So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me."Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie.""I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the samename."I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina.""Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread,kneading the doughbetween her thick fingers. "What does she do?""Do?" I said."Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "Whatdoes she do?""She goes out with Ken," I said."And what else?""She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping.""Oh," Boo said, nodding."She can't work?""She doesn't have to work," I said."Why not?""Because she's Barbie.""I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town houseand the Corvette,"Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money."I considered this while I put on Ken's pants.Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top."You know what Ithink, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me."What?""I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have aproductive and satisfyingcareer of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting itsposition on the rack."But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning thehouse and going to PTA.I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots,doing s.uch things.Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always rememberher being on my level; she'd siton the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened tothe radio."Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique."What do you want todo when you grow up?"I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross-legged, holding myKen and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother'sPTA and Boo'sstrange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina,and led right to me."Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this camefrom."Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to goto work every day,coming up with ideas for commercialsand things like that.""She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late.""Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie.""Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house.And the Corvette.""Very responsible of her," Boo said."Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercialsand ideas?""She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckledface so solemn, as ifshe knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
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So what’s your doll’s name?” Boo asked me.”Barbie,” I said. “All their names are Barbie.””I see,” she said. “Well, I’d think that would get boring, everyone having the samename.”I thought about this, then said, “Okay, then her name is Sabrina.””Well, that’s a very nice name,” Boo said. I remember she was baking bread,kneading the doughbetween her thick fingers. “What does she do?””Do?” I said.”Yes.” She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. “Whatdoes she do?””She goes out with Ken,” I said.”And what else?””She goes to parties,” I said slowly. “And shopping.””Oh,” Boo said, nodding.”She can’t work?””She doesn’t have to work,” I said.”Why not?””Because she’s Barbie.””I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town houseand the Corvette,”Boo said cheerfully. “Unless Barbie has a lot of family money.”I considered this while I put on Ken’s pants.Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top.”You know what Ithink, Caitlin?” Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me.”What?””I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have aproductive and satisfyingcareer of her own.” She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting itsposition on the rack.”But what can she do?” My mother didn’t work and spent her time cleaning thehouse and going to PTA.I couldn’t imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots,doing s.uch things.Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always rememberher being on my level; she’d siton the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened tothe radio.”Well,” she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique.”What do you want todo when you grow up?”I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross-legged, holding myKen and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother’sPTA and Boo’sstrange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina,and led right to me.”Well,” I said abruptly, “I want to be in advertising.” I have no idea where this camefrom.”Advertising,” Boo repeated, nodding. “Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to goto work every day,coming up with ideas for commercialsand things like that.””She works in an office,” I went on. “Sometimes she has to work late.””Sure she does,” Boo said. “It’s hard to get ahead. Even if you’re Barbie.””Because she wants to get promoted,” I added. “So she can pay off the town house.And the Corvette.””Very responsible of her,” Boo said.”Can she be divorced?” I asked. “And famous for her commercialsand ideas?””She can be anything,” Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckledface so solemn, as ifshe knew she was the first to tell me. “And so can you.

-Sarah Dessen

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So here is what I see when we reclaim the church ladies: a woman loved and free is beautiful. She is laughing with her sisters, and together they are telling their stories, revealing their scars and their wounds, the places where they don't have it figured out. They are nurturers, creating a haven where the young, the broken, the tenderhearted, and the at-risk can flourish. These women are dancing and worshiping, hands high, faces tipped toward heaven, tears streaming. They are celebrating all shapes and sizes, talking frankly and respectfully about sexuality and body image, promising to stop calling themselves fat. They are saving babies tossed in rubbish heaps, rescuing child soldiers, supporting mamas trying to make ends meet halfway around the world, thinking of justice when they buy their daily coffee. They are fighting sex trafficking. They are pastoring and counseling. They are choosing life consistently, building hope, doing the hard work of transformation in themselves. They are shaking off the silence of shame and throwing open the prison doors of physical and sexual abuse, addictions, eating disorders, and suicidal depression. Poverty and despair are being unlocked - these women know there are many hands helping turn that key. There isn't much complaining about husbands and chores, cattiness, or jealousy when a woman knows she is loved for her true self. She is lit up with something bigger than what the world offers, refusing to be intimidated into silence or despair.

