Am I Simple or Lazy?

by Katy on May 16, 2009 · 20 comments


Have you ever noticed how some people possess the knack of making everything a more complicated than it needs to be?

Their dinner parties involve 16 separate dishes and time spent together requires a nap afterward?

I like to think that I am someone who takes the complicated and makes it simple. My beauty routine involves a shower, toothpaste and a hairbrush, and my dinner parties involve straightforward but tasty foodstuff.

Today is my younger son’s 11th  birthday party. It’s a sleepover with four invited boys, and we’ll be going to a second run movie, making our own pizzas, (I par-baked the crusts this morning) eating cupcakes, and generally creating some raucous mayhem. Party favors will be comic books from Free Comic Book Day a few weeks back.

There will no backyard bounce house, elaborate games or expensive store bought cake. 

Some of this mindset is born of a desire to not get too stressed and worked up, and part of it is laziness, pure and simple.

However you choose to label it, I am well rested, calm and ready for the onslaught of pre-teen boys.

Wish me luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Alea May 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

The primary ingredient for a successful party is a relaxed hostess! IMHO, it doesn’t matter if the relaxation is achieved through simplicity or laziness.


Meg from FruWiki May 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

IMHO, simple parties are the best. Over-planned parties are just too stressful — for everyone.

As for lazy versus simple…

Sometimes I feel lazy and joke that I am, but I think there is a big difference between being lazy and living simply (and I hope I fall into the latter).

Lazy don’t do things they *should do* because it is “inconvenient”. Lazy people expect others to do stuff for them that they should be doing themselves. Lazy people make promises they don’t really intend to keep. Lazy people value their down time much more than saving money, being green, being caring, being healthy, etc.

Simple living is about focusing on quality over quantity. It’s about focusing your energy on what matters most to you. Simple living is often frugal, green, healthy, and compassionate. Simple living is about having time to take care of relationships, not just stuff.

In short — I don’t think you’re lazy at all 😉


Kristen@The Frugal Girl May 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I’m totally with you! We do very simple birthday parties, and those are work enough. I can’t imagine dong something really fancy.


mari May 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Like I hosted a baby shower. We had cake, punch and a few games, the new mom opened her presents. Most of the time I had people mingle and visit with each other. I believe it turned out really nice. Even thou I have a cousen that is a Martha Stewart and thought it was awful that I didn’t have a buffet. I believe that it would been more stressful, and more work and cost more then I wanted to spend. We had over 60 people come to the party.


calimama May 16, 2009 at 8:38 pm

If you are happy and your son is happy isn’t that a good party?


visitor May 16, 2009 at 10:18 pm

hmmmm sometimes our humbleness can be our pride. if someone wants to look a little nicer and take the time to add toner and moisturizer to their beauty routine, or jazz up their get togethers a bit more doesnt really seem like a reason to look down on them as over complicated.


Gerard May 17, 2009 at 2:54 am

I think that differentiating between what you are doing for you versus for guests makes sense. I found that when I was ‘going off’ in the kitchen for a dinner party it was because I wanted the experience of making something fancy/new and the party was an excuse to explore that cooking terrain. Guests seem just as happy if I just make a big pot of gumbo and rice and serve cheap beer. With kid birthdays, we have gone both ways: a pricey trip to the red sox for four boys made sense when it was low stress for us because the rec center chartered the bus and arranged everything, and another time a hike in the woods was the low stress option.


Jinger May 17, 2009 at 5:11 am

The best party my 20 year old ever had was her 12th, with a party such as your son’s. Their favorite activity was putting on a “mock laser light” show outdoors after dark with their glow in the dark light sticks!

Can’t be simple fun!


Tracy May 17, 2009 at 6:05 am

Good for you! The “raucous mayhem” sounds great!!! I’m SO glad to hear about someone who’s not putting on a HUMONGOUS, expensive bash that would be hard to rival next time around. Sounds like you’ve got the right idea!!!!! The kids’ll love it!


marianne May 17, 2009 at 7:19 am

a childs imagination will be more engaging than the best planned games. you wont be able to get them to come inside (or to go to sleep for that matter). don’t forget to turn the coffee machine on tonight because you will be too tired to function in the morning. 😉


Pat May 17, 2009 at 7:22 am

A few years ago I planned a birthday party for my daughter and one of the games we played was a favorite from my own childhood. We dropped wooden clothespins into a milk bottle. The kids LOVED it and kept playing and playing. That game and the homemade pinata’ were all we had time for before parents came back for their kids. What a great day.


thenonconsumeradvocate May 17, 2009 at 11:59 am


I’m sorry if I came across as prideful. My “beauty routine” is truly born from pure laziness.

Even when I was a teenager and I would try and make myself wear make up and do my hair, it would always fizzle out. I just couldn’t maintain interest.

Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


KC May 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Simplicity rules for me. My kids favourite parties were the ones where they had 2 or 3 close friends come for dinner and then stay the night. Pizza, a couple of movies to watch and munchies for the evening – pure bliss!

With dinner parties I have done both – the complex, stressful ones and the really simple ones. The funny thing is the guests enjoy them equally which makes me wonder why I would ever go down the complex route!

I think these choices are about wanted simplicity rather than being lazy. If you were lazy you wouldn’t do anything at all.


alunachic May 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Katy, I follow your beauty routine! I have added L’Oreal Revitalift of late because I was able to try it free through
Hair is waist length and perfectly straight so no hassles there.
Katy, keep writing- keep inspiring- keep it simple!


Tara May 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Honestly I enjoy preparing for a party. I like to get all Martha Stewart and sew up goodie bags with old fabric and make tasty treats for my guest. It’s a party and for me that is an excuse to go all out. Everyone is different though and I respect that. When I am planning and preparing for a party I don’t get stressed or uptight. I love entertaining and not just the guest but getting out my china and not often used items and making meals I would normally not treat our family to.


Jennifer May 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm

My son turned 11 on the 16th too! Weird. We opted for a small family party, even uninviting my sister and her 6 kids when I discovered that my 6 year old had strep throat. Maybe next year. I don’t have the courage to do sleepovers though, I’m impressed with you.


sunny May 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Thank you for writing about this. I can tell when I make things complicated..and have decided to join you in being someone who takes something complicated and makes it simple.


kat May 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm

No need to think of it as lazy–you conserve your cash and you are conserving your energy. It’s like good posture; once you get the hang of it, you actually use less energy than slouching and you have more energy to enjoy life. Why stress and go all out for a party when you, and most importantly, your son enjoy the option you chose? Having that stress would have certainly decreased the pleasure.


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