All the Ugly Shit Sara Loves
An Unaesthetically Pleasing Gift Guide
It’s holiday season, which means ‘tis also gift guide season, so in the spirit of both seasons, I’m prepping an essay unpacking who exactly aspirational gift guides full of beautiful beige children’s toys are actually for which I’m aiming to publish on Friday. ($41.00 woolen toy crowns I’m looking at you!)
Since Friday’s essay is all all about my love/hate relationship with aspirational gift guides (and all about how mothers are encouraged to perform their “good” motherhood through aspirational aesthetics and “good” taste), I thought I would create a Very Unaesthetically Pleasing Gift Guide to share with you, my beloved readers. Because the internet in general and the mamasphere in particular are full of pretty gift guides full of shit no one really needs, but where’s the gift guides for shockingly ugly shoes that will eradicate your foot pain and make you feel like you’re walking on clouds?!
Also! I’m having a sale on paid subscriptions because, in addition to the holidays being all about gift guides, the holidays are all about sales too and SALES ARE FUN.
So if you’ve been on the fence about upgrading your subscription and supporting my work, now might be a good time to take the plunge! An In Pursuit subscription would also make a great gift for anyone in your life fed up with the state of maternity in America, tired of feeling scammed by the cult of Ideal Motherhood, or in need of having their rage about aspirational laundry content validated 🧚
Sara’s Unaesthetically Pleasing Gift Guide (or All the Ugly Shit Sara Loves)
Unaesthetically Pleasing Item #1
These are my Flents Quiet Time earplugs. You might be asking yourself what exactly I use these stunningly purple earplugs for, and why exactly they’re so critical to my overall wellbeing and ability to thrive. To which I’d say, what don’t I use them for and what can’t they improve? Ever since my body created humans and developed super-sonar level abilities to hear those humans hiccup in their sleep on another floor behind two closed doors and amidst the thunderous roar of two sound machines, I’ve needed earplugs for sleeping because I’m the lightest sleeper in the world and it’s honestly a pain in the ass. But these earplugs really help! I can still hear my kids if they need me, but as soon as I pop the plugs in, I feel like I’ve been cocooned in a cushy blanket of silence, and they trigger a Pavlovian response - my body unclenches and everything is cued for relaxation and sleep. I love it. And them.
Upon waking in the morning, I KEEP MY EARPLUGS IN throughout most of the getting-reading-for-school rush. This means I can sleepily click my way into my morning on my computer huddled in a corner on the couch without my kids’ obnoxious television choices ruining my morning calm. This also means all of my kids’ whines, yelps, and loud demands are less abrasive than they otherwise would be. 10 out of 10 recommend starting your day as a parent with the volume turned way the fuck down. I also use these earplugs when I’m working because my husband works from home too, and even when he’s on another floor, I crave monk-like silence for optimal working conditions because that’s the type of high maintenance gal I am.