In honor of Patrice Lewis’s book, The Simplicity Primer, I offer an alternative: my “primer” to over-complicating your life. I have tried all these strategies and can vouch for their success.
1. Insist on a, “nice big spread” of food for every get-together. Be sure to drag out every recipe you’ve ever wanted to try, especially those with ingredients only available at a gourmet store some 23 miles away.
2. Wait until the night before a trip to pack. This is even more effective if you also wait to do ten loads of laundry in order for everyone to have clean underwear for the trip. In a pinch, make a quick trip to a 24-hour Walmart to buy new underwear.
3. Always say, “Yes!” After all, you would never want to disappoint someone in need of an emergency baby-sitter, a homemade dessert, or a substitute Sunday School teacher.
4. Set impossibly high goals, and when they aren’t achieved, just set the same goals all over again! Lose 15 pounds in two weeks? Sure! Why not!
5. When dishes come out of the dishwasher not-so-clean, put them right back in instead of washing them by hand. Food baked on during the drying cycle will become doubly baked-on the second time around, which is exactly why you pop them right back in for a third run. Third time’s the charm!
6. Always have at least half a dozen projects in motion. A knitting project, photo organizing, receipt filing, and multiple partially read books just add to the excitement. The more, the merrier!
7. Yell. It’s common knowledge that kids obey instantly when mom yells at them from the other end of the house.
8. Play before work. Be sure to pass this philosophy on to your kids.
9. Ignore “Last Notice” bills from the water company. When the City finally comes to turn off the water, the family gets a fun, impromptu mini-vacation at the nearest hotel. If you can find everyone’s swimsuits, you can enjoy the pool!
10. Decide at the last minute, say 6 p.m. or so, what to make for dinner. This almost always necessitates a hurried trip to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients not in your pantry. Trust me. It’s a great way to make sure the family is good and hungry when dinner is finally served!
11. Ignore little symptoms. Wait until they get really, really serious before making that appointment with the doctor or dentist.
12. Spend some $350 on a set of 11 different skin care products that are guaranteed to produce youthful results but must be used in a certain order, on certain days of the week. Add the two serums for overall body use, along with a battery powered scrub brush, you’ll experience the full meaning of, “high maintenance woman.”
13. Check out the maximum number of books the library allows. Sit back and enjoy watching the kids take the books on car rides, to doctor appointments, and to Grandma’s for overnight visits. Tracking down each book is a great way for the family to bond at 5 p.m the day they’re all due!
14. Own one pair of scissors.
15. Rigidly adhere to expectations and schedules. Refuse to accept any deviation, and when something goes wrong, pitch a fit.
16. Magazines! Subscribe to several, and have more than one location for them as they stack up. Remember, the “secret to life”, just might be in one of these issues, and you’d hate to miss it. Have your (only) pair of scissors handy when you do get time to leaf through them, and clip several articles and coupons from each one. This will result in the need for a complicated filing system. It’s a win-win all the way around.
17. Develop a make-up routine so you’ll always look your best. It should include a foundation for your foundation, the actual foundation, a foundation for your eye-shadow, and the eye-shadow itself. A single eye-shadow color isn’t enough. Your routine should have a color for the inner lid, a different color for the outer lid, a lighter shade for under the brow, and a deeper shade for the crease. Your eyes will need a liner, a mascara ‘base’, and then the mascara, but be sure to use an eyelash curler first. Don’t forget the lip foundation, the lipstick, and then the gloss. Before rushing out the door, pat a bit of powder on the shiny, and now-sweaty, parts of your face for a beautiful matte finish.
18. Store toilet paper at the other end of the house, and then yell when you’re stuck in the bathroom and need a new roll. (See #7.)
P.S. It was scary how easy it was to write this list!
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