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Mushroom Caps I Will Not Stuff | Manolo for the Big Girl

Mushroom Caps I Will Not Stuff

I can’t remember who it was that said ‘life is too short to stuff a mushroom,’ but I do know that she’s my soul sister. Oh, and that isn’t just because I detest mushrooms. It’s because she recognized there are things in her life worth taking the time to do and others that just aren’t ever going to be important to her, and that it’s okay to just say no to those things.

We all pile stress on ourselves. It’s part of the human condition. Left to our own devices, it’s easy to get caught up in an eternal hamster wheel of worry about things that aren’t all that important in the longrun.

This isn’t to say by any means that there aren’t things worth spending time and care over. There are. The key is to know which things you do care about putting that effort into, and which ones you can safely ignore or slide by on.

So what are some mushrooms I won’t be stuffing? Here’s a list of things I’ve decided my life is too short to include:

My life is too short to watch TV I don’t like, no matter how popular. I know everyone else loved Raymond. I didn’t, and I’m at peace with that.

My life is too short to apologize for liking the occasional  trashy movie, even if it does show on the Lifetime Movie Network. Death of a Cheerleader makes me giggle, and I don’t care who knows it.

My life is too short to own clothes I don’t enjoy wearing. Whether it’s an odd fit in the crotch, a scratchy seam, or a color that makes people ask me if I’m feeling sick, I don’t have time for it.

My life is too short to worry about whether there are dishes in the sink or some clutter in the room when a friend comes to the door. I’m going to come right out and say this: I am a lousy housekeeper. I’ve decided that as long as people can get in the door and get where they’re going, and the dishes aren’t actually growing legs and attacking people, I can live with it, and so can my friends. If it bugs them too much, I can go to their homes or meet them somewhere in the middle.

My life is too short to own anything pink. I am not a pink person. I don’t like most pink things. I look terrible in pink, and it doesn’t usually make me smile. Purple, orange, blue, green, yellow, red…there are plenty of colors that do make me smile. I’m going to concentrate on them.

My life is too short to spend a lot of time actively avoiding pink. Despite that last statement, I do love the bright pink curtains in my bedroom. I particularly love that Mr. Twistie chose them. And the reading glasses I’m wearing right now have a touch of bright pink in the frames. I got them because when I tried them on, Mr. Twistie looked so delighted I wanted to keep him smiling. Making Mr. Twistie smile is far more important to me than avoiding pink.

My life is too short to stuff a mushroom. I may have time to make my own lace, watch silly movies on Lifetime, and daydream about feeding Tim Gunn my homemade scones (call me, Tim!), but stuffing things drives me up a tree. If it’s smaller than a bell pepper, I don’t intend to stuff it, no matter how delicious it would be when I finished. Okay, maybe I’ll stuff a ravioli. Maybe.

My life is too short not to take time for myself. I don’t want to get to the end of this ride and discover I spent all my precious time on people who aren’t me. Sometimes taking time for me happens to be nice for others, too. After all, one of the things I love to do for me is cook great meals for my friends. Another thing I love to do for me is sing, which a few other people have said they enjoy hearing. A neighbor has asked me to tutor her son a bit in writing skills, and I can’t wait to get started. But I also take time for a bubble bath once in a blue moon (well, when we aren’t in drought mode out here in California), or to read a good book, or to pull out my lace pillow and toss my bobbins.

My life is too short to live in ugly rooms. My house doesn’t look at all like I want it to look right now. I’ve decided this is not okay. And so it is that I’m starting to save up and bargain hunt. By this time next year, I want to stop dreaming of my Yellow Submarine kitchen. I want to be cooking in it. Oh, and I’m finally putting up the living room curtains I bought three months ago. All they need is a quick ironing and to be hemmed. I can do that in the coming week, and like my living room much better than I do right now. Then it’s time to clean up and paint the walls after eight years of threatening to do so.

My life is too short to eat bad food. I’m not talking about moral weight, here, but flavor. I’m going to get the best ingredients I can afford, and cook them with care and consideration. Then I will eat them with relish…but the pickle kind will only come out when it actually compliments what I’m eating.

My life is too short not to tell people that I love them.

So what is your life too short for?

18 Responses to “Mushroom Caps I Will Not Stuff”

  1. Sony April 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    1. Bad food
    2. Uncomfortable shoes
    3. Energy vampires parading as friends
    4. Ironing

  2. freyjah April 5, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    Great post. The mushroom quote is from Shirley Conran.

    My life is too short for all those things too, and also for spending time and energy on mean people. I don’t care who you are, if you’re mean, I’ll find a way to avoid you.

