5 Things You Can Apparently Give Up Without Missing
The other day, I realized that I'd gone about two months without something that had been a nearly daily part of my life, and I didn't miss it.
What's that? Sex? Oh, man. Walked right into that one. Don't save that zinger for the comments. Share it with someone right now! Hold your smartphone under the stall wall and show the guy next to you this article. Then tell him your sick burn.
"Burn unit admit one! Via waaaaaahmbulance!"
No, the answer to what I was living without is #5 on the list below. I'd tell you what it is right now, but then I'd have one fewer entry.
Anyway, here are five things that it's easier to live without than you might think.
Yep. One day about two months ago, I was about to shave in the shower when I realized I was out of shaving cream. Thinking quickly with MacGyver-esque grace, I soaped up my face with common, ordinary, everyday soap, and then proceeded to shave.
Guess what? I didn't cut myself. It didn't hurt. I looked like a million bucks. Later that day, supermodels came up to me on the street to touch my face. Like, lots of them. After about the 36th one, I noticed that one out of every three supermodels who stopped to touch my face erupted into spontaneous orgasm. Oddly enough, an enterprising scientist was there to collect their sexual discharge and combine it with a saline solution that, when fed intravenously, has been proven to cure cancer in laboratory rats in a double-blind placebo controlled study.
Not really, Mr. Pibbles. You're still gonna die.
Wait. Maybe not all of that is true, but I did have a completely fine shave. So fine that I forgot to buy shaving cream. I mean, I'm sure if I were bleeding profusely for hours after going sans cream I would have remembered. But I forgot, and the next day, I shaved the same way again. And it kept going that way until I realized that I hadn't used shaving cream for about two months.
And it makes sense if you look up what's in shaving cream and what it does:
Stearic acid - Attracts dirt and grease and is in soap.
Surfactants - Make your skin moist
Emulsifiers - Make your skin pliable
Glycerin - Makes skin supple
Know what else does all that? Soap and a steamy shower, right? Steam opens up your pores, and I'm pretty sure wetting your face in the shower gets it nice and wet. The act of massaging soap into your skin also works the skin and applies that stearic acid. Indeed, that's what early shaving cream was: sticks of soap that your barber (who presumably had a silly mustache and black, slicked, parted hair) would work into your face with brushes.
But even though it made sense, it was odd that I could suddenly live without something I used to use every day, almost without noticing. "I bet that would make a good Cracked list," I said to myself, but I didn't bother to reply (to myself). Anyway, I came up with four more examples while I was sexually exploding supermodels with my face.
So in my early 20's, I decided to up the ante on Judaism. I didn't start keeping kosher, but I did stop eating certain proscribed foods. Specifically, bacon.
"ZOMG, I LOVE BACON. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER COULD I EVER GIVE IT UP!"
I bet some of you just said that. Yes, you. The one in that shirt.
Anyway, normally I would agree with you (even if you scream in all caps and use "ZOMG" in everyday conversations you hold with online columnists). But you're forgetting one thing: turkey bacon.
Yeah, you heard me. I said it. Turkey bacon. I don't mean that all-organic gray matter shoe leather they sell in Whole Foods that they call "bacon," even though that makes as much sense as calling Cracked's Felix Clay "not a fucking pervert." That is garbage. I mean the Oscar Mayer turkey bacon that's loaded up with all the same nitrates that give you cancer as normal bacon, but with like a third of the calories and fat. Have you had that? Indeed, a random sampling of bacon vs. turkey bacon ingredients online shows a tremendous overlap of these two bad-for-you products:
Yeah, it also totally sucks for you! Put it on your egg and cheese sandwich next time. It has all the meaty saltiness you're craving. I love the taste of bacon and have not missed it at all for over a decade, because turkey bacon scratches that itch just fine.
When I was a little boy, I went to the 809-year-old Italian dude around the corner for my haircuts. He wore one of those old-fashioned little outfits, had a jar of that blue liquid stuff, and gave me a lollipop when it was all over (remarkably similar to the kind of sexual encounter you can experience in the basement of Cracked's own Felix Clay).
Then you get older and you want to graduate from the bowl cut, so you start spending more money. Then at some point, even if you're not a metrosexual, you get a stylist. Well that costs money, and when the recession hit several years ago, I suddenly had a lot less of it, so it was off to Supercuts.
And it comes with coupons!
Most employees of this much-maligned chain are just as capable of shaving the sides and back of my head with a 2.5 razor setting and giving the top a scissor trim as a stylist. For most dudes, it really is that easy, and there's no reason to spend more, other than doing so for the privilege of not admitting that you get your hair cut at Supercuts. Well, guess what? I get my hair cut at Supercuts. Don't care, don't care, don't care. I don't miss Sergio at Monsieur Fancypant's Styling Spa at all.
Here's something else I gave up, but not out of monetary concern. After all, shoeshines are pretty cheap, and I used to get them fairly regularly, as do most dudes who wear suits and/or business casual for their day jobs. It's just a thing you do. But I never liked it. It makes you feel like "The Man" in a way that always brings discomfort. Sitting up there on your throne, literally looking down at someone servicing you for money (also a lot like a sexual experience in the basement of Cracked's Felix Clay).
Anyway, a while back I had meant to get a shine, but there was never a convenient time, so I kept putting it off until my shoes looked pretty beat. And wouldn't you know it? I had an important engagement the next morning requiring me to not look like human garbage. What to do? All the neighborhood shoeshineries were closed! I went to the 24-hour drugstore, where they had a full line of lovely Kiwi products:
And real shoe polish.
I'm lazy, so I grabbed the Door Number 2 option, which is just like a giant leaky Magic Marker for your shoes. But y'know what? It was fine. No scuffs on my shoes the next day and no creepy getting-serviced-by-strangers feeling (I bet you thought I was gonna take another shot at Felix here. Grow up!).
Your Favorite Show
One of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad, ended last year. And I think we were all shocked to learn that the whole show was just a dream on purgatory island that ended when Heisenberg was devoured by the smoke monster.
The point is, Breaking Bad is gone, and it's tempting to say, "Oh, man, I don't know what I'll do without it," or "Oh no, don't go," or "Hey, how come they never explained why a chemistry genius wasn't able to teach on the college level, or at the very least make more money as an industrial chemist?"
Sorry, I've gone astray. Anyway, losing Breaking Bad is sad, but I've lived through the loss of The Wire and Six Feet Under. Yes, I couldn't have loved either show more, but when they ended, they didn't go away. They completed a story. They finished what they started. You haven't lost it; you've lost the act of watching it. But every experience it gave you remains. When something sets out to do something, does it, and ends well (and I guess this applies to more than shows, right?), I find that the act of "missing" really packs a smaller punch than you'd ever imagine.
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For more from Gladstone, check out 5 Life Hacks to Class Up Your Single Guy Apartment. And then check out 25 Amazing Life Hacks You Won't Believe You Didn't Know.