One Must Draw The Line Somewhere

Having been oh-so-very tempted to post another blog entry about my sister (this one not embarrassing but rather dear, all things considered), I decided to shake things up a bit and pose a question to you, my invisible gang of orphans and thieves.  Wait, is there a question?  Yes, it shall come hence.  Let’s call this entry, Things I Would Not Ever Do:

1.  I would never, under the direst of circumstances, attach a bumper sticker to my car that read:  Been There, Done That, Loved It.  This is one of virtually all bumper stickers which shall remain excluded from my life, save this single gem:  a white background, a minimal silhouette of Bob Dylan, and the words, I Brake Just Like A Little Girl.  Props must be given where props are deserved.

2.  I would not have an affair with a married former Presidential candidate whose future remains bright, particularly when one adds that prickly, “And his beloved, brilliant, more worthy than he is wife is dying of cancer,” detail.

3.  I would never, if possible, put myself in the position where I might fall down a mineshaft.

4.  Here’s a simple one:  I will never die by drowning, and I’ll tell you how I know.  I don’t get in the water, and one need not study logic to see the connection between the two.

5.  Ditto, eaten by sharks.

6.  I would die by drowning before I would eat a certain little devil smear called ‘mustard.’  Also raw onions belong in gardens and nowhere else.

7.  Now that I have grown old and have the option of wearing my trousers rolled, I have taken a vow against spending time with boring people.  I don’t want to harm them, or spray them with smallpox, I simply want them to remain at home in front of their televisions, unthinking their unthoughts without me.

8.  The supercool trend of methamphetamine:  not for me.  Oh, it has its benefits, like rapid weight loss and psychosis, along with a mouth full of crumbling teeth, but for Haven?  I can’t see it.

9.  I don’t watch television, and you can’t tease me, you can’t shame me, you can’t force me, I’m not bending; so if you’re tempted just hang it up, bro.  That ship sailed long ago.

10.  I would never adorn such a thing as a ‘sweat-suit,’ sometimes also called a ‘track-suit,’ and I refer to the kind made of velvet and designed by designers; I would never put on my body any color in the spectrum of ‘neon,’ nor wear sneakers in public, although I am not averse to going anywhere in my pajamas. 

11.  Speaking of these things, I find the word of ‘fashion’ insanely laughable, and every year I look at the collections and see things that are beautiful and many that appear to be have been designed by a person who has lost half his brain to unrelenting seizures.  In addition, I believe Karl Lagerfeld to be the most odious human being alive, even though he is dead, and if you have not read David Rakoff’s flawless, insanely genius, single paragraph about KL’s nasty rotting ego in Don’t Get Too Comfortable, you have missed what prose is still capable of.  And also Anna Wintour?  You know how everyone is intimidated and terrorized by you and your little dolly haircut?  If we were in a dark alley and you were pointing a semi-automatic .9 millimeter Glock at my face, I would see nothing, absolutely nothing standing there.

12.  I have and will continue to base my life on the strangest of quotations.  This was nearly 20 years ago, and the whole Woody Allen/Mia Farrow debacle had just broken like a tsunami upon an innocent village.  I alone believed that we could not know the whole story – that what happens in a relationship and a home is a mystery never to be revealed.  So I never took a position of judgment against any of them, and will not, to this day.  I was sitting in a doctor’s office and the nasty split was the cover of Newsweek.  Allen was interviewed, and he was asked, “What do you say to the people who insist you will never work in this town again?”  And Woody laughed aloud, heartily, and said, “There isn’t a person alive who can keep me from working.”  And that is the truth, regardless of your medium, your city, your disaster, your wealth.  There is not a person alive who can keep you from working.

Okay, your turn.  I started out with things I’d never do and devolved into something else which is entirely typical and I can’t even apologize.  Sorry.  

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 8:20 pm  Comments (57)  


  1. Ahhh. A challenge. And a list! There are few things I love better on this earth than a list, so here you go.

    Things I Would Not Ever Do:

    1) Buy designer clothes–too much money for so much fluff.
    2) Watch television–it’s the single greatest corrosive element in our society. It sucks people’s brains dry and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
    3) Shoot an animal. I know. Here I am an oddity. But hunters? They are a complete mystery to me, I do not understand them and I don’t really care to understand them.
    4) Hug a Disney character. Oh, I’ll go to Disney, I married a man who thinks Disney really is a magical place (I disagree) but those people dressed up in the suits freak the hell out of me and I give them a wide berth when I am forced into an encounter.
    5) Stop worrying. It’s a terrible character flaw and will probably drive me to an early grave with hypertension and insomnia but it’s so ingrained in my nature now that there’s nothing for it. Even when things are going great and there’s nothing to worry about, I start worrying about things for other people. If there were an Olympic event in worrying, I would be the defending gold medal champion.

