Friday, May 8, 2009


Goals are mechanisms whereby guilt-ridden people can quantify the ways in which they feel guilty about underachievement. Not satisfied by a culture which constantly tells us we're not good enough, the gurus of the era smother us with goals like wet mattresses.

That being said, I love goals. I have dozens of them. Maybe hundreds. I figure the more goals I have, I'm proportionately less disturbed when I don't make one of them. Why, if you just have two goals in life, and you don't achieve one of them, does that mean your life was only half fulfilling?

If you have hundreds of goals, why, life is sheer bliss. Today I ate breakfast. Goal number one achieved! I biked to school without getting hit by a car. Goal number two achieved! Also, I managed to complete that bike ride without getting hit on by a girl. Goal number three achieved!* I ran on the track without panting like a mass of lard. Goal number four achieved!** I did not, however, get my homework done. But that's all right, because I got my other four goals done. I'm at 4/5 already! Bliss!

The downside about goals is sometimes you have to exert yourself to accomplish them, or somehow go out of your way to do something.

Lately I've been thinking about goal number 57. This goal falls under the "Embarrassing things I'd like to do just to overcome my fear of embarrassment" category. Goal number 57 isn't to be confused with goal number 56: Take a dish to a potluck that I have actually cooked myself.***

Goal number 57: Go to a movie by myself.

Now, I'm told this isn't that embarrassing. But I just can't believe it wouldn't be. I mean, imagine the poor family who walks into a theater and sees a 27 year old male sitting by himself in the back. Creepy? I submit it is the epitome of creepiness.

Granted, I'm not that concerned about the families. I'm more concerned about running into people I know. Specifically, female people that I know. More specifically, former girlfriends and crushes on dates. I'm trying to think of a more humbling situation than being discovered alone in a theater when your ex-girlfriend walks in with a large, attractive, rustic man. Nothing comes to mind.

That being said,**** I encourage you to set goals, to worry about goals, and to ignore the man in the back of the theater wearing a large hoodie.

*I would actually prefer this goal to remain
perpetually unachieved, and that's trick number two about goals--throw some in that you prefer to miss. Boy oh boy, I can't wait for the day when that girl in the red road bike stops and asks me where I got my sweet pegs. Goal number three unachieved!
**This goal is not always achieved.
***I think I fear this more than anything else in the world, including spiders, spiders in my mouth, spiders in my ears, large burly men with clubs made of spiders, and a spider-covered Sasquatch eating my twinkie.
****Note this is the second use of this phrase. I'm working my way up to a full chiasmus.


Jerkolas said...

Does this have anything to do with not having anyone to see Star Trek with?

chris said...

without admitting guilt, well, yes.

Jess said...

First, I love this idea of hundreds of goals....I will start practicing this immediately.

Second, goal 57 has been achieved by this JB more times than I can count. Don't be afraid. Solution to not being seen if that is where your fear lies: afternoon showings! If you need someone to hold your hand the first few times let me know and we can go together and I'll let you walk ahead of me and sit in another row. If ex-girlfriends or crushes appear then I'll change hats and be the most charming date. ;)

Third, * #1 made me die laughing!

jeremiah said...

I have also achieved goal 57, and not at some afternoon showing either. It was on a Friday night around 8 PM to see one of the Lord of the Rings (I think). I was all by my lonesome in Ithaca. (Goal #107, one up my younger brother: accomplished)

Jess said...

I would just like to state that afternoon showings are for beginners like CP, once he graduates from that maybe he'll be more likely to venture out to play with the big kids.

Jerkolas said...

Wait aren't you by Stanford? I guarantee that there are hundreds of nerds who would go see Star Trek with you there. Guarantee.

MommaMcCarthy said...

hahaha, this soooo reminds me of Jay. I think I understand him now. He is a complete check-list person (which is basically the same thing) We're talking "go to work" and "go to bed" both get their own little box. serious.

as for going to a movie alone, i don't really have any desire to do that, but Jay says he used to do it all the time. probably it wouldn't be as creepy if you didn't sit in the back row.

PS spiders in ears?!! eeeaauuuuaaaarrrrrgghhh! that's the most disturbing thing i've ever heard!

chris said...

libby, for the record, my mom once had an earache which lasted for days until she had my dad pull out his otoscope and check it out. he found a spider furiously biting her eardrum. just thought I'd drive your paranoia a bit more...