I watched the movie I Don't Know How She Does It last night. Part of me hated it; part of me was intrigued by it.
Was this before Lean In? I thought. Is Sarah Jessica Parker just sort of preternaturally Carrie Bradshaw? And, can I take a stab at that wardrobe?
I hated the framework of the film. After brokering a major global investment deal, the wife apologizes for its pull on their family life. Embarrassed but happy, she declares that her new, more involved role with her family will also be "a mess." But she lovingly declares with her husband that it'll be their mess, with ownership and pride.
That she'll just be naughty, and buy store-bought pies.
"Mess" has become a code word for upper middle class and upper class privilege. It's the spoils of perfectionism - when your life works 95% of the time, the other 5% is laughable. It's comedy.
A lot of people's lives don't work at all. They can't make ends meet. It's a stressful mess, and it's not funny.
The family in the film is comprised of an investment banker, an an architect. They own a beautiful home, have two happy, healthy children, a designer wardrobe and a gorgeous home with exposed ceiling beams.
This is not a mess.
When did we lose our way as a culture to where normalcy is so boring? Why does everything in American life have to be so extreme? Why can't they just say, "We're going to live our lives, and be happy?" Emotional honesty, #simpleisthenewblack? Not super-size our material goals, and appreciate our standard of living (which is something most people in the world don't have)?
When did we lose the ability to just say it - admit that we're lucky?