I Don’t Get It

I had always been told that age brings wisdom, and in some ways I suppose that’s true.  I like to think that I’ve gotten a bit smarter over the years, or at least just a little less clueless than when I was young.  But I’m almost sixty years old now and there are still far too many things  in this world that I simply do not understand.  And I’m beginning to think that I never will.

Much of what I fail to understand is fairly new, so my age might actually be working against me there.  For instance, I keep seeing ads where restaurants and grocery stores boast about providing “clean food.”  And I think, as opposed to what?  Dirty food?  Are they seriously bragging that they aren’t serving food that’s been dropped on the ground or retrieved from the garbage can?  Of course their food is clean.  If it wasn’t, the health department would shut them down.  That’s their job.  If a restaurant or store wants to impress me with the quality of their food, they need to focus more on words like “healthy” “fresh” and “tasty.”  Especially “tasty.”

I’m also bewildered by the growing popularity of  the “open concept” choice of home design.  As far as I can see, open concept is achieved by tearing down almost all of the existing walls in a home to create one giant living space.  Apparently, this is necessary so that there are sight-lines all over the house, meaning that those living in it can see everything all the time.  For some reason, that’s considered important and the days of enjoying a bit of privacy or some peace and quiet in your home are over.  I can’t help but wonder if even bathroom walls will eventually be removed just so people could be sure of  seeing everything, even when seated on the toilet.

But the things I don’t understand aren’t just limited to new trends.  I know that I’m a bit of a clean-freak and that means my house is probably cleaner than most.  But I’m still surprised by how many people feel free to comment on how “unnaturally clean” my house is.  I know they don’t mean anything negative by it.  But personally, I’d never dream of walking into someone’s messy house and saying, “Wow!  What a pig sty!”  I think people should be allowed to keep their houses as clean or messy as they want, within reason.  (If your house is so clean that you’re following your guests around with a dust cloth and vacuum cleaner, then it is too clean.  If your guests can’t find anywhere to sit down that isn’t sticky and are afraid to eat what comes out of your kitchen, then it’s too dirty.)  Everything in between is perfectly okay.

These are just a few of the things that I puzzle over, and believe me, there are many more.  I’m hoping I’ll get to live a good long life and that will give me the chance to solve more of life’s little mysteries.  But I think it’s far more likely that there will always be many things I won’t begin to understand, even if I life to be one hundred.  And I guess that’s just part of what makes life so interesting…

85 thoughts on “I Don’t Get It

  1. As I read this post, the first thing that came to mind was our current political climate. I know it’s a tired topic, and I wouldn’t want to introduce a specific contentious issue, especially not here where we come to enjoy wisdom and levity and genuine insight. However… I just don’t get it when it comes to politics for the past year.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Come on guys and gals, if politics is now downstream of culture, and I think that a given, most any discussion concerning the changing habits of hearth and home is going to fuel a political feel. And when Big Data ( every evolving technology) can claim to determine how we will vote by what/how we eat, wear, relax, and the shape of the space in which where we choose to do so, well, there ya go. And that “mystery” becomes even more pronounced.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I puzzle over many of the same types of things (including the point of tweeting like cupcakecache).What I often don’t get are new wiz-bang technical stuff. But I’m determined not to let that stop me so I go online to educate myself… the trouble is, many of the “help sites” are full of other technical jargon so I end up even more confused. I don’t miss much about working, but I do miss the IT department.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Ok- I’m going to sound catty right now, but I don’t care. It drives me CRAZY when people talk about eating clean!!! My husband has a friend who is dating a girl, and whenever we go out she makes faces at what all of us are eating and tells us that she likes to eat “clean.” She was over out place for game night and I made desserts. Now, I bake and cook. She looked at me and sort of snidely said, did you make this or did you buy the pieces and put it together (they were these addictive chocolate things with pretzels and caramel and cookie pieces and such- of which I made everything but the pretzel pieces). I know I’m rambling but she annoys me.

    On another note, I read something recently that people are taking to basements because their open concept houses afford them no privacy…..