  2. Oversized mice in suits and white gloves are the stuff nightmares are made of. If one touched me I would have to defy the hunting rule and shoot him where he stood. Same goes with that big retarded dog who probably carries ringworms and even then dares wear a hat. But now that you’ve gotten me started on Disney (no offensive to those who find it magical) is there anything more sinister in all of our capitalist universe than the way every ride shoots you directly into a gift shop from which you can find no escape? Very clever, Happiest Place On Earth, if happiness sounds like money!

  3. Sorry, I don’t have a list of things I’ll never do…since I’d be the one that fell in the water…with sharks…but here’s my question to Arse.

    1. Does this mean that stepping on little mice in your socks won’t be making the list?

    2. Will you no longer be troubled by talking clowns sitting in the chair in your bedroom?

    3. Since spinning chairs had such little effect on your thinking process, will we be able to have a bubby reunion with mom’s rocker/recliner at Thanksgiving?

    4. Are you over the trauma of having ham for the holiday’s….after the cats have had first go at it?

    Just food for thought…so to speak.

    I also wondered if #8 really is good for weight loss?!

  4. Woody Allen also said “The heart wants what it wants” although I’m not sure that explains the creepiness that is marrying your step-daughter.

    Here are some things I would not ever do:

    1. Eat liver of any sort. I know it’s not as bad as brains but it’s God-awful.

    2. Become a stripper. Sometimes you think, “Well, if I were really destitute and had to support my kids I could always be a stripper for a while.” Then I went to a strip club (on a dare) with co-workers and it was so sad there’s NO WAY I could do it. That, and I’m too old and jiggly.

    3. Go scuba diving. Just thinking about being stuck underwater where you CAN’T speed up to the top makes me hyperventilate.

    4. Watch “Death at a Funeral” ever again. That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back.

    Thanks for such a fabulous blog–but I’m sorry your sister likes to bring up the mouse/socks story. That still haunts me from “Zippy.” I can’t imagine how you feel!

  5. Haven,

    Check on the onions — execrable plant.

    Sneakers: I disagree, but I walk alot.

    Check on Television — I watched “The Sopranos” the same way you did: marathon rental. He’s evil. Next!

    Sorry about this but it’s 9 mm not .9 mm. It’s not a gun thing, it’s an integer thing.

    Things I Would Not Ever Do:

    (1) I would never jump with a bungee cord.

    (2) I will never divide by zero.

    (3) I will never fly on any aircraft made be Airbus Industrie, e.g. any of the A300- Series. [Same as #s (1) and (2), I suppose.]

    (4) I will never read “Critique of Pure Reason.”

  6. 1. walk around with a tooth pick in my mouth. Or use one of those plastic things with tooth floss attached whilst in public-and I really did see a woman on a bench at Starbucks in Malibu doing this for 5 minutes. I don’t want to see my own husband floss his teeth.
    2. put on mascara while driving.
    3. wear a tube top. again.

  7. Sine, Tony Soprano is the love of my life — but fear not, I see a mentalist. I have read more than once The Critique of Pure Reason but that is merely one of the ways I find myself alone in a crowd.

    Caryl, the word ‘tube top’ is not even in my lexicon. I gave it up in junior high.

    As for you, Melinda, I’ll remind you that in the 80’s you called me and said, “Shut up. What’s this anorexia and how do you get it?”

    Also when you moved back into your farmhouse after an extended absence I seem to recall the systematic removel of seventeen rabid and vampiric racoons, except for the one who had died in the attic and whose leather tail and buttocks were dangling from a hole in the ceiling in your laundry room. So no, I shall never again step on a rodent, but you may very well be visited by vicious mammals with opposable thumbs.

  8. I will never get botox or plastic surgery, and I have resigned myself to the fact that I might be the only old looking chick walking around the streets of America.

    I will never like tofu. Ever. Not even your famous recipe that you swear no can tell is tofu.

    And I will never understand the unending popularity of libidinous vampires.