  3. mini_pixie April 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    I’m with you, Twistie (and not just on the “mushrooms = yuck” either).

    I have finally learned that I cannot do it all, and have stopped trying. I know what is important to me: my nuclear family, my extended family, my friends, and my job (in that order). I will do what I need to do to make all those things hum smoothly, but I am no longer afraid to sacrifice one to make a more important one be better.

    The good news is that I’m happier for having made this decision, and I think the people in my life are happier too, since I’m not going to make a promise I can’t keep or agree to do something and then be grumpy about it. If it’s important to me I do it, and if not, oh well.

  4. Little Miss Moneybags April 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Great post–I’m going to write my own!

  5. Cat April 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    I’m with you on the mushrooms=yuck thing, as well. Also on the fixing up the house thing. I just finished laying down a new floor in my master bedroom on Friday. The hallway and computer room are next on the list before I move to the downstairs floors. It’s something I’ve been needing to do for years and I’m so glad I finally got started. I love my new bedroom floor. I didn’t do a perfect job installing it, but I did it myself and I’m proud of it.

    Also, life is too short to work at a job that I don’t enjoy and that isn’t fulfilling, no matter how much it pays. Last year I gave up a job I hated, but that paid very well, for a job I really enjoy that doesn’t pay nearly as much. I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

  6. Girls Clothing April 6, 2009 at 4:01 am #

    “Manolo for the Big Girl!, Yeah, very true. Added a subscription to your feed.

  7. dcsurfergirl April 6, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    1. Mean girls!
    2. Housework
    3. Ugly shoes and clothes!

  8. Dragonbait April 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    I think Shapely Prose had something like this up called the “Fuckit List” (as opposed to the Bucket List), for things you just couldn’t be bothered to do, and I love it.

    Life is definitely too short for me to diet. There are way better things to do with my time.

  9. wildflower April 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    I think this is why a few people got up in arms about your earlier post in which you asked, “What’s your excuse for not looking fabulous?” Some of us have no interest in wearing anything other than jeans and T-shirts. I know, I know, “then why do you read fashion blogs?” It’s because we enjoy *looking at* pretty things, which is quite a different hobby. It’s like going to an art museum. And also, I adore your writing. :)

  10. Sherlock April 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    1. Negative people
    2. Stores that don’t carry anything over a size 12
    3. Traffic Jams
    4. Foods I don’t like that everyone else likes (cheese, coffee, beer, etc.)
    5. Manicures that hurt, pampering shouldn’t hurt

  11. Sara A. April 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    My life is too short for making meatballs from scratch or for most recipes that do not go “Chop stuff up. Throw stuff in pot. Leave alone for two hours. Serve.”

    Making finicky cookies.


    To live with a song in the wrong key

    To have bad sex

  12. Karrol April 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    I decided years ago to not make Christmas cookies. It takes forever and makes a huge mess. Besides with all the OTHER people making cookies and gifting them around, I always have them and never HAVE to make them.
    And quilting – honestly, why cut up perfectly good fabric to just turn around and sew it back together again? I love to sew, but quilting is not for me.

  13. La Petite Acadienne April 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    or to pull out my lace pillow and toss my bobbins.

    Is it just me, or does that sound like a euphemism for something delightfully dirty? ;)

    For me, life is too short to:
    1. Try to have a spotless house like my mother’s.
    2. Hold grudges.
    3. Say yes to social engagements I’d rather forgo.
    4. Turn down opportunities to travel, even if I have to put the whole thing on my credit card.
    5. Put up with disrespect.

  14. Margo April 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Shaving my armpits. The goosey skin under there isn’t exactly rejoicing at seeing the light of day, I never wear short-sleeved arm-holsters, anyhoodle, and I don’t (personally) find it a gross look when I see it on other women.

  15. jessie April 6, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    1-Listening to modenr muisc I dont like(why listen to horrible screaming set to thrashing guitars,when sister can jam to Queen,I will follow him,Beatles,Journey etc)
    2- people telling me what I should do with my hair.Its my hair,i live with it 24/7.i know whats best and what works for me forit

    3-Satans little annoyances.Im tryin gto get bakc on the bible study track

  16. class factotum April 7, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    I keep trying to convince myself that life is too short to diet, but I have not been successful.

  17. Beauregard Dupree May 8, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Life is too short to rent electricity. No really. It is.

