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18 Ways to Complicate Your Life

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18 Ways to Complicate Your Life, Funny, via The Survival Mom

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 skincare 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!

31 thoughts on “18 Ways to Complicate Your Life”

  1. Re: #9. We have a well, so I've had to change that one to the electric company.

    Ignoring dinner until 6 pm has tended to end up with a call to Dominos. That's why they're on speed dial. 🙁 But we're doing MUCH better now since there is pretty much always a fairly easy-and-fast meal in the pantry.

    My family has helped me avoid some of these things. As I've said before, we all suck at cooking. Expectations are low. Actually making a side dish to go with the main course is generally considered a big bonus. A "big spread" for a large family gathering includes potato salad from the grocery store (I've heard people can make it at home), potato chips, watermelon, and maybe (if the host is really going all-out) corn on the cob to go with whatever is on the grill.

    Fun list, though!

  2. LOL…this is funny because I do some of these things. Last trip I went on, I didn't realize I needed a prescription filled until 4am the day that I was leaving for my trip at 6am. Luckily, we have 24 pharmacies and I was able to get it filled!

    And the sissors!!! We have three pairs but the one I keep in the kitchen somehow always goes missing. I was just thinking I should keep three in the kitchen so I never have to go searching!

    Sometimes I really make my life harder than it has to be!

    1. I have one pair behind the coffee maker I use to open food packages. One pair for cutting meat in the knife block. And one pair for the kids to use in a drawer. I also have a good pair hidden in an upper cabinet. That does the trick relatively well, most days. 🙂

  3. Oh you've been watching MY wife & kids when you wrote #5. They will wash a dish innumerable times!! We have glasses I'm not allowed to throw away that are truly G*R*O*S*S looking in the bottom!

  4. LOL

    #1: No matter how much food you have planned, panic at the last moment and assume it won't be enough, and quickly defrost something else that won't actually be ready till after everyone has eaten. It'll make great leftovers.

  5. OHHHH, No. 1 used to totally be me, I've pretty well beat that one, not that I don't still sometimes have left overs, but I'm way better than I once was. No.'s 3,4,6,11 still working on.. 🙁 This is funny, Thanks!!

  6. Mom, you've left out the BLUSH from the makeup routine! Don't want to be caught looking pale! Thanks for posting this list. I see myself all over it, I must admit!

  7. I see myself with every one of these examples…..and then I could add a few more ways to complicate your life. Except the waiting to pack…we never get a vacation because my life is so complicated and I never have time or money for vacations sigh!

  8. I have to disagree with one point on #17…..a foundation for your foundation can make life so much simpler! I thought it was sort of stupid until I tried it but now I'm sold on it. If you are very fair-skinned (like me) with pores large enough to fall into (like me), using a primer makes the foundation just glide on so smoothly and easily. No more blotchiness or uneveness. During summer, all I need is primer and tinted moisturizer and I look totally pulled together.

    Oh my gosh…could this comment be any girlier??????

    1. Yeah, I have no idea what most of those makeup things are. It is way to complicated for me. And out on the range, the cows don’t care if I have makeup on. It would be washed off by sweat but the time I got out there anyways. And when I go to town, I still don’t wear makeup. Don’t care!

  9. You forgot #19! Get into Gossip!! Get Facebook, Twitter and Instant Messaging Accounts. Post your views and lunch menu loudly and often. Politeness is not required when limited to 140 characters. Let every family and friend you have know about every slight, imagined or real, foisted upon you by any other family member or friend they know. Extra points for opining about how your sister's stepdaughter's mother's choice of wrapping paper for your brother-in-law's daughter's baby shower was 'tacky'. And whatever you do, keep CNN, MSNBC and FOX blaring from the moment you wake up. Take every news story as personally as you can. Nothing like that shot of adrenaline to keep you awake, tossing and turning, long after the rest of the world has gone to sleep.

  10. One of the smartest things I ever did was get half a dozen cheap pairs of scissors and spread them over the house. (total cost: $6 from Dollar Tree) Next smartest thing was to put a $1 flashlight in every major room for electricity outages. This has saved me sooo much hassle.

    1. I did this too! And used a sharpie to label which room the scissors were supposed to live in, cause they do lose their way while they're wandering around. Nevermind people running with them…They find their own transportation!

  11. rofl….original post and comments are priceless! Two points to add:

    Keep one pair of scissors in your purse. You will never lose them, and you'll find them when you have jury duty.

    Everything gets simpler as the children leave home!

      1. Just ran across this post and had to laugh! One of our daughters packed TWO pairs of scissors in her carry on bag a few years ago (for the knitting project she packed). These were full size scissors…I just about fainted when I saw them in the hands of the screener in airport security. Believe it or not, they measured them and determined that they were 1/2 inch too short to be a problem…they let her take them on the plane!

  12. I found myself cringing and laughing at the same time! Several of these apply to me. Thanks for the post!

  13. SSG, what about the other person in the house? presuming there IS a significant other there that is.
    I swear the hubs is worse than the kids ever were;) (ROLF) and I’ve been guilty of a few of the above as well.

  14. #14 – Guilty as charged. Of course that one pair of scissors was accidentally packed in my carry on and tossed by airport security.

  15. This is why I love Survival Mom. Can you imagine reading something like this where the biggest topics are which brand of bullets are better or the “best ways to skin an xyz with your teeth” or some other hyper macho site? I read some of those also, but I SO relate to this site. Preparedness for practical living. Blessings! PS. My husband didn’t really get some of the comments I read to him while laughing so hard he could hardly understand me — poor male brain type that he is. Nice to know there are prepared women out there, although I make life easier and don’t wear any makeup – if guys can have “real” skin, I can too!

  16. Nancy in Alberta

    #8 hurt. I especially hate the part about passing the attitude on to my children. All the rest were funny. =) Good job.

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