Raines and his buddy E were discussing a recent assignment that Raines, quite frankly, didn’t spend enough time on. The assignment was cool — find a cause, research it, write about it. The final step (after all of the hard stuff was done) was to create a set of slides to brief the class. This was the step Raines had forgotten to do, so he stayed up late one night just slamming stuff into Google slides.

“There’s literally, like…no color? No pictures?” E asked. Raines slumped. “No it’s just all…text. My slides are boring.”

I am cooking dinner in the background, just listening (like the creepy stalker I become when My Kids Are Talking With Their Friends).

“I know!” Raines is jubilant. “My cause is breast cancer, so I’ll turn all the slides pink!” E is all “yeah man that totally works,” and they are both moving on with the discussion but I cannot help myself. Before I even realize what I am doing I blurt out:

“Breast cancer survivors hate pink.”

I must have said it with more vehemence than I realized, because the kitchen instantly goes silent. E is the first to speak. “They do, Shana-Aunty? Why?” Raines is watching me very carefully.

I take a deep breath, trying to figure out how to explain my thoughts on this tricky topic to two 11-year old boys. “Well…” I begin. “Pink is…cotton candy and stuffed animals and…I don’t know…lip gloss. It’s happy and light and “supposed to be” for women. That’s why they picked pink for breast cancer. It has nothing to do with the cancer part, they picked it because pink is supposed to be for women. But breast cancer isn’t pink.”

Raines interrupts me. “Well…women aren’t just pink either, Mom.”

God I love him.

“EXACTLY. Pink is not right on so many levels, you know? So when you have breast cancer it’s horrible, and everyone keeps throwing pink things at you but…it never fits. I don’t want the pink t-shirt or the hat or…the freaking pink ribbon candle. I don’t relate. They are all so far from my experience…they are all so, sowrong…” I am rambling, but this is harder than I thought. “Nothing about breast cancer is pink.”

I realize suddenly that Raines has likely never heard me speak emotionally about breast cancer. We talk about it from time-to-time, but it’s pretty factual. The times he would’ve seen big emotion from me was early in my diagnosis, and he was simply too young to remember.

I look over to see two sets of eyes staring back at me. E is thoughtful, but I can’t read Raines’ face. “Maybe…red?” E offers, tentatively. I crack up. “That’s better,” I say. “But I think breast cancer is…black. Or gray. Something dark that dulls and pales and…sucks out all the light. That’s breast cancer.”

Raines is still watching me carefully. He has this steady way of just…looking, and that’s what he’s doing right now. We stare at each other, and I offer him a small smile. His eyes soften, and his lips twitch.

“I won’t turn the slides pink,” he says.

Want toasty toes? Ask a Hockey Mom. My friend L keeps wearing a cute pair of JSlides booties/sneakers everywhere. She swears they keep her feet warmer than most Sorels(!!) during her kiddo’s long hockey tournaments. She has the Selenes (from last year, almost sold out), but the JSlides Victory are basically the same (and waterproof and on sale at Bloomies)…or try JSlides Carole, which are a dead ringer for L’s. (NOTE: Nordstrom doesn’t mention that the Caroles are waterproof…but the JSlides website does.) There’s also a shorter, waterproof pair, as well. (I styled the shorter pair up on Nordstrom, here…but either pair would totally work.)

Which reminds me….We’re doing this new thing with Nordstrom, where we’re making ‘looks’ — basically shoppable collages that show how we’d style things up. You can see all of the looks I’ve made so far, here. If there’s anything you’d love to see, a piece you’re currently debating, let us know! We’ll try and throw a look (or two) together.

Battle of the peacoats. I keep trying on wool coats in various styles and colors…and I think I’m just going to go back to a standard navy peacoat. It’s what I wore in high school, for crying out loud. But since I’m no longer in high school, I’m eyeing up this lux number from Fleurette. I try on Fleurette coats every winter, and they’re all tailored, gorgeous perfection (made in the USA, too). But the price is…high. The Fleurette coat is on sale right now (which helps), but J.Crew also has a pretty great navy peacoat as well. The J.Crew one isn’t nearly as lux…but it fits great (and has a cool pop of red under the collar). Decisions, decisions.

