Six social experiments I’d like to trySeptember 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Daily Life, Work & Life | 5 Comments
Tags: good deeds, shopaholic, Social experiments
Do you ever day-dream about what would happen if you just stopped cleaning, or didn’t do everything at work to the letter? I wonder something like this most days, so I thought I’d put together a list of the top six social experiments I’d really like to try – with no care for the consequences!
1. I’d like to start spending and just not stop. Probably about half a dozen, maybe more things come into my head each day that I want to buy. So over the period of a month, of maybe 200 of these thoughts go by, and I maybe buy two or three of these items…. ok maybe four or five but don’t tell my husband. Today has been a bracelet, crisp white bed linen, fence panels, Converse trainers, linen trousers, long sleeve t-shirts from Jigsaw and I’m sure there were others. So not extravagant things, but wouldn’t it be lovely to have your dinner and then just buy every single one of those things? I’d need a bigger house though.
2. I’d like to switch my phone off at 6pm. Now this would be a toughie. But we have a landline – remember those, home phones?! So people could get me in an emergency, or I could phone out for important things, like a pizza. 12 hours every day with no iPhone. Now that would be novel. I couldn’t go cold turkey – obviously. Maybe start at 10pm and work backwards in 20 minute increments.
3. I’d refuse to do two things at once. Every time I was trying to brush my hair and stop our three-year old from drawing on the mirror with a banana I’d holler for my husband saying ‘babe can you get him I’m trying to brush my hair’. Or if I was trying to get dressed, get the bear dressed and stop him from emptying the receipts from my purse into the toilet I’d shout ‘hun I can’t get ready can you help meeeeee!’. That would come as a shock I imagine.
4. I’d see how people reacted if I told them they’d upset me. I’m not suggesting it’s good to be a martyr but what would happen if you told the cranky cashier that their tsking that you’d forgotten your bag for life had upset you a little? Or someone at work being short with you when under the pressure of a deadline had left you a little down in the dumps? What about a best friend forgetting your birthday or a sister telling you that you’re frumpy? More often than not we go home, stew on it, rant to our partners, stew a little more, maybe even have a little woe is me cry and then move on. Surely all of this emotion is better out in the open – set free on a path towards an apology?
5. I’d do a good turn for every one done for me. I helped a lady down the stairs with her buggy at the theatre today, and an elderly lady back up with her suitcase. I’m unsure why she had a suitcase for a showing of The Hungry Caterpillar, but that’s besides the point. In Ikea last week a mum alone with two children was juggling a tray of meatballs, a handbag and two bickering under 5’s. The table she was heading for only had two chairs so I dumped bear at our table and got her another chair – I think she almost cried. It feels just as good to do something for someone else as it does to have something nice done for you. I bet if I returned every single nice gesture received, karma would be good to me, and maybe more people would take the time to do good deeds during their busy lives.
6. I’d change my default response to ‘how are you?’ from ‘great’ to something more honest. Life is hilly, it’s not always a coast down to the pub. I can’t remember the last time I replied to this question with ‘actually I’m effing knackered, bear was up half the night, I had to work like a dog all day, husband was home late, the curry I slaved over was far too spicy, the house is a tip and I would pay serious money for a hot bath, in total peace and quiet’. Oh and make that a bath with a glass of Prosecco and someone gorgeous to hand me my towel when I’m ready to get out. Please. I can’t complain, life is good – but some days are total pigs and a good old off-loading onto a friend works wonders for the soul.
So, what would you do? Any little experiments you’d undertake? I once kept a diary of all of the things I’d asked husband to do in a week that he hadn’t done – everything from picking up a wet towel to putting the bins out and fixing a leak. That sounds so stereotypical but hey those are the kind of huge demands I put upon him. Needless to say that for a quiet life I decided not to present him with it alongside a cold beer on walking through the door from work.
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