A blog for my writerly ramblings, my rambly writings, and all things in between.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

There Is No Bar.

You may have seen this video floating around the web recently:

Great video, awesome to see a mom and her son having such a fun time on his wedding day! However, I took issue with this caption from the Today Show that accompanied the video:

"The video, which was posted in March, is going super-viral as moms and sons everywhere prepare to up the ante for their own moments on the wedding dance floor, no doubt.”

My question is this: Why? Why should this video make “moms and sons everywhere prepare to up the ante for their own moments on the wedding dance floor?”

I feel like we live in a society that, especially due to visual media and the ease of sharing it, has become a  world of one-uppers. No longer is it considered “good enough” to throw a birthday party for your kid with a cake, ice cream, balloons and streamers. Now every party must have a theme with matching printables; adorable treats that you make using some combination of Twinkies, licorice, and chocolate chips; games; costumes; a photo booth with props and so on. The party must also be photographed with your DSLR (using manual mode and appropriate bokeh techniques) and you must make adorable thank-you cards to send to all the guests.

When did this become the norm?

From birthday parties to Elf on the Shelf to St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun traps to any number of exceedingly ridiculous new “traditions”, we seem to see something that is unique, out of the ordinary, and above and beyond, and decide that because everybody loves it, it must now be a necessary part of our culture and everyone must do it and there is something lacking if you do not. Each unique and special creation isn’t appreciated for what it is- a single, awesome thing that one person did- instead everyone says it “ups the ante” and “raises the bar.”


No, no, no. Newsflash, friends: THERE IS NO ANTE. There is no bar. The person who created/did whatever thing you saw was not issuing you a personal challenge (and if they were, then they clearly have a deeper problem). Life is not a competition. The way you celebrate and the things you do are entirely up to you. If you see something that will work for you and make you happy, then do it. If not, then don’t. Not because you don’t have the time, the talent, or the money (though these are all valid reasons as well) but because you choose not to.

Just don’t.

No ante. No bar.