  9. I will never
    1. skydive or bungee jump or do anything from a ridiculous height and where my life is vested in some relatively small piece of equipment
    2. understand the “genius” of Marlene Dietrich
    3. get a tattoo or body piercing
    4. like rap “music” (it’s not music, just morons talking. or shouting)

    And I’ve been in that Malibu Starbucks (there’s just the one, believe it or not) and I am sure – I never cease to be amazed at the lack of what should be polite society here in southern California

  10. I am crushed. I love Haven and yet also both love mustard AND raw onions, particularly when combined. What to do?

  11. PS: I once stepped on a mouse BAREFOOT. I felt his tiny head collapse beneath my toes and very nearly vomited then and there.

  12. Do you see, LTC, how one things cancels another? You may have a love of
    m-st-rd (to combine them with onions is beyond the pale, forgive me), but the fact that you stepped on a mouse without benefit of sock is so horrifying and soul-crushing there is nothing I would not allow you.

    And Mrs. G., no cosmetic anything for me. I don’t even color my hair, and have no intention to. I see it as a matter of either accepting the bare facts of things or hiding from them until they sneak up with their Snickle Scythes and the next thing you know you’re THAT WOMAN, the one the children fear and all adults pity.

    Except I do feel a bit of sadness for my dear Augusten, who on his 39th birthday thought, “Well, hell, I’m 39.” And then the next year on his birthday a friend said, “Happy 39th birthday,” and Augusten said, “Alas, I’m forty.” The friend said “No you’re not. You were 38 all year and now you’re 39,” so Augusten lost an entire year and there is no way to retrieve it. As we know, that particular Train Without Mercy runs only one way, and has a single destination,
    god bless Augusten’s loony heart.

    He is currently in Australia, where everyone goes backward. The last time he was there I said, “Quick! Go see if when you flush the toilet the water flows the opposite direction.” He said, “Okay!” Then returned and said, “Which way does it usually go?” And neither of us knew. He served on a thrilling panel with Germaine Greer, who — what in the hell happened to that woman — often makes me think she is a living betrayal of Adam’s sacrifice of a rib. If this gets back to her she will have me raped and stabbed by Aborginal men, stung through the heart by a jellyfish, and force me to participate as a contestant in Big Brother UK, whatever the hell that godless series of flashing images is.

  13. Mrs. G. — I have a long theory (gosh, what a surprise) on our love of libidinous vampires, but it begins and ends with Frank Langella’s DRACULA, as does my deep and secret love for Frank Langella. Oh, and Tony Soprano. I sound fickle, but mostly because I am fickle.

  14. I will never stop being a mother bear to my children, even when they are old and have cubs of their own. It is my love and loyalty to them that allows me to appreciate how much God loves each of His children; misfits and sinners included. Which is a good thing, as I am the president of that particular club.

    I will never give up my dream of achieving a college degree, although I am 37 (sigh), and feel ridiculous in a lecture hall full of gravity-defying 20 year old bodies.

    I will never allow my husband to read my journal. If he really knew how crazy I was, he would commit me to the nearest asylum. Best to battle your demons on paper (or a word processor).

    I will never head out to sea on any vessel. “The Perfect Storm”… need I say more?

    I will never have a moments peace in my constantly churning mind. Wait, maybe in the hereafter, if all questions are answered and I achieve total enlightenment. But how boring… an eternity with no curiosity. Hmmm, I’ll have to churn on that one for a while:)

    Tube tops… not ever! Nor should anyone else for that matter.

    I will never wear a thong bikini. This I don’t do out of my love and fespect for humanity. To all men in speedos: how ’bout a little reciprocation?

    I will never cease to be fascinated by the triumphs and tragedies that every one of us experiences. Truth is always stranger than fiction.

    Never again will I repeat My Greatest Mistake… ever.

  15. Haven, I agree with you 100% on every topic and I will add:

    I will never ever get a tattoo. I do not want to be involved in an accident and become comic book material for the EMT’s and doctors and nurses. Also, how hideous these must look on people in nursing homes. I hope you don’t have one.

  16. 1) I will never use emoticons. You know, the characters on the keyboard that signify a wink, or a grin, or I-stick-out-my-tongue-at you. I could just stroke in some examples instead of describing them, but that would constitute using them which I have just said I never will.

    2) I will never pay for sex. (I will however accept payment for it.)

    3) I will watch TV but never anything with “Celebrity” in the title.

    4) I will never serve Haven Kimmel a bratwurst with mustard and onions.

    5) I will never dress my dogs. Except perhaps during the holidays, briefly, and with ironic intent.

    6) I will never read Thorstein Veblen’s THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS. I was quite relieved when I finally had this epiphany earlier in the year. Ditto Tocqueville’s DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA and anything by Walter Pater.

    7) I might perhaps die by drowning but never more than once.

