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This Viral Summer To-Do List Would Make Judy Blume Proud
07.17.17

While shopping at a Pittsburgh location of Urban Outfitters last week, a woman and her friend came upon the find of a century: an abandoned summer 2017 bucket list. They subsequently tweeted out a photo of it and the rest, as they say, is history.

Translation: It went viral, receiving more than 13,000 retweets, 51,000 likes and 1,700 responses as of today. The internet was, and still is, freaking out. Someone even broke down the list into categories in an excel doc.

That’s because it is no ordinary summer bucket list. Sure, there are a few run-of-the-mill staples, i.e. “Decorate room;” “Go on a picnic;” “Do summer reading;” “Buy Ray-Bans;” “Get a manicure” and “Get a pedicure.” (Those last two objectives are separate items, a decision I appreciate seeing as it acknowledges the whole point of making a bucket list in the first place: the satisfaction of checking things off). But the more niche agenda items are where things really get interesting. Highlights include:

+Pet a giraffe
+Buy 7 bikinis
+Get a little tan

Why a giraffe? I am not sure. They might be the new flamingo at this point. Why seven bikinis? I’m guessing she wants a different one for each day of the week, which I find commendable as a fellow laundry-avoider. Why “a little tan” instead of a lot? I’m chalking that one up to safe sun practices. Regardless of their true intentions, each task’s specificity is a mysterious and delightful treat.

Assuming the list’s unknown author is a teen, it’s not surprising her to-dos involve a handful of seminal sexual adventures:

+Have sex
+hu w/ Jacob (again)
+Get a boob hickey

What’s almost endearing about them, though, is how they’re written in bubbly letters alongside the remains of a childhood innocence still very much intact:

+Camp in backyard
+have a lemonade stand w/ Zoe
+Eat cotton candy
+Tie a message to a balloon and let it go

Endearing, but also a bit bewildering. How old is this girl? Maybe I’m crotchety, but prior to this I placed sex and lemonade stands in separate age brackets. I am 25 and didn’t even know what some of the hookup terminology meant (I googled a lot of it). I just hope she’s approaching the outlined objectives safely — that’s all! I feel a tender protectiveness over any girl who shares my love of giraffes.

As I took in the full scope of this particular agenda, I couldn’t help but think of Judy Blume, whose books so distinctly capture the weird mix of innocence, angst, joy and sex (or “love and other indoor sports,” as one of her characters called it) that accompanies the transition from kid to not. Off-beat coming-of-age movies like The To Do List and The Diary of a Teenage Girl also come to mind. Why are we, as a culture, so collectively interested in the emotional goings-on of teenage girls? I’d call it creepy if I wasn’t totally on board and aware it was from a place of pure, enamored curiosity.

At any rate, it would be a disservice to reduce Blume’s work to the aforementioned indoor sports, and I would say the same of this bucket list. It is ultimately an entertaining, candid window into the mind of an (assumed-to-be) teenage girl on a quest to live out her best summer existence, and it has permanently raised the stakes for summer agendas from now until eternity.

Now please share your summer to-dos below, and excuse me while I go locate a giraffe to pet.

Photo via Getty images by Arthur Elgort.

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  • She probably wanted to pet the giraffe at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. They’re so cute!

    I have a decidedly more adult bucket list this summer:
    -Move to new place in NYC
    -Kick ass at new job
    -Do something touristy while laughing at the actual tourists, ignoring the fact that I just moved to the city a month ago.

  • Adrianna

    My teenage summer bucket list included getting head instead of giving head, but that’s just me

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  • tmm16

    Since I am born and raised in Pittsburgh, the wave of nostalgia that came over me with the “Go to Kennywood” line was so extreme, I almost booked a flight to Pittsburgh for August…

    • Alicia McElhaney

      Same here!! I was like, this is my youth!! I need to return

  • ericabeckster

    My friend tweeted out “tagging herself” in it and my response was “I wish I was ‘boob hickey’ but I’m definitely ‘binge a new Netflix series.'”
    Oh internet…

  • dietcokehead

    The list introduced me to the term “crossfaded,” which is relevant to my daily life. Thanks, kid! The olds didn’t know we needed a term for this, but why not!

  • Lovey Fleming

    This is hilarious!
    xoxo

    Support Fashion for Conservation in their mission to stop elephant slaughter worldwide with Elephantasia on my blog!

    http://theindiegirl.com/indiegirlblog/fashion-for-conservation-elephantasia

  • Áine Hegarty

    Has the list creator revealed herself!?

  • I feel like I liquidated my lemonade stand ventures long before I was giving the bee jays but I admire this person’s entrepreneurial and sexual spirits!

  • Lorraine Yu

    Didn’t know that I needed a boob hickey in my life. Gonna add this to my list now

  • little fang

    This girl has future summers at Camp MR written all over her.

  • I’ve spent nearly 3/4 of my life writing to-do lists. Love that someone just found this one in an Urban Outfitters dressing room. Could make for a fantastic movie! Someone please make it. I’ll watch it.

    meg @ its.meg-ramsay.com

  • Andrea Alyse Pillaro

    Boob hickeys are all fun and games until you forget about them and try on your appropriately-low-cut-for-a-17-year-old homecoming dress and your mom sees it. I still cringe thinking about it 9 years later.

    • Erica

      preach!!

      i had a fresh boob hickey the day i took my senior portraits in high school. needless to say my mom was v upset at my life choices

  • elpug

    AND this person is responsible:

    +Do summer reading

    So this sounds like a high school girl who is fun yet responsible and studious #goals

  • lil can

    truly inspirational

  • jamie

    Create a summer playlist that’s 10 hours long? Baby stuff. I can easily compile 24 hours worth of summer jams.