Since there’s a sale….I have a round of J.Crew dressing room selfies coming out soon, but if you want a sneak peek of my top picks (that peacoat included) I threw a quick list together, here.

A perfectly Pax holiday sweater. I’m always looking for clothes with personality for Pax, but it’s getting harder as he gets older. The latest hit? This Harry Potter sweater from Boden. It’s delightfully ridiculous and colorful, and he LOVES it. He’s going to be layering it over this car-printed dress shirt.

The latest in Whaa..??. I mean…I can maaaaybe get on board with the puffer-vest-over-coat thing, but I am at a complete loss for words on the “zippered around the waist” part. The rear view on this $3790 2-in-1 Burberry coat is especially…*S stares into space* (Random find brought to us by Laura. Uhh…thank you?)

Not to be missed. Chanel Miller, the once-anonymous survivor in the Stanford sexual assault case read a poem she wrote at Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year awards. It’s powerful and beautiful and raw…and hearing her read it aloud is one of the best things I’ve seen this year. (Have some tissues handy.)

I’ve gotta go and get ready. One of our dear friends is turning 50 (which is hard to believe we’re here already…my mom turned 50 at my wedding, for example) and despite the ancient-sounding age…I know 50-year-olds can PARTY.

Happy weekend!

xo,

S

ps. Our No Pressure Guide to Getting Dressed for the Holidays drops…TOMORROW. If you aren’t yet a newsletter subscriber…sign up here to get your copy!

20 COMMENTS

  1. I love the Nordstrom “looks.” Such a great concept and so easy to use. Also, I’ve been waiting for a link to the Fair Isle sweaters since I saw the story with you and Laura! They’re so good! Finally, I, too, wore pea coats in high school and I still think they’re the warmest coats ever. I say go with the classic I. Goldberg version and wear it with Dr. Martens. We can all pretend it’s 1993 again! Haha!

  2. I love that you are contributing to Nordstrom “looks” – they are so useful! Any chance you’d be up for trying to create a holiday party look with the AG Farrah velvet jeans? https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ag-the-farrah-high-waist-velvet-jeans/4670399/. I especially love the royal lagoon color. I haven’t gone to a holiday party in years and am thinking of wearing these as an alternative to black pants but am not really sure what to pair them with!

  3. I can vouch for the JSlides Poppy waterproof booty. They are SO warm and my go-to for the bus stop. I have them in an olivey-taupe and they go with everything! I love wearing them with a cute wooly sock and cropped jeans so there’s a hint of the sock peeking out.

  4. I’ve been on the hunt for a great waterproof comfortable bootie! This is very timely and I’ve always been curious about J slides. I tend to gravitate toward sorels for winter but want a different option (other than my rubber chelsea boots) for all those rainy days here in Philly. Any reports on if they are comfy for walking longer distances?

  5. I was very touched by your conversation with Raines about breast cancer and the color pink. It must be really hard to talk to your kids, especially those on the younger side, about any serious parental illness. I’m so fortunate to not know what this is like but I think the way you talked to him about your feelings was spot-on. Thanks for sharing this personal story.

  6. You need to find a “vintage” J. Crew pea coat circa 2012. Those are luxe coats. The quality now is awful — truly does not compare. I recently scooped up two Fall 2012 J. Crew wool coats from a consignment store and they are incredible in their material, tailoring, and details.

  7. i can totally attest…50 year olds can indeed party and no we are not ancient…even when we are 55!!! loved your anti-pink stance. nothing at all pink about it. (not a survivor but a rememberer) and as a retired hockey mom… smartwool socks are the secret to hockey mom happiness…

  8. Shana! Love, love, love your Nordstrom “looks”! Super helpful and paired perfectly! Cashmere sweaters, jeans, smart wool socks and boots–all. winter. long. Love to see more holiday tops with jeans and boots/sparkly shoes, accessories, etc. Ya know, the holiday party uniform. Thank you!

  9. Love the Nordstrom looks. Would you style the Vince trouser pants from the anniversary sale??? https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-relaxed-wide-leg-trousers/5206459/full?siteid=.2nGiS3mv0Y-49tNIXBezW8THiaS7tK16g&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=*2nGiS3mv0Y&utm_content=1&utm_term=722684&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=*2nGiS3mv0Y We have a bar mitzvah on Saturday morning in Chicago so needing something warm on top but also conservative (with a little bit of fun too!)