  17. 1.i will never stop crushing on frank langella in Dracula.
    2. i will never have liposuction again.
    3. i will never have TV once i escape California
    4. i will never sell my house again. once this one’s sold, thhey will have to dynamite ne out of my next house (yours).
    5. i will never cease being your secret girlfriend of the West
    6 i will never stop re-reading WICKED, SON OF A WITCH or REBECCA.
    7 i will never have sex with a stranger again
    8 i will never pay for marriage counseling again. tossing money down a well is more useful and festive
    9 i will haver have another baby- an evenb that makes crucifixion seem like a Spa Day
    10 i will never go to Disney World to be rolled by “characters”
    11 i will never spellcheck my emails
    12 i will never wax my legs, nor will i be a wax mannequin
    13 i will never spray-tan, as it brings Al Jolson to mind
    14 i will never write as well as you
    15 i will never write a book a year, even if hog-tied
    16 i will never have my anus bleached, even though augusten says that in nyc, if you don;t? you’re a Dirty Girl

  18. Oh crap! I was trying not to be influenced by the other comments before I wrote my own but I didn’t scroll by fast enough because first I’m thinking, “Well, of COURSE Haven has a tattoo!” And secondly (OH how I wish I didn’t have this in my mind now); bleaching your anus? yikes.
    Typically, I try never to say ‘never’, because almost always it’ll somehow somewhere come up as an “oh, YEAH?!”
    So I thought it over while out back watching for the new puppy to take a poo, and I’m pretty confident when I say that I will never eat the testicles of any animal. I don’t care HOW they’re cooked or what sauce they’re in. Not gonna be eating them. ever.
    I’ll come back and report if anything else comes up.

  19. Leave it to Augusten and Suzanne to raise the spectre of anal-bleaching. And no, I don’t have a tattoo, as I was once told that seeing a tattoo on my (pardon me) naked skin would be akin to coming across a billboard in a forest. Very convincing. Nonetheless, my daughter nearly convinced me to have a poem I love tattooed on my back (which is what?!? my broadest expanse of forest!!) but I escaped it, I forget how. Instead I hung it on my refrigerator.

    Having endured natural childbirth three times (NOTE: IT IS FOR WILDLIFE), I would consider having another child, but only if I was drugged beyond all sensibility and it was cut from me — I don’t care if they use a damn hacksaw.

    And Jennifer, how very odd. Just last night I was explaining to my husband that the testicles of kangaroos (as change purses, bottle openers) are EXTREMELY popular on eBay. Now frankly this is something I would make up without a second’s hesitation, but I guarantee you, just go and type it in and voila. They look like yellow furry sacs about the size of a . . . testicle.

    Oh, and I forgot. I know there are now a delicious and beautiful new 125,000 gorillas there, but you couldn’t drag my ass to the Congo with tow-chain and a tractor-trailer. Or anyplace the President’s name rhymes with Mugabe.

  20. I shall ever adore the e-mail I received last year from Rob-san that simply said, “I have reached the age where I realize I shall never read Thorstein Verben’s THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS, and I am relieved.”

  21. Germaine Greer was at the University of Essex in the UK last I knew. Or as the rednecks with whom I grew up in the the rural midwest would say today “Germaine, what’s your twenty?” They may not have CB radios anymore, but the language remains…

  22. Never say “never.” Then you won’t be as embarassed when you change your mind, which we often do as we get older. I’m older.

  23. It’s easy to write this list after reading such stimulating comments.

    I’ll never:
    1) Get a tattoo, have my anus bleached or have cosmetic surgery on my vagina, get breast implants, or change the name I was born with. I yam what I yam.
    2) Bungee jump or parachute. Unfortunately, I will also never water ski.
    3) Be as well read as Haven Kimmel, no matter how hard I try.

    Things I’ll never do again that I would like to:
    1) Give birth to a baby.
    2) Jump on the trampoline, jog or run.
    3) Wear uncomfortable sexy shoes.

    Things that I did but I’ll never do again because I don’t want to:
    1) Be paid for a sex act.
    2) Date a porn addict.
    3) Be a passenger in a car with a Playboy deoderizer hanging off the rear view miror.

  24. I will never:
    1. get a brazilian bikini wax
    2. watch reality tv
    3. enjoy gardening
    4. make my kids eat escargot, as my dad did to me when I was six
    5. get enough of Haven’s writing(you too suzanne!)

  25. No mayonnaise that comes in a jar or any of its derivitives.

    No plastic surgery; people don’t look that closely.

    No sailboats. The wind: you can’t count on it one way or another.

