Monday, 7 November 2016

Why Oprah’s Favourite things list makes me feel bad about myself

This week Oprah Winfrey released her Favourite Things List - an annual list of extremely purchasable items intended to inspire and excite her army of loyal followers, particularly those with credit cards.


Inclusion on the list can often mean an unbelievable surge of income for the creators of each item, to the point where some businesses can struggle to keep up with demand. It’s basically the closest you can get to God recommending products, without the accompanying ethical conundrums that so often arise when deities endorse goods and services.

But I hate Oprah’s list. I know I should be more positive and optimistic in these troubled times, but I can’t help it.

I hate Oprah’s Favourite Things List because it shows me how terrible my life is, and how I’ve been doing everything wrong.
Why Oprah’s Favourite things list makes me feel bad about myself
For example:

MY CAKES DON’T LOOK LIKE POTTED PLANTS: I’ve been doing cakes wrong. My cakes all look like cakes, not houseplants, and I don’t have a PhD in anything, much less a doctorate in icing. This cake does nothing but tell me I’ve wasted my life studying the wrong things and eating wrongly-shaped baked goods.

MY FIRE STARTERS ONLY LOOK LIKE PINECONES WHEN THEY’RE ACTUALLY PINECONES:
When I’m swiping through Tinder in front of a cosy fire, apparently I’m using the wrong tinder. Instead of using pinecones I find on the ground, I should be using pincecone-shaped, scented beeswax, wood and essential oil fire starters at upwards of two bucks a pop.

As far as fireside fashion goes, my hearth’s just not in it.

I’VE BEEN GETTING MY INSPIRATION QUOTES THE LAZY WAY: Up until now, I’ve been passively absorbing all my inspirational quotes in a sluggardly fashion — by following old school friends or people from the gym on Facebook and Instagram. I had no idea I was supposed to be working this hard for it, Wheel-Of-Fortune style.

I guess, in the guess-the-letters motivational phrase game, I H*ven’t Been Sh**ting For The St*rs.

MY DOG DOESN’T HAVE HIS OWN BUCKET: Should I have been feeding my dog cheese puff biscuits by the large tinful, and has he been resenting the fact that I don’t keep his chew toys in a bucket printed with affirmations? Am I wrong in thinking that shaping a dog’s chew toy like a slipper will encourage my dog to chew actual slippers, turning the phrase “good dog” into a lie? Or is it my own life that is a lie?
No longer content to sleep fitfully with a stylised set of velvety testicles around my neck, now I’m urged to store my valuables openly at chest level. Here’s me naively keeping my dumb stuff in one of my other six loser pockets, watching a movie instead of painstakingly moving my phone, glasses, and passport to and from my Travel Pillow Organiser whenever I want to doze, eat, or go to the toilet.

I feel like such an idiot. Happily, I can now look more like one.

MY SHOELACES ARE SEXIST: I am overcome with shame due to the gender-normative strings currently holding my shoes to my feet. The world needs a unisex eighteen dollar shoelace, and the world needs it NOW.

MY HANDBAG CONTAINS NO TRUFFLE ZEST: If Oprah doesn’t go anywhere without wallet, keys, and truffle zest in her handbag, what the hell have I been doing, wandering around with just an ordinary pepper grinder in my faux-crocodile clutch?

Truffle zest is clearly too valuable a flavouring to merely keep in the kitchen pantry, it must be within arm’s reach at all times, either in your handbag or in your Travel Pillow Organiser.

MY PILE OF CHEESE IS DEVOID OF DROUGHT-PROOF PLANTS: Admittedly I did feel like I was doing something wrong here already, decorating my piles of cheese with household items and old bits of carpet. But it hurts so much to realise just HOW wrong — clearly succulent plants are the ideal decorative companions to four pounds of cheese arranged to look like a cake.

Careful, though — this is arranged to look like a traditional plant-adorned cake, not the kind that looks like a potted plant, as we’ve learned. I won’t make that mistake twice.
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