Many of my friends are addicted to various lifestyle blogs that offer suggestions, stories and advice on how to live a beautiful life. Perhaps there are tips about the latest fall fashions, or how scented candles can help you relax or how to make a stunning party dip for a crowd. These blogs can have lovely content, practical tips and fun links. But every time I read them or flip through a high-end glossy magazine, I end up feeling a little bad about myself.
Why? Because I'm still aspiring to get through the day without accidentally bruising my knee on the coffee table or pouring rancid milk on my cereal.
I will never rent a Tuscan villa for the summer and take gorgeous photos of my made-from-scratch (even the bread!) panzanella and expertly-cooked steak. My panzanella, you see, is decently tasty, but it ain't no centerfold. And the last time I made steak, I used too much oil and ended up mistakenly semi-frying it.
But if you want to know where to go for takeout Mexican food that you eat in secret because really, no one should eat that big of a portion, call me.
Here are the top 13 reasons I am the worst person to start a lifestyle blog:
1. I really don't understand throw pillows. I don't care about them. Never will. What is the point of a pillow that just gets thrown on the floor? Or do people not throw them on the floor? I wouldn't throw them on my floor because there is probably dirt and hair and dust bunnies. But where do you throw them then? In the closet? Who has space in their closet?? That's where I already hid all the stuff I didn't want my guests to see.
2. I never want to take a selfie, ever. I think my cheeks are fat. And my skin is probably splotchy for no good reason. And my hair is probably sticking out from my ponytail because, well, it just is.
3. I never make beautiful breakfasts for people. Want to come over for brunch? Great! I'll order some amazing smoked salmon from down the block and we'll drink some cheap Champagne that has been sitting in the fridge for an unknown amount of time. I will answer the door in sweatpants and encourage you ahead of time to bring a pair of your own. We can eat some leftover guacamole that yes, I did make myself, but have been eating out of the bowl with the same spoon. Hope you don't mind germs.
4. None of my Pyrex are clear anymore. If I counted the different shades of brown that have appeared on my various Pyrex cookware, it would be in the several dozens. IT DOESN'T COME OFF, OK?
6. I rarely wear high heels. I was really proud of myself for buying these awesome, patent-leather red heels for a friend's wedding and after dancing in them, I developed a horrible bruise on my big toe (lesson: high heels are the devil). It's been there for weeks and is super unattractive, which is problematic because...
7. I rarely get manicures or pedicures. Just not worth the money for me. Your gel nails look amazing, yes. But I'll just deal with my purple big toe so I can save that money for eating ALL OF THE TACOS when I go to Mexico.
8. STAINS. In the past few years, I have discovered countless pieces of food down my shirt, a chicken wing in my purse and a large piece of chicken in my shoe. I try really hard not to stain my clothes (except for that time I once dropped aioli on my shirt and used an asparagus spear to wipe it off instead of a napkin because then I could still eat the aioli), but it never works and I've just decided to deal with it by not wearing too much white.
9. I don't understand how to layer. I put layering in the same categories as throw pillows -- just beyond my comprehension. Why wear several layers when you can just wear one? Why make it harder to put pajamas on as soon as you get home (because duh, I do that).
10. I meant to go to the farmers' market, but... There was a "Law & Order SVU" marathon on, so...
11. I don't own an iron and I don't know how to sew. Embrace the occasional wrinkle or missing button, I say!
12. Rompers intimidate me. When I see women that manage to look good in rompers, I wonder if they are secretly robots.
13. I don't own stacks of beautiful dishware or interesting placemats. Do I want unique, vintage plates that I found for dirt cheap at a thrift store? Of course. They would go perfectly with my imagined collection of various multi-colored finger bowls and all those too-cute tea towels I see everywhere. But hey, I live in a one-bedroom apartment and our heavy Earthenware plates can go into the oven, and we don't have a dishwasher, so...
Do I wish that I lived a life full of beautiful flower arrangements, oh-so-adorable stationery and sweaters that actually flattered me? I suppose on some level, yes. But I'm happy to mostly embrace these laughable tragedies. I don't want lifestyle blogs or glossy magazines to go away -- I just sometimes wish that the definition of "lifestyle" could encompass more quirks, mistakes, imperfections and stains. Let's celebrate the blemishes in our lives, and recognize that no matter how many perfectly soft-lit photos of inventive chicken recipes that you come across online, it's OK that most of the time, your meal looked more like this.