    Not tattoos, but that is one of many obvious ones.

    No yoga. We hates it.

    Nothing made with canned mushroom soup. Nothing.

    No milk chocolate. Only the hard stuff.

    TV can be fun if you are choosy. There, I said it.

  26. Mimi is my former mother-in-law who is really still my mother-in-law, as I would never have another. And when THAT woman says no mayonnaise from a jar you can believe it. Also canned mushroom soup, a staple of my childhood diet when I wasn’t actually eating staples. This is a woman of such impeccable grace and good humor and delight, she’s one of those souls who walks into a room, even if it’s 150 times and everyone there is happy to see her. And she stands in her kitchen and talks to you and tells you funny anecdotes and the next thing you know she has created her own live chicken, and fresh mayonnaise out of dandelions and bits of stardust, and she says, “Taste this,” and you take a bite and think, “Hmmm, perhaps I shall stay alive just one more day.

    I would never want to live in a world without Mimi.

  27. I’m really freaked out by all this talk of anal-bleaching. I can’t imagine how it works, but I’m scared to Google it for fear of what I might see.


    * I’ll never hike the Appalachian Trail. It’s a failing and a weakness, but I can’t go more than 30 hours without a shower.

    * I’ll never enjoy the taste or smell of Ouzo.

    * I’ll never have a successful career in commissioned sales, or telemarketing.

    * I’ll never get why people love Les Miserables, either the book or the musical.

    * I’ll never finish reading American Psycho.

  28. I’ll never, ever—on pain of death even—purchase Call Waiting.

    I’ll never turn my cell phone on unless, say, my car is about to explode or I suspect that I myself am about to spontaneously combust.

    I’ll never, ever get to see Season Four of The Sopranos, since someone at my local video store will NOT RETURN IT, and here everyone is talking about Tony some more, just to torture me. Don’t even talk to me about NetFlix or whatever it’s called, as it easily confounds me.

  29. Jules, I was looking at amazon to see how much the Sopranos box set is, because it is really all I want besides some particular pieces of taxidermy, and I called out to John, “John, brand new the box set is $500. Used it is $250 but that could be iffy. Do you believe anyone loves me enough to get me one?” He thought a moment and shouted back, “I believe someone loves you $250, but I doubt anyone would go for $500 worth of affection.” He’s an honest man.

    You must see Season 4, you must see Season 5, and all of season 6 is so sublime you will live the Kantian definition, where beauty is the equivalent of terror.

    Forget I’m not well. That is not at issue here.

  30. 1. I will never attempt to kiss my cat on the lips again no matter how affectionate I feel after having consumed the better part of a bottle of Southern Comfort.

    2. Never drink a drop of Southern Comfort again.

    3. Never lust in my heart instead of my loins.

    4. Never read Martin Amis or any of his kin, nor shall I nod knowingingly should someone of an erudite persuasion use his name in a conversation.

    5. I join many of blog fiends here in never jumping from an airplane for the thrill of skydiving. Same thing for bungee jumping and base jumping.

    6. Succumb to alliteration for the shallow thrill of it.

    7. Vote for John McCain.

    8. Fail to give at least a dollar to any female homeless person I see outside the Metro subway.

    More to come…it’s after midnight and I tire easily at my age.

  31. Things I Will Never Do

    1.Eat turnips. I was forced to eat them as a child,and once, having been caught flushing my portion down the toilet, was forced to eat a whole bowl.I have never understood the absurdity of making a child eat their vegetables.I know it’s to ensure “proper nourishment”,blah blah blah, but a daily multivitamin would work just as well.

    2. Make my children clean their plate. If the kid is full, then he/she is full!

    3.Watch anything with that woman named New York in it.Poor excuse for quality t.v. Is quality T.V. an oxymoron?

    4.Eat a raw onion. ‘Nuff said.

    5.Throw a Dr. Pepper can at my black neighbor across the street again.(and no, I don’t refer to them as “African Americans”.I am not German American or French American. I am white, he is black.)It was a bitch getting out of the assault charge!What a pansy of a six foot man, to take out charges on me after calling me a bitch and a prostitute(!!)and getting hit on the shirt sleeve with a soft drink can.

    6.Work in a cubicle every day all day. What a boring way to live. I can find other ways to make money. And no,prostitution isn’t one of them,lol.

    7. Drive a minivan, unless I had more than three kids. And then I would probably drive a GMC, just so I wouldn’t conform to the minivan thing.Or maybe I would just put a couple of the kids in the trunk.

