Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

A few weeks before Trump was sworn-in as Bannon’s and Putin’s tiny-handed puppet I realized I might be needing a morale boost soon, and so I booked a flight to Chicago for the weekend following the inauguration. That was last weekend and I got to spend two and a half days with some of my best friends, and, while we weren’t able to fully tune out the world around us (Trump’s Muslim ban, made two hours after I landed, certainly hampered that), we still managed to cheer each other up and remember that, despite the terrible state of things, we still have our friendships, we can still laugh, and we still have reason to hope and believe that our country has promise and that one day it can be back on the path toward progress.

I know I’ve revved up the political talk around here lately, and I appreciate that many of you are feeling the same way I am and understand that it’s hard to think about much else. Most nights I go to bed worried about what will happen next, and I wake up anxious about what I may have missed while I was sleeping. But I do know that this is going to be a long, long road. And as engaged as we need to be — as much as we need to fight the gross attack on our democracy and our rights and the values we hold dear as Americans and as citizens of the world — we have to keep our strength and morale up. We have to give ourselves permission to take media breaks, even if it’s just for a few hours (or a weekend). We have to continue with our lives while carving time in our day to be politically active.

I’ve struggled with how best to strike a balance — here on DW, on my social media pages, and in real life — between political engagement/activism and celebrating big and small joys (like new volumizing hair dust powder). I hope it isn’t too jarring, and I hope you understand and appreciate posts like my weekly activism steps, alongside old favorites like Wendy’s Picks and Shortcuts. This site has always been more than just a collection of advice columns; over the years, I’ve used it to write about and promote topics of interest to me and issues I felt were important to the demographic reading DW. That part hasn’t changed, and in the months and maybe years to come the issues I find important will include politics (especially as they relate to women’s rights), in addition to relationships, parenting, and, you know, hair care products.

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say all this — I think most of you are feeling similar — but, for my own good, I wanted to express where I’m coming from one more time. This feels like such a dark era we’ve entered, and, in a lot of ways, we are in uncharted territory (at least, those of us who didn’t live in, like, Nazi-era Germany). Take breaks from it when you can, celebrate the joys in your life, and take notice of the good all around you. Maybe we can make this Weekend Open Thread a space to share some positivity. I’ll start: I had a wonderful time in Chicago last weekend, last night I got to enjoy some super delicious (and very expensive) caviar that my friend, who’s a personal chef for a wealthy family, brought home from work, as I write this I’m about to go volunteer in Jackson’s class to help with their big Chinese New Year celebration, which should be pretty fun, and this weekend I’m looking forward to lots of family time after spending the first four weekends of the year either sick (I was sick for two weeks straight!) or out of town. How about you?

23 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran February 3, 2017, 4:13 pm

    Tomorrow, I see Hamilton. And Wayne Brady is playing Aaron Burr. Yay! The fiance and I are going to the matinee with two close friends and after we’re hitting up a fancy steak place. SO EXCITED!

    Tonight, we’re looking at yet another place in our search for a condo.

    Oh, and I found a wedding dress. It’s couture… being made by a local designer for much less than any bridal shop I checked out. Super excited about that too. It’s satin with clean lines, no train and an open back. I’m debating adding a hint of lace. It’s similar to my Grandma’s dress, except hers had long sleeves and is now slightly discolored.

    As always, thank you for this site, Wendy and I hope you have/had fun at Jackson’s Chinese New Year party!

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    • avatar

      Kate February 3, 2017, 4:21 pm

      Omg you will love it! “Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…”

      I actually have been giving career advice to my husband based on the shit George Washington says in the show. And he’s into it. Listen to that bad bitch when he sings!

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 3, 2017, 5:03 pm

        This made me laugh out loud. Thank you!

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      • avatar

        Kate February 3, 2017, 5:37 pm

        Ha! My friend was giving ME career advice the other day and she said, “don’t be a martyr.” Which GW says to Hamilton more poetically in the show.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 February 3, 2017, 5:19 pm

      Your dress sounds lovely 🙂

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  • avatar

    Comma Lovr February 3, 2017, 4:49 pm

    You go, Wendy. I think that what you’re doing is great.

    I seem to have lost my relationship with my Trump-voting, non-listening-to-reason, hypersensitive to criticism or critical thought dad, which I’m grieving, but let’s see, good stuff: Lots of interesting projects at work that I’m involved in, a partner who loves me to pieces in the way I’ve always wanted to be loved, good friends, two kids who are growing up to be awesome people. I’m very lucky.

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  • avatar

    rocketgirl February 3, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Thanks Wendy – you are doing a great job here. This is my media free weekend. Yesterday at work(I am mental health therapist), all of my clients came in with existential political issues. While trying to comfort them, give them coping skills to manage I helped myself as well. Take time away from media and FB. Practice self-care(these times are stressful and anxiety producing) and know this. Most of the country is towards the middle. Much of what we see on the media and from politicians is intended to push us to the extremes and divide us. So many people are being active in making a difference. When you need a break take on, someone else will pick up and you can then have the energy and strength to give them a break. Be like the geese:)

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl February 3, 2017, 5:49 pm

    Uffda, I needed this. Thank you Wendy. I keep having to remind myself that I can only control and change so much, and to focus on the power I have. Otherwise, it’s all so overwhelming.

    Today, I’m super excited about bullet journals. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of them until yesterday. I’m also really excited about my friend and her husband staying in town with us all weekend. And champagne.

