Soccer moms can’t make art – can they?

Who decides what’s art and what is not art?

(Hahahahaha that’s a trick question we all know who decides)

Michelle Grabner’s sculpture – a cast of a crocheted blanket – on the Milwaukee River.

What is art?

And who decides what is art?

Well we all know – or if you think about it, we should know – the answer to the second question.

Men.

Men decide what is art.

And guess what?

Art is what men do. Craft is what women do. And craft is lesser.

You think I am making this up?

I am not.

I read a book a few years ago – I can’t remember the title but it turns out this conversation is still ongoing – about art and craft. The TLDR is that at the beginning of the 19th century, there was a debate about art. What is it?

And the TLDR on that is that basically, if women do it, it’s craft, but if men do it, it’s art.

Crafts can include weaving, carving, pottery, embroidery, macrame, beading, sewing, quilting, and many other forms. 

Eden Gallery

Quick question: Who usually does the weaving and the embroidery and the sewing and the quilting?

OK, they included carving in the list, but the rest – it’s women.

And, NB, if men do it, it becomes art. When men design and sew clothes, they are tailors or even fashion designers. When men cook, they are chefs. You get the picture.

This entire piece on the debate is really interesting, but this quotation sums it up: If it’s useful and used in the home (that is, if WOMEN make it), it’s not art. Only art that exists for art’s sake is art.

Craftspeople traditionally made items that had a domestic function; even those of a high quality didn’t have the same luxury status as art, which has no practical purpose. This distinction gave the crafts a lower status, and craftspeople were considered working class, while artists often moved in high society circles.

Eden Gallery

Mr T and I went on a sculpture tour last night. We saw a piece – photo above – by Michelle Grabner, a Milwaukee artist who teaches at the Art Institute in Chicago. This piece was clearly part of this series: “Many are sculptural casts of hand-knitted and crocheted blankets that reflect her career-long interest in domestic environments and everyday life.” (Source)

Not to mention challenge the ideology that craft <> art. She is making ART out of a CRAFT.

Grabner has been criticized as being a “soccer mom.” In a 2014 New York Times review of her show, a critic called her a “soccer mom” and said her art was “bland.”

Nothing in all this is more interesting than the unexamined sociological background of the whole. If the show were a satire of the artist as a comfortably middle-class tenured professor and soccer mom, it would be funny and possibly illuminating, but it’s not.

Is being a soccer mom bad?

Can soccer moms not create art?


I am reminded of the debate that Jennifer Weiner has been waging on the behalf of female writers against the patriarchy. She notes that when women write about women’s lives, the books are dismissed as “chick lit,” but when men (like Jonathan Frazen – full disclosure I HATE HIS BOOKS) do it, it’s literature.

Do I think I should be getting all of the attention that Jonathan “Genius” Franzen gets? Nope. Would I like to be taken at least as seriously as a Jonathan Tropper or a Nick Hornby? Absolutely.

Jennifer Weiner

She also notes that the majority of the reviewers at the New York Times and the reviews are by men, for men.

However, I think it’s irrefutable that when it comes to picking favorites – those lucky few writers who get the double reviews AND the fawning magazine profile AND the back-page essay space AND the op-ed, or the Q and A edited and condensed by Deborah Solomon – the Times tends to pick white guys. Usually white guys living in Brooklyn or Manhattan, white guys who either have MFAs or teach at MFA programs…white guys who, I suspect, remind the Times’ powers-that-be of themselves, minus twenty years and plus some hair.

Jennifer Weiner

Mr T and I watched a woman weave a scarf.

She designed the scarf herself. She threaded the loom. She shuttled every single thread through, one by one.

This, my friends, is what the art world considered and still considers to be “craft,” which, by their own admission, is not as worthy as “art.”

What do you think? Is it art?

Two scarves with the same warp – longitudinal threads – but different weft – horizontal threads.
Photo credit, Woods Hall Gallery and Studios, La Pointe, WI

Stupid people ruin everything

“I will not donate a single dime to a trader of the USA!” texted an idiot about my candidate

Read Jeff’s new book about a TRAITOR. It’s excellent.

We are a representative democracy. And every citizen deserves representation.

Even the stupid ones.

But y’all – I am done. There’s a limit and I have found it.

I can handle stupid+good. I can handle stupid+willing to learn. I can handle ignorant+good+willing to learn.

What I cannot handle is stupid+ignorant+evil.

You know who I’m talking about.