    8. Get a weave. Just the thought of having glue in my hair makes me cringe.

    9. Wear pantyhose. Imagine if you farted. Where would the fart go? It would be trapped…and probably pissed.

    10.Tire of reading Augusten Burroughs,David Sedaris and Haven Kimmel.After finishing one of their books, I feel kind of let down,like,”That’s the end?Aww.”

  32. 1. I myself am as close to being a gay man as it’s possible to be while remaining a heterosexual woman, and so I love gay men better than biscuits. I also love lesbians, because they are women, but I shall never, in this lifetime or any following, forgive two wretched lesbians who turned out to be treacherous and lying and to embody everything on this planet that is cruel and violently selfish and a great big steaming heap of rotting ego dumps who care nothing for their fellow human beings OR suffering animals. These two people are the opposite of George Stuteville, if that puts things in perspective.

    2. I too would never vote for a Republican, I don’t care if it was one of those delusional Log Cabin types. Get your mind right, people. If you are gay and a Republican, don’t even pretend you won’t be the first in the ovens.

    Deia, it shames me to say that I once heard my daughter do an imitation of Larry the Cable Guy (she’s a brilliant mimic) and he was talking about walking behind his mother-in-law at a craft fair where everything was made of yarn and meant to cover toilet paper. His mother-in-law is of the heft, and yet insists on wearing leggings; additionally she has a flatulance problem. He said watching her from behind was like watching a mouse run through a tight purple tube.

    As for making my children clean their plate, I don’t even make them sit at the table. They can eat standing on their heads if they want, and when they say they’re finished I say, “Great. Go play.” Except for the 23-year-old, to whom I say, “Tell me more action utilitarianism and how it broke off from the Viennese school.”

    I would never give up reading poetry. Or drinking Vitamin Waters.

  33. …that was a compliment, right?

  34. 1. I will never “own” a rodent.

    2. I will never have a clean house.

    3. I will never pay money for a “Captain Underpants” book.

    4. I will never wear four-inch heels.

    5. I will never participate in “team sports.”

  35. KINDA OFF TOPIC ALERT!!! Speaking of making your kids clean their plates. One of the meaner things I have ever seen (and my experience as a former police beat reporter gives me a big menu to choose from) was when a certain woman who was formerly in my family but now outside the circle of love due to divorcing my sib forced her son to eat some green beans. The poor child was gagging on them and she was unrelenting in her bulliness. Truly ugly and mean. My Mom got up from the kitchen table and took the plate and tossed it in the sink.

    As for my kids…I parented like Haven when it came to the table. I expect I will do the same with my grandkids.

  36. I am still recovering from the awful gigglesnorts that left me gasping for air after reading about the fat lady with leggings and a farting issue.What a gas!!(pun intended)

  37. George, it is always a compliment.

    Deia, there was more, but I had to be given oxygen to survive it.

    And I can’t tell you how many parents I see who gleefully torture their children in the most subtle ways simply because they can. I’ve watched dozens of cats with kittens and dogs with pups and horses with their foal, and never have I seen another animal deliberately torture their babies for amusement.

    I have never and will never raise my voice or my hand to my children. Enough of that crap on planet Earth. That said, my daughter says, “I fear the kind of grandparent you will be. You’ll say, ‘Here little precious angels, here’s some candy and an automatic weapon. Now take my car keys and have a ball. Let the three-year-old drive, she’s the smartest.”

    Oh, and I think Ezra Pound was one of the greatest poets who ever lived, in addition to inventing Imagism, but I’ll never forgive him for being a Fascist, or his Italian broadcasts, or how, after he was released from confinement here in the states for treason, he returned to Italy and during his photo opportunity, raised his arm in the Fascist salute. Nasty old brute. I do not forgive anti-Semitism.

  38. I will never do one-armed handspring, at least in the physical sense.

    I will never eat a fried oreo, pickle or badger. Pretty much anything else is fair game.

    I will never ride in a blimp, even if it’s making a ceremonial pass over the Indy-500.

    I will never make a sugar cream pie as good as my grandmother’s.

    I will never go home again. I prefer vicarious experiences, and reading Haven’s work, which simply stops me in my tracks when I try to describe its impact, is more than good enough for me.

  39. I will never get the whole James Dean phenom… I mean, how sexy can a dead Quaker be? (I hope not to find out the answer to that toooo soon)

    Also, I don’t get brussels sprouts. I always thought they were evil. Was confirmed when D. Elton Trueblood made me eat some when I was in seminary. They’ll never pass these lips. Unless they would help make me sexy after I was dead… Hmmm, y’think brussels sprouts made James Dean what he was?

