I hate being asked what my hobbies are, or what I like to do for fun. Not that I find the topic of conversation objectionable - I don't - but I don't like discussing it, because I don't want people to judge me. So I always say something like "reading, cooking, kayaking" etc. You know, something that is relatable, while not being a lie. But the fact of the matter is, I hate crafts, suck at art, despise sports (except gymnastics and The World's Strongest Man Competition and boxing - and I only like watching those) dislike killing animals, and really, really can't sew or crochet. So that leaves very few hobbies I can claim as my own.
Unless I were to tell the truth.
So here, written for all of you, are my real hobbies.
1) Scoping out prospective adoptive parents on websites and judging them.
This is so much fun. There are whole websites out there where parents put "profiles" of themselves, describing who they are, and why they are the perfect people to raise your little bastard. I read the profiles very carefully, scrutinizing their pictures, jobs, hobbies (yes I'm a hypocrite) and interests. "The Smiths from New Jersey seem like very accomplished professionals. But Dan says his favorite dessert is banana cream pie. How could I let my child be raised in that kind of environmnent? I say no to you, Smiths from New Jersey." "Ew, they both say their favorite show is American Idol. And look how fat they are. I'm not gonna give my kid to people who are just going to die of a heart attack in two years. Then my poor kid would be a double orphan! No". Or "OH! These people are so perfect! I almost want to get pregnant just so I can give these amazing people my baby!" Admittedly, it's not the "nicest" hobby, but so much fun, and so addictive.
2) Gawking at people with eating disorders.
This goes for overeaters and under eaters, as well as the more "exotic" eating disorders like people who eat chalk, etc. Any show that features morbidly obese people losing weight earns a season pass on my tivo. When I discovered "pro ana" and "pro mia" at first I thought it was a joke.
And then I found the online forums.
I loved reading those forums. They don't post pictures of themselves, so if you just read their posts, you get the impression that you're in some kind of fat girl support group where they all try to encourage people to reach their weight loss goals. They're really nice to each other. "Only 10 more pounds until I reach my goal weight!" "Yay Mia2883! You can do it!" But then you keep reading. And they start talking about strategies for avoiding food...always. And then you see their "thinspiration" photos who are invariably heroin-chic-looking skeletons, even though heroin chic went out years ago. I started getting really into their internal dramas, and started to get familiar with their individual personalities. One day Phil asked what I was reading, because I looked freaked out. I replied "Ana362436 is in a jam. Her mom found the bags of vomit she was hoarding in her closet."
Phil was freaked. "What the hell are you reading? Why was she hoarding vomit?"
"Because she didn't want anyone to hear her flushing when she purged. Also, the vomit was gross, so it was a good disincentive to eat. It makes sense, really."
"No honey. It doesn't..."
"No! I don't mean it's like, a good thing to do. I'm just saying, if you're going to be bulimic, it's a good strategy."
Phil was pensive and then made me promise I would stop reading the pro-ana, pro-mia forums.
Which I have.
3)Online shopping while drunk.
Sometimes when I drink I buy things online. I blame one click shopping. If I had to get up off my ass, retrieve my purse, enter all the information and then confirm it all, this probably wouldn't happen. But with one click shopping I can buy whatever I want, whenever I want it. And under the influence of alcohol I lose all sense of worry or restraint.
But then I forget that I bought stuff. And weeks later I'll come home from work and find a bunch of packages on my doorstep. "What's this?" I say to myself. Only to open up the packages and find all kinds of treasures! Sparkly shoes! Fancy scarves! Books on travel! Sometimes even boxes of candy! I'm not proud of myself for my actions, but in all honesty it's hard to be too concerned about it because every time I do it I get rewarded with all kinds of treats. It's not exactly teaching me a lesson.
4) Redoing movie scenes.
I don't like unhappy endings in movies. If I want harsh reality and somber truths, I'll listen to the news. I go to movies because I want to be entertained and uplifted. But some movies with sad endings are really, truly good; and they do entertain me. So how do I remedy this? By creating a new ending in my head, which I replay whenever I like, for my pleasure.
Here is an example of what I mean. If you have ever seen the movie "Life is Beautiful" you know that it is amazing and wonderful. Until the end. I can't watch anything after the scene where the dad does a humorous goose-step to amuse his son who is hiding from the Nazis. I turn the movie off at that point and say "The end! They won a tank! Yay!"
But that's not a very satisfying ending. Kind of a cop out really. So here is the "Dana Improved Ending".
It's the dinner party scene. The riddle loving nazi drops his fork to lure the dad away from his waiter duties. The dad goes over to him, hope radiating from his every pore. He knows that his friend will help him.
The riddle loving nazi says, with no preamble, "Your wife is safe. I've moved her to my cousin's farm in the country. They have a safe place for her to hide."
The dad lets out a blast of relief, tears almost flooding his eyes. The riddle loving nazi speaks quietly and quickly. "It's not safe for me to move you and your son tonight. I'm sorry. Can you meet me by the south wall at 3am this Saturday?"
The dad nods curtly. Of course he can, an innovative man like him! He'll find a way!
"My cousin's farm is not a luxurious place. But you will all be together, safe. My cousin and his wife are good people; they'll see that all your needs are met."
"Thank you! Thank you so much!" begins the dad. But the riddle loving nazi cuts him off. "All I ask in return" he says, very serious, "is that you assist me with this riddle" and then proceeds to tell the riddle. The dad laughs with giddy relief and of course gives him enough clues to answer the riddle on his own. It's the least he can do.
Well, the dad now has to explain to the little boy that they are quitting the game. He'll probably have to say that he found out it's all a trick and there IS no tank!!! He will devise an ingenious way to be at the south wall at 3 am, probably something humerous involving disguises and magic tricks. They are almost caught, but make it out by the skin of their teeth. They are all reunited on the farm and live happily ever after. And then they get a tank anyway.
See, isn't my ending better? I like to make little scene revisions and play them to myself whenever I'm bored. It's good fun, and I recommend you try your own.
Is anything more awesome than grocery shopping? Yes, but not much. I love looking at rows and rows of tasty, gourmet foods, knowing that I CAN BUY WHATEVER I WANT. For most of my life my food decisions were based on whatever was cheapest. But now. NOW. I'm making up for lost time. Yes I do need 6 pomegranates, imported gorgonzola cheese, truffle oil and a bottle of Chablis. Why not? Why should I deny myself? I shouldn't. That's why.
Are these healthy hobbies? Probably not. Are they hobbies I could discuss in polite company? Probably not. But it feels good to get it out there and be honest with you all. This is what I like to do for fun. Judge me.