You gotta love it (after you really hate it)


I don’t want to reveal too much, but I’m not so great with the bill paying. I’m not exactly that character from Bunheads who just put all her bills in a box and then paid the most important twice once a year. But sort of. My bete noire: Medical Bills. They are messy and involve lining up what your insurance company thinks you should pay with what the doctor thinks you should pay and you’re always thinking “What should I pay?” Until recently, my medical bills were in a defacto once-a-year-box (actually a two- or three-time-a-year drawer) when New Years and promises of a new me came along. It was time to get to business. Despite the many annoying things about these bills — frequency, adjustments to what I owe, seemingly arbitrary timing and delineation of who charges for what, and that weird shell corporation thing they do so you have to really dig to figure out the Dr. Smith your insurance company says you should pay is actually Ad Nauseam Medical Terminology Associates — I have done it. Everything is up to date, and when a new bill comes in, I open it and deal with it right away rather than putting it in that drawer. Here’s the thing. It feels SO GOOD. I mean, I think that paying my medical bills gave me the same endorphin rush as say a good workout or a really good cookie. Okay, maybe any cookie, no matter how good. Cookies and endorphins go together like Rama-lama-ding-dong in my opinion.

And I began to notice that things I absolutely hate to do, if I can just get myself to do them, actually make me feel good. Not in the sense of accomplishment, or even the weight lifted off my shoulders sense, though that is a benefit too. There’s just something about the things I hate. I actually love them.

I first experienced this on a smaller scale when I was a skeptical teen. In those days, we talked about musicians “selling out” if they let their songs be used in advertisements. It’s such a foreign concept now, but if you are over 40, you understand. Maybe even 35. So there was a beer company and they paid all these really popular musicians to use their songs in some commercials. Anyone who considered themselves a music lover was aghast. So when Phil Collins, who was kind of already annoying me with his drippy solo album and his confusing/grown-up slow dance song “Separate Lives” sold “In The Air Tonight” as part of that night-themed campaign, I was out.

I hated Phil Collins in the way that only a newly cynical teenager can hate something: fully, angrily, loudly, definitive of your very personality. Some people reading this may remember me as the girl who hated Phil Collins.

But something funny happened the minute I declared my hatred. Damn if those songs from his album, Face Value, didn’t worm their way into my ears. I mean, they were constantly playing on the radio and in TV shows, movies, the aforementioned commercial. And I can admit this now, for years, Phil was my secret guilty pleasure. My hatred actually spurred a love that lead me back to his early days in Genesis, to listen more closely to his drum work and to truly dig a lot of the stuff this guy did. Secretly, of course.

There’s some kind of alchemy, for me, in truly hating something: I let myself despise it wholly, and it bounces back into something that I like. I mean, not all things of course, mostly the pop culture ones (I feel it heading there with the Kardashians. I have still some hating to do there, though.) And also the mundane, fact of life ones.

Which can be helpful, especially when it helps me find a way to do the stuff that as an adult person, I really gotta stop bellyaching about. Like pay the medical bills. So I’m getting it off my chest: I love doing full planks in exercise class. Making the bed is my boo! Look at this fun montage of me going through receipts and chatting up cashiers as I return and exchange Christmas gifts! (It's playing in my mind, sorry.)

I love cleaning cat vomit!

Yeah, nope.

Still gotta work on that one a bit.