Sometimes I think about writing a book. Not a thoughtful novel filled with witty characters with irritatingly unique names like March or Shark or Journey. Not a thin book of essays detailing the true bizarre greatness of my family, an ode to Sedaris genius in less than 200 pages. Not even an easy page turner about single girls who wear expensive shoes and find love only after they’ve publicly humiliated themselves or spent time in a Thai prison. No, I think about writing an instruction manual. For life.
It would start off like this:
Chapter 1: BE KIND
This chapter would be one page long. It would have this quote
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”- Kurt Vonnegut
And at the bottom would be a picture of me giving you the thumbs up. Because I mean, what else can someone SAY after Kurt drops that sort of knowledge down on you?
Chapter 2: SAY YES
Clearly I’d have to think of more stuff to say after sharing Kurt’s wisdom. Even I realize a book with only one page in it probably won’t sell a lot of copies. Well, maybe if it had a picture of a shirtless Joshua Jackson holding a puppy and at the bottom there was an amazing recipe for raspberry tarts. Sigh a girl can dream. Anyway, I would need more chapters. In this chapter I’d go into agonizing detail describing every regret I ever had. All of them involving me saying NO when I should have said YES. Like missing a free concert in Rome, turning down the date in high school with the guy who made me feel so good it should have been illegal, not eating that second piece of peach pie that I still think about 14 years later. I’d tie all this up with a bow and tell you some amazing espn turning point confession about only regretting the things I didn’t do and maybe throw in some revolutionary quip about seizing the day.
Then, in tiny font at the bottom I’d list the exceptions- the things you should always say NO to. These would be: marrying someone with a mullet (this applies to both males and females), stripping to pay for a trip to Niagara Falls (Although, I’d condone lap dances to fund a trip to Newfoundland) and attempting to liquify bacon so you could smear it on sandwiches.
Chapter 3: FIND SOME MUSIC
I’m pretty sure by this point in the book I should be talking about the role of friends or family or religion or something but you know what? If this book is going to change the world, it’s going to have to break the mold and be different. In this chapter I’d list songs that everyone should listen to at least once. Because music makes people happier. And if you disagree, maybe you should try to listen to this song and keep your frown. It will be impossible. (I may be biased, this song was the soundtrack to my university life and thus I associate it with cheap beer, cute guys and a flush bank account, thanks student loans!). And at the end of the chapter, I’d make a note of how you could send me a mixtape. Sending me one would show that you’ve read the first chapter, plus it would expand my music collection. Win-win.
I’m going to need more than three chapters obviously but I think it’s off to a roaring start.