Over the past 12 months, I've enjoyed my job, gone on a few trips, hung out with my three children -- ostensibly, growing more and more comfortable with life as a middle-aged woman in suburban New Jersey. I've enjoyed holiday parties, baby showers and even a One Direction concert with my pre-teenaged daughter. But as we enter 2013, there are a few requests -- or questions -- I hope not to hear.
It's not that I'm ungrateful. If you asked me to go bowling or dancing or even Christmas caroling -- I would so be there. Or if you inquired about my job or my oldest child's college search, I'd never shut up. But there are just a few "asks" I could simply do without as we enter a new year. Here they are:
1. Please don't ask me to another jewelry party in 2013.
Already almost everyone in my town is wearing the same pair of silver Stella & Dot earrings. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against the company -- I actually like their funky brooches and flashy bracelets. But I've been to so many direct-sales jewelry soirees -- at which I always feel enormous pressure to buy at least one $120 necklace, if not a lot more -- I'm starting to long for the good old Pampered Chef days. At least there was a lot more free food at those parties!
2. Please don't ask me the names of my three children's teachers.
Talk about making me feel inadequate. Yes, I know I'm supposed to view my children's teachers -- all 21 of them -- as partners. Of course I appreciate each and every one of them; I know they are not nannies but educators, and I promise that if one of them tells me about a behavior problem, they won't see any hairs stand up on the back of my neck. But when an acquaintance asks if my son has Mr. Jones or Ms. Smith this year for world literature, I'm stumped. And I'm embarrassed. As we say around The Huffington Post, I simply don't have the bandwidth to remember these kinds of details.
3. Please don't ask me if I've seen the latest episode of "Downton Abbey."
I'll tell you now, I haven't. I understand that it's The Greatest Show Of All Time. And I am vaguely familiar with the fact that it depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era. But that's all I know and that's all I want to know. I'm simply more of a "Homeland" kind of girl than a "Brideshead Revisited" one. And if I had time to watch "Downton Abbey," don't you think I would have had time to learn my kids' teachers' names by now?
4. Please don't ask me to a sporting event.
Don't invite me to any sporting event -- even if you have amazingly good seats close to where the celebrities sit. I truly wish I could find the joy in foam fingers and $9 hotdogs, but I just can't. And I don't even care that Jeremy Lin and his new team -- the Houston Rockets -- recently delivered the New York Knicks its first home defeat at Madison Square Garden. I'm just not moved by basketball, or football or baseball for that matter. I hear Linsanity is dying anyway. I never caught it in the first place.
5. Please don't ask me to any movie described as a "fantasy adventure."
My children recently attended a showing of "The Hobbit," watching Bilbo Baggins doing goodness-knows-what with 13 Middle-earth dwarves for nearly three hours. I can't think of anything worse. Give me "Lincoln" any day of the week.
6. Please don't ask me to play Trivial Pursuit or any other game that requires me to recall lessons I learned in my fifth-grade geography class.
Once, when playing a similar board game in London, my British teammates turned to me every time a question came up that was even remotely related to U.S. history. For example, one card read: "What Year Was The U.S. Capital Moved From Philadelphia To Washington, D.C.?" Everyone grew quiet. Obviously, as the lone American, I was given the floor. Unfortunately, what I couldn't give back was the answer. I've hated these types of games ever since.
7. Please don't ask me to go skiing.
The idea of donning those cumbersome gloves and uncomfortable boots is, well, anything but pleasant. The last time I went skiing, I stood in a long lift line, watching everyone laughing around me, as if there was no place they'd rather be, only to be forced into a frightening game of frogger on my way down the mountain. People who know me well know that I’m a bit of a klutz. Only last year I broke my ankle after falling -- on the sidewalk. As a result, doing the "pizza pie" stance while three-year-old kids whoosh around me is not my idea of a good time.
What do you NOT want to be asked in 2013? Let us know in comments.