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Fun Ways To Kick the Bucket (List)

Brace yourselves, I'm about to say something shocking. Are you ready? Here it is:

I have a lot of pet peeves.

What? You already knew that??? Did my entire page devoted to pet peeves tip you off? Man, y'all are a bunch of smart cookies.

Anyway, the peeve of the day is Bucket Lists. When used responsibly, they're fine - but people have started using that term for every kind of to-do list, wish list, and grocery list they write, as long as it has a deadline.

Maybe this is picky (of course it is!), but the deadline for a bucket list is "by the time you're actually dead." So, technically, you can't have a Bucket List of Things To Eat While I'm on Vacation, or a Bucket List of Shoes I Want To Buy Before My Employer Blocks eBay On My Work Computer. Both of those are excellent lists to have, but are they Bucket Lists? I don't think so.

Does that stop me from doing it too? I don't think so.  For example, I present to you:

My Bucket List For the Summer

Summer Plan

I wrote a few more non-bucket-list bucket lists, including one for my neighbor that I think he'd be very interested to read. Or at least I'd be interested in him reading it, because then maybe he'd move far away from me. Reprinted here with permission from In The Powder Room, where I originally published this, are the many ways I can abuse a perfectly decent list.

Bucket lists became pretty popular a few years ago, after that movie came out. You don't see them floating around the internet as much these days, but for a while there folks made their lists and checked them twice, detailing all the grand plans and projects they hoped to get accomplished before receiving that Final Checkmark from the great listmaker in the sky.

Of course, as with most popular words and phrases — "man cave," "literally," and "awesome," to name a few — it was only a matter of time before it went from being used, to overused, to flat-out misused. Such was the fate of the bucket list.

I was reminded of Bucket List misuse the other day when I heard someone reference her "Bucket List for things I want to do before I'm 30." People, I hate to nitpick (that's a lie — I love to nitpick), but I don't think you can say that. The term Bucket List comes from the idiom, "kick the bucket," so unless you're planning to permanently check out on your thirtieth birthday, those are the wrong words for the thing you mean.

Still, if there's one thing I love (besides complaining about my nitpicky pet peeves, then being a complete hypocrite and doing exactly what I complained about), it's hopping on a bandwagon. And if the bandwagon is old and broken down from termite damage and hardly anybody else is still on it anymore, so much the better. That's why, before it's too late, I want to misuse a few bucket lists, too.

Bucket List for things I want to do before I'm 40

  • learn to mute the TV before a used car salesman starts screaming
  • button the jeans I wore in college (bonus points if I'm wearing them)
  • remember to return my library books on time, just once
  • prove to the kids that, See? I told you we weren't getting a pet snake

Bucket List for things I want to do before dinner
  • think of something to make for dinner
  • talk my husband into making it

Bucket List for things I want my neighbor to do before I kill him

  • figure out where the property line is; stay on his side
  • realize that setting fire to his hedges is not an acceptable way to prune them
  • stop collecting dogs and putting them on leashes so long that they reach my front door
  • close the windows before commencing any all-day George Michael musical tributes

Bucket List for my toddler

  • set record for number of times the floor gets peed on in one day while Mommy's trying to get the training potty open
  • affix stickers to all the things
  • inform everyone on the planet that their stuff is mine

I can see now why Bucket Lists are getting misused — making one for my neighbor was way more fun and less scary than thinking of adventurous things I'd have to do. While I'm at it, I think I'll sign him up for skydiving, too.

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Emily said...

I like the one about breaking my sunglasses - only I tend to lose more pairs than I break. Same end result though - off to buy a new pair!

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

It's always right after I decide they're super comfortable and just the right amount of tinted - that's the kiss of death for sunglasses!

Notso supermom said...

ok, our neighbors celebrate the same "Month of July" fireworks displays. Aren't we lucky? Although I do want to point out that if they do it enough, you really shouldn't need to remove your eardrums. win-win? also, I assume your hubby did not win the new grill? that sucks. :( but I am on board with that flip flop tan! yay summer!

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

I guess you're right, I can just keep my busted up eardrums - yay! And speaking of busted up, no, we didn't win the grill (boo!) but THANK YOU for your support! In a rare show of neighborly usefulness, however, some other neighbors threw away a grill over the weekend that was way nicer than our death trap grill, so being the super classy people we are, we inherited their garbage. If any occasion called for a yee haw and a git-r-done, this would be it. ;)

Carisa Miller said...

I am seriously concerned about the children's potential hyper-hydration via watermelon.

hilary said...

I love the bucket list - especially number one....

I live on the beach, the home of rust, in my neck of the woods rust is added to the pyramid because there is no escaping it!

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Don't worry, the rest of their diet is 87% salt, so it balances out.

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Good to know! I'll just tell everyone we adopted our grill from a beachy location - like the bottom of the ocean. ;)

Amy at Funny is Family said...

I fancied myself a superfan until I realized you had a "pet peeves" page that I never noticed before. After reading it, I'm kind of nervous about "using" these quotation marks.

Skew the Jen Mold said...

The sunglasses one. Totally me. And you know what's ridiculous? I keep the broken ones. Who does that?

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

Oh, you "don't" need to worry. I "never" hold improper quote usage against anyone. ;)

Robyn of HollowTreeVentures said...

No judgement here - there have been plenty of time I didn't get replacements quick enough and found myself wishing I'd kept the broken ones. Especially if just one earpiece broke off; you can still make those work if you hold your head sideways!

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