I don’t get excited about the right things

We’re moving this week. Into a gigantic, luxurious apartment. By which I mean, it has two rooms and a DISHWASHER!!! A dishwasher. I want to write the word again and again. Because it’s about to change my life. It’s about to make my life so much better. I can’t even comprehend the full extent of how much better my life is going to be. I will put the plates into the machine, with some special liquid dishwasher soap, and I’ll close the door. And then, in a bit, the plates will be clean. Like magic. And I won’t have to choose between writing another chapter of the book I’m working on and being able to eat with a clean fork. Because that’s not a choice anyone should be forced to make.

So I’m really excited about that. But I’m not excited about other things. And they are things that I’m supposed to be excited about.

I’m not excited about decorating. About figuring out which pictures to hang on the walls and where exactly the couch should go, and if we need another bookshelf, but this time with extra cubbies for delicate glass vases and a little sculpture of a frog. Or a farm animal. Or the Buddha. I don’t understand the art of end tables. I don’t feel inspired to learn. I’d like to live in a beautiful space. Where the colors work. And the style is funky, original, and yet, completely aesthetically understandable. The kind of place that people walk into and think, “Why didn’t I think of that? So simple, and so….brilliantly creative.” But I don’t know how to make a room look like that, and I don’t really want to spend time trying to figure it out.

(image source here)

I’m not excited about wedding planning. My mother is much more excited than I am. She has boundless energy. She’s detail oriented. She loves celebrations. I don’t care about a lot of the details. I care a lot about that moment when I’m facing my fiancé under the chuppah, and he’s looking at me, and I’m three seconds away from being officially married to the love of my life. But the flowers? I mean, I want them to be beautiful. I want everyone to walk into the room and look around and have to catch their breath, because it’s so stunning. I want it to be magical, like stardust might just drift down from the ceiling at any moment. But I don’t want to spend my time picking out perfect flowers.

I’m not excited about making myself look better. I talked about this a little in my post on my beauty routine (an idea I stole from Virginia at Beauty Schooled).  I talk a lot about wanting to be beautiful, about struggling with my appearance, about sometimes feeling beautiful, about the concept of beauty itself. I’d like to be one of those women who walks down the street in an outfit that just works in every way. It’s cool, sexy, fascinating, fashionable, perfectly complimentary of her unique look. Her hair, also, is amazing. She’s figured out a style that suits her face. Everything is just right. The nails. The shoes. The makeup, which is subtle and elegant, but a little spunky. I want people to look at me and think I have mastered my look. But I don’t’ want to spend a bunch of time figuring my look out. I don’t care enough about my hair to do anything with it. My hair doesn’t care enough about me to do anything, even if I want it to. For my first date with my fiancé, I picked an outfit about five minutes before I met him. I kept thinking, as I put it on, “Shouldn’t you be making more of an effort? Shouldn’t you WANT to spend time picking this outfit?” That part is fun, after all, even if the date isn’t (that date definitely was. I mean, he brought me an enormous sunflower and we had a conversation about how you might work magic realism into a young adult book about the revolutionary war. How could I not fall for the guy?). It’s not that I never enjoy dressing up. I do. But I’m never willing to make a serious study of my appearance. I’m just willing to complain about it, quickly and succinctly.

Anyway, sometimes I just get the sense that there are all these things that women do, that I just can’t seem to get excited about. Not all women, of course. But lots and lots of women (and quite a few men as well). And I’m not trying to say that those things are bad, or that I’m bad for not liking them enough. They just look fun, sometimes, and I wonder why I don’t actually enjoy them.

Who knows. Maybe once I have a dishwasher, I’ll have more time to get my nails done.

(look at it beckoning! Image source here)

*  *  *  *

What doesn’t excite you that excites a lot of other people? I’m also not into music videos, beer, any movie with a sad ending, fashion magazines, reality TV,  and skiing. But I love hip hop.

Un-roast: Today I love my friendliness. I’m really friendly. I hold the door for people a lot. And I love my tan shoulders. I was out in the sun a lot over the weekend. My fiance and I played tag. Just us. Because we are still very young children, and may always be that way. Which is good, because I may need to practice for a few more years before I can catch him.

P.S. Thank you to a reader named Sarah who wrote me an incredible email today that really touched me. I wanted to acknowledge you here, and also, I’m about to write back.

P.P.S I didn’t link my last Huffpo piece, because sometimes I feel sort of silly doing that, especially when the piece is adapted from something I wrote here. I’m not sure if this is something I need to get over or what. Just letting you know.

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22 Comments »

Kate on July 13th 2010 in beauty, being different, life

22 Responses to “I don’t get excited about the right things”

  1. Marte responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Ah!!! Thank you soooo much for posting this. As I was unsuccessful in my attempt to get my fiance to elope (I thought guys weren’t supposed to care about “having a wedding”?), I am in the middle of wedding plans myself, and will be trying to find a place for us to live later this year. We’ve started the registry process and I had a minor meltdown in the middle of Target going “I don’t KNOW what I want our place to look like!” It’s so nice to hear someone else admit to not wanting to plan a wedding, a house, or deal with all these other things that are supposed to be the end all and be all of being a bride.

