Some Small And Manageable Changes To A Small But Multi-Use Laundry Room


Although we began our ongoing interior fix-up with the master bedroom, that’s paused because, no kidding, our new bed arrived and we’re keeping the old one until my daughter is ready to take possession. It’s bedtastic round here, with not even room enough to roll out the new rug. I’m oddly untroubled.

We moved on to painting walls. That took absototalutely forever, even though for the most part I just had everything re-whited. But it’s finished.

So now, as we wait for bed removal and other acts of decluttering, I’m focused on quick hits. The table and pouf, for example. And, surprisingly, the laundry room. You can find a lot of design for sudsy spaces out there.

From modern with spark,

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to the traditional – if your traditions include a country house in Provence, that is.

Country house laundry room

to the, well, not my style. I don’t much want straightforward signs, a chandelier, Tiffany blue walls, or curtained appliances. (That’s High WASP communication restraint, right there.)

NMT-Laundry-Rooms

So I hung a Mark Rothko poster instead. What? I can’t decide if the artist would have liked keeping company with a place of labor, or resisted any bourgeois love of his work for its beauty. BTW, the Google image search for Blue & Gray 1961 is gorgeous.

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Let’s back up. My laundry room is and always has been very small. But it exists. When the kids were little I always thought I’d like to bash out a wall to extend into the garage, and set up a table for folding, bins for clean clothes, a domestic desk for bills and such. But in retirement, and with thoughts of a future move, I wanted to work with what I have.

Laundry-Room-Straight-Up

Painted new white, of course. That faux ceramic flooring is actually vinyl, and 30 years old. Feels quite vintage. I liked it when I installed it, and I like it now, faded. Why am I showing you pictures of a decidedly unglamorous space? Because it has added, measurably, to my sense of wellbeing.

Length-of-the-Laundry-Room

The new seagrass basket, and this below, are from Cost Plus World Market. (10% off everything with code SAVEBIG). They smell good. I use the one on the floor for dirty laundry that escapes the master bathroom, and the one atop the washer for clean rags. Dirty rags go in the white plastic thingie.

I used to keep rags of all sorts in random plastic buckets; attractive baskets are infinitely more calming.

Laundry-Basket

This little laundry room gets almost beautiful in the morning. Light is recipient-agnostic, it’ll beautify even the most daily of objects. And I’m switching out all cleaning products for non-harmful sorts. That distilled water, for example, does more than refract.

Cleaning-Substances

It fuels the new blue-handled Bissell steam cleaner you see below. Why is it wearing a dirty shower cap? Nah, it’s the washable cleaner head. Wonderful gadget to replace a mop, which I found on Rachel’s blog, here, and purchased immediately.

Can I say, all in sincerity, that I love hanging stuff on hooks behind the door? Gravity provides its own order.

Laundry-Room-and-Cleaning-Tools

And finally, a small quirky detail as suggested by an artist. With a little black sticky shelf paper, and a couple of white pens, Uni-Ball Signo Broad Point Gel Impact Pen White Ink,  (japan import) [Komainu-Dou Original Package] and the Sharpie Paint Marker White Pen Oil Base Extra Fine, I doodled.

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and eventually wrote completely silly labels on all the laundry room shelves. Which serve, of course, as our pantry. (Apparently written words are a trend in fashion too.)

Light-And-Things-That-Make-It

Router-Home

I scribbled, impatiently. Nothing like Mrs. Blandings and her glorious wall paintings. Could be wholly improved upon with downloaded calligraphy fonts, or a real artist at the helm. But it’s oddly right for me, one of little patience and great love for language.

Ironic-Nutritional-Shelf-Labelling

I did not doodle on Mr. Rothko. He apparently found Pop Art frivolous. So he presides over the shelf where I keep gardening substances; neem oil, epsom salts, organic fertilizer, and diatomaceous earth.

Rothko-In-The-Laundry-Room

I have one other recommendation for laundry zen. I bought an over-the-door drying rack, kind of like this, and I love it. Of course, it’s hung in the kids’ bathroom, instead of in the laundry, but organization is rescued from the dictatorial by little bits of random.