    It all started when my darling noodle dragon boyfriend the Mad Scientist Construction Worker casually mentioned (a month ago now good god.) that the electricity rental bill was on the kitchen counter. Stopped me in my tracks.
    Now I knew , in theory, that electricity isn’t actually used by your gear. It runs through your stuff and minus any wastage goes right back to the grid. Yes you use it. But you give it back. And pay for it. Through the nose. Every bloody month.

    Now I can’t truly explain why this freaked me out. Perhaps the wording. Perhaps I was in the throes of a hormonal imbalance and took it personally. But let me tell you this. By the next morning I was mad. Nay. Furious. At Life and Stuff in general.

    Paying three times the amount your home is worth by the time you own it due to interest. Credit cards with 30% interest when you’re late for the first time. Making too much money to qualify for college financial aid but not making enough to actually go. Random things that I just accepted as being The Way Things Are. It started in the financial realm of my life but soon jumped the firebreak and swept into the rest of my life.

    Frankly my life was FULL of things I did just because people told me I had to. And I had seen fit to let them do so. Aye there’s the rub you see. I let them. Why? Because I’m a Good Girl. Keep your parents happy. Be Successful. Keep Up With the Joneses. Or Smiths. Fill in the Blank. Now why did I see fit to allow other people and society as a whole to boss moi around? Because I did not see myself as worthy of My Own Path. Egad why, you ask? Because I’m ugly.

    Yep that’s the real reason Ive been a professional victim all of my life. Cause I dont look like the rest of the Good People. How amazingly pathetique is that?? What a great reason to major in something you don’t like. Wear clothes you hate. Stay home lest you offend the sight of the beautiful people. Let boyfriends smack you around. God the list goes on and on. “No no really. Its ok. I’m ugly. Thanks for reminding me. I forgot for a second. But I’m better now. ” I’ve been that way since I can remember. Head down, shoulders slumped trying desperately not to be seen or heard. Never finishing anything I wanted to do because I’d do for others first. Wanting to die because there was no point in living if all I am is an embarrassment to my family and society as a whole.

    All because I’m ugly.

    I don’t claim that it makes sense. Or is even valid. It simply is.


    It’s not All Better now. My finances are still shot. I’m still recovering from old injuries mental and physical. I still can go from happy and smiling to scared and trying to hide in 3 seconds flat. But at least now I can try.

    I don’t think I’m pretty or even just plain. Let there be no mistake. I look in the mirror and still see a pasty faced Jabba the Hut. I still feel like a water retaining water buffalo around “normal” women. I can’t go shopping for clothes without breaking out in hives and having panic attacks in the parking lot. If I do find something I like I can’t simply buy it. I need someone to give me a reason to. I don’t trust my own opinions. But maybe the mirror doesn’t know everything. Maybe what “they” think isn’t the truth. Maybe I have worth apart from what I look like. And maybe what I look like isn’t that bad after all.

    Now to my boyfriend and girlfriend, I’m ” the hotness”. ( I still think they may be the victims of a tragic thing called blindness.) To them I’m a walking renaissance painting. Freya, Aphrodite, Flora. Pick a goddess. They’ll tell you without missing a beat that : Yea. Verily, it is I. ” Desire Incarnate”. See? Told ya. Nutbars both of them.
    They’ve been putting me back together for a year now. One little emotional bit at a time. And I have freaked out on them routinely. They’ve literally had to hold me down when I would have left them because I just flat out felt I didn’t deserve them and they’d be better off without me. I resisted everything they said on a unilateral basis until that one phrase made sense.

    Renting electricity: letting go of your own core values, your own Way to make others happy. Accepting what Those Who Know say in fashion, or love, or life as -your- truth. Under developing or neglecting your own unique abilities and talents because “they” wouldn’t understand or appreciate them. Doing what everyone else does regarding life decisions because its “normal”. Paying in emotional coin for the use and abuse of others month after month when you’ve done nothing to pay for. Accepting things that don’t make sense for you as valid just because you “should”. Letting the fact that you’re not like the others make you somehow -less- than they.

    I’m 36. And I look back on my life and see a wasteland. I don’t see myself. I see a misfit trying to avoid detection. Trying to stay hidden. An attitude of : I’ll do anything you say. Just don’t hurt me. I’m tired of it. I’m worn to nothing. No possessions. No money. Nothing to show for 36 years of life except bills and injuries.

    Maybe not. I have a fabulous child, The Goobaby Goobear. I have my boyfriend and girlfriend. I have my cats. I have a dog. And I have love. They love me and I them and who gives a -damn- what anyone else thinks? Who gives them the right to say who I am or what I should do? There is only one person that can do that.


    And I say no more.

    Life is too short to rent electricity.