Causes of Hypertension, or Why I Really Need to Unsubscribe from The Nest

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So, about 8 months ago, I got married. (Weird, how has it been 8 months!?) I largely avoided The Knot, mainly because it is crazy-making and tells you that you need to have (insert item that some people have that you definitely don't need because your wedding is exactly that... YOURS) and doesn't understand that not everyone needs to or can spend a bajillion (number approximate) dollars on a single day. However, I did use the site to keep my guest list organized and to find some reviews on vendors that we ended up using. However, a consequence of this was that the DAY I got married, they converted my account into one on one of their sister sites, The Nest. The site bills itself as follows:

"The Nest ( started out as an online community of girls grappling with the emotional issues--and enormous to-do list--that couples face in the first few years of marriage. Created by the number one wedding website The Knot, The Nest is a 24-7 virtual married-best-friend who’s been there before. The site, the magazine, and the thousands of just-married members dish out advice on everything from how to get your permanent roommate to pick up his dirty socks, to how to inspect a property when you’re buying your first home, to foolproof recipes for entertaining the in-laws. Unlike single friends (who don’t have the experience to give tried-and-true advice) or mom (who has lots of experience but tends to give too much advice), Nesties, as we call ourselves, share experiences free of charge--and free of the worries that come with real-world friendships."

One one of the sidebars, it has links to various calculators, including ones for savings, mortgages, BMI, ovulation, activities, and getting out of debt. There's also a recipe finder and a decor finder. You're probably thinking, "Yeah, so what? All of this seems moderately helpful," and you're probably right, to a certain extent. A few of these things bother me though.

  • The site assumes that women are the only people interested in this kind of stuff. It also seems to assume heterosexual relationships are the only option, which bugs the crap out of me. Just because gay marriage isn't legal in every state doesn't mean that there aren't tons of couples cohabitating that might want to be included in this kind of discussion. Furthermore, what about the people who aren't married but are living together and those who never plan on getting married? Where are they in this equation? Missing.

  • ". . . dish out advice on everything from how to get your permanent roommate to pick up his dirty socks. . . "  Last time I checked, there wasn't any magic to this. Simply... talk to him/her? Maybe communication would work here? Just a guess.

  •  I resent the implication that single friends can't give good advice, or rather, that the ability to give advice is limited by one's status in life. I know plenty of married people whose advice I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, and plenty of single people whose advice I truly value because they are good an interpreting behavior or thinking about things in different ways than I would. And you know what? Their relationship status has NOTHING to do with their ability to do either of those things. Some people are better at analyzing situations and people than others, regardless of whether they're in a relationship.
  • I'm not even sure what is meant by "the worries that come with real-world friendships". If you can't ask your friends for advice or communicate with them openly, then what the hell are you doing?
Anyway, everyone week or so, I get an email digest of the latest stuff on their site. The most recent one:

1. 8 Things You Can't Do Once You Have a Baby
2. The Truth About Your First Married Easter
3. 36 DIY Decor Tricks Worth Doing
4. Transform Your Room with Paint
5. When to Replace Your Makeup
6. 20+ Must-Have Tools for Your Home
7. Worried About Your Taxes?
Here were my initial responses to reading these:

1. Is the list actually just "un-have the baby" listed eight times? Because I'm pretty sure that's the only real answer.
2. It will still be Easter! Only you'll be married! Also, what about the non-Christian people on this site?
3. Maybe none of these are worth doing?
4. Duh?
5. When it's gross?
6. This might be sort of useful.
7. Um, if I were, I wouldn't be asking The Nest for advice. That's why I have an accountant.

Disclaimer: I don't have children, but I would like them. I think (more on this later). This is simply my opinion.

I made the mistake of clicking on the list of things you can no longer do when you have a baby (supposedly), and I was kind of nauseated. Apparently, once you have a child, you can't wear white, you'll never be out late, you won't use the bathroom in peace, you won't be able to watch a full TV show, you won't be able to leave the house quickly, read a book with chapters, finish a phone conversation, and you won't be able to stay up late. I'm sure some of this is true, because newsflash, babies change your life. I'm pretty sure that babies, by design, don't lead to people being unable to read books, however. Sure, babies are messy and maybe you shouldn't wear that expensive white top while feeding them spaghetti, but I'm pretty sure if you make it a priority to read a book at night, you'll eventually finish a book! With chapters and everything! Blech.

I also once made the mistake of clicking on "9 Signs You Shouldn't Have Kids - At Least Not Right Now". I wanted the answer to be, "Because you don't want them," which is the best reason to not have kids, in my opinion. Some of the answers actually did make sense (if you're broke, don't have a baby... I hear they're expensive). A lot of them just paint a horribly dismal picture of parenthood, and again, while I don't have kids, I'm pretty sure that there are no absolutes about anything about having kids except that they will change your life.

All that to say is that every time I read something on this site, it makes my blood pressure climb and I have to go read some sane advice over at A Practical Wedding or look at pictures of kittens to resume normal function. I know, I know, I should just unsubscribe, but it's like a train wreck! I can't stop looking at how horrible it is! Also, it provides fodder for blog posts, and it makes me think about how I feel about parenting, marriage, relationships, and life in general. It also reminds me that the world is full of opinions and most of them are probably not mine, but everyone gets to have their own anyway. I can just choose to tune out the insane ones. :)

Are there any websites that you look at or articles you read that you know are going to set you off? What do you think of sites like The Nest? Leave me a note and we'll chat!

- A 

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