Monday, June 22, 2009


There are certain things that baffle me. As a people-watcher, I like to analyze behavior, and even when I disagree with someone, most of the time I can figure out where they're coming from. But there are a few things that confuse me and I just can't get to the bottom of them despite my constant ponderings between bouts of shouting at my property law review (if there is something more ridiculous than property law, whatever it is, I hate it) and scheduling lunch dates for my last week in Utah. If you do any of these things, or know and love someone who does, will you tell me why? Enlighten me! All of these puzzle me and I desperately need some insight.

  • Grow as a transitive verb. ACK! As in, "Don't you want to grow your business?" or "Grow your audience." I cringe just typing it! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?? It sounds like weener-enhancement spam mixed with business school douchebaggery. For some reason, "Grow your business" sounds so much more barfy than "help your business grow." Why is this? And do you think "grow your business" is more or less aggravating than the surprisingly popular and grammatically baffling "Want to come with?"
  • Taking pictures of food and blogging about it. I don't mean a pretty cake you made or a special occasion dinner. I mean, lifting fork to mouth with mouth wide open or an "mmm mmm" smile. WHY? WHY? WHY? I recently saw a blog post with a picture of just a plate with some smushy pancakes on it all gross and swimming in syrup and beneath it, all it said was "Breakfast." Why do people document their average meals? WHY!? I see posts like these at least weekly and remain totally stumped. Several questions: a) do people who take these pictures personally love that meal enough to want a record of it forever? We've each had a thousand meals just in the last year. Recording each one is both nonsensical and totally unsustainable. b) do people posting said pictures think their audience enjoys pictures of breakfast? Is there some sort of positive feedback that perpetuates this bizarre cycle? What is the motivation behind these pictures of half-eaten cheeseburgers and melted ice cream on some squished brownie? I'm just so confused by it. Also the drinking out of a straw pose. What IS that!?
  • Homeschooling. Why does it happen? I'm not for it and I am not against it. I don't really have an opinion on it yet (shocked? I know!). I just don't really get it. Is it generally bc of pro-home feelings, or anti-public school feelings, or a combination of both? Did the parents have a bummer of a public school experience themselves so now they don't want to inflict it on their children? Or do they just think their kids are gifted? Or that regular teachers wouldn't teach their kids enough? And for parents (generally moms) who conduct the homeschooling, aren't you just pooped? Do you ever get 5 seconds for yourself? And once you homeschool, how do you decide when to make the switch to other-people school? And what if you don't remember how to do whatever you're supposed to be teaching them? It blows my mind. I am also baffled at the generational shift occuring: I only know weirdos who WERE homeschooled, but I only know normals that DO the homeschooling now, as parents. Of course, the kids my age who were homeschooled, welp, that was all like 20 years ago, and probably not a representative sample. Have the types of parents who homeschool gotten cooler? So it was the socially inept crowd in the last generation but in our generation, it's hip? Does this reflect your experience?
  • Shops/boutiques that sell little girl hair bows. Seriously, do they make any money or is it a fakeout? There is NO WAY there is a market for TEN BILLION $2 hair bow businesses. Is there???
  • I'm thinking a lot about cloth diapers. Landfills aside (and I fully support reducing waste), is it a pain in the butt? Is it really that much cheaper?
  • Did I think in bullet points before law school or is this something I should thank J. Reuben for?


b. said...

I totally say, "Want to come with?" but I also, just today, said..."...over to the..."

On Homeschooling...I just wrote and deleted an entire novel on how I made a jerk of myself when I first moved here. We have several home schoolers in my ward. They have not made a great impression for home schooling.

My comment is way too long.

The Boob Nazi said...

At Kneaders in Provo, it says, "We sample all breads." I HAVE NEVER STOPPED MOCKING IT! My friend and I had an argument once about it. It means that the employees sample all breads, right? Because that's what it says!!!! We OFFER samples. gi dsjkaskdjfh asjkf THE END

Piglet de' Erin said...

I totally get what your talking about. When Mark graduated with his MBA he started saying "grow your business" all the time and terms like "make your business sexier"...yet he wasn't talking about porn! I don't get it. I think they are fake douchebaggy words that creep me out. IN fact, sometimes when he says phrases like that, I think he's going to whip some Amway trifold pamphlet out of his back pocket and try to get me to sign up! HeckaNO!

Food? don't get it...maybe life really is that boring on the other side of the fence.

Home school? NO WAY EVER! I am too dang lazy.

Hair Bows? After I invested hundereds of dollars to make cutie pie bows, and I spent 40 hours bustin' my back slaving over the hot glue gun, I did so good, I made 30 bucks at my first boutique. Clearly that's Utah for you.

Cloth Diapers? Again, did I say I was lazy yet?

