Real Talk | Let Me Be Basic and Great!

Just a girl in a lululemon sweatshirt buying a Diet Coke...

Just a girl in a lululemon sweatshirt buying a Diet Coke...

I'd like to start off this post by thanking my eldest daughter and her crusade against everything 'basic' for helping me out with today's blog topic. I can hear her screeching, "OMG BLOGGING IS SO BASIC WHY ARE YOU RUINING MY LIFE!" from here. 

Bless her heart. She's at that wonderful, lovely age. You know, when they're so enlightened and above everything. I remember that age. I wanted my parents to do nice landscaping so we looked like the rest of the neighborhood and not trash with money. I just wanted a little curb appeal so we didn't look like Sanford and Son

My oldest vehemently protests anything known as 'basic' which she defines as, "Uggs, social media, pop music, 'white girl food,' PINK by Victoria's Secret, Starbucks..." and anything else that isn't SUPER SMART AND HIGHLY INDIVIDUALIZED. She drinks an assortment of herbal tea, eats hardboiled eggs, and is immersed in SEVERAL different cultures! "I am not a stereotype, Mom!"

Oh sweetie, but you are

I had to laugh as I reminded her she was lecturing me on an iPhone and wearing the Chucks she literally stole off my feet, and when I took her out to a spendy sushi restaurant, she ordered a damn California roll. 

It's so hilarious to me. Typical upper middle class suburban privileged kid acting so NOT PRIVILEGED as they stand under a tarp eating a can of soup trying to stick it to 'The Man.' She yells at her very self aware and openly basic younger sister, who shrugs and says, "Who doesn't love Starbucks and Uggs?" 

Team Tater on that argument, and I don't understand this whole 'war on basicness' all over the place. What's wrong with liking simple, basic, mundane, and boring things a lot of other people like? I remember a friend of mine almost clotheslining me when I wanted to go worship at my altar of White House/Black Market at the mall...

"No! You cannot go in there! I will NOT allow it!" 

"But why? Who doesn't love a classic wardrobe full of comfortable and flattering basics at an affordable price point?" 

"You look like a basic suburban soccer mom!" 

"I AM A BASIC SUBURBAN SOCCER MOM! LET ME BE GREAT! Do I have to dress like Stevie Nicks to be edgy and cool?" 

My hopeless basicness has been an issue in some relationships as well. OG desperately wanted me to be all political and read 13 page articles about the election in The Atlantic, and I'd need a nap after the second paragraph. One time, I put ketchup on my hashbrowns during family brunch and I thought he was going to have a coronary on the spot. I was like, WUT EVERYONE DOES THIS AT DENNY'S. 

Ann Taylor

My ex-husband and Jeremy liked to throw the word, "Pedestrian" around because I make things like meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner. Sorry, I grew up in the midwest and love a good casserole. No one taught me how to make Chateau Briand or ceviche. Hell, watching Top Chef exhausts me and a $5 bottle of wine tastes just like a $50 bottle of wine to me. SO PEDESTRIAN AND BASIC OMG HOW CAN YOU STAND TO BE AROUND ME. 

A favorite conversation of mine is about my 'potential'... 

I like to write about basic, boring, shallow experiences of an almost middle aged, Real Housewives watching, latte sipping, single woman with a not so glamorous life. I could probably do super high brow and intellectual work, but I don't want to. I like this. There's a need for someone to have commentary on real life in the world and triumph the cause of the basic bitch of America. See? I'm a social justice warrior. I should organize a Basic Bitch March! We will descend upon the streets of America in lululemon and Uggs demanding Jettas or a Benz C class for all women! 

To me, it comes down to embracing who you are. I like shitty pop music, bad coffee, simple food, reality television, mall clothes, and being everything basic. I come from trash with money who think the Olive Garden is fine dining, so I'd like to think this generation is better than the last, and my child drinks super fancy herbal tea while I sip this cold brew I got at Starbucks. She's improved the future! She eats at sushi joints, I ate Grand Slams at Denny's. Progress, not perfection, kid.  

It doesn't mean I'm not an individual, I nerd out pretty hard over weird stuff like the Napoleonic Era, studying social media analytics, and distance running. I just see it as more of my thing, and not a standard to judge others. I drive my Basic B Mobile because it's a cute dependable car that gets me to and from work. I didn't think too long and hard about the cultural ramifications of such a thing. It's a stick shift...does that make me cool and not a total sheep? I was thinking about that extra 4 miles a gallon I get with a manual transmission, but if it makes me an omgindividual, awesome. I'll put it in my Instagram bio. Oh, I know, Instagram...SO BASIC. 

To me, boasting about the super unique and special things you're into that make you so special and unique, make you mostly a pretentious try-hard. You don't use paper plates because it's lazy and classless? Good for you, enjoy looking classy washing plates. I enjoy convenience. 

You like super deep prog-rock that sounds like Cookie Monster growling over guitars? Wonderful! Like what you like. I like shitty pop music because it makes me smile. I also like classical music like a total nerd, too. Doesn't mean I'm gonna shit all over the prog-rock fans while they cream themselves over pretentious Dream Theater singing about majestic dragons or some shit. 


Basic and proud, population me. The only condiments in my fridge are ketchup, bbq sauce, yellow mustard, and ranch dressing. I ate a Lean Cuisine for lunch, and I'm throwing chicken thighs in the oven for dinner and wait for it....MAKING STEAM IN THE BAG FROZEN VEGGIES. I will sip a Diet Coke while catching up on RHOBH, probably while wearing yoga pants, on my basic LaZBoy couch (how do I live with myself!) and I will wake up tomorrow and repeat my life like some kind of vanilla, bland, soccer mom version of Ground Hog Day. My oldest will turn into a pillar of salt, and people will beg for me to be more cultured and refined. 


I dig who I am, like what I like, and if that makes me basic? Let me be your Benevolent Basic Queen. 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen