Friday, July 31, 2009

Rapture. Carnitas.

Some things are universal. Thank heavens. You know how it feels, when you are driving down the freeway, and thinking about the next couple of hours, you realize you are hungry, and then realize your favorite food is waiting for you at the next off-ramp?

Tacos. Carnitas. See that tomatillo salsa? The chopped red onions? The cilantro? Making my mouth water now even as I sit on my sofa with not a speck of pork in sight.

Best part is the side of pickled carrots. Hot. Vinegary.

Check is pretty nice too.

Gracias indeed. Rapture.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shiny Purple Things

Money is a funny thing. Complicated.

I have to admit. I didn’t really buy that purse so that people would know my family had money. That would have been silly. Vuitton does not use pictures of my father’s old family estate as logos, now do they? I just started writing and got carried away with the concept. Made me laugh. And I do so appreciate your comments and compliments.

Still, my confession holds true in that I bought the purse in part so people would think I was a person with resources. That wasn’t an exaggeration. Above and beyond the sheer prettiness of objects I have a desire to signal that I am someone with resources, despite my tendency to wear my son’s old khakis and white Jockey t-shirt with flip flops.

Why? Why do that? Why on earth do I care? Shouldn’t anything I have achieved be enough? And if not, shouldn’t I focus my attention instead on a plan to achieve more? How about my innate value as a person, as an incarnation of the shocking beauty of life? Yes. Ideally, yes. But I also ask, am I harming anyone. I hope not. Were I to build an exclusive club, join it, wear its logo, bar others from joining, and walk the streets in search of someone to humiliate, that would be something else entirely. But this is just a sparkly, dark, purple/brown, purse.

You know, we are who we are. Oh, never, ever give up the endeavor to do better. That’s important. But at a certain point you do more damage through your distress over your feelings than through the feelings themselves. So. This is me. This is me and money. Might as well put it out there in case someone younger than I can benefit. Complicated. Lots of family and personal history. Possibly this is a useful fact. A woman with a shiny purple purse may have some doubts, somewhere, about something. The next time you are confronted with someone who has something shiny, even shiny people themselves, consider this. They probably have their doubts.

Everything I am saying is true. It may or may not matter.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No Further Ado. Well, Maybe A Little.

I bought this.
Otherwise known as this,

"Hmm," you might well say. "Hmm, LPC, is this, um, OK? Is this, um, actually a High WASP approved bag?" Or, were you truly concerned, "LPC, what on earth were you thinking!"

I know, I know. I called my sister. The one in Berkeley who has her Ph.D. in Social Work and Public Policy. She was very honest. She told me that Louis Vuitton is NOT currently a High WASP approved brand. She let me down easy. She said, "On the other hand, they USED to be...."

Here's what I told her. I told her I know. I told her I know that LV deserted their carriage trade roots when they started stamping that dang logo all over the dang place. I told her I know I have been a Very Bad High WASP. But I pled my case.

First, the logo is stamped, not printed, so it's hard to see. Second, the bag LOOKS to be classic black. When you are inside. Third, it's a tote for goodness's sake, a close cousin to the archetypal L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. Fourth, I needed an impeccable bag for job interviews and this one is terribly well-designed, plenty of space, easy to locate inner pocket. But even I knew that these were feeble, feeble excuses indeed. The real truth is more insidious.

I wanted it. The color is "Amarante." This is the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Brentwood in Amarante . Oooh. Sounds like the title of some nobility or other. It's a dark, eggplantish, maroonish, SPARKLY, patent leather. With luggage leather belted straps. And it makes it clear that once upon a time, when Tiffany bowls were monogrammed, and tweed jackets donned and doffed, and polo trophies won, my family had money. I'm hardly living in poverty, but no one would accuse me of, in that High WASP euphemism, "having money." At least not an overwhelming amount. But I live in Silicon Valley. As do the founders of Apple, Oracle, Google, Yahoo, Hewlett Packard, Intel....everyone has money. I wanted to purchase myself a subtle enough but not too subtle symptom of privilege. An aramante stripe, if you will, for a gray fish amid tropical brilliance. There.

I apologize. I'm sharing here as penance. I will carry it for a long time. The cost per carry will approach zero, as they say in Calculus BC. I pat it. I will be a better person in my next incarnation. For now, I will just be good to other people's children who cry in supermarkets. And I will donate money to the people canvassing outside those supermarkets. I promise. Get me quick.

