The Origin of The List

8 years ago
I'll spare you the backstory, which is at if you want to read it, and get to the good stuff. 

"The Hitch List:" That was the drunken, half-joking title I started writing on a bar napkin shortly after the exodus to Brooklyn. I was scrawling it at a dive in Bushwick while explaining to one of the few friends who even knew I was IN Brooklyn (I just kind of picked up and left) why I’d left the solid boy (and dog) behind. 

A combination of things I wanted to experience and outright confessions of shit I needed to fix before I could become a good life-partner-in-crime, the list was meant as a visual aid.  But an aid turned out to be unnecessary, since my friend "got it" -- the leaving, why it NEEDED to be done -- almost immediately. As did the wasted dude next to us, who quickly joined the conversation. 

"Itsss...Itsss cool, man, you know, that, like, you werehonest, maaan. And that, liiike, you know yourfuckedup." Not the most articulate statement ever, but sentiment appreciated. 

Turns out listing things we wanted to experience was funand kind of revealing, and the bar scroll got wilder and wilder as we went along. Wasted Dude added a few of his own too.

There were kernels of wisdom in the list even if there was a cigarette burn on it. It basically showed I’d never be a decent, happy partner to anyone if I didn’t:


A) Stop being an occasionally clingy bitch 

B) Get the debauchery my peers had been exorcising the 5 years I was in a relationship out of MY system 

C) Sincerely encourage Alex to try the same experiment, since we weren't entirely through and he deserved to go, guilt-free, into that dark night. (He had miraculously accepted exactly where I was coming from when I left and went so far as to help me move...even gave me our bed.)

More interesting than MY list, however, was how easily my friend and Wasted Guy assembled their own. And how motivated both were to start checking items off. 

We all started asking whether significant milestones were more about personal growth or the sewing of wild oats...or were the two directly related? And would reaching those checkpoints do anything at all, besides potentially fuck up your life? We wanted to know. (Wasted Guy later puked on the curb outside the bar and then stumbled, almost mythically, into the night, never to be heard from again. We wish you, and your list, well, W.G.) 

And so this blog is where the experiment is being documented. Each week since the transplant, I have been chipping away at the list. (So has Alex, though he calls his "The Ditch List." More on that in later posts.)

This is a place for full disclosure: each blindingly humiliating failure, each sexual indiscretion, each triumph over engrained "girl-bullshit" habits, and as little as possible of the nauseating Carrie-Bradshaw-style self reflection (there will be some, because any girl with a laptop writing about her heart and vagina is bound to self-reflect. But I promise less Bradshawness, both because I'm not that sentimental and because no real writer can afford $600 shoes. PS: Fuck you Sarah Jessica Parker).

It's also the place to share and examine the lists of my friends and those strangers I coerce into writing their own (I encourage YOU to share YOURS, either via comment or anonymous mailings to Don't be shy.)

I’m assuming no one but the two of us cares whether Alex and I make it out of psuedo-relationship-purgatory and marry each other. 

But there are certain things a woman needs to do before she settles down...and I intended on keeping track of each one.

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