Who are “They”?

At some point in each of our lives we have either been told or told someone what to do or what not to do based on what “they” say. You know what I’m talking about. “They say you should wait ______ months/years before getting married.” “They say it’s best to go to a(n) _________ college.” “You know, they say you should spend ________ on an engagement ring.” “They say the best weddings are _________.” “They say that babies _____________.” “They say you should _________.” “They say you should NEVER ________!” “They say to wear _______ this fall.” “They say not to ever wear________ this time of year.”

Or sometimes the “they” is not said explicitly, but it is understood. “You should definitely _______!” “You know, you should never _________.” We’ve all done it. My mom says it. My friends have said it. I’ve said it! But I have a question:

Who exactly are “they”? And why exactly to “they” know how I should order my life and what my priorities should be?

We all live by some set of rules. Our lives are directed by the narratives we’ve heard. Whether it’s from our family, our friends, research we’ve done, things we’ve read, or things we have watched. Our minds are constantly filled with voices telling us what we should and should not do.

They tell me that I should throw a birthday party for my daughter when she turns 1 in a month. And not just any old party, but a GREAT party! It has to be memorable. It cannot be lame. They say it has to have a theme. It has to have cake. My daughter has to wear some sort of custom monogramed “1” onesie with a matching tutu. I have to serve food to our guests. But not just any food, it has to be food with creative recipes that match the theme of the party! Oh and don’t forget favors. They say there has to be party favors! Preferably handmade. I have to send fabulous invitations. And activities! Don’t forget about the activities, we cannot have little one year olds getting bored. Oh, and drinks for the adults. Alcoholic ones of course. But also alcohol free, we must have options for everyone. They must be the colors of the rest of the theme, maybe with some sort of fruit or umbrella sticking out of the top! The whole ordeal has to be pinterest perfect.





I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to be skeptical about these “they” people. As a matter of fact, I’m straight up exhausted from them. So I’m taking a break. I’m going to rebel against them. Before I have an anxiety attack about an event my daughter is too young to understand, I’m trying to remove layer after layer of the instructions from “them.”

You see, I’m not an event planner a complete event planning-phobic. I am terrible with details. I just HATE planning events (shudder). When I was on staff with Greek InterVarsity, my absolute least favorite part of the job was the event planning aspect. The thought of it makes the butterflies start fluttering in my stomach. Last minute food falling through, city noise ordinances I was unaware of, band’s that don’t have the proper equipment to set up, power point projectors that don’t work (cue hyperventilation) … yes, they were always a disaster in my hands.

One day, Riley will be old enough to have preferences opinions demands and when that day comes, I will figure out how to do some kind of great event for her. But until then, here’s what I’m thinking:

An outdoor brunch at Weaver Street Market with friends:


Then a little gathering with family and cupcakes (“Little Quack” themed, made by a friend/incredible cupcake maker!) later in the day.

So take that “they”! I’m sick of listening to you.


3 thoughts on “Who are “They”?

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