Credits

Labeling the shelves concept by Kathy Leeds
Images
Silver-tiled laundry room
Country house laundry room
Tiffany blue with chandelier
Curtained appliances
LAUNDRY sign

Affiliate links may provide commissions. Invented spellings probably will not.

Use The Shopbop Sale To Get Ready For Spring


Shopbop, an online store featuring many of the slight edgier but still mainstream designers, has a sale on. It’s tiered – meaning the percentage given depends on how much you spend – and uses the code: BIGEVENT15. I’m going to buy a pair of Citizens of Humanity white jeans for spring. I had been eyeing them, just yesterday, so clearly the universe is telling me the time has come. (If you hightail it over to Une Femme, coincidentally, she’s gone black for this event. Something for everyone!)

I’m also going to stock up on tees and tanks. I’ve figured out that I like a wider-leg, narrower-top silhouette for this life of Extreme Casual. So, to treat my midlife midriff gently, I layer tops. One long, underneath, to make sure I am always covered up and provide a little stripe of color contrast, one shorter, looser, neutral, above.

And, I confess, I’ve always wanted white sunglasses and white Birkenstocks. Bringing resort life to Whole Foods, Monday, Wednesday, and alternate Fridays.

Affiliate links may produce commissions.

Simplifying The Kitchen, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:34am


 

Cookbooks-for-Quick-Dinners

One imagines that in retirement one might indulge deeply in one’s interests. Yes, and occasionally no. In particular, I’ve always loved to cook, but now find myself looking to spend less time in the act.

Turns out that the kind of cooking I liked, and did well, was of the Dinner Party variety. You know. Main course, 2 sides, perhaps even a soup, and dessert. 3 different cooking techniques, 29 ingredients, and 1842 dirty implements. All the spoons in the universe.

The rush and steam of final minutes. Metal spatula clanging in the saucepan, transmutation. Doesn’t a wood spoon against Le Creuset enamelware feel almost silky? Burned elbows.

The sigh of settling to table, breath drawn in as everyone looks at their plates, the clink of wine bottles. Talk. Chairs pushed back. The remove to sofas and upholstery, the curling up, the talk.

Dishes were done by men, or in the morning.

I remember the dinner parties of my late 30s and early 40s as stellar accomplishments. But all that hubbub and chopping loses its thrill with one person cooking and cleaning, and just two people eating. So much sound and stirring, way more effort than satisfaction.

So.

I still like to eat. The other day I went through my old cookbooks, muttering, “Why the cream, why so much cream?!” Above you see what I’m working with. Authored by Tara Duggan, Pierre Franey, Marian Burros, Nigel Slater and America’s Test Kitchen. If a test kitchen can be called an “author.”

I don’t like to use processed foods, or more than a teaspoon of sugar per dish. We shall see. I’m guessing I’ll make a lot of cringe-inducing dinners, some decent ones, and gradually sort out the over-arching patterns of simple, healthy, good-t0-eat food. And manage my ego along the way.

Old dog, proverbial new tricks. Anyone else in the same situation?

Ideas for resources – cookbooks, blogs, even annoying videos of people with very broad accents – welcome. Have a great weekend everyone –  dine wisely and well.

Do You Wear All Black Because Your Courage Fails You?


Do you find yourself wearing an awful lot of black? And do you find yourself apologizing, if only to yourself, for your choices? Does an all-black outfit, we might ask, reek of defeat? No I say, no! Like anything we do, as long as we reveal our intent, it’s an act of courage.

You just want to make sure you don’t wear black in default. As in, “Oh I have to go out, ugh, gee, do I have some black pants, oh good there they are at the back of the closet, what else, oh heck here’s that black sweater and by god I know those black pumps show their age but no one will notice, OK then I’m ready, oh wait, fine, lipstick. Let’s go.”

