Some people spend their entire lives chasing their fathers’ approval. From choosing which college to attend to deciding whether or not mom would like that box set of Cheers for Christmas, dads influence our every decision. Well, I’m here to tell you now: stop. Your dad is one of literally billions of people on the planet. The only thing that connects you to him is the fact that he graciously spilled his DNA in your mother one day. If you really can’t live without other people’s approval, at least make a thoughtful selection. Find a community of people that you respect and then push each other to be better, like a cult or a high school wrestling team. Here are some other things that you should stop striving for:
-A Stress-Free CTA Ride. Yes, the CTA sucks. But looking in the direction of the next train doesn’t make it arrive faster, and working yourself into a quiet rage while squeezed between a DePaul student’s backpack and a lunatic pissing his sweatpants doesn’t get you to work any faster. Instead, force a smile and accept the CTA for what it is: a poorly-run public service.
-That Million-Dollar App Idea. You know that simple-yet-amazing iPhone app idea you have? Someone else developed it last year. Just play Powerball.
-A Full Understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Even International Relations professors don’t know what is going on over there. Read some Wikipedia articles and call it a day.
-A Productive Day Off. So you have MLK Day off, and you’re planning on knocking out that laundry list of chores? Your bottle of Lubriderm, box of tissues, and web browser have different plans. Don’t forget to turn on “private browsing.”
-A Drinkable Beer with Fewer Than 100 Calories. No number of ads featuring giggling gal pals on a night out can change the fact that Miller64 tastes like carbonated cat urine.
-The Perfect Fedora. If Justin Timberlake looks silly wearing something, rest assured you look even sillier.
-A Use for Your Philosophy Degree. It’s not that you’re unemployable. After all, there are lots of customer service and retail jobs available. Plus, college wasn’t a total waste of time. I’m sure you had a great time debating Ayn Rand with your buddies in the student union.
-A Valuable LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn is an extra-boring Facebook. “I would like to add you to my professional network” might as well read “I have nothing to do today and, well, why not?”
-Writing the Next Great American Novel. After a decade of writing sessions, all you’ve accomplished is getting the Starbucks barista to memorize your order. And she totally hates you.
-Fame. The odds of achieving this are so low it’s laughable. Just have a good time and push your kid into piano classes at age 3. You never know.
-Fortune. The odds of achieving this are so low it’s laughable. Just have a good time and push your failed musician of a child into an MBA program. You can live off him.
-Convincing People That Disagree With You On Something That You Are Correct. This sounds defeatist, but it’s really intended to save you time. You are not Noam Chomsky or Christopher Hitchens, so you don’t stand a chance. Just hang out with people who already agree with you and high-five each other constantly.
-Flossing Everyday. Every… day…
-Being Cool. Coolness is overrated and silly. You know those brooding quiet guys at the party who look super badass and complicated? Me neither, because they’re boring. Unless you’re Johnny Depp or a main character in a nouveau vampire movie, just be energetic and emotionally open. It’s way more fun.
-A Perfect Pushup. This is completely unattainable unless you have perfect patience and everything fun in your house perfectly breaks at the perfect time.
-An Occupy Movement That Accomplishes Anything. I like camping too, but come on.
-A BMI in the “Healthy Range.” Diets are boring and so are conversations that revolve around them. Just put a belt on it or something if you want to feel different. You’re beautiful.
-World Peace… Ah, what the heck, we need dreams. Keep striving for this one.
Asher Perlman performs with iO, Second City, and Comedysportz. He also writes and performs comedy with ATV and is a winner of the Gimme 5 solo sketch competition at The Playground.