Who Says?

Earlier today, my friend, Courtney, wrote this article about cultural rebellion.  At least, that’s how I would characterize the article, which I very much enjoyed reading.  My favorite part came toward the end of her post, when she asks a series of rhetorical questions about cultural expectations, all beginning with, “Who says”:

Who says …that my house has to be presentable at all times?
Who says …that my laundry has to be caught up every day …or that we couldn’t minimize it by letting every kid have 5 shirts and 3 pairs of shorts ONLY!
Who says …that I or my kids have to a have 52 different church outfits so we are wearing something different each week?
Who says …that I have to be running myself ragged from morning til night, dragging my kids behind me?
Who says …that my kids have to be involved in every extracurricular activity I can find for them to do?
Who says …that I have to wear a size less-than-12?
Who says  …that my toenails have to be perfectly manicured all summer?
Who says …that my clothes have to be from somewhere other than Walmart (or Old Navy …either one).
Who says  …that I HAVE to coupon to manage my pennies well?
Who says  …that I have drive a car that matches everyone else?
Who says …that I have to have a house that is perfectly decorated OR that it has to have a certain number of square feet?
Who says…that I have to have an updated blog at all times?
Who says ..that I have to compare myself to any of those chics on Pinterest? ..or better yet, have the creativity to do any of the stuff on there?!

The whole time I was reading this list, I was thinking, “Ooh, ooh–I wanna play!”  This exercise struck me as an immensely fun game, and I thought that maybe we could play it together.

Okay, now it’s my turn:

Who says…I have to wear makeup whenever I go out (especially when my husband seems to honestly think I’m beautiful without it)?

Who says…I need more than one pair of jeans?

Who says…that it is “normal” to take a vacation every year?

Who says…the plight of the global poor is none of my business?

Who says…people shouldn’t be weird?  I like weird people!

Who says…we can’t ask for (or accept) help?

Who says…Christmas should break the bank?

Who says…I shouldn’t have a chandelier in my dining room that suggests that I’m 85 years old?  New ones cost money, you know!

Who says…my kids need to simultaneously participate in 17 extracurricular activities in order to become self-actualized human beings?

Who says…I need to wear earrings…or have more than one purse?

Who says…we need cable?  Or more than one tv?  Or a tv at all?

Who says…I shouldn’t drink 4 cups of coffee a day?

Okay, okay…doctors say that last one.  Other than that, though, I stand by my questions.  I would love to know who makes these rules.  Well, actually, I guess I don’t really care at this point who makes them.

Because I’m tired of following them.

Okay, now it’s your turn.  Do you have any “Who says?” questions to ask?

17 responses to this post.

  1. Lol…I LOVE it! I lol’d that last coffee one ..I had three today! 🙂


  2. Posted by bekster081305 on April 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Wow. This seemed like a really cool idea until I started trying to think of things. Everything I have been coming up with is something that there is a very good reason to do (or at least something that I willingly choose to do because it is worth it to me in the long run). You would think that would mean that everything I am doing is totally purposeful and that I wouldn’t have any unnecessary stress, but, sadly, that isn’t the case. I actually feel quite burdened right now by the things I have on my plate. There are things that I REALLY WISH I could say “who says…?” about, but for me there actually are people who “say” (though, I admit, most of the things that burden me are things that I place on myself). There has to be SOMETHING I can throw off, though, because this is just sad. I feel like the fact that I am having trouble thinking of things shows that I really NEED to let go of something. Let me see…

    Who says…that I have to keep up with everything that gets posted on Facebook?

    Who says…that I have to like current music, TV, and movies?

    Who says…(okay, I’m just gonna say it) that my underwear has to “match” my bra or anything else?

    Who says…that I have to wear underwear at all? (Just kidding, really.) 🙂

    Who says…that I should hide my “muffin top” at all costs?

    Who says…that my voice and guitar playing have to be perfect before I let my friends hear me?

    Who says…that my Spanish has to be perfect before I speak it aloud to anyone?

    Who says…that I have to read my Bible every single day? (I still think this is a good thing to do, but I would rather read it sometimes than never do it because I can’t live up to the standard of doing it every day.)

    Who says…that everything I say has to be clever or insightful?

    Who says…that I should give up on the house (that I really like) that is taking forever to get finished? (People say that, but I would rather display patience.)

    *Whew!* Okay, that’s a little bit better. I feel like I should think on this some more, though, because I could definitely use a reduction in things to worry about.

    Interesting idea, both of you.


    • Becky, I totally relate to the idea of being burdened by so many worthy and necessary tasks. In those times, I just have to take my eyes off the big picture and work on one thing at a time. I hope your plate clears soon!

