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Yesterday, I was listening to an NPR On Point interview with Ann Patchett about her essay in the NYT – she had decided to spend 2017 as her year of “No Shopping.” Her friend, Elissa Kim, inspired her to give up shopping for frivolous things. Kim had returned to the US after a trip to India and felt, “…obscenely rich.” She was shocked by our sheer abundance compared to the street people she met on her journey; so, Kim gave up shopping for a year. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510053/on-point-with-tom-ashbrook

The rules were simple: No clothes; No shoes: No bags; No jewelry

WHAT?! What if your winter clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry were all in a Pod stacked somewhere in a warehouse? What if you had to buy holiday presents? Patchett said this didn’t apply to food, which is good since I’d seen her a few times at Whole Foods, and even though we’d met at her store, Parnassus, and I’d sat in front of her at the Love Bug’s Grandparent Turkey Day, I never imposed myself on her celebrity.

Living in Rumson taught me one thing, you may get introduced to the Boss at the gym, but you never fawn over him.

Still, after reading ALL of Patchett’s books, and knowing her husband is also a doctor, I felt a certain connection and found myself stuck to my Sonos on the Nashville NPR station. This year of living without shopping came about seamlessly. She said it had something to do with, “…the state of the country.” Oh I hear you girl. Also realizing that, “I had enough!” To which I would add, I am enough. And finally, she thought she’d been spending a little too much time, “…chilling out by browsing online.”       http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2018/01/02/author-ann-patchetts-year-of-no-shopping

There were so many questions I had after listening to this interview. How do I chill out?Why do we shop? As I’m typing, an email shoots into the right corner of my screen from Eileen Fisher, telling me about their new blue… Oh dear God. I ignore it. Then the doorbell rings, it’s an Amazon package…

But mostly, I am left wondering why people are so darn mean on social media?

I made the mistake of checking On Point’s Twitter feed to add my opinion to the mix, and there were all these nasty comments along the line of, “…it’s called poverty/what a bunch of pretentious, entitled/this is the worst etc.” A TED talk featuring a woman who saved $37,000 one year by not shopping seemed to really set the mob mentality over the edge.

Still, I listened to the subtext. What would happen to our economy if everyone just stopped shopping? And I heard the anger, the anguish of a certain part of society, the part that likes to pit US against THEM. They don’t just cling to their guns and their religion, they like to shop! They not only rejected the idea of doing without, they disparaged the “liberal elite” for trying to do so.

It left me wondering when Republicans became the party for the working class; of course I know it started with LBJ and the South, with that drum roll of racism that still underscores our gerrymandering. My Daddy Jim never finished grade school, worked his whole life and taught me to always root for the “little guy.” The Flapper always said, “Charity begins at home” because we were so poor. She idolized FDR! We came from the coal mining hills of Pennsylvania and always thought the GOP was out of touch, was the party of (and for) the rich. This latest tax scheme should enlighten us all.

Because a certain British rag couldn’t reach Patchett for a comment, they headlined their article about her abundance of lip balm, because at one point she thought she might have to buy some but found more in her coat pockets. My comment was about how Millennials are more interested in the Fashion Chain, ethically sourced materials, and so they love to shop vintage. I was actually trying to listen to the interview, not judge the panel.

I must admit I’m starting to like web browsing ever since we bought our mattresses online, and mea culpa, I’m guilty of standing in a Target aisle wondering how the heck I got there and what I wanted. And then there’s the problem with shoes…

Still who wouldn’t want to find more time and money by not craving that one (insert consumer product here) that will change your life forever? Maybe this will redeem me? Here is a picture of our adorable Cali cousins, little Frankie is in a red beret wearing a lilac bunny sweater that the Flapper knit for the Bride thirty some years ago. I’d call that “Sustainable Knitwear!”

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Summer’s here and it’s time for singing in a horse barn! And dancing in the street too, but I just had to drop a quick note about the Groom. Some doctors play golf in their free time, some fly planes or collect trains. And then there is that rare one, that cerebral brainiac that can also play a guitar like nobody’s business, and write his own lyrics too, and sing…oh, and did I mention he can sing! It’s our Groom. J&M  0975

He’s been in a band since high school, and indeed created a band during his residency at Vanderbilt. With a few other talented, young doctors they were known as The Bourbon Family, and they played roots Americana music all over the state. They’ve played at weddings, bars, and private parties. They even produced a record! https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-bourbon-family/id445461482 And more importantly, almost every night, he would play and sing to his new baby girl.

Then the doctor/musicians finished their residencies and went off to pursue fellowships all over the country. The band broke up and you might have thought the music died. Except the Groom didn’t move, he was still playing his guitar and singing to his family in the Music City where he continued to be a Chief Resident and continue his education in Public Health. Until one night at a Full Moon Pickin Party in Nashville, this happened – here is his Facebook post:

So, at last week’s Full Moon Picking Party, a bunch of recording engineers from Dark Horse Institute (of Faith Hill, Tim McGraw…Megadeath) set up a makeshift recording studio in one of the horse stalls. They grabbed people walking by and recorded videos of them playing. Whoever’s YouTube video gets the most ‘Likes’ wins $15,000 worth for free recording time at Dark Horse…which for me would mean an official reunion for The Bourbon Family.
I don’t think I have ever asked Facebook for anything before (partly because I lost my password for about a year and had to reset it for this post)…but this would be pretty cool. Please consider using the mouse on your personal computer to place a ‘Like’ on the YouTube video attached by hyperlink.

And here is the YouTube link! Please consider “Liking” this post on your computer, the link won’t work on your cell phone

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