I'm nominating this phrase as one of my most loathed.

I see it frequently these days in reference to Pinterest projects. Someone will make something intricate and time-consuming and perhaps of minimal use (say, cupcakes tricked out like Christmas ornaments, complete with edible metallic paint) and someone else posts it to FB or somewhere to say "oooh, pretty!", and some nasty person will have to point out that whoever made that thing has "too much time".

Peeve 1: it's generally in reference to made things. Apparently, it's fine to buy all the delicate, intricate things one might want, but if one is intrigued by the puzzle or process of something, and wishes to try it for oneself, that's a waste of time.

Peeve 2: It totally fails my "compared to what, exactly?" test. Whenever people make sweeping judgements I try to be precise about what the standard of measurement is that they're judging against. Now sure, if we're holding up Albert Schweitzer as our measuring stick, yes, perhaps beading a complicated design onto the full surface of a ballgown by hand with a very small needle and a million glass crystals is not as constructive as vaccinating an entire nation of small children.

But I don't think that's what the naysayers are up to. They're filling their oh-so-valuable time with all sorts of things themselves: hours and hours of shopping, playing videogames, hanging with friends, watching tv, creating judgmental macros to update to Facebook, but none of that seems to them to be "too much time on their hands".

Yes, I'm defensive. I'm crafter myself, and I've personally spent tons of time on things that many shrug off as "wasted". And I'm a proponent of art and images and handmade things in so many different forms. And the times that I've encountered this sentiment in person have been rather puzzling. I usually hear it when I am knitting in public places. "I'd love to do something like that, but I don't have enough time," people tell me all the time, whenever they see me knitting. Which is particularly odd, because always when I'm knitting in public, I'm either waiting in a waiting room or sitting on public transportation. I always wonder what time the speaker imagines I have that they don't also have? We're waiting together. The plane will arrive at our destination at exactly the same time for both of us, but only one of us will end the ride with a new scarf.

Let's face it, there's only so much time in the week that a person can spend on work. The rest of it is going to be filled somehow. I hope people choose to fill it with things that make them feel satisfied and contented, however that happens for them. But I am grateful that the world is filled with beautiful things, each contributed by people who felt beauty alone was an endeavor worthy of their precious time.
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