From the monthly archives:

January 2012

My blogging friend Nance over at Mature Landscaping posted about the new issue of Time Magazine with a cover story titled:

“The Upside Of Being An Introvert (And Why Extroverts Are Overrated).”

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It’s about time!

I have written about Introverts, or rather, the misunderstanding, mishandling, and under-appreciation of this group of people in the past. Ok, I ranted with foams at the corners of my mouth. I LOVE this paragraph below and will quote it again, and again, whenever I have a chance:

The American dream is to be extraverted. We want our children to be “people who need people.” We want them to have lots of friends, to like parties, to prefer to play outside with their buddies rather than retire with a good book, to make friends easily, to greet new experiences enthusiastically, to be good risk-takers, to be open about their feelings, to be trusting. We regard anyone who doesn’t fit this pattern with some concern. We call them “withdrawn,” “aloof,” “shy,” “secretive,” and “loners.” These pejorative terms show the extent to which we misunderstand introverts…

Introverts need to learn about the positive benefits of their personality type. They need to be taught that reflection is a good quality…

The time has come to respect the introverts in our families and classrooms, and the hidden introvert in ourselves.

Source (1999)

 

This was written in 1999. It is now 2012. About time that a major publication such as the venerable Time rights the wrong, sets the record straight.

I was ready to take out my credit card in order to walk through that pay wall Time.com cleverly set up so I could read the said cover story.

Then I took a good look at the cover Time has chosen for this issue.

 

 

No. No. No. No. No.

Introversion does not equal shyness.

Introverts are not necessarily shy. In fact, psychologists have been warning adults from labeling children “shy” if they seem reserved. This will only create a self-fulfilling prophesy. This is ironic since Susan Cain, whose book Quiet this Time article was based on, wrote an article titled “Don’t call introverted children shy” published by Time Online at the same time. She specifically addressed this common mistake of confusing introversion with shyness:

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shy people fear negative judgment, while introverts simply prefer less stimulation; shyness is inherently painful, and introversion is not. But in a society that prizes the bold and the outspoken, both are perceived as disadvantages.

Though I along with many others are excited that the undue attention paid to the extroverts in this country is finally being brought to light by such a widely-read magazine, I believe this cover is doing a lot of people, esp. children a disservice by reinforcing a misconception.

And, that’s what I have been doing these past two nights. I tweeted, I Facebooked, I google+’ed. I could not let it go.

So here it is. A Facebook page for  Introverts are not shy

 

 

LIKE the page if you agree! Chances are nothing will get changed. I don’t have the self-grandiose illusion of this starting a movement. BUT, it certainly makes me feel better tonight.

And I am going to bed.

 

 

p.s. Now it’s two days later. Still cannot let it go. I added a Google Plus page for good measure.

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Sweatpants

January 23, 2012

in marketing at work

Is it just me or does he have boobs bigger than mine

 

(Disclaimer: This post was written at airport lounge while I sipped on my 2nd and 3rd Bloody Marys. Also, it is posted in lieu of the Chinese New Year of which I have nothing to blog about. I am NOT celebrating it as I am on a business trip for the next three days… #ChineseWeGetNoRespectAroundHere)

I want to go to there.

To inside the website pages of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. A la The Purple Rose of Cairo. (Incidentally one of my favorite movies that made me cry uncontrollably when I was going through my emo years…)

Yeah yeah yeah. I know the shirtless models from the teen store are old news for you hipsters out there. But I have never really paid attention to the brouhaha back when concerned citizens complained about the half-nekkid men in Abercrombie’s marketing campaigns and sometimes, if you’re lucky, inside their stores. As you can see, the protest has since died down and forgotten, and Abercrombie continues to use sex to lure in the real credit card holders (aka moms). Business obviously is thriving otherwise how can they command the kind of prices they do? Really. Why would any teenager need a hoodie that costs $200 or a winter jacket made of cotton and nylon for $600? (For that price, you’d better be wearing some dead animal. Just sayin’)

Even in my obsessive search for pants, I did not set foot in A&F. In fact, I made a deliberate effort to turn my head away when I walked with my son past by it in the mall. It was on the back of my head: I wanted to steer absolutely away from the potential accusation of being a leering dirty old lady. How wrong is it to lust after the models advertising clothing to your own children? It feels at the very least questionable. Aren’t you all surprised that I am a closeted prude?

Because I have never even taken a good look at the store, I was in for a shock of a lifetime when late one night I decided to check out A&F: I was desperate because the sweatpants from Aeropostale are now reportedly too short for my teenager.

So I opened up their front page…

Oh my. Come to mama!

I am sure my pupils were dilated and my mouth turned into a wolf snout. I quickly looked around to make sure my kids were not around even though it’s already past midnight. I felt… dirty.

Now did y’all know that in the world of these headless, shirtless models, “sweatpants” is a category on its own? SWEATPANTS. A category on its own!

 

Not only that, like fancy jeans, there are different styles that you can choose from. For your kids, of course. Of Course. Behold the glory from both A&F and Hollister (another store I have never set my foot in esp. since it is so deliberately dark and dance-club-hip, I just want to run in and go, “Where is the fucking bar?!”) Anyway, you are welcome.

