Mio amato

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I fell in love today.  Meet my new crush, the Cerchio chair from the new goop x CB2 collaboration.  It’s got the perfect vintage Italian vibe — without the hassle of toting an actual vintage set back home from Italy somehow.  I think these are gorgeous just as shown, or would be amazing in a matchy-clashy set mixed with some Thonet chairs and Eames shell chairs.  Maybe it is just because it is Monday, but today, I am infatuated.  Be still, my heart.  I have literally zero need for new dining furniture, but girl can dream.

 

Cerchio chair  Vienna chair  Eames-style shell chair

Monday reading

Good morning!  Here are a couple great things to start off the week:

Selfishness or survival?  Anne Helen Petersen gets it.  Her piece simultaneously discusses four different narratives surrounding the low American birth rate while also deftly and intelligently peeling back the layers regarding the choice to not have children and the impossible financial position that many young people find themselves in.  A great read.

A brave new world, indeed.  Bravo to Universal Standard and J. Crew for working towards truly inclusive sizing.  Shop the collection here!

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S’il vous plait

I’m starting the week with a bit of attitude.  Mondays call for a little grit and determination sometimes, no?  This jacket is the perfect middle ground between a prim tweed and a classic biker.  Paired with a red lip, a great jean, a signet ring for my index finger, and a little je ne sais qoui, I’m facing the week head-on.

Frayed hem woven biker jacket  Cafe au lait tee (similar)  Red longwear lipstick  Distressed blue jeans  Fox signet ring

Monday amusements

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Good morning and happy Monday!  I know “happy Monday” can be a bit of an oxymoron, so here are a few fun links to get the week started on a brighter note:

Internet work-spaces are a psychopathic pit of lies.

What?  I always put my pristine caseless iPhone face-down next to three paperclips for maximum productivity.  You know, near my Emotional Support Pineapple.

 

The British Museum of your stuff

My feelings as I walked through the British Museum encapsulated in the most hilarious way.  No, we didn’t steal this!  “Chain of continuous possession being impossible to establish, the ownership of the object has reverted firmly and decisively to the museum.”

 

New erotica for feminists

“He says that he can see I’m smart because I have enormous books… [I] spend all night fantasizing about his insightful commentary around non-linear plot structure.”  Swoon.  Sigh.  Is it hot in here?

 

 

On women, money, and shame…

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Last week I read an excellent article in Harper’s Bazaar about the culture of shame that still surrounds women and the money they spend on… well… basically anything that brings them pleasure.  Read it and ponder.  It resonated deeply with me, as I have become more and more aware this in my own life over the last several months.

I began musing over the fact that for years I have enjoyed nice accessories — handbags in particular, but also shoes or the occasional pretty wallet.  It is my one thing I splurge on, but thanks to the intense judgement of women and how they spend their money, I realize now that my enjoyment of them has consistently been tainted by the perception that I have been judged by others for that enjoyment.  In some ways, it it very easy to dismiss that feeling as me “just being sensitive” and “caring too much what others think.”  However, I think that kind of dismissal is an insidious form of gaslighting that ignores the real issue: women are consistently shamed for anything that brings them pleasure, whether it is sex, food, jewelry, a handbag, or even just a few minutes of time to relax.  The stigma attached to female pleasure — that it is decadent, unnecessary, overly indulgent, materialistic, or any number of other negative adjectives — is very real, with very real ramifications.  Jennifer Wright hit the issue square on with her observation that “monitoring what a woman spends her money on represents a new, sophisticated way of infantilizing women and reminding them that they’re too silly to know what is good for them.”

While I knew I was uncomfortable when people commented on my handbags, whether it was an offhand compliment or an observation that I must have quite a collection, I was not aware of how much I had internalized this cultural insistence on shame.  Spending money on myself was somehow shameful.  Everything must have utility attached, or it is egregiously indulgent.  A compliment as innocuous as “cute jacket!” might come my way, and I would reply how warm it was, because heaven forbid I just think it was pretty, or even worse, think I looked pretty in it.  Then I would be wasteful AND vain.  And overly self-indulgent.  And a drain on my husband and our household.  Clearly.

Nothing has crystallized this double standard of men and women and the perception of the money they spend than the recent experience of buying a new (to us) car a couple months ago.  My husband and I were both excited, but while he told friends and colleagues about it delightedly, I found I was embarrassed to even mention it to my closest friends.  Now I know exactly why that is: because it is socially acceptable for a man to spend money for enjoyment; for women, it is anathema.  Never mind that we had very practical reasons for our decision; a nicer car means high-fives for a man, and assumptions about gold-digging or materialism for a woman.  Rich or poor, women cannot seem to escape the toxic message that they need to enjoy less, take up less space, streamline their spending, take pleasure in less.

“If you can afford it, and it brings you a bit of joy, there is no reason to feel ashamed,” Wright tells us.  While it will be a long road until I can fully live this way, knowledge and working towards better is a good place to start.  As women we can rein in the ingrained habit of judging each other — and the even deeper habit of judging ourselves — one day at a time.

Puppy love

 

This Monday I am musing over how grateful I am for my two dogs.  They love unconditionally, trustingly… it is so sweet and comforting to have their warm furry presence by my side.

It might sound a bit cliché, but I think if we could all learn more from dogs, the world would be a brighter place.

  • Trust more.
  • Love more.
  • Nap more.
  • Take joy in the little things.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Savor what you are given.
  • Make your pack your priority.
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Be unabashed about showing your love.

Even just the amount of naps they take is #goals, but the rest of the list is full of things I want to remember every day.  Puppy love, indeed.

 

A displaced Parisienne

Despite cute new boots, tons of February sunshine, and some thought-provoking Joan Didion essays on my mind (currently reading The White Album), I’m missing Paris today.  Call it a mild case of the Monday blues, I suppose?  There are always those places you feel drawn to — a childhood street or coffee shop with fond memories.  Others tug at your sense of place inexplicably, greeting you with open arms and a sense of belonging even though you are a newcomer.  In that way Paris is my “heart-home,” and for me there is nothing quite like the feeling of emerging from the Metro into the streets above.  Je t’aime, Paris.