Privilege Checks In With Friends: 2012


I’ve been writing Privilege for 3 years now. Here’s the first post ever. Proof positive that people can learn and improve.

On blog anniversaries, I like to summarize and check in. Last year Privilege Reported To The Board, in corporate speak. Now that the blog is no longer my work, I thought a confession in a bar after work more appropriate.

Imagine, then, we agreed to gather at 6:00pm. I arrive at 6:20, apologizing for tardiness. Someone needed to discuss something important, truly important, and I couldn’t get away. If Five Minutes Early Is On Time, 20 minutes late is criminal. I throw my scarf and peacoat over the back of a chair, hang a up ugly nylon backpack. You tease me that I must be really busy if I’m still carrying that thing. I sit down with a thwump and a rush. Elbows hit the bar.

You all are 2 fingers into your libation of choice. I order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, because a martini will get me too giddy too quickly I ask the waiter to bring us all some protein. Whether it’s ahi poke, or mini-sliders, or tofu teryaki I don’t care. It’s on me. I insist.

I ask politely how everyone is doing. But that takes force of will, because I want so badly to launch into the following:

You all who have been blogging all this while in full-time day jobs? Hats off to you, my friends, and a deep curtsy. Forehead to floor. It’s non-trivial, blogging well while one works.

Still, I feel lucky. The blog mostly holds its own. How so? In the last month we had a little over 55,000 page views, and 13,000 unique visitors. Views down a tad from last year, which makes sense since I post less often, visitor numbers about the same. Subscribers are up to around 2,000. I feel quite grateful that we’ve weathered the transition to Lisa Blogs And Works And Shows You Lots Of V-Neck Cashmere Sweaters.

Of course I had to make some changes. (I know, we’re in a bar, what’s with the bullet points? I have no excuse.)

  • Posting less often, two times a week and once on Saturdays.
  • Focusing more narrowly, on style and travel. Except Saturdays.
    • If you’re new to the blog, and wonder what kind of style, I’m going to say business casual, quiet dressing, and informal elegance, hoping some long time readers are better at copywriting than I and have crisper taglines of explanation.
  • While High WASP deconstruction will show up occasionally, I have to limit controversial topics like social class, as the response nearly brings me to my knees. I have only so much stamina, and right now the job takes its fair share. Fair enough since they pay me.
    • It’s not the Internet’s fault, by the way, that those posts are received with opprobrium. I try for too many layers of meaning.  High WASPs exist, but they shouldn’t, but they do, but I see the problem, but I still belong. And so on. Let’s face it, after the second but everyone’s wondering, “What Is That Lady’s Problem?!?”

I predict that we will move beyond cashmere sweaters. Quite soon, really. Think Marant, the accessible line. And I do plan to finish the story of  India, 1982.

So all I really regret about working is that I can no longer reply to all your comments. I tried. Failed. I tried replying to none of them. I felt too rude. Now I reply here and there, but read everything you say, devotedly. Promise, if you want a response, you’ll email me?

All right. Let’s say we are two drinks in. That’s my limit, these days, and even so a little more than good for the buttoned lip. This is what I’ve learned from blogging.

We all have voices. In the spoken world, there’s a lot going on, at any one time. Even the clearest voice may fragment – in banter, in worry, in anger.

Writing allows us to listen to ourselves without fracture. To observe our own knuckles on the keyboard. Writing on the Internet, which is really all I know, finds friends for the unspoken voice. In turn, those friends, and that voice, come back to teach the self that otherwise lives in pieces.

I think of blogging as lessons on what life and identity might be, had we infinite time and place.

Last year, I took a quarterly blog break. But, as I said, Privilege is no longer my job. As a result, I don’t need that particular vacation. Thank you all so much.

35 Comments

  • 02/23/12
    8:03 am

    Reply

    Lori @ Lori May Interiors said...

    Lisa, congratulations on your 3rd anniversary. You’re writing inspires me so, just as you did in person over 1 year ago. I wish you much success in the next year as you adjust to this new phase of life. I hope to meet you in person again soon.

    Take care,
    Lori

  • 02/23/12
    8:11 am

    Reply

    A Gift Wrapped Life said...

