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(Photo courtesy of feverblue)

I don’t care about endangered species.

This is one of the first I-don’t-cares ever cited to me, by my friend Shaina, who mentioned it at a bar earlier in the year but reminded me of it at a dinner party in her new apartment a few weeks ago.

Shaina: “I still don’t care about endangered species.”

Me: “Polar bears?”

S: “Nope.”

<pause>

S: Well, I guess I care about the Bald Eagle going extinct. You know, because that’s like, America.”

<pause>

S: “That makes me sound weirdly patriotic, doesn’t it. Don’t write that.”

I’ve thought about this for a while since that dinner party, and realized something rather unfortunate: even though I am a pro-active fan of the environment, I don’t care as much about this as I think I should. If I cared, I would probably be doing something about it, no?

A caveat: I did work on a project on the Future of Fish last summer and I really cared about wild fish going extinct then. But this speaks to the larger question of whether we humans truly have the capacity to care about [and act on the] things that don’t directly affect our health, the people we love, or our immediate environment.

Look, I mean, the polar bear pups are awful cute, and so are the tropical birds, and the odd, slothy, prehistoric mammals on the Travel and Discovery Channels, but it’s hard to get fired up about saving animals when there are people who need help. I don’t consider this some weird, human superiority thing, but frankly, there are things closer to home that I care about.

What about you? What we’re talking about here are awesome jaguars and lovable turtles and beautiful corals…the WORKS. Do you care about endangered species?

(Photo courtesy of CarbonNYC)

I don’t care about expiration dates.

“Not on cheese, not on eggs,” said this guy Rich at my friend Molly’s 30th birthday party last weekend. “Not even on meat.

What? Ew! What about milk?”

“Well, milk you just know is bad. You don’t need an expiration date to tell you that.”

“True. But still.”

And so on. I mean, this guy Rich (nice guy, plaid shirt) truly did not care about expiration dates. He told me he ate a microwave brownie dessert last week…dated from 2008.

It has been a long time since I last blogged, but this particular I-don’t-care, combined with the fact that I was introduced to expiration-date-guy as, “That’s Jenn, she doesn’t care about things,” made me realize I’d missed blogging, and that, in fact, expiration dates was an excellent way to make a comeback.

I mean, I think this is outrageous. Others just think that expiring doesn’t really happen for ages, and the whole thing is an elaborate ploy to get people to buy more stuff, more often than they need to. I tested this I-don’t-care theory some more over the weekend, and found out that other people who I think are pretty reasonable don’t care about this either.

Like my friend’s mother, who uses expired prescription drugs. Her daughter tells her that there are studies that these drugs lose their effectiveness over time. Her response?

Just take more.

Expiration-date guy felt the same way. His list of things he ate/consumed/used past their expiration dates was truly endless.

“Yeah, what about medicine? I don’t care about taking expired prescription or regular drugs.”

“Woah. That is SO bad for you. Like, it makes you immune to immunity or something. I swear. I read that somewhere.”

Help me out here people. Expired stuff? Really?

I don’t care where Lebron James decides to play basketball next year.

But everybody else seems to.

Okay, so this is sort of a gimme, since dedicated readers know, generally speaking, that I don’t care much about the NBA (including the exceptionally lengthy playoffs). But this Lebron James stuff is madness!

Some sample headlines from a regular ol’ Google search:

Cleveland fans greet, plead with Lebron James (NY Daily News)

James wield unprecedented power, takes Knicks for a ride (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Betty White wants Lebron James to stay in Cleveland (Wall Street Journal)

Free agent Lebron James finally joins Twitter! (AP)

No comment from James, teaching kids skillziziz at summer camp (Plain Dealer)

But seriously, I mean, I was almost thankful that ESPN was showing the Nathan’s Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest for 15-20 minutes on Sunday so I didn’t have to hear about Lebron James’ bowel movements. (Although, speaking of bowel movements, that hot dog eating contest was really gross.)

What do you think? Do you care? Or has the media coverage pushed you over the edge at this point?

I don’t care about using disposable toilet seat covers in public restrooms.

But my friend Natalia does.

At coffee last week at the Unicorn Café, she remarked that this would be a good topic to write about on the blog, provided I could find someone who didn’t care about using those disposable toilet seat covers made of paper in public restrooms.

I didn’t have to look far. Because, well, I don’t care.

This might sound absolutely repulsive to most people, and it might not make a lot of sense considering that just a few posts ago, I talked about how I do care, quite a bit, about washing my hands.

But I think it’s a convenience thing. Those paper toilet seat covers are just so flimsy and unwieldy, and I can never get them positioned perfectly on the toilet seat even though they’re designed to do so.

Frankly these covers just prevent me from doing my business in an expedient fashion. And at the risk of getting too graphic, why not just quickly wipe down the area, or hover while you’re making use of the public toilets? It’s really that simple.

And really, do they do that much to protect you? I mean, they’re made of paper. Last I checked, paper ain’t waterproof.

Where do you fall on this issue? Toilet seat covers or no? Are you too grossed out to comment?

I don’t care about eating certain foods at certain times of day.

…I will eat spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast, and scrambled eggs for dinner.

