Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

cakmpls's last entry, about why she's not doing the three-things-before-you-die meme, made me think. So here's my new question:

Tell me something I really don't have to do that some people you know think they absolutely have to.

For example, when my mother turned 40, she announced that she was forty damn years old and did not have to eat the crusts of her sandwich if she did not want to. I asked if I had to, since I was only sixteen damn years old. She said, "No, of course not." I said, "But I like them." She said, "So eat them, see if I care." But I don't have to.

My grandmother grew up thinking she had to dust the front room every morning. My great-aunt relates that when my grandmother got cancer in her mid-forties, she discovered that the world would not come screeching to a halt if she dusted the front room every other morning, or even less often than that.

I will tell you that you do not have to read The Bell Jar. Go ahead if you want to. Enjoy it if it's your sort of thing. But don't go feeling you have to read it, because, really, you don't. In all likelihood, you will not look up from your deathbed and moan, "Oh, if only I had read The Bell Jar all this would not be for naught." I've read it. Let me fall on that grenade for you: classic of the twentieth century or not, you just plain don't have to read it.

So what else can I skip if I feel like it? What other "mandatory" stuff can I give a miss?
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