Politics, religion, and basically everything else you shouldn’t talk about at dinner or when you first meet someone.

So as most of you know I recently attended a display/bridal shower. The shower was fun but the after party was really what the night was all about.

Not really knowing anyone but the bride and groom, I was nervous to kick it with them and a few of their cousins and friends at a bar after the shower. As much as I love meeting new people and making friends, I also don’t like intruding and am very nervous when I first meet people. However after some convincing, I gave in and went; it turned out to be an exceptional evening.

The bar/restaurant was a terrace that sat a top of a cliff that overlooked a river valley. It was incredibly picturesque especially with the sun setting and a bogie train crossing the wood arched bridge but somehow I entirely forgot to snap more than one terrible picture.

Instead I was deeply invested in a conversation about politics and affirmative action with a woman I just met who sat across from me, physically as well as politically. I am used to having a variety of conversations about politics, especially with people who have varying opinions than I, considering that my co-writer and I share this difference in political opinion. And much like my conversations with her, my discussion with this woman seemed to fall along the same lines. We both had differing opinions for various reasons but we could still talk civilly if not more intimately without having negative words for one another. We also could agree on various details and actions that should be taking place but just aren’t. We both had our questions and continued to discuss the development of our opinions because of our personal experiences. We even ventured into religion. And somehow by the end of the night, we both liked each other even more.

The table as a whole had discussed recent trials, politics, affirmative action, obamacare, religion, and even each other’s mothers but with respect and dignity.

The whole evening I couldn’t help but think, we are all passionate about our opinions and voiced them without being rude or disrespectful, we even came to various agreements, so why are our national and international politics such a bloody mess. I know it is far more complex issue but it seems like everyone is generally frustrated and there needs to be some change. The old systems of two parties divided doesn’t seem to be working. So when are we going to stop fighting each other and start working together? We need a new way to face and define politics and parties and its a problem that seems to have been around for a while so what’s the hold up?

I believe people are inherently good and we can come to agreements but somehow the ideas of our founding fathers to create parties based on ideologies to make sure the best come out and compromises can be made, has only pushed us into a polarized battle. Why don’t we have a bipartisan party?

I guess I am a naive young person but I can’t help but think there has to be a better way to solve this problem. When a groups of semi-drunk 24-38year olds sitting in a bar could figure it out, why can’t the old farts in Washington?

This was the first time I had met many of these people and after the basic small talk about each others’ occupations and the weather, we jumped right into the icky stuff that people say you shouldn’t talk about. But shouldn’t we? Why reserve the hard stuff for later? Because it may cause issue? Isn’t it better to know right off the bat? Besides isn’t conversation the solution to problems? I try to not to cause issues but I also know I usually hit the iffy subjects unfortunately quickly but I have never lost a friend because of it. In fact, most of the time, I have gained more and like them a lot more too.

Maybe the conversation do’s and don’ts list needs a revision. What do you think? Am I just a bold soul who swims with sharks? Or should there be some change?

ac

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The British are coming…. Actually the British are here and it looks like they are staying

Apparently the birth of baby Prince George is the biggest thing since sliced bread…. Or at least baby Blue Ivy. But apparently baby Blue has nothing on the royal family, even in the gold ole U. S. of A.

I recently saw this poster at the movie theater:

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So will you be spending the $8 matinee or $12.50 regular price to see it? How about 3D?!

Maybe this movie is just a preemptive strike to put to bed any rumors before anyone even tries to start the possibility of Kate not biologically birthing the third heir to the throne. Who knows. I secretly want to see it but I definitely won’t be spending the money.

ac

Secondary causes for screaming

The USA has been given a lot of flack in recent days for the rising costs of childbirth, with ranges from $10-20,000 pending on natural delivery or C-section, and every minor procedure or test being itemized on the final bill. I think Zimbabwe takes the (birthday) cake for the most ludicrous itemization of childbirth–screaming. It’s a pretty well-known fact around the world that screaming..kindof just happens in this situation. In some countries in fact the mom-to-be actually gets a bigger gift from her husband post-delivery the louder she does so! With the average income in Zimbabwe being $150/year, the $5 per scream rule is a bit over the top. Do the hospital admins really value the peace and quiet that much, or do you think they’re just looking to see the money?
While the US may be criticized for its pricey delivery fees, this income-to-potential-cost ratio has to be one of the worst I’ve seen. Especially if you’ve get a set of lungs.
Read about the rest here

For the record, the rule only applies to moms. Newborns are allowed to scream as much as they wish given that you know, they’re babies and all.