Choose black. Even if you do so because you can’t quite get the hang of colors, or you really wish your body weight chose a different distribution across your frame. Make the choice with intent. And my bet is that you’ll develop a reputation for incredible style, and simplify, and have some fun too.

(If it makes you nervous, at all, imagine you’re a fashion insider. Or, even better, our gorgeous Tabitha at Bourbon and Pearls.)

You do have to make some choices in addition to he. The most important? Structure? Or flow?

Here’s an example of all-black structure. A tailored blazer, button front shirt, trousers, bold pumps, and a black scarf to drive home your intent. This is not accidental dressing. To give a structured outfit flair, your jewelry should be wiggly. Term of art, that. Your lipstick, playful.

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Alternatively, an unstructured cardigan jacket, layered over a tunic and cropped pants. A little more edge to the shoe, and structured earrings to balance the moving fabric. Makeup focused on the eyes. I highlight eyes or lips, never both.

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What you don’t want to do is wear both structured and flowing together unless you are quite confident. Une Femme today, for example. Or Jenna Lyons. She can pair a chambray shirt with harem pants brilliantly, we more intermediate fashion sorts may approach with caution. We do not want to default to stretch-waist French terry pants and a regular ol’ button-front shirt. Or belted, tailored pants and a tunic for that matter – too much fabric at the waist.

You should also work texture in all-black. You want a similar degree of sheen and tightness across all your fabrics. For example, woven silk with cotton jersey, not so hot, but velvet with denim is great.

A final note. In monochrome, our skin becomes an accessory – be strategic in what you reveal. Show the skin you like, and like the skin you show. Check the proportions on visible ankles, wrists, arms, neckline. Small things make big style statements. As you can, if you but choose.

Shopping For The All-Black Outfit

Structure
(Clothing by the Princess of Structure.)
Blazer (J. Crew 55% off at the Outnet)//Shirt (black now sold out but will be back, I’m sure)//Bootcut Jeans//Suede Pumps//Silk-Cashmere Wrap//Earrings//Necklace// NARS Multiples // NARS Lip Velvet Gloss Pencil

Flow
(Guess who dominates this outfit? The Queen of Flow.)
Jacket//Tunic//Pants//Shoes//Earrings//Necklace //Eyeliner 1 (navy) & 2 (french blue)

Affiliate links may produce commissions.

Modernizing And “Eclecticizing” A Pottery Barn Living Room


I just might be making slow progress in the world of interiors. I bought an end table that didn’t match my Pottery Barn sofa. How did it happen?

  1. We – happily – needed enough space in the living room for 4 adults to sit comfortably.
  2. A while back, I ordered a matching Pottery Barn loveseat.
  3. The adult who sat on said loveseat realized he needed a place for his tea mug, and another place to put his feet.
  4. As I already had a coffee table similar to this, and 2 end tables like this, even my timid self knew it was time to move on.

In other words, I wanted not Memories of The Colonial Past I Didn’t Have,

Pottery Barn Pearce Sofa.img78o

but, well, you’ll see.  Something more eclectic. A little more personal. How to move forward? Well, when you’re looking online, as I did, you’re going to find mostly whatever is currently in style. As my interior design skills improve, I may look down my nose at trends, but for now, they’re helpful in culling the field – as long as they resonate with my aesthetic and life history.

And thus did both a leather Moroccan pouf and a metal and glass Eileen Gray-like table come to rest my living room.

Some people might put Eileen in an industrial loft.

industrial-living-room and Eileen Gray table

others situate her in a more romantic but minimal Russian apartment. This space seems so poetic to me. Although I imagine the radiator knocks something awful.

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Moroccan poufs play chameleon too. From severe,

to light-filled Swedish,
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to somewhat girly New York spaces once owned by the creator of Sex in the City.

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But Sturdies, no matter how Artsy at heart, like most of all to feel comfortable and at home. We leave our sneakers by the kitchen island, albeit neatly lined up.
Pottery-Barn-Pearce-Loveseat-with-Moroccan-Pouf-and-Eileen-Gray-style-Table
We like harmony, so when we step out of our comfort zone, we look for unifying characteristics in the new land. Like, say, roundness.

