Woman’s never list

The premise is that every woman has a mental list, personal and unique to her, of things she will never do. The idea isn’t that these are things the woman would like to do; rather, they are things she has recognized she will not do, despite any inherent desire. At its essence, it is supposed to be, I think, a list about self-acceptance, about being able to admit we all fall short somewhere. It’s a list that seeks camaraderie in airing out secrets.

I’m all for self-acceptance, so I eagerly read the lists popping up. I expected fun misfit tales, such as “I will never be able to tell my identical twin nieces apart” or “I will never be able to grow back my eyebrows after aggressively over-plucking them in the ’90s.” I thought that perhaps I would read something scandalous, such as “I will never stop finding Count von Count kinda sexy” or “I will never stop loving Nickelback.”

Instead, the lists that filled my social media feeds read like this:

I will never separate my whites and colors in the laundry.

I will never make my children eat all their vegetables.

I will never get the kids out of the house on time for school.

I will never fit into my high school jeans again.

I will never bake cookies for a bake sale.

I will never figure out how to put on eyeliner effectively.

Oh, so that’s why it’s called the “Woman’s Never List” rather than just the “Never List.”

But also, why are we women so eager to fill out this list? Why, at least on my feeds, do the authors of such lists seem giddy with their mischievousness of placing such pushbacks online? How are we not past this point? Holy cannoli, I wish we were at a place where something called the “Man’s Never List” would include every single one of the items above and the “Woman’s Never List” would include more about toilets and spiders. Because isn’t that the direction the world is turning?

Perhaps I’ve grown weary of roles and expectations and “do this and do that” and “be this and be that.” It’s nearly 2020, and I just want to get to know people on a new kind of personal level, away from where they feel they are letting down cultural expectations and more toward, well, where they think they are letting down themselves.

That’s where the juicy stuff is. I could not care less about whether you separate your laundry, but I do care considerably if you can’t tell your identical nieces apart.

OK, in full disclosure, I can’t tell my identical nieces apart, either. I’ve tried for years. (Sorry, Rose and Violet.) I accept this addition to my list because I’ve always had a problem telling apart twins. Once, in college, my exceptionally good-looking roommate hit on me — which was confusing because we were just friends, until he reminded me that he was not my exceptionally good-looking roommate but rather his identical twin brother. It’s perhaps long overdue that I get my eyes examined.

In honor of an upcoming new year, let’s try a new “never” list — one that doesn’t enforce gender roles but lets you proclaim, loud and proud, the failures you have accepted in yourself. Failures by your own standards. Failures that are not really failures because you’ve embraced them.

I’ll start:

I will never be able to spell Armegeddon. Armagedon? Armeggedon?

I will never not sorta kinda always believe in ghosts.

I will never not think about that time my friend got a raisin lodged up his nose every time I see a bran muffin and then, consequently, get too grossed out to eat said bran muffin.

I will never be in a situation in which I don’t think Birkenstocks are the appropriate footwear.

I will never not call you “bro” and instantly turn bright red when I can’t remember your name.

I will never stop thinking I am an untrained Parselmouth.

I will never remember any of my passwords or usernames.

I will never go a month without not being able to open my car, throwing a huge fit in the parking lot and then realizing my actual car is one row over.

That was fun.

What are you owning in the new year?


Katiedid Langrock is a

nationally syndicated columnist.


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