      Until then, I love your list! Did you see Caryn’s on Facebook? I’m sure that living in Nicaragua gives you guys a whole new perspective on “who says”?:)


      • Posted by bekster081305 on April 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm

        You have no idea 🙂 I think maybe one reason that I have trouble thinking of things is that there are already so many things I have thrown off. For example, all of the domestic, “house” stuff you ladies have mentioned? Well, I don’t even have a house, and the room that I do have is rarely seen by anyone else, so tidiness there is for our own sanity only (most of the time). I also don’t have kids, so I don’t have any standards to lower there. The stuff Caryn put on Facebook is very characteristic of the standards here, though. Okay, yes, there ARE tightly sealed houses and hot water, but those things are luxuries instead of the norm.

        Oh, and after I commented last night, I wrote down in a list all of the things on my “plate” and prayed about them (trying to commit them to God instead of feeling like *I* have to be in control of everything), and I actually felt a lot better afterwards. Also, you’re absolutely right about doing one thing at a time. Having the stuff in a list should help me to pick what one thing I should do.

        Who says…life has to be stressful?


        • Who says…you have to have a house?:)

          Okay, maybe your sanity says that. I know mine would. But in some ways, I think your whole move to Nicaragua is its own game of “Who says.” “Who says” is all about defying the norms because of your beliefs, and I hardly think that your life right now qualifies as “normal” for your geographical and socioeconomic background.

          I’m so glad that you are feeling some peace about your tasks. Courtney always recommends making a “stress list” just to get it all out on paper. For me, it always helps to just have it out of my head and in writing. It sounds like it helped you, too. (And I’m sure praying about it did, as well!) I hope that you continue to feel the peace of knowing that you are right where you need to be, doing what you need to be doing.


          • Posted by bekster081305 on April 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

            Thanks. 🙂 I usually advocate the list thing too, but this time I guess I was thinking that to see it all together would be even MORE overwhelming. Not so, though.


  3. This was all good until Becky played the commando card. TMI! 🙂


    • Posted by bekster081305 on April 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Larry, THIS is what makes you pop up to comment??? And, c’mon, you know you’d go “free” too if you thought you could get away with it. 🙂

      (Miss you, BTW. You should get on Skype with Ann sometime so I don’t have to hijack Kim’s comments to talk to you.)


    • Ha, Becky–I was thinking the same thing. (In regards to your first sentence:)).

      So, Larry…are you going to play, or what?


      • Posted by bekster081305 on April 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm

        In Larry’s mind:

        “Who says…that I have to play this silly game?”

        (Just kidding.) 🙂


        • I’ve decided it is a girl game. My running theory is that men don’t internalize cultural expectations the same way. As evidence, I submit the absence of any male commenters (including Tim!).


          • Posted by bekster081305 on April 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

            Yeah, I guess usually it is the women who “say” to the men that things “need” to be a certain way. The men are the ones who are like, “um… WHY do you care about that?”


  4. Thank you God for leading me to Kim’s blog. Please bless it as it continues to touch hearts the way it just touched mine. In Jesus name amen.


  5. Posted by Molly on April 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    This game reminds me of a song from Wicked (which happens to also be one of my favorite songs these days…):

    “Something has changed within me. Something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game…..I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so. Some things I cannot change but till I try, I’ll never know! Too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost. Well, if that’s love it comes at much too high a cost!”

    (And if you haven’t heard the actual song, go now and listen to it. Now. It’s called “Defying Gravity.”)

    With that in mind, here are mine!

    Who says…I have to answer “Fine” to the question “How’re you doing?”
    Who says…I can’t take someone up on an offer for help…and mean it when I offer help to someone else?
    Who says…having more than 3 kids is crazy?
    Who says…God can’t use me in amazing ways – exactly where I am, doing exactly what I am doing, even in the craziest of stages in life?
    Who says…two total strangers can’t have a deep and meaningful conversation instead of making small talk?
    Who says…I would be crazy to think about adopting an orphan?
    Who says…laundry is dirty because it’s been worn…even if it looks and smells clean?
    Who says…I should not admit that we didn’t wash those clothes in between wearings?
    Who says…I am not a good mother because I spend much of my time wanting a break from my kids?
    Who says…watching hours of tv is an unacceptable way for me to spend my evenings?
    Who says…I can’t be deliriously happy in the midst of one of the most challenging times in my life?


    • Molly, I love you! I especially love your last one. Amen! Oh, and also the part about God using you in amazing ways right where you are. So true!

      Also, who says…that I can’t still pretend your my neighbor even though you live in SC? I will just call you and pretend that you are actually in walking distance. That seems like a fool-proof plan:).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: