Why 'Anything In Moderation' Is The Dumbest Rule To Live By

by Annie Kramer

Moderation leads to complacency, and complacency leads to boredom. Being boring and complacent should come after your kids have kids and before your second hip replacement.

At this point in my life, moderation is a fundamental fear, right up there with eating a poisonous spider in my sleep and walking around with my skirt tucked into my underwear.

I’m a firm believer that moderation is nothing more than another way to say "boring." "Moderate exercise" is a doctor's suggestion; "moderate drinking" is a Tuesday and "a moderate amount of plaque" is just gross.

It’s also a way to justify not doing anything, as in, "Well, that’s only an issue of moderate concern."

As much as this could turn into a rant, with me getting up on my high horse describing how the poise and patience of our forefathers did not create our great nation, I won’t. (Mainly because I don’t want to sound like some self-righteous know-it-all when I’m just a 23-year-old who can’t even figure out how to set up the online bill pay for her car insurance.)

Think of all of the time and energy wasted going the speed limit, or logging your calories on that stupid app you downloaded in an attempt to fulfill your New Year's resolution, or not buying that awesome pair of boots you still think about, even after letting them go three months ago.

What’s life without the occasional week of overeating and crying yourself to sleep after a breakup or mirror you broke in a fit of rage? Moderation is reasonable and fair — and a boring waste of energy. It’s simply monotonous.

The monotony stemming from a life of moderation is, in a way, terrifying. It would be like living in some idealized, TV show reality. There would be no obese people to make me look skinny, no tacky people to make me feel classy and no crazy people to make me seem sane.

It would be a world without foot-long hotdogs, transition lenses, "Guinness Book of World Records” or buffets.

No one would ever talk about seeing the green fairy or barfing from attempting the gallon challenge. Think about all those professional eaters who would be out of jobs.

To quote Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (or Marilyn Monroe or Anne Boleyn or Eleanor Roosevelt or whoever actually said it),

Well behaved women rarely make history.

And, history, my friends, is essentially just important memories. In a world of chronic moderation, reminiscing would go the way of the past. Remember that time George Washington got a little cold and, instead of crossing the Delaware and fighting for freedom, he sat at the fort?

In a more day-to-day context, who wants to talk about that night you had those two wine spritzers and nothing happened?

Or, remember that time in high school when you had the car of people next to you trying to get you to race and then you didn’t and nothing happened?

But, seriously, do you remember that time at band camp when everyone wasn’t sexually active, there wasn’t a single love triangle and no one lost his or her virginity?

So, please, can we get over this phase of moderation, go balls to the wall and see how it all shakes out? Because no one wants to hear the story of how you met your husband at the DMV, and I personally don’t want to feel like I’m stuck in “The Truman Show."