  40. I will never care if I win or lose at a boardgame. I will never let Trueblood off the hook for making Brent eat Brussels sprouts as a grown man, which is an exercise in power ill-befitting a Quaker aristocrat, as he referred to himself.

    I’ll never ever try drugs I might have in my long-ago youth, like heroin. I kind of wish I knew the feeling, but then I remember TRAINSPOTTING and think ick ick ick. In fact, I’m finished with drugs altogether but ALSO I will never regret the experiences I had.

    I will never betray the people I love: in particular, Beth, her husband John, her children; Augusten, Robert, Christopher, Jeffrey, Dennis, my children, John, my mother, my sister, my beloved niece Kalia, or Tim & Leslie. These are not in order but it doesn’t matter. I will never stop being glad I listened to Scott and started this blog, because I have met such lovely people as you, and you have added a shine to my life I could not have expected.

    I’ll never be sorry I had the father I had, even though . . . you know.

    It’s difficult to phrase this in the ‘never’ form, but I find I cannot forgive my country (and I love America) for slavery.

    Once this starts it’s difficult to stop, but:
    I’ll never cease being grateful to my mother.
    I’ll never grow tired of the sound of trains.
    I’ll never lose a very particular feeling of joy when I see a large number of strawberries.
    I’ll never cease being wildly attracted to Yul Brynner.
    I’ll never write a book review that is critical of another author, even if it’s someone whose work makes me hinky, like Chuck Pahlaniuk.
    I’ll never make my children think — at 4 or 47 — that their home is not with me.
    I’ll never stop believing that the answer to the first question is Love. The answer to the second question is Love. And the answer to third is Love.

    I’ll never number the stars that gave me my sister.

    I’ll never stop trying to be compassionate at all times, even as I am tempted to hit someone with great force with the front of my car.

    I’ll never succeed at being compassionate at all times.

    I’ll never not break into hysterical sobs of sadness at Graceland.

    There — enough from me.

  41. Shea, who posted above, IS a one-armed handspring. We go back to college and I loved her then, love her now.

  42. I used to say “I would never..” about a lot of things, but now I have a four-year-old and I don’t even bother to pretend there is line over which I will not cross. Crow casserole – not so yummy.

  43. I will never quit hope.

    I will never deny my children.

    I will never wear calf length socks with my crocs although I may from time to time wear ankle length socks.

    I will never be apologetic for my love of golf.

    I will never cease being a ten year old in bed listening to the trains clank and shudder whenever my ear ctches the faintest sound or vibration of a locomotive.

    I will never cease being fascinated with the magic of chemicals and light in crreating a photograph.

    I will never forget that there has not been one single moment when I was not loved.

    I will not trounce on trust.

    I will not forget that magic realization that, yes, I can read!

    I will never cease being a Hoosier anywhere I happen to be.

  44. Damnitall!!!!! I made an earlier point to avoid aliteration and I am damned if I didn’t do it in my above statement about trouncing on trust.

    Oh well, as my ex-wife used to say: Live long enough and you will eat every word you ever uttered. I think she directed that at me, but the abstraction was irresistable, so I have applied it to all humankind.

    Oh…I will never ceased to be amazed at the incredible intelligence that I do not fully understand that enables birds and fish and flying insects to navigate at fast speeds in three directions; I will never cease wondering whether ants or bees or one-celled critters have a concept of I; I will never end being stymied by the concept of time.

  45. I will not post to Haven’s blog without running spellcheck.

  46. George, I was just saying to Suzanne about someone we both love dearly that it is as if he was raised by wire Mother-shaped monkeys covered in flannel, and not being loved as a child can kill you. I too will never forget how my parents loved me, and every day I have been loved, not only but especially when I didn’t deserve it. You are right, George, Kindred Spirit —

    And Tina, I too will never forget or repeat my most grievous mistake.

    And I’ll never forget the time my dad said to me (a man of few words), “You’re a smart little cuss, but I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know.” He was right.

  47. Dammit, Haven, as it was if he was raised by A MOTHER-SHAPED MONKEY, ya moron.

  48. I have just finished watching Away From Her with Julie Christie and I will NEVER be mean to my husband again.
    I hope to never cry that hard again either.
    I will never tire reading this blog and the amazing comments it inspires.

  49. Caryl, I am still traumatized by Christie’s UNDER THE SAND, which will, pardon me, whoop you up but good. And it’s subtle and it has all that European watchamacallit that makes everything so Europey. One of my great gifts is my ability to articulate, as you may have noticed.

