Photo courtesy of bando.com (socks available for purchase)
As we’re wildly running about town, trying to create Pinterest-worthy tables and ingredients we’ll never need again, I thought the timing was right to publish my “Effortless American Woman Quiz”. Are you doing a great job pretending it’s easy to do a great job? America 2016 has presented us with an interesting twist in our media-portrayed narrative, ladies. You must DO IT ALL, while appearing as if you are DOING NOTHING. Don’t blame me. I don’t make the rules. But as your Rule Historian [inserting daily fake job title, hoping one might actually stick], I feel I should highlight our current state of affairs.
The Effortless-American-Woman Quiz
My career aspirations are judging your career aspirations.
Your job title must not indicate what it entails or how it earns money. It must show ingenuity in entrepreneurship, with a LinkedIn photo showcasing a casual lean against a desk, arms crossed, wearing a knowing-smile that you bring home the bacon (metaphorically speaking, as the Effortless American Woman hasn’t eaten gluten or meat since 2009).
Possible titles include, but are not limited to:
+10 points: Vision Board Consultant
+5 points: Mantel Stylist/Beauty Innovator
+5 points: Social Media Curator
+100 points: Font-Muse/Blogger
+10 points for every time you’ve updated your professional social media platform with a catchy hashtag:
+5 points for: “Landed the Elderberry Candle Contract! #powerofawe!”.
+5 points for: “What’s in your poop? #jet’aimeprobiotics”.
+5 points for: “Put down the Arial! #fontlivesmatter”.
-10 points for wearing Wellies unless you are a Candlemaker/Charitable Soap Enthusiast.
-1000 points for any job with a concrete mission. Possible titles include, but are not limited to:
Shouldn’t someone be in charge of saying, “I saw you wipe out on that paddleboard. It was NASTY.”
Count your Athleisure-wear. Special note: This question does NOT measure a commitment to exercise; work-out anticipation sufficient. Or nap-anticipating. It’s athleisure-wear, so it’s hard to say.
+1 point for every piece you own (adding ½ point for every black piece).
+1 point for every piece with a Yoga-esque title. Examples include:
Easy Plow Pants
-3 points for any single piece costing less than $75. If you want to transition from sweatless exercise to the grocery aisle to the comfort of your couch, it’s going to cost you.
-5 points for every time you break a sweat in these clothes. Your life is not a Nike Ad, Sweetheart.
Personal deduction of -500 points for my mantel.
Affirm every room in your home contains at least one piece of trash from a dead person. This is known as “vintage”, and may NOT be used for its original purpose. It’s better to be related to the dead person, or to have “restyled” the trash on your own, but the most important key is that you must not use your OWN trash!
Dead-people-trash is divided into “whimsy” categories:
+10 points if you have a ship’s wheel on your wall.
+100 points if you are a descendant of Herman Melville and have his wheel on your wall.
+10 points for oyster baskets turned into a tables.
+5 bonus points if anytime someone tries to sit a drink on it, you scream “NO! That table is just for LOOKS! It’s not stable!”
+10 points if you have an airplane propeller on your wall.
+10 points if your Grandfather flew the plane from which it was rescued.
+20 points if your Grandfather ripped it from the plane of a dead Nazi.
General Historical Whimsy:
+10 points if you rescued a chair at roadside vintage flea-market on a brisk, autumn Sunday while sipping coffee and wearing layers of knit.
+20 points if you stole an antique item from Williamsburg while drunk on a girlfriend getaway.
+5 points if you have a milk delivery crate on your front porch.
+5 bonus points if your Great Uncle was a milkman.
+5 bonus points if it holds mums and pumpkins in the fall.
-/+ 0 for bureaus. Items with drawers are neutral. Any tramp can turn a dresser into a dresser.
Foreign Language Whimsy:
+5 points for items printed with the word “atelier”.
+3 points for items featuring Italian words and placed in a kitchen.
+2 points for anything referring to “la vie”.
This is me, drinking coffee at IKEA, judging people. But I was in the moment, so it’s all good.
This will be your most difficult item to score, because just by reading this quiz, you are ingesting junk-writing and not being mindful (it’s similar to Doritos, but without tell-tale orange fingers and self-loathing).
+10 points for every adult coloring book you own.
+10 points if you feel guilty for not knowing how to meditate, but swear you’re going to learn. Soon. Next year. Maybe.
+10 points for the use of daily mantras.
+10 points for writing Haikus during a mundane task:
In the carpool line
Beeoutch, you can’t park your car there!
Forgot the snacks. Crap.
-50 points if you actually meditate. This isn’t “Eat, Pray, Love” ladies, so I know most of you are lying.
Just because my cousin grew it doesn’t mean I’m eating it.
HOW MUCH ZUCCHINI DO WE NEED?!
+10 points if you’ve eaten nothing but avocados and almonds for the past month.
+5 points if you’ve ever said “I just grab it off the vine and eat it”.
+5 points if stopped eating fast-food and started eating “fast-casual”.
+5 points for every time you say “bloated” in casual conversation.
+3 points for any meal consisting of “handful of nuts”.
+3 points for giving waiters special instructions when you order.
+3 points for drinking artisan cocktails from your favorite Mixologist.
Hair & Makeup
Effortless, I say!! Gone are the long days at the spa and the admission you put any effort into your appearance whatsoever!
+10 points if you claim you’re only wearing mascara and lip gloss while sporting a full face of makeup.
+5 points for every “1-step facial kit” you own.
+3 points if you own dry shampoo.
+1,000,000 points if everything you slap on your body is made with locally-sourced ingredients.
YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE-EFFORTLESS-AMERICAN WOMAN! You do not sweat, smell, rush, or even try. You are the human equivalent of the messy ponytail. Your Vision Board is a tranquil utopia. Your career formed itself from the ashes of the corporate ladder which you set on fire. Gourmet dinners appear on your dinner table with no apparent prep whatsoever, and your guests sit their bums on mixy-matchy chairs you refinished without getting any paint on your hands. You own more infinity scarves than there are stars in the sky.
Are you even trying? You are, and that’s the problem. You probably still own a hairdryer, and you have things like “a boss”, and “matching furniture”. While this score is disappointing, there is still hope. Improvement steps include:
-Go for a hike while drinking water from a Yeti. (The container! Hiring an ACTUAL Yeti is personal-brand suicide!)
-Create a new font.
-Think about how things are arranged on your bookshelves. Is there a visual continuity, paired with an unexpectedly delightful focal point that inspires you to make your own deodorant?
-Study the differences between “pops of color” and “splashes of color”. I don’t have time to cover this territory right now. Honey, I could write a BOOK.
Less than 100:
You wasted precious time taking this quiz when you could have been mopping a bathroom or folding laundry. Effortless women hide these dirty deeds in coordinated baskets (YES, they keep their toilets INSIDE baskets.) You are worse than effortless; you are average. You wear ecologically unsustainable jeans without even noticing your holiday mantel is visual cacophony. I won’t even suggest you paint the word “Ciao” on your Great-Grandmother’s pie safe which you could use a dog-washing station. It’s hopeless.