Charting the Everyday by Bobby Gribbin


In my task of charting the monotonous, mundane aspects of my everyday life I learned a lot about myself and society. For starters I realized that how I execute much of the mundane undertakings in my everyday life is influenced by my desire to “keep up with the Joneses” or meet cultural expectations in our western society. This made me aware of a power struggle that we are all subjected too. People do the things they do for fear of being judged. For example, everyone in our class has a smart phone. Now, this is obviously due to all of the features and abilities that these pieces of technology provide for us. However, I believe it is also due to the fact if someone encounters another peer in todays society without a smartphone, they would look at them differently and create judgments. One could venture to say that the smartphoneless individual is poor or socially inferior. Most of what I discovered about how I execute my mundane tasks revolves around the fact that I do not want to allow others to bestow judgment upon me.What does this reveal about my character? I believed that I am extremely independent and did not care about what others thought about me. Yet, after analyzing my everyday I realized that I perform things that way I do because I do care what others think about me. I now see that I am influence by social norms. I hope you enjoy my blog and see how we all are effected by the culture we live in. The way we all perform our seemingly-inconsequential reflects the our society.



Eating dinner is so much of a routine in my everyday life it has become mundane over my 21 years. Even the act of preparing my meals, which requires a certain level of execution, befalls to be humdrum. When I prepared these scallops sautéed in Canadian bacon, peppers, and onions, I overlooked all the effort it took to cook and even plate. After analyzing all the ingredients and utensils I used in preparation and cooking, people of a previous era would think me mad. Why did I buy my ingredients from the store rather than getting them from nature? How had I used so many supplies and not given them any thought? Why do I eat off a ceramic plate and eat with a metal fork? Why don’t I eat with my hands off a wooden table? The answer to these questions lies in my desire to meet cultural expectations. I am conforming to the social norms of preparing and eating dinner a certain way because that is how it is expected to be done. 


Grizzlys Gotta Eat

Right before Christmas I bought a puppy. Now it is my responsibility to train and care for another life. Much of the same cultural expectations I had overlooked in my own dining occur in feeding my dog Griz. Why do I feed Griz in a bowl with dog food that I had bought in a store? After all he is an animal. Shouldn’t he scavenge for his food like the other animals. Why have dogs status been lifted to part of the family rather than just another mammal? If I treat Griz like any other animal and let him scavenge for his food, eat outside, and lack to provide the care for him that dogs should receive, I would be viewed as cruel, uncaring, and down upon in society.


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Brushing one’s teeth is a part of everyone’s everyday life (at least I hope). Why do we do this and not give it any thought? Western cultural expectations assume that I will have good hygiene. Do people like to have a face to face conversation with someone that reeks of a putrid stench? Of course not. Although that is one reason I perform this task everyday, do I really think about preventing the risk of plaque stockpile, gingivitis, and potentially mouth cancer when I brush multiple times a day? No. We even overlook the process of applying past to brush, turning the faucet to the desired temperature, and the water we use. Couldn’t those aching of thirst in third world countries use the cups of water as sustenance that I willingly spit out. I even overlook the luxury of massaging my palate in this everyday undertaking.


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Everyday I am lucky enough to ride a scooter to class rather than walking. This a very privileged act that I have surely taken for granted. I spent a good deal of money on this vehicle just to spare myself from walking fractions of a mile around campus. To others this money could have been used to pay bills, apply to schools to allow for a better life, or even put food on the table for a starving family. I chose to spend money out of laziness. Wouldn’t walking be better for my health anyways? Riding my scooter has become such a mundane task that I even overlook the joy it once brought me. Riding my scooter is fun! The rush of wind, rev of the throttle, feel of the engine accelerating my vehicle, and ease of transportation has become hollow due to the fact that it is a part of my everyday life. I am ashamed that I take these privileges and luxuries for granted.



Boredom is certainly a part of my everyday life. I get most bored when I am in my bed watching TV getting ready to go to sleep. Although I am watching entertainment, I often get bored with the show or during commercials. Every time I am bored I turn to my phone and play a game. Why? iPhones offer me the ability to escape. Even though I know I cannot increase my intelligence by playing one of the numerous games on my phone, I still do it (all the time). I would be much better off reading a book, yet I seldom to never do. My life is driven by technology. Without my iPhone I would be at a loss to supplement my boredom with an activity. What does this say about myself? I am dependent on a piece of technology. I allow iPhone applications to decrease the value of my life. If this technology did not exist what would I do? What kind of person would I be? Why haven’t I given this any thought before? This is an example of a power struggle with western society and consumerism. We rely so much upon technology that we don’t even realize how this reliance can render us inferior.


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Every night I settle down to do my homework. I certainly do not enjoy doing my homework, but I know that I have to. If I do not perform the necessary assignments there will be repercussions. Institutions, schools, and classes dominate students everyday lives. We are rendered powerless to these institutions because they effect our lives. If we do not do our assigned work this will lead to bad grades. This will in turn lead to poor transcripts and potentially a lack of a degree. If we do not graduate getting a job will be highly unlikely, and we will not be able to live the life that we desire. When I do my homework, technology is always present. This also signifies my dependance on technology and another power struggle. I would be unable to do my homework without technology.


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For my last post of charting my everyday life, I chose to look at letting my dog Griz out to go to the bathroom. Why do I do this? It is just an everyday mundane task that I have accepted. Training a dog is no easy task. If I chose to not let my dog out, he will go to the bathroom in my apartment and force me to clean up his mess. In some sense I am in a power struggle with my dog. Although I know I am superior and my dog relies on me, the fact that I do not want to face what happens if I do not take him out renders me inferior to the repercussions. People from a previous era would think this struggle silly and unnecessary.Why does the dog rely on me? Why do I even bring dogs inside? After all isn’t it just an animal? As I alluded to in a prior post, the cultural expectations placed on dog owners forces me to provide him with the care that is needed.


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