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.