Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I was irritated by the relentless use of Zero Fucks Given before I even knew it was a thing. Zero+Fucks on Google returns a million hits; it’s a movement, a choice, an attitude to embrace. It’s a phrase so pervasive you can buy it on a t-shirt at bethennyfrankel.com, and wear it like you don’t give a fuck about appearing not to give a fuck, a contradiction you give zero fucks about. “I’ve become the worst cliche,” said no Internet meme, ever. “Hold my beer,” said Zero Fucks Given.
I love the idea of living without regret, insecurity, or resentment, but it’s not in my DNA. I’ve been getting worked up over nothing since 1965. The closest I’ve ever come to giving zero fucks was last month, when I packed for an East Coast trip and realized that I now give very few fucks about the way I look. The ones that I do are related to comfort.
I used to devote full days to packing. I’d fill two shiny suitcases for every five-day trip to New York, and when I took a redeye, I’d take it swaddled in cashmere. Last month I spent an hour packing one wonk-wheeled TravelPro for twelve days away, and flew to JFK in pajamas.
It felt good, but I was predictably worried. Did I give zero fucks because I have no fucks left to give? Was I liberated or just shit out of fucks? I wasn’t concerned about it for too long — by the time I left the airport I hated every person in line at the only Dunkin’ Donuts open at 6:00 AM, and JFK for having only one Dunkin’ Donuts open at 6:00 AM. I hated Uber for surge pricing, and hated myself for knowing that I shouldn’t be using Uber but using it anyway.
I was reassured by my ability to ruin the day by sweating the small stuff and overjoyed when I arrived at my friends’ apartment, grateful for the many fucks I gave when I saw them. That night, I went to a reunion of people that worked at Epic Records decades ago. I wore sensible shoes and almost no makeup. I gave zero fucks about what I looked like, and I had a great time. I did avoid cameras and a manager I had a falling out with in 1994, but progress, not perfection.
I’ll be annoyed AF by Zero Fucks Given until it’s replaced by another cliche, and then I’ll by annoyed by that. It’s all good though: I am annoyed, and therefore I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.