Hello Again

A One Act Play - Set in current day Suburbia

Young Energetic Mother: You know, I have been introduce to Sally Jones at least four times but she never seems to remember me and does not say hello when we see each other around town.

Older Wise Mother:  Hmmm.  And your children are in the same school?

Young Energetic:  Yes.

Old Wise:  Well my dear, I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like you are socially invisible to Sally Jones.

Young Energetic:  But, I don't understand. We have been at the same parties and events.  We know a lot of the same people.  To my knowledge I have never offended her.  Lots of people enjoy my company.

Old Wise:  Yes, my friend - including me. Now, let's run through the possibilities.  1) She is very busy and important and genuinely does not remember meeting you.  2) She knows she has met you but is playing some sort of weird 'I am too fabulous to know you game.'  3) She is shy, socially awkward and does not know how to interact with other humans.  4) She has been crazy busy being the perfect mother for the past 5 years and has only recently awoken from a Rip Van Winkle type coma and deserves another chance.

Young Energetic:  So what should I do the next time I see her?

Old Wise:  Because you are a kind person and a polite one, I know you will not give her a does of her own medicine and pretend you don't know her.  When you see her around town simply say "hello"  as you would to a neighbor, mail man or person you recognize but do not know well.  If she looks a you blankly or disdainfully just keep moving knowing you have done the courteous thing.  Remember if she is playing some weird head game the only way she can win is if you let her make you uncomfortable.

Young Energetic:  That's true. Good strategy.  What if we get introduced again?

Old Wise:  I think in that case I would let her speak first and if she does not say anything just say "It is so nice to see you. " and follow the conversational lead of the person who introduced you.  If it is awkward just drink up quickly and say "Oh my I seem to be our of champagne, will you excuse me?" and get on down the road.  You are an interesting person with wonderful friends and if she does not wish to count herself among them it is her loss.  You should not feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because someone else is oblivious or rude.

Young Energetic:  I'll do it!

The End

Friday Frivolity - Let Us Now Praise Angry Birds

'What on earth,' the well mannered mother might have thought to herself, 'is going on with this Angry Bird nonsense?'  Ignorantly envisioning some sort of cross between Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller The Birds and Space Invaders she mistakenly assumes this idiocy had nothing to do with her.  Yet, like most mass  phenomena (think Glee) these birds will seep into her subconscious until one day the game will simply appear on her iphone.

At that point her life will become both easier and harder.  Her life is easier in that her family has all agreed on a reward that is 100% parentally approved (no sugar or bad influences involved)  "Of course you can play angry birds on my phone, darling, as soon as you do your homework/empty the dishwasher/cut the lawn." One sibling's tennis practice in no longer  the torture it once was for the other, car trips, doctors' waiting rooms and security lines at the airport have become painless thanks to this absurd game where "players control a flock of multi-colored birds that are attempting to retrieve eggs that have been stolen by a group of evil green pigs." Her life is harder in terms of finding and retrieving her phone from family members, not to mention the lost hours she herself finds she is devoting to the pursuit.  Luckily, there is safety in numbers and she is not alone.  This fabulous fat and violence-free pass time is according to Wikipedia "the largest mobil app success the world has seen so far."  Have a happy weekend and if you spend it playing Angry Birds, just remember there are worse things you could be doing.

Picture from Rovio Website and Costume Express

Great New Plate

Our friends over at What Are You Feeding Your Kids These Days wrote a great piece on the new Healthy Plate developed by the Harvard School of Public Health.  The School of Public Health claims the new plate is "based on the most up-to-date nutrition research, and it is not influenced by the food industry or agriculture policy." Happy eating! 

Healthy Eating Plate from Harvard Health Publications

Friday Frivolity - Books for Kids

Last Friday we recommended two books for the modern mother.  A friend wrote in to ask if we had any children's book recommendations.  Two series that we (parents and children) enjoyed this summer are The Penderwicks which we listened to on audio

and The Mysterious Benedict Society, hugely popular and exciting read-aloud bedtime reading.  

Like all good children's literature both series involve absent or deceased parents, adventures and mishaps which can only be solved by the child heros of the books.  Happy Weekend!

Images from Good Reads

Meaning in the Missoni

Your humble blogger found herself at Target this morning , not - it must be confessed - entirely by accident.   As you may or may not know, today is the launch of the much anticipated Missoni at Target co-branding extravaganza.

