Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Listless

A picture for your pinning pleasure






















I've noticed that people love a good list.


Lists of date ideas;

Lists of things you should tell your child before they're 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

17.

18.

Lists of ways to tell your husband you love him;

Lists of things you should do to strengthen your marriage.

I think you get the point. A lot of lists.

So, in a blatant attempt to get myself pinned on Pinterest, I am going to make the List To End All Lists.

(I can't wait to be famous!)

1. If your husband doesn't think you love him, and you need a list of ideas to get him to believe it, there's something wrong. With him, with you, maybe with your parents. Maybe all of you. It's hard to tell without a lot of therapy. Or maybe he does know it, but he's not overly affectionate, and you're just pinning things you wish he'd do for you, and you are of the mistaken mind that if you do it for him, he'll reciprocate. That doesn't work. Stop wasting your time, and use your words. Men are a big fan of the words.

2.No one in the history of the Universe has ever actually done all those date ideas. Cause let's face it: you're tired and broke. And snuggling up with a movie never gets old. Or takes too much energy. And your husband probably doesn't think all those 'creative' ideas are as much fun as you think they are. Or maybe he does. In which case (and only after I say you're delusional or he's a good faker), I say let him plan the dates! Why, after the wedding vows are made, do women suddenly feel compelled to plan elaborate dates? I mean, yeah. Plan some dates. But, man. I am of the mind that anything is fun if you do it with your favorite person. Do we have to turn enjoying time with our spouse into another chore or thing-to-be-organized? I can't wait until we all start making Date Charts, complete with magnets, chalkboard paint, and vinyl sayings. Then we could create a reward system for every time our husbands agree to go on some cockamamie date with us without complaint, complete with a whole separate chart of stickers and points. Oh, the list/chart-making possibilities are endless!

3. Your 5-year old will turn 6 whether or not you tell him certain things in certain ways. Then he'll turn 7. Then 8. Then 9. Are you catching on, here? He'll be okay. Unless you are a horrible human being with no morals, your child will turn out to be pretty decent. If absolutely nothing else, they will learn from your example, which, if you remember, isn't all that bad because we've already determined that you are not a horrible human being. There isn't any vital secret that you are going to miss-out on telling them if you don't pin every list on parenting available on Pinterest. I promise. And besides, here's a little-known secret: the authors of those lists are not any better parent than you. They just know how to write things in such a way as to tug at your heart strings and sound good. And, guaranteed (unless you're only 22), most of them are younger than you, so where's the evidence-based data proving their list correct?! Yeah, they're just making that crap up! It'll take a good 35 years before we know if their little theories are helpful or complete B*$%#@. If you want some real advice, go ask your mom. She won't give you any, because she's smart, and she knows that parenting isn't a basic math equation with a finite answer, but ask anyway. It's good for you.

4. If a pin is titled in ALL CAPS, especially if those caps say "BEST EVER" or "MUST READ" or "THE ABSOLUTE BEST" or "MUST REMEMBER" or anything similar, you are under no obligation to repin it. ALL CAPS is not legally binding. It doesn't make an untruth true. Or a waste of time valuable. Hard as it tries.

5. If your marriage needs strengthening, your marriage is probably what you should focus on. Not someone else's. I mean, if you are super surprised by any of the ideas listed in a marriage-strengthening list, let's face facts: you're kind of stupid, so maybe you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. And, of course, if your marriage is in trouble, please seek professional help. I am a supporter of professional help! Which is not Pinterest. Even if it's in ALL CAPS. Also, if you happen to notice, a lot of cutesy marriage-strengthening lists are authored by little girls who have been married all of three years. Refer to list item #3 if you don't know where I'm going with this...

6. You may, in fact, pin anything you please. It's the law. And I won't judge. (not that you should care whether or not I judge). It's just that I sometimes worry that lots of young (and old) wives and mothers are getting the odd impression that all the nice little, well-intentioned, smart-sounding lists on Pinterest are a realistic depiction of reality. They are not. In fact, women were all getting along just fine (having great relationships, raising well-behaved, well-loved children, and spending quality time with their spouses) before the Internet! I know it is true, because my own mother did it! Not a list in site other than the ones she wrote in her little spiral notebook every morning before the sun came up; lists that were carefully tailored to keep her focused on her own, personal goals - and not those of some mostly-fictitious mommy blogger who just wants more traffic.

7. And I say this just as much to myself as to everyone else: focusing too much energy on other people's supposed perfection only makes you feel dissatisfied with your own life. So think of the good things you're doing, do them more, and don't worry about it.







6 comments:

Pam said...

Amen.

Sharlee said...

Now I need to click on one of those lists just to see what they say. I never have because what you said only I didn't think that hard about it. Love when you put into words what we all want to say/think.

The United Statements of Merica said...

You are wise. And beautiful. And hilarious.
xo

Darcee Johnson said...

Just pinned you! (took me a while to figure out how! not a big pinner).

Paige of Pearls said...

I haven't been on Pinterest for a while because I have to avoid the kind of stuff you're referring to here. Even when I do go there, the all-caps "BESTEST THING EVER AND YOU HAVE TO READ OR YOU'RE A HUGE SLACKER" posts make me spend even less time on the site. Like we need more people telling us more ways we're not living up to some obscure people's idea of perfection! Thanks for being so articulate AND funny, Andrea!

Lena said...

oh how I have missed you...