I didn’t give a fuck when I polished off a Costco-sized bag of Mini Eggs a few days ago. I didn’t give a fuck when I left in the middle of a date with a misogynist orthopedic surgeon who called me a “cheap-looking anorexic c*nt.” And that time I sold most of my possessions and moved from NYC to Vancouver on a whim? Yeah, no fucks given there either.
But truthfully? Most of the time I give alllll the fucks. I don’t know how to live any other way. I feel all the feelings. Deeply. Unabashedly. And I care. A lot. From friends to work to dating, I throw down hard each and every time. I really don’t see the point otherwise.
I realize I’m in the minority. From Etsy shilling a plethora of “Zero Fucks Given” tees and mugs to a Yoda meme proudly stating, “Give a fuck, I do not,” it’s clear we are living in a “no fucks given” world.
Not too long ago, a certain scenario in which I’ve heard and witnessed countless times before repeated itself: A friend of mine had hooked up with a guy she was into. Even though he asked for her number, he didn’t text her the following day, or the day after that. “I don’t know why I care,” she later told me. “It wasn’t a big thing.”
“A guy you liked had his hand up your vagina,” I said to her. “Of course you care. You should care!”
Since when did it become cool to not care about anything or anyone anyway? Do we really want to be a bunch of floating icebergs?
I’m worried that giving no fucks mean we don’t want to feel the feelings we have. I’m worried that it means we’re saying it’s okay to numb and suppress our feelings, which has always been super easy to do (hello! Alcohol/drugs/sex/shopping/food). I’m worried that giving zero fucks means it’s wrong to care about something or someone deeply and passionately. That caring and feeling about anything and everything means you’re NOT cool.
On one hand, I get it. I recently found an unsent letter I had written to an ex that read, “I feel bad for feelings my feelings. I feel bad for having feelings. I don’t want to care about you. I don’t want to feel this way.” Truthfully, I’ve probably said and thought this exact thing every. single. time. post-breakup. That feeling of being punched in the stomach by a 100-pound gorilla hurts like hell.
Rejection, in all forms, suuuuuucks. We want to belong and know that people like us. Expressing something that may not be accepted or reciprocated is gut-wrenching. No one wants to be kicked off the island. I, too, have wanted to be the “Cool Girl,” which was so impeccably defined by Gillian Flynn: “Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me. I don’t mind. I’m the Cool Girl.”
Oh man, I WISH I could toss off men, rejection, bad days, and – LBH – life, with the flip of my dry-shampooed hair, a belch and a bite of a good greasy burger like all the Cool Girls do. But I can’t. Not only because I’m a vegetarian and would actually need to eat a veggie burger on a gluten-free bun. (Not even my food is “cool.”)
From all accounts, it’s easier to not give AF because it’s sometimes scary to feel something. It’s super uncomfortable to acknowledge that you may have intense feelings – bad or good – for something or someone. We tend to think feelings are weak. We label people “aggressive” or “needy” or – cue heavy eye roll – “emotional.” We react to things in our lives by fleeing and avoiding rather than confronting and confessing.
Without feeling, expressing or sharing our feelings (i.e., when we refuse to give AF), our lives don’t improve. We might stay in a debilitating job or dead-end relationship or remain unhappily alone. We might want the easy way out when, in reality, most times we remain motionless, weighed down by our self-protective armour. We might even get so complacent with giving few fucks that we forget which ones to give.
There certainly are times when we should give few fucks. Don’t give AF about the woman in your barre class who gives you that “look”. Don’t give AF about the troll who keeps tweeting you. Don’t give AF about the asshole manager who belittles your skills.
But dare to give AF. Express your messy feelings. Show how much you want it, miss it, love it. Because to feel anything truly deep and worthy, in order to make any improvements in your life, you must go all in and throw down hard, and not give AF about doing so.