  2. Cindy responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    you, my friend, are NOT ALONE. I had a very small wedding because I didn’t really care about a big fancy schmancy wedding. I just wanted to be married. I DID want my small and not very fussy wedding to be MY STYLE and by MY CHOICE ( my former mother in law planned my first wedding and it was a cookie cutter version of her daughter’s wedding)zzzzzzzzzzz

    so I just wanted it to say ME. hence the navy blue dress and lemon cake. hehe

    plus I didn’t want to be in debt forever over it all.

    but there is so damn much I just don’t have the energy to care about. I thought it was due to motherhood and lack of sleep but if I am really honest with myself, I was really always like that.

    I like new shirts…shirts are easy..but pants and shoes and accessories are a chore for me to buy, pick out, match etc. OYE.

    groceries…LOVE THAT. could spend all day in Sprouts and Trader Joes.

    home decor??? I’d rather it all be from exotic trips and souvenirs than from a galleria somewhere. when we remodeled our house from the ground up we spent half a year shopping and I am literally exhausted. Lord help me if I ever have to pick out sofa fabric or paint color again.

    aaaahhh.

    same with hair! that’s why clips were invented..and pony tail holders.

    hair spray? gel? curlers? huh…again..toddler would most likely undo it in 5 minutes anyway, or the wind; or my husband…jeez.

    I would rather spend hours and hours making yarn, coloring with my toddler and cooking fun food!

    CONGRATS on the new dishwasher. I lived a couple years without one recently and even though I have a nice new one now, i forget it exists. makes my husband nuts! why do we even have this thing?

    I dunno…you made me go appliance shopping. I hate that too!

    toodles!

    have a great great day

    unroast? hmmm…today I have on my shoulders a tiny shawl I made myself and it’s pretty darn cute. It’s me, and no one else has one like it. plus I made it myself. did I mention, I, um…MADE IT. and my hair is in a clip. Simple..kinda messy and all over the place. Its ME

    xo

  3. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I had a destination wedding and didn’t plan a thing. I never saw my bouquet of flowers until they were handed to me on my way into the church. They were peach roses. I would have never picked peach roses, but I was happy with them nonetheless.
    You’re lucky that your mom is so excited about the wedding planning details, maybe you can just pass the planning job along to her :)

  4. Kate responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    @Samantha Angela
    Peach roses aren’t too shabby :) Where was your wedding?

    I AM lucky, and my mom is incredibly helpful with the whole process. I’m actually happy it makes her so excited. It’s nice to be around

  5. Ellie Di responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    I would also be terribly excited to get a dishwasher. I’ve been without one for so long! Also, I wasn’t terribly excited about wedding planning when it was my time. Thank gawd that there were people around me just as laid back.

  6. Maya responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 4:47 pm #

    I can’t think of anything in particular I don’t get excited about that I should (I love picking out clothes) but one thing I am excited about that I probably shouldn’t be: I just moved, and the sink in my bathroom is a vessel. Like, it’s a big glass bowl. On top of the counter.

    Fantastic.

    I’m gonna be really honest; it’s basically my favorite part of the new house. And I love the new house.

    When I entered the new kitchen, I almost freaked out because I didn’t see the dishwasher. Thankfully, my dad was standing in front of it. I know how to appreciate a good dishwasher.

  7. Kate responded on 13 Jul 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    @Maya
    I’ve seen those before and they are extremely cool. I want one. Maybe one day very far in my future, there waits a glass bowl sink….

  8. Emily responded on 14 Jul 2010 at 4:58 am #

    dishwashers are amazing. especially if they work.

    maybe one day we should try to construct one perfect outfit, get mani/pedi’s and our hair done, perfect our make up and walk around the city seeing what it is like to look that put together… then we can scrub our faces and spend the rest of the day laying around your room, rummaging through all the clothes we’ve ever owned and playing dress up like we always do.

    also… be excited by what excites you. if i know anything, it’s that. savor the excitement and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. it’s hard enough finding stuff to get excited about, you can’t waste it by worrying about whether dishwashers are the sorts of things you ought to be excited by.

    also.. for something similar to magical realism in revolutionary war, see the seventh son books by orson scott card (yeah yeah, i know you don’t like him). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tales_of_Alvin_Maker

  9. Wei-Wei responded on 14 Jul 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I’m not excited about weddings, either. I’m considering foregoing a ceremony in the first place… and save all that $$$ for my honeymoon ;) And a DISHWASHER! Awesometown! I actually enjoy washing dishes sometimes, though. I’ve gotten really efficient at it :D But I guess we’re all entitled to enjoy what we like to enjoy. If that makes sense. We’re all you-neeck, and speshul. :)

    Wei-Wei

    PS: I am not into hip hop.

