I’ve always been one to procrastinate when something very important needs to get done. Key words are “very important”. Actually, we could ditch the “very”. If it’s something important, I’ll probably put it off. If I’m hungry, I won’t waste any time. If the new Ed Sheeran album comes out, you’ll find me on iTunes immediately after work. If I’m cold, I can’t possibly continue doing anything until I find a jacket, or at least some socks. If I have to submit a completed job application…I should probably wait a few hours or days, or maybe a week. The way I look at it, the more important something is, the higher the expectations are of the finished product. After I hit submit on that job application, there’s no going back. I either get an interview or I don’t. Once I hit that button or send that email or call my doctor, the power leaves my hands. I no longer control the situation and I feel like a puppet on a string. The only thing there is to do is wait and pace and sweat and almost cry but eat instead, and then pace. In conclusion, I prefer procrastination. I get the whole “rip off the band aid” theory, but that hurts like hell.
In my time as a procrastinator, I’ve found that it’s almost healthy in some ways. I learn so much. For example, today I sat down at my computer to send in a few job applications I’ve been lagging on. I had just finished giving myself a pep talk to hit “submit,” but then I started thinking about Maroon 5. Then I realized Adam Levine was voted Sexiest Man Alive last year. When will they announce the new Sexiest Man? Why has Ryan Gosling never won? Has anyone ever won twice?
Google has all of these answers. Let’s Google.
Winners are announced in November of each year. No one knows why Ryan Gosling has never won. (If you’re reading this in the future, and he’s won by now, you are living in a brighter world) And there have been multiple men who have been crowned twice: Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Johnny Depp.
I wonder what it’s like to have a magazine proclaim you as the sexiest human of your gender. I assume that one does not lose the ability to have bad hair days or self-conscious emotions, so how do you go about your day differently? Do you think Brad Pitt ever woke up one morning in 1995 (the year he first won, says Google) with bad hair and a pimple on his cheek but instead of getting frustrated just ripped off his shirt and was like “SCREW IT I’M THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE.” And what happens the year after they win? Take Brad for example. How was 1996 for Mr. Pitt? Do you feel less sexy once you’re no longer the sexiest? I feel like if you were actually the sexiest man alive, you shouldn’t be dethroned until you die or until a hunky infant is birthed and groomed into a brand of sex appeal the female writers of People had never even dreamt of. (Or if you’re Ryan Gosling) And what about the guys that won from 1996-1999 (Brad won again in 2000), do you think they felt less sexy when Brad won again? It was as if People magazine said, “Yeah you were sexier than Brad for the last few years of the 90s, but Brad has set the sexy standard of the new millennium with his blonde hair and overall yumminess, better luck in 2001. Start dieting and take some big risks with your hair!”
Minesweeper and/or Solitaire are another black hole of procrastination I often find myself in. When I was little, my cousin Spenser and I used to play Minesweeper on his computer. The Windows 98 version of the game had a little happy face in the top center of the window. Every time you would click your mouse it would make a gasping face as if to say, “Careful little buddy, watch out for the bombs!” When you clicked a non-bomb box, he would smile, when you chose a bomb box, X’s would go over his eyes and you would lose the game. You were essentially toying with this guy’s life with every click of the mouse, and at age 8 this was my definition of exhilarating. I felt like I was playing hopscotch on the edge of a cliff. Spenser and I would click our mouse soooo slooowwlllyy as if that would prevent the bombs from showing up. We would yell “OHHHHH” when it wasn’t a bomb and “HAHA MY TURN” when it was.
Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube were invented solely for procrastination. They sell you the apps on the premise that you can catch up with old friends or keep track of your favorite celebrity or become a web sensation. The truth of the matter is, they want your soul, and they want all of it. One day I went on my computer to casually look up the capital of Sweden (a totally normal question) and I ended up on Facebook learning about my sister’s classmate’s best friend’s aunt’s new job in Kansas. (Congrats Margot!)
One afternoon I posted a picture on Instagram of a hike I had done with my sister and I ended up looking at all 385 pictures that the ex-girlfriend of a guy I went to high school with had posted.
YouTube is probably the worst for me. I took a few classes in college that required me use YouTube videos as evidence for the point I was arguing. You can search for anything on YouTube and have a page long list of “recommended videos” down the right hand side of the screen. Before you know it, what started as a search for “tornado funnels” turns into the “adorable and funny dog compilation of 2009.”
Absolutely none of the information these apps provide is useful to me. The only time the knowledge of it ever resurfaces is when it is brought up in non-internet, human interactions.
Human: “Did you hear about Jessica Wood’s best friend?”
Your Mind: “Jessica Wood….why do I know that name? OH! That’s Margot’s niece. Margot with the new job in Kansas…whom I’ve never met…whom I should know nothing about…why was I even on Jessica Wood’s Facebook? I’ve never even met her either.”
Your Mouth: “Jessica who?”
Your Mind: Smooth. They don’t suspect a thing.
I should really stop procrastinating; I have a deadline to make for a job application. But then again…I heard that Alex’s brother just moved to Louisiana. Why would he move to Louisiana? Wasn’t he dating that one girl? Is she going with him? Does Alex’s brother’s best friend still have that adorable English bulldog? What was her name? I should probably investigate.