I have good news and bad news. Bad: Life is short. Good: It can be long.
And I am going to show you how exactly.
First, you need to share this post with 9 people. Next, you should send me a large offering of cash, in multiples of 9. Finally, occasionally, simply: You need to Shut Up, at least 9 times a day! About the first two, I am sure you’ll find a way. On the last one, I can offer details. Specifically, a list.
The list is simple. It’s a list of all the times I wasted (and continue to waste) my life. Think of the list as a filter that separates the bullshit clogging your arteries from the lifeblood that makes your heart go: shut-up. shut-up. shut-up…
Caution: the list is brash in parts. That’s mostly because I am talking to a part of myself I deeply deplore. Anyway, without further adieu,
The get-a-life list:
1. The weather: Do I need to explain this one? You want exaggeration, here’s one: one time, I spoke about the weather so long – the seasons changed. Another time, this lady at work went on about the weather so long – I threw up on her hair and blamed it on the weather.
I guess this one is straight-forward. Shut up about the weather unless you’ve magically turned into a pigeon and need regular updates on wind-speeds to plan your shit. No one cares about little Johnny and his needs anymore.
2. The world: Okay, here’s the thing. The world’s okay. It has existed for a really long time. Or as a small child would say, “like a really really really long time.” That doesn’t mean everything was sunshine and rainbows and a big tub of cheese popcorn all the time.
However, it would suffice to say that in spite of all the repeated screw up’s, we also made a crazy amount of progress. I don’t know when you looked out of your window last, but not everyone is killing each other or setting things on fire. So, calm your flaring nose.
I am not in denial of the constant train-wreck that happens around the world every day, but you and I crouching on a bag of polystyrene balls, injecting news into our blood and then losing our heads over the broken news – on a Whatsapp group called, “My big lovely family”?
Do I really have to say it? Shut! Up! We haven’t got the remotest clue on what’s happening. If you are still into “dumb crap said real loud so people will take it seriously,” then you need to turn down the volume knob of your life and go smile at your neighbor or stare at a flower or something my friend.
Because I think the world could do with that break. Really, cut it some slack. We are talking about the freakin’ planet here. Note to myself: I am not asking you to rebuild a city or plant a tree or feed a child. Just asking you to stop turning the world blue with your depressing, ill-informed boredom.
3. Food: We’ve all gone far and wide in what’s considered an acceptable amount of time talking about food over one lifetime. The excessive crispy-ness of a dosa. The lack of whiteness in the Yogurt.
Talking about the incredible food served at one restaurant while at another restaurant and talking about the incredible food served at the other restaurant where you spoke about the incredible food served in the restaurant you are currently dining at: Been there – Done that!
And don’t we love to while about food? We spend an inordinate amount of time discussing its distaste. Not to mention, we waste a lot of food. Asking you to Shut up will not work here. Telling you about the emaciated kids in Africa, I am not kidding, has lost its effect.
So, here’s something else: Fast! Yeah, don’t eat for an entire day. That way, you’ll ask everyone talking about food to shut up and you won’t talk about food yourself and guess what: you didn’t waste any food for an entire day. More importantly, fasting has helped me become more sensitive to the times I have expressed my displeasure over the viscosity of the something mother spent three hours making.
So, the next time you get the urge to play Masterchef judge, shut up or we’ll have someone smash a chocolate tart sprinkled with sweet pastry and sea salt caramel served on layers of moist chocolate sponge and tempered chocolate disc and soil of warm chocolate covered with a cardamom sorbet gold leaf — up your face.
4. Not being invited to a wedding: Okay. I know you didn’t expect this. But, a number of my friends are getting married and this seems like a big freaking deal in the clan at the moment. Therefore I want to get this off my chest.
There’re 8 billion people in the world. At any given point someone is getting hitched someplace in that vast expanse. There’s a very high probability that place could be somewhere in India. It’s not just the population, but we just like long-ass weddings.
You may not get a second chance at life, but you always get a second chance at attending a wedding. And there’s a decent chance that you have been given one of these rare honors. Because a friend is getting married. Or because your 15th cousin is getting married. Or because someone you thought dead is getting married and it’d mean a lot to him if you’d go.
Now, sometimes, things don’t work that way. Maybe a shitty pigeon stole the wedding invite or the invite got sent to the wrong email ID [:)] or WhatsApp decided not disturb you since you were busy drafting economic policies on one of your WhatsApp groups.
Whatever, you didn’t get invited. Deal with it. Unfriend him/her. Go off and start your investigation and big data on who got invited and who didn’t, and understand the methodology involved in each invite.
Bottom line, still: You didn’t get invited.
If attending a wedding is that important to you, I just gave you the stats. Consider this: you can even live off weddings for the rest of your life if you don’t happen to like your job.
But, if you are hurt because you thought you were friends and your friendship is built on the loose premise that not being invited to the said friend’s wedding will mean you stop being friends, you just have a shitty definition of friendship.
If, however, you still need to nurse your ego, let me offer a win-win. Send the friend that dinged you a pleasant congratulatory note on his/her wedding day. Sure, you don’t mean it, but he/she doesn’t know that.
Now, he/she feels like crap when he/she reads the note on the most important day of his/her life and apologizes to you and feels terrible for not inviting you and now you get all emo and feel bad and suddenly, actually, magically wish the best for him/her even though you just loathed him/her a few moments ago.
Because however twisted a route you took to establish it, that’s what real friendship is: To forgive and wish for the best anyway.
I think this is a good place to stop. I am starving because I haven’t eaten for 9 minutes now, the weather’s being rather frosty today, and I have a wedding to attend where my friends and I going to discuss a lot of food and the impact of Nordic erotica on current-day politics.
But I know I said 11. So, get wasted:
5. Shut up because it takes, like seventeen muscles to smile, but only zero to shut up. Seriously, stop smiling, you creep.
6. Shut up because then, no one else can ask you to shut up. Hah! Reverse embarrassment.
7. Shut up because the 8th item on this listicle made no sense at all.
8. Shut up because talking with cheese popcorn in your mouth is a bad idea.
9. Shut up because you haven’t sent me my money yet.
10. Shut up because it’s 10 and I need to sleep.
11. Shut up if you happen to be a bird. I am trying to sleep here. Also, item 1 on the list doesn’t apply to you.
Bonus Shut Up (you know because I am philanthropic like that)
12. Shut up and smell the earth when it rains. The world will remain stubbornly old, beautiful and peaceful and you can do nothing about it – so shut up. Everything tastes good when you are starving; shut up and, like eat.
Also, you wouldn’t have gone to the wedding anyway; so. yeah. shut. up. and. get. a. life.