You’re Probably Doing All of this Wrong

And please don’t tell me, “It’s not what you think.”

I’m recycling an older post because if I get told one more time I’m doing something wrong, or what you are about to tell me is not what I think, please stop. Insulting me is not a good start, and you have no idea what I think.

Lucy Sparkletoes Thinks You Are Driving All Wrong

This morning the news feed on my phone tells me I’ve probably been using turmeric wrong. I felt my life had collapsed into meaninglessness just as I was beginning to enjoy retirement.

This “You’re Doing It Wrong” trope seems to appear everywhere: I’m loading my dishwasher wrong, cleaning my countertops wrong, fertilizing my garden wrong. If I were still in the workplace I’d be organizing my desk wrong, writing my resume wrong, and warming my lunch in the break room microwave wrong. (Which is kind of a double-whammy, as I’d have no doubt packed my lunch wrong.)

Who decided it was a good idea to start with telling your potential readers they are basically stupid about so many things in life? It’s even a wrong-headed trope in my opinion: if my dishes come out clean enough for me, what’s it to you if I’m loading my dishwasher wrong?

Are we finally a nation that can’t figure out how to wipe down a countertop without running a Google on the subject?

I confess to a certain pattern of reading “blogsnark” types of discussions, in which people rant and rave about their favorite Influencers and even indulge in what is called “hate-following.” I feel very fortunate that at my advanced age I can miss out on washing my extensions wrong, filming my daily clothing try-ons wrong, or mixing patterns wrong. (Cf. the oldhagfashion subreddit to learn that if you WEAR it, and wear it like you own the universe, you can’t be wrong.)

Still, the feeling persists that a person just cannot get anything right. While I understand that Influencers are the 21st century cornerstone of advertising for many companies, and advertising only works by convincing me that there are terribly important things I need that I do not currently have, I don’t really get the point of trying to convince me that I am using frozen puff pastry all wrong.

It is true, I must own, that in my travels through snarkland I have observed any number of the young women who follow Influencers being thrilled to learn how to wash pans, make beds, and apply full make-up in under an hour. Bless their hearts.

Perhaps it’s no accident that I drafted this essay in American Typewriter font. Perhaps I’m hearkening back to a time when we learned how to fold towels to suit our taste and fit in the space where our towels go. The good old days, when we didn’t need to be told we were using our turn signals wrong. Lucy Sparkletoes, are you listening?

Dear Reader, please let me know that this is not a gender thing. I want to know that men are being told they are tying their ties wrong, using their wrench wrong, shaving wrong, or whatever it is that men do. All wrong. Tell me we are all flailing about in this sea of ignorance together.

Obviously, all non-cis people are hearing they are doing gender wrong all day long. They can’t even use a public restroom correctly, if I can trust any of the privileged white people of a certain age with whom I have spoken on the subject.

Since straight couples are told repeatedly they are doing their relationships wrong, I assume non-straight people are hearing the same thing. People who are somehow in power in the USA certainly don’t think y’all know how to family.

Decades ago when I was learning how to become a therapist, I was taught that you don’t go after people with a bulldozer. You start gently and only increase the level of challenging someone when the time is right. Starting the conversation with “You’re doing it wrong” may fall into the category of what I refer to as “brilliant intervention, wrong session.” Brilliant article, wrong title.

But then, maybe if my news feed had simply suggested “Ten New Ways to Use Turmeric,” I’d have been deprived of an opportunity to indulge in a silly rant with a piercingly ironic title, which is no way to live at all.

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Nancy Daley

Nancy Daley

Artist, food-worshipper, grouch, retired psychologist and uni lecturer (Human Sexuality). Currently running for Queen of the Universe.

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