You Didn’t Do A Terrible Thing. You Feel That? It’s Called “Relief”.


Let me tell you.  Ever since I started writing on the internet and becoming more of an activist and a writer, I have found that I have lost a few friends along the way.  I put “friends” in italics because you can’t see the marvelous side eye I’m giving when I think about it.  And quite a few of them happened to be white males.   Some were men that I always felt uncomfortable with because they had sexist, racist beliefs that they passed off as clever hipster jokes.  SEXISM IS SO FUNNY!  “I’m not racist, I’ve traveled the world.”  (Real words crammed into my inbox angrily by someone who once tried to justify Trayvon Martin’s death).  A few were so privileged that the stuff that I was saying flew over their heads and when they didn’t understand, their response was to get super angry.  Because it’s clearly my fault that someone doesn’t understand intersectional feminism and white supremacy.  You did that man a favor.  He’ll think twice before he offers an unsolicited opinion to another lady friend.  He’ll thank you later, but he’ll never actually thank you but he will one day recognize that you were right.  But here’s the thing  … I never miss anyone who’s gone.  Not for a second.  I never think “Gee, I wish I had put up with a few weeks more of white male nonsense.”  Or “I feel lost and confused now that I don’t have male friends who mansplain every damn thing to me and talk over me.”

The fact that these thoughts never cross my mind for a mere second, tells me that I have done everything right in my journey to becoming a writer.  So let us celebrate our new found freedom from the weight of expectations of men and let’s throw a few more pies along the way.  I’ve got some tomatoes and rotten eggs if the pies run out.

-Aja

PS – I am actually living my best life without all that dead weight.

PPS – Dude friends often take up too much space in your life while offering very little in return.

PSS – Girls have always been cool, it’s just internalized misogyny tells us that it’s “cool” to not like other girls.

(Image:  Still trying to find this one)

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New Year, New Attempt At This

GoodThoughtsNeedToGrow

So Agathe, it looks like we’re both serial blog quitters.  It’s not even like we do a hard quit, more like a slow fade.  But the thing is, I actually adore this blog.  I adore communicating with you regularly and this blog was one of the ways that we insured that we did that.  We sort of lost each other for just a little bit as we tend to do.  You never get worried because you are super relaxed and chilled out in a way that most people wish they could be.  I on the other hand freak the fuck out and worry if you’re upset with me, when the truth is, sometimes we just get busy or lazy or caught up in relationships of various degrees.  But this blog is such a touchstone so I’m back to it again!  Someone told me they really enjoyed it recently and it totally shocked me and then I felt guilty for being such a bad blog caretaker.  Now that my freelance work seems to be coming to a slow point (at one point I was working 18 hour days regularly) I have a moment to catch up on things, so this blog has become a priority again.  In addition to my daily Facebook video about fashion, politics and social justice.  That has actually become one of the bright things in my life.   I enjoy doing it and sometimes I feel like my words, which can be difficult to understand, come across easier to digest there.

But mostly I feel we can’t abandon this blog because “Never Date A Gemini” has become that blog post that people ALWAYS comment on.  Friendships have been formed there and it’s making me think you should write about astrological signs and relationships more often.  Because you obviously have a knack for it!  Anyway, good to see you again!  Let’s get this party started!

–  Aja

(Illustration by Saskia Keultjes)

 

 

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pilesofbooks

Every six months I have to drive my mother to an appointment on the other side of the state.  It takes an hour and some change, so we leave nice and early and she stresses out the entire ride there.  If everyone has a “thing” my mother’s “thing” is stressing about being late for things in a manner that is the ultimate fear of missing out.  I used to immediately tune her out but now my method is to put on a book on tape.  Right now the current rotation is Bringing Up Bébé, which is surprisingly … hilarious.  (I read a lot of parenting books … even though I don’t have kids.  I know.  But it’s good anthropology.)

Anyway at some point, the author refers to her husband’s habit of making piles of things on the floor as a sign of depression.  At that moment, my mother and I both whipped our heads around and gave each other a stare.  Not an accusing stare for making piles, but accusing the other person of judging you by the piles you know you make on the floor.  And then we both started laughing.

-Aja

(Photo: here)

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Love?

Nope

Snippets of our musings about love.

i feel like no matter who or how, it’s too time consuming. I end up spending my time pleasing them and making it work, and missing other opportunities.   I guess I can see myself dating someone at some point, but it would have to be someone who’d make me better, and who’d I could collaborate with on project”

“Interesting.  Me?  I just don’t want to uproot my life for any man right now.   Unless it’s something I’m into 200%.  I’m not halfassing romance at this point in my life.”

