Do not look outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, if you are interested in a preppy women’s college. There reside both Hollins and Sweet Briar Colleges, in addition to Mary Baldwin. (Sweet Briar’s colors are pink and green.)
"In your opinion, what is the preppiest girls' college?"
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Actually, my pain is a bit lower than that, but this photograph gives you the idea of what’s new in my life.
That’s why I haven’t been here on Tumblr for a while. It’s a big pain and a big bore. Complaining doesn’t help in the slightest. It’s just a bummer for everyone around me. And by not complaining (too much) I’m trying to set an example for my science experiments. Of course, if they are not feeling well they must tell me. But if we’ve established that they have a tummy ache because of something they ate, or they have a headache but haven’t taken any Advil or Tylenol — the actual complaint itself won’t lessen the discomfort.
Enough with today’s science lesson.
Let’s review the last few weeks: Reherniated a disc, “Frankenstorm” Sandy, Election Season comes to an end at last, Nor’Easter, the PetWell scandal (my nickname for Petraeus-Broadwell affair), the BBC scandal, and the Les Miserables trailers which — once you’ve heard them, stick like SuperGlue to the inside of your brain, which in my case is full of mind-numbing painkillers, so it cannot put up much of a fight.
Let me just say that like many of you, I am particularly grateful for all the hard work of the first responders, New York’s MTA, Governors Cuomo & Christie, Mayor Bloomberg, Occupy Sandy, etc. for helping those in need through nature’s temper tantrums.
Also thankful that the “Mean Season” of politics is over. During it I felt like I was stuck. Until the election was over — really over, including recounts, etc. — I wouldn’t be able to go on with the rest of my life. It just consumed me; and since I was lying in bed, I had plenty of time to read and read and read about the candidates, the campaign strategies, the lies, etc.
So I am shocked by how many conversations have already begun about 2016. I can’t believe there are so many people who are ready for it. Haven’t we decided that election seasons are too long as they are? (Maybe that was just my decision.)
It is Sunday, November 11th at 2 in the afternoon, eastern time. It is Veteran’s Day.
I want to thank everyone who has dedicated him or herself to serving our country. Service comes in many guises — teachers, doctors & nurses, social workers, the military, and volunteers. As even my youngest Exhibit figured out when she was in Lower School, helping others feels so good it doesn’t always seem hard.
"Dear Lisa, I have just started reading True Prep. I am a die-hard preppy, having grown-up during The Official Preppy Handbook years. One thing I have noticed in your new book is the absence of the beloved Tretorn sneaker, which, as you know, was THE staple in every girls wardrobe. Why the absence of such a beloved preppy item? Are they not considered preppy anymore? Are they not cool? I still buy/wear mine..."
Oh Preppymav I feel terrible about this! I wear Tretorns too — still — other than the ugly things I wear for working out, Tretorns are our sneakers. Maybe I just presumed that everyone knew that.
Phew. Supergas and Sperry’s are fine, but Tretorns are the ones.
"Dear Lisa, Notwithstanding the oppressive Missouri heat, I'm preparing to update my Fall/Winter wardrobe. The seasons will be highlighted by two business retreats - a four day cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco in late September and a six day winter sports junket to Squaw Valley, California in early February. Meetings will take up about 40% of the waking hours and the attire is business casual. I'd be most grateful for your advice on single-suitcase (+ a carry-on) clothing options."
Oh Yale, Yale, Yale —
I blew your late Sept. question, though I sense you did fine with your wardrobe for the Vancouver-San Francisco cruise. (I suspect a Barbour made the journey with you.) For Squaw Valley, enjoy your wide-wale corduroys (some plain; some embellished) and crew necks, a tweed or plaid sport coat, and let me think some more when I’m in a wintry state of mind.
Your tardy friend,
"Hi Lisa, i was wondering how I could convince my parents to send me to prep school? It is not the money I know that and if it was my grandparents would be very willing to pay for it. I don't see why they are so hesitant. Right now I am going to a university model school and like it. I just think I could do better somewhere else.(and a lot of my friends go to prep schools)"
This is no simple question you have posed. Where do you live? What grade are you? Where do you want to go to school? Do you want to board? Are there any good day schools within commuting distance to your house? Do you have siblings at home?
In other words, as a mummy, I see that a gazillion other factors will go into making this decision — not just money, which is a biggie in its own right. If you are doing super well at your school right now and your teachers think you would succeed at a private school, that would be more persuasive than anything else. See if you can get a teacher or dean’s point of view. And good luck!
Put away the .
They are out of season now, anyway. (Did you notice I punctuated right after the photograph?)
