Sandra Benedetto: Rhymes With ‘Bucket’ List

When I kick the bucket, as the grim expression goes, I hope not to go out sputtering regrets about the things I never got around to doing. I started working on a bucket list, but there are so many items to add that it has become overwhelming. Most of my list includes attainable, even modest, goals, such as traveling by train in a sleeper car à la White Christmas or Murder on the Orient Express. My least realistic goal is training our dog to make a living doing K-9 nose work. She has the talent but not the ambition (sigh).

The problem is that my list is so long I don’t know when I’m going to have time to complete it. I think it will ease my anxiety to work backwards and rule some things out first — things I absolutely, positively have no desire to do. It will also take the form of a list because I am a list-maker extraordinaire, as anyone who has ever lived with me can tell you. Ergo, my “fuck it” list:

1. Climb Mt. Everest — Mountains are majestic, awesome, larger than life, which is what’s at stake in a summit attempt. I’m a mid-westerner, and I freak out just driving in the mountains. I don’t need to prove my mettle, because I accept my mediocrity. I don’t need to become one with the mountain, which is literally what would happen when my ice pick gets stuck and I freeze to the rock face. I’ll leave the oxygen deprivation, indentured Sherpa-tude, and yawning crevasses to the truly insane adventurous.

2. Shake Hands with the President — The same pu$$y-grabbing hands that sign off on ridiculous, self-serving, hateful policies? Ewwww. Obviously this is subject to change, but for the next four years I can safely clear this from the bucket list. Unless . . . well . . . maybe just to see how small they are.

3. Meet Celebrities I Admire — I’ve been known to say to my husband, “I could totally see us being friends with Emmy Rossum and Sam Esmail” or “When we book our African safari let’s see if Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are free.” Delusions aside, if I ever did meet these people I’d embarrass myself. I sound like an idiot when I’m geeking out or I want to sound articulate or I’m talking to a person. Yes, not just famous people, of whom I’ve met two*, but also, like, the mailman. Do you know the saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”? It applies.

* Billy Corgan and Kumail Nanjiani if inquiring minds want to know

4. Be a Game Show Contestant or Reality TV Star — See #3.

5. Visit Mall of America — I have stringent requirements for shopping: I shop alone, on weekday mornings, when the dew point is 58 degrees and Saturn is ascending. Mall of America sounds like one of Dante’s circles of Hell, all the more so because I’d probably love it and never leave. There’s a LEGO store!

6. Run a Marathon — This is right up there with climbing Mt. Everest on the “must-do” meter. At least when you’re summiting a dangerous peak you aren’t running. Sure, I can do it if I have to. For example, I’d hoof it in pursuit of a runaway horse or to flee a predator. I’m pretty sure that’s why God gave us legs — not to cover 26.2 miles for no reason. I’m an enthusiastic cheerleader for friends and strangers who run marathons, though, because I’m so happy I’m not them.

7. Meet the Pope — I may have to cross this off my list. Until recently I couldn’t have cared less because I was all like, Pope Who the What? I’m not Catholic so to my outsider mind Popes were like different iterations of a religious brand mascot, not unlike the ever-evolving Mr. Clean. But Pope Francis is dope as Hell, and you can tell him I said so.

8. Cage Dive with Sharks — I was envious of my friend who did this in South Africa. Then I reminded myself of the months of sleepless nights I spent as a young girl after seeing Jaws because I was convinced I’d be a great white’s unwitting victim on our next family vacation. Even if I wouldn’t provoke the creature like Quint did, I know I’d unintentionally make eye contact and it would quickly dispatch the cage to make an amuse-bouche out of me. A nurse shark swam next to me when I was snorkeling once, so that memory will have to suffice as my not-so-badass shark story.

9. Get tickets to Hamilton — I jest. Obviously I have to see Hamilton. Gah, this is harder than I thought.

10. Make a Bucket List — Whew! What a relief. Right? I should feel better. Hmmm. Why don’t I feel better? Oh yeah, because I struggled to come up with ten things that I don’t want to do. Truth be told, it would take very little convincing (e.g. promise of post-dive fish tacos) to get me to cage dive with sharks (#8). And I feel confident in my ability to be witty after a few drinks on Celebrity Match Game (#4), hosted by celebrity Alec Baldwin, whom I admire (#3). When Oprah is elected President in a few years I will be among those clamoring to shake her hand (#2). Damnit! Maybe I should spend less time making lists and more time working toward my goals. Please excuse me while I Google “how to score Hamilton tix.”






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