Friday, May 31, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Either I am getting to be an old lady or it is the pregnancy hormones. Either way I am horrified by my summer interns wardrobe. Emails have been flying back and forth and the subjects are her daily choice.
She is a sassy, artistic chick with a solid head on her shoulders. She has little office experience and her clothes reflect it. I understand her issue. If you're a young woman who enjoys a bit of style theatrics (think well applied blue eye shadow) where do you buy clothes? I can imagine she thinks Anne Taylor is for old ladies but her choice of H & M "executive" isn't working.
In an attempt to help her and others like her, here are tips for the young woman who wants to make a good impression in her first summer internship and how not to be known as the Skintern.
1) Ask your supervisor how they would describe the office dress code and vibe. You're going to get one of 3 choices
A) Executive- This means you are expected to wear a suit and hose.
B) Business casual- no jacket needed. A couple of crisp shirts and pencil skirts and slacks and your done
C) casual- show up how you want, just make sure its clean and no holes.

The pitfall is you may be told one thing and you see another. The boss says executive but everyone looks pretty dull and casual to you. This is where correct sizing a personal sense of style will save you!
Sizing 101
You're a 6. You have always been a 6. So why the side eye? Sizing has nothing to do with length and everything to do with fit. True you could be wearing a size too small that makes you look like a sausage, but your co-workers are more worried about exposure.
You found that perfect little black dress with the fun metallic belt. It looks super. Perfect for a night out after work... Here is why its wrong. When you are 20, no outfit should be good for both.
Check that perfect dress that looks conservative for 3 things. a) where is it exposing you? Deep V, sleeveless with a little slit in the back is a no-no. BUT IT LOOKS PERFECT! Here is how to make it perfect. Measure your body from your shoulder to your knee. Subtract an inch. Now measure that dress on the hanger. If its shorter than the measurement of your body its going to crawl up your leg.
If you absolutely MUST have this short dress please wear opaque hose.
If you really want to play it safe, invest in some classic cut suits in fun colors. They will last years and set you apart from the pack at job interviews.
Exposed skin will be your downfall every time. If you aren't one to freeze in an office then use the simple rule of only exposing one part of your body per outfit. Remember you only get one!
* your skirt falls shorter than 3 inches from your knee while standing
* your arms are totally bare
* a plunging neck line no matter your cup size And remember- a bare back is never ok for the office

But you adore the closet full of clothes you have for your job as a restaurant hostess. You can easily class them up with a cropped jacked to show off your slim build, or a shrug sweater. They are youthful yet tasteful. Short skirts look great with patterned hose or even flesh fish nets OVER nylons. You can always peel off the layers and leave them at your desk when you meet your friends out after work.

If you get pulled aside and there is a mention of your clothes act quickly to fix it! Ask questions to figure out how to fix your look!

If all else fails keep your eye pealed for your style mentor. Email her and simply ask "I worry my clothes don't match the office vibe. Am I doing ok?" The reality is, how you dress has just as much impact on your internship experience as your work. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What's In A Name?

Recently The Atlantic did a wonderful story on the mellifluous names of NPR reporters. This just adds to my pressure of having no names for a baby girl. I find it hard to name a girl. Meanwhile the boy’s name was decided before we even conceived. Yet a girl’s name seems to have more impact. If we give her the wrong name, will she be destined to a life that we didn’t intend.
My husband and I have had a very hard time finding a name that would imply heritage, strength and femininity. I think even if we found that name I would have to still see the face of the baby.
So for now, the baby will continue to be named Bjorn.

Why I won't be registering for that

I'm sitting in the airport to fly home for my second baby shower. This one hosted by friend of my mom. A chance for them to see me in real life to get a view of my quickly enlarging body.

My mom calls to inform me her best friend can't find anything good to buy me off my registry. How can that be? I registered for just what I needed. Items range in price from ATM purchases to big ticket items, with a smattering of adorable ridiculous tossed in.

Apparently this friend will be buying me something I can "use forever". I expect to smile while unwrapping a silver picture frame. 
Why must I register for one of every possible tool for the baby? As it is I can't believe I chose a $400 crib!

Which brings me to the wipe warmer. For the uninitiated, a wipe warmer is a heated caddy the diaper wipes reside in. It plugs into the wall and is a fire hazard. REALLY! There is a warning on it! Besides this safety fact, I get pissing mad (sorry I couldn't resist) about the
fact its job is to warm pieces of wet paper to wipe the butt of a baby.

