Cracked.com / Diary / Satirical / Some Advice / Uncategorized

EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT (OR, SAVE YOUR F***S) pt. 1

I. CONTEXT:

The expression “I don’t give a f***”. Old people would say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Means: “I refuse to invest emotionally in this.”

II. BREAKING NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS AND LOSING INTEREST IN HOBBIES

A. Guitar and Music 

In 5th grade, we learned how to play guitar. Our music teacher was old, so we were learning songs like “Leaving On a Jet Plane” and “Ocean Drive” and Elvis Presley songs. It was endless frustration. None of the guitars in the music room had nylon strings, and metal strings hurt like hell. Most of us learned just well enough to pass the practical exam, and never picked up a guitar again afterwards.

I myself didn’t play guitar again until 7th grade, when I began listening to [redacted] and, in general, became aware that music was a thing. Before that, I only ever spent my allowance on books (because I had no friends and didn’t need any money for going out). After that, I saved up for my favorite albums and listened to them for hours on end, fingering the liner notes, reading the lyrics over and over again and staring at the musician’s faces.

I lugged the 20-pound stereo that no one used anymore up to my room. After school, I’d sit on my bedroom floor as the sun went down and listened and listened and my heavy little heart would lift and fly. Nobody in my life understood me, but [redacted] sure did! (Adorable, I know.)

I wanted to make music just like them, so I got a guitar and taught myself how to play on the internet. It was very slow going. It was frustrating, too, and it hurt a lot but I didn’t care.

B. Languages 

From the satirical blog Stuff White People Like:

By far the most common self-improvement promise is to learn a new language.

This plan is first formulated when white people realize that two years of college Italian does not confer fluency. For the most part, these classes will only teach a white person how to order food in a restaurant, ask for a train schedule, and over-pronounce words when they are mixed into English. Amazingly this small amount of proficiency is more than enough to warrant inclusion on a resume under “spoken languages.”

For many white people the lack of a second language is their greatest secret shame. It fills them with so much shame that they will literally spend the rest of their lives promising to learn a new language, but not so much shame that they will actually do it.

In order to reach this level of fluency and obnoxiousness, white people believe they must put themselves into a local immersion. This means a promise to watch only Spanish language TV, listen only to Spanish language radio, read Marquez in his native tongue, and watch foreign films with the subtitles turned off. There are some instances of white people doing this for almost a week!

When this technique is unavailable or fails, white people will immediately turn to books and computer software as a last ditch effort to make good on their promise. After about a week, most white people will give up and blame someone for their failure (”this software is terrible,” “there aren’t enough people in Portland who speak Farsi!”). But rather than discarding the books and software packaging, white people will simply put them in the most visible part of their book shelf. This allows white people to believe that they have not failed since they can resume their studies at any time until their death.

There are many [redacted]-speaking people in my school. For some time now, I’ve been thinking to myself, “Since I’m here, I should probably learn how to speak [redacted].” It was just an idle thought.

Then, recently, I was looking for directions to a building, and approached two people who were working together on a display. When I spoke to them, I realized that one of them only spoke [redacted]. The other one gave me directions and I thanked him and gave an awkward little bow and smile to the other one. It was the first time I can remember actually feeling like I needed to know how to speak that language. I had the sense of being separated from a person by a wall, and I wanted to break that wall.

D. Women’s Rights

For some time last year, I’d been thinking to myself, “I should probably volunteer for women’s rights.” It was just an idle thought. I felt like it wasn’t, but it was.

Then one day, I was in an FX which was showing the movie Taken. I’d watched it before, but since I was depressed all the time, nothing could really make me feel sad. When I saw it that time, though, I started crying. The next day I signed up for a women’s rights agency.

(I went only a couple of times before I figured out it was bullshit, but at least I went, which was something I’d never done before.)

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