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Woman With A Plan - Issue #36

“Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your l

Woman With A Plan

July 27 · Issue #36 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking.” 
― Rick Steves

Why Can't We Be Friends
A fellow expat and I were having drinks recently when the conversation turned to life among the locals. I had to admit I’ve been struggling. Austrians bring new meaning to the term reserved. There are no smiles from strangers on the street, no casual conversations at the playground. Store cashiers offer the same stony expression whether you’re perfectly prepared or screaming at children gone wild in the checkout aisle. We regularly experience tram rides full of passengers sitting in dead silence (aside from my kids, of course). Foreigners stand out like puppy dogs with their enthusiasm. I read that this behavior is an effort to respect personal space above all else (I also got a kick out of this guide to dating Austrians), but my expat friend described it best: American are peaches and Austrians are coconuts. We are soft and fuzzy on the outside, always ready with a smile or casual banter, though our deeper relationships are harder to earn. Austrians are a tough nut to crack, but once you’re in, you are IN. Friends are friends for life and no topic is off limits. Our building owners are a perfect example. What began as a curt exchange via airbnb has flourished into a relationship practically like family. When I came down with strep throat, they rushed to get me to the doctor within an hour. Any mention of a missing item is immediately met with an offer to borrow one - umbrellas, bicycles, bunkbeds - nothing is too outrageous. I asked another new Austrian friend for help navigating local schools and she guided me through the entire process, including the best way to handle a particularly difficult principal (“How do you say, you must ‘crawl into her ass?’”) Our kids are now in all the same classrooms. These people do not mess around! As I continue searching in vain for friendly faces on the streets of Vienna, I keep reminding myself of these wonderful people we now call friends. Every scowl is a piña colada waiting to be made. 🍹
Media Diet
Several names are beginning to surface for the 2020 election. 🤞🤞🤞 This Rebecca Traister profile on Elizabeth Warren is worthy homework in the meantime.
But of course she’s running. Even if she doesn’t really want to be president, she should run — as should several of her female colleagues — to help normalize women’s campaigning for president and finally correct the conversation about whether a woman can win and make it instead about which woman will win. She should run to give voters a choice, to push the field to the left, and to leverage her history of lambasting corrupt capitalist excess to properly shame the Trump kakistocracy. And, for what it’s worth, I think she does really want to be president.
I’ve read every possible article on Gwyneth Paltrow, but this one takes the cake. For years, I’ve referred to GP as my secret BFF, but that honor now goes to Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
Ding dong, the witch’s brand is dead.
Every parent should read this piece from The Atlantic on toxic masculinity (and the follow up NY Times editorial). As we push for our daughters to have greater gender equity, how can we ensure our sons have the same progressive support?
There’s a word for what’s happening here: misogyny. When school officials and parents send a message to children that “boyish” girls are badass but “girlish” boys are embarrassing, they are telling kids that society values and rewards masculinity, but not femininity. They are not just keeping individual boys from free self-expression, but they are keeping women down too.
Following up on last week’s newsletter, be sure to check out this interview with Hannah Gadsby (via NY Times). Watch out, Louis C.K. 👊
Just finished this incredible read, highly recommended! For any fans, here’s an interesting interview with author Tara Westover. And OMG, her parents’ essential oils business is a real thing!
Fans of the Seattle music scene are outraged over this sad news. Yet another sign of our vanishing city. Please sign the petition to #savetheshowbox
Call me petty, but these small acts of anarchy are so satisfying.
P.S. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Amy Adams is a TERRIBLE reporter.
God bless Cher.
So he really was a Nigerian Prince… 🤔
Open Tabs
Every. One. In. Europe. is wearing a fanny pack like a crossbody bag right now and I’ve narrowed my personal favorite down to this suede option.
This dress looks stunning on style blogger Marlien Rentmeester, and you can still buy it here. I also like the look of this one for those hot summer days.
Love this simple outfit from Madewell, including these jeans and graphic tee. I’d consider these shoes too. BTW, I love how they offer pictures of the same jeans on different body shapes, bravo!
There’s something I like about this unique top.
We’ve done boyfriend fit, girlfriend fit, mom jeans, and now we’re into cousin fit jeans. Ah marketing! If Vogue has anything to say about it, here’s what we’ll all be wearing by the end of the year.
Have a Wonderful Weekend
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat living in Vienna, Austria, and mom of three feminists in the making.
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