P ~ Is for Pants (as in Ms. Bossy-Pants)

Scrooge stars alongside his grandnephews on Du...

Scrooge stars alongside his grandnephews on DuckTales. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I know I am stretching this alphabet thing a little here using P for Pants when the real title is Ms. Bossy- Pants–but be kind to me–I have brain cells dying as we speak:

Do you ever buy a book thinking that it is the one that will solve all your life problems? That once you read it, you will have all the knowledge you need to get your ducks in a row? Right now my ducks are scattered hither and thither, and no amount of bribing, cajoling, or organizational tips have enticed them into a nice neat row. I am thinking that Huey, Dewey and Louie have minds of their own and getting in line or standing in a row is not something they are ready to be charmed into.

Many times I will justify buying a book because I think I will write about the topic it is so convincingly putting forth. Sometimes I make a mistake and the book does not deserve space in my bookshelf. But we all have to live with bad choices.  Case in point: a book I picked up about a year ago said in its blurb that it would find order in my life. It lured me in hook, line and sinker.  Its cover was orange (my favourite fall colour), the font of the title alluring, and its promise to shed my life of disorder, turmoil, mayhem and madness (okay I am exaggerating slightly here) was more than I could bear. I just had to have this book.

But, I do not like the book—it is just a bit too bossy. And while a lot of what it says is right, I don’t care. I do not want to follow its dictates, as smart and practical as they are. And that is what I think is wrong with the book. It has no sense of humour. If I am going to be convinced to be more organized and to give up my most prized possessions while doing it, I need to do it with a smile on my face, and not by taking my marching orders from someone who knows better. If I am going to listen to someone I want them to convince me that it is my idea to clean out my closet, or throw away those clothes from high school, or give up my collection of Mad magazines. I do not want them to tell me.


Bossy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The magic bullet here is the way that one goes about being bossy. You can be bossy without really being bossy and get your point across. The book (that I am not naming on purpose as I do not want the author and her “people” to find me and make me dust and vacuüm as punishment for not appreciating their book) is just too sensible. Even when it is trying to give you advice on enjoying life—it demands that you enjoy life rather than suggesting it—like it is our duty and obligation to enjoy life, and not a pleasure.

Overall, the book is not a pleasure to read. It reads like a textbook in a subject you had to take at school, rather than something you elected to take. The author did not come across as friendly, but authoritative. Even messages that were not a difficult pill to take, were left wanting as they seemed joyless.

Books that want you to change your behaviour in some way need to be friendly. The author needs to have a rapport with the reader, and tell them that they understand the problem, or that they had the problem too, but found a solution. And the most important thing is to not make your readers feel stupid. This book makes you feel stupid—like you should be ashamed of the fact that you kept artifacts from the lovely times in your life as memories. Purging your life of all things that memories are made of is not a message I take to easily.

I guess I am disappointed that I spent hard-earned cash on something that was not at all what I thought it was going to be. The philosophy on the front cover is one I want to embrace (loosely it touts “less is more”) but not the way the author wants me to embrace it.

Soft sell works best on me, and this book was no soft sell. It was a “my way or the highway” kind of book. So to the highway this book will go.

(And no, there is no prize for the person who finds the most clichés in this blog. Actually there is–you can have my book.)

I'm Bossy

I’m Bossy (Photo credit: F.Lady)

Published in: on September 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm  Comments (35)  
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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I get the idea….just a whim of course…but that you HATED that BOOK!!! Diane

  2. I don’t like books that take that kind of stance — as if “I know everything and you don’t.” I don’t think many people respond to that. Did you know that orange is used by marketing companies to elicit a response of happiness, positivity and such? People are drawn to it and want to be around those products that have this main color. Some companies will even sprinkle a little orange in a monochromatic color scheme, for that reason.

    This sounds as if this is the only thing going for this book!

  3. I never buy books that tell me what I am doing wrong. I prefer the blissful ignorance. Google can help me if I feel the need to change.

    Years ago, I worked in a bookstore and was always blown away by the size of the self-help section. The other staff members and I decided that we would write and publish a new self help book and call it Suck It Up and Stop Messing About.

    • can I help co-author that — but we would have to be friendly (lol) and not too bossy

  4. Maybe your readers can offer some humorous advice on how to rid your life of disorder, turmoil, mayhem and madness. And said advice should not include disposing of your Mad magazine collection.