Bullets? Thank the good ole' J. Reuben.

luv, erin

AzĂșcar said...

I don't get homeschooling either, it's not for us. I don't ever see it being for us (barring some sort of catastrophic educational failure) because for us it's just as much for the social, bureaucratic, and values clashing as the actual education.

It's a 10 billion dollar business.

Melia said...

"Grow your business" drives me nuts, too. Who are these writers, and when did they get kicked out of composition class? Also, people who can't figure out the gone/went dilemma in the perfect past tense. Major irratent.
I homeschool--it was a combination of really horrible schools nearby, and the idea that I probably can do just as good a job as someone who has never met my kids before the start of school. I do have free time--it's called mandatory naps for all children, NO EXCEPTIONS.
And, yes, I occasionally use cloth diapers. It's a lot cheaper, and not much more work. I use disposables when we go out or when I feel lazy, and have no guilt about it at all.
Love the blog--good luck on the bar exam.

SO said...

First off, I read the very first line as "Grow as a transvestite verb." and was thinking WTH?

I think people think they look sexy drinking out of a straw. Thus the "drinking out of a straw pose"

The people I know who home school do much of their lessons based in the gospel and they want to their children to have more religion in their lives than public schools offer. That and they want total control over the lives of their kids (kidding)

Maybe not a market for bows but for those HUGE Flowers? Yes, at least in Utah.

Mrs. Clark said...

Having homeschooled my son for two years (now age 25) and otherwise used the rather execrable public school system (one of the best in the country, no less). I can tell you there are people who homeschool for many reasons. Some kids are fine homeschooled, some not. Some kids are homeschooled who should not be, and some kids are not who should be. I took it year to year. And if the kid is old enough, you can use a curriculum and you just make assignments and he or she does them.

I have also used cloth diapers. Terrific pain in the neck. The kid stays wetter, and they leak. However, I really felt badly putting all that stuff in the landfill. As it is, for the 9 years I spent changing diapers, I only did cloth about 3 months. So I overcame my guilt.

Hate the "grow your business." But I hate most grammatical stuff like that. I don't like using the noun "reference" as the verb "refer," either.

I'm old.

KM said...

Besides posting mushy breakfast pancakes, might you also be referring to the Cheesecake Factory type poses? Huddling around a ginormous plate of food with chopper hands and perky lips? I also love when two girls sip drinks with lips puckered around straws, their two foreheads nearly touching, and posing with puppy dog eyes. I don't get that. Really? Are we ten?

I also don't get the homeschooling thing. I admire the mothers who have the patience and selflessness to do it because it does = very little time for themselves. It'd be interesting to talk to one and see the reasons for doing such. Do they feel their children receive a higher quality education with more attention from the teacher (aka mom)... but then again, do the kids miss out on some major social and interaction opportunities with kids besides their sibs?? It is interesting.

There are indeed a lot of bow making buiz's. I can see why they do it though- we all have our own creative outlets, and if someone encouraged me to sell anything I made, and it made a buck or two, I can see why it'd be an exhilerating way to spend time. I say more power to them if they are selling their bows. Is there a billion dollar market for earrings? For aprons? For home-made purses? For cupcakes??? Probably not.. but we do it because it's fun and enjoyable.. not because we think we'll end up with a Bill-Gates like revenue.

Cloth diapers. Again, I admire those who do it- but think about all the water you used towards rinsing them out- is it really "earth friendly"? I just don't know... In my mind, it's all a tradeoff. Plus, I hate handling poo so I probably won't ever switch.

I love your bullet points. Whether it was ShimmyGurr or Jreuben, they're fantastic!

Kamie said...

"It sounds like weener-enhancement spam mixed with business school douchebaggery"
The best line ever written by anyone.

~j. said...

I love you even more today.

Elise said...

I'm de-lurking... I'm a wife of a current J. Reuben goer and from all the bar angst I hear I'm a little worried for myself next summer. Baby steps though, right?

Here's a great how-to with cloth diapers. This lady loves them enough to write two posts about their wonderfulness:

Good luck!

La Yen said...

I hate growing my business. The only thing I grow is vegetables. And grass. And leg hair.

I recently have been praying about which school to send my kid to, and I got the strong impression that she needed to GO to Kindergarten, rather than be homeschooled. Thank heavens. But then I got an even stronger directive that I needed to pull her out of preschool and keep her home with me for as long as possible.
If the Lord told me to homeschool full time, I would do it. I would complain the entire twelve years, but I would do it. As it is, I am glad she will be with me for only another year. My SIL was homeschooled and does it with her girls, and she is phenomenal. I am just glad I can pray about it. (Because I don't really want to homeschool.)(Oh, and I AM a "Highly Qualified" teacher. And I still don't want to teach my kid.)

Brooke said...

My favorite line: "Recording each one is both nonsensical and totally unsustainable."

Speaking of sustainability ... I've heard great things about cloth diapers but it was suggested they should be a supplement not a complete replacement for disposable. When taking the baby out for extended daytrips, etc. it's just easier to use store-bought because cloth diapers leak more. But at home they're fantastic. Just some thoughts. Moderation in all things, perhaps??? Except for bullet points. There can never be too many bullet points.

Emily said...

I am guilty of three of those, so this could get long. We'll see if I respond to all, or how briefly I can do it. Unlikely.

-I take pictures of food. I don't do it tons, but I admit to doing it. I started because I felt like I spent so much of my time cooking just for it to be eaten and gone, and it was a way of recording that I actually do accomplish things (they just then get destroyed). We also really like food, and I like to take pictures of things that are part of my everyday life because I have fun looking back at the little details and remembering. Without digital cameras I don't think I would, though, so maybe you can blame your frustration on that.

-I will probably homeschool when the kiddo(s) is/are old enough. I could write a lot. I'll try to be brief. I think schools focus way too much on testing, and teach inefficiently (partially but not completely as a result of the focus on testing). I believe schooling stifles our innate desires to want to learn by coercing children into it. I can look back to a lot of subjects--and many many books-- that I learned to dislike because of the assignments involved, but of course I was too afraid of a bad grade to not do it. Coercion, fear... that's not generally things you think of wanting for your child. They'll deal with it when they're older enough. Why start so young? That is probably the main reason I would not want them in school.

I do have some concerns about the social aspect, but honestly I think you can overcome that if you're conscientious about it. The problem is when the parents are unaware, I think. Also, I'm not convinced that schools are a good thing socially, so that is as much a reason to not go to school as to go for me. In schools, children only learn to associate with other people their own age, and frankly there's not a lot of "diversity" in most schools anyway. Also, I think the social pressure that kids get at school is insane. The meanness, materialism, and a million other things that are present and therefore adopted (in order to fit in) by a lot of kids really concerns me.

Believe it or not, that was the brief version.

-I use cloth diapers. I have used disposables, but I think in her five months of life we've gone through four smaller packs... so like 160? We used them at the very beginning because there was too much "new" to deal with cloth as well, and now when we're out of town and sometimes when we're out running errands and stuff (that depends on my mood--I have a waterproof bag for that).

It's partially for environmental reasons. I have this picture in my head of the giant pile of diapers a baby would use in its life and it sickens me. I know there are some questions about if cloth is really that much better, but I feel like at least our sewer systems are designed to deal with waste, whereas landfills should NOT have human waste in them. The equally large reason for me is the advantage of having breathable cotton rather than liquid-absorbing chemicals against such a delicate area. I have not once had to use any diaper rash stuff, and actually I've had more leaks in the relatively few times I've used the disposables than with the cloth. The cover keeps everything in pretty well where that flimsy elastic on disposables does not. Of course, it's also nice to save money though it wasn't my first reason to do it. I don't find it a big deal care-wise. You do a lot of baby laundry anyway, and is it really that challenging to put in a load of laundry and start the washer? Yes, it is more work and you have to deal somewhat with waste, but it just doesn't bother me when it's my own kid's stuff.

I know you're glad I'm finished now. :)

Jen Ha said...

Three Points:

1. I am opposed to homeschooling. I realize that public school has risks, e.g. teasing, peer pressure, questionable teaching methods, however, I think that those challenges are necessary to prepare our children to become well rounded adults. As I parent, I understand the overwhelming desire to shelter your child from harm, but I also realize the need to have her fall, get hurt, and learn from those experiences. These are the lessons that prepare us for life because it's not all rainbows and butterflies when you get out into the real world.
2. I wish that they still had a cloth diaper service like they did in the '60s. You just leave the dirty diapers on the porch every evening and a fresh batch appears on your doorstep the next day. If this whole lawyer thing doesn't work out, I may have to reconsider this business idea!
3. I bet you're having a super busy week trying to schedule everybody in. I say you set up a booth at a restaurant and have a sign up sheet so that people can get their "Gurr" time in!

megandjon said...

Wow, Emily, you took the words right out of my mouth! Well not the pictures of food thing. I can hardly manage to take pictures of my kid, I'm just not a big picture taker. But the homeschooling thing is dead on. I think forcing small children, and bigger children for that matter, to sit still for the majority of 6 hours and try to learn things without absolutely hating it in really trite, boring, and pretty darn ineffectual ways, is totally unnatural, criminal, etc. That's my strongly worded opinion; here is my other, strongest reason. Because I want my children with me. 30 hours a week (not even counting the ridiculous amount of homework assigned these days) is too many hours. There are other reasons too, like a plethora of quotes from prophets talking about the evils of public school, and how they will not learn morals, and the gospel, and just plain old good character from other people. And I want learning to be an absolutely amazing experience so they never learn to hate it, or cater to grading, or do it just "to get into a good college," or "to make good money". Plus, I was an El Ed major, and I worked in public schools, and I spent the majority of my time frustrated for all the kids around me and silently praying "please HF, not for my kids". I know, I'm just so silly and idealistic!

