Five Things I Will Never Understand

by Lara on August 12, 2011

Disclaimer: Please don’t send me hate mail after reading this.  I had fun writing it and didn’t take myself too seriously.  I have plenty of friends and beloved family members who choose to camp, display bumper stickers, and get tattoos.

1. Camping.

I’m not trying to be a snob with this. If you camp and enjoy it, that’s wonderful. I, personally, will never understand why people would purposefully choose to subject themselves to harsh living conditions. Sleeping on the floor or a makeshift bed, cooking food by an open fire, and trying to escape hazardous animals and insects–isn’t this what the generations before us have all worked so hard to avoid? Sorry, I don’t understand.

2. Bumper stickers.

I feel similarly about tattoos. Just, why? Why do people feel the need to outwardly display their beliefs in this manner? I have a strong belief system. I act on it (most of the time). If people want to talk about it, I’m more than happy to have a fair, intellectual conversation about it. But I don’t flash it around in people’s faces so they know I have one.

3. Valet parking.

In general I have a cheapness about paying someone to do something that I can do myself (and before you say something, no, I really cannot paint my own nails). Valet parking sort of takes the cake in this category. I will go to extraordinary lengths not to do it.

4. Controversy about why a woman chose to keep (or not keep) her maiden name.

I have noticed that people (women, in particular) can become fiercely defensive about this issue. What starts out as a passing, “Are you taking his name?” question can become a heated debate in 60 seconds. Religion, feminism, possession…some serious themes can emerge in discussions like these.

I don’t understand. Take it. Don’t take it. I don’t care. Your intrinsic identity is not dependent on your name. It’s not even your name, anyway; it was your dad’s, and before that it was his dad’s. And that’s great. So keep it. Or don’t. You are no less your husband’s wife if you don’t take it, and you are no less your own woman if you do.

Personally, half of the reason why I took my husband’s last name is simply because I liked it.

5.  Controversy over why a couple chose to find out (or not find out) the gender of their unborn child.

Again, why has this become a philosophical issue?  You don’t want to find out?  That’s cool–let me know when the little bundle of joy is born so I know what color blanket to buy it.  You do want to find out?  Congratulations, you’re having a (insert gender).  End of discussion.

<rant over>

Are there things you will never understand?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

meg @ pinkggiggles August 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm

you are hilarious. that is all 🙂


Andrea@WellnessNotes August 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Funny list. And I agree with almost all of them. But I feel REALLY strongly about #1 and feel an intense urge to list all of the reasons I can think of of why you are soooo wrong!!! But don’t worry. I won’t! 🙂 Oh, and I always suspected that you can’t really trust the judgment of people who don’t like raw tomatoes… 😉

Have a great weekend!


Lara August 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Haha! Cute. Reeeeeeal cute.


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) August 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I’m so with you on the valet parking unless I’m wearing 5″ Louboutins *ha rare, or even never*…but if I’m not in heels I’ll get there 20 minutes early and park in the residential area just to save $10. Also, I do paint my own toenails and dye my own roots. That’s where my fabulousness ends 🙂


Lara August 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Deb: No, it’s not 😉


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) August 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Aww 🙂 Thanks!


lindsay August 13, 2011 at 3:47 am

Lara, this is hilarious. And I can relate to a lot of them, especially the last name change. I love my new last name, but not sure why its a big “identity” crisis to some. Oh well. And valet, I like valet when its 110F here and I am already getting sweat stains. haha.


Katie August 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

Agreed except for valet parking. I’ll avoid it if I can, but if I’m going out in a city by myself, you better bet I’ll pay for the security of having someone bring me my car right to the door when I’m ready to leave. 🙂


Carey Marley August 13, 2011 at 11:44 am

I don’t get why people see it as an affront to their choices about parenting if you choose to do something different. Breast or bottle, when to wean, how to wean, type of nappy (diaper if you’re in the US!).
The child will do their own thing when they get to adulthood anyhow, so why be offended if your choice doesn’t mirror someone else’s?

And the parking thing – I hate paying to actually park my car in a space, never mind someone else doing it for me!

Rant over!


Lara August 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Hehe…oh, the things I will get to experience someday as a parent! Yes, it does seem like everyone judges each other harshly on the decisions they make for their children!


Melissa August 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

I totally agree with you, especially camping! OMG…just no. I’ll go hike around but hell no, I’m not sleeping out there.
Also, I’ve been married twice and both times I’ve taken my husband’s name (for the most part, it’s just easier to share the name). I’m still me. I, too, don’t get the drama either way.


glidingcalm August 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

hahaha you are hilarious. One thing I will never understand?? Hmmmm…….. Car bras? they are hideous.


Lara August 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm



Tamara August 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

I feel personally affronted that you avoid bumper stickers and valet parking. It’s a very important to me that I hand my keys to some stranger to drive around in my car, so more people can see that I voted for the losing candidate in the last election :p

Most points of controversy I will never understand; not just the obviously simple ones like last-name taking. Although, I think if you’re going to make a decision on the last name, you should stick with it–it’s beyond annoying to try and find contact information for someone who’s called Smith, Ray-Smith, Smith-Ray, or Ray in different places. But I don’t understand when people lose their heads when it comes to big news stories like celebrity scandals or politicians playing games with each other. So some movie star’s husband cheated on her, or another one lost five pounds, or one senator walked out of the room before another, and it’s important to dwell on this because…?


Lara September 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Tamara, this made me laugh 🙂 Sorry for the belated reply. Oh and I agree about the names…just pick one and stick with it!


julie August 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm

i don’t understand camping eitherrrrrr. my mom went on a last min camping trip with my dad when they were dating as a way to impress him hahaha it went terrible and a bear ended up attacking all of their food!


RoseRunner August 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Fun to read! I had no idea anyone cared at all whether people found out about the sex of the baby. I figured 98% of people do figure it out. And as for last names, I doubt I would take my guy’s last name because I like mine more, simple as that.

As for camping: I think the appeal is that — like you said — after years and years of civilizing ourselves to not have to deal with nature, we have kind of become disconnected to nature. People crave it, and find a lot of peace and happiness in feeling closer to the earth (you know, think indian spirituality and all that). It’s almost it’s own religion. You can get small doses of nature from a hike, but there’s nothing like knowing you are the only human for miles, and just enjoying the stillness. It can be worth the discomfort.


Gail August 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Definitely with you especially on item number one, well said. To add to your list is using GPS (at least for people around me) to get somewhere.


Lara August 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Oh, I would be lost without GPS. I have no sense of direction!


anneliesz August 17, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m not going to lie. I’m a bit of a wuss and have never been camping. My parents both migrated from other countries a long time ago and that was never part of their schtick. That said, the quiet of the woods would have me seeing serial killers behind every tree at night. I’ve often thought if you’re sleeping in a bear’s home, it’s perfectly within his right to take a nibble as compensation for visiting. My friends all think I’m nuts. So I’ll go camping, if I have 20 people in it with me- I’m not going down easily…


elise August 19, 2011 at 8:47 am

these are great! i love the disclaimer…because i was JUST about to send you an email about how offended i was about the discussion on name changes. haha. no but seriously, readers can get infuriated by the oddest things sometimes.
these all had me laughing out loud though. and i really enjoyed tamaras comment too 😛


Arusa August 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I so agree about the camping thing, I don’t see it as fun. Like sure a hike is nice but not actually living there.


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