    I will never cease believing that GROUNDHOG DAY is the single most important religious film of our time.

  50. I should have added that a person I will never ever betray is Scott, but that is so patently obvious I feared mockery. Also I have already betrayed him by announcing his fall from his bicycle when he was the temporary mayor of Farmland; when I told you he sprung an estrogen leak, and when I posted a picture of him in his bonnet. But I would never betray him in the BIG ways, like by setting his panties on fire, or abandoning him in a K-Mart in a bad section of New Orleans until he started to cry. I am very very true to him.

  51. Wow-we love Groundhog Day at my house. Favorite line (amongst many) to the groundhog:”Don’t drive mad. Hey, you’re not bad for a quadruped.”

    Also, Defending Your Life is awesome.

  52. Haven, as a person whose depression, at times, envelops her like the devil offering her his cold,wet blanket of despair on the coldest of nights, your blogs have made me smile, and I thank you from the heart of my bottom.:)

  53. Dear Deia — this is all I need to know about whether keeping a blog was a good idea.

    Oh! And you’re very lucky to have a heart-shaped bottom; those are very desirable in my country.

  54. 1. Wear a bikini. Even if I could. Which I can’t. And I really, really wish that 95% of the world would realize that they shouldn’t also.

    2. Wear Khaki pants. Some people know how to make simple, plain clothing look good. I don’t. I’m jealous of those people.

    3. Give up red lipstick, or terrible gaudy earrings.

    4. Use formula to feed my babies.

    5. Join the Roller Derby, no matter how many times I am asked. I love skating, but much like Daffy Duck “I can’t stand pain. It hurts me.”

    6. Allow my daughter to straighten her magnificently curly hair. Not while she lives under my roof!

    7. Pierce a baby’s ears.

    8. Eat low fat food on PURPOSE.

    9. Paint my finger nails without smudging at least three of them. At least, I never have before.

    10. Stop laughing at my son’s violent reaction whenever he sees “Andy Capp Hot Fries” at the grocery store. In fact, I might have to wrap up a bag for his 6th birthday.

  55. “I’ll never be sorry I had the father I had, even though . . . you know.”

    Haven, this is my first post but I read your blog regularly…love the comments. My father contacted me yesterday for the first time in 13 years. I’ve gone through all the emotions you can imagine and said some words that my 8-yr-old will surely repeat in school and get sent to the principal’s office for. Bottom line, though, your comment is exactly how I feel. Thanks for making me laugh.

    Now here’s my list. I will never:

    1) Turn down a road trip for any practical reason (work, school, money, etc.).

    2) Go more than a year without a roadtrip. My favorite: World’s largest frying pan (1,000 miles roundtrip from Columbus to Rose Hill, NC).

    3) Make my kid wear shoes. Or cut his hair.

    4) Stop drinking martinis out of a bucket. (Yay bucket night).

    5) Part with my car, the exquisite MB 320 Wagon purchased for a song on e-bay.

    6) Work too much to make time for friends.

    7) Stop working. I confess, I love my job, no matter how low it pays or how many other non-profits close their doors.

  56. I still love Woody Allen … I don’t judge my musicians, my writers, or my movie-makers, only my governmental representatives who make decisions that affect me personally …

    Here are a few things I would never do:

    1. Kiss someone’s butt to get a promotion. Thus, this is why I did not get a promotion recently.

    2. Pose in a picture with someone famous just because they were famous. I’m only going to approach two people in this world – Ewan McGreggor, who is my favorite actor, and whose documentaries “Long Way Round” and Long Way Down” are fascinating and full of compassion for the world, and George Clooney, whom I have loved since “The Facts of Life.”

    3. Get an SUV. I’ve always thought they were wasteful, unless you are Jon & Kate Gossling (Who have eight kids and a fantastic tv show called Jon & Kate + 8) you don’t need it. Get a car people!

    4. Give a check to charity rather than volunteer my time. I LOVE to volunteer … and its just for me, not to enhance my resume, etc. I’ve been volunteering since I was twelve, and I don’t understand why more people don’t do it.

    5. Allow my financial situation to get in the way with my education. I struggled to pay for and graduate from college for eighteen long years, and I struggle now to pay for the rest of my grad school education. I make nothing, can’t find a job in Michigan’s economy, and my husband and I are civil servants with bills and (Step) kids with medical bills, but I’m going to graduate, which is why I’m doing everything I can to find the money from being a movie extra to selling Partylite. When there is will, there is always a way!

  57. Hey guys check out this new website In memory all the celebrities that died it’s got videos and stuff really nice!

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