    @Wendy: Bad News. Swedish Bakery is closing.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 3, 2017, 6:17 pm

      I heard that yesterday! It’s the end of an era…

      Do you remember Augies in Andersonville? It was my favorite diner and it closed either shortly before I moved or right after. And, of course, my karaoke spot, cafe bong, closed soon after I moved too. Once those two were gone, it stopped feeling like home to me.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl February 3, 2017, 6:27 pm

        I moved up there in 2009, so it was right before my time. But Carols just closed too! And the owner of Augies passed away about a year ago, i remember reading about it in the edgeville buzz

        There’s tons of amazing places still and the heart of the community is still great. I miss it so much.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 3, 2017, 6:32 pm

        Yes, Carols, too!

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  • avatar

    redhead February 4, 2017, 4:31 pm

    I appreciate your new direction in this new era – I think we all have taken steps we didn’t feel like we needed to before. And in some ways, that’s a good thing. I’ve called my congressman more this week than in my other 32 years on this earth.

    Good things – surprise flowers from a friend, my stepdaughter got into the college she wanted to, and we had friends over for a yummy sushi night last night. We did the sushi, someone else did the teriyaki chicken, and another friend brought drinks.

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  • Portia

    Portia February 4, 2017, 5:02 pm

    I really appreciate your efforts to use your existing platform in a positive manner. Especially since now people are being more cognizant of the effects of social media and even taking breaks, it’s good to have this community where you can feel connected without the constant news updates.
    .
    As far as good things, I made another pottery sale this weekend in my Etsy store! And I saw Hidden Figures last night – such a good movie.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy February 5, 2017, 10:26 am

    In not-so-positive news, Jackson woke up yesterday morning with pink eye (which has now spread to his other eye) and we had to cancel all our weekend plans and stay quarantined with him inside. And I’ll have to cancel my plans tomorrow, which included an appointment for me, to keep Jackson home from school and take him to the doctor. Womp-womp. Such is life with young children.

    In much more positive news:
    I was really torn by the story of the Yemeni girl who was stranded in Djibouti with her dad when Drumph’s executive order prevented her from boarding her flight to the US last weekend — a flight that had been planned and saved for for a long time. Now that the inhumane travel banned has been stayed (!!), at least for now, I googled her to see whether she’d made it to the US yet. It looks like she and her father are scheduled to arrive at San Francisco International Airport this afternoon. Since she has an immigrant visa and is a minor with two U.S. citizen parents, she will become a citizen the second she’s admitted into the united states. (happy tears!)

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/04/yemeni_girl_who_was_stranded_in_djibouti_about_to_become_a_u_s_citizen.html

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  • avatar

    memboard February 5, 2017, 8:25 pm

    It’s couragious of you to take politics to your website knowing that most likely 1/2 of your readers are republicans and disagree with you. You must have lost a fair amount of traffic and therefore revenues.

    That said, it’s a lot more fun to watch the trainwreck from overseas than to live under it. But it must be said that about half of the population voted for Trump and think he’s full of good ideas. That more than anything, is the true problem. It does mean that the racist and sexist underbelly of america never went away and is now out in the open. That is the true challenge the USA faces today. Maybe to be excised for good this time?

    Certainly reports are that the milleniums are not on Trump’s side and this means that in the long game odds are good that his thinking will go away. But that’s a few generations down.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 6, 2017, 6:35 am

      My traffic has gone up since the election.

      And, no, half the population did not vote for Trump. Only about half the population voted at all – and that’s the biggest problem. Of the half that voted, less than half voted for Trump. So, about 1/4 the population voted for him.

      But, yeah, of the people who did vote for the orange monster, there are many sexist, homophobic racists, and that is a huge problem in our country, especially now that they feel so emboldened.

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      • Portia

        Portia February 6, 2017, 10:50 am

        I’m so glad your traffic has gone up, Wendy!

        I also think the “emboldened” population is the most worrisome, and I’m not sure they can be reached or changed. But in a way it’s good that they are finally being revealed for who they are – there’s been so much lip service to being in a “post-racial” or “post-feminist” or “post-whatever” country in recent years when that was not the case. It’s much harder to push that under the rug now, so maybe we can actually deal with it head on? Like the Voting Rights Act…

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      • avatar

        memboard February 7, 2017, 12:23 pm

        But it’s a big leap to assume that all of the 1/2 that didn’t vote were all democrats. So between 1/2 and 1/4 are sympathetic to Trump’s positions and that’s a big enough number, whatever it actually is, to be problematic.

        My hunch is that for however long Trump lasts, (bookies says it won’t be that long: https://sports.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/betting/politics/american/specials/donald-trump-specials/222881036/ ) it will be what it is now, with legislation going up the courts on constitutional arguments on short order.

        For sure it will be a test of the americain political system.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 7, 2017, 12:41 pm

        No, it’s really not “a big leap” to assume that 1/2 the people who didn’t vote in the presidential election are not Trump supporters.

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      • avatar

        memboard February 9, 2017, 6:33 am

        The real test of America’s character, and the democrat’s challenge, will be the mid-term elections and the next presidential election because approving these policies by reelecting them will be a sure sign of America’s character.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse February 6, 2017, 9:54 am

      It’s fun? What a privelage it must be to feel that way.

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      • avatar

        memboard February 7, 2017, 12:23 pm

        Don’t worry, it’s not like the rest of the world doesn’t have it’s own problems.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie February 6, 2017, 4:31 am

    I wouldn’t call it ‘fun’ to watch what is happening in America right now and feeling so powerless. Beyond protesting when possible and trying to stay informed, it’s really hard to know what I can do from afar… Oh and supporting my American friends of course.

    Good news is I hope I’ve found my replacement here, a very nice girl that was recommended to me! No recruitment process so hopefully I can have a good handover with her.

    Reply Link

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