Notice how I am not posting the price? Even in this day of no privacy, I just can't bring myself to type those numbers. But ooh it's pretty.

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The Other Saturday Purchase

Around about the time I bought my Manolos, I also bought a Marc Jacobs purse. (High WASPs are uncomfortable saying handbag. They say purse. I don't know why.) You have seen versions of it here,

and here,

...substantiating my claim that I have carried this purse almost exclusively since purchase. Although I do have another one, just like it, in tan, with gold metal hardware. High WASPs believe that if you like something, it's responsible to buy it in multiple colors.

As of yesterday morning, my Marc Jacobs bag (I'm learning), once remarked upon even by my hair colorist, looked like this,

Not too bad you think? Well, here's a closer look.

I've had this repaired, just like my shoes. I had to take it to Neiman Marcus because it was under warranty. Then they had to send it to Italy. Then it got stuck in customs. I am not kidding. So, eventually, they gave me a completely new bag. Good on you, Neiman Marcus, high end customer service. I could have it repaired again. And probably will. Even though it's not only fraying, it's gone squishy. It stands up in that first photo only because I put an empty coffee mug in the middle pocket.

OK, OK, I say to the voice of my conscience, I will get it repaired. But, here's the thing, as I walked the streets of San Francisco Saturday, I was deep into covet with another bag. Which I bought. And will show, with full confession of the depths of my transgression. Tout de suite. French phrase of the day.


Vote for Porter Hovey For Mad Men Walk On Role

Porter Hovey, Hollister Hovey's (a fairly tongue-in-cheek promulgator of the masculine High WASP aesthetic) sister, is currently leading AMC's contest for a Mad Men walk on role. Banana Republic is involved. Go look. Vote for Porter unless one of your loved ones is also competing. This is fun. A heated battle gets the testosterone going. Good for us over 50's.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Delayed Gratification. And Too Expensive Shoes.

About 4 years ago, I bought these shoes.

As of this morning, they look like this.

For good reason. I have worn these shoes 3 days out of 5 every work week since I bought them. They are black. They are flat. They are classic. They are terribly comfortable. They are now dead.

Saturday I bought these.

"Well," you might say, "Well, LPC, aren't those Ferragamos, um, rather pricy?" "Why yes they are, " I would have to answer. $420, to be precise, and quite non-High WASP in my directness. That's what happens when you buy no new black shoes for 4 years. You defer gratification. And then you go for the big hit. And you feel quite satiated. For the most part. You have two marshmallows, not one.

This High WASP buying cycle is quite common, although this is probably an extreme example. I had my Manolos repaired and refurbished at least 3 times. I polished them. I loved them. And, as is common when you love something, failed to notice when they were no longer serving me. I kept thinking I would fix them again. All the while, in the part of my mind that I keep for shameful behavior, I was plotting. I was fixating. I was researching*. I was committing in my heart to these Ferragamos. As a result, I wore my Manolos, frayed, for far too long to be appropriate. That shabby chic thing people attribute to High WASPs? Nah. We are just telling ourselves we will mend the toile, all the while planning for the interior designer to come and cover everything in yellow faille with piping.

Delayed gratification has its benefits. And its symptoms. No? BTW, this was not my only purchase Saturday. But we are practicing delays.

*Allie is partly to blame for the Varinas.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

No! Not Again!

I did these the first time. I am not doing them again.

Even though the day I met my best friend I was wearing houndstooth leggings, wheeling my daughter in a stroller, and carrying my son in a front pack. I am telling you, I am NOT doing these again. And you can't make me. Not even if they look like cool old British book endpapers.

Don't even try.

Oh. Wait. I'm 52. You don't WANT me to do this trend again. My apologies. Carry on. And no, this has nothing to do with delayed gratification except that distractions are common during delays. Carry on.

Images: via Couture Carrie


Delayed Gratification And Marshmallows

Delayed gratification. Oooh. Tough. Generally I want it now. Me and billions of other people. In today’s world of increased access to pretty pictures, I might want things that I would not have even known existed a decade ago.