    • I don’t really have a Mad magazine collection–that is just me trying to sound cool–though my big brother did have a stack five feet high. my mag collection consists of Gourmet and Epicure–which is really odd as I do not really care for cooking–but I love to read about food

      • ditto for me. hate to cook. love to look at food mags.

  5. Suck It Up and Stop Messing Around! Oh Ms. Lightly Crunchy, that is perfect!
    THIS was a very funny post! And the replies aren’t bad either!

    • Heidi can always be depended on to make hilarious comments and I think she does it without really trying!

  6. Lately I am finding a lot of books where the author comes across to me as trying too hard to sound knowledgeable in their field and comes off as a know-it-all. It puts me off as well.

  7. Here Here! You know what? I don’t even know the title and I don’t like this book or ones like it. I rather like the idea of less is more but the nuts and bolts of it are traumatic to me. There are things I keep because they are important to me. Let the kids clean it all out when I’m gone! For now, I enjoy ‘being’ and all the topsy turvy parts that go with it. I’m to old to be bossed around. (stomp foot!) Let chaos reign! LOL

    • I like your attitude–I think you have found your “balance” and you should just keep doing what you are doing (lol) I love the foot stomp–and I agree–let chaos reign–oh, what freedom!

  8. **grinning** You do have the best sense of humor! Oh, bossiness can make us feel so ashamed and unworthy. Not good. I am hoping I am not bossy too often…

    • I am glad you saw the humour in it – it was meant to be funny not serious —

  9. Guess this is one instance of “don’t judge a book by its cover” gone wrong. I would’ve been pretty annoyed by that book too. Makes me kind of wonder how it even got published since I’m thinking that kind of approach wouldn’t go over well with most people….

    • it is a book of advice, but a little too pushy advice–I like your twist on it though- don’t judge a book by its cover gone wrong -wish I had thought of that

  10. I’m glad you didn’t name the book (to me this is advertising and you certainly don’t want to advertise for them – regardless of whether or not it’s a good or bad book). Sometimes I see random posts (very rarely from people I don’t follow) that are so bombastic and awful I feel like writing about them in my posts – but I don’t because this is just giving them my time and publicity 😀

    It’s annoying when you spend your hard earned cash on things like this (I can just see the author of this book sitting back, raking in money and not abiding by anything they say in the book!) 😀

    • thanks for your understanding Dianne — some may find this book appealing, but I did not and cannot think who would

      • Good on you for speaking up about it! 🙂

  11. I so enjoyed this post! I hate those bossy books too and avoid them if I can but it’s hard if the blurb lies and the book is in your favourite colour! I’ve only just realised how many green books there are on our shelves! 🙂

    Love Heidi’s idea of Suck it up, guess you’d have fun with that if you were to spoof it up! 🙂

    • I love Heidi’s idea too–
      I hate being taken in by a book — is green your favourite colour–it is one of mine

      • Yes, in all its shades….another point of sameness! 🙂

  12. the only self-help book i ever read is the War of Art, Steven Pressfield and its a gem.

    • I am trying to get it at the libary but I may just have to buy it as I am not having much luck — I like writing books that help but not many others

      • i think you’ll like it. it’s funny and low key and helped me a lot. of course you are already an accomplished writer but i think you will identify with the things he speaks to that you have conquered. i’ve read it a few times now. it’s more like a conversation over coffee and never ever bossy.

      • writers need inspiration and I love people who write about writing–everyone has something new to add that I learn from–especially since I think I am forgetting what I have learned in the past (lol)

  13. I can so relate to this one LOLs..
    I think I’ll just keep my chaos as it is my organization of lining all my ducks up….
    a long time ago my daughter and husband decided to “help” me get organized….to this day I have yet to find my carousel horse patterns…
    *sigh* I have my own system of thinking so after many a books as you describe I just do it my way..some days I can unclutter, some days I hold on to the memory of what is in my hand….
    I have uncluttered alot these past two years, I thought I was moving to another country, when I realized I had been bambozzled so to speak,
    I at least got some major uncluttering and letting go of some people too…
    so I guess I do have some ducks in a roll LOLs…
    my chaos is getting thinner and doesn’t weigh so much these days..now if I could just find those patterns !

    This is a good post Lou I enjoyed…maybe we should write a book on self help for others…just a thought LOLs…
    Take Care…

    • I think you have found the answer and it is not in all those books etc.–just do what you need to do when you need to do it
      btw-I have lost my black loafers–seriously I have not been able to find them since last Saturday–can you help–they are probably with your patterns

      • LOLs then you might as well go buy a new pair…!

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