Friday Frivolity - Goop's Guide to Being a Good Guest

The lovely and talented Gweneth Paltrow, as you probably know dear reader, is also a blogger.  Like your humble authoresses, Ms. Paltrow also writes about parenting, food, travel, fun and etiquette.  We thought her latest piece on how to be a good summer guest especially timely.  So whether you are jetting off to the Hamptons or wandering next-door for a sprinkler party we recommend the following Goop Newsletter

Misgivings about the book that took the parenting world by storm

Any modern mother with access to the internet will no doubt have seen the not-really-for-children, children’s book, Go the F**k to Sleep. Having blazed its way to fame as a PDF landing in every parent’s inbox, it became available in print format last week.

For many parents, it may be virtually impossible not to laugh in self-recognition at the exasperated and exhausted parents wrangling their feisty children to bed. Who hasn’t lived through a bedtime like that? How could you not enjoy the subversive parody of sappy rhyming children’s books? Yet, upon reading it, many mothers might also feel a pang of dissatifaction. It would be easy to blame all those f-words for our flinching, or, to put it more politely, the excessive use of profanity in the context of small children. But we might also wince because reading this book is akin to intruding on someone else’s bad parenting moment. When we witness “bad parenting moments” in public, we look away. (Think of yelling mothers, a poorly handled tantrum, undignified public pleading to please, please, please sit down, or stop running.) When we succumb to these moments ourselves, we might wish we could erase them from our memories, or do them over. So it’s no wonder reading them in a book makes us cringe a little, despite the laughs.

Since Supernanny, and Nanny 911 appear to persist on television, it should come as no surprise that there is a market for this book. Yet, we’re going to echo KJ Dell'Antonia at and wonder, who is actually buying Go the F**k to Sleep? And what are they going to do with it? As an alternative choice, a book one might actually read to a child, a kinder but still realistic and funny book about bedtime battles, we’re going to follow the New York Times’ lead, and suggest Once Upon a Time, The End, by Geoffrey Kloske.

Friday Frivolity - Colors and Sea

If you find yourself in Wellesley, MA this summer be sure to visit the exhibit

Colors and Sea

Wellesley Congregational Church
2 Central Street 
 Wellesley, MA 02482

Hours in June from 9am to 4pm
In July from 9am to noon
Saturdays from 8:30am to 11am
Sundays from 8 am to noon

 Beatrice Dauge

So Crazy, It Just Might Work

Recently, a friend asked us how we might handle a sticky dinner party situation.  Since we have learned that often people do not realize their behavior is impolite our suggestion is to be very clear in ones invitation regarding the tone of the evening.  Please find our invitation prototype below.

Dear Friends,
Please come to a dinner at our house on Saturday the 17th.  The dress is spiffy, the occasion is celebratory and the theme is no personal electronic devices whatsoever.   Sadly this means you will not be able to "check-in" to our house on facebook as if it were the SoHo Grand. The first part of the evening will consist of cocktails.  People will stand around chatting, sipping champagne and eating small savory delicacies.   Introductions will be made and those guests already acquainted will catch up.   A guest will be describing his vacation in Majorca not scrolling through photos on an 3.5" screen.  You will not be able to snap a photo of the champagne, post it to facebook and tag all your friends who are also at the party - thereby making those friends not invited feel rotten.  Dinner will follow where we will be serving a soup, fish, meat, salad, cheese and sweet course.  There will be wine to match. Regrettably you will not be able to tweet about any of it in real time.  You will spend the first course talking to the person on your left and the second, the person on your right.  Left right, left right.  You will not need to check your pants, purse, or jacket.  There will be no urgent 10 p.m. Saturday night  texts to be answered.  You can just live in the moment and focus on what is going on around you. Should a question arise to which no one at the table knows the answer people will not be able to reach for the phone/personal entertainment device sitting (oh my!) in front of their bread plate.  Instead the group will have to discuss, speculate, conjecture, hypothesize and think about the issue at hand.  If you believe you can exist in such a disconnected (although to some it might seem incredibly connected) state for four or five hours, we would love to have you over. 

 Oh that one would ever dare...

Friday Frivolity: Junderpants

What are junderpants, you ask?  Depending on whom you consult, they are (a) a crime (b) the hilarious name for a remarkably tasteless product, (c) a skimpy pair of underwear printed to look like denim jeans, or (d) something that made one of us giggle like a schoolgirl. The answer, of course, is all of the above. We just cannot bring ourselves to post a photo, but we can send you here to see them. There you go, junderwear and junderpants. Presumably, these products are intended for the parents of the baby wearing demin diapers because clearly, they are not for the well mannered modern mother.

I beg your pardon, but you are sitting on me.

We have touched before on the ignominy of air travel these days.  But what on earth should the well mannered mother do when confronted with a person of largess in the airplane seat next to her infringing upon her space?  This happened recently to a friend of ours who was seated next to an individual who was so ample that our friend could not put the arm rest down between their seats.  Should the well mannered mother request a seat transfer?  Maybe if the flight is not full - but these days, what are the chances?  Should she send a letter of complaint to the airline?  Or as a polite person, should she just ignore the person smeared up against her as best she can?

Should airlines require height and weight info and require people over a certain tonnage to purchase two seats?   What about creating a corpulent zone?  Separate seating for ample persons?   Of course if the airlines were to try this, no doubt there would be cries of "Sizeism" and the ACLU would go after the airlines for their blatantly sizeist attitudes.  With 30% of Americans registering as obese and this trend growing by the day - how will the airlines ever keep up? Maybe we will someday find ourselves an a WALL-Esque world where we are transported around from spot to spot in individual barkaloungers?  Perhaps commercial planes will become like cargo planes and we will simply be driven up in our custom fit La- Z-Boy recliner and fastened to the floor of the plane.

In the meantime, when traveling with children it might be a good idea to remind them not to stare or point at the person in the work-out suit sitting on top of them.

Dear readers, what would you do in this situation?

Friday Frivolity - Kate the Great

Have you seen this site?  What Kate Wore is a website that chronicles the wardrobe of the Dutchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Middleton).  What do we love about this site?  In the first place it's tons of fashion fun.  Most of her looks are relatively reasonable and accessible.  Secondly, Kate is able to look youthful and attractive and appropriate all at the same time - no small feat in these days of hooker-starlet-chic and jeggings.  Thirdly, the economic impact she is having on the fashion industry is fascinating.  So thank you WhatKateWore and thank you Kate for being a stylish, modern icon.

picture courtesy of whatkatewore
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