Yes.

Trump supporters. Current trump supporters.


I’m volunteering for a male candidate for Congress who is running against an incumbent. (The incumbent is a trumper.)

The campaign sends out texts and then we volunteers answer them with canned replies, although I have been correcting the grammar on those canned replies and will sometimes modify the reply.

For instance, someone asked to be removed from the list, saying that the person who had had the number had died, so of course the human response is to not only remove the number from the list but also to say, “I am sorry for your loss.” We are not monsters.

Where I struggle is with responding to stupid people.

Sometimes, I let myself write the answer I want, such as in this case:

One person replied that he would not donate money to my candidate, so I asked who he was supporting for the seat my candidate is running for.

“TRUMP 2024!” he answered.

To which I replied – I couldn’t help it – “Is Trump running for Congress in 2024?”

Other times, I have to hold myself back because I don’t want anything to blow up for my candidate.

You will not win. I will not donate a single dime to a trader of the USA!!

My immediate impulse was to respond with “it’s ‘traitor,’ not ‘trader.'”

(But I didn’t.)

Do you believe in God? Democratic party praises Satin. You will not receive a donation from this house. We stand with God.

You know where I wanted to go with this one. (But I didn’t.)

If only you knew how BETTER it would be if your whore of a mother swallowed you, instead of shitting you out, you PEDOPHILIC POS ZHERVA ABORTA, SHLYUKHA TROTSKAYA.

FUCK YOU FUCK YOUR GOVERNMENT FUCK ALL YOUR POLITICIANS YOU ARE SPAWNS OF THE SATAN

Repent or hell is yours forever ask Gid to forgive you and be righteous not a politician

Satin/an is a popular theme. As is Gid.

Pound salt you communist pig

Is pounding salt a thing?

Blow it out your ass [candidate]. I would not vote for you if you we’re running against Adolph Hitler

What I wanted to say: “were. ‘Were’ running against…” (But I didn’t.)

I hope you trip on a rock in the middle of the night and stub your toe

After all the vitriol, this one seemed kind of – sweet. Although who has rocks on the floor of their bedroom?


How can I be so sure these people are stupid, ignorant, and evil?

Easy.

They still support trump.

Despite everything, they still support him.

So either they know what he’s done and what he’s really like and they don’t care, which makes them evil, or they have no clue, which makes them ignorant, and no interest in learning, which makes them stupid.

I know people who voted for him in 2016 because they had always voted for Republicans.

But as the horrors of that man emerged (well, more horrors), they changed. A dear college friend said her mom and dad had always voted R because that’s just what they did. But with trump, they were so horrified that not only are they now supporting Ds, they are also active in the Lincoln Project.

That, my friends, is the appropriate response.

Not doubling down on your support (looking at a few cousins to whom I will probably never speak again).


I think most of these people – the texters above – are just stupid blowhards who find daring in anonymity, but there is a real-life impact of this kind of thing. A friend is running for state office. Last night, she messaged me to ask if I was out of town with Mr T.

“I asked if he would do doors with me,” she said, “but he said he’s gone hiking for a week.”

She’s trying to find people to campaign with her during the day.

“I can’t go alone for safety reasons,” she wrote.

She has gotten death threats. I’m sure she has gotten rape threats, too, because that’s what some men do.

Mr T ran for office four times and not once in all that time did we think that he shouldn’t campaign alone.

No, he didn’t get death threats or rape threats, but even without such threats, my friend would probably be reluctant to go out on her own.

I offered to help if she thought a middle-aged woman would count as protection.

“I just need another person so I can’t get attacked or kidnapped and no one knows,” she answered.

Because there are stupid, evil people out there. Still.

When the men are wrong and the woman is right

“I was right,” the anthropology professor said. “I was RIGHT.”

Aztalan mounds in Wisconsin. Source

Mr T and I went to the Aztalan mounds in southern Wisconsin to hear an anthropology professor from the University of Wisconsin at Madison talk about her research: how the late Woodland population and members of the Mississippian civilization lived together and how they got together in the first place.

(Why did I not learn any of this in school? I barely knew the names “Apache” and “Navajo” and they were rarely mentioned in the context of anything good.)

As the professor was giving us the background, a small woman with long graying hair secured by four barrettes, her leathery, wrinkled face without makeup, wearing faded clothes and Birkenstocks and sitting on a tiger-print coat, raised her hand and asked in accented English (Russian, maybe?) if it was possible that the Mississippians had migrated north via the Mississippi River.

