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Autumnal Grievances: What You Don’t Need To Care About, According To Me

By Anne T. Donahue

Every autumn, I like to take stock of what awaits me. Soon, it will be cooler. Pumpkins will be everywhere, likely organizing, and certainly conspiring to strike against us after years of our torment and bad Halloween designs. Then: Christmas. But because that’s so far away and we’re only a handful of days into fall, I refuse to acknowledge it or anything remotely affiliated with winter and choose to forge ahead into what truly matters.

Mainly, the things it’s okay not to care about for the next few months.

Autumn brings with it lists and round-ups of promise. There are new products. There are new musicians. There are new movies. There are new trends. And some of these things I cherish already. But as someone who’s arguably a senior citizen hiding in the body of a 34-year-old, I’m finding it harder and harder to care about things I absolutely do not care about. I’m tired. I’m Elaine Benes when she says she’ll go someplace if she doesn’t have to talk. I’m lazy, and I don’t feel sad or upset about it. Yesterday, my friend Stacey and I went to a restaurant “event,” took one look around, and realized this was not our world so we left and went to a bar that served pickled onions with olives and cheese with tiny slices of bread. Which, for the record was a dream come true.

So with that energy in mind, here’s what I’ve given you permission not to give a single care about, because friends, I surely do not.

Vaping
Don’t get me wrong, I care about the health repercussions, but certainly not enough to tell anybody not to vape. Would I vape? Absolutely not, I would rather melt into the sea. Do I want to date a man who vapes? We would absolutely not be compatible. Do I have strong feelings about vaping? Or about vape stores? Or about people who treat vaping with the enthusiasm of some fighting for the right to vote? Yes, but only insofar that I try very hard to live my life away from this. May autumn be another season I remain vape-free. I just ate a bunch of gummi watermelon candy for brunch.

Joker
How is it possible to be so tired in regards to something that hasn’t even really happened yet? Because I am. I’m exhausted. I don’t care about the Joker. Wait – I do not care about the Joker anymore. Outside of Heath Ledger, he’s a boring guy. He likes chaos (ooh la la) and something-something society, and damn it, we are weeks from every dude on Twitter dot com telling me why I’m wrong not to want to scurry into a theatre to see a movie about a guy who loves stand-up and unflattering haircuts. Imagine seeing that movie when Hustlers exists. Imagine choosing it over any other movie. I just fell asleep at my laptop even thinking of Joaquin Phoenix dramatically dancing down a staircase. I can’t care about this, you guys. No.

Anyone who has strong anti-pumpkin spice opinions
It is the year of our lord 2019. I’m sorry you don’t like a flavor. What do you want me to do about it? Yes, it’s too much because it’s everywhere but honestly so are smoothies. Please stop letting a flavor affect your life.

Succession
JUST KIDDING, I love Succession and I want all of you to watch it to so we can talk about it all the time. (How mad did you guys just get thinking I was serious, by the way? I would never! I have excellent and perfect taste.)

Beyond meat anything
Do you like meat? Cool! Do you not? Also fine! But please let me throw something out into your waiting arms in case you’re waiting to comment on why I am wrong to not advocate for plant-based meal options: if you are allergic to soy, coconut, or mushroom (as I am), most plant-based meals are a complete waste because shortly after consumption they will evacuate. For days.

Be vegan, be vegetarian, look after your health, ease up on the red meat because heart health is cool, but so help me whatever-higher-power-you-believe-in, I have zero amounts of time to feel bad about eating food that won’t make me terribly ill. But I promise we can still all eat together.

Kardashians as feminist heroes
The Kardashian women have built empires based on the wealth they were born into and spurred on by the wealth accumulated by smart business decisions. Contrary to what some of us argued circa 2014 (because lord knows I did), this does not make somebody a feminist. This makes someone a capitalist. And seriously, do you everybody, but to mix up the two causes all sorts of classist and elitist problems (to name a few).

Or, as my Dad would yell at me as a child throwing a shit-fit over something stupid, “THAT’S ENOUGH.” It is enough. Let’s move on.

Wellness
No. No, absolutely not. I can’t care. I can’t! I don’t. First, don’t sell me something with a hidden message that without that thing, my body is wrong or bad. Second, what is “wellness”? Seriously? I’m genuinely asking. Is it Goop? Is it something at Sephora? Is it naptime? Is it mindfulness? (A phrase I hate so much that my therapist has vowed never ever to use it in a session with me.) Is it makeup? Is it crystals? Is it like when I danced around my backyard with my friends in grade school and performed “routines”? Is it a “routine”?

I don’t want to know. I’m just out here drinking cranberry ginger ale and trying to figure out when to drink my next coffee. I am too cynical to assume that real wellness is anything other than survival. Are you alive? You’re doing amazing, sweetie. Do what you have to do to stay alive. But know that you certainly don’t have to buy detox tea to make it to tomorrow. In fact, you will likely have to go to the bathroom too much and then you will know how I feel when I eat soy, coconut, or mushrooms. And that, my friend, isn’t wellness at all.

Self-care
Honestly, the definition has changed so much that I don’t recognize it anymore. So without wasting anymore of anybody’s time: I’m sorry to that man.

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