Though it’s almost time for , it isn’t quite yet. Leaves are still green, the weather is… in crisis, and besides the turning of the seasons — later this week — we’re in the angry season of a presidential campaign (as well as other hugely important senate races) that threaten our psychic well-being. (And I don’t mean psychic as in ; I’m referring to what the Oxford Dictionary calls (relating to the soul or mind:
he dulled his psychic pain with gin.)
(I’m over my cut’n’paste-athon. I promise.)
Life has been funny all around. Here are a few things on my mind.
- One day one candidate is up; the next he’s a disaster. I believe for the first time in my sentient, voting life that when voters say they’re undecided, they mean it. (I always thought that was an excuse to not divulge one’s preference, but this year is filled with unexcited voters who aren’t ready to commit.)
- Too much vagina talk. I suppose it was exciting (for some) to hear the word used (and used) on network tv last year. But now that this particular body part even has its own biography, it’s vagina this and vagina that. I believe the shock of the word is over, and even its low rent sister, vajayjay — has been overused.
- It’s fun to meet old friends and make occasional new ones on Facebook, but reading Facebook can be detrimental to one’s mental health. I’ve learned the hard way. I post too much (including posts which will herald this blog) but mostly I do it because I think I should post something. I suppose posting on FB gives me something to regret, and I always need to second-guess myself.
- Either every single woman in the metropolitan area of New York is wearing Christian Louboutin shoes, or many women are secretly painting the bottoms of their shoes with red paint. Either way — look at what we value. On the Nieman Marcus website, prices for his shoes begin at $550, for a pair of simple ballet flats, and rise to $6395 for a crystal-encrusted platform pump which no real lady will ever wear. Congratulations to Monsieur Louboutin for winning his court case, which proves his red soles are his legal trademark. (Ça suffit, Yves St. Laurent.)
- Kardashians, the Today Show, and the Kardashians on the Today Show. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last to pick on the poor Kardashian-Jenners and cite them as proof that our world is messed up/going to hell/messed up and going to hell in a red-soled crystal-encrusted platform pump. They do make me angry when they refer to themselves as hard-working business women. It does offend me that even the media outlets that claim the Kardashians are a symptom of our national malaise give them ink or air. Look at me — I’m doing it too. But when I think of hard working people, I do not consider a family that has to wake up unpleasantly early to get their daily hair & makeup fix in order to allow cameras film them shopping or posing to be work of any importance. Disagree with me. Feel free. Defend that tribe. And when the Today Show decides that the coup of having Kris (the mother) discuss her breast implants at 8:46 am, on September 11th — at precisely the time of our first observed moment of silence, I wonder if that producer still has her job.
p.s. If you stayed with me till now I’m very grateful. And I already feel better.
"Mrs. Brinbach: I have recently renewed my passport in preparation to study abroad in Argentina (goodbye, elementary-school picture!). I am currently looking for a new passport cover--the Pokémon one I so loved in second grade no longer appeals to me. I'm looking for something made from quality leather, preferably without a pattern (though a tasteful one would be acceptable), and I definitely want to be able to monogram it. What are your suggestions? (Psst--I'm a college kid on a budget!)"
There are tons of decent looking passport covers all over the internet. Everyone from Pottery Barn to a great travel source called flight001.com sells passport covers which won’t hurt your wallet. Cute, right? Have a great semester!
"Lisa, are you considering writing a book on international preppy? It would be interesting to see how different each country interprets their "preppy" and even so, how "preppy" is translated. For example in Mexico a preppy is called a "fresa" meaning strawberry meaning preppy. Just a thought."
I am considering writing an international preppy guide, as a matter of fact. In September’s American ELLE, I wrote an article about what it was like to see preppiness in Europe and Japan. Gracias!
When I was watching the women’s road race event, I had no idea at first what Peloton meant. The way I interpreted what I saw on screen, Peloton was — don’t laugh — the name of a Russian cyclist. Think about it; Peloton sounds Russian. Pelotonoff. Peletonov.
Peletonovska. Anyway, I learned as you did that peleton refers to the group behind the leaders in a bike race. I’m not sure if you can have a peleton in a marathon or other sorts of races, but I’m doing my best to use it in a kind of “off-label” way. I am not expecting FDA approval (nor OED approval), but it’s more fun than joining the chorus of complainers about the Olympics.
I realize the objections are really about the way NBC and its many offshoots are deploying delay tactics but rather than complain about all the complaining, indeed, rather than join the peloton of gripers, I’d like to say my Science Experiments and I are enjoying what we’ve seen of the 2012 Olympics, and we’ve laughed at the sarcastic tweets written at NBC’s expense.
NBC can take it like a grown up.
This evening at 5:45, I’m sipping a rare DecafO’Clock mug of fake coffee. The rosé can wait.
It’s horrendously hot out (sounds like a grievance to me) but in my hermetically-sealed writing room, I’ve had to turn off the air conditioning and appreciate the fact that it works, and sometimes, even I do.