A couple of years ago one of us was talking to a very old friend about her terrible, collapsing marriage. Her husband had done all sorts of awful things, she was utterly miserable and she was cataloguing all the horror. We were nodding sympathetically with a bit of a compassionate head tilt but it was only when she said, ‘and then he spray-painted a LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE sign on the wall above the bed’ that we said ‘Oh God I’m so sorry.’ LIVE LAUGH LOVE is not acceptable. LIVE LAUGH LEAVE more like. And eventually, readers…she did.
What is it that triggers us about these well-worm slogans? They should be comforting and yet they are infuriating. Perhaps they only serve to tell us all what we already know while, simultaneously making everything feel more futile and unreachable. They imply that a print shoved up on a wall will immediately recalibrate us to dance like no one’s fucking watching. Turns out it’s not just us mean-spirited hags who object to them. Here are some examples of the slogans you sent us over Instagram, each one more intolerable than the last.
Life Isn’t About Waiting For The Storm To Pass, It’s About Learning To Dance In The Rain
Yes, we are aware that we need to realise the day-to-day drudge and grind and worry and exhaustion is THE GOOD PART. Sometimes we only realise that those are the good times when sometimes bad happens. But learning to dance in the rain? LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN? It’s an attitude lecture. It’s a ‘You’ve only got yourself to blame for your stress-levels’ lecture. It’s a ‘You can choose how you feel’ lecture. It reduces our mental health to a Take That video with Jason Orange doing backflips in a vest. Let’s do that then, We’ll definitely feel better. It won’t be the thing that tips us and our lumbar region over the edge at all.
You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Live Here But It Helps
Crazy. Just cray-cray. CRAAAAAAZEEEEEEEEE. I’m just crazy, me. Always got a little bit of crazy in my pocket. You know me – c to the r to the a to the z to the y. What if you replaced crazy with mentally ill? You don’t have to mentally ill to live here but you probably are. Please write to us if you think we should put this slogan into production.
I Am Enough
Oh dear. This triggers general derision which is incredibly ungenerous because broadly-speaking, hanging this on the wall is a howl for help. A clear signal that you are either coming out of, in the middle of or heading or heading for… a nervous breakdown. Sorry, a spiritual awakening. Sorry, a nervous breakdown.
Enjoy what? Enjoy everything? I suppose these are probably hung in the houses of those who go for organised fun. You don’t have to be crazy to live here but….
Namastay In bed
Yoga puns. Has it come to this? Let’s run with for a minute. Time for your downward spiral…swiftly followed by the sad cow pose. Finishing with the defeated warrior. See also Namaslay. God, that’s wet.
Happiness Is A Journey
As we always say, just because life is a journey, doesn’t make it any less of a disaster.