Moroccan Pouf on Persian Carpet

And we believe in personal history. I was alive in the 60s, I wore a peace sign on a leather thong as a teen, I am invested in both early 70s hippie culture and mid-century modern.

New-Table-and-Ottoman

In the end, I like the way these two pieces look; they’re extremely useful, and produce in me a small, fluttery sense of confidence. Now it’s time to change out some pillows. I think the patterned one might be too much, well, pattern, given the embroidery on the pouf and the patchwork of the quilt.

I can see how this interiors fiddling gets addictive.

Shopping For Similar Items?

Images:
Pearce Sofa via Pottery Barn
Downtown Loft with Industrial Living Room (Tim Cuppet Architects) via Houzz
Contemporary Russian Apartment with a History via Afflante
13th Avenue Loft (Jessica Helgerson Interior Design) via Houzz
Candace Bushnell’s New York Apartment via Elle Decor
Swedish Apartment via Dust Jacket Attic
Other images my own

Contains affiliate links which may generate commissions.

7 Reasons To Watch “About A Boy” And Hope It Doesn’t Get Canceled, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:01am


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I’ve had a little bug the past couple of days, and in my book, being sick means permission to watch as much television as possible. Yes? In any case, I was hunting for what to watch, being temporarily out of British shows, and stumbled upon bad news. They are quite possibly going to cancel About A Boy.

Huh, you say?

For those who haven’t seen it, and clearly you are many given the May Cancel status, it’s small. Nothing explodes, nobody chews the scenery, no lizards get eaten. The primary cast is made up of just 3 people. Locations involve a school, a side-by-side pair of townhouses, and occasional outings to San Francisco bar mitzvahs and skinny dippers’ hot springs. Such a nice ratio of quotidian to outrageous.

I’ll do a “listsicle” of reasons to watch, because we all know that in this time of Too Much Information, numbers serve a function.

7 Reasons I Love About A Boy

  1. Minnie Driver. Ms. Driver plays, to batty, intelligent, focused perfection, the hippie mother of an 11-year old boy. Accent in place. Named, understandably, Fiona. She doesn’t condescend one bit to the character. Oh, and her clothes! Artsy Cousin par excellence.
  2. Benjamin Stockham. He plays the 11-year boy, Marcus, who is most of all sweet. Dedicated. Nerdy, but in sweetness rather than brilliance. He doesn’t condescend to his character either, despite being in real life, 15. I just love his constant hat.
  3. David Walton. Yes, the show is, if you’d been wondering, based on the Nick Hornby book of the same name. While Hornby usually focuses on the story of the male protagonist, and Walton’s character, Will, follows the Hornby boy-man protocol as the series begins, over time Walton does a deft and generous job of highlighting Driver and Stockham’s more ornate roles. Which is hard, because he’s tall and has good hair.
  4. The ensemble. The 3 main actors have chemistry, meaning they relate to each other, rather than just throwing photons at the cameras.
  5. The actual friendship between a grown man and a grown woman. If the show remains on the air, it’s possible that Will and Fiona will in fact fall in love. But the narrative could feed itself on their friendship alone. The writers avoid the cheap drug of Will-They-Won’t-They.
  6. The deft understatement. Again, they keep the show small. Which means you have time to watch, enjoy, and notice little details like living room furniture. And character.
  7. The innocence. If I try to distill what I like about this show so much – because, let’s be clear, it’s not Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey (closer), or Seinfeld (closer yet) – I wind up at innocence. The characters have open hearts. The actors are playing human beings, even though they aren’t Realistic in the way we’ve grown accustomed to on cable. The show imagines that people like each other, are kind, can learn.

About A Boy is on NBC, Tuesdays, at 9:30pm. Usual Central Time adjustment. But I always watch it online, here. I’d say there’s a bit too much talk about sex for kids under 10, but heck, listening to the radio these days, perhaps I’m old-fashioned. It’s a dear show, and I wish it wouldn’t go away.

