Nicole asked for it so you got it. Sorry (no, I’m really not) I don’t know how to create one of those annoying slide shows but to be as authentic as possible I present these in reverse order of annoyingness. (Yes, it is so a real word. I know because I just made it up myself. Shut up, Firefox spellchecker.)
6. # Superfoods You Should Eat More Of – Actually, I sort of enjoy these good food lists a little bit because I like seeing that something I already like is “good for me” but at the same time the benefits they attribute to the listed foods are always way out in space. If it was really that easy to prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, improve memory, and live 20 years longer the medical profession would have gone out of business centuries ago.
5. # Books you must read before you die – I do like book lists but when they frame it as “books you must read” it’s a bit of a turn off. There are more books than any individual can possibly read in a lifetime and you have to choose according to your own tastes and interests. How about simply “Books Worth Reading” instead?
4. # Places You Must Visit Before You Die – You know, that “before you die” phrase is pretty silly isn’t it? You’re not going to do these things after you die are you? Anyway, on to my main point… What if I never get to visit these places? Does that mean my life is empty, wasted? And you notice that these lists never include places like Branson, Missouri or Eureka Springs, Arkansas. They’re always heavily biased in favor of exotic, expensive, and hard to get to places. Someday maybe I will make a list of “Things You Must Do Before You Die” that includes things like, “Enjoy a stupid TV show with your family” and “Sit outside on a summer evening listening to the night sounds and watching fireflies.”
3. # Things You Should Never Eat – We don’t need to be told what we shouldn’t eat. I think most people have figured out which foods are bad for you. We are told often enough. And even though it changes somewhat from year to year – sometimes things that were bad turn out to be good and vice versa – two things that will always be on the list are fat and sugar. But even these are not so bad in small amounts. The oldest advice is still the best: “All things in moderation.” We don’t need a list; we just need to remember that.
2. # Items Every Woman Should Have In Her Closet – Let me point out that “Every Woman” does not live in New York city, work in an upscale office, and attend fashionable parties every weekend. One item you always see on these lists is “the little black dress.” I have never in my life owned a little black dress. Where would I wear such a thing? Chili’s? Even if I did go to the kind of places where one wears a little black dress I probably wouldn’t because that’s what everyone else would be wearing, right? That’s what I call a uniform. Besides the LBD, there is usually nothing else on such lists that I either own or feel that I need.
1. # Things You Should Never Say To […..] – This is my top list pet peeve. There are dozens of different versions of it – Things you should never say to parents of young children, Things you should never say to a Teacher, Things you should never say to a woman, Things you should never say to a man, and so on. Honestly, there are a few things that you should never say (or that a polite person would never say) but these lists always go beyond the limits of what a polite person wouldn’t say and into the “Things we just don’t want to hear because we know it’s true but we don’t want to believe it,” and “Perfectly legitimate opinions that we disagree with,” categories. But it is really the whole idea of this type of list that is wrong. You can’t tell other people what not to say. To the makers of these lists and the members of the groups they represent I say, get over yourselves. You are not special and you don’t have any special right to be protected from the opinions of others.
Dustbury also has a list.