 

Now that I have had a chance to stop staring and regain some blood back to my brains, it kind of made sense: sweatpants are a big deal for teenage boys. My son has been wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and sweatpants ever since he became a teen, no matter the temperature outside. (He wears jeans when we ask him to “dress up”…)  But no worries Internet, I did not capitulate to the lure of headless shirtless men with their nether region almost showing. I was not about to pay $60 for a pair of sweatpants.

I hesitated before I clicked on Underwear, expecting to have nose bleeds from getting too excited. But was relieved, ok, fine, mildly disappointed that there is no image of models demonstrating the goods. Thank goodness though David Beckham came through (for H&M). And seriously, him? Fair game, imo. I have no problem ogling that old man.

 

 

By the way, how many of you, like me, chuckled at “Classic Straight”?

Straight fit. All the way down. Thou doth protest too much.

What is Classic straight anyway? Rock Hudson?

 

And… I am not done yet. At the end of day, I do have to admit: A&F website is a much greater pleasure to browse with a cocktail in hand than its competitors. I checked out American Eagles. All I can say is, Really, really?!

 

First of all, they are all wearing shirts. The nerves of those men! On top of that, what is up with that posture? Something wrong with your back and knees? Is that supposed to be sexy? Someone needs to call American Eagles and set them (and those legs) straight.

 

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When last summer was over, finding pants that fit all of a sudden became my obsession. Oh not for myself (I mean, that’s another, sad sad story). For the strange teenager that took over my oldest boy. Overnight the pants from BOYS’ department no longer fit him and those from MEN’s department won’t for a while. My choice seemed to be either highwater pants or a barrel.

Of course my son was no help.

“Can’t you just ask your friends where they buy their pants? For sure you cannot be the only person built with crane legs!” He looked at me with horror.

For weeks I had to refrain myself from asking random model-grade teenage boys with legs rivaling Manga characters (ok, to be fair, so you won’t tzk tzk me, they look almost 20. I think.) where they got their jeans.

After repeated whining of “mom I need new pants!” for a few weeks, I managed to drag him along to the mall. To be honest, the only store I was familiar with was The Gap. But somehow their designers have decided that the waist on boys doubles as soon as they outgrow Size 18. I was gearing up to go home with Erkel when I walked past this store with a name that I could not (and still cannot) pronounce.

Aéropostale. (I am still calling them Apocalypse just to annoy my children)

Why didn’t anybody tell me about this store? They call their two departments “Guys” and “Girls” for goodness sake! And because this store is for teens, there is no BASIC items, no STAPLES, no CLASSICS. You know what this means right? SALES. DRASTIC DISCOUNT, every season. Before the season ends.

$18 for a pair of jeans. 50% off of sales price.

AND they carry size 28*32 for jeans.

As I was grabbing at sweatpants, jeans, hoodies, shirts with the cut for gazelles, I was at the same time telling myself:

I am a good mother. I am a good mother. I will NOT wear matching clothing with my son esp. the way the clothes are emblazoned with the logo.

I did get a Peace bracelet for $6. And this:

Love the bag. It's now my favoriate bag. Only $15.

Love the fuzzy hoodie too. But…

I will not wear the same clothes as my son. I will not buy another hoodie for myself.

But, it is fuzzy. Did I mention that it is fuzzy. It’s like if you scalpe a teddy bear and line the hoodie with the fur. You head is cushioned by the dead teddy bear’s fur.

On top of that, once we got home, he repaid my kindness by pulling on his new jeans without unzipping first.

Zooom. The jeans were on him. Zooom. They were off.

Like a potato sack. It irked me to no end.

I am an adult. I will not wear clothes from the same store as my teenage son and his friends. I do not have anything to prove. I do not need to dress in clothes from “teen stores” nor will I covet those clothes. I am not going through some mid-life crisis. I will not (threaten to) steal my son’s cool new hoodie lined with teddy bear furs… (repeat the mantra)

I told him. I hate you. Seriously.

He beamed and demonstrated the ease with which he pulled on the jeans a few more times.

I said, “I love you. And that is why I will not wear clothes from this store so we won’t seem to be wearing matching clothes.”

He did not seem to appreciate the sacrifice I made for him.

 

* SHOES are the exceptions. Of course.

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Cool Parents. Oxy. Moron.

January 8, 2012 no manual for parenting

Confession: I have been obsessed with this website I came across from my 13-year-old’s Facebook wall. It is aptly named “I Waste So Much Time“. Unfortunately for my reputation, it is not a philosophical statement born from my existential angst. They omitted “On the Internet” in the name. This website is “curated” for middle schoolers… […]

18 comments

My 3 words? Surprisingly not W. T. F.

January 1, 2012 random

Chris Brogan is at it again. Chris Brogan, who I really have no idea of, is apparently a very famous person on the Internet and the social media scene. Dude apparently is an inspiration to many, esp. with his annual New Year post “My 3 Words for 20XX”. In 2011, his 3 words were: Reinvest. […]

42 comments