    Congratulations Lisa! As you know, blogging for three years takes discipline that we often don’t give ourselves credit for………..I too am just days past my 3 year point. Sometimes I wonder why I do it and then I forget about it and just blog. It seems to work though I do have days where I think gift wrapping isn’t an important enough subject. perhaps I should have a few bar stool meetings too……sounds like an excellent way to figure blog things out. Happy weekend and always enjoy your voice. XO

  • 02/23/12
    8:16 am

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    WorthyStyle said...

    Happy Anniversary! I am so happy with all of the things you do for you and I feel like you are happy and busy busy now, which makes me feel good. I DO want to hear more about India, because I love it and cannot relate and find it teaches me interesting lessons each time. Also, wish I had 2,000 subscribers, but then again I am pretty passive at my blog so what can you do? So glad you are still blogging… XOXO

    02/24/12
    10:08 pm
    Danielle said...

    Also looking forward to the rest of the India story! And I love those High WASP posts. Really, it’s a window into a fascinating other world for me.

  • 02/23/12
    8:18 am

    Reply

    materfamilias said...

    So glad you’re managing to blog and work full-time (and yes, it’s way too difficult!)– your voice is still one of the most interesting in my blogverse.

  • 02/23/12
    8:42 am

    Reply

    Sandra Jonas said...

    Lisa, Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary of Blogging. Always enjoy your posts and am amazed you can devote so much time to the blog while working full time.
    Gosh 2,000 subscribers!!!! I should give up!!

    02/24/12
    6:52 am
    Lisa said...

    Sandra – my subscribers came in large part via my guest posts in other places. Why don’t you write a garden post for Privilege? We’d love it!

  • 02/23/12
    8:42 am

    Reply

    Marcy Simmons said...

    Lisa,
    I love being at a virtual happy hour with you. I always look forward to hearing from you, whether it’s about those cashmere sweaters, sensible shoes, or the simple quiet of a Saturday morning. Congratulations on your anniversary, and thank you for carrying on!

  • 02/23/12
    8:56 am

    Reply

    DocP said...

    Congratulations! I look forward to future posts. I do hope you can steel yourself and do some high WASP deconstruction now and again.

    02/24/12
    6:53 am
    Lisa said...

    Yes. I will. I promise. But I may ask you all to hold my hand.

  • 02/23/12
    9:15 am

    Reply

    mary anne said...

    Congratulations on three years! Yours is one of the most interesting blogs around. I am still reading yours and can’t say the same for many others.

    I am grateful that you are able to blog and work at the same time.

    Here’s to another year of cashmere sweaters, India and the occasional High WASP discussion!

  • 02/23/12
    9:19 am

    Reply

    This Confetti Life said...

    Happy Anniversary! Cheers!

  • 02/23/12
    9:40 am

    Reply

    Dawn said...

    Happy Blogiversary! My time online is limited and valuable, and I am always happy to spend a few minutes of it here and learn from you. Thank you for sharing.

  • 02/23/12
    9:45 am

    Reply

    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

    Happy third anniversary and congratulations on the impressive stats Lisa. I think you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I’m so glad I found you this year and I’m looking forward to the new year. It’s a good day when I see your latest post in my mailbox.
    Sam

  • 02/23/12
    10:09 am

    Reply

    Sheryl said...

    Firstly, congratulations are of course due on the three years.

    Second, I love your ability to weave atmosphere through words. Posts that start like this one, with you setting a scene, are some of my favourites.

    02/23/12
    10:24 am
    Flo said...

    Yes, she sets a scene wonderfully!

    Raising my glass to you LPC! And thank you for improving my vocabulary all this time. I’m not ashamed to say I click dictionary.com at least once, frequently twice per post. I know you don’t set out to teach, but learning from you is a joy nevertheless, thank you for sharing yourself so generously.

    [And by the way, I see some cool skirts at Brooks Brothers, in some pretty good foundation prints, a couple of Liberty prints, a geometric and some dots.]

    02/24/12
    6:54 am
    Lisa said...

    Thank you. I love to imagine evenings with friends. The details seem so vivid in my mind.

  • 02/23/12
    10:33 am

    Reply

    Aleatha said...

    Congratulations! Were this blog your child, we might expect bright-eyed observations, moments of pure grace, articulacy. And so it is. Happy blog birthday! I’ll light a candle and have some cake in your blog’s honor, and chide anyone overly judgmental of its youthful stumbles.

