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LPC Belatedly Answers Some More Questions

I thought I’d address a few more questions from my defunct Ask LPC. Feel free, by the way, to add requests for posts to the comments below.

Q: Hi Lisa, I love your writing, and since discovering your blog have been reading back through the archives. One thing that pops up from time to time is you mentioning retiring and then returning to work. Did you write about what led your decision to do both? I would like to read the ‘back story’.
Thank you, I appreciate your blog immensely.
Kind regards,

A: Thank you for your kind words! I think I’ve written about this, but am happy to retell the story. My retirement was part intent, part accident. In 2009, following the 2008 financial collapse, my company was consolidating. It made sense for me to step out, as I was not directly responsible for revenue. But personally, the decision was a good one as 1) I could afford it 2) I wanted to try my hand at writing. Hence the blog.

I learned so much in the two years off work. 1) I don’t really want to write a book, but I do want to write this blog as well as I can at any given moment 2) I can make to-do lists about absolutely nothing, so better to have something substantial to organize and direct

Then I came back to work because an old boss got in touch with me and presented an opportunity that I couldn’t refuse. I run Product Management and User Experience for VerticalResponse, and I love my work. In fact, we just won Best Company, Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations, in the Stevies, AKA the American Business Awards. Congratulations to everyone in the company – they deserve it.

Q: Hello, Lisa, I was one of the lucky recipients of your bumper sticker reading “That Behavior Is Not Very Attractive.” Unfortunately, I no longer own that car, but I would dearly love to have one for my current vehicle, which in the classic Wasp style is a 10-year-old Volvo. Are there any left? I will, of course, send a SASE.
Yours, Ivy

A: Unfortunately those are all gone. The glory days of retired LPC and her blog – I spent hours packing the bumper stickers up and sending them out.  Some day I will retire again and who knows what foolishness I will visit upon you all then?

Q: Your recent post on Kate Middleton got me wondering, do you have an opinion of the iconic feminist, author, and fellow opinionated woman, Camille Paglia?

A: Believe it or not I’ve never read her books. I suppose my first opinion is that I better put down the Young Adult Fiction and get cracking. But beyond that, I’m mostly confused as to just why it’s so hard for society to let go of the biology-first stereotypes and expectations for women’s lives. We follow traffic rules,  invent sliced bread, and talk online to people we’ve never seen, so clearly we can operate in a more conceptual model when we choose.

Q: The hardest thing I have to deal with (in terms of dress) is pants….Could you talk about pants today and the changing body of the middle aged woman?  Low rise, high rise, pleated flat, skinny (hard to wear if you’re not!), etc.


A: I think we midlife women can let ourselves off the hook about pants. Tailored pants are tough to fit, for every female on the planet. Just think of all the variables! Measurements from navel to end of zipper, from hip to hip, around the seat, and up and down the leg. To say nothing of thigh width, calf width, and general ankle geometry.

The pants I love may send you shrieking from the dressing room.

So, to solve any problem with too many variables to manage with an equation, you move to heuristics. Otherwise known as Try This And Then Try That. The way I found my best jeans fit was to go to a boutique that specialized in jeans and try on 7 pairs at once. Well, not at once, serially. One at a time.

The same would apply for pants in any fabric. And you could get the some results by going to a department store that values customer service. Nordstrom, for example. Ask a saleswoman to follow you around the store and help you in your experiment. If it takes an hour, buy a pair of pants. She’s served people who took an hour of her time and bought nothing, she won’t mind.

Then remember what you learned, even when tempted by trends. If you are really nuts, do what I did with skinny jeans. One day go and try on that trend that doesn’t suit you. Take pictures. Photos won’t tell you it looks great if it doesn’t.

Q: What do I do when Google Reader goes away?

A: (Okay, okay, so I asked this question of myself.) Yes, it’s true. All of us who have subscribed to blogs via Google Reader have to find another home. Many of us bloggers are choosing Bloglovin’ to house our followers. Aaargh! Confession, due to some past history, I loathe the term “lovin.” We will keep the story behind closed doors for now. Just trust me, I can’t post their logo where I’ll have to see it every day. I apologize now and prophylactically for all my quirks.

Fortunately, you have other choices. The San Jose Mercury News, venerable daily paper of Techlandia, sums the options up here. I’m using, myself. Good news is, these sites all import your Reader feeds, and categories even. Bad news is, change. I’m stubborn and picky about my user interfaces. Have to be, given my job, but I’m always grumpy in the learning curve. I hope you all are less curmudgeonly than I with your software.

8 Responses

  1. I find the term “lovin” to be really grating so am happy you won’t be using it. Another one I dislike is “dummies” used for so many how-to books. Really rubs me the wrong way.

    Love your ideas for finding pants that fit, otherwise known as PTF, a goal I struggle with a lot :-)

  2. Trying on lots of clothes and not buying anything always leaves me with so much guilt, even when the only help I’ve had is someone coming to check on me in the change room a couple of times and try to tell me how beautiful everything looks.

  3. “heuristics. Otherwise known as Try This And Then Try That”

    Heuristics. I always always learn something new here.

  4. For a little over a year, I sported your bumper sticker “A Simple Thank You Will Suffice” on my car. I chuckled thinking that it was something most Dallasites had not seen on cars before seeing it on mine. I look forward to your next retirement to see what foolishness you come up with. The bumper stickers were fun.

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