-a single episode of any of the Real Housewives shows.
-any show with “Jersey” in its title.
-reality shows about truckers, or fishermen, or loggers, or any other ridiculously dangerous occupation.
-reality shows (and yes, I am using the term loosely) about child models, or child dancers, or child actresses and their wacko mothers.
-any of the scary movie franchises (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Saw, Scary Movie), with the exception of one or two of the Freddy Krueger movies, which scarred me for life. For life!
-Psycho, Jaws, Deliverance, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Shining, Hellraiser, Cujo.
I just can’t take it. I can think of three times in my childhood (one as late as junior high (that’s middle school to you youngsters)) that I had to fake stomachaches and beg the resident mom call my mom to come get me from sleepovers where scary movies were being watched. The junior high incident involved the Drew Barrymore movie Firestarter, which isn’t even technically a scary movie.
Did I mention that I just can’t take it?
-Dallas, either the original or the current show. I wasn’t allowed to watch it as a child, but I don’t remember minding. I had no idea who J.R. was, and therefore no sorrow over his having been shot. I do remember that hearing about it on the playground became tedious. As in, C’mon! Shut up and shoot some marbles, people! Check out my new cat’s eye! As a result, years later I was the only of my (underaged, ahem) friends at the Boot Hill Saloon who was not too starstruck to go chat it up with Larry Hagman, who was in town for the Sturgis Bike Rally. He was a really nice guy. He bought me a Miller Lite and autographed my coaster. It’s true! It’s up in the garage rafters in a box, along with my college-era scrapbooks (which the children must never, ever see. Seriously, promise to come destroy them if something happens to the WH and me), and the snapshots of me with Colin Powell and Garth Brooks and the touring crew for Alabama.
They wanted me to run away with them, that touring crew. It’s true. I was serving Guinness (chilled to the recommended 37-42 degrees) to a variety of locals and tourists sitting at small, wrought-iron tables under the red awning on the 6th Street sidewalk outside Paddy O’Neill’s Irish Pub at the Hotel Alex Johnson when the tour bus, ALABAMA emblazoned on its side, rolled up.
I had met the guys the previous night at the fairgrounds, using a backstage pass which was my sole compensation for a summer deejaying internship at the local (AM!) country radio station. I never did get to meet the actual band, but the roadies were fun! (And gentlemen, mom. They were total gentlemen.)
(Aside: I was a terrible deejay. We’re talking phenomenally bad. I wanted to do this thing, I was all about it–I had declared myself to be a Communications Major at the university–but the moment the record (and I do mean record, as in vinyl) stopped playing, I completely clammed up and was rendered unable to spit out a single word that was any kind of deejay cool.
Also, I got in big trouble there. I once played John Denver’s “Grandma’s Feather Bed,” a song I had loved as a child, only to have the cranky station manager come flying through the door of my little glass-walled booth, screeech the needle off the record, slam the button that sent the station to commercial break, and YELL AT ME about the fines the station would incur for playing un-released singles.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
The incident did nothing to make me more comfortable behind the microphone.
When I went back to school in the fall, I changed my major.)
The roadies. I so wanted to run off with them. I wanted to be the kind of girl who would throw caution to the wind and do something wild. I wanted to quit serving pints in exchange for measly tips; quit ingesting second-hand smoke; quit listening to the same people sing the same gosh-awful songs on Karaoke Wednesdays, and “Buffalo Soldiers” playing endlessly on the jukebox all other nights; quit making endless batches of orange-colored, overly-salted popcorn using a 10-gallon bucket of solid-at-room-temperature orange popcorn oil, and just go.
The open road was calling. I was twenty-one, and I longed for a life of adventure. I wanted to do something unprecedented, something wild. Only one thing stopped me: I was pretty certain I wasn’t allowed to take off in a tour bus with strange men, even if they did pull up–Pretty Woman-style–at my place of employment hoping to carry me off to a life of adventure.
-Shades of Grey
-Twilight, save parts of the first book, which (I am ashamed to say) I skimmed in order to write an online newspaper article bashing it. That was almost five years ago, and that stupid article is still receiving hateful, nasty comments.
Life lesson? DON’T write a review bashing a book you have not thoroughly read. It’s bad, bad form. ALSO, watch out for Twilight Moms. Yikes.
-To Kill a Mockingbird, until this week. How on earth did I earn a B.A. in English without reading this book? I love this book. I adore it. It is going on my Favorite Books bookshelf, right next to A Moveable Feast.
-to any concert of any kind at the Sturgis Bike Rally. I was not allowed. My mom is in Heaven, and I am certain that I’m still not allowed. Come to think of it, I have never been at the Sturgis Bike Rally after dark. I was, you know, not allowed. Even the year I worked in a food booth up there, at the Hog Heaven campground, I don’t remember being around after dark. What I do remember is this: the vast majority of the scruffy, unshaven, hungover bikers at the Hog Heaven campground were doctors, and lawyers, and accountants. And also that they chose, hands down, fried foods for breakfast. At the time (which was pre-college) I could not, for the life of me, understand why.
Do you know why I couldn’t figure it out? I couldn’t figure it out because my mom never allowed me to be at the Sturgis Bike Rally after dark. I was clueless, in the best possible way.
-Bungee jumping. I have a cervical fusion, people. No way am I going to be snapped in half while dangling off the end of a stretchy rope over a bridge, or a canyon, or anything. I am not going out that way.
-Sky diving. I have promised Bubba that I’ll do it with him for either his 18th birthday or his high school graduation. I made this promise knowing full-well that beginner skydivers must jump tandem with experienced skydivers, and knowing full-well that while I can talk a good game, when push comes to shove, someone will have to shove my behind out of that plane.
So there you have it. A short list of things I have never watched, read, or done. Now it’s your turn. G0!