  • 02/23/12
    10:52 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    Happy 3rd Blogaversary! I’ll have a Lagunitas Little Sumpin Ale and some of those sliders, thankyouverymuch.

    And really, retire that backpack, woman! You have a job now ;-)

  • 02/23/12
    11:04 am

    Reply

    pat hoar said...

    congratulations, I think that you write one of the most interesting informative and amusing blogs.

    02/24/12
    6:54 am
    Lisa said...

    Pat. Thank you.

  • 02/23/12
    11:12 am

    Reply

    Angelina said...

    Congratulations on your 3rd year blogging consistently. I love reading your insights on everyday life in the tech world, cashmere sweaters and denim, and maintaining some level of sanity in a busy, busy life. Cheers!

    -aCp in SF

  • 02/23/12
    11:22 am

    Reply

    K-Line said...

    Love this post! I think we have to have a martini despite that it will make us both loopy :-)

    02/23/12
    3:29 pm
    materfamilias said...

    The shaker’s in the freezer, along with a few bottles of decent martini fixings. Why don’t you fly out from Toronto and Lisa can head up from San Francisco and we could loopily watch my sealions together and drink toasts to cashmere?!

    02/23/12
    4:01 pm
    K-Line said...

    Oh, I am so down with that! Between the gin, conversation and those sunsets we will have an awesome time.

    02/24/12
    6:55 am
    Lisa said...

    Top of my list is a trip to Vancouver…

    02/24/12
    4:47 pm
    materfamilias said...

    Meanwhile, virtual martinis here . . . ;-)

  • 02/23/12
    11:58 am

    Reply

    Mise said...

    Well done, Lisa. You are one of the few bloggers with good old-fashioned spin, the ability to send your thoughts from an unexpected angle and have them land straight and true right on the mark. That’s why I am still here, coating gently along with the cashmere sweaters and sitting up more attentively when you speak of yourself and your role among all the other selves.

  • 02/23/12
    12:14 pm

    Reply

    Tabitha said...

    Lisa, congratulations on three years, that is quite a feat.
    I learn so much from you and wish I had had a woman like you around me earlier in my life.

  • 02/23/12
    1:51 pm

    Reply

    The Preppy Princess said...

    I can remember that first post like it was last year….not last week, but certainly not three years back. So many classics spring to mid, the white shirt, your brother’s wedding posts, those on India and from when you visit your mother, and yes, those posts that created the serious angst and hurt and anxiety.

    You are a treasure, I am grateful to just be able to read you when you have time to post. Not to worry about not being able to manage posts and comment responses. I briefly tried way back when and failed miserably.

    I like to think I can be part of the virtual cocktails and conversation, but remain troubled that you are so very tardy to the party. (Gasp. Heh-heh-heh.)
    Sending you a hug,
    tp

  • 02/23/12
    3:11 pm

    Reply

    Diane said...

    I raise my glass to you Lisa, congratulations on 3 years! Looking forward to many posts to come!

  • 02/23/12
    4:26 pm

    Reply

    hostessofthehumblebungalow said...

    Lisa congratulations! 3 years of quality posting is a fabulous achievement.
    I particularly like that we are meeting in a bar today.
    mater has offered up her idyllic island home for some martini’s I could drive up and catch the ferry…
    I would be happy to bring some Hendrick’s and olives:)

    Working and blogging is a challenge, I know as I do try to do both and still maintain a balance.

    Cheers!
    Hostess
    XO

  • 02/23/12
    8:32 pm

    Reply

    Tempest in a Pink Teacup said...

    Congratulations! I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile now and admire the roads you have taken. Hope to have it around for many years to come!

  • 02/23/12
    8:36 pm

    Reply

    metscan said...

    Congratulations Lisa! I don´t remember when I first found your blog, nor do I remember when you first time commented on mine, but it was a long time ago..
    Your Saturday morning posts are so inspiring. Sometimes they leave me breathless.
    I look forward to reading your blog in the future too!
    Thank you for everything so far : ).

  • 02/23/12
    9:49 pm

    Reply

    Terri said...

