My Life, The Editing Room

I just finished watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” for the first time because when it came out I was living in DC, and movie theaters : DC :: lions : Antarctica.

I noticed that, much like many Hollywood movies, they cut out the uncomfortable or banal daily happenings of characters’ lives.  When do the main characters in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 eat?  Shower?  Sleep?  Never.  Jack Sparrow pooping in the jungle while the rest of his pirate party waits for him to wrap it up just isn’t as cinematic.

As I was watching, I realized that there are a lot of glamorous–and unglamorous–things I do in my life.   No matter how cool it may seem, it can always be made better by editing.

I recently spoke to a friend who didn’t get that memo about editing your life.  The constant Facebook pressure of her friends being fabulous and successful was giving her severe inadequacy issues.

“Lindy, every day on Facebook I see that 45 of my friends have gotten engaged, married, or pregnant, with new cars and first houses and exotic vacations, and all I can think to myself is that I still don’t know how to correctly cook a Hot Pocket all the way through.”

First of all, that’s near impossible.  Cooking a Hot Pocket all the way through is like lightly roasting a golden brown  marshmallow–impossible without selling your soul to an evil wizard.  I felt her choice of snack was more indicative of her point in life more than whether or not she seared her diarrhetic packaged food completely.

“Social media is all a just a highlights reel,” I said, nodding.  “Do you honestly think they’re going to tell you that they hate their new job that makes them work 15 hours a day?  Or that they’re so deeply in debt that any meal they eat at home is Easy Mac?  No.  They’re going to say, ‘MADE IT TO GEISHA HOUSE! #SUSHIGORGE.’

To be fair, I can’t even hate people for it.  I do it ALL the time.  When I was traveling, my Instagram account was filled of pictures of the Alps, Danish marinas, and Italian lemon orchards.  It certainly was NOT filled with pictures of me sleeping in a parka on a train station floor, my fourth day in a row wearing the same crunchy unwashed outfit, or the interminable hours spent staring out of train windows.  It’s the highlights reel.

This made me think about other things in my life that I would edit out if I could.  I know, I know, people always say, “It’s your day-to-day actions that make you who you are.”  But truthfully, I don’t see how cleaning my cat’s litter box on demand every 36 hours is improving my character.  (But I suppose it does serve as a humbling reminder.  No matter how successful I become, an 8-pound ball of indifference, fur, and entitlement can still convince me to clean up its crap.)

So here’s my list of things I would edit out of my life movie to advance the plot line:

  • Sleeping.  Unless I take an Ambien, then all rules are out the window.
  • Going to the bathroom.  Enough said.
  • Standing in front of the fridge deciding what to eat.  Decisions, decisions…life’s wasted minutes.
  • Commuting.
  • Parking.  Unless it’s a tight parallel spot.  Then you wanna watch.
  • Waiting rooms where I’ll catch another disease and be forced to read Highlights Magazine 3 times through before seeing my doctor.
  • Grocery shopping.  Who needs to see me over-buy Milky Way bars and two-buck Chuck?
  • Showering.  Especially at the Bates Motel.
  • Drying my hair, making my bed, or any other morning ritual that could easily be montaged-away.
  • Working out.  The only time it will be sexy is in a Carmen Electra striptease video or playing beach volleyball with a bunch of Brazilian hardbodies.
  • Cleaning.
  • Fixing the toilet.  I’m not Al from “Home Improvement.”
  • Biking to work.  Damn hippies and my own damn poverty.
  • The DMV.  Scratch that.  Murders have probably taken place here.
  • Mending clothes with holes.  This is only interesting when it’s talking mice doing it for Cinderella.
  • Being on hold.  (No snappy comment here. This is the pits.)
  • Chores and errands
  • Shopping by myself
  • All the hours I spend on the computer.  No wonder I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency.

Do they sell an editing program for this?  I know several interested parties.

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