I should clean out my bathroom drawers. They are filled with half-used travel-sized toothpaste and old scented lotions someone once gave me that I don’t really like. They’re just taking up space, and if I threw them away, maybe my bathroom would finally look like something out of a shelter mag — white and gleaming and organized to a T. But, to get to that point, I should clean the tub first.
While I’m on this organizational jag, I should take that pile of old clothes to Goodwill, but only after I figure out what I can sell on eBay. Or, maybe I should look into one of those new online consignment shops. I read about them all the time. What’s that one called again?
I should look up the name of that site, and the name of a good eye cream. And, I need to finally get around to ordering my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. Yes, I realize it’s the end of July. But, I had such a good idea — if only I had 10 minutes to finish the project. Thankfully, my mother is trying to do it all, too, so she understands that gifts never come in on time. She is the queen of the I.O.U.
Speaking of gifts, I owe presents to three couples who got married last year. If you’re reading this, I’m thinking of you — I just haven’t found quite the right gift. I should really mail my college prof a copy of that book I edited five years ago. It’s been sitting in a box in my apartment for the last four years. At least it's in a box. I need to send my husband’s godfather’s son a graduation gift. Thankfully, he only graduated in May. And, I need to return a book to my friend in Cincinnati. Pat, I’ve got your copy of A Marriage Plot. Sorry it’s been sitting on my shelf for three years. At least I read it?
I am perpetually behind in my reading. Who has time for it all? I should be reading that article in The New Republic. And, that one in the New Yorker. And, I promised my colleague I would read her first draft of a story about cheerleading — that is my job. And, I need to read my husband’s Beastie Boys review. I promise to get to that. And, Moby Dick. Shouldn’t I read Moby Dick? It's THE great American novel. I'll get to it just after last week's Sunday Times. Yes, I realize it’s Friday. And, yes, I did just play three rounds of Word Warp on the train.
I should be listening to This American Life. And, On The Media. Speaking of NPR, I really should become a subscribing member. I listen every morning as I get ready for work, and I feel really guilty when they do those pledge drives. I always think: This time I will become a sustaining member! And, then I can finally get that subscription to The New Yorker, so I can finally check out that article I’ve been meaning to read.
I should be planning my best friend’s baby shower. It’s just three weeks away, and I’ve got nothing planned. I should be perusing Pinterest for cute crafts and homemade favors to make. Jen, if you’re reading this, I promise it will be lovely.
Maybe after I spend an hour pinning party-planning ideas, I should watch Orange Is The New Black. Or, maybe Top Of The Lake. I should probably get into Masters Of Sex. But, I still haven’t finished Breaking Bad. Add to the list Game Of Thrones, The Leftovers, House Of Cards, and The Wire. Yes, I know everyone raves about The Wire, but man, when did watching TV become such a competitive sport?
I should go to Pilates. I used to go to Pilates. I used to have semi-sculpted arms. When did I have time for that? Why don’t I have time for that now? Michelle Obama has time to work out, I should have time to work out. I should also go for a run tomorrow morning. That seven-mile race is coming up in less than a month. When is the last time I actually ran seven miles? I should do that this weekend.
I should be working with my husband on that idea for our novel. It is such a good idea. It should be more than an idea. We should institute a writing schedule. Once we nail down the plot particulars. We should really do that. It's destined to be a best seller. You always hear about those people who write novels in their free time — why can't that be us?
While we’re at it, we should finish building the desk we bought legs for three months ago. We should take that suitcase in the bedroom to be repaired. It’s been sitting in a corner since last August when I realized the wheel was busted. We should rearrange the kitchen cupboards and find a place to hang that piece of art my brother gave us two years ago. We should have a party — that might inspire us to finally get organized. Oh wait, we’re hosting a baby shower next month. I really should plan that.
I should eat a healthy breakfast and send an email to my mother-in-law and make plans to have friends over for dinner. I love dinner parties. I should buy flowers. There are not enough flowers in my life. I should take a flower-arranging class. Crap, I really should water my plants. I just killed two in a row. I can't kill a third.
I should make plans to hang out with my brother. We should go to a baseball game. I should take a picnic to Prospect Park. It's summer, and I have not done enough summery things. There's outdoor concerts, and a trip to Governors Island, and maybe Far Rockaways. Everyone says we should go there.
I should do laundry. I should put away my clothes. I should think about my future. I should have a five-year plan. Maybe if I had a plan, I could get more of this shit done. Maybe?
I should wrap up this story, because there are other stories to write and to edit and there are other things I should be doing. And, if I keep stressing over this endless list, I’ll only need more eye cream. And, we already established I don't have any.