Also, we cloth diaper and love it. And it is very much cheaper, especially if you do it right.Plus I love that it will be even cheaper for the next baby! And it's easier as I never have to run to the store or take out piles of stinking trash. I do keep disposables on hand for certain situations. I do it mainly because I'm a cheapskate, I don't like horrible irritating and hormone-screwing-up chemicals next to my kidlets genitals, and I'm kind of an eco-hippie-type. Here's a jaw-dropper for most people: did you know that you are supposed to dump the poop out of disposables into the toilet before putting it in the trash? It says it right on the package. Even more dangerous than the taking up tons of landfill space thing, is the leaking viruses and bacteria from poo into the landfill and subsequently our underground water systems. Not pretty.

Plus, and I'm almost done, it's dang easy! I don't even hardly handle the poo, and since I don't have to go scrub my laundry by hand in the nearby crick, washing the diapers is just a piece of cake.

Gurr! You can totally email me or anything with questions. I'm honest, I don't guilt trip, and I owe you for all the great advice you gave me about giving birth!

Morgan and Derek said...

I cloth diaper. I'm a big fan. I usually have two kids in diapers at any given time and that gets danged expensive. I use chinese prefolds and covers, with doublers for night time. They work great, so long as you don't leave your kid in the same diaper for more than about 3 hours (less for tiny babies.) I wash every other day and it's fine. It is just completely second nature now.

(I'm de-lurking, btw).

stillclueless said...

Trite? Boring? Ineffectual? Ouch. Change teachers! School - a place to learn humility, resilience, self-confidence, social skills, independence, the ability to get along with people from diverse backgrounds (yes, there is diversity and it grows each year), a place to hear others' opinions and develop one's own - and we haven't mentioned fabulous, innovative, challenging approaches to mathematical thinking, science, social studies, novel studies, etc., etc. How do we expect to raise national and international leaders if our children don't know who else is in the world?

Yes, I'm a public school teacher and wouldn't have it any other way. Yes, we address many moral issues in my classroom and have rip-roaring, thought-provoking discussions that tend to very much back up what mom and dad are teaching at home - and mom and dad therefore end up with even more credibility.

Of course home teaching is the right answer for some people, but public school isn't the evil thing some are making it out to be. My classroom isn't evil! It's a safe environment where children learn good things.

One last thing - the final bullet (for now). Sometimes, for some families, simply sending a child to school for the day saves and strengthens that parent/child relationship. And that's okay, too. Yup.

Andrea said...

Grow your family is worse than any of them and I've had it said to me recently. (And its not going to happen anytime soon.)
I had a comp who was homeschooled and lets just say I knew my Ramen Noodles better than her.
The whole blogging world gets me sometimes. My pet peeve is the stupid pictures of baby bumps. You are pregnant. Your stomach grows. Geez. The thing is I know my blog is just as mundane, the difference is I work to not gross people out.
Speaking of grossing people out- I don't know about the switch to cloth- what do you do with all the crap? Do you really want to scrape it all into the garbage can? Sick sick sick. Just start recycling better and move on.
Thanks for the post Kathleen- I was most entertained.

RogueHistorian said...

I can answer a number of your questions with one simple statement: "People are idiots."

Shellie said...

The first two bullet points set my teeth on edge. I don't know the answer. The homeschooling thing seems to be getting cooler. Back in the day when I went to school I think maybe only polygamists did it, but now it's all the rage for a number of reasons. After having put one through public schools, I can think of a bazillion reasons why homeschooling is cool. Often public school leaves MUCH to be desired and staying home and not having to get people off to school sounds cool. I don't homeschool but I have my other kids in a charter school. I agree about the bows. Possibly there are enough Utah girls to sustain them, but even so... The diaper thing I think is a toss up. Really good cloth diapers and diaper covers are nice, but you do a lot of swishing out and laundering. Pick your pain. Lastly, I would blame everything I could get away with on J.Reuben.

Emily said...

Meg, I agree with you as well. You brought up a good point about how even the waste from disposable diapers should be flushed, so the answer to "what do you do with it?" is really the same. You flush it. You don't have to sit and scrape anything.

Gurr, if you are thinking about it further and want to talk about it email me. I don't think it's SO much cheaper, though there's a wide range of what you can buy in diapering products. I haven't chosen expensive stuff, but I have re-bought a few things because I wasn't wild about the first kind I bought, etc. I do plan to use it all with future children, though, so then of course the cost does effectively go way down.