I’m not having family issues, you’re having family issues

My cousin’s profile picture on Facebook is a selfie of him with Nigel Farage at CPAC. I chose not to use that picture without his consent, however, so I recreated the pic with Paint. / By Evelyn Frick

My cousin Tim thinks I’m a degenerate. Well actually, (Wow it’s weird to be the one using this phrase for once. Usually white men are saying this phrase at me.) according to him that’s not true. According to a recent text he sent me, he actually said, “I’m disappointed in you, but I don’t think you’re a degenerate. I just think you’re behavior is degenerative” (Tim Goeglein, Text Message, 3.29.2017). With that air-tight logic, there was nothing my small-woman brain could do to argue my case. The initial reason my cousin decided to call me out my degenerative behavior is because I liked to post pictures on my Instagram of the progress my armpits have made as I have grown out my underarm hair.

I was always under the impression that I have bodily autonomy and men’s opinions about what I do with my body is irrelevant; but after stroking his beard like the mighty, macho man he is, Tim proved me wrong with all the knowledge that his Roanoke College (The U.S.’s 140th out of 239 ranked liberal arts college) education has provided him.

And so, I have decided to lean into it. Tim is right, I am a degenerate and since I am unwilling to change my behavior, I have compiled a list of other degenerative behaviors I wish to engage in, in the future.

I’ll say it, I like Cool Ranch Doritos. And I’ll say it, I like taking showers. So why not do them together? I am a degenerate after all and surely showering with the crumbs of tortilla chips flavored with my least favorite salad dressing will lead to my downfall.

While doing this, I think I will also livestream the event on my Instagram. That way I can pass it off as performance art, because I am not only a degenerate, but also an art heaux. (An art performance will make me more of a reprobate, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.)

And also because that way I can advertise for Doritos and get more involved with the capitalist system. Not only does Tim think I’m a degenerate but he also thinks capitalism is really great; coincidentally he’s one of the least compassionate people I know. (If capitalism were on Yelp, he would give it a five star review.) Despite that as my cousin he has never attempted to show interest in my interests, as a woman to serve my male cousin’s interests. Perhaps if I do so, I will be less of a degenerate.

Bestiality isn’t really my thing and nor do I ever want it to be. (What kind of degenerate do you think I am? Jeez…) But I want to do the next best thing: kiss a goat. To be clear, I’m not saying I’ll French a goat, or kiss a goat on the lips. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’ll give a goat a nice little peck between the horns! Since apparently I’m a dirty animal, I might as well show some love to my fellow dirty animals.

To be honest though, I think I’ll only kiss a goat if it’s a cute goat. I’ve kissed many not cute men in my day, men that were similar in personality to my cousin, Tim, and I deserve to kiss a cutie. This might be a bit hard to accomplish since I don’t own a goat, nor do I know someone who owns a goat. But maybe I can sneak onto the Vassar Farm and do it. It’s not trespassing if it’s for wholesome purposes, right?

The next degenerative thing I plan on doing is telling a man that I don’t want to have sex with him. Not that I’ve ever talked about sex with my cousin, but he seems like the type of guy that thinks women should be submissive in every aspect. (Just a little insight based on 19 years of knowing him.)

Thus in his perfect reasoning, women should never turn down a man. If I do, I will bring shame upon my family and degrade my honor a la Mulan, which is why I have to do it now. The idea that I have the right to a consensual sex act is extremely radical, I know. (Should I even continue on with this list? Have I reached my peak degenerate? Nah, not quite yet…) I’ll let you know if I become too much of a degenerate to function.

My last act on Earth will be to act as a degenerate and smoke weed in a coffin. That’s right, I want to be sealed into a maplewood coffin and lowered into the ground where I can hit a bong in peace. I’ve never hot-boxed before but I feel like smoking weed in a coffin is the most creative way to go about it and yet it will also be the most simple; I will be smoking in a literal hot box.

It is also worth noting that being sealed into a coffin will also be my last act on Earth, but what a way to go out, am I right? With all the air deprivation and weed smoke I’ll be hallucinating my way to hell and that sounds better than how my week on Earth has been going. My last request is that Bob Marley is played at my funeral.

If anyone has any other suggestions on how to be a degenerate, like not wearing a bra or voting for a Democrat, please let me know. I want to be the best possible libertine (or worst possible?) I can be and so I’ll take any advice I can get. Feel free to email me, text me, send me a message on LinkedIn or send me a carrier pigeon. For even more convenience, I can even leave a suggestion box outside my room.

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