My Big Lots Life

April 5th, 2014

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 I often lament that my life is mostly boring with intermittent flashes of excitement. How do I write about that when we’re living in a Pinterest/Instagram culture in which people are busy curating their own lives, and then broadcasting them on Facebook? According to what I see on those sites, 99% of the lives out there are much more interesting and attractive than mine will ever be. Instagram transforms ordinary meals into memorable moments and ordinary photos into masterpieces, while Pinterest shows us the shiny surfaces of life: the artful mood boards; the vacation in an authentic teepee with catered meals; the books arranged by cover colors;  the rustic farmhouse in Italy; the beautiful little apartment in Paris; the picturesque backyard chickens; the carefully casual white tee and torn jeans;  the requisite Wellies; the light-strung outdoor dinner parties which I will never give nor be invited to attend. There are no shadow selves on Pinterest boards. I understand that this is all about inspiration and connectivity, but it usually leaves me worried that I should be having a much richer life than I do. This week my big adventure was a Thursday discount shopping trip to Costco with a side trip to Big Lots with a friend. As we came out of the Big Lots store into the typically grim strip mall they all seem to inhabit, I looked up and found myself staring at a glowing indigo sky hung with a silver sickle moon. The kind of  magical night sky that seems so rare, a storybook sky that Peter Pan might fly out of to land in your window.  It was one of those singular moments in time that would have been ruined by trying to photograph it and document it and share it with friends and followers. So even though I spend a lot of my life feeling less-than for not being more creative, more adventurous, more something, I think I will remember that sky forever and the way it felt more vivid than a hundred vicarious glimpses into richer online lives ever could.

One Response to “My Big Lots Life”

  1. Veronica says:

    When Pinterest first took off, I dutifully got an account, prepared to be swept away like so many of my online friends were. And…nothing. I just didn’t *get* it. It didn’t feel “social” to me; it felt self-conscious and more aspirational than inspirational. Maybe some day I’ll find a spot there that makes sense to me…The problem I’m having with online sharing is that often it dilutes my experiences more than it enhances them.

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