If, as it happens, you already knew this, you might want to go here and sign the petition to keep it going. If, on the other hand, you hop over to NBC and take a gander and feel as I do, you might also want to sign. Always optional.

Did I mention that it’s created by the same guy responsible for Friday Night Lights and Parenthood?

I wish everyone a good weekend and good weather. Of course, if it’s cold where you are, you might just be running out of television.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


gong-xi-fa-cai

In San Francisco’s Chinatown. I’m holding a fortunate purchase from last weekend’s street festival. It was labeled  “pinwheel,” but is actually 8 little pinwheels on a gorgeous gold foil structure,. Happy Year of the Ram/Goat/Sheep take your pick!

Similar clothing, which I wish the technology could make spin like my pinwheel. It was a beautiful day, I walked for almost 2 hours with happy feet. Affiliate links may generate commissions!

Why Are We Better At Certain Kinds Of Style Than Others?


I was very interested to learn that many of you reverse my experience with style. While I am extremely comfortable with clothing but less so with interiors, you love interior style, find clothing more difficult.

Which led me to wonder, why? Why would someone who:

  1. cares about aesthetics,
  2. enjoys implementing them in one area,
  3. might even be highly skilled in that area,

not be comfortable in another? Isn’t design just design, independent of venue?

I have a working hypothesis.

Why Is One Kind Of Style Harder Than Another?

I can think of two solid reasons someone’s capabilities might vary from domain to domain.

  1. One area simply leaves you cold. You don’t care. Granted.
  2. Circumstances don’t warrant the effort. Sometimes we might love personal style, for example, but live on a farm in Wales where it’s more sensible to focus on the right gumboots. Granted.

I can also imagine two reasons that are real, but can be addressed straightforwardly.

  1. Mama Never Told Me. You never learned the ins and outs of, say, dirt. Or cotton. Granted. Information is out there.
  2. Lack of resources.  All available funding goes to kids’ tuition. Granted. Budget style is out there.

Finally, I also know, first-hand, one intractable, stubborn, want-to-put-it-in-a-headlock reason.

  1. The infamous Shame, and its not-at-all Artsy cousin, Disdain.

At least if we can extrapolate from my experience. I was:

  1. raised in beautiful, luxurious, tasteful houses
  2. but never sat with Mom and her decorators to learn anything about how the houses got beautiful
  3. did go clothes shopping with Mom. Often.
  4. grew up bought an apartment in New York, furnished it partially with the help of a friend who was a designer.
  5. got married, moved to California,
  6. bought small ranch house, imported furniture from New York apartment
  7. got (happily) pregnant right after marriage
  8. had small children, haphazardly furnished house for their happiness
  9. went back to work, put in long hours
  10. saw a marriage fail.
  11. moved out of small ranch
  12. bought all Pottery Barn for temporary apartment, leaving small ranch furnishings intact
  13. moved back to small ranch, bringing Pottery Barn with me
  14. saw some of the small ranch’s original furnishings scatter to the wind.
  15. children meanwhile grew up and moved out.
  16. I remarried.
  17. whither now, small ranch, whither now?
Pottery Barn Manhattan Club Chair via Privilege

Not here, clearly. And I am not sure I want my furniture to choose my carbonated beverages.

Throughout most of those years I ignored interior style. Lack of time and lack of resources, sure, but I suspect distress about my marriage, and shame about the fading family fortune, also held me back. Why make beautiful something I didn’t love?

I defended myself from distress by firing up disdain for Trying Too Hard. There you have it my friends, Domestic Aesthetics As Psychoanalyst. I am deep into the process of figuring this out and have moved from sulking to laughing.

Is that how those of you who don’t like personal style feel? Do you wonder, “Why honor and embellish something I don’t love?” Which raises the careful question, does distress about your body, either because it attracts unwanted attention or because it doesn’t fit society’s approved silhouette, block you from enjoying your clothes?

