I was at someone’s house a few years ago. We sat on the island stools in her well appointed kitchen looking into her beautiful open floor plan family room in her lovely home.

Her: I really need to redo this kitchen

Me: Why. This is beautiful and in perfect shape

Her: Because all my friends have redone their kitchens and they’re all white and pretty and I want that too

Me: stares blankly into the abyss of suburban home ownership…

What do you think about jumping on the bandwagon to follow a trend?

Now before you answer, I want you to really think about that. Do you own anything that you bought based on other people having it?

Do you own anything that was bought because it would make others envious, or because you thought it would give you status?

Do you have opinions on things strictly because people “in the know” have them? A few weeks ago someone said that they like receiving the voter packets because they want to know what “their side” wants them to do.

See why I’m not so much for following the herd?

Do you ever follow the herd?

Now let’s contrast that: What’s the difference between following the herd and following the rules?

In a world where rules/laws are meant to protect others, what do we say about those who don’t follow them?

I know I get annoyed when people don’t pay for mass transit. My Husband is a jaywalker of the first order and it drives me CRAZY. (Is it a law yet that we can’t say the word “crazy”?)

People who cheat on their taxes.



Illegal drugs, or those who get drugs illegally.

What do we think about those who break rules?

Is it OK because some rules are stupid?

Without law, can there be order?

Are there times when we break the rules because we want to follow the herd?


72 thoughts on “Follow Me Follow You

  1. I am in your camp, but it may be a small camp. I especially like your first example. Sigh. Sadly, our consumer economy counts on – and encourages – that mindset. As soon as every home with credit cards has an all-white and charcoal grey open-concept kitchen/living space, advertisers will start promoting something else!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly!! And people will buy into it. What’s the difference between loving your home and surrounding it with things that make you feel good, and keeping up with the neighbors?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of life’s mysteries these days, it would appear. Real estate agents actually advise people to put in hardwood floors and the current gold standard kitchen to “show well”. I prefer my own “thing”!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My lifestyle doesn’t allow me to follow the herd. I’m too pragmatic, too cheap, and trendy isn’t a word that describes me. I do however think there can be a difference between rule breaking and LAW breaking. I do push the limits on some rules-sometimes-when I feel rebellious and a bit edgy. Outright laws, not so much.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. In general I am a rule follower as well as a teacher pleaser. I have to ask, but you don’t have to answer…Do you really always cross the street at the crosswalk? Maybe it’s because I am not a city girl, but if there is no traffic around in a small town and Point A, where I am, is directly across from Point B, my destination, I will cross in the middle of the street. If you follow the rules and the laws on the roads in Mexico, you will cause a crash. It is important there to follow the customs of driving. Sometimes common sense is more important than following rules.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 99% of the time I cross at the corner. If I’m crossing an avenue, which is larger (3 or 4 lanes) I wait for signal. If I’m crossing a street I’ll use common sense. But I don’t diagonally cross a busy street against traffic

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always been a strange one. Not following trends. Doing things my way. And it has gotten me in trouble and ostracized. I live a semi-lonely life not many friends but my family makes up for that void. They are a little more understanding of my non conformist life. And the few friends I do have look the other way because they rather be friends with me than not. Politics does not separate true friends or family.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to be the type of person who desired things that others had. But I didn’t want those things BECAUSE others had them; I wanted them because they were attractive or nice, or more likely, because I thought if I didn’t have them, something was wrong with me.

    I’ve since learned not to listen to my ego, and I’m content with what I have. I believe we’ve all been influenced by others and have all been the white kitchen suburban lady in one form or another; we just don’t want to admit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t break the laws, ok, maybe I speed a little, but you don’t even want to get me started on following the herd. My in-laws are a prime example, except they have their own little herd. If one gets something, they all have to get the EXACT same thing. For example, my mother-in-law and both sister-in-laws have the exact same diamond ring! I march to my own (off beat) drum!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Follow the herd? No thanks. Have I been inspired to splurge on a purse because I admired it? Yes. But I don’t get it to compete. I get it because I genuinely like it and I know its value. I don’t like cookie cutter looking houses/rooms. I’d rather eclectic and unique than redoing a perfectly good kitchen because it’s not on trend. Trends fade and look dated quickly and then you’re back to square one. As for laws, I used to be a jaywalker. But now that I’m older, I have time to wait for the light. LOL PS: My inlaws were huge herd followers and demanded that their family were as well. I never quite fit in to that rat race, and it was ridiculous to observe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No following the herd over here…..we do what’s best for us. However, I am inspired by others at times to make a purchase….Like an e-bike – a friend has one, so now I want one too….but part of that is when we move to Bend, it will be a perfect way to get around town. Sean is a jaywalker too and I hate it also!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m actually quite the opposite. If I see mass amounts of people doing something, then I more quickly question what and why?

    Following the law is tricky. I’m not really a law/rule follower, especially if the law or rule makes no sense. I still stop and question why it’s even a law or rule in the first place.


  9. Definitely not and never have been one to get something just because everyone is doing/buying it. Our house is 66 years old and except for the new siding and roof and remodeled bathroom we’ve done nothing to it in the 25 years we’ve lived here. Our kitchen definitely needs an up do but not just because it’s trending. Rule breakers? Depends on the rule. I’ve been known to jaywalk and go over the speed limit but I wouldn’t steal.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As you can tell from some of my comments, I don’t follow the herd. Recently I looked at my high school year book. We had a full page spread showing the class next to a school bus, with attitudes from serious to silly. As I stared at the picture, one person stood out. It was the nerd clasping a bunch of notebooks and books. The only one in the whole class carrying books (and not embarrassed to do it). And by the way, my living room is very eclectic with colorful Mexican furniture and Turkish rugs, both brought back from the source.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am both a rebel AND a rule follower. Rules are necessary for most societies to function productively. But when laws dealing with Equality , environmental issues etc. take too long to catch up to our social consciousness then wisdom and protesting (peacefully and legally) works.

