Binge-watching TV, talking selfies, pre-cleaning and night brunches
10 Ordering takeaway We don’t judge. We love you just the way you are. If we were going to make one observation, and it is definitely not a criticism, it would be that you have spoken to the pizza delivery guy more than any of your friends or family in the past 12 months. Is that healthy?
9 Binge-watching TV There are certain Time Outers who recall a time before VHS cassettes and there are others too young to remember that, but vaguely recall seeing a DVD once. One thing we agree on is that waiting a week to watch the next episode of your favourite show enhances the experience. Not that we’re above binge-watching a favourite series once in a while. But three full series in a single week is probably too much of a good thing. Even if you do fast-forward through the opening credits.
8 Paying for a gym You’re fooling nobody. You have even stopped changing into gym clothes to answer the door to your pizza delivering friend to cover your guilt. Not going to the gym is okay. It’s a lifestyle choice, and as long as you’re getting a bit of exercise, no harm done. But paying for it, claiming the moral high ground of being a card-carrying member of the fitness fraternity and never going, is beyond ludicrous.
7 Pretending to like art Think a painting looks like it was scribbled in crayon by a sleepy eight-year-old wearing oven gloves and a blindfold? Then say so. You can think a certain installation is pretentious, worthless or contrived without it meaning you’re a cultural wastrel with the taste of a blinking fairy light. It’s fine to have a negative opinion about an exhibition once in a while. It makes the ones you love all the more special.
6 Calling any photo a selfie A selfie is a photograph you take of yourself. It is not an interchangeable word for photograph. So, if you hand us your camera and ask us to take a selfie of you one more time, there’s every chance we’ll smash it on the floor and poke you in the eye with a selfie stick. 5 Pre-cleaning You work hard and you deserve the little treats you allow yourself. Believe that if you want. We absolutely insist that you maintain a decent level of cleanliness. It’s also useful and polite to have a general spruce up of your home before flinging open the doors to a cleaner. But if you’re spending hours scrubbing work surfaces and dusting behind a TV just so your cleaner doesn’t think you’re messy then it’s probably better to do the whole job yourself.
4 Night brunches We have perfectly good words and expressions in English to describe this sort of activity already. Evening buffet, perhaps? Or simply dinner. Citywide, we’re already pushing it a bit far with the enormous noon to 4pm sessions that don’t much relate to a breakfast meal, but to call any meal at night a brunch really snaps our breadsticks.
3 Checking in At the supermarket, at the doctor’s, in a restaurant, by the pool, on the Metro – we don’t need to have your every movement tracked. What’s more, we don’t want to know either. Leave your phone in your pocket and keep the location-brags to a minimum.
2 Troll hunting Trolls are real. They live, mostly, online and survive on the scraps of argument that you throw their way. Ignore them and they might just go away. We’re not saying put all your opinions and beliefs on hold and let the more offensive and belligerent among them get away with their nonsense. But if you’re spending more time arguing with Justin Bieber fans online about which is his best haircut, or confronting people on the comments section of a YouTube video, than you are talking to your own family and friends, you have a real problem.
1 Queueing at airport arrivals One word – eGate. This glorious shortcut to luxury is within everybody’s grasp (the technology is right there in your Emirates ID) and will save you countless hours standing around in Arrivals trying to get wi-fi and stretching out the effects of hours cooped up on a plane.
Will Milner is a contributing editor. We could fill a magazine with things he should stop doing.