Thursday, December 08, 2011

the internet is a big, fat lie.

Recently, Scarlet Lily sent me an email. The subject line of the email was Ouiser Porn. You all know that I'm the world's biggest prude, right? I am. I was also curious about the email. It contained a link to this.

It really was like porn. Just for me. If Bella is Edward's personal brand of heroin, then organizing might be mine. As I scrolled through the blog post, I ooh'ed and aah'ed a lot. Then I ooh'ed less. Then I just got angry.

Want to know why?

Because the internet is a big, fat lie.

The photographs of that kitchen aren't realistic. I mean, they're real. In fact, that's what my kitchen looks like after I clean it, and if I was planning to photograph my kitchen and slap those photos on the internet, that's probably what it would look like. But then I'd cook dinner. Or grab something from the back of the cabinet and not replace whatever was in front of it as carefully. I might not turn all the labels the same way. I might not stack the peanut butter crackers as neatly. Do you get what I'm saying?

I'm saying that by virtue of living in a space, you cannot maintain perfection in that space.

Let that soak into your brains for a minute. It took me a minute to really grasp what I was saying myself.

No matter what organizing tool you buy. No matter how tidy you are. No matter if you have a housekeeper. Your life and your home can't be perfect all the time. It's just not realistic.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't aim high. I aim for perfection all the time, but it's a goal that I never actually intend to meet. It just makes me do my best. Keeping my kitchen as organized as I can whilst still using it. Keeping my toilet as clean as possible whilst not sending my family to the woods to "eliminate."

I've decided that the internet and magazines shouldn't be lying to us. It's like they exist just to make us feel bad about ourselves. To make us feel like we're bad mothers. Bad housekeepers. Bad cooks. Bad, bad, bad. And you know what? We're not. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to start photographing real life a little. I photographed my whole kitchen yesterday. Everything. Every cabinet. Every drawer. Even the inside of the fridge. Only I didn't do any merchandising at all. It took all my willpower not to stage things perfectly, not to turn the spouts on the milks and the juices all the same way. Not to make sure the forks and spoons were perfectly aligned. But I didn't. I just clicked away. Next, I'm going to merchandise the crap out of the kitchen. I'm going to get it "my house is on the market" ready. And I'm going to photograph* that. And then we're going to see the difference in reality and internet reality and we're all going to feel like champions of domesticity. Right? Right.

Who's with me? I mean, am I the only person alive who feels like the internet and magazines are taunting me? Telling me that I'm not good enough unless my life is in perfect order? Perfectly designed, perfectly rigid order? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Is this thing on?

*My card reader has just crapped out. The photos will have to wait. Technical difficulties and all.


Sarah Berry said...

I love this project! Although I fear that your "lived in" photos will pretty much look like every other family's "spruced up" photos :)

Wonderland said...

I saw this photo of Victoria Beckham recently which sent me into a rage. It's not just that she's skinny and perfectly put together, that's old news, and plus that's her *job*, so I've come to terms with that. This was much more heinous.
It was a picture of her walking through the airport (perfect hair, perfect clothes, prefect aloof look on her face), holding a perfectly dressed, not-crying, child on her hip. THERE WAS NOT A DIAPER BAG IN SIGHT. She wasn't even carrying a purse, and she didn't have an ounce of spit-up on her anywhere. It was like she had been sprayed in teflon. AND, her hip wasn't even cocked out to one side awkwardly to actually carry the child. Which meant, she wasn't even really carrying him/her for any distance! She was freakin POSING. You know some handler swept in a put that kid in a car seat 2 seconds after that photo was shot. It made me SO FREAKIN mad for all of the moms (and women in general... and people for that matter) that are just trying to hang in there... Just trying to get through their days. Ya know?
Anyway, that's my long winded way of saying: I'm with ya, sister.