Turns out that the capacity to delay gratification at a young age is predictive of success in later life. Well, that explains why High WASPs value DG so highly, doesn’t it? We can say it’s all about virtue and godliness, but it’s really about developing the ability to contribute to capitalism. How do we inculcate this value in children? The dinner table, where else. High WASP families make their kids set the table, they have to get the right plates and glasses and placemats. Then we have to sit and eat all together. Some families say grace. We have to eat vegetables. Lots of them. We have to try everything on our plate. And, before we get cookies, we have to have a piece of fruit. To this day I hate fruit. Finally, before we leave the table, we have to say, “May I be excused?”

All this prepares us to become law partners and investment bankers and entrepreneurs. Really. It does. The pivotal study is about kids and marshmallows. In short, one marshmallow now or two marshmallows later? The New Yorker did a great article on it here. Me, I’m just going to show you how it affects shopping habits. Tomorrow. So we can practice delays.

Image: Happy Phantom's Flickr stream


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just Because They Are Pretty

Here are some flowers. Just because they are pretty. No social analysis or class correlation. Although, now that I think about it, they do look a little bit like the flowers my mother organized for my youngest sister's wedding. Hmm. M. Foucault would probably say culture is inescapable. But for now, let's pretend I just find these pretty. Maybe some other people will too. And that's very nice.

Image: Flowerwild


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Morning At 8:58am

Being a mom is such a funny job. One minute you feel love as strong as life. The next minute you are annoyed that yet again the Izze soda bottle is sitting on the coffee table in the morning. One day, like Laura from A piece of cake, you are watching your children in the waves and California sun, fearing sharks and feeling your heart swell. One day, like - apparently - many mothers, your emails are a source of Internet memeing and chortling. Postcards From Yo Mama is what I'm thinking about. Yes. Two women set up a site where people submit emails or IM conversations from their mothers. Sort of like Post Secret. Or F*** My Life. Only it's mom-talk.

I confess. I can barely read most mommy-bloggers. Gets my adrenaline going too hard, too fast. Everything comes back. But I can look at other people's cute children in the water and feel the echo of their mother's love. And I can read mother communiques, recognizing the wandering and blithering that we do when we talk to our grown children. I recognize that we are so foolish because we love them more than we know what to do with. It's OK. I am not even embarrassed. A long time ago I wrote two pregnant friends a letter. I was so wise, me and my one year old. I said, "You can only be as good a mother as you are a person." I still believe that. But, like most absolute statements, the range of meaning has widened as I've grown older. Now I think that if you aren't embarrassed to be the person you are, you just can't be embarrassed to be the mother you are. Even when your kids make fun of you on the Internet. Maybe especially then.


Friday, July 24, 2009

How You Know That Time Is Passing

I love to cook. I've been buying stuff to cook with for 30 years. As such, and as a Californian besides, I've always looked for the best ingredients. Going to Asian markets for actual Chinese long beans. Googling aji amarillo to find out where I might buy Peruvian chiles in the Bay Area. (Failing but that's another problem). Purchasing actual nutmegs vs. ground nutmeg powder. And, being a California, looking to buy organic wherever possible.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store. The fancy grocery store. We have more of those here than strictly necessary to support the population. I was looking for, among other things, red pepper flakes. I use them for the aromatics in Chinese food (the stuff you throw in the wok to cook for 15 seconds before you cook the rest of the ingredients), with sauteed spinach to keep the balsamic vinegar company, to throw together some enchiladas to use up last night's grill-roasted pork loin.

I gather that red pepper flakes have fallen from foodie favor. Because if I wanted organic, which I did, I had to buy WHOLE DRIED RED PEPPERS. In a glass jar. This has never happened before. I wavered. I tried to move my aging habits forward in 2 minutes, as I stood in the spice aisle. I could not. I have cooked with red pepper flakes, as I said, for 30 years.

What, I ask, was wrong with flakes? Even as I ask, I know. I know. Less full-flavored, less authentic, less something or other. One more thing to chop is what I am thinking. But I have vowed never to be the kind of old person who grumbles that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Next time. Whole dried red peppers. Got it.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

High WASP Entertaining, Online Invitations Finale

I'm not alone in this online invitations wave. Just the other day even Abby at Style Me Pretty (on her way to challenging Martha, no?) posted a digital save the date. Offbeat Bride has another one here. These are video. You see, in the case of video, the tool set is already in the hands of the consumer. As opposed to animated web invite design and development, still owned by scary boy experts for the most part.