 However, apparently knowing about this event (having read about it in numerous fashion and shelter publications) and preparing for this event were two very different things.  By the time this modern mother arrived at her nearest Target at 8:43 a.m. the shelves were empty, the employees shell-shocked and women were wandering around desperately asking other women with two and even three carts full of merchandise if they were going to "keep all of it."  The store was relatively empty save for clusters of disappointed women standing around the empty Missoni displays talking in hushed voices.  "The Target website crashed this morning,"  "They aren't getting any more shipments,"  "Someone said they might bring out more housewares in a few minutes."  "I should have gotten here earlier."

When asked whether people had been lining up outside early that morning the woman at the check-out counter shook her head and reported "It was crazy.  It was like Black Friday.  All these women running through the store..."

Obviously the modern mother should be more organized.  She should have asked a friend to drop her children off at school.  She should  have had a strategy, sneakers and possibly an accomplice.  She should have perused the look book  to know what items she wanted.  One might have gone to women's clothes, one to housewares, then on to shoes and girls.  Better add walkie-talkies to the plan in case Verizon and at&t (like the Target site) went down due to this incredible once in a lifetime event. 

Of course, to be clear, we are talking about Italian knitwear in fuzzy zig-zag patterns: sweaters, skirts, scarves, socks.  Plus shoes, plates, bowels, vases.  But of course, it is luxury knitwear.  Traditionally found in the hallowed salons of Barneys and Bergdorfs and on the Rue de Faubourge at very un-Target prices.

So what gives?  How does this marriage of high and low work?  Obviously it draws people (many of whom were driving pretty posh SUVs this morning) into Target.  But is it good for the luxury brand? As of this writing 12:53 p.m. September 13, the Target site is still down and a quick search on eBay for Missoni Target has produced over  600 items that had to have been purchased in stores this morning.   Does this kind of secondary market add to the brand value?  Or is it the expanded reach and awareness they are looking for?  Does knowing about the brand mean that more people will scrimp and save for the real thing?  Or is it just a lot of fun in an otherwise dreary economic climate?   Who knows, maybe after today Chanel and Jimmy Choo will be lining up to partner up.

Anyone know anything about this month's jobless numbers and that Poverty Report coming out this afternoon?

Pictures from target.com and NYTimes.com

Friday Frivolity - Reading is Fun Again

The modern mother found herself reading this summer.  Reading like she used to.  One book after another.  She read books and authors she had been meaning to read for years.  She read books that caught her fancy in the library and new books that friends and reviewers recommended.  If she started something and it was rubbish, she put it down and picked up another.  If it was good, she read it and found another.  Maybe it was all the travel, the lazy summer days, or the freedom from book club that made this possible.   Below are two favorites.  Happy Friday & happy reading.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Photos from Penguin and  Random House

A Pyrrhic Victory

The blogosphere was abuzz last week regarding the below graphic t-shirt.  The buzz got so oppressively negative that J.C. Penny pulled the shirt off its site on August 31st. 

This modern mother has a few thoughts about this silliness.  Obviously, it is an inane shirt and not at all well mannered.   It is sexist, feeding into the stereotype that men are better at math and science than women, and suggests to young women that beauty emancipates one from hard work and intellect.  

One envisions a group of 1950's marketing executives in brown suits smoking like chimneys having somehow traveled through time to design graphic t-shirts for mass market retailers.  So what if more women graduate from college, law school and medical school than men these days? It must be because they are hot, hoochie mamas.

Yet, at least this  message is direct.  The consumer is presented with a clear choice "Do you want your daughter walking around in this slogan or not?"  Often the message is not so obvious.   A recent toggle over to Abercrombie Kids (where size small would fit an average 7 or 8 year-old) shows us clothing that does not spell out that a sexy body is better than brains but these tops and sweat pants leave little doubt as to which assets a young girl should leverage to get ahead in 4th grade.  Oh, and by the way, have you seen MTV?

So, hooray, well done irate bloggers.  There is one less silly t-shirt available to the discount public.  Now please go forth and get the rest of the media and retail on board. 


"I have no illusions I lost them on my travels," so says Vicomte de Valmont in the dastardly French film Dangerous Liaisons.  Our own summer travels in the land of chateaux and bistros have dispelled a few illusions as well.  For example, why are French children generally so well behaved at the table? 

 I never put my elbows on the table

I never leave the table until the meal is finished

 I lift my food to my mouth

I never talk when my mouth is full

I cut my meat without disturbing my neighbors

I put my napkin on my lap

En viola!  Now we know.  If you don't mind a little shipping fee you can find these cute plates here

Hope your summer was wonderful.  Welcome back. 
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