What You Brag About “Not Doing,” Translated

What You Brag About “Not Doing,” Translated


For individuals in this era, nothing is more interesting, and nothing is more authentically representative of self, than the things you simply don’t do.

What you say you don’t do: “I don’t have a Facebook account.”

Translation: “I am an invisible Facebook creeper who spends 11 minutes of each hour refreshing Twitter. Yesterday I pretended I’d never heard of the show How I Met Your Mother even though I watched half a season on a plane on my way to my uncle’s funeral—even though there were two Kubrick films available for viewing. And a Fellini. And Game of Thrones. And I laughed. ‘Til. I. cried, man.”

What you say you don’t do: “I don’t eat meat.”

Translation: “I eat a lot of pizza. Like, tons of pizza. And chicken here or there when no one is looking—but only chicken breast—and maybe a burger because of my, you know, anemia. I love, love, love baby carrots in ranch dressing. And bacon doesn’t really count when it’s that finely chopped.”

What you say you don’t do: “I don’t have a television.”

Translation: “I have a $1700 notebook computer and I once lost a week of my life in a Hulu-exclusive-series spiral and Bangs-videos vortex.”

 What you say you don’t do: “I don’t drive.”

Translation: “I make $47,000 as a graphic designer. But I mostly spend money on 90-pound DJ equipment and rare German singles. And taxi rides to my DJ gigs when I can’t get a ride from my roommate’s girlfriend.”

What you say you don’t do: “I don’t define myself by labels like ‘feminist.’”

Translation: “I went to college with a feminist and she wasn’t very attractive. She also dressed poorly. Blech. But I definitely believe in equal rights for men and women and, like, any other gender and it definitely wouldn’t be fair if a man and woman did the same job equally well and the woman was paid less just because she was a woman.”

What you say you don’t do: “I don’t really read a lot of contemporary literature.”

Translation: “Hmm, I was thinking I had this one but you are definitely going to win this category. I did, however, page through a New Yorker three weeks ago and I do, however, have at least three vintage-y copies of each Salinger novel. Or am I thinking Fitzgerald? Crap.”

Non-action: “I don’t know who Kim Kardashian is.”

Translation: “I am a liar. I tell lies. I am lying.”

-Summer Grimes lives in Minneapolis. She tweets and writes Hobo Siren. She does not have a cat.