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Woman With A Plan - Issue #44

“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Be

Woman With A Plan

October 19 · Issue #44 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” 
― L Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Sweet Child of Mine
A scary thing happened this week; I lost one of my children. I was in a large mall down the street from our apartment, when my six-year-old went missing. We were at Müller, a Target-like department store, picking up supplies on the way home from school. Per usual, I let him and his older brother scatter, testing their freedom in more appealing areas of the store until it was time to reconvene at checkout. Only this time, Augie was nowhere to be found. I assigned a meeting place and sent his brother on a mission to the Lego section while I zig-zagged through office supplies. We came up short and agreed he must have snuck off to the candy aisle, classic Augie. But still, he wasn’t there. A thorough scan of one floor led to another, my volume increasing as I called out his name. I felt incredibly self-conscious. Is it possible to fear kidnapping and public humiliation at the same time? I implored apathetic employees in poorly-pronounced German, “Hilfe bitte, mein Kind ist MISSING.” They showed a surprising lack of concern, though an unsupervised child in these parts is nothing out of the ordinary. Their solution was to hand over the microphone for the store AV system, sending my choked up plea BOOMING over the loudspeakers. At that point, any humiliation was overcome by anxiety. He simply wasn’t there. Waiting for mall security to arrive, I began to cry. All the fears and emotions of living in a foreign country were amplified by 1000%. I felt paralyzed in my ability to communicate and problem-solve. My child was missing and I had NO idea what to do. What if something really bad happened? He wouldn’t leave with a stranger, would he? My husband was out of town and when I pulled out my phone to call him, I saw a string of text messages from our neighbor:
I have Augie here with me! He got lost, but he came home!
He did WHAT? My little boy, alone and scared, walked all the way home?? I rushed to our tearful reunion, where he explained that he thought we left the store, so he went where he could find us. In all my panic, it hadn’t occurred to me that he might find a solution. I praised his courage and assured him I’d never leave him behind. We also reviewed the family protocol on what to do when you’re lost, i.e. DON’T MOVE. Though it’s an experience I’d never want repeat, there’s a bit of triumph in facing one of our biggest fears and finding each other on the other side. And in time, I’m sure I’ll be able to walk into Müller again.
My brave Judo master
Media Diet
Bless these beautiful people for providing us with happy news. And congratulations to Princess Eugenie and her lucky husband - loved this story about her empowering choice of wedding dress.
New York Magazine’s Women & Power issue is out, coinciding with the launch of The Cut’s new podcast. I especially loved this insight from Editor-in-Chief, Stella Bugbee:
“….the rest of the world is going to disapprove of you a thousand million times. Boyfriends will disapprove of you, teachers will disapprove of you, in ways that you can’t control, and if you can get comfortable with that feeling of persisting in the face of disapproval and disappointment, that’s power.”
On a related note, I can’t wait to dive into Rebecca Traister’s new book.
Of the many political issues that may worry us these days, this is exactly why voter suppression should be at the top of the list.
There’s something intriguing about the tragic story of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, and this podcast series from the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team is a fascinating listen whether you’re a football fan or not.
A touching tribute to one of Seattle’s finest. RIP Paul Allen.
A new friend experienced a terrible loss recently and she said this video on how to show love and support is spot on. (via Kottke)
I enjoyed this piece on finding the ideal reading situation. Moving abroad is one solution - I’ve read 13 books since June!
Looks like I’ll be adding BoJack Horseman and Mindhunter to my Netflix queue. Have you watched them yet?
Morning walk past Karlskirche ☀️
Open Tabs
I saw a woman in the subway this week wearing a dark grey blazer/light grey sweater combination and I’m very inspired to try it.
There’s something I really like about these unconventional sweaters.
My daily steps are off the chart since I started schlepping kids all over a city. Slowly trading in my heels for more practical options like this or this (or this Santa!)
Skincare update: I’ve been using this toner since my mom smuggled it in a few weeks ago and it is fantastic. Brightens my skin and clears pores like nothing else. I’m not nearly as impressed by this eye serum, a big letdown.
Fellow skincare junkies will be intrigued by the recent Sunday Riley drama, where employees were allegedly pressured to write fake reviews. I’m sure it’s a widespread practice, though it seems high time for a crackdown.
Pumpkins and Sturm ☀️🎃🍺
Have a Wonderful Weekend
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat in Vienna and mom of three feminists in the making.
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Vienna, Austria