Category Archives: High WASP

Cultural Signifiers, Whatcha Got?


Here in North America, we’ve just emerged from a brief flurry of national insignia-waving.  (Hey there, Canada!) Which made me think, what are the signs of our micro-cultures? Forthwith, the High WASP Cultural Directory, Northern California Regional Variant Color: Navy blue. As I told you, early on. Accents in pale pink, spring green or a […]

We Are Not Flightless Birds On Stairways, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:36am


If you look back at this week you will see that my plan to keep blogging as though my mother weren’t moving into assisted living, her house did not need to be shown to property management companies, the furniture did not need to be reviewed for an estate sale, failed. You are not dummies. We […]

The Christmas Tightrope Of Obligation And Desire, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:04am


I was thinking about Christmas, which, for those of us who celebrate, is imminent. (Not immanent. By correctness shall ye know I’m in High WASP mode albeit recovering.) There’s this photograph, perhaps the only one we have of my family-of-origin Christmases, but certainly the only one that’s been framed and kept. My littlest sister, all […]

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Thankful (For Not Cooking Among Other Things), Or, Saturday Morning at 7:57am


Fellow Americans, are you cooking Thanksgiving this year? Got it all figured out? Still in denial? That works too. I’m off the hook. And am as pleased not to be cooking as I am about doing it other years. The mental space ordinarily occupied by organic turkey pre-order schedules is open. In a meadow waiting […]

Writing The Book On High WASPs, As It Were


Yesterday, Kristin over at Not Intent On Arriving was kind enough to interview me for her series, Writer Wednesdays. You can read it here, if you are so inclined. Thank you in advance for your time. Her questions got me thinking. First about being a writer, and then about the book I didn’t write. It was […]

A Visit To The California Estate Of Filoli, Complete With Family Dreams Of Wendover


Last weekend, I visited Filoli, a Northern Californian turn-of-last-century estate. Well-known, much-visited, somehow I’d never made the trip. A reader of this blog was living temporarily on the Peninsula. We’d chatted about local things to do, and before she left she was kind enough to suggest, “How about Filoli, together?” It’s pronounced Figh-Low-Lee, by the […]

Winter Holiday Traditions Of One High WASP Family


Somewhat surprisingly, the winter holiday traditions of my High WASP family were not strictly related to wealth. At least not to its consumption. Nor did they resemble Downton Abbey, except in the candlesticks and changing for meals. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so we’ll slow down, and take a reasonably well-organized stroll through High […]

7 Pieces For A Non-Rustic Thanksgiving Table: Posh, Or Nosh?


Anyone else out there with a fangirl love for table settings? Oh the crystal, oh the gilt, oh the gleam. While I appreciate rustic Thanksgiving tables – n a hello pretty picture kind of way – my heart belongs to fancy. Or, as the British say so endearingly, “Posh.” Perhaps I have a few allies […]

To The Princeton “Privilege Guy,” From A Middle-Aged Princeton Mother And Alumna


  Recently, you may have read an article or two about Tal Fortgang. He’s a Princeton freshman who wrote a piece for an on-campus publication (I’d never heard of) called “The Princeton Tory,” Tal questions the request to “Check your privilege.” Although he’s a white male, he points to his his family’s persecution in the […]

Dyeing Easter Eggs Long Ago, Or, Saturday Morning at 11:59am


It’s Easter and Passover season. To say nothing of Holi, last week’s Hindu festival. There may be other significant cultural and religious holidays around now, but those are all I know. To everyone, then,  greetings. In fact, I grew up in a non-religious household. I may be the only sibling who emerged a bona fide […]

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