What do you think of this proposal? Is this a good policy or just a way to make money? Should other countries adopt this rule?

xo SA

The latest colors of Royalty

With the Royal baby bump watch well underway, I promise not to add to the slew of photos commenting on Middleton’s size, shape, diet, etc etc etc becayse, for the record, I think she looks quite fabulous (and healthy) pregnant. To say I was beyond an avid follower of the Royal Wedding a few years back is quite the understatement. My co-author can attest that I dragged her out of bed at 4am EST just to watch the nuptuals live from the east coast of the USA, purple mimosas and all. I’m not generally that enthused when it comes to babies, however the next King/Queen of UK? I can get behind that and all the fabulousness the welcoming of he/she shall bring. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to the adorable photos of Uncle Harry holding the bundle of royal joy.

To celebrate the upcoming birth from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Butter released this week a commemorative nailpolish entitled “Pitter Patter” for the heir-to-be. I’m a fan of purple anything, but this is quite the regal color if I do say so myself. Slightly shimmery, great for any season, and can be stretched for the workplace or an upscale event if you feel so inclined. Anyone else planning on purchasing this color to ring in the birth of Kate & Wills little one?

pitterpatter

Editors note: Apparently this color is only available to US markets. Is it that obvious that Americans are the second most excited place out of England for this arrival?

Pantsuits that could change the world: beyond Hillary

So I assume by now many of you have already seen this photo of female soldiers in North Korea on their patrols in uniform….including high heels. Yes, you read that right. The ladies in the hermit kingdom prefer stillettos rather than combat boots.

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While nothing about North Korea should surprise me anymore (I wrote far too many papers in my academic career about this psych experiment of a state) this did seem a little out of the ordinary. Above all, the regime emphasizes the dedication and effectiveness of their forces. Dedication is these ladies in a nutshell. Personally, I fall on my face half the time when walking in heels, thus the thought of having to parade around them for an entire workday, or better yet, run in them or do military drills if necessary is just terrifying. [Then again, having a government minder send me to a labor camp if I fail to walk properly in high heels is pretty terrifying too, thus I would have probably learned to strut in said shoes if I lived there.]

As much as I would love to say that the heels are an indivdual fashion statement of the lady soldiers, I’m not quite sure they are. Maybe, if anything, a means of assimilating more to the changing times in North Korea? Overall, I see this as one part of the minor women’s reforms accreddited to Ri Sol-ju, Kim Jong Un’s young, hot, popstar wife. For those who don’t follow North Korean politics (and apparently their first lady’s fashion), as much as myself, Ri has made major waves in Pyongyang in recent months for her love of Chanel and Dior. While luxury goods (including but not limited to said designers) are still being banned from North Korea due to their multitudes of human rights abuses, there is stilll good coming of North Korea’s first lady becoming a fashion icon for the country. First of all, the fact that she is even in the spotlight is a major step–she’s essentially the first wife of a modern day DPRK premiere to be really known to the public. (Could YOU name any of Kim Jong-il’s wives off the top of your head?) Ri’s made public appearances, is actually known to the broader North Korean public, and is seen as a positive, smiling icon. She has made it socially acceptable for women in Pyongyang to wear pants (and was even spotted in them herself); hell, the lady was allowed to be photographed riding a rollercoaster! While she’s not known to be the brightest bulb at the First Lady’s club, and she has quite a long way to go from doing the ‘history of the mom dance’ with late night tv talk show hosts, having Ri be a known public figure within her country not only makes this evil empire appear more human and likeable (despite many, many other factors), but shows that there really is a glimmer of hope for girl power in the most horrible and oppressive of places.

riripants

Now, I can’t say whether the above soldiers were wearing heels because they wanted to look fabulous or because they were mandated to wear them as part of a (new?) uniform regulation, but the recent changes as a whole in the general dress code for women in North Korea is not just a statement in the fashion world, but in that of the human rights community. Small steps. Will a pantsuit change the world? Nah. But a powerful woman in one just may make enough of an impact.