  10. Jamie responded on 14 Jul 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I do not get excited about American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, really any reality tv, anything related to sports, new fashion trends, gardening, or cleaning. And lots of people get excited about that stuff.

  11. Laryssa responded on 14 Jul 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    See, I would not be very excited about a dishwasher. I have a dishwasher in my apartment, and my roommates are constantly asking me why I don’t just load my dirty dishes. I actually like washing dishes, probably since I only have to wash my own. I think the act of washing dishes – the sound of the water running, the feeling of the warm water on my hands, the sense that I am cleaning something – is actually relaxing for me. Does that make me strange?! :P

  12. Justine responded on 14 Jul 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    I can’t get excited about decorating until I paint the walls. White walls are far too intimidating for me. Once I’ve chosen a color I love, then everything seems to come together. I think the trick is not to do everything at once. When you live somewhere the decoration should be an organic thing, you pick up pieces along the way and that’s what makes for interesting decor! If you just run to home goods and buy a bunch of weird baskets and vases it won’t feel as personal, just relax and keep an eye open for things you like!

    I can’t get excited about Justin Bieber, does that count? I guess I’m not a teenage girl, but I was never one for the typical heartthrob. Same goes for all the Hollywood hunks, I’ve always liked my guys a little less chiseled and a little more interesting. Also I wish I was more excited about favors and stuff for my wedding, I wish I could afford a fancy planner to just do it for me!

  13. Kate responded on 15 Jul 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    @Laryssa
    That’s depressing. That’s probably going to be me in like a month, forgetting to load the dishwasher constantly.

    I wish I was one of those people who liked the feel of hot water on my hands. I know that’s a thing. It would’ve improved my life for the past two years.

  14. Ellen Cart responded on 15 Jul 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    I don’t get excited by wine and cheese bars. I think those are supposed to be pretty exciting.

    I do like my dishwasher.

    And this post was adorable.

  15. Ten Toes responded on 15 Jul 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Haha! I always love the photos you pick to go with your posts. I’m imagining you in the big white room at the top. Very cute.

    Don’t spend time on your looks. Spend time writing! Then I get to read more of it

  16. Kate responded on 15 Jul 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    @Emily
    I love your plan. Let’s do it. I remember when we had sleepovers and we’d wake up totally rumpled, and looking even cuter than when we dressed up for our photo shoots the night before.

    And I’m not really ashamed of being excited about a dishwasher. It’s exciting! I’m happy to be excited by whatever my mind picks. Rubber bands. Clean socks. Whatever. But sometimes I wonder what it’s like to have the satisfaction of painstakingly attending to every detail of a room until it’s perfect. I think that’s what it is more than anything. I don’t know what it’s like to love details. And I’m definitely curious. But too impatient :)

    Oh, Orson Scott Card…I feel like I’ve actually read some of the series you’re talking about. I loved Ender’s Game. But other than that…

  17. meerkat responded on 17 Jul 2010 at 9:06 am #

    I want a dishwasher! I hate washing dishes.

    How does one participate in un-roast?

  18. Eat the Damn Cake » I Don’t Want Everything to Match responded on 09 Aug 2010 at 11:50 am #

    [...] can’t imagine caring about a lot of stuff that other people care a lot about. I’ve mentioned this before.  The entire concept of matching eludes me. At least, the matching of appearances. But people love [...]

  19. Eat the Damn Cake » Regular Life responded on 04 Nov 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    [...] I also bought some random old tin panels/tiles for the wall. You know, like the kind that used to be on ceilings on incredibly old buildings in the city? It was the first time in my life, I think, that I’ve felt like decorating. I’ve written before on how I definitely don’t feel like it. [...]

  20. Eat the Damn Cake » The $2,000 upholstered headboard, and other frighteningly vivid design fantasies responded on 20 Jul 2011 at 11:39 am #

    [...] interested in the way furniture looked before. In fact, I sort of prided myself on being a woman who did not care about how furniture looked. But something is [...]

  21. Rachel responded on 17 Nov 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this!! Feels like I could have said it all myself.

    I’m feeling very down atm because I’m stressed about the fact that I am NOT excited about wedding planning! I know that I should be, but there is so much to get done, and so much that I actually don’t care about.

    Like you said, I want the flowers to be nice, but I don’t really have an idea on what that means, and I just would rather my mum decide :)

    Also like you- I hate fashion, it’s such an effort! And I hate the fact that people judge me on my lack of it. It also affects things like promotions at work etc…why?!?

    I know you wrote this a long time ago, I hope the wedding went well and your new place is decorated beautifully. I wish I was rich enough to hire a wedding planner, interior decorator and personal stylist!! :)

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