    Liked by 7 people

    • Trust me, you don’t sound catty, you just sound sane! This whole “clean” eating thing is a bunch of baloney. If someone wants to be careful about eating mostly healthy food, that’s great. But it doesn’t give them the right to ridicule those of us who occasionally enjoy a piece of cake. And just for the record, there is nothing dirty about cake either, unless it’s been dropped on the ground.
      As for the open concept, that’s a good point! I bet they are in their basements more than the rest of us!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I like cozy, snuggle-up, walled rooms also (where would I hang all my pictures if I didn’t have interior walls and all the exterior walls are windowed)? If I wanted open spaces I should probably live out in the woods in a tree house. Hmmmm, that sounds like fun……for a squirrel maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! I always think those who love open concept should just move into a gymnasium or a warehouse and be done with it. I like walls. Not tons of little rooms of course…some “flow” is a good thing, but I do like defined places. And I like that my husband can be in the family room watching a game and I can be in the living room reading a book without the distraction of hearing the sound of the TV. Open concept is not for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to agree-the open concept baffles me too. I like some privacy and do not think I want everyone that walks in to see “everywhere” all at once, besides I love “cozy” nooks. One more thing-new parents that must publicize their many woes about sacrifice, how they can not keep house nor have time for themselves etc Goodness, think of all of the hardships of those before us-enough said, but I do “get” what you mean. Now I do strive to eat healthy, but I do not feel the need to “flash a badge” about it, nor act like it will kill me to eat cake sometimes. Gosh-I sound OLD! haha!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I read the paragraph on a clean house,and she liked your definition about what constitutes a clean house just as much as I do. I would like to add another wrinkle to the debate. We vary quite a bit on the scale between clean and dirty. We feel quite comfortable letting things slip a little, while we are by ourselves, but when guests announce their visits we take their coming as the perfect occasion for a clean-up not just for them but for our own benefit as well. Thank you for your outstanding post, dear Ann!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think hosting an occasional party is a good thing, because it makes us look at our house with fresh eyes and see what needs to be done. Personally, I don’t mind a little clutter, but my husband doesn’t like clutter to show. (Although he’s fine with a messy drawer or closet which can’t be seen.) But what I really don’t like is dirt inside my house. As far as I’m concerned, dirt belongs outside in the yard!
      Thanks for the comment, Peter!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My in-laws had “open layouts” in their homes, which provided no privacy whatsoever. My mother-in-law loved to listen to and be in on every conversation, even if she was in the kitchen and you were in the living room. I thought I was overly sensitive until I thought I was having a private conversation and she piped in. Needless to say my house has many walls and avenues of escape.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s just it! You really can’t have any privacy in an open concept house unless you retreat to your bedroom (or the bathroom, I suppose.) And sometimes that’s a good thing…everyone all together…but other times, it’s nice to have a little space and separation. Walls provide that. I don’t want to hear the TV when I don’t care for the show, so I like that our family room is a separate room. I think open concept is okay for a vacation condo, but that’s about it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it works in a vacation house because everyone usually wants to be together and you can retreat to your room if you want. But it’s awfully hard to hide or just get some privacy in an open layout. People are always wondering where you are.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann, my house will be clean when my kids are gone. And the beagle. I try but there’s so much else to do! Today I was scratching my head at people who walk in the middle of the parking lane at Target and HyVee. Not off to the side, in the middle where I can run you over. Rant over. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • As far as I’m concerned, if you’re happy with your house, then that’s all that counts! And the only reason my house stays clean is that I vacuum a lot. (I also live with a house dog who sheds like crazy.)
      As for the walking down the middle of the lane, that drives me nuts too!

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  9. “I keep seeing ads where restaurants and grocery stores boast about providing “clean food.” And I think, as opposed to what? Dirty food?”… Ha! Me, too, Ann! I’m trying hard to keep up with it all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I so get that, Ann! I’ve never quite understood the “eating clean.” A woman I knew came to lunch meetings pulling a ziplock out of her purse full of chicken slices saying she was trying to “eat clean.” Hmmm-ugh. Ha!

        Like

    • We once rented a vacation home that had no door between the bathroom and bedroom, which was weird enough. But what was worse, the door to the bedroom was smack between the bathroom and bedroom, which meant that if someone was in the shower (glass walls) and someone else opened the bedroom door, then anyone in the living room or kitchen could also see the person in the shower! I don’t know what the builder was thinking…..

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Laughing out loud about your take on the open concept. I can’t stand the open concept either and don’t understand why it’s so popular. When I have guests over for a holiday or celebration, they always crowd around me in the kitchen while I’m cooking. It drives me crazy! Why would I want to take the walls down and make it worse? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It is hard to adjust to all the changes and they are coming fast. Sometimes, I do think I am becoming my parents. I am sure they were dumbfounded by our baby boomer generation. I had to have my kids explain when I came across a “Clean Food” magazine. Who would eat dirty food???? And I comment at the end of every HGTV show, who would want to live in one big room and see the mess in the kitchen from the living room?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You sound just like me! I say the same thing when watching those HGTV shows…why do they reduce every single house to one giant room (with a few bedrooms and bathrooms attached. For now, before they decide those walls need to come down, too.) And “clean” food ads just annoy me no end.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I guess I’ve been sheltered by my closed floor plan, but until reading your post, I had never heard the term “clean food.” That probably means I will now encounter it everywhere. I agree that one of the benefits of age is a growing wisdom, and also—certainly of equal importance—becoming less clueless … and perhaps unlearning some of the silly things we once believed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hadn’t heard of it until the past year or so. But I think it’s Panera that is advertising it the most. And yes, aging should mean that we unlearn some of the silly stuff we used to believe. Which is what I’m hoping happens to open concept and clean food once the current young generation grows some grey hair!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I always wander why they throw in the word gluten free, when you know the celery or other vegetable is gluten free. I see that on various items which to the normal person would be obvious. I think we have turned out to be a society that cannot think for themselves and therefore most often the obvious has to be stated.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I thought clean eating might be an American thing but I googled and found BBC articles on it, so presumably it’s just passed me by. My house has rooms. Open plan looks quite nice when you see it in a magazine, but nobody lives there. In real life you need doors to hide stuff behind when the visitors arrive……

