Don’t get carried away with impractical shoes: ask yourself, what would Olivia Pope do? She’d buy these nude Louboutin pumps, that’s what she’d do. Only, you are doing this better, because you are getting other people to buy them for you.
I wrote this piece about non-baby showers a couple months ago, but it just went live on The Hairpin today, two hours after an old friend announced her pregnancy on Facebook. I want to go on record as saying that this was not the internet publishing equivalent of subtweeting, and I look forward to buying my friend a giraffe-shaped diaper pail or a stars-and-moons mobile or whatever else her heart/registry desires.
Mr. Carter, who has traveled the world as an author and human rights activist since the end of his presidency, said he would rely on many of his own experiences as fodder for the book.
“Whenever possible, I’ll use my personal observations and experiences, such as a trip around Africa with Bill Gates Sr. and his wife,” Mr. Carter wrote.
Even Tui’s disappearance is a Macguffin, less a story element than a metaphor for the kind of armed resistance to male hegemony that constitutes the central idea of Ms. Campion’s body of work.
What makes NPR reporters’ names so particularly mellifluous? There’s that pleasing alliteration — Allison Aubrey, Louisa Lim, Carl Kassell, Susan Stamberg. And it’s hard to match those mouth-filling double-barrelled names. Think Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Chana Joffe-Walt, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Dina Temple-Raston, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. According to one study, women in the arts and entertainment are more likely to keep their names; the authors hypothesized that their maiden names had already become “akin to a ‘brand’.”
I’m not married and I don’t have a ‘brand,’ but I’m posting this because a) It’s true, NPR reporters have the best names; b) ‘Double-barrelled’ is such a great term for it, so much better than ‘hyphenated.’
From here on out you may refer to me as a ‘double-barreller.’
Women in any position of power or outspokenness, people are just uncomfortable with it, men and women alike. It just freaks them the fuck out. I may sound like a megalomaniac, but I feel like I’m equipped to become a great, memorable comedian, if I keep working my ass off and staying at the pace I’m at, and I feel a responsibility to do that because of the women who have done it before me, and the ones who need to do it after me.
1. A man is heading in my direction, weaving slightly. I can’t make out his features. He’s wearing a parka, hood up. The street is dark and quiet. He weaves closer. I can hear him mumbling to himself but I can’t make out any words. “Move quickly,” I tell myself, but not soon enough, and he has me cornered, my back against a utility pole, his body blocking my way. Maybe I should be scared, but instead I’m angry. I am about to push past him and then I see he is reaching one hand into his jacket. I stop being angry and start being scared. He pulls out a piece of hard candy in a green foil wrapper. “Take a piece of candy,” he says. I don’t make eye contact. I don’t say anything. He waves the candy under my nose. I keep my gaze cast down but I sidestep him, continue on my way, only faster.
2. A man crosses the street toward me. I see him out of the corner of my eye. He’s tall, young, strong-looking, carrying a black plastic bag. He’s wearing a parka, too. We all are. It’s winter. I can feel myself tensing, and hoping. Maybe he’s getting into one of the cars parked along the curb. Maybe he’s detouring up the silent residential street I just passed. “Hey pretty baby,” he hisses. “Hey pretty. Hey. You’re gorgeous. What’s wrong with you? It’s a compliment.” I am wearing my thick winter jacket that comes down to my knees, my floppy knit hat, jeans, flat boots. This would make me laugh, if it were funny. He follows me for the rest of the block, getting a little too close, hissing and making kissing sounds. I am lucky: there is a restaurant on the corner, full of light and people. I stop and pretend to read the menu, and some people walk past, and he disappears.
3. A little girl, maybe five, comes careering around a corner. She is wearing a long pink coat and mittens and a pink backpack with a large fabric daisy attached to it. She laughs like this: “Ahh haha hahahahaha hahahahaha haha HA!” Her mother is trudging a few paces behind, weary, a grocery bag and an oversized purse in her arms. The little girl nearly runs smack into me. She looks up at me and grins. She knows her mother can’t stop her, and neither can I. She takes off down the block, hopping and dodging.
4. I think about instinct and how we interpret it, how much is nature and how much is nurture, or environment. My nature is not to look down or away. My nature is never to run. My instinct tells me to fight, to dig in, to make the other person blink first. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to refrain from flipping the bird and unleashing a string of profanities. Willpower, actually, doesn’t even work. It is only the knowledge that the man might have a violent streak, or a knife, or worse yet a gun, that restrains me. I think about this and these words, willpower and restraint, and why they apply to me in the first place. I am just walking. I am so caught up in these thoughts that I don’t notice the man in the doorway until I am upon him; I have been unconsciously sticking close to the buildings. I see his face under his hooded jacket. I see him notice me. There is no one else in sight. My body does that thing where it feels like I have dry ice in my veins instead of blood. In an instant, I am more animal than human. He knows, I think, panicking. He knows he caught me. The man smiles and inclines his chin, a casual how-do, pedestrian. I rearrange my face so it looks less stricken. How-do, man in doorway. Me? Oh, I’m fine. You just startled me, that’s all. You just took me by surprise.