A 20-something’s “Bucket List”

I’ve saved college papers, creative writing, bits of prose, writing prompts… and recently stumbled across a list of things I wanted to do, written during my years at NYU – at the tender age of 20. I didn’t know this was officially called a bucket list. It’s silly.

Cruise around Manhattan (Booze cruise). There were a number of these going on at the time, not a few of them NYU-related events.

Empire State Building. Never been, unless I was there when my dad to took me to New York when I was 6. I’ll have to ask him.

Statue of Liberty. I was there when I was 6. I have no memory of it, only the memory of the plastic statue souvenir I had for years afterward.

Go to Italy – Florence, Rome, Venice. I spent the night in Rome when I was 11, on a lay-over to Greece. Doesn’t count.

Soho. I’m not sure what I meant by this. Soho isn’t far from where I lived and we did some serious shopping there.

Balloon Ride. Must’ve sounded appealing, though by the time I was 27 I had absolutely no desire to do this. Specifically – I had a friend who operated them and I flat out turned him down on a ride. *I’ve got an interesting story about this I will share in another post.

Weekend in New England (Bed & Breakfast). I spent a few weekends in New England visiting friends… does that count?

Waterskiing. I had a friend in my mid-20s who owned a boat and waterskied. I’m sure my neuroses kept me securely in the boat by this time.

Go to an antiques auction. We had a close family friend who was a world famous antiques dealer, so I guess he inspired me.

Rollerblading. This was a new craze, everybody was doing it, and it was a fast way to get around the city. I wanted to do it too. I did buy a pair and tried to teach myself. Embarrassing.

California. A short and boring trip to Laguna Beach with my parents when I was 16 wasn’t enough. Years later… and several trips to San Diego and Santa Barbara… it was wonderful and reinforced my desire to live there, though I haven’t been back in 19(!) years.

Study abroad program. I really, really wanted to go to England, though I never pursued it. If I had a do-over – I would go for sure.

Ballroom dancing. Two of my roommates were on the NYU team, and I really wanted to learn. I’m still thinking Todd and I should learn together. And I’m sure he’s laughing right now.

Acting. I really wanted to try acting, and fantasized about being on a soap. It sounds laughable now; however, there really was a summer course in acting at NYU that was taught by people in the biz, including soaps, so this wasn’t so far-fetched an idea. At over $3,000, it was costly for its time. I didn’t take it, but did take an impactful acting class at my college.

Picnic in the Park (with champagne). I emphasized champagne on this list, like it was mandatory. I did do this once, on a meaningless date, so I guess I “could” check the box. However, there was no champagne involved and I have a confession to make. I don’t really like champagne. I really REALLY want to do this with my husband. With wine instead.

Buy a wig. This one is just bizarre. I will write it off as a Gemini thing – the chameleon tendencies we have.

Work in retail. Now this one is a real stretch. Hasn’t everyone worked in retail at some point in their lives? In my 3rd year at NYU, I got a job working mid-town at Express. It was a blast, and I met a handful of soap actors who shopped our store because it was around the corner from the studios. Retail beckoned again in my mid-twenties when I went to work at Macy’s. There might be money in retail, but not at an hourly rate or when it’s commission-based.

Dog show. What in the -? I have no idea why or what even made that enter my mind.

There was a lot of New York-based stuff I never did: A helicopter ride, Strawberry Fields, Central Park Zoo, American Museum of Natural History, Chinatown’s Mott & Canal Streets, Mulberry Street between Grand & Canal, Feast of San Gennaro, Battery Park, Wall Street and the NYSE.

I passed through Chinatown a handful of times, though I ate in this really fabulous noodle house on the fringe once. I walked on Wall Street, does that count? I spent a bit of time in Central Park, sunning myself on the hill next to the Met while I studied, but I never visited the zoo. I listed the Guggenheim, which for some reason I never went to; I did go to the Frick, MOMA, and Met many times.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral. My roommate and I stopped in there during the holidays and it was breathtakingly beautiful and, not surprisingly, filled with people.

Tavern on the Green. I got my wish on graduation day with my mom and my dad. We had lunch there with a bottle of Dom Perignon and I don’t remember what any of us ate except the exquisite lobster bisque. (The Dom was not my idea, by the way).

Comedy clubs – Caroline’s, Boston Comedy Club, Comic Strip, Dangerfields. I frequented the Boston Comedy Club for its proximity to where I lived. One trip to Dangerfield’s was an unfortunate blind double date. The comedy was great. The date was not.

Top of the World Trade Center. This is bittersweet. I never did go to the top, though I passed through the WTC on the subway to downtown many times.

Tony & Tina’s Wedding. This show had only been running for a few years by the time I got to New York, but it sounded like so much fun I wanted to go too. Never went.

Carriage ride around Central Park. I saved this for last, because it was quite an elaborate fantasy I had created. I imagined myself in this beautiful forest-green gown, riding in the carriage with my man. There was no man at the time, but the dress was real – I found it completely by accident while I was shopping with my friend at Bloomie’s. Silly as it sounds – I imagined this event in more detail than my own wedding. And I never forgot it. Perhaps I will one day live it out?

This find inspired me to write a new one. I wonder what will be on it?






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