Which – was not what I was expecting a little old-ish lady to ask, especially a little old-ish lady with a heavy accent.

Maybe she was also an anthropologist? Maybe she was an anthropologist who had been forced to flee from her native country? And she couldn’t get another university job? But she was current on the literature and wanted to talk to a colleague?

I don’t know. I want to know! I want the full story. What I do know is that Little Old-ish Lady asked some great questions and made the whole thing a lot more interesting.


Back to the professor.

Some kind of imaging technology had helped her see what might be underground. Even though other mound communities didn’t have houses in certain areas, this new technology indicated there might be something in the plaza. (Is that where? I can’t remember for sure – it’s been a few weeks since this happened.)

Other archeologists and other anthropologists insisted there couldn’t possibly be anything in that area, but the professor asked for permission to dig.

And she found stuff.

She found houses and the other things she was looking for.

“I was right,” she said, as she told us the story. “I was RIGHT.”


My friend and former co-worker (at a tech company) – let’s call her Ali – is an archeologist. She left the profession because she was tired of life on the road.

“[The professor] said other archeologists discounted her ideas,” I texted her. “She meant ‘men,’ I bet.”

Ali replied, “Archaeologists are jerks. And yes, they are mostly men.”

But we knew that, right?

If a woman asks a man to stop talking, does she make a sound?

When the person who wants to give you money for your tomatoes asks you to stop talking, STOP TALKING

What do you do when a man is being annoying and you ask him to stop and he doesn’t stop?

All I wanted was a few tomatoes and some corn on the cob.

But when Mr T and I started discussing which tomatoes to get and which corn to get, the vendor – whose entire job is to get people to give him money – interjected himself into the conversation with his musings on the proper roles of men and women.

“Who does the cooking?” the vendor asked.

“She does most of it,” Mr T said.

The vendor nodded in satisfaction.

I picked a box of tomatoes and showed it to Mr T. “What about these?” I asked him.

The vendor nodded again. “He’s THE MAN but I bet you’re THE BOSS!” he said.

“Uh huh,” I answered politely, “uh-huh” being a nice way of saying, “I know there are words coming out of your mouth but I do not want to listen to them. Even if I were not busy selecting tomatoes, I would not want to listen to you.”

“I mean,” the vendor continued, “we all know who the man is and who the woman is but we all really know who THE BOSS is!”

“Uh huh,” I said again, as Mr T disagreed with my choice of tomatoes, which was fine because he cares way more than I do and whatever tomatoes is not the hill I am dying on and it’s not like he picks bad tomatoes anyhow. He is an excellent selector of tomatoes.

We walked around to the corn and Mr T started to examine it.

“He’s picking the corn? But you’re the cook!” the vendor said.

“He’s better at picking corn,” I said.

(This is true – Mr T is also a very good selector of corn.)

“In the Bible,” the vendor volunteered, “the man is the head of the household but we all know who is really in charge!” he said.

“Yeah we’re not going to have this conversation,” I said. “Please stop.”

The vendor persisted. “But in the BIBLE….” he said.

“I do not like where this conversation is going,” I interrupted. “Please. Please stop talking.”

It did not work.

He kept talking.

Because he’s the man and if the man wants to talk, it doesn’t matter what a woman wants.

However.

He is not the only one selling tomatoes or corn.

So I will never see him again.

Hide the sex toys

If you don’t have a friend you can trust to clean out your Box of Stuff, then you have been living your life wrong

From Helen Ellis’ “Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light”

I’m going to gossip about relatives and I’m not even embarrassed about it.

But first – heed my advice.

If you have any kind of toys or equipment or nekkid photos of you and anyone else with or without the toys or equipment, keep them all in a box and enlist a trusted friend – give her a key – to burn it (without opening it) when you die. Make those arrangements right now.

Here’s the thing: Your kids, even if they are adults, do not want to see your toys. They do not want to see your equipment. They do not want to see your collection of vintage porn. They do not want to see photos of you naked. With equipment.


And yet.

And yet.

And yet.

When Mr T’s parents died, he got to see all of that.

In all of the mess of settling their estate – they made him executor but disinherited him, which was mean, so don’t do that. It’s OK to give all your money to your grandkids, but to give all your money to your grandkids and then still stick your child with all the work of not only closing the estate but also then being the trustee for the grandkids?

That is next-level assholery.

Don’t be those people.


