Famous People Tweets Are Easy

I was listening to NPR as I was driving to work yesterday (I don’t know whether to apologize to my family that those letters weren’t F-O-X or make a joke about how many posts I’ll start with “I was listening to NPR…” so I’ll go with neither) and there was a man on there talking about something interesting (imagine that).

He was talking about something that I believe dominates our society and our relationships the way Heidi Montag dominates silicon production in the United States (if you don’t get that, don’t Google it). He was talking about how superficiality is drowning out substantiality.

What percent of Twitter, Facebook, Google, and, heck, the internet itself is superficial? 99%? 99.9%? You have the occasional creation of something like Kiva or Wikipedia that adds value to society but so much of it is rubbish that most of the time it’s hard to tell the difference. It’s like trying to get 4 oz. of cream to rise in a 5 million gallon bucket of milk.

But isn’t it the same in marriage?

How much of what I do in my marriage on a day-to-day basis is substantial? I would argue (I am arguing) that the emotional energy spent creating substantive conversation or activity at times seems unworthy of the time and focus I have to put into it. Perhaps that’s because I have an arrogant view of what my time is worth.

It’s easy to Tweet: “I am going to the gym because I just ate a hamburger. I am meeting friends there.” It’s even easier to Tweet: “[fill in famous quote from famous person].” The hard part? Creating your own material and conveying that material in an original manner that adds value.

What is true online is true in real life as well (can I get someone on making that a geometrical proof?).

It’s easy to buy a bundle of flowers and a vase and plop them down on the kitchen table. It’s even easier to drop two $20s on dinner at a nicer-than-Applebees restaurant. To wake up every morning with a plan of how I’m going to create content and lead conversation and block off substantive time with which I can dynamically lead my wife in our pursuit of the Lord and each other?

That’s difficult.

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Shop Thrift at Thrift Shops

I can’t remember the last time I bought something new to wear. I bought a few new things for our honeymoon (see how that turned out here), but I rarely shop to buy new clothes. There’s something so compelling about walking into a thrift store, never knowing what you’ll find, but expecting to be inspired. I do it for many reasons, but mostly because I love finding beauty in things someone else threw away.

Here are my favorite reasons to shop thrift:

1. Your house will look like yours- not anyone else’s.

I don’t sign up for Pottery Barn catalogs. They’re gorgeous, and in brief spurts I love things that match and don’t have scratches or dents. But that’s dangerous for two reasons: it’s not me, and it tugs on my heart to spend more money than Kyle has I have. So I pick things that have a story and that inspire me to creativity.

2. It makes me learn new things.

I learned how to re-cover an old chair, not by taking a class, but by trial and error in my own little space. I’m learning to hand embroider because I love Anthropologie but I can’t afford their tea towels. I make pillows out of old scarves because I love the fabric and the total project costs $3.84.  Thriftcore says it like this: The “if only” forces some creativity on your part to create the perfect item. Suddenly you remember how to sand, paint, and use the saw. You’re a creator again. And the more creativity you use, the more you have. So says Maya Angelou, and so say I.

3. It’s cheap.

I never want to pay more than $3.99 for a shirt again. And thanks to people who tire of their clothes, I’ll never have to.

Tomorrow: the pledge we’ve taken as a married couple to buy used things and a list of things we’ll never buy new. In the meantime, get inspired at Thriftcore and ReadyMade.

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