Ever tried something that everyone else seems to love and then wondered what the fuss was all about?
Or ever tried something and thought to yourself, OMG nooo this is NOT for me, can’t say I’ll try that again…?
I’m just hoping that I’m not alone when it comes to some of these things that I’ve done (or tried) once and never done ever again, and have no intention of doing ever again. This is my ultimate “once was enough” list.
As with all these listicle posts I write (like 22 Things in Life I’m Absolutely CRAZY About, 18 Things I Can’t Stand (That Everyone Else Loves), 11 Weird Phobias I Have (or Things I Do) That You Might Find Bizarre), I HAVE TO STRESS THIS FACT: they’re just a bit of fun.
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I KNOW that there’ll be things here that many other people will get great enjoyment out of, and I’m not knocking anyone’s choices. In fact, do them more and enjoy them more! We’re all different. At least you know that there’s more for you if I’m not doing it…!
But what things have YOU tried once and not since? Any on my list that you a) have never tried ever, b) have tried once and never again like me, or c) think is bloody brilliant and can’t understand why I wouldn’t want to do it again and again for the rest of my life?
Let me know in the comments what your “Never again” things are – I’d love to know.
(And in case you’re surprised to see me “back” – I know I’ve been absent here for a while – I’ll explain all in my next blog post. Which shouldn’t be anywhere near as long as this last break took…!)
Anyway – here are my:
9 things I did once and will never, ever do again…
1. Drinking whisky
What in the holy hell drink of Satan IS that stuff? Maybe I shouldn’t have tried one of the most notoriously strong whiskies to start with – Scottish Laphroaig – but OMFG WITH HEMINGWAY BELLS ON that was, without doubt, the WORST food or drink I have ever tasted in my LIFE. No contest.
Why would anyone drink that stuff?! WHY?? WHY???!!!!!!!!
2. Having a pedicure
I’d resisted having a pedicure until two summers ago because a) I’ve always managed to do my own mani-pedis pretty well myself, and b) I’m worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep my feet still because I am really, REALLY ticklish.
Guess what? I was right to have avoided them. I had my first-ever pedi in 2021, and I was so beyond ticklish it was embarrassing. I jerked my foot so often I’m amazed the lovely girl who had the misfortunate of being allocated my feet managed to get ANYTHING done to them at all. I literally sat there squirming, grinding my teeth and tensing as hard as I could to try and keep still.
Safe to say, it didn’t work. Remember Wile E. Coyote getting electrocuted in the Road Runner cartoons? Yep, that was me.
3. Watching Fifty Shades of Grey/Twilight
=She shakes her head at the mere thought of having spent 4 hours 7 mins of her life watching them=
Let’s just say I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. But with IMDb ratings of 4.2 and 5.3 respectively, I really should have heeded those who put themselves through the torture before me. But yes, ladies and gentlemen, they really are as bad as they say they are.
Let’s start with Fifty Shades… If that was meant to be raunchy then let’s just say I’m less of a prude than I thought I was. Two solid hours of waiting for the raunchy stuff to happen… and then the credits rolled. That was the entire film, done. Some things have to be watched out of curiosity (like the appalling SATC reboot And Just Like That), but this isn’t one of them. At least there are two sequels that I can actively avoid – I’m happy in the knowledge that my life is far richer as a result.
And Twilight? Julianne Moore was right when her character said in Crazy, Stupid, Love that she watched it by herself and (cue whining voice) it was “SO bad…”. I wanted to hide behind the sofa I was so scared. Not because they were vampires, noooo. I was scared by the wooden acting and the terrible dialogue. #SomebodyPutMeOutOfMyMisery
(Strangely, in the same way that I love Daniel Radcliffe but can’t stand Harry Potter, I think Robert Pattinson is a great actor. If he’s in it, I want to see it, like Tenet or The Batman. Just not those twinkling vampires movies, of course.)
So watching the numerous sequels of either of those? I’ll pass, thanks.
4. A trip to Las Vegas
Big disclaimer: I did not dislike Vegas. Keith and I went as part of our two-week West Coast trip to the US in 2011 and really enjoyed the two days we spent there. I just… don’t want to go back ever again.
It’s definitely a been-there-done-that kind of place, and I am glad we went to have had the experience and know what it’s really like. But to go again when I’ve just, kinda, done it already? Nah, I’m alright.
5. Swimming in the sea
Cue cries of “Huh? What? Swimming in the sea is, like, totally normal?!“. I get it, this is a very normal thing for a lot of/most people. Your honour, I put forth two compelling arguments for why I’ve never attempted swimming in the sea since swimming in the Gold Coast surf on a family holiday to Australia in 1982:
a) I got caught in the surf and my skinny, 9-year-old featherweight frame was rolled over and over until I couldn’t tell which way was up. I thought I was going to die. I swallowed loads of salt water and since then, as you can imagine, the thought of ANY seawater going near my lips fills me with horror and dread.
b) The sea is usually freezing, and swimming pools are usually not freezing. And pools are usually cleaner (I stress usually). And pools don’t have spiky creatures on the bottom that might stab/sting your feet or worse, kill you.
