Projects > Story-of-the-Day > ideal-life
Ideal LifeYou know those studies that say something like, "people who floss everyday live 2 years longer." Well, I do. And I follow them. All of them.
It's 6:00AM and I get up just a few seconds before my alarm goes off. I had a great eight hours of sleep, to the minute. I drink a cup of water that I had left on my nightstand. Seven more to go!
The ADA says you should brush before breakfast. So first thing I do after going to the bathroom is brush my teeth.
I measure out my oatmeal. I usually have 30.6 grams of walnuts, but decide not to today. It's my 32nd birthday and I was planning to pick up a slice of birthday cake on the way home. I figure saving 200 calories in breakfast and 200 calories and lunch will make up for a 400 calorie serving of cake tonight. My maintenance rate is 2,109 calorie per day, and I can't go over that. Having a high BMI is linked to all sorts of terrible health risks.
I pack my lunch, taking out a slice of cheese (62 calories) and 57.7 grams of chicken breast (138 calories). There's my other 200 calories. By the end of the day, I'll be able to have my cake and eat it too!
I have a sedentary job where I sit on a computer all day long. I have timers set to exercise my hands every 15 minutes, and get up and stretch every hour.
I finish working at five. It's going to be a busy evening. A lot of psychological papers have found that you have to get married by the age of 32 to maximize lifelong happiness. I've been working on it for months but haven't found anybody yet. It's definitely not a lost cause though. Here in D.C., a common law marriage only requires that both parties be free and intend to be married to each other, and make yourselves known as husband and wife in the community. I head out to the local bar.
I have it all planned out: "Hi. I'm turning 32 today and intend to get married. Would you like to get married with me?" All I need is a "yes", then I can tell everybody we're married, and that will be it.
I tried women sitting alone. And I tried groups of women ("Would any of you like to get married to me?"). Nobody said "yes". It's already eight PM and I have to go to bed in two hours. I'm as panicked as I can be given that you shouldn't stress yourself over things out of your control.
Maybe I'll see somebody at the grocery store. I walk in and pick out a slice of birthday cake. The woman shopping for bread tells me she is already married. The cashier just stares at me and doesn't respond.
I slowly walk home, avoiding walking over any grates because they are dangerous. I make my dinner, clean dishes and put out my piece of birthday cake. It's 9:30PM and I have to go to bed soon unmarried. I eat my cake and stare at the clock. 9:49PM...9:55PM...9:59PM. I stare at the clock and brace myself as it turns to 10:00PM.
Nothing happens. I don't feel any less unhappy. I sit staring at the clock for two full minutes.
I decide not to brush my teeth tonight. In fact, I get up and grab a quart of Ben & Jerry's from the freezer and put on an episode of "Black Mirror". I curl up on the couch and feel much happier than I ever have before.