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, so…wrong…” 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.
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!