    Happy Blogiversary. You’re so right that blogging teaches us, our readers reach and teach us. I like the scenario of meeting in a bar. Each Wednesday night in my American Lit II class, that is how we end the evening: William Dean Howells walks into a bar. What does he order to drink? What does he have to say about Ambrose Bierce writing? What does Bierce drink and what does he say to Howells…and so on until we have reviewed all the authors we’ve read and discussed and studied.

    02/24/12
    6:56 am
    Lisa said...

    Now that’s literary criticism I can get behind.

  • 02/24/12
    3:59 am

    Reply

    pve said...

    Lisa,
    I do love the notion of meeting weekly for lively victuals and drink. (protein is a good thing too) Whilst I am in year 5, I admire so many of (us) who are determined to post as often as our lives allow and how fortunated our lines connect in this fast paced life. Heavens, time to meet for a little spirited convo, I am thrilled to be in such fine company.
    Post when you can. There is not blog measure or bar to pass.
    Cheerio –
    pve

  • 02/24/12
    5:21 am

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    When I started blogging (4 yrs next month) I worked and posted 5x/wk and then cut way back. Overstretching shows up in one’s writing and it certainly showed up in my responses.

    Congratulations and if you posted once a month I’d read with gratitude. More India would of course thrill me.

  • 02/24/12
    7:40 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    Congratulations Lisa. I don’t remember when I first found your blog, but I think I began reading blogs about 1 1/2 years ago, and yours is one of the first I found. I really enjoy your posts, and your writing is superb. As others have said, you always have a unique spin on things that I love.

  • 02/24/12
    9:11 am

    Reply

    beautifuldreamer1066 said...

    Your comment about the small voice becoming lost during daily banter yet becoming found again through writing struck a chord with me. I have journaled for over forty years and still turn to writing when I feel unheard or lose my personal compass. Following your blog as well as a select few others has brought down the imposing yet quite fragile walls of isolation I feel as a “writer”. I thank you for that.

  • 02/24/12
    9:59 am

    Reply

    susan said...

    I look forward to more high wasp posts. Many of us are willing to hold your hand.
    Those posts are the ones that truly set your blog apart.

  • 02/24/12
    10:09 am

    Reply

    Caron said...

    Hi, Lisa. I have taken a bit of a break too. Had to for sanity’s sake but the first person I looked for upon opening my Google Reader for the first time in months was you. It is most reassuring that you have changed your line of work but not forgotten your blog. That’s WASP stability for you.
    One question though, why move past cashmere? Even Isabel Marant makes a fine sweater and we have lovely loose styles on our drawing board, too. Evolution is imperative but the building block classics will always remain.
    XOX
    Queenie

  • 02/24/12
    5:39 pm

    Reply

    Susan Tiner said...

    I’m amazed that you’re still blogging now that you’re working! Congratulations on the stats. I second Tabitha’s comment: I wish I’d had a woman like you around me earlier in life.
    xoxo

  • 02/24/12
    6:39 pm

    Reply

    Austyn said...

    Lisa, I just want to say that I love your blog, and I’m so glad I stumbled into it a little less than 3 years ago. Your writing is wonderful. I have little time to read blogs or comment, but I frequently make time to check in with you, even as things have gotten so busy for me the last three years.

    I appreciate your interaction with your readers, and of course understand that you cannot always respond to comments given your commitments. Don’t worry about it! At the moment, with full time work responsibilities and a 13 month old, I can barely construct a decent comment to say, “You’re great! Keep it up! I appreciate you!” Reading your posts has really always felt to me like having tea or a drink with an admired female mentor-friend, so the scene you’ve woven here is really apropos. Well done.

    02/25/12
    10:09 am
    Lisa said...

    You and Susan and Tabs astonish me – there is no greater honor than having someone say they wish they’d known me when they were young. Thank you.

  • 02/24/12
    11:19 pm

    Reply

    Sandy said...

    Congradtulations! Champagne for everyone!

    Your blog is a delight to look forward to, through the weeks and years.

    Bravo!

    02/25/12
    10:10 am
    Lisa said...

    Hi Sandy. Thank you:).

  • 02/25/12
    5:33 am

    Reply

    BarbaraG said...

    Lisa,
    Congratulations on your three year anniversary. Thank you for your generous opinion
    on my what to wear emails. I encourage your writing of family history and clothes, of
    course, and all else that incorporates your unique perspective.

    Continued success and Cheers!
    BarbaraG

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