There she was, doting on her young son in the middle of the chaos that is the kids museum. I was trying not to stare, but in that moment she was everything. Everything that I was not. Perfect hair, perfect make-up, effortless casual chic outfit down to the Vans on her feet.
She even had on a belt!
The last time I attempted such a feat was before I had to somehow pack three kids in a bathroom stall and get my pants down without hands (they are holding the door closed and keeping the roll of toilet paper from unwinding completely, obviously). She looked expensive, satisfied, and just thrilled to be there with her child. I, on the other-hand, was tired, overwhelmed, and lucky enough to know where two of my three kids were (one of whom I was breastfeeding). Never in my life have I been one of THOSE women and in general I try very hard not to be envious (covet thy neighbor and whatnot), but sometimes it is SO. HARD.
In the world of social media it is easy to set our sights on the have-it-alls. Those who seem to have their cake and eat it too are everywhere (a conspiracy)! But I have my suspicions. The have-it-alls are really just want-it-alls like the rest of us, but they’ve changed their packaging. It’s like when a kids cereal that you KNOW is filled with sugar, GMOs, empty calories, etc. suddenly changes the box to say that it contains no artificial food dyes. Does it change anything, really? Nope. Still a mess on the inside, but darned if you aren’t willing to cave when your toddler starts screaming for that cereal just because of a few details on the box.
The want-it-alls that are secretly masking themselves as have-it-alls have just changed a few details. Instead of visibly wearing the sleeplessness that comes with kids (do they EVER SLEEP?) they slap on the concealer and head to the gym anyway. Instead of fretting over how to possibly get three kids, their shoes, and particular accouchement in the car and to the park to play, they Instagram pictures of their kids playing barefoot in the grass. It’s all marketing, and some people have just figured out how to brand. I googled a few branding tips and I think you’ll see what I mean.
- Keep future customers in mind: Hello facebook friends and IGers! You want to rack up your likes then keep your eyes on the OUTSIDE.
- Listen to the experts: The have-it-alls are also the know-it-alls (haven’t you noticed?).
- Keep Current: Style, devices, parenting trends. Staying on point increases the covet level by 1000%.
- Be relevant: No one wants to be LAME! Keep that lingo fresh and Periscope on.
- Keep it Simple: The devil is in the details so don’t look too close.
Since I have narry the brainpower for such endeavors (mine is used to remember common words and phrases during arguments with my pre-teen), I have resorted to the lowest of the low tactics to get me past the envy. Look for flaws. Everyone has them (personally I like to celebrate mine). The cracks in the facade will show eventually. The internet is a great place to find your tribe, the wonderful group of people that are similarly flawed, but even those who don’t seem like it have a freak flag too. They just don’t let it fly as proudly as the rest of us.
So everytime I start to feel the green demon rising up I look for cracks. Besides, she was wearing body glitter.