Someone from emailed me to politely tell me they have another online invite service. I haven't looked at it, but they were very polite. Chelsea at frolic posted about cocodot, new and started by a photographer.

But, I concede, at this time, paper prevails. After all, I'm not completely unreasonable. So, if you're looking for wedding invitations, Mimi from Mika78 did a great roundup for Weddings Fresh here. If you simply cannot keep your creativity under wraps (it's hard sometimes, isn't it?) my particular favorite is the Edward Gorey style below. I mean, who can find even a hint of sentimentality in Mr. Gorey?

In conclusion, as we said in college, even more special is if your mom and dad PAINT your invitations. For the final word on the subject, I give you Buckeroomama's wedding invitations. She's moved on to kids now, in the way of the world, but still. Invitations of an underwater scene painted by your mother and father because you like to scuba dive?

Goodness me. To say nothing of photos of Hong Kong wedding cars. Life is good. Life is very good.


What Shoes To Wear With Khaki?

I can't go on and on about how khaki without proposing some solutions to the shoe problem. It wouldn't be responsible. Not the done thing.

Because khaki was, originally, military, I recommend that you stay away from navy. Stay away from green. Shun primaries. Shoes with reddish undertones look best, brown, purple, oxblood. Metallic sandals in the right context (see?). And black. Nothing sharper than a pair of black shoes with khaki. For work, black perfect loafers, khaki pants, black alligator belt, black cashmere top. Sharp. Makes my mouth water to think about it.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

High WASP Entertaining, If Online Invitations Were Perfect

Just imagine if online invitations were layered, interactive, beautiful, evocative. (Given that I am not a visual designer, the imagination part is key.)

Imagine that there are designers out there and you love their stuff. That part's not hard. For example, Erin at inkOBSESSIONdesigns. I think her graphics are adorable. This birdie, for one.

My personal favorite graphic is her space age flowers. Imagine you wanted to include these in a birthday invitation. And you wanted animation. And there was a tool like Polyvore where the two of you could collaborate. The collaboration part is as important as the actual design and effects. (The problem now is you would have to collaborate with software engineers. Not advisable for normal people.) It might come out like this. Only way better. (Note that Erin is ONLY responsible for the cute flowers here. Don't want anyone to think this prototype would be what her talent would produce. It's me muddling around.)

The invite email.

You click on the >>click here<< (genius, huh?), and come to a web page with a gorgeous, textured, full screen image.
This is a Roy Lichtenstein painting. Imagine it’s animated so that the sun sets and the colors change and the pixels pixel. With, in my taste range, a fragment of Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder playing in the background. Then you click again. You don't see a new page, the animation takes you, as though you were opening a page, to this. We've moved on beyond HTML.

And again. The border is a Crane stationery image. If they wanted to get in on the deal, we'd let them, right?

The designer’s name rolls by like movie credits.

I don’t think I’m insane. Not a designer, clearly, but not insane. If I were Jan, who codes her own, I could do this now. If I were Erin, it would actually look great.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

High WASP Entertaining, The Artifacts

The question is, when to bring out the artifacts? For example,

Should we put guacamole in this? Too small. Camellias? Maybe. Nuts? Too big unless someone REALLY loves Brazil nuts. But it's yours. And it's family. And it's pretty. So you bring it, and its peers, out along with the grapevine glazed platters from Crate and Barrel, in a rush of embarrassment, affection and pride.

How can you tell this is a High WASP artifact? See those initials? Sure, they are mine. It's not unusual to have a silver bowl from Tiffany & Co., right? Except those were also my grandmother's initials. And I was named in some small part so that all the monogrammed stuff that was bound to come my way was appropriate. No kidding. My mother admits it freely. I don't mind. I love my mom. The whole thing cracks me up.

So, anyway, guacamole anyone?

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tag, 6 Things That Make High WASPs Happy

Ashley at Paisley and Pearls tagged me to list 6 things that make me happy. How about 6 things that make the High WASP in me happy?

1. Cooking chicken in Le Creuset on an old stove . We like Le Creuset because they've been around forever. Because their pots are made from comforting and heavy cast iron. Because you can own these pots for 30 years and while they may wind up laced with old dinners they will work just fine. We like old stoves because we frequently have them at our lake houses. From Amanda at first milk.