So that wasn’t bad enough. But then, Mr T’s parents apparently either thought they would never die or shrugged their shoulders at the idea of Mr T finding and having to discard their – their stuff.

And we did find it.

No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to erase the image of my sister in law opening the nightstand and pulling out a – toy. She started laughing in shocked surprise, then wagged the – toy – around.

You could not have paid me a million dollars to touch that thing.

(Well yes I would have touched it for a million dollars but not for ten dollars.)

Mr T also found a strap on. And he found photos of his parents naked. With – you know.

Y’all! I am not a prude! Grown folks acting with full consent, do what you want to do!

But hear this:

Nobody in the entire world ever wants to see naked photos of his parents. Ever. Even the most twisted person does not want that.

Do it. Do it right now. Put the stuff in a box. Label it “Tax records 2003-07” so nobody gets curious. Put the box on a shelf in your closet. Call your best friend. Ask her to commit to getting rid of the box when you die. Buy her a drink the next time you see her. And know that you will not be inflicting distress on your kids.

On why I don’t want to wait to use my Nice Things

So many takeaways from COVID and one of them is that Life is Short

When my grandmother moved into the nursing home, she had a small stash of Nice Things. Some of them were gifts – fancy soaps and toiletries – that she returned to the giver, some were items that I guess she had had for a long time – nightgowns, tablecloths – that she was saving for a special occasion.

Instead of using the Good Soap, she used Irish Spring. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Irish Spring, but sometimes, it’s nice to use the Lavender with Goats’ Milk.)

Instead of using the Fancy Nightgowns, she slept in what she had.

I understand, I think. She grew up very poor and never did have much money. I mean, this was a woman who mended and re-used her pantyhose. She knew how to get along with what she had.

But even if what she had was nice, she wouldn’t use it. The time wasn’t right.

And then she got too old and had to move into a nursing home and never used the Nice Things at all.


Mr T and I have, in the course of our marriage, broken or damaged things, including the red ITALIAN bowls you see above.

OK – true confession – I did get them at TJMaxx, but that does not make me love them any less.

(Gorgeous AND a great deal!)

We have also chipped the beautiful pasta bowls my friends Dave and Laura got for me.

(Pro tip: Part of keeping your ceramics nice is not to get the Zojila dishrack. The slots are too small and your dishes will slip and chip and crack. I hate you, Zojila.)

I have found replacements for the damaged bowls on eBay.

No, they weren’t cheap. That is, they cost more than the original prices.

I don’t care. I like having nice things to use every day.

Yet Mr T’s attitude is that the new, undamaged items should live in the attic until the damaged items are completely unusable.

That is, we should use the damaged goods instead of the – the – the good goods.

(And yes, I have learned how to place items in the dishdrainer to prevent cracking. Basically, you can dry one bowl at a time because it has to sit completely upside down. Again – I hate you, Zojila.)

Mr T is concerned about damaging things through normal use.

It’s a lot easier to bake and cook when he’s out of the house, because if he’s here, he hovers and looms and worries about ALL THE DIRTY DISHES and WHAT IF I SPILL SOMETHING ON THE FLOOR and HEY THAT’S MESSY!

Although I find it hard to believe based on what I saw of his parents’ house – they did not really run a tight ship when it came to tidiness or cleanliness, I suspect he was beaten with a cat o’ nine tails when he deviated at all from absolute neatness when was a child.

(As in, shortly after we met, he vacuumed the pollen off some cut sunflowers so it wouldn’t fall on the table.)

(Yes I know this is very very weird.)

So you see what I’m up against.

And yet – I persisted.

And I prevailed.

And I have convinced Mr T that we will switch the damaged bowls for the good bowls and will happily, merrily (at least I will – Mr T will probably use them trepidatiously) use our Nice Things Before We Die.

Amen.

The solution is so obvious

When a 6’6″, 250-lb man mansplains how I should deal with rude behavior

Mr T, my friend L, and I were at a music festival. It was all free to see a ton of amazing musicians, so we were grateful and didn’t want to complain about anything. How can you complain about great music delivered to you for nothing?

I admit I wasn’t happy about being in an enclosed space with unmasked people and on a warm day, at that, but then I realized I could solve the problem. At least, I could solve the problem of warm, stagnant air.

I opened the plastic walls.

Nobody stopped me and indeed, others joined me. Soon, we had airflow and it was much more comfortable.

But dealing with the Standers was a little more challenging.