Therefore, I have stuck to swimming in swimming pools and haven’t got more than up to my ankles in seawater ever since. But what about scuba diving, you say?! That’d be a Nope with a capital “P”…
6. Going on a light aircraft flight
Now to me, I thought there wouldn’t be much difference in the fear factor between flying in a light aircraft and flying in a helicopter.
Oh, Catherine. You dear, sweet, naive child.
We went to NYC in 2009 and went on a helicopter above the city – I loved it, and I was even sat up front next to the pilot. No fear whatsoever (remember I am absolutely PETRIFIED of heights: ladders, those long London Underground escalators, staircases on the sides of buildings, etc. present a huge problem for me). So when we went to the US again in 2011 and visited the Grand Canyon, we OF COURSE had to see it from the air. We decided to do the light aircraft tour as we’d already done the chopper in NYC.
Keith videoed the flight, and he caught my reaction on camera as well. I think he must have known what my reaction was going be, because as we started to pick up speed on the runway he turned the video camera towards me, catching me going from excitement to sheer horror in the blink of an eye.
It was so rough and noisy that I thought the plane was going to fall apart. It was shaking like nobody’s business the whole time, but taking off really was the worst bit. And I normally LIKE take-offs on planes. I do sort of remember enjoying the flight – my fear was abated a little because of course the Grand Canyon is like nothing else on earth – but do I want to travel on a light aircraft ever again? You’d have to drag me on, kicking and screaming. Or just take me to the nearest heliport.
7. Reading a Dickens novel
I’m so sorry, Charles. I tried. Several times, and with several different books. After leaving school I set myself a target of reading all the classics, from Pride and Prejudice to Jude the Obscure as I regretted not taking English Literature A-Level. But for someone who loves the classics, I just couldn’t get into Dickens. I can’t understand why, because I LOVE Dickens adaptations on TV. The BBC does Dickens like no other. I still remember how much I loved Our Mutual Friend with Anna Friel way back in the 90s.
Now I know I said things I tried once for this listicle, but I tried Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and (I think) David Copperfield. I found them all a hard slog and I gave up several pages in after wondering how long before I’d finish the damn thing. As I said, I’m so sorry to Charles and the great writer that he was. It’s the one I feel the most guilty about, but I think I’ll stick to Thomas Hardy for the reads and Dickens for the TV adaptations.
Note: see also Moby Dick. Sorry Herman, but there are only so many descriptions of whales I can take. I prefer my whale with a side of Gregory Peck.
8. Going skiing
Maybe I’m wrong to go by my experience as a gangly, awkward nearly-13 year old, but I can’t say there was really anything about my first and last times on the slopes that made me want to go YES! SKIING IS FOR ME!!
Disclaimer: I don’t want to knock the fact that my parents took me on, what was, a lovely skiing holiday in Switzerland in 1985. We stayed at my uncle and aunt’s chalet which they had at the time, and all in all we had a great time.
It’s just that, as an adult, skiing is going to be quite expensive. We don’t know anyone with a holiday home in any skiing resorts, the gear will cost a lot to either hire or buy, and we’re so far removed from “made of money” that a weekend in Skegness is more on our current scale of affordability. And anyway – if I’m going to spend money on a holiday, I want WARMTH. I want to soak up the sun and enjoy temperatures far greater than those you normally see on a wet June afternoon in Blighty. All that snow, all that gear, all that après ski just kind of leaves me (for no want of a better word)… cold.
Excuse me while I stifle a yawn here… Sorry about that, I was just thinking about knitting. Thinking back to when I tried it aged roughly 14? 15? when my mother tried to get me interested in it, herself being a keen knitter. Now, I can sew – rather, I at least know how to use a sewing machine, doesn’t mean I really do it all that much – and I’m generally a crafty person, but knitting was, like, Nope. Just didn’t do it for me IN THE SLIGHTEST.
In fact, the sweater that my mum encouraged me to knit for myself c.1987 was an oversized, blue and white wide stripe affair with cotton bouclé yarn, and it sat half finished (well, I say half… more like one-fifteenth finished) for YEARS. I’ve no idea what happened to the lump of knitting needles poked into the ball of wool and two sad stripes of knitted sweater in the end, but ironically I would have LOVED it if I’d ever got round to finishing it. It’d be so retro I’d even consider wearing it now.
Was that enough to make me want to go back to it and give it another go? Hell, no.
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Just as a kind of afterthought, I thought I might add some honourable mentions. But rather than things I’ve tried once and never again, these are never tried and probably never will. Writing this post got me thinking about stuff I don’t want to try. Again, this might ruffle some feathers(!), but who cares, the thought of doing the following leaves me – like the skiing – somewhat cold…
Things I’m not gonna try anytime soon:
Golf. I’d rather just go for a proper walk.
Understanding the rules of cricket. Most ridiculous rules ever.
Watching a Harry Potter movie. I can’t take more than 20 seconds.
Going to a hen party. I’ve so far managed 50 years of never having been to one.
Visiting Dubai. Human rights records aside, it looks horribly devoid of culture and soulless to me.
A hot tub. Sitting half naked in a bubbling miniature pool with other half naked people? Awkwardness personified.
Skydiving. Do I need to explain?!
Your turn – what things have you tried once and thought, “never again”? Are any of the things on my list your favourite thing EVER?! Tell me in the comments…
Stay safe XOXO
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