I’m not sure if “I would prefer not to” is the exact expression, but whatever Bartleby the Scrivener’s refrain is, it’s drawn a fair share of naysaying praise (oxymoron alert!) from the curmudgeons of the world (and they are legion). Making a list of my own, I see that some things I always prefer not to do, others I occasionally prefer not to do, and a last group I never prefer not to do (Double Negative Heaven)! With apologies to Herman Melville, then…
I always prefer not to…
- take a group selfie… Instead I ask a nearby stranger to photograph us (people love easy ways to help their fellow man) or take a picture of the remaining members of my party myself.
- take a “pure” selfie while smiling at (bad) or contorting (worse) my face… I’m not sure what “lone selfies” are a metaphor for, but it isn’t good.
- watch a television series religiously (the time investment!).
- go to more than one movie a year (see above!).
- eat liver (if New Hampshire’s motto was “Eat Liver or Die!” I’d choose Hades’ man cave, thank you).
- buy a cellphone (computers are one tether enough).
- visit India, China, or any other places featuring the madding crowds.
- watch Super Bowl halftime shows… ever.
I occasionally prefer not to…
- visit New York City (see above — crowds, comma, madding — though I have broken this rule for love).
- wear a tie at formal events (older, bolder, less likely to care about image — within reason).
- watch Super Bowl commercials.
- meet my vow to avoid gluten every day.
- meet my vow to eat less than 25 grams of sugar every day.
- plain watch what I eat every day.
- sit more than 20 minutes at a dining room table for idle chitchat after eating.
- smile if I have no reason to.
I never prefer not to…
- make my bed if I’m the last one out of it.
- clean dishes in the sink (I can’t stand seeing morning dishes when I come home from work).
- read on any given day.
- say yes to ice cream (unless it’s a green ice cream).
- go to bed and get out of bed early.
- teach myself something new (because my ignorance is the size of Indiana).
- avoid public speaking.
- spend money on books, music, and food.