2. Prints of vegetables. We like these because they are old. Representative. Picturing something that's undeniably good for you. From catbird which I found via little winter bride.

3. Grace Kelly, it goes without saying. She comes this close however to being just too pretty for politeness. I'm sure that's why she had to go live in Monaco where they aren't so embarrassed by pretty women. From Good Mouse, Bad Mouse.

4. School supplies from via greenlagirl. a) all one color. We love monochromatic. In fact they match Grace Kelly. Serendipity? I think not. b) good for the environment. We love the environment. We understand that all the financing of factories that we did at the beginning of the last century has had a problematic impact.

5. Tartan. We have a family plaid. Or two. The year my family spent living in London I owned and wore regularly a kilt. With a kilt pin. Talbots via The Preppy Princess.

6. This man evolves High WASP into an art form. He looks exactly how my father might have dressed in the 1950's before he threw caution to the wind, moved to California, and became a left-of-center professor. If, that is, if, my father had been somehow dipped in a solution that stripped all carelessness from his being and caused him to button his shirt. To wear his shorts just a wee bit tighter. It's not that we dress like this. It's that we appreciate the perfection of the homage, the distillation of our archetype into a sort of liqueur. The Sartorialist. Who else?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Morning At 7:02am

All day meeting yesterday for my job that plays peekaboo. Mostly boo at this point. Another meeting today. I'm stiff from sitting for hours. Listening to business stories. Still tough times.

We're well-run. Tightly run. We have a great strategy. And were surprised by the extent of the economic events of last fall. Our strategy won't change. But I am hearing how we have dealt with what can politely be called adversity. It turns out that being able to deal with adversity is just as important as having a great strategy in the first place.

I've been thinking similar thoughts about advice to my kids. No, I didn't go to a business meeting and come back with family wisdom. Sometimes things just happen at the same time. A confluence. Here is what I know. I have spent the last 22.5 years dedicated to my children's success. And it was the advanced course, informed by god knows how much reading and sighing and soldiering on. Trying to let success mean happiness, trying to let success be defined by their own terms. Clearing space for who they will become rather than training them like rats in a maze. Oh, I know I'm not perfect. I admit to my agendas. I have liked having high-achieving kids. Like shiny pearls, you wear them around and say, oh, these old things? But mostly I believe, when I ease off the relentless self-examination attendant on my desire to do a good job, that I have done as much as I was capable of to support their capacity for happiness and success. Even as I say that I think, but wait, could I have been capable of more? Enough.

As I get older and watch the course of people's lives over 20, 30, 40, 50 years, I am starting to wonder. Listen. I know no one who escapes difficult. Sorrow befalls us all, in one way or another. We imagine our lives, a vision of our future, and we will almost certainly get it wrong. We can't afford smug. The runner has a heart attack. The dramatic teenager turns out to be maniac depressive. The husband is infertile.

These things happen and with luck life doesn't end. Which means you have to know how to absorb pain. If you don't know how you have to do it anyway. You have to do it anyway. I hope I have reared my children so that they can live a life that will by necessity include the difficult. The problem is that I love them too much to have planned to cause them sorrow in preparation. I love them too much to have tried to give them any experience of unforeseen pain. I am not even sure that unforeseen pain should come from a mother. By intent and and by instinct I have loved them, seen them, held them. Acted predictably, kept my own needs separate, used whatever intelligence, competence, and physical stamina I had in their service all the while doing it because it felt so good. Not from virtue. How could I have taught them to cope with the surprises of loss and sorrow? My whole self was focused on their happiness and success.

I kiss their hair and hope. Drama doesn't serve anyone. Just come home at night and cook some dinner.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Since We're Friends...

If I really needed to call this khaki, you'd let me, right?

Such a benign form of madness. No harm, no foul. The small and the innocent are safe. All is still right when you wake up in the darkness.

I knew you'd understand.

Miu Miu via

P.S. And no I wouldn't wear black tights, no matter how embellished. This is where I'd wear the infamous metallic sandals. Gold even. Ha!

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Online Invitations Continued, Pingg Gets Closer

In the inexorable march towards premium online invitations, pingg takes huge steps. Oh I am sorry. Can't you tell I've done marketing writing for a living from time to time? Anyway, I want to show you that much of what we don't like about Evite is in fact being solved. Meet Above is their home page. Aaah. We like the aesthetic. Cleaner. The feeling of celebration right up front with the wrapped presents. (High WASPs don't say "gifts". I don't know why).