If that resonates, and I do not mean to overreach, there may be personal style lessons to take from what I’ve learned dealing with interiors.

  1. It helps to have the time, but, the time can be fairly easily made.
  2. It helps to have resources, but, you can do this with way less money than you think.
  3. It helps to get comfortable with what you are making beautiful. That’s non-negotiable.
  4. So, how?

Making Personal Style Easier, And Most Of All Happier, If It’s Hard

I see three ways forward.

  1. Just choose to be comfortable. Can we do that? Worth a try. In our 50s? We’re reaching the age of Advanced Style, when only traces of Female remain, but all the Human is still there. Focus on human.
  2. Alternatively, and the approach I know best, work on your body enough to become comfortable. Extra benefit? Better health.
  3. Finally, or in conjunction with a. or b., try what we can call the Pottery Barn for Your Body strategy.

Bonniecov2-retouched-2

a. Choose Comfort

The community can help. Sally at Already Pretty toils long and hard for our body acceptance, and perhaps readers here know of other good resources.

b. Getting a Body With Which You Are Comfortable

You can’t quite buy a new body the way you might a new house. I suppose if resources were no issue, you could hire a chef and a personal trainer. Have plastic surgery. But the most important thing is to develop new habits of eating and moving. I’ve written before about my thoughts on how to do this:

  1.  The High WASP Diet
  2. 25 Ways To Maintain Your Shape at 50+
  3. Building Attractive: Practical Tips
  4. Building Attractive: An Incredibly Metaphysical And Highly Abstract Analysis Which Leads Us Perhaps To The Meaning Of Life

I can write more, if it’s useful. Just let me know.

c. Furnishing A Body When You Wish It Were Better, Or, The “Pottery Barn” Strategy For Clothes

On your way to comfort, and I’m going to trust you will get there, try the equivalent of my Pottery Barn strategy – choose a retailer in your price band and leverage their aesthetic. You don’t have wait on your body for personal style. I am sure J. Crew would gladly outfit anyone with 3-4 modern, stylish, neutral outfits.

Peach is a neutral, by the way, for some.

Once you’re happily dressed, the majority of the time, there’s every chance your perspective will shift.

Peach is a Neutral. From J. Crew via Privilege.

Back when I moved out of my small ranch, I grimly but swiftly bought a faux suede sofa, two “colonial” end tables, two large ceramic lamps, a “colonial” coffee table, and a couple of red and gold pillows. The pillows matched the wall I had asked them to paint burgundy, in that very small temporary apartment.

I am quite sure that choosing “good enough” style made my days more bearable. Matched lamps felt like pillars of stability, I was not yet ready for a harlequin rug. “Good enough” can carry one quite far, even to “And now let’s have some fun.” I’m keeping the sofa, it was innocent and is open now to change.

 

Images:
Pottery Barn room
Bonnie at the Women Enough project
J. Crew

La Garçonne 20% Off Current Sale Prices For President’s Day


Today is the last day of La Garçonne’s President’s Day Sale. Home of Tomboy Luxe, they’re giving us 20% off their already discounted sale, which means some items are now 60% off total. And there’s still good stuff available, with the code LGPD20.

20% off $772.00 will take your final price closer to $600. Invest in drama. Maison Martin Margiela does the tulle hem trend, in silk and polyamide. Being adults, we might even smile, and wash our hair.

MaisonMartinMargielaLine1TulleDress_779657

Or classic shoes from a design house with a legendary name. Rochas lizard-embossed flats. They come in bronze and black, too. Let’s see, at $315 on sale, down from $450, less an additional 20%, that comes to, what, $250-ish?

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Or, just a really, really great sweatshirt in 100% cotton waffle weave. Final price with code, around $60.

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I think this Philip Lim bag is pretty cute too. If you have today off, enjoy the freedom. If you’re working, well, I bet you’re doing a great job, and I’d like to shake your hand.

 

Affiliate links may produce commissions.

