I’m not saying I have an actual physical list entitled “Things I Can Do To Be a Better Person;” that would be weird. Plus, my lists are usually scribbled keywords that I assume I’ll understand later, but don’t. (“Coats? Wash the coats? Take the coats out of storage? Buy coats for the coat drive? Tweet at Not Burlington Coats?”) But I do keep a running tally in my mind of things I know I should be doing. And unfortunately, nothing seems to be getting checked off the virtual list. Perhaps the bar is too high? Read the list and let me know.
Things I Can Do To Be A Better Person:
- Use less plastic, specifically straws.* (I want to be the kind of person who can drink a smoothie without using a straw, but I’m more the kind of person who’s already late for the bus stop drop off and ends up with a face full of chocolate smoothie due to a partially unblended frozen avocado and then yells at her kids about how if they hadn’t taken so long to put on their shoes she would have taken the 10 seconds to grab a straw and can someone get her some paper towels instead of just sitting there laughing. You know, that kind of person.)
- Use fewer paper towels. (This might be at odds with #1. Also, have you met George?) I’ve tried using more dish towels, but how many dish towels can one person launder a week, especially if that person insists on washing dish towels and table cloths in a separate load and doesn’t want to waste water on a less-than-full load?
- Be more patient with George. (But I mean, look what he’s doing to my paper towel usage!)
- Be more patient with Rosie (What’s with all the happy-crying? We’re not on Oprah, Rosie.)
- Recognize that other people have bad days and maybe that’s why they’re driving like a-holes (But maybe they’re just a-holes, am I right?)
- Eat less nachos. (I said I’d slow down after NND but bitch, cheese.) [Side note: I changed it to “fewer nachos” and then changed it back. I’m torn whether you can count a number of nachos or if it’s just one cheese-covered plate of wonderfulness, but I lean towards the latter.] [Second side note: I just did a quick google search and no one has made a t-shirt that says, “Bitch, cheese!” How is this possible?]
- Get off my phone more often and be “present.” Good lord I have so much guilt over how not-present I am all the time. In my defense, there’s a lot of great stuff to do on the phone: blog posts to read, Words with Friends pervs to fight off, Facebook pics to like. And sometimes two junior CEOs are fighting over whose potholder-loop loop-necklace business deserves to exist (Loop de Loop vs Loop, There It Is!) and I don’t want to be present.
- Write thank you notes in a timely manner. (Dee, I love the Monopoly book that you gave me last year. So thoughtful!) <– Does this count?
- Interrupt people less. It’s not that I’m not interested in what you’re saying; it’s just that I’m excited to participate. I’m a participater.
- Be one of those people who really listens to you when you talk. God, I love those people.
Have you successfully checked any of these off? If so, please teach me your ways. I promise not to interrupt.
*UPDATE: I started this draft a few months ago, and since then, I bought reusable glass straws! First I bought the ones on the left because they seemed like “the best.” Turns out they were not the best when it comes to actually fitting in the little straw hole of my travel cup that says, “I’m doing this for me.” So then I bought the ones on the right. I try really hard to like them, you know, for the earth, but I just don’t. It’s really uncomfortable to drink out of a glass straw. You don’t know how much you rely on the “give” of a plastic straw until your lips encounter the rigid inflexibility of a glass straw. During week one, I got a canker sore from jabbing myself in the gum with one. I still use them though. You’re welcome, earth.