Every year, for the past 11 years, I think (bad at math)
I have brought my children/Science Experiments to the New York bus stop designated as the pickup place for their summer camp. They have been fortunate enough to attend a wonderful camp in Maine which has enough kids from the NY area (but not too many) that each year’s departure becomes more ritualized. Now, my older kids (and former campers)Exhibit A and Exhibit B, are part of the goodbye group that assembles very early on the sidewalk with parents and siblings, as we see off Exhibit C for her 6th summer!
As at any ritual, there are people in tears (sometimes kids, sometimes parents). Some people look barely awake (that would include me) and some are very alert, arriving with still-wet hair from the shower. As I am a sentimentalist, I feel great affection for the camp director, the other parents I remember from the year before (but whose names I don’t know), and the whole experience.
I’ve taken a picture of the best moment, which is when the bus is fully loaded with kids and duffel bags. No one leaves before the bus pulls away. No one!
Working on some additional text for the True Prep paperback edition. I think you’ll all like it. Hard to believe it’s almost deadline time again. I’ve been so pleased with the general reaction to our book — so pleased. If only I’d realized that preppies out there (where?) were waiting for a new edition, I’d have returned to the well sooner.
Had a good time yesterday, speaking at the Bubble2Boardroom event at the New York Athletic Club. The “bubble” refers to the cocoon of academia. The organization puts together all kinds of advisors for those seeking help getting a foot in the career market, and at this point in time, we all need all the help we can get. I talked to both new job seekers and more seasoned veterans, trying to reinvent themselves for the changing face of today’s employment opportunities.
It’s hard reinventing one’s self, is it not? Not to mention holding onto one’s own authenticity (a must!) at the same time. Check out bubble2boardroom.com for more information. But first, take the weekend off. That’s important too.
Hello Ms. Birnbach,
I've recently discovered that, indeed, there is not only a Vineyard Vines in Palm Beach, but also an outlet in Orlando. I originally thought this store was exclusive to the North East, so imagine my surprise to learn both a retail and outlet store existed in my current place of residence (Florida). Since I've never shopped at Vineyard Vines (I've only been on the web site), and since I'm also visiting Orlando in mid-July, what could I expect to see at a VV's outlet store? How much cheaper would the merchandise be? Would certain clothing styles not be sold (since it's an outlet)? And would the outlet sell club and/or needlepointesque belts?
Not being an expert on this subject (other than having signed books at Vineyard Vines’ beautiful new Palm Beach Gardens store in early December), I am going to seek information for you from one of my V.V. friends. Check here for an answer.
FYI: Vineyard Vines is a fast-growing company, so expect to see new retail stores outside of the Northeast.
Hello, Lisa! I was re-reading the sections of "True Prep" and I came across your brilliant excerpt about "Logology". I was so glad you explained how brands such as Juicy and Louis Vuitton were mistaken for preppy by the general public when they actually aren't. For years, I've been trying to explain that just because one wears the most expensive/obvious designer clothing, does not mean they're automatically prep. Wouldn't you say that it's all about the understated elegance?
Also, what's your opinion on brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, and American Eagle? It concerns me that people put those brands in the prep category as well.
I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work!
I appreciate your note. ”Understated elegance” is what prep is all about. Haven’t you seen people wearing say, raincoats with the Dior logo or the Burberry check on the outside, while carrying a Louis Vuitton logo’d bag and felt sorry for them that their insecurity was in fact worn on their sleeves?
The smaller the logo the better — in my opinion. And you are right that many people don’t understand this. In fact I’ve practically gone hoarse explaining that a big Fendi “F” isn’t as preppy as an unmarked leather purse. (A nice unmarked leather purse.)
But you and I are givers. We must keep on keeping on.
My 14 year old daughter loves Abercrombie Nouveau. I hate the fragrance, understand that the original message is completely lost to history, and that this incarnation is selling sex with a preppy flair. I oppose it, but I let her buy their jeans as long as I don’t have to inhale. The other two lines I see but have never gotten their messages. There are so many decent brands between Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Polo, Vineyard Vines, Brooks Brothers, Cole Haan, Lilly Pulitzer, Sperry, Rugby, J. Crew…. do we need more? I think not.
More people are joining this tumblr (does that mean I’m “tumbling”?) so I have to come up with something, and fast.
Just returned from Los Angeles (i.e. not a preppy city, though compared to Las Vegas it probably is one). Show business so dominates the ethos of the city that it touches everything, often in peculiar ways.
My daughter, Exhibit B, had a bad earache, so I got her an appointment with an ENT doctor in Beverly Hills. His office is festooned with gold and platinum records, personalized to him. In most of the world, one’s patients are supposed to be held in confidence. In Beverly Hills, you discover your doctor-to-be has treated Katy Perry, Coldplay (all of them?), and Tenacious D before you ever meet.
(And yes, he is a good doctor, and made her better.) So now I ask you this: in gratitude should Exhibit B send him a photocopy of her plaque (the Upper School equivalent of a gold record) as “Manager of the Year” for the basketball team? Is that the only right thing to do?
And while I’m on it, would you have imagined that Coldplay (all of them?) would have gone to the trouble of having a platinum record framed and personalized for Dr. S? That’s awfully considerate, don’t you think? It suggests that their album would not have sold into the stratosphere without help from the Beverly Hills Ear Nose & Throat Specialist.
I am struck, however, by how often we criticize people, and forget that compliments mean so much. I don’t have a gold record to hand out, but I do try to remember to thank people for their help and make sure they know how much they are appreciated. It costs nothing more than the time it takes, and it goes a long way. Think of how good you feel when someone says, “thank you, Flip. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Does working as a lawyer still qualify as preppy? Is it does, should they act as their own? If not, should they ask someone from their LF or LS?
Being a lawyer is still a true preppy profession. However, it is never recommended that one act as his or her own attorney. (Something about a fool for a client?) Absolutely ask a friend from your firm or from your class. If you are a preppy lawyer, you didn’t always pay attention to your law books.
NB: If all you need is a Cease & Desist letter, you can do that on your own letterhead.
I admit I have not led a boring life. I am grateful for all the adventure and craziness that have been part of my career and my (I’m gagging on this word) journey.
Before I even knew what had happened to me I was: Getting keys to the city, considered an expert in areas I knew almost nothing about, having to perfect my signature, serenaded by John Denver, having college boys gatoring at my feet, getting cocktails invented for me, and receiving unsolicited privileges that would never have come my way before I appeared on national television.
Weird that only once price is no object that free things come one’s way. How about when you’d really appreciate a free meal or t shirt? (No, none for you!) But I’m not complaining!
So now I’m trying to remember it. What’s it? The 80’s, the travel, the hysteria, the lines of people who used to wait to meet me, the preps who used to track my movements (before the invention of the Interthingy) to figure out where I was staying in their city and then await my arrival so that we could all go out together.
I was going through cartons on Memorial Day that had become water damaged at my family’s house. Mostly they belonged to me. Two entire photo albums that were destroyed — I couldn’t make out a single snapshot. Sad. A big box of record albums. Warped and moldy. But letters—hundreds of them — in pristine condition — that were utterly unfamiliar. We’re talking about 30 years in the past. I believe I wrote back to all my correspondents then, but the existence of these letters slipped my mind. So now preserved in new water-tight containers, I plan to savor them all, and maybe look for the writers of those letters now that the world is just a qwerty keyboard away.