Everyone is making bucket lists. A bucket list, in case you haven't heard, is a list of things you want to achieve before you kick the bucket. Common activities on this list include skydiving, riding the Orient-Express and learning to cha-cha. You get the drift.
I've always found the term obnoxious, like when people put their hand up and say, "Too much information." It just sticks in my craw. Or maybe it touches my immortality nerve. I haven't bought life insurance, either – because, like my "cousin" Bella Swan from Twilight, I plan on living forever.
Instead, I'm putting together a reverse bucket list of the things I'm not going to do before I perform my final shuffle. This seems so much easier to achieve. So, here we go:
I will never ...
1. Learn to make pasta. I've attempted this and my kitchen ends up looking as if the marshmallow man from Ghostbusters has left leprous parts of himself all over my benchtop. The pasta turns out to be a cross-breed between Clag and rubber bands. San Remo will do me fine, thank you.
Every time my three-year-old drops the Sh-bomb, I have to bury my face in the cupboard so he can't see that I think he's funnier than Tina Fey
2. Jump from anywhere high (attached to a parachute or a perky other person). This has zero appeal. People say it makes them feel alive. You know what makes me feel alive? A strong coffee. On my own. In a cafe courtyard. No emergency straps required. Which brings me neatly to ...
3. Order skim milk. Takeaway coffee is wildly overpriced, and yet I buy it. Indeed, I worship it. Why would I pay good money for sugary, blueish milk when I can get the good stuff? I can tell when a barista has mistakenly used skim in my double-shot flat white by looking at the bubbles. They look like detergent. And taste like it, too. Pass.
4. Be horrified when my children swear. I wish I could be better at this. But I just can't. Every time my three-year-old drops the Sh-bomb, I have to bury my face in the cupboard so he can't see that I think he's funnier than Tina Fey. Bad Mummy.
5. Grow anything resembling vegetables in my patch. No matter how I try, my parsnips look like chicken bones, my rocket is positively Jurassic, and my zucchinis could give Dirk Diggler a run for his money.
6. Align the number of books I buy with the number of books I can physically read. I've done a little maths, and if I were to read all the books I own, I'd be horizontal for 243 years. Fine for Nosferatu. But I have to work.
7. See the pyramids. Why?
8. Climb a tree. See above.
9. Read Fifty Shades of Grey. Controversial, I know, but I have no interest. I was sitting on a plane next to a woman who, with a sneaky smile, ripped her copy out as soon as the spiel about the oxygen masks was over. I read two lines over her shoulder, and the woman gave me a dirty look as if I was the creepiest person around. Hey, take it easy! I'm not the one with a thought bubble over my head with a throbbing gland in it, lady. Sheesh.
10. Buy a sports car. I'll never get this. I love station wagons because they're practical. Fast cars can be as fast as they like but the speed limit is the speed limit and no matter how much car you have, you still have to stick to 60. It's like attending a luau: there may be a whole suckling pig but your stomach can only take so much. My friend, who had a car roughly the size of a nit, did a big supermarket shop at Christmas and had to call me so I could take some bags home for her. That's right. In my station wagon.
11. Get a Brazilian (again). Devotees of this brutal, humiliating procedure insist it's the best thing since Stevia, but I tried it once and I had to book in for therapy. The beautician told me, while my leg was over her shoulder, that her oldest client was 77 – which adds a whole new disturbing vibe to The Golden Girls.
12. Skin a kangaroo tail. That's right. Skin a kangaroo tail. My friend, who works with indigenous communities in the NT, wanted to do something special for her friends. She Googled a recipe and off she went. Step one: skin tail. These tails are roughly the size of a pool noodle, but covered in hide. When I left her, she was steaming each fur-covered pool noodle and peeling it millimetre by millimetre. She was in a sweaty frenzy, and muttering, "Maybe there was a reason they traditionally throw these in the fire first." I didn't have the heart to mention that big groups of people are usually happy with lasagne.
What's on your reverse bucket list? Have your say in the Essential Baby forum.
Chrissie Swan is the co-host of Mix 101.1's breakfast show in Melbourne and 3pm Pick-Up nationally. She's also on Twitter.
This article first appeared in Sunday Life.