When I was 23, I left New York for Northern California in search of a gentler way of life. I’ve loved living here ever since, and can’t imagine anyplace feeling more like home. However, there are moments when it’s clear to me that despite my improved attitude, I will never, ever, completely fit in here.
For anyone who wants to help, I’ve assembled a list of simple requests:
1. Please do not say “solstice” to me. Nothing you can say is going to make me excited that today is the solstice. No, really. I don’t care.
2. Please don’t tell me that today is your “chronological birthday.” I will not ask you what you mean by that, and we will both end up annoyed.
3. Please do not try to sell me on the benefits of Bikram yoga. I assure you that I have tried Bikram yoga. It is not for me. I do not enjoy being trapped for 90 minutes in a room that smells like feet. I do not enjoy being steamed alive in the unwashed-body vapors of men wearing man-buns and women who use crystals in place of deodorant.
4. Unless we are very good friends, please do not force me to take off my shoes/boots in your house. I feel naked and short and incomplete without them. I like my shoes/boots. That’s why I put them on this morning.
5. Under no circumstances will I accept your offer of “freshly cultured kefir” that you made using your own breast milk. And no, you may not have any of my breast milk to use for the next batch.
6. I will cooperate with composting. But please do not leave the compost bin open on the kitchen counter. In New York, we have a name for a compost bin that sits open on the kitchen counter: A Stinking Bag of Rotting Garbage.