Just Living The American Dream

I have fallen in love with Pinterest.  If I had to claim an addiction right now… own up to it… fill a Styrofoam cup full of hot coffee, that I wouldn’t possibly be able to drink without a heavy amount of Coffee Mate, and state my name in front of a crowd who would help me get out from beneath something that has become a TIME SUCKER for me… it would all happen because of Pinterest.

Because Pinterest makes me aware of the fact that my brown dining room wall is NO LONGER TRENDY.  I want gray walls now.  Or maybe brick walls.  Or maybe… GRAY BRICK WALLS.  And my beloved white kitchen cabinets would probably look better if they were gutted from our home, to be replaced with gray cabinets and open shelves on the walls that display my favorite glassware and oatmeal bowls.

And I obviously need metal dining room chairs now to go with my wood table, because Pinterest has assured me that it’s all the rage to mix the mediums, and that wooden chairs that (Gasp!) MATCH your table are so 1982 these days.

Pinterest makes me realize that I’m not living up to the LOVELY STANDARDS that I could achieve, if I just could sew a slipcover for my sofa or spray paint an old dresser in some shade of bright yellow, or if I could just convince Hubs that the money in our 401K would cash out so easily, and we could have a stone patio out back with a fancy fire pit and $400 Adirondack chairs made out of recycled milk jugs.

And let’s not forget the string of outdoor lights, dangling overhead.  Nothing says, “This is the life!” quite like a string of white lights while you’re outdoors, sipping your wine and thinking that you could really use a pedicure.

And then there’s the Houzz website, and listen:  All I want to know is HOW CAN YOU ACHIEVE HARDWOOD FLOORS THAT GLOW WITH THE LIGHT OF A HALO ALL DAY LONG?  Because those are the only floors featured on Houzz.  I’ve looked, people, and nowhere does a floor debut on Houzz with smashed Goldfish cracker crumbs hiding in the corners.

And then my soul… which often argues with my brain… is trying to quietly, quietly, quietly tell me that I’m in the throes of a midlife crisis at the moment.  Thankfully, this isn’t the kind of crisis where I have to go buy a new convertible Corvette and drive up and down the busiest street in Small Town, USA, waving at everyone I know and even those I don’t.  (Besides, people.  Convertibles are not friendly when it comes to maintaining the Good Hair Day you pulled off earlier that morning.)

My midlife crisis seems to be a case of I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF.  I know this is true, because a couple of nights ago, as Hubs was unloading the dishwasher (Which… NO… doesn’t really work any better than it has in the past, because it WASHES the dishes, but it refuses to actually DRY the dishes.), and he nearly ruptured a major vein in his forehead as he said, “I can’t shut the silverware drawer because we have too many forks!  WHERE are we getting all of these new forks from?”

Dear Hubs… When a daddy fork really loves a mama fork… and when the drawer is shut and it’s all dark in there… you tend to get baby forks.  And baby forks eventually grow up and become teenage forks, and HOW WOULD I KNOW WHERE WE’VE GOTTEN ALL THE NEW FORKS FROM?!  Because honestly?  Do you know what we HAVE NEVER, EVER BOUGHT AT OUR HOUSE?


I can’t even begin to pretend that I know how our fork population is acting like a bunch of rabbits at a rave.  As far as I know… we are not foster parents for an influx of orphaned silverware.  I have no answer for Hubs.

But what I do have an answer for is this:  WHY ARE OUR CUPBOARDS SO FULL?  Well, it’s because we have eleventy million coffee mugs, and I only use three of them on a permanent, rotating basis.  The coffee mugs are inhabiting prime cupboard real estate, and they’re pushing the drinking glasses out of the way, and it all makes me insane, even though I don’t really worry about the sudden illegal immigration of forks into our kitchen.

And our bookcases!!  They are bursting at the seams with books that will never be read again, but OH!  HOW I LOVE BOOKS!  Only in my newly found, midlife crisis… I don’t really like them any longer.

Not even a little bit.

Basically, I just want to bring a dump truck right through the center of my dining room, and I want to start filling it up with unused coffee mugs and I READ IT ONCE AND THAT’S ENOUGH books.  And after that, I want to throw in clothes that we don’t wear, and toys that the boys don’t play with, and DVDs that will never be watched again in our lifetimes, and all manner of home decor that looked hotter than Evil Knievel on his motorcycle in a ring of fire back in the day, but which are doing nothing now but causing me to shake my head and ask why I continue to dust them.

Oh.  And I’ll pitch the squatter forks in the dump truck, too.

And then I want that dump truck to just drive away into the sunset.  I want there to be a lovely little score of piano music playing softly in the background, exactly like it would happen if this was a made-for-TV movie about my life, where Julia Roberts plays me, and the end credits are about to roll.

And then I want to just sigh and BREATHE.  I want to breathe in the extra space in our house, because LOOK!!  Our bookcase isn’t bowing down in the middle from all the weight of the Twilight series, which will never be opened again, because reading about Edward and Jacob was really fine, until the movies came along and totally ruined everything for me.  That was just an example of THE BOOK WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE MOVIE in my heart.

So, in the midst of my midlife “LET’S JUST PURGE IT ALL AND DANCE IN THE NEWLY OPENED FLOOR SPACE OF OUR LIVING ROOM” crisis, my friend Katie shared a blog link with me today.  Because today was one of those days where I spent a lot of time slumping motionless in a heap on the sofa, I read it.  And then I read it again.  And then… I read it a third time.

Click RIGHT HERE to read the blog post, “How to Wake Up From the American Dream.”

This post pretty much slapped me across the face, because why am I even bothering to listen to Pinterest inform me that my white kitchen cabinets — which I loved with every ounce of my heart when we first built this house — need to be replaced with something that isn’t… you know… FIVE YEARS OLD already?

People, I want to wake up.  I want to wake up and realize that my excess is just that:  It’s excess.

And I want to realize that WE are one of those families who pretty much has a bike store in our garage.

And that my 1995 dining room chairs that match my 1995 dining room table are still working just fine, and that what’s important is all the memories Hubs and I and our friends and family have created around that dining room table, while sitting in those very chairs.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

1 thought on “Just Living The American Dream

  1. So, I have spent most my day laughing and crying and gasping at your posts! Adoption story is amazing and you are the funniest person I have ever read

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