 
“i just want to get my own life started and get into writing again.”
“I don’t want to tire myself with any elses emotions, dreams or desires but my own right now.  I don’t even care if it sounds selfish.”

 

Looks like in the new year they’ll be lots of creative projects but not as much talks about love.  But that’s a good thing, I think.

–  A + A
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Out With The Old

HelmutLangShawlCardigan_347820

What do you do with an aged sweater?  I have this problem where I have no idea what to do with clothing once it’s knackered.  I always wear my clothing passed the point where it looks nice and I’m trying to ease up on that.  I bought this Helmut Lang sweater in November of 2012.  As one of the pricier items in my wardrobe, bought full price with a store credit (a rarity for me), it has been worn constantly in the winter.  It’s super cozy, nubby and wonderful.  But after three years of consecutive winter use, it looks really worn.  Which honestly doesn’t say much for the quality of a sweater vs the price.  I have a Pringle of Scotland sweater bought at the same time which is still working galloping like an energetic pony.  Meanwhile this pricier Helmut Lang sweater looks like it needs to be taken out back … and shot.  The elbows are looking threadbare and the arm pits are stretched.  So my question is, what next?

I wish there were a place that recycled high quality knits and made baby sweaters out of it.  I’d feel really good about that.   Do you throw it away?  Sounds rather wasteful.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were a designer that re-worked old fancy old knits?  You can’t donate it, knowing no one wants a sweater with threadbare elbows.  What could I possibly do with this sweater that brought me so much joy but no longer looks nice?  Advise.

-Aja

(Photos from La Garconne where I purchased the sweater).

 

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How Is White Privilege Like Global Warming?

PolarBear

In the time since I have became a vocal little son a gun on the internet, one comment always comes back again and again.  White friends (and sometimes family even) tell me I am too harsh on white people when talking about race.

  1.  No, I’m not.
  2. The beatings will continue until the morale improves.

Racism is a white person’s problem.

Racism is a white person’s problem.

Racism is a white person’s problem.

It is a problem that has plagued our country since before it’s creation and in 239 years of existence as a country, no one seems to be cleaning up the mess effectively.  Racism is a problem which negatively effects people of color.  But it is a white person’s problem to correct.  Because white people are the only ones that have the power, privilege and agency to do so.  So if I make an analogy and use “white people” instead of “some white people”, it’s not your duty nor is it constructive to tell me “it hurts my feelings when you say ‘white people’ because I’m a good white person, and this doesn’t apply me to me”.  Because:

  1.  You are derailing the conversation and taking the focus off the issue and more on your hurt fee fees.  The families of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin wouldn’t be sympathetic to your hurt fee fees.  Trust me.
  2.   You are expecting a cookie for your allyship and that is unacceptable on all measures.

The analogy that I regularly use that everyone seems to understand is to try to imagine for a second that polar bears could speak.   Imagine a polar bear came up to me on her hind legs, frustrated and said:

“Man you humans are fucking everything up on this planet.”

The polar bear is right.  Humans are collectively ruining Planet Earth.  So therefore it would be WILDLY inappropriate for me to get frustrated with the polar bear for pointing out the obvious.  It doesn’t matter that I recycle.  That I turn the water off when I’m washing my hair and shaving my legs.  The I use dehumidifer water in my laundry.  That I use my car as little as possible and walk as much as I can.  That I’ve decreased my fast fashion purchases ten fold.  That I don’t waste food.  None of this matters.  I am still part of a greater collective that is effectively driving global warming and making the planet unbearable for all the other species.

The same rules apply towards white privilege and white supremacy.  If you are a white person, no matter how good of an ally you are, you still benefit from white privilege and contribute to white supremacy in ways you don’t even have to think about.  Which is the very definition of white privilege.  Not having to think about any of these things until I bring it to your attention is white privilege on steroids.  Obviously I still love you, because you know I don’t keep people around if I don’t.  But I will not mince my words when discussing racism.  Because that’s letting white people as a whole off much too easily.  And because lives depend on it.  The more time you spend arguing semantics with me, the less time you’re out there educating other white people.  Which is your mission, should you choose to accept it!  Because both global warming and racism are at epidemic levels.  xoxo

-Aja

PS –  Agathe, as a person living in Norway, I know some of this flies straight over your head.  But not all of it, because you’re no dummy.  I needed to write this some place and this seemed a good a place as any.

(Credit:  Josh Brill Co)

 

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