For an hour – an entire hour, people drifted in front of us and stopped. They didn’t sit in the empty seats near us. They didn’t check to make sure they weren’t blocking anyone’s view.

They just walked until they hit a chokepoint and then they stopped.

Sometimes, they danced. I don’t want to harsh anyone’s mellow and I believe you should dance if the spirit so moves you, but what dancing does is make it impossible for me to adjust to your position. That is, even if I move a bit so I can now see the performer, you move as well and – there you go, blocking me again.

For the first hour, we just laughed about it. Every few minutes, a new person would step into the spot where he blocked our view. We rolled our eyes and laughed, but after an hour, it got to be a bit annoying.

That was when Mr T stomped in front of one of the standers to block the stander’s view. Mr T was going to Show Them!

He lasted 22 seconds.

Then he slunk back to his seat.

He couldn’t bear to be rude.

Which of course is one of the reasons I love him.

We had to resort to grand gestures to indicate our displeasure. We pointed to the empty seats. We laughed louder and rolled our eyes – well, rollier? In any case, it was probably clear to anyone paying attention that we recognized the situation and were not terribly happy about it.

As we got up to leave – our musician had finished, a huge man – maybe 6’6″ with big muscles – came over to me.

(Not to Mr T, but to me. Because it’s the Little Woman who needs telling, right?)

“Just let it go,” he advised. “And if you can’t, then just ask them to move.”

  1. Total stranger
  2. Giving me advice
  3. I had not asked for
  4. And would not work in this context

What even is the proper answer?

What I wanted to say:

  1. I’m supposed to ask every single person who has blocked my view over the past hour to move? Which means I would be asking someone every three minutes or so?
  2. Did I ask you for advice?
  3. What color is the sky in your world? The world where women’s requests of men are heeded immediately and never turn into bad situations?
  4. Did I ask you?
  5. I bet that works for you.
  6. Did I ask you?
  7. Did I ask you?
  8. Did I ask you?

What I did:

I adopted the strategy I used years ago when I was a clerk at Macy’s over Christmas.

I couldn’t use my current online strategy, which is not to argue or engage in any way with idiots, but the Macy’s strategy is close: Say anything to get them to go away.

“If you don’t like it,” he persisted, “you should just say something!”

“Of course you are right,” I said.

“Don’t just get mad! Just ask them!” he continued.

Because when women just ask men to do something, they do it! It always works! THANK YOU SIR!

We’d be pretty if we would just fix ourselves

There’s nothing wrong with us that surgery, hunger, or expensive new clothes can’t fix

From Helen Ellis’ “Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told – by a man who is looking at your almost naked except for your underwear body – that you would be cute if you would just lose a little weight.

Raise your hand if you’ve happened to see a note scribbled next to your name: “smiles, plump.”

Raise your hand if you mom put you on a diet when you were five.

Raise your hand if you find a silver lining in covid masks because they hide your teeth, which you hate because they are yellow from the tetracycline you had when you were four.


When are we right? When are we done? When are we OK as we are?


A few years ago, my mom had to have that eyelid surgery because her droopy eyelids were affecting her vision.

Because I am pretty much my mom’s clone, both physically and psychologically (a former boyfriend who met my mom, her sister, and my sister said, “It’s not that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It’s that the tree placed the apple exactly where it wanted it to be.”), I thought Well, in 20 years, I will also need that surgery.

Then I thought maybe I should investigate it now, as the body heals faster when it’s younger.

I went to the doc for a consult. He spent some time looking at my eyes and my eyelids and yeah, sure, he could do it and now I needed to wait in the waiting room to talk to the money people about next steps.

While I was waiting, he ran out to me.

“I CAN FIX YOUR EYEBROW, TOO!” he said.

I raised them. My eyebrows. What was he talking about?

“Your left eyebrow is lower than your right. I can fix that.”

I had never noticed. Not once in my entire life.

I had never noticed this flaw so huge that a plastic surgeon runs out of seeing one patient to inform me that he can fix it.


A few weeks after my consult, I saw my aunt P, who is a nurse. I asked her about the procedure, wanting reassurance that it was as simple as it sounded. When I told her about the eyebrow, she gasped.

“You can’t change your eyebrow!” she said. “That’s your Grandma Sylvia eyebrow! She had it, your dad had it, your sister has it, your cousins have it. That’s your grandma eyebrow! It’s part of you!”

When I got home, I looked at photos of my grandmother.