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think clean eating is more embraced by the younger generation, and I think they mean healthy and free of additives, but honestly, I’m not sure. And I agree about open concept. Looks nice from a design standpoint, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I don’t want someone to see my kitchen the minute they walk in the front door.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Fun blog! I, too, wonder about “clean” food (LOL) As a copywriter by trade, I suspect some copywriter went nuts trying to invent a new word for “wholesome.” But “clean” doesn’t get it for me. I have the same reaction to open concept. As far as i can tell, it means being able to see (and hear) everything all the time–WAY more than I want to! I like privacy. A LOT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m wondering if maybe the problem is that young people are being raised on social media, so privacy isn’t valued by them? Because the comments from people who want open concept seem to be “I want to be able to see what’s going on all the time.” Personally, I’m okay with not seeing everything, and I certainly don’t want to be seen all the time!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure, but I think it refers to wholesome food that is good for you and free of a bunch of additives. We used to just have organic food, but maybe this takes it a step further? All I know for sure is that if you have to explain the label you put on something, then you need a new label. Let’s just hope this is a fad that fades away soon….

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Maybe the people who think your home us unnaturally clean also eat dirty food, whatever that might be. I don’t think we’ll ever understand life’s trends completely. Classic is always in style. I think open concept living has some pros to it but like you, I’d draw the line at bathrooms..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that’s a good point about the dirty food! Or maybe I should just tell people I keep my house clean so that when I drop food on the floor, I can still serve it to guests? Ha!
      I don’t mind some openness in a home (our dining room is open to our living room), but I don’t like living in one giant room. Some definition allows for privacy and for different groups to be separate from each other. I remember when I was a kid and we would go to dinner at the house of family friends, the parents would eat in the dining room and the kids would eat in the kitchen. And all parties were quite grateful for the wall separating those two rooms! Still, to each his own. Except for bathrooms. Those always need walls!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. All too true Ann, there are loads of things I don’t get either. Clean good, jargon terms, politics , tech issues … it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then there’s my laptop that died unexpectedly last night … now that I didn’t need.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. At this age there are so many things I just don’t get and wonder why someone would want to do them. I like part of the open concept but I don’t want my guests to see the mess in the kitchen when we sit down in the dining room. OK, that is old-fashioned too! Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And yes, some open concept is a good thing (I am always a little baffled in very old houses which seem to have three small living rooms in a row), but I do want room definition and walls between certain living spaces. I like my kitchen to be out of sight from my dining room, for instance, and whatever room has the TV needs to have a wall in it as well for sound control. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  19. Clean Eating means eating foods that either aren’t processed or are minimally processed. Keeping up with trends can be hard because they change so fast- and that’s coming from someone who’s in her early twenties. As for having many things that you don’t understand, I feel that way too. I have a lot of questions that I’m not sure I’ll find an answer to, but I figure that it’s okay to not understand everything. We live in a world that’s constantly changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I must say, Ann, that as my years have increased so too has my tolerance for dust; it no longer begs to be wiped away as it used to, and is happy to settle in place for a good few days — alright, a couple of weeks. I’ve read it’s mainly dead skin, but I don’t buy that as I live alone in a big house and yet dust collects in rooms I barely ever enter. Maybe I’ve got ghosts? if so, they can start doing the damn hoovering for a change!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like the thought of ghosts helping with housekeeping! But meanwhile, I think that maybe there’s an upside to failing eyesight as we age. We don’t see things so clearly, so we don’t notice the dust in our houses or the wrinkles on our faces very often. And, as you say, that’s a good thing! In a way, it just makes us more tolerant.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Free of Walls – letitgocoach

  22. “Clean food” is definitely strange terminology. Agreed. I believe it refers to that which is not processed and does not have unhealthy additives like MSG or corn syrup. There is also a term “clean eating” which means eating healthy natural foods.

    I like a clean house but not to the point where people obsess about it and it takes on An unnatural importance. I know someone who doesn’t like to cook much as that soils the kitchen. She also uses a toothpick to get her rarely used blender spotlessly clean 🙂

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that’s a bit extreme, even for me! Although I do believe that each of us gets to keep our house as messy or as clean as we prefer, I still think that when the need to keep it clean starts overshadowing your life, then maybe it’s time for an adjustment. And the same thing is true for too much mess: if you can no longer entertain friends and family because your home is too dirty, or you can’t find your possessions because your house is too messy, then it’s also time to make a change. Our houses, clean or messy, shouldn’t rule our lives, I think. Thanks for the comment!

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  23. Wait Ann, you don’t really believe restaurants are clean do you?? Well, no cleaner than hospitals… Sadly, I think where humans go, so goes filth. And I think I lived in an open concept home years ago and didn’t know it? I seem to recall my kids disregarding all walls, including those that enclosed the bathroom…especially when I was in there trying to find some privacy. I get it. Moral of the story: maybe there’s no hope in trying to understand what humans do? Not much of it makes sense I think… Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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