    I have never really allowed myself to be overly influenced by the latest fads. Oh,Wait! In the 60’s I was certainly influenced by the styles coming out of London. So I’m wrong. I bought my own fabric and designed my own mini skirts and dresses, back then, and I painted my jeans…plus, I stopped wearing a bra in college to protest rights for women. I suppose I was influenced after all. However, i did it using my own distinct flair. 😉
    The thought that someone would redo a kitchen just to keep up:with their neighbors so frivolously when they could be volunteering their time more productively is baffling to me. That just shows how out of touch people are. I have always liked what touches my heart. I don’t decorate on what’s in style or for the color of a room. I put up paintings or lithographs that speak to me and let emotion dictate my redecorating style.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I was younger I was more into clothing trends. Now, at my age, I don’t care what other people have/wear etc. I do admit to travel envy when I hear about an amazing trip I want to pack my bags…but that’s literally every time someone goes someplace I haven’t been


  12. I was in Iceland a couple of years back, driving the speed limit down a lonely highway, and someone blew past me. It was the only police car I dae during either of my trips to that country. So I suppose there, the speed limits are more of a guildline. It’s so empty it almost doesn’t matter. But in a city where there are a lot of people trying to get places, you should obey the speed limit.

    Really, you should obey rules, but I think that sometimes, some minor ones can be broken and it’s fine. I will jaywalk on an empty street, but not on a busy one.

    But I wouldn’t renovate my kitchen just because everyone else is….


  13. I have always thought twice if I followed the crowd. One year my husband and I had the opportunity to drive an expensive BMW courtesy of my stepson’s new job at a very low financial sum to us. All I could think was I was going to get robbed in each area because it seemed everyone was envious of the car. I prefer to fly under the radar and away from the maddening crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Being an introvert I really don’t care for trends, I have bought stuff with the idea I could “show off,” and I do use Realtor.com to get decorating or home improvement ideas. People who just don’t follow the rules (ie jaywalkers), make me crazy. My wife routinely pushes the grocery cart on the left side of the aisle. I tell her we are in “Amurika” and we push our carts on the right side of the aisle – the looks I get! Here in CO the unwritten law is at a red light the driver gets 6 seconds to run it and renewing your vehicle registration is “optional.” My feelings are if the offender feels like they are “getting some over on the man,” then have at it. If they get run over, I just don’t feel bad for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. There was a time about 15 to 20 years ago when everybody was redoing their kitchens. My husband wanted to update ours too. Our old kitchen was microscopic but it worked. I could stand in one place and rotate from sink (looking out over our lush backyard) to fridge and stove. We went so far as to hire a designer to come up with a plan and it included blowing out walls to make room. Then plans had me standing over the sink looking into the garage. That’s when I decided that everyone else was nuts (can we say that?) to remodel perfectly good kitchens.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’ve never been one to keep up with the neighbors. For one thing I don’t really know the neighbors, but putting that aside I don’t have that need for status. I/we update our home for ourselves, based on our own style. I guess it comes down to how much external validation do you need. Not much, is my answer.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. If I have ever been trendy it’s because I started it. If anything I am in Lesley’s camp. I strive to be as non-conforming as possible, it wasn’t until just this year over the Summer that I finally retired my Qwerty phone and got a smart phone.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I redid my small kitchen last year because it was 40 years old and needed it, and I chose white cupboards because I’ve always liked them. The rest of my house is out-of-date, I still have wallpaper, but I was happy to read on the latest Susan Branch blog that “grannychic” decorating is now back in, because I still have it!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It may have been me who said I like the voter packets that tell me what my side wants me to do. I hope I also added I only look at those recommendations as a baseline and then, time and level of interest permitting, do my own research. Actually, I refer to the voter pamphlets sent out by the state (of CA) that best case include all the info, like candidate statements and arguments pro and con on ballot measures, to help with that evaluation.

    I also think rules and laws, generally, are for the benefit of the general population, kind of like vaccine and mask mandates when stretched to make the point. Not stretching this idea gets us to road signs and signals, wash your hands before serving food (for restaurant workers) and stuff like that. Kind of like the 1st amendment not being applicable to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

    When it comes to home renovations, I most definitely do not follow the herd, especially after being forced (or advised as they might say) by realtors to upgrade/update our home with the latest and greatest to help us sell it. We were already selling at a loss and that additional investment just made the loss larger. My comment was “Well, I guess rich people just have no imagination.” We were living at the time in a very high income area and one of the reasons for our initial financial loss, besides the real estate market being down at the time, was due to the ONE improvement we’d made to make it livable for us, which was finishing the basement.

    I would sometimes argue with my now ex-spouse, who just HAD to have a basement (and now I really know why) and always looked at the potential return on investment for nearly any home improvement, as a reason to or not to go ahead with it. I look at my house as a place that is comfortable for me to live in i.e. a home and NOT an investment. Still, I watch a lot of those home improvement programs and consider if the changes potential buyers want to make might be worth it to me, mostly for future reference.

    I mean really, for the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would want real hardwood floors unless they can afford to pay someone to maintain them. That’s a big feature of many of the high end homes that they all seem to want.

    Liked by 1 person

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