Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Rant: The Chalkboard Trend

I try so hard not to be a hipster.  I can't help that I love scarves and sweaters.  And I had plastic, dark-rimmed, Rob Bell glasses before they were popular - but of course, insisting that "I had them before they were cool" just makes me more of a hipster!  It's a vicious cycle.  Therefore, anytime I truly hate something that hipsters love (and not something I just pretend to hate), I'm thrilled and relieved.

Which is why I will spend my post today ranting about this super-trendy chalkboard stuff.

First of all, chalkboards are messy.  They are so hard to clean and get all that chalky dust off of.  I would know because I had to clean one in college (yes, just one.  The rest of the classrooms were wisely updated to dry erase.) and it was torture.  To get it perfect, we had to wipe it down three times, each time with a fresh microfiber cloth, all of which had to be washed before we cleaned it the next day, or they'd smear the dust all around.  And the dust is still everywhere, choking the asthmatics of the world (like my husband).  And the erasers that you have to clap out - again, so much dust.

Secondly, chalk is annoying.  It gets all over your fingers, and then you wipe it on your pants, and then you look ridiculous.  Now, if you're playing out on the sidewalk, this is to be expected, but for indoor use, it's just annoying.  And the noise chalk makes writing on a chalkboard!  It makes me cringe!  And just how it feels holding a piece of chalk and writing on a chalkboard makes me shudder.

Third, and this is a personal opinion, I really don't think it's that cute.

And finally, chalk does not stay, but rather wipes off incredibly easily.  This is my largest bone of contention with this trend.  Bring all the mess and obnoxious things into your home that you want, but it's not remotely practical for most of the "cute" ideas all over Pinterest.  Let me share a few lot with you:

Aww, a sweet love note in your kid's lunch box, which will now get rubbed off onto his banana and carrot sticks as he swings his lunchbox around on the way to school, and be illegible by lunchtime.

Okay, so this way you can switch around what you keep in the drawers, and just change the label, but that works with metal bookplates, too, and those don't rub off when you accidentally brush against the dresser in your little black dress just before your hot Valentine's Day date.

Seriously?  How do you store your Christmas ornaments?  Because I'm pretty sure if the chalk doesn't rub off on the tree, it will when you store it.

Let's wipe all labels off our spice jars and then play a guessing game!

And this one drives me nuts!  If you do this for all your presents, and a few get erased, you might still be able to tell what name it said, but what if you can't?  "Oh, sorry, Abe, that's Agatha's gift.  We'd never get you pink & sparkly ponies from Spain."

And now you get to wipe the chalk all over your shirt, 'cause nothing says cute and classy like stains on your blouse.  (In their defense, they used black paper and a white gel pen, and then covered it in nail polish so it would seal, but still.)

Am I just being cynical?  Of course I am.  Have you seen the title of my blog?

I must admit, though, that I have seen one good use of chalkboard paint:

Since our driveway is not paved, and is not likely to ever be, if I hope to instill the same love for chalk in my future children that still lives in me, this is probably what we'll do.

And now I bid you adieu until tomorrow, when I reveal another new series for part of this year.

Love and Chalkboards,
Leah Joy


  1. My girls and I share your disdain for all the chalk board nonsense. Enough already!!