Aunt P was right. I have her eyebrow.

Why would I want to change that?

So I didn’t.

And my eyelids droop.

And I am still plump.

And I still have yellow teeth.

And I. Don’t. Care.

I’m done with making sure my body is acceptable to others. I’m done.

A room of our own

Why do men want to be in all of our spaces?

I wrote about manspreading in this piece (Assault is not love).

I referred to it in a comment on a story in the Washington Post about the people you see at the airport.

You may be shocked to know that a man replied, telling me that manspreading also happens to men.

To which I answered, “So —- write your own piece about it, then,” but to which I should have said, “LORD HAVE MERCY WHY DO MEN HAVE TO INSERT THEMSELVES INTO EVERYTHING?”

Yes, dear, I’m sure manspreading happens to other men.

But – I don’t care about that.


I was talking to a friend about the women’s group at work. She mentioned that a VP was a member.

Need I say that the VP is male? Or is that redundant?

“Why is he in the group?” I said.

“He’s an ally,” she said.

“He shouldn’t be there,” I maintained. “The conversation changes when men are in the room.”

(And he can be an ally by hiring and promoting women. He doesn’t have to be in our club.)


There’s a woman I follow on twitter – Hibo Wadere – who campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM).

I can’t even begin to count the number of times men have popped up in her comments to tell her that MEN, TOO, SUFFER FROM CIRCUMCISION.

Yes. We know. Start your own group. Hibo’s focuses on FGM. FEMALE genital mutilation. Not male.


  1. Why do men expect women to do all the heavy lifting? If you’re against male circumcision, nobody is stopping you from advocating against it. Why should Hibo expand her group to include your cause?
  2. Men already have almost all the other spaces in the world – why do they have to take ours?
I don’t want to return to these times, but I like the concept of a women-only space. And if you haven’t read this book, read it now.

The birthday taxman cometh

Rage against the tyranny of the group gift

I don’t celebrate my birthday at work.

I have usually liked my co-workers, but I don’t like being the center of attention and I dunno – I just don’t want to have anyone make a big deal or even a little deal about my birthday at work.

I have tried very hard to keep my birthday on the DL. At an old job, I was glad to move to a new group where nobody knew anything about me.

I took the day off on my 40th birthday as I did not want any of the 40th birthday stuff to happen.

I returned to work the next day to find my office decorated with black streamers and headstones and all that stuff.

I was not happy.

And yet, because of peer pressure and “but she went to HR to get your birthday and then worked so hard to do this!” protestations about my group’s admin, I had to grit my teeth and thank her for the thought.

That’s not to say I won’t celebrate other peoples’ birthdays. I am delighted to make brownies to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday. But that’s low key and it involves chocolate. No office decorating involved. Just food. And nobody even needs to know it’s about a birthday. We gather around the chocolate and are happy and that’s that.

So I am not a total Grinch, but – imagine my surprise when I saw a message to my group at work soliciting money for a gift for the boss’ birthday.

  1. You never gift up at work. Never. (See authority Alison Green at Ask A Manager about this issue.)
  2. I don’t even have a 2 because this whole thing is so egregious.

When did it become A Thing to Give Money At Work To Buy A Birthday Present? (FOR THE BOSS?)

(I have a really good boss. I like her.)

But I don’t buy birthday presents for my own family, including Mr T.

Seriously. We all have all the stuff we need. We joked that if we had had a big party when we got married, we would not only have insisted on no presents but we would have required that all guests leave with a set of towels or a lamp.

(We didn’t have any guests other than immediate family because Mr T’s mom and dad were against our marriage but agreed to attend the wedding anyhow. We were worried they would get drunk and make scenes and it would be too mortifying to have our friends see that and GUESS WHAT THEY DID GET DRUNK AND MAKE A SCENE.)

The only reason I work is to increase, not decrease, the amount of money I have.

Why should I 1. give money 2. for a birthday present 3. for my boss when I don’t even spend money on my own family?

Again – I really like my boss. But not as much as I like Mr T or my mother and even they don’t get birthday presents.

So – when I saw the message to the group, I called the organizer, who is also a friend of mine, and said “Nope. I don’t do that.”

This is the beauty of not caring about Having A Career.

I. Don’t. Do. That.

PS My friend who is doing the collecting also hates the whole concept and is trying to kill the practice in our group. She, too, has never seen this sort of thing at work. She’s an ally, but she still has to care about her career.