  10. So true. It’s not pink. AT ALL. I did then, and still do now, hate pink! You’ve put my feelings much more eloquently than I ever could. You are such a great writer Shana. Keep it coming.

  11. 50-somethings can definitely party! I’m 51, not ancient (haha!), had a great 50th birthday party, have two teenagers, and am an avid “The Mom Edit” follower. I think you need to add a 50-something/mom with teens person to your staff…

  12. oh, girl. you speak my language.

    trying to find people who talk about breast cancer the way i talk about breast cancer is kind of like when my husband bought an RV about 4 summers ago. we’ve been road tripping since the kids were babies, and this was a game changer. it enabled us to drive to California (where i met him) and share some of our favorite spots with our kids, 11 and 8. it also up’d our short trip game, and i dreamt of finding cute little beach spots in Florida (where we live now) to park it on spring break, or long weekends.

    but you should have seen my google history.

    “palm beach RV”

    *OMG that looks like an actual trailer park*

    “palm beach RV LUXURY”

    *NOTHING*

    searching for cancer blogs that spoke to me was like searching for places to park a 42 foot RV in palm beach. i didn’t relate to anyone. pink ribboned warrior women were everywhere. i tried again and again:

    “breast cancer chic”

    nothing.

    “breast cancer fashion mom california”

    my computer actually giggled.

    girl, i’ve been feeling so many things this past year, diagnosed march 4, double mastectomy march 29th, 6 weeks of radiation, and you have described them all. and you did it again with this post. i have a ton of friends to lean on, one of which is even battling breast cancer, too, but no one talked about cancer and the fear of how to stay yourself. not turn into the pink ribbon warrior. i’m not her. i’m you. thank you thank you thank you for continuing to keep it real.

  13. Another chime in on 50 being not “ancient”. I am trying not to be offended, as I know it was a cheeky comment, but I still am. Many women wait to have kids or add to their families later, right? We are still moms (my daughter is 14), and we still like cute clothes. I actually credit the Mom Edit for turning my wardrobe around, but now I don’t know if it’s the right place for me since it sounds like you don’t consider me and my peers to be your audience.

  14. That part about Raines and no pink. Love.

    Try TheRealReal for Fleurette! I just got a navy blue Fleurette coat with tags for $165 (can you tell i am just slightly proud of myself).

  15. 50 here too – and with a 13 year old AND a 9 year old! I had a kick ass party for my 50th in wine country, so I def. can still party. And I still rock the torn denim and vintage tees like no other. And may or may not have some burgundy streaks in my hair (something has to hide the gray). Shana, I know you were trying to be funny and not even close to being mean, but that ancient comment still stung a little.

  16. Very, very, very close to 50 and I don’t feel remotely “ancient”–but I will admit to always being the oldest mom in my kindergartner’s class–which means I will be over 60 at his HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION! At this point I’ve got no choice but to own it, and own it I do. But I agree, what I’m sure was meant to be tongue-in-cheek funny comment stung a little…..and I also agree, adding a contributor in the “advanced maternal age” category (which is slightly better label than the term my–also an older mother–OBGYN refused to put on my chart: “geriatric pregnancy”) would be great! Thanks for years of great articles! I expect to see the site only get better as the contributors inch their way to being “ancient!”

  17. AHHHH It *was* intended to be a cheeky comment! One I felt ok making simply because I’m so darn close myself!! “Ancient sounding” was meant to poke fun at myself – in the same way that I marveled (years ago) at turning 40 because that age, when I was 20, sounded so flipping old. (And then you get there and are like OHHHHH riiiiight nothing changes.) I think I was just typing fast (trying to get ready for that party – which was, as expected, a total rager) and didn’t quite realize that the cheeky comment got a little lost in translation.

  18. Love, love, love the breast cancer is not pink conversation as that has always bugged me. Thank you for speaking your truth. Also, I absolutely love that you are now Nordstrom look contributors as I love this feature on Nordstrom. And sooo checking out those slides! Hockey moms are legit.

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