The “Marry Ivy” Mom Sure Knows How To Ruin Valentine’s Day, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:13am


New-Name-For-P-ton-Mom

A sad state of affairs. It’s Valentine’s Day, 2015, and the most egregious advice on sex and marriage out there has co-branded an institution I love. No, I’m not referring to Mr. Kinsey and his club, or even Dr. Ruth and her empire, rather, to Susan Patton as the “P*ton Mom.” I’m eliding the university name for reasons that will become clear.

Ms. Patton first came to public attention when she advised young women who attend an Ivy League school to find their husbands among  schoolmates, as anyone they choose later in life would be stupid. I abridge, but, not too much. Recently, Ms. Patton upped the ante by suggesting  on CNN that date rape was a learning experience.

And there, my friends, the patience of reasonable people shattered.

A group of more than 100 of my classmates wrote this letter to the Daily Princetonian. Very gracefully, they manage to make very clear the extent of Ms. Patton’s misstep, without ever mentioning her name.

We are members of Princeton’s Class of 1978 who feel it necessary to speak up about sexual assault and rape in response to the undue repeated attention the media has given to the self-proclaimed “Princeton Mom.” We believe we speak for the great majority of Princeton moms and dads, as well as alumni who do not have children, in saying rape in general — and date rape in particular — is inexcusable, rape survivors deserve our help and support and anyone who sexually assaults another person should be prosecuted legally.

The media noticed.

Time Magazine picked up an article written by Princeton student, Logan Sander. She quoted more of the letter.

“The wider world continues to see this woman dressed in orange and black associating her out-of-touch personal beliefs with our alma mater. We—along with many other alumni—see these views as outrageous and unworthy of being associated with Princeton,”

The Washington Post reported on how the letter came to be written,

Like lots of people, Julie List had seen what a fellow Princeton alumna, Susan Patton, had to say in her book about the importance of finding a man at college. (Manicures and weight loss recommended). List held her tongue.

But when she heard that Patton, who has become known as “the Princeton Mom,” had said some date rapes weren’t rape so much as clumsy hookups that could be a “learning experience” for women, List couldn’t take it.

“I became really enraged. I was boiling mad,” said List, a therapist in New York, after hearing about Patton’s December interview on CNN. “She’s basically telling these young women that it’s their fault that they got raped.”

Facebook conversations ensued, the letter was written and sent.

The Chronicle of Higher Education noticed, so did Salon.

And Jezebel headlined (asterisks mine),

Mortified Classmates Of P*ton Mom Wish She’d Shut The F*ck Up

Well. At least no one’s confused. Except. One lingering issue remains. Can we stop calling her P*ton Mom. How about if I ask nicely? Send a valentine?

I can’t bear her co-opting Old Nassau’s brand any longer.

We might call her “Date Rape Mom,” but that would be inappropriate, and recommit her sin, i.e. trivializing a serious issue. So, may I suggest, “Marry Ivy Mom?” I’d propose “Marry Smart Mom” but that’s the title of her book and let’s not market her.

In all seriousness, Princeton, like all trusted organizations, needs to watch out for its reputation and behaviors around abuse of power. The university was known for anti-Semitism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time, and has been until recently one of the less diverse Ivies. Some eating clubs still suffer from bad actors. I am glad my alma mater takes a stand against against Ms. Patton’s stupidities. Luckily, the faculty had already spoken up, even before my class got involved.

My experience as a student, as I have said before, here, and here, was complicated. When my parents left their High WASP world, they drove fast, they took a train that didn’t stop. Although I loved my academic work to the point of intoxication, I was wholly confused by Old American social strata and mores. Even so, I remain a devoted alumna to this day.

As proof, I sent both my beloved children to New Jersey, from whence they take their sweet time in returning.

Ms. Patton shouldn’t be allowed to piggyback on what’s good about Princeton, and that about Princeton which needs to improve shouldn’t be masked, or supported, by her idiocy, sound, and fury.

I thank you in advance for your consideration. Have a wonderful weekend, whether you’re a fan of El Big Red Heart or not.