Apologies, bsk fans. I’ve been grossly irresponsible about updating my blog this month. Blame the ridiculous hours at work (and you thought only highly paid bankers worked past 10? I scoff at thee!); criticize my newly acquired, overly active social life (though fear not, Mom, I’m still comfortably ensconced in my bed by 9 p.m., of course); condemn the lack of Internet at my new digs (who knew, evidently there IS life beyond AIM!); but please, whatever you do, don’t call me useless.
Yes, useless. Anyone who has spoken to me for a period of more than 30 seconds knows that I use the word “useless” with remarkable frequency – but then, anyone who’s listened to me babble for more than 30 seconds knows that I pack a far higher words-per-second ratio than the average Sotheby’s auctioneer and can easily recite the entire dictionary in that duration. But “useless” has gained favor with me over the years as my reprimand of choice: You bail on dinner plans because you’re suffering from an unusual case of pneumonia complicated by e. boli and a pesky brain tumor? Useless. You can’t offer me sage advice on how to build my shower caddy? SO useless. You forget to return my voicemail because you’re nursing your ailing grandmother back to health? You guessed it – useless.
But I’m not self-absorbed, no sir – apart from a whole host of people or things that aggravate me personally and cramp my style on any given day, I find a great many other things to be utterly void of use to the greater public as well. To guide you, I have decided to list Sarah Khan’s Picks for the Most Useless Things in the Universe.
10. Small States. What use, pray tell, do the Rhode Islands, the Delawares, and the Connecticuts of this country serve? While it’s likely that they were originally founded for the sole purpose of offering passage to New York City from other, cooler parts of the country, it appears that, along the way, some misguided souls have set up homes and communities along these glorified highways. Useless.
10a. Big States. While small states are decidedly lacking in the use department, I do occasionally ponder the necessity of the Montanas and Utahs of the US as well. You can drive for three days and still be in the state of Texas. Brokeback Mountain may have offered us a taste of Wyoming’s burgeoning gay cowboy sector, but the state itself was so useless that they didn’t even bother shooting the movie there. The Dakotas thought they’d pull a fast one over us by splitting into two states, but, as far as I’m concerned, they’re still one big – and subsequently useless – state. And why exactly did we all have to learn how to spell Mississippi? Have we ever referenced it since, let alone written it down anywhere? And don’t even get me started on Oregon. Talk about a useless abyss. The only useful big state is Canada.
9. Bollywood Movies. Boy meets girl. Sings song. Boy hates girl. Sings song. Boy saves girl from near-certain deflowering at the hands of abundantly mustachioed villain. Sings song. Girl falls for boy. Sings song, this time accompanied by poorly-choreographed backup dancers in matching circus attire. Parents disagree, via song, to the blossoming romance, owing to disparate social statuses. Boy and girl retaliate by singing songs while running away from home. More singing and copious dancing ensues, followed by either a) parental acceptance and a wedding rife with song and dance or b) heart-wrenching joint suicide, set to the tune of a sad song. If you can find use in these cinematic abominations, then you are of no use to me. (I do like the songs, though. Did I mention they have a few?)
8. Dogs. My roommate has a dog. While this dog has yet to move in with us – apparently our apartment is not yet settled enough per his canine standards – Puffy’s impending arrival has made me acutely aware of the existence of man’s best friend. I’ve never been known to care for animals and therefore barely took any notice of them, but now everywhere I look in Manhattan, I see dogs. Trotting down the streets, attached to Louis leashes, decked out in Gucci pullovers, and festooned in bling that goes for more than my entire net worth. But the fact that these dogs are better-coiffed than me isn’t what perturbs me. These smelly critters spend their entire days prancing up and down the streets of Manhattan, and then are smothered with hugs and kisses and affection galore? I can assure you that if I were to walk down just one filthy New York City block on all fours, not only would you never touch me again, but I’d hope you’d have me admitted to NYU Medical Center and pray that the diseases I would have undoubtedly contracted during my brief jaunt would be curable. But an invitation to curl up with you in bed? Not so much. Useless dogs.
7. Brokers. Brokers serve no purpose in life except to rob poor, innocent, cute, sweet, kind, good-hearted, intelligent, lovely, curly-haired girls (and their roommates) of their meager, hard-earned savings. Hang them all, they’re useless.
6. Panhandlers. Sure, I’m poor as hell. But do you see me standing on street corners, refusing to bathe, and expecting you to fund my shoe addiction? Nope. So why on earth should I waste my paltry journalist’s pay by surrendering it to the dude in the East Village asking me for a few dollars to “buy something to eat?” Especially a dude who thinks I’m stupid enough not to notice the two slices of pizza and cup of soda already sitting there next to him? Use escapes these people.
5. The IKEA Scissors Three-Pack. We wasted an unequivocally useless day at IKEA, finding almost nothing we needed or liked – but how useless the national obsession with IKEA is can be the stuff of its own blog entry. Desperate to leave Long Island with SOMETHING to show for this generally useless expedition, I eagerly grabbed a set of three pairs of scissors. After all, I’m inclined to purchase a set of scissors because I NEED scissors, right? So what genius thought it would be a good idea to sell three pairs of scissors tightly wrapped in impenetrable binding? How the hell am I going to cut open my scissors when the scissors I need to cut them open are what are bound in the first place??? How absurdly absent of use.
4. Moving. I just did some quick calculations and realized that, since graduating college in the summer of 2003, I have moved 10 times. Frankly, I’m sick of moving. I’m sick of apartment hunting. I’m sick of packing. I’m sick of bizarro roommates and eccentric landlords. I’m sick of wrapping my dishes in newspaper and then reading week-old headlines when I finally unpack. I’m sick of forgetting my contact lens solution, my toothbrush, my charger, or my hair gel at one place or the other. I’m sick of placing bets on what beloved item will break this time (oh glass lota, you served me well, if only you survived the grueling trek to New York). Though I’ve been moving all my life – sometimes from country to country, other times from one apartment to another just a few blocks away – I’ve decided I’m sooooo over it. I quit. I’m staying in this tiny overpriced Manhattan apartment until the super comes by to forcibly extricate me from it. Moving is SUCH a utilitarian nightmare (aka useless).
3. Elevator Men. Sure I majored in English, and I may only have a master’s degree in journalism to my name, but I don’t think I’m SO useless in math that I’m incapable of pressing the correct number to navigate my way to my desired floor. The sheer lack of use displayed by this job boggles my mind.
2. LOL. Next time you instinctively reach for the L on your keyboard to express amusement, think twice. Are you really, truly, laughing aloud? If your webcam had inadvertently been left on, would your chat partner see through this fallacy and call you out for the true fraud you are? Don’t be a hypocrite, friend. If you aren’t honestly L-O-L-ing, then don’t LOL. And if you really are – well, that speaks to a greater issue. Why the hell are you laughing out loud at a computer screen anyway? Get help. Such behavior is entirely free of use.
1. BOYS. If I really have to explain this one to you, then YOU’RE useless.