simply, avoid being the classic ugly American.
Performed onstage. Performing in real life is enough of a challenge for me. Been in a play or performed in a concert? Nope. I get nervous just sitting in the dinner theater looking at the stage waiting for the performance to begin.
Learned a foreign language. I took courses in Spanish and German in school, but never progressed very far. Conversational English is enough challenge for me. Being an American, ever traveling to other countries, we expect the natives to speak English. American cities are melting pots for different cultures and languages, it has been that way since Europeans first arrived here. Even then they were rude and pushy.
Skydived. Not something I have ever seriously contemplated. I have serious height issues. Why jump out of a plane into the air? I have flown in all kinds of planes. Even open cockpit planes and helicopters without side doors. To skydive, someone would literally have to push me out of the plane and I would be screaming all the way to the ground. Not a pretty sight.
Traveled to either New York or Los Angeles. I have been to a number of other large U.S. cities, just not these two. I have known people who have lived there and others who have vacationed in both. I think if I went with a group, for a tour or event, that would be fun. To plan a trip on my own does not really interest me.
Been on a hunting trip. The closest has been fishing. Even then, I preferred catch and release. The last fishing trip, over thirty years ago. Stocking other animals is not my thing. I am not big on guns. Target shooting and self-defense – okay. Yes, I consume meat and fish, although my taste for it has declined in recent years. I realize, the meat and fish in the grocery stores comes from somewhere, they do not just sprout from the ground like lettuce. You just will never find me on a hunting trip, or likely holding a fishing rod.
Tattoo. Body art. No thanks. It is okay for others, I just do not find it something I would consider. I have enough imperfections without a picture of a battleship or a woman’s body on my chest. I have watched enough films of a guy waking up in Tijuana with a tattoo and a goat.
Purchased a lottery ticket. Playing the lottery is gambling or just throwing your money away. People have given me lottery tickets as gifts, but I have never won more than a few dollars. There is no thrill of gambling for me. Putting money on horses, betting on sports events or playing poker. No thanks.
Used Craig’s List. The online garage sale. I have not used it. I buy things online, I just don’t sell them, and I have rarely met someone in person to conclude a transaction. That has always felt creepy to me. Imagine what the other person thought of me.
Been fired from a job. My record is still complete. Thankfully, I have never been furloughed. Being fired is something done to you, but often you are are the cause. In college, I had a part-time job where for a summer our hours were reduced. That is the closest to losing a job. A decade ago, during the big recession, I feared for my job. My organization walked a number of people out the door, and for months I lived in fear. During the pandemic, we held many vacancies open, but did not RIF anyone. I know people not so lucky.