The most special things are the things that don't really belong anywhere but here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hate Lists

If there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves it’s America’s love of Gratitude Journals. The idea is nice and all—reminding yourself of the good in your life when you’re feeling down—but you know, gratitude journals are just not emotionally satisfying. If I’m having a bad day and there’s this journal telling me, “you’re not allowed to feel bad because you have a roof over your head and nice parents and a job and you’re not dying,” then your emotions go invalidated. Journals, aka, writing that you DON’T plan on sharing, should be completely cathartic. You should be swimming in your own torment, no matter how trivial it is. When did reminding yourself that you had no “real” problems really make you feel better about your “fake” problems? To quote the great Oprah, “pain is pain and all pain’s the same.”  (Well, except when it’s not).

I believe it was back in the winter of 2009 when I felt the urge to start a list of things I hated. I guess I was in kind of a funk. Everything was upsetting me, but nothing was wrong, so I decided to just start writing. The first five things on the list of Things That I Hate were “getting out of bed,” “not drinking coffee,” “going to the bathroom,” “being cold,” and “sitting uncomfortably/feeling like I should not be sitting.” I read my list and laughed. Already I felt so much better. You may say, "Well gee, Brigette, if it’s hard to get out of bed, maybe you should talk to a doctor?" To you I say, "A hate list won’t give you night sweats and uncontrollable bowels like anti-depressants can." Boom.

It is now three years later, and my list is up to 156 items. Here are some of the most special ones:

11) having to stand up to get dressed
24) my deteriorating eyelashes 
 (Ok, I don't remember this time in my life; my eyelashes are fine now. But even if they weren't, no way in hell would I ever use LATISSE, which terrifies me. I hate this commercial. And now I hate Clare Danes for being so creepy.)

39) sitting/moving
40) wind 
53) having to walk around objects that are in my way
61) how dumb my saddle shoes look
They only belong on child-sized feet.

69) having to do work of any kind
91) discontent/ dangerous contentment
94) others
98) how I’ve only gotten fatter and more hungry since joining Fitness USA.
I hate that it is no longer socially acceptable to dress like this when you workout.

107) When Harry Met Sally is not real life (or at least not mine). 

125) These tests say I’m a Hufflepuff.
126) How much I am stressing over these Sorting Hat tests. LAME.

Hufflepuffs are pushovers.
137) American Idol psychosis 
(My blood still boils at the injustice. Voting for Haley Reinhart 150 times every Wednesday night got really exhausting.)

144) Normal lives
145) Normal people
150) Living vicariously through others
151) Sitting down to work on my writing but then reading half a page and staring off into space for an hour
152) Time
(I've got too much time on my hands and it's ticking away from me.)

A hate list doesn’t judge. It doesn’t shake its head and laugh and roll its eyes as any loved one would if you said, “You know what, I just hate sitting slash moving.”  It doesn’t immediately try to refocus your attention on the good. It says, FEEL IT, GIRL. Just feel it.

154) I hate that someone else published their hate list.

A few months ago, I was sauntering through the humor section at Barns and Noble and came across something that caught my eye. It was a book called I Hate Everything. I paused. I picked it up, flipped through it, and quickly discovered that someone else had PUBLISHED his hate list and was making millions (thousands? Hundreds?) I went to the Facebook page for his book and we exchanged banter. He told me he is also going to publish a Hate Journal. I told him that I hated how awesome that was. The whole thing is just very irritating.

Regardless of who thought of this idea “first,” I think it’s very important that everyone has his or her own hate list. Whenever a friend is feeling blue, I’m like, "honey chile, you need a hate list."

Maybe your hate list will be heavier than mine. Maybe it will be like, “I hate that my dad is in prison. I hate that the house fire destroyed everything, including my children's baby pictures. I hate that last week, I had to eat my dog to survive.” Or maybe it will be even lighter than mine, like, “I hate how many boys are pursuing me right now. I hate that my brand new car just won’t lose that new car smell. I hate that I only found $50 on the side walk and not $75.” Whatever. It doesn’t matter where you fall on the spectrum. Just make a list. Keep it in a handy place, and pull it out whenever the “little things” turn from one irksome fly into a swarm of insects, sucking out your blood, threatening to destroy you.

Other lists are a good idea too. I thought about sharing my “Things that are Gross” list, but I realized it would offend too many people, and I probably shouldn’t.

What about you? What kinds of things would appear on your hate list if you were to make one today? And are there any lists that you would like to create yourself? Please, share with us.


  1. Great post! Here are a few of mine:

    I hate Sunday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.
    I hate talking on the phone.
    I hate collecting the garbage from the upstairs rooms at my parent's house.

  2. Oh my god Courtney, Sunday afternoons at 4 PM are THE WORST!

  3. I hate when people like their own facebook statuses, etc.