In collaboration with Talbots.
I believe in elegance, thank you notes, in perfume, in wearing the right dress at the right time. All these things form part of what it means to be a lady in my imagination.
There’s one problem: these ideals and my real life are often at odds. I’m a mom to a little girl. I’m busy. I’m more apt to serve turkey burgers than I am to serve endives. I write for a living, but not in a I-can-see-the-ocean-from-my-cottage kind of way; in a I-need-to-submit-the-brand-copy-by-deadline kind of way. I’m more likely to go on a hike with my husband than I am to sit with him at a candlelit dinner. I forget to send thank-you notes, but I’m great at sending thank-you texts.
But you know what? To be modern-day lady is to contain multitudes. That’s why I’m smitten with Talbot’s “Because I’m a Lady” campaign. It’s smart and witty and and real—which, coincidentally, are my favorite kind of ladies.
Find out more about #BecauseImALady.
The term “lady” has previously been used to describe a “gentle and polite woman.” But today, being a lady doesn’t come with the same set of prim and proper rules, manners and meanings it did fifty years ago. Which is why we at Talbots – a company made up of 92% women – are here to evolve this old-fashioned word and celebrate the modern classic women redefining it. Because today, being a “lady” is defining it for yourself and being unapologetically you – real, confident, fun and imperfectly enchanting. So let’s politely set the record straight, shall we?
Speaking of definitions, Talbots also reached out to Merriam-Webster about the need to modernize the four-letter-word, “lady.” Check it out:
My personal, updated definition of what it means to be a modern lady includes making the perfect pancake, a quiet cup of tea after dropping off my kid at school, a sweaty hike, multiple direct deposits, and yes, the right dress at the right time and a spritz of perfume before running out the door.
P.S. If you’re feeling inspired for fall, here’s one my favorite, ahem, ladylike looks for the season.
Share your own version of #BecauseImALady in the comments! x
In the past I’ve talked about how 2014 was a hard year for me. My father got sick and died that year. But it was also the year I got pregnant and had a miscarriage. I have never written about it. I lost my pregnancy at about 12 weeks—just when we thought we’d share the news with our friends.
It was the holiday season and I had placed an extra tiny stocking on our tree. The day after Christmas, we had a scan at our OBGYN that showed no heartbeat. What followed was almost more awful: several more scans and tests to confirm. During each exam I was hopeful that there’d been a mistake. But that was not the case.
It’s a strange pain to grieve for someone you’ll never know. If everything had gone well, we’d have a two-year old and five-year-old in our home. Julia would have been a great big sister. The reason I felt compelled to write about it today is that October 15 is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I’ve seen this day come and go, when I didn’t want to think about it. But I remember how I felt when everything was happening—how I scoured the internet for similar stories, for women articulating similar pain. I want this to be one of those stories.
I read about “rainbow babies” (the one you wouldn’t otherwise have had) but in my case, I didn’t want to get pregnant again, at least not for a long time. I too was subjected to messages that sought to comfort me but just deepened my pain. “You can always get pregnant again.” “At least it happened early.” Minimizing loss doesn’t help the hurt.
Oh, and if you happen to know someone in the midst of this kind of grief, it’s better to say “I’m so sorry, but I’m here for you”—and actually be there for them.
In the years since my loss, my life has grown in different directions. I’m grateful for all the yoga, meditation, the solace of the mountains, and long walks—basically everything that helped me find clarity when I most needed it. I feel exceptionally fortunate to have Julia for a daughter and for my wonderful husband, who has been trekking alongside me in more ways than one.
This past year we thought about having another baby. And no, I’m not pregnant—this isn’t that kind of post, sorry. But if we end up being a one-child family, I guess we’ll have to deal with having been blessed beyond imagination just once.
I read a while back that when you’re done growing babies, you have to grow something else. That’s where I am now. But I can also say that I’m OK again. Grief is like being tossed into an ocean but I’m no longer in the waves. I’m at the edge of the water looking out onto an expanse. And I’m not alone; perhaps you are standing next to me. And if you are, I’m holding your hand.
Without a happy rainbow to end my story, I’ve been unsure how to convey this experience. But then today I saw it. It was in a heartfelt post by Hurrah for Gin, an otherwise L-O-L parenting site (and book.) Today, her post ended with the notion of having a star in your life no one else can see. The metaphor is perfect.
The baby I would have had, but didn’t, brought several things into the light—namely, how lucky I am for my little family and the moments we’ve shared together. Today, I’m thankful for the starlight.