No wonder we have a generation who feel entitled! They have been told room temperature wipes aren't good enough for their smooth bums. I want my child to feel that therapeutic sting of cold soap. If they can't deal with that, they are going to have a hard time having me as a mother!

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Elizabeth Jennings Taught Me

There has been a lot of discussion about work and life balance since the publication of "Lean In". I have even been asked for comment on it! Now 7 months pregnant, I have stronger feelings about how I plan on finding the right equation.

It was today that I found my model; Elizabeth Jennings. She is almost too good to be true, and 
she isn't. Mrs. Jennings is the main character in The FX's successful new drama "The 
Americas". She is a KGB agent, a travel agency owner and mother.

Somehow she finds the time to raise a family and run a business all while killing people. Sure 
there was that one time she forgot to pick up the kids from the mall and they were almost in 
harms way, but she was busy with state affairs.

Now her marriage maybe falling apart and the cold war is heating up. She and her husband areseparated and her kids are getting to that nosey age. How will she handle it? With 80's style 
and chilled Russian vodka running through her veins!

My notes are simple; know your priorities. Is it kids or job first? Your job maybe a touch smaller 
than dear Elizabeth's, but it sure feels like we are toppling countries sometimes! 

* Remember to wipe your prints and cover your tracks. Work methodical and with purpose 

* Don't fret when you mess up. So the kids were almost molested! They escaped using 
ingenuity and a bit of genetic code, and hell they are closer than ever!

* Work with your spouse no matter what! There is a greater good you two are working towards. It could be communism or something smaller. Even if you aren't feeling the love, know you were and still are a great team. You will find your stride again and the reason you're together. 

So forget all the talk and discussion and get to it! Be that agent kicking in doors and folding 
laundry to cover up for something else more subversive.

My Uterus Has A Facebook Page

Being a first time mom, Sonya Gavankar, is thinking about how her journey is different than her mother’s generation.

Well into my second trimester I posted on social media that I was pregnant. A few weeks later I posted about feeling my uterus. My mother’s head exploded! She previously had chided me for not referring to myself as “with child” and this post seemed too far.

My older friends recommended I started journaling the next 9 months, but that seemed redundant of what I was already doing. Whether you use pen and paper or blog, the process of recording the moment doesn’t change. Social media has changed how my generation will document and process their pregnancies. By making these entries public it creates an instant community of like minded parents to share the journey with. Now that my eyes are open to this subset of my age group I see how social media gives mothers with special needs children an instant support system. No longer do they need to leave the comfort of home to feel connected in a struggle that used to be one that happened only in specialized physical therapy offices.

I was shopping for nursery bedding at one of the luxury malls in my area and the sales person openly told me of her 40 year old daughter who had conceived with medical help. I don’t believe that social networks have greatly affected how we talk about fertility. The success of treatments are shared with more frequency but women still chose to share these conversations in person. We are more free to discuss treatments  in public but I believe most women still chose to discuss fertility issues with a smaller group of friends. My peers are older and have a higher level of education and in general, have waited longer to start a family. We know the risks in delaying starting a family, but we still hope it will be easy. Perhaps that known difficulty makes us more comfortable discussing the process.

While you may not consider it flaming when a woman with no children comes up to me in the dog food aisle to tell me how to properly prepare my dog for the baby’s arrival... that is what she is doing. With openness, comes more viewpoints and the unsolicited comments of strangers. It doesn’t matter the technology or the medium, total strangers have found me out to impart their advice.  There seems to be something about that big belly that makes people experts on my experience. Putting my bump out on the internet brings these same advisors out. I thought because I have been judicious in selecting my virtual friends I was sub selecting a type of person. But like I found with the last presidential election, I am always surprised who has the crazy view in the group. I have started to think of my real life as the comment section of a blog or online mommy group. A simple request for informed advice empowers people with no filter. They may be writing it under a chat room handle or they could be the woman in the baby food aisle, either way, there have always been women (and men) who feel they have every right to tell you and your belly what they think.

Pregnancy and the internet both feed into that part of our egos we hate to admit we have. I love the positive attention to a picture of my growing waistline or sonogram. The instant gratification of the comment bell going off is intoxicating. Getting hundreds of likes makes me want to post more.  I need to remind myself while I am months away from the birth that it is much easier to get that instant reaction from a glowing screen than it will be to impact the new life and to focus on reality.