Over the past week, there’s been a lot of celebrating going on in my world: a milestone birthday followed by Mother’s Day celebrations with my mom and again with my mother-in-law. There have been laughter and sweets, photos and games. And yes, there have even been gifts.
One thing I’ve noticed post-celebration–even more than the tightness of my pants*–is the way we, as a society, tend to talk about celebrations. What’s become especially interesting to me is the way we seem to want to measure their success. “What did you get?” If I didn’t field that question twenty different ways in the day following my thirtieth birthday, I’d be shocked. I tried to talk about the surprise party my husband threw. I tried to mention how friends from high school, college, and work all went in on the surprise. But all anyone really seemed to care about is what I unwrapped. Continue reading “Reframing the Question About Celebrations”
This past month, I have learned to say no. I know, I know. Clap a little louder so I can hear you while I take a bow. In the past thirty days, I successfully turned down three in-person Stella & Dot parties; five virtual parties of assorted sundries like lotions, bags, makeup, and diet pills wraps magical concoctions that won’t work; a Stitch Fix subscription request; and an invitation to pay money to drink wine and paint. I am so proud. I also feel a little bit like a jerkface. But mostly, I’m just proud.
Most of these invitations have come with “easy out” opportunities, like a polite click of the “decline” button followed up by a text message thanking the host for the invitation and suggesting that we catch up soon. But one of these parties came with a never-ending email chain threaded between all the invitees. While I kept my reply short and sweet as a courtesy, here’s what I’d really like to say: Continue reading “Stop Asking Everyone to Buy Things”