The ‘Privilege’ Reader Survey Results

Well hello everyone. Back from my break. It was lovely and I missed you.

Some asked to review the reader survey results. Of course. Except for that one embarrassing question about finances. Never mind advertisers and book publishers. We are far too well-mannered to let anyone’s financial situation color our feelings about who or what they are. (Note that the graphics here should expand when clicked, and become legible to all eyes.)

What you are, of course, is profoundly female. Let me just say thank you to the handful of men who continue to read. We like you. But we understand.

Let’s also support the continuum, however it distributes.

You populate life stages much more evenly.

More of you are my age, however, than you are either very young, young, young-ish, or older. That’s interesting. So much for any thought that midlife women are afraid of computers.

And what, my friends, are your heart’s desires?

Because you are all such good people, world peace wins. Because you are almost all women in America, a country plagued by ever-present advertising photos of scarcely-fleshed women, and calorie-dense food, you also wish for the calories-off button.

This question made me think. Quite rightly. What would I have chosen? Probably, if I thought my wish would actually come true, world peace, world safety, world healing. But among outcomes I feel I can affect, my heart’s desire has always been to write.

Curiously, I find now that I’m writing, my other heart’s desire is a unified identity. I grew up in a High WASP family transplanted to California, took myself back East to Princeton, and then ricocheted through India like a squash ball on a far-away wall only to land in corporate America. I believe I grew rudimentary selves like partial twins. And then moved on, unresolved. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation, midlife.

By way of metaphoric example, let’s examine the implications of the clothing purchases I presented. Note, this larger meaning was unconscious and unplanned when I wrote the questions.

You picked the leather jacket for me. Wise people.

Consider. Jack Rogers sandals- classic prep – on one side, Alexis Bittar – artsy in Soho – on the other. The leather jacket stands as as sort of sartorial Golden Mean, classic, yes, but open to many interpretations. And therefore allowing good cost per wear. One wants as much cost per wear from a self as from clothes.

I thank you all, warmly, for affording me a chance to unify. Feels quite full of grace.

(However, I will look into splitting Privilege feeds and posts along category lines so you can choose what to read. Just because I want to unify my identity, doesn’t mean you all want to hear every voice.)

Finally, my favorite part was your extemporaneous heart’s desires. A list of exactly why the human world is so unbearably lovely. Desire opens the gate to pain, but also rapture.

I’ve taken out any responses I thought might identify the writer, and any responses that were about me. I heard you, nice people, and I thank you, but this one is about you, not me. If anyone sees their answer and wants it removed, email me and I will make modifications. Otherwise, I think it is too moving to leave behind a firewall. This may be the only poem you’ll ever see on Privilege. Fittingly, it’s yours. And if you didn’t submit  yours, you can go do so at the survey, and I will update.

You will find it here. Worth a read. Onward to shoes and the House of Mirth. Fittingly.

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  • Ha – surprising, yet not really surprising. And very interesting.

    Can’t wait to see the leather jacket. ;)

  • We missed you too! But the great thing about your week off is it gave me a chance to read some of your wonderful archives.

    The reader responses are great — I love seeing the similar threads as well as unique wishes. I feel this could become an art project, but not sure how…

  • The list does read like poetry. Can you imagine what it would be like to attend a conference filled with ‘Privilege’ readers? Heaven.

    Thanks for letting us add our little bit to your blog.

  • Excellent idea. I missed the original survey but choose world peace, the leather jacket and am the meat of the story!

  • Ah, I love pie charts and numbers. This was a fascinating post. Welcome back!

  • It’s clear that your readers are intelligent, thoughtful, creative, talented, fundamentally kind women. What a fascinating bunch! And that’s a tribute to you, Ms. Lisa, because if you were not the same, you could not attract this readership.

  • LPC, Following the lead of MCM, may I suggest Stephen Bonanno instead of Jack Rogers? As Mel has written, and as I have learned from her, they are the original preppy sandals; JR is the knockoff.

    1:19 pm
    Jamie said...

    Agreed on the Jack Rogers. Mine are stiff and never quite break in. However, my Bonannos mold to the feet and I can walk for miles in them.

  • Love the survey results!! Stephen Bonannos are comfy from day 1. :-) xoxo

  • All very interesting. I wonder why many more women blog than men? Could it be a macho thing or perhaps a lack of focus?

  • Oh my word, I’m with Louise on the Privilege convention! Can I be Twitter coordinator?

    This is such a grand post Miss Privilege, like Muffy, I adore the pie charts, and I also *love* the lists that “read like poetry,” for they do. Perhaps my favorite part is the “ricocheted through India like a squash ball” analogy, it is classic. And very Privilege.

    So happy you are back!

  • Hi Lisa,

    Glad you’re back….thanks for showing the results of the survey…it was fun to take!
    Also, your readers sound like a great group of people. Look forward to more posts!

  • I’m so surprised by the number of people who chose fame. – you loons!

    Whoever wants to live in England will Scotland do for a house swap?
    And bagsy make some pastries for the person who wants to open a really good coffee shop.

  • Very interesting, and it gives much more of a sense of we, the commentators, as a group than does the more haphazard comment box. I like to imagine us as a Greek chorus, mourning in song the tragedy of the wrong shoes.

  • Jan – Glad you found it interesting. I, as you can imagine, was fascinated:). The leather jacket has been percolating for some time. I enjoy a long hunt.

    Danielle – Can I tell you how much I appreciated you reading my archives? Really, thank you so much. And I too would like to make this an art project. I think I will be able to do it, using Google Docs, but it will take a little time.

    Louise – Oh my goodness, the degree of intelligence, civility, and fun clothing. Say no more, as the Clan Python puts it. Thank you very much for contributing.

    That’s Not My Age – Ha! Cut to the chase. Thank you.

    Muffy – Thank you. I’m happy to be back. And I think I’ll continue to revert to corporate mode here and there. Don’t like to let it rust away altogether.

  • Andrea – I thank you. If my readers reflect me I am a better person than I knew.

    Miss Cavendish – Understood. Thank you for the tip. I’m thinking shell and white.

    Jamie – Vote #2, thank you!

    Preppy 101 – And it’s unanimous!!!! xox

    James – Men blog, but it is most often narrow-casting, focused on one topic more than the general life blogs of many women. Except you, and Toad, and Maxi, of course:). Oh, and Trad. Otherwise I don’t see many real life Samuel Pepys out there.

    12:17 pm
    Flo said...

    “Men blog, but it is most often narrow-casting, focused on one topic more than the general life blogs of many women. Except you, and Toad, and Maxi, of course:). Oh, and Trad. Otherwise I don’t see many real life Samuel Pepys out there.”

    I think you’ll enjoy Brad Emerson’s blog “The Down East Dilettante,” not least because his latest post mentions relatives of yours [via the Gouverneur Morris line, nephews I think]. I discovered the connection while researching the Hunt brothers just to stay up to speed with the Dilettante [never easy, don’t know why I try]. F.

  • TPP – :). Squash, the metaphor for our 20s. I’d love to have you as Twitter coordinator. Now if Starwood hotels would just ante up a room block at the St. Regis San Francisco at Motel 6 rates, we’d be good to go.

    SouthernWASP – Glad to be back. And very glad you enjoyed taking the survey. It was very helpful to me.

    Tabitha – We are loons, we Murricans, absolute loons. I bags the creampuff.

    Mise – Ah. Yes. Although in some ways the perfect shoe is even more melancholy.

  • Good to have you back, ma’am.