Hashtag: No Filter

On the weekend the guys put up some – but, thankfully, not all – of our outdoor Halloween decorations, mainly the smaller items that hang from our eaves and our big Mayday tree: bats, spiders, corpses, and the like. Cheerful things, you know. Remember the giant snowfall from a few weeks ago? The arborist we had hired was supposed to work on our large trees, but because of the snowy circumstances his team was running a few weeks behind. Yesterday they came to prune the trees and naturally had to move our spooky decor out of the way. I’m not sure I love what they did with the skeleton who was attached to the Mayday:

I think I would have preferred having Mr. Bones facing away from the window. As it is, I feel watched.

Speaking of which, the other day I was walking Barkley and it occurred to me – not for the first time – that I am exceedingly grateful for many things, but particularly that I am not a celebrity. It’s not that I dislike the spotlight – quite the contrary – nor is it that I would turn down the material rewards that often accompany celebrity status. Sidebar: did you know that Sofia Vergara is the highest paid TV actress at $42.5 million? I would not turn that down. When discussing the big lottery that happened last week with friends, I realized that they are all much, much better people than I am, judging from their I would establish affordable housing/ a recovery centres/ free daycare for teen moms wish list. Is it bad that my first thought was that I’d move away from Planet Hoth and buy a tiara? Yes, of course I would do much good with that money too, there are many causes dear to my heart. But first on the list: a tropical home and a tiara.

Back to the original point: I am glad that Girl in a Boy House has not attained celebrity status for the simple reason that I would not want to be followed by paparazzi. Sure, it would be fine if they were following me to, say, yoga class, or even on one of my many trips to the grocery store, although if I was a celebrity I would likely have a grocery store person. I would not, most emphatically, want to be followed on my dog walks, because I am a complete idiot when I speak to my dog. He has a disgusting tendency to eat discarded tissues from the sidewalk. I know! He’s been doing it since he was a puppy and realized that discarded tissues were the one thing that I wouldn’t remove from his mouth on our walks. Discarded. Tissues. First of all, WHO are these people who use a tissue and then THROW IT ON THE SIDEWALK? You people are appalling! Put the used tissue in your pocket like a normal person and then throw it in a garbage can when possible! And while I’m on the topic, people who buy chicken wings from 7-11 and then throw the bones on the ground for every Spot, Rover, and Barkley to pick up are also the worst. Listen, I realize that you must be very drunk to be walking around the neighbourhood eating chicken wings from 7-11, but won’t someone think of the doggies?

Anyway, the other day I was walking with Barkley and every time I noticed a tissue I said sternly, “LEAVE IT” and when he did, I praised him like there was no tomorrow. Who’s a good boy! You’re a good boy! Yes you are! Yes you are! Who’s a good doggy? Barkley’s a good doggy! Yes he is! As I was speaking like this for the fifth or sixth time on the walk, I realized that there was someone walking behind me. They passed me with a sideways glance and I felt, not for the first time, that conversations between myself and the dog, one-sided though they might be, would be terrible if recorded for the public.

It’s a good thing I’m not a reality star.

The excessive praise thing does seem to be working, although we came across a dead magpie on the sidewalk, a really gross crushed corpse of a bird, and I immediately screamed “LEAVE IT!” to which Barkley responded by quickly snatching a nearby tissue and eating it. I was too deflated to scold him.

Paparazzi recording conversations would be one thing, but another would be the unflattering candid photos. We are used to seeing our celebrities photoshopped and filtered within an inch of their lives, which is also what things look like on Instagram. Then, when a candid photo shows up – or when we see someone in person – we are all shocked. What stars look like with no makeup! How So-and-So has let herself go! Best and worst beach bodies! I was speaking with a friend about this today (HI JAN) about how we might compare our own faces to those of our counterparts, and how THEIR Instagrammed youthful glow and smooth skin might make us wonder where we went wrong in our skin-care regimes. I have said it before and I will say it again: I am emphatically anti-filter. The more we look at filtered photos, the more we get a distorted view of what people actually look like.

I swear, Instagram filters are the social media equivalent of a facelift, except that when you see people in real life, they don’t look like their photos. Let’s all agree to just embrace our faces the way they are, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and all. By all means, use good lighting and makeup and what have you for your photos, if that’s your jam, but filters that make you look twenty years younger than your counterparts are just…depressing. For the good of society, let’s stop with the filters!

Social media is where we get the idea that everyone is living this perfect life, except for ourselves. We see cute pictures of dogs, without the background information that the dogs are eating tissues off the street. We see good hair days:

But we don’t see what happens before the good hair days:

(does anyone else blow-dry their hair upside-down for extra volume?)

We see smiling faces and perfected makeup:

But we don’t see the hot messes we are first thing in the morning.

Those two photos were taken in the exact same spot, two hours apart.

To you I say, you are beautiful just the way you are. No need for filters.


  1. North came home from a friend’s house yesterday and reported they’d found a wounded rat in the driveway and the friend’s mother wouldn’t let them bring it into the house.
    “Shocking,” Beth commented on hearing this story, but North and their friend were pretty indignant about the whole thing. They covered it up with a blanket and it died later in the evening.

    Barkley might have understood, even if his intentions might have been different toward the (already dead) magpie.

  2. I am trying to recover from the knowledge that there can be enough used tissues littering the outdoors that this is A Thing with your dog. Blecccchhhh. Those are great photos and I wholeheartedly agree with the no-filter thing.

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