Go create an invitation. There's a pretty robust search and browse function to help you find a design you like. If you ever want to feel cool in high tech circles just call something either 'robust" or "non-trivial." You'll be good to go.

Pretty nifty designs on pingg. I like the one below. High degree of tongue-in-cheek there. Sort of like, alcohol anyone?

Design and preview functions feel good. The design page shows through the transparent background during the preview so you don't get disoriented. I'm really prone to disorientation in web land.

You fill in your event info separately from choosing the design. Again, good. Even better, this is what your guest sees in their email box.

pingg invitations send the guest just enough event information, in an image that looks like an actual piece of paper, and then tells them to click on the event website. Not to see the Evite, to see the event website. After all, you aren't throwing an Evite, you are throwing a party.

When your guest arrives at the event website, there they see the event information in detail and they can RSVP. To software, an RSVP is just data. To people, it's a moment of feeling and humanness. With any luck, someone is smiling.

Finally, pingg offers a print option. If the clean design and well-thought out functionality don't get you, or if there is someone on your list who can't or won't be happy with online invitations, print away...See? Progress. But we are still not finished. There's more technology can do for us. I promise. Suspend your disbelief until next week.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

High WASP Entertaining, Yes, The Online Invitation Is The Way Of The Future

The online invitation is the way of the future. There. I've said it. But, we aren't there yet.

The state of online invitations is currently defined by Evite. To the point where people use the word "Evite" to mean online invitation. Like Kleenex meaning tissue stored in a box to blow your nose with. People will often say that they don't like online invitations when they really mean they don't like Evite. But let's not be harsh. Evite was the first. Evite defined the space. They developed the concept and ironed out the bugs. Problem is they didn't end up with a good user experience. And technology has evolved to where it could be better and other companies have plans. For all I know, Evite has plans.

For now, let's take a quick look at why Evite hasn't been able to convert wedding, birthday, or fabulous cocktail parties over to online invitations. I say quick because I will spare you a full-fledged User Experience analysis of the site. You can thank me later. So. The goals of what we might call premium invitations are to a) brand, communicate, convey the spirit of your party b) honor and delight your guests c) give you a creative outlet d) manage attendance. Evite focuses on managing attendance. Everything else is secondary. Just take a look at their landing page. Targeted more to "event management" than "fabulous invitation design."

And customizing the design? You can't really. You can insert a couple of images into a few slots.

Your guests don't have a much better experience. They receive this in their email. It's not dreadful, but it's not inviting...get it? It's not deluxe.

When guests land on the invitation, it's a static page. A real invitation might have confetti, might have a pocketfold, might have an RSVP card. It's what we call in Web 2.0 design, "the progressive reveal." And Evite's underlying design around managing event data becomes clear at this point. You fill in a form. Like a shopping cart. Where's the romance, the mystery, the allure of a great event?

It's not their fault. Evite was first. Back when data ruled the world and HTML meant that each page had to be a form to "submit." But we don't want to be data when we go to a party. And the world doesn't reveal itself to us in a series of static pages. In the world of real, lovely, paper invitations, you have texture, crinkling, movement, surprises. My prediction is that these will come to online invitations too, that the wave has already begun. It may move beyond self-serve, have to involve talented designers, just like custom paper invitations do.

In this case, my tech career trumps High WASP regard for tradition. I believe that the higher goals of the invitation tradition can be brought into the virtual world with no loss of interest. I'm not alone, in fact. Which is the code word for More To Follow.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And They Sometimes Call It Nude

But we, we know it's khaki. It could be shorts.

Or a dress.

But either way you can wear the "nude" with this bracelet for a touch of the my-great-great-uncle-studied-remote-tribes-in-Africa look that Banana Republic and J. Peterman revered. And Hollister Hovey espouses today.

And if you do, as long as everything else is played down, you will get the High WASP seal of approval, although it may come via a sideways glance.

Just - please - no metallic sandals here.

Shorts from Urban Outfitters via for me, for you
Dress from Donna Karan via Couture Carrie
Bracelet from Garnet Hill via une femme d'un certain age