When I was 20, I was diagnosed with asthma. As my colds deteriorated, I found myself wheezy and tight chested. Once I ended up in hospital – I was coughy, had a nasty chest infection and spent a lot of time trying to talk through the oxygen mask. Asthma was an expected sub-condition of my skin condition – for years dermatologists would ask if I get asthma. Fortunately I only get it when I have a cold or on very cold mornings, and this unfortunately means I can never quite remember how to use my ventolin properly!
Before my diagnosis, my doctor asked me a number of questions – how many times I’d experienced these symptoms, whether I had been diagnosed with asthma previously, and whether I’m a smoker. I told him I’m not a smoker. He said my cough and wheezing suggested I am a smoker. I assured him I’d never smoked before – not even held a cigarette. He was shocked. And our conversation went like this:
“What do you mean you’ve never smoked before?”, he asked.
“I’ve never smoked a cigarette”, I said.
“Not even a puff?”
“But everyone’s smoked before, especially at your age”, he exclaimed.
“I’ve never smoked before. Honestly.”
To this day, I’m a proud non smoker, proud that I’ve never smoked in my 31 years and 8 months on this earth. I have touched a cigarette, and obviously passively smoked – especially when smoking was allowed in pubs and music venues – but I avoid it whenever I can, to the point of asking people not to smoke around me.
I’ve also never taken drugs. Only medically prescribed ones. Drugs don’t interest me – I just want to live my life unaffected by mind altering chemicals. And I’ve seen a little of the damage they do to people. Those who know me know I’m not comfortable around them, and so I went until I was 28 never seeing drugs being used in real life. (I regularly cover my eyes when I see drugs being used in film – especially heroin in the arm – I just can’t watch.)
It seems that I’m either a goody two shoes (tell me – is there a baddy one shoe out there?) or I am content to do my own thing, not to be swayed by others. A little from column A, a little from column B.
Tamsin, our esteemed editor in chief, emailed us writers, asking what we’d be interested in writing. Melissa and Mandi discussed the idea of writing about Ben Affleck cast as Batman. I replied saying that I don’t think I’ve seen a Ben Affleck movie. And come to think of it, there are lots of popular culture references I just don’t get because I haven’t seen a movie or read a book. I guess I just don’t get out that much, or am a fan in my own bubble. This post was born out of that idea – the things I haven’t done that everyone else seems to have done. So here’s my list.
I have never smoked or taken drugs (apart from alcohol).
I have never tried absinthe. Nor have I ever done a shot of alcohol properly (I drank tequila over three sips!).
I have never read a Harry Potter book or watched a film. I tried reading a book at the height of Potter-mania but I got bored.
I have never watched Star Trek/Wars. Are they the same thing?
I have never seen ET.
Same goes for Mad Max and Back to the Future.
I have never watched Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother. So don’t even expect me to understand you when you reference Sheldon in conversation.
I have never watched the Kardashians. Until a year or so ago I thought their surname was pronounced ‘Kar-SHADE-ian’. See also the range of Shore reality TV programs. Jersey, Geordie etc.
I have never bought a Ministry of Sound album.
I have never wanted to buy a handbag that costs as much as my car. And I hate logo-d fashion. So I have never bought Prada or Louis Vuitton or Chanel.
I have never seen True Blood.
I have never been to the cricket, soccer, basketball, football, netball, rugby. I have been to two football matches (three if you count the Community Cup) and one Commonwealth Games event – the badminton (so boring that I listened to my iPod).
I have never drunk a coloured sports drink.
I have never been skinny dipping.
Unfortunately I have seen three films in the Twilight series. It was an awful experience, but they were for charity. Honest!
What have you never done that it seems everyone around you is doing?