I thought of this because this morning I ate some chicken taquitos before 9am. This raised eyebrows. But I don’t care, because they were delicious.

At home, I will generally nosh on whatever strikes my fancy when I wake up — chocolate raisins, cereal, string cheese, or reheated chicken soup. I don’t have any qualms about betraying common notions of what kinds of food you should eat for what kinds of meal.

This applies to the outside eating world, too. Think about it: people love all-day breakfast places. But maybe it’s because breakfast food shouldn’t just be served at breakfast! Any restaurant serving food all day should offer all that food, all the time. Frankly I hate that restaurants have separate lunch and dinner menus. Gimme some fried calamari with my morning coffee. yeah!

But why do people think they want breakfast food in the morning, and steak at night?

I attribute all my food time-of-day non-preferences to one thing: dim sum. Growing up, I happily gobbled pork buns and shrimp dumplings (even though I was allergic at the time!) early in the morning while my parents and grandparents jabbered in Cantonese and sucked on chicken’s feet and tripe. I was a happy little Asian kid that ate lots of savory and weird flavors that most people wouldn’t touch before noon.

Do you think eating tacos for breakfast is bizarre? Or would you happily switch it up if restaurants allowed it?

I’m headed to breakfast now with my friend from San Francisco. We’ll see what I order.

I don’t care much about people chatting with me in elevators.

Currently, the building I live in has an elevator and I find myself in it often. I live on the seventh floor, my car is parked in the basement, the gym is on fifth level, and my building’s front door is in the lobby. I am betting many of you spend your daily minutes in a similar way.

So why not make this time purposeful? Elevator time could be a chance to learn something from one another.

When researching this topic further one thing is clear, talking while traveling is a polarizing subject. Furthermore, there are some common behaviors:

(1) Do you find yourself praying that the elevator doors will open to unveil an empty space you can enjoy all to yourself for several glorious seconds?

(2) Can you not even enjoy this time because you are too busy praying the elevator won’t stop and a person, like me, might enter and <gasp!> want to know how your day has been?

Perhaps (3) upon entering the elevator you frantically press the close door now button in an effort to block that poor woman with groceries bags that you can almost see out of the corner of your eye making a run for it, or,

Lastly (4) smile widely when you have passed the recreational floor on your way up or down because the chance of getting to your destination uninterrupted is now clearly in your favor?

I get it, really I do.

Sharing a small space can be uncomfortable and talking about how you really are takes more than a few floors. So it’s easy to understand (clearly, lots of personal bias here) why the alternative: cringeworthy silence and superfluous shifting /unnecessary throat-clearing might be just plain easier and a more personally pleasant experience for you.

This unique shared behavior reminds me of a phenomenon (really people, there is no better word for it) in San Francisco called, “casual carpool.” Do you know of it? Each workday at designated-yet-unmarked spots near the Bay Bridge, people wait to get and give a ride. That’s right, strangers going to work pile into cars of other strangers to meet the minimum requirement of four people per car all in an effort to escape a five dollar toll, and the trauma of public transportation, and enjoy the pure freedom of the carpool lane.

The thing is, it’s a lot like an elevator–you never know who you are going to get when those doors open. But there are rules of engagement, lots of rules. For instance, you cannot talk unless the driver encourages conversation first. I am told this rarely happens. Imagine every Monday thru Friday, hundreds of cars filled with time-sensitive and fiscally-responsible strangers riding along in silence? It might as well be an elevator ride at an office building at 8:30 am, each person privately begging for their destination to hurry, for the doors to be opened, and for the looming awkwardness to immediately end.

I say, what’s the big deal? Next time you are in an elevator, chat it up. Break that dreaded silence. Be the casual carpool driver and encourage conversation! I don’t care much about chatting on a lift to anywhere and I would love to know how you are.

About me:

I am Loren from San Francisco. I count airplanes, coffee, Arcade Fire, mysteries, and the color pink as a few of my favorite things. I am currently a Masters student at Northwestern learning about how people really act at work, so behave!

I don’t care about being on time.

I know. You’re cringing. Especially if you’ve ever waited for me at a meeting, a movie, a subway/El station, at a coffee place, at a brunch spot, or any of the numerous places to which I fail to make the designated meeting time. 

I’m never on time.

My lateness isn’t egregious, but it’s not great. It ranges from 7-15 minutes, on average, and it is persistent. It bothers the hell out of my mom, my boyfriend, my business school groups, and my friends who throw dinner parties.

But I should qualify.

My friend Janvi pointed out that I do care about being on time to some things, like interviews, the theatre, and weddings. Mostly these are things to which it would be extremely disruptive to show up late. (The only exception to this is class, where I am a frequent latecomer.)

Here’s the weird thing.

I actually do think I care quite a bit about being on time. I hate rushing. Hate hate hate it. But my argument is that if I actually cared, I would plan better, start getting ready sooner, and leave earlier. Right?

I don’t know where this comes from. My family members are a bunch of fairly prompt folks, and so are my friends. So what’s wrong with me? I don’t know. I think I just don’t care that much. Or maybe being late means I never have to wait for anyone. (Which I realize is extremely hypocritical.)

Does anyone else have this problem?

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