This year we’ve been privileged to publish a wide range of exceptional articles, covering topics as diverse as how to eat a chicken wing, extreme cross-dressing, and why driving a hearse is, ahem, to die for.
Picking out the best Matador Life articles of 2010 was about as easy as deciding which of Santa’s reindeer to put down first. But since it’s that time of year, and I’m hoping for more than a lump of coal in my stocking, here’s an attempt to do so.
Yup, with the exception of numbers one and two, the list is entirely subjective. If I’ve missed out some of your favorites, feel free to call me out in the comments.
1. Most traffic
Things You Learned at School That Are Just Plain Wrong, by Daniel Nahabedian.
This article has received over 100,000 unique page views so far, despite only being published in November! It dispels 20 common myths we are often taught at school, such as that bats are blind, Columbus discovered America, and Gutenberg invented the printing press. Educational, fun, and – as you’ll see from the comments – inevitably controversial.
2. Most comments
The Most Obscene Debate on the Internet, by Leigh Shulman.
On new year’s day 2009, childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate, Emma Kwasnica, found her Facebook account had been deleted because she posted pictures of her breastfeeding her children. Leigh’s thoughtful article on the topic has garnered 148 comments so far, and provoked a lively debate on the site.
3. Best Love in the Time of Matador
Our Love in the Time of Matador series has been one of our most successful, showcasing moving, honest, sometimes painful and always thought-provoking narratives about the highs and lows of romantic relationships in the 21st Century.
Christine’s story was a brutally honest, heartbreaking and yet somehow inspirational tale of how she fell in love with a married man in an open relationship. Meghan’s was a deftly written, enchanting piece about cultural misunderstandings in male-female relationships.
4. Most inspirational
Ditching the Cubicle to Follow Your Dreams, by Candice Walsh.
This photo essay showcases Matador members who, despite the global recession, decided to jack in their stable corporate jobs and follow their dreams, which range from biking around the world to becoming a chicken farmer.
What If I Wait Until It’s Too Late, by Leigh Shulman.
This a beautiful, moving meditation on how it is never too late (or too early) to do the things you want, and how the whole world is there for the taking provided you don’t succumb to your fears. Based on The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, by TS Eliot.
5. Best This is My Day
Trespassing For Daffodils, by Slava Bowman.
Our This Is My Day series asked readers to capture an everyday event in their lives that was important to them – no matter how big or small – and send in a photograph and some text that explained it.
Slava’s submission describes the day she became captivated by some bright daffodils “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” and decided she simply had to have them.
6. Most fun to write
Behind the Scenes at Matador Life, by Nick Rowlands.
Scheduling Matador Life articles with the rest of the team is always a highlight of my week, since our work discussions spin off into hilarious, zany tangents about all sorts of nonsense. We wanted to share the process with our readers, so published unedited excerpts from some weekly scheduling chats.
Five Matador-Tested Beauty Products You Can Make in Your Kitchen, by Leigh Shulman.
Okay so I didn’t write this, but I did get to smear my family’s face with avocado in the name of experimentation. Candice tried to eat a face mask, and Juli put eggs on her hair. Who says writing is just pecking away at a keyboard?
7. Most innovative how-to
How To Organize a Citywide Scavenger Hunt, by Cynthia Ord.
I thought this article was fantastic – the idea of organizing a citywide scavenger hunt had never even crossed my mind. Cynthia makes it sound a blast, and I defy you to read this how-to and not want to immediately go out and organize your own!