-Sarah Bessey

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The phone rang. It was a familiar voice.It was Alan Greenspan. Paul O'Neill had tried to stay in touch with people who had served under Gerald Ford, and he'd been reasonably conscientious about it. Alan Greenspan was the exception. In his case, the effort was constant and purposeful. When Greenspan was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, and O'Neill was number two at OMB, they had become a kind of team. Never social so much. They never talked about families or outside interests. It was all about ideas: Medicare financing or block grants - a concept that O'Neill basically invented to balance federal power and local autonomy - or what was really happening in the economy. It became clear that they thought well together. President Ford used to have them talk about various issues while he listened. After a while, each knew how the other's mind worked, the way married couples do.In the past fifteen years, they'd made a point of meeting every few months. It could be in New York, or Washington, or Pittsburgh. They talked about everything, just as always. Greenspan, O'Neill told a friend, "doesn't have many people who don't want something from him, who will talk straight to him. So that's what we do together - straight talk."O'Neill felt some straight talk coming in."Paul, I'll be blunt. We really need you down here," Greenspan said. "There is a real chance to make lasting changes. We could be a team at the key moment, to do the things we've always talked about."The jocular tone was gone. This was a serious discussion. They digressed into some things they'd "always talked about," especially reforming Medicare and Social Security. For Paul and Alan, the possibility of such bold reinventions bordered on fantasy, but fantasy made real."We have an extraordinary opportunity," Alan said. Paul noticed that he seemed oddly anxious. "Paul, your presence will be an enormous asset in the creation of sensible policy."Sensible policy. This was akin to prayer from Greenspan. O'Neill, not expecting such conviction from his old friend, said little. After a while, he just thanked Alan. He said he always respected his counsel. He said he was thinking hard about it, and he'd call as soon as he decided what to do.The receiver returned to its cradle. He thought about Greenspan. They were young men together in the capital. Alan stayed, became the most noteworthy Federal Reserve Bank chairman in modern history and, arguably the most powerful public official of the past two decades. O'Neill left, led a corporate army, made a fortune, and learned lessons - about how to think and act, about the importance of outcomes - that you can't ever learn in a government.But, he supposed, he'd missed some things. There were always trade-offs. Talking to Alan reminded him of that. Alan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for NBC news, lived a fine life. They weren't wealthy like Paul and Nancy. But Alan led a life of highest purpose, a life guided by inquiry.Paul O'Neill picked up the telephone receiver, punched the keypad."It's me," he said, always his opening.He started going into the details of his trip to New York from Washington, but he's not much of a phone talker - Nancy knew that - and the small talk trailed off."I think I'm going to have to do this."She was quiet. "You know what I think," she said.She knew him too well, maybe. How bullheaded he can be, once he decides what's right. How he had loved these last few years as a sovereign, his own man. How badly he was suited to politics, as it was being played. And then there was that other problem: she'd almost always been right about what was best for him."Whatever, Paul. I'm behind you. If you don't do this, I guess you'll always regret it."But it was clearly about what he wanted, what he needed.Paul thanked her. Though somehow a thank-you didn't seem appropriate.And then he realized she was crying.

-Ron Suskind

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As Mollie said to Dailey in the 1890s: "I am told that there are five other Mollie Fanchers, who together, make the whole of the one Mollie Fancher, known to the world; who they are and what they are I cannot tell or explain, I can only conjecture." Dailey described five distinct Mollies, each with a different name, each of whom he met (as did Aunt Susan and a family friend, George Sargent). According to Susan Crosby, the first additional personality appeared some three years after the after the nine-year trance, or around 1878. The dominant Mollie, the one who functioned most of the time and was known to everyone as Mollie Fancher, was designated Sunbeam (the names were devised by Sargent, as he met each of the personalities). The four other personalities came out only at night, after eleven, when Mollie would have her usual spasm and trance. The first to appear was always Idol, who shared Sunbeam's memories of childhood and adolescence but had no memory of the horsecar accident. Idol was very jealous of Sunbeam's accomplishments, and would sometimes unravel her embroidery or hide her work. Idol and Sunbeam wrote with different handwriting, and at times penned letters to each other.The next personality Sargent named Rosebud: "It was the sweetest little child's face," he described, "the voice and accent that of a little child." Rosebud said she was seven years old, and had Mollie's memories of early childhood: her first teacher's name, the streets on which she had lived, children's songs. She wrote with a child's handwriting, upper- and lowercase letters mixed. When Dailey questioned Rosebud about her mother, she answered that she was sick and had gone away, and that she did not know when she would be coming back. As to where she lived, she answered "Fulton Street," where the Fanchers had lived before moving to Gates Avenue.Pearl, the fourth personality, was evidently in her late teens. Sargent described her as very spiritual, sweet in expression, cultured and agreeable: "She remembers Professor West [principal of Brooklyn Heights Seminary], and her school days and friends up to about the sixteenth year in the life of Mollie Fancher. She pronounces her words with an accent peculiar to young ladies of about 1865." Ruby, the last Mollie, was vivacious, humorous, bright, witty. "She does everything with a dash," said Sargent. "What mystifies me about 'Ruby,' and distinguishes her from the others, is that she does not, in her conversations with me, go much into the life of Mollie Fancher. She has the air of knowing a good deal more than she tells.

-Michelle Stacey

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I would be unfair to myself if I said I did not try. I did, even if desultorily. But desire is a curious thing. If it does not exist it does not exist and there is nothing you can do to conjure it up. Worse still, as I discovered, when desire begins to sink, like a capsizing ship it takes down a lot with it. In our case it took down the conversation, the laughter, the sharing, the concern, the dreams and nearly - the most important thing, the most important thing - and nearly the affection too. Soon my sinking desire had taken everything else down with it to the floor of the sea, and only affection remained like the bobbing hand of a drowning man, poised perilously between life and death. More than once she tried to seize the moment and open up the issue. She did it with a hard face and a soft face; she did it when I was idling on the terrace and when I was in the thick of my works; first thing in the morning and last thing at night. We need to talk.Yes.Do you want to talk?Sure.What's happening?I don't know.Is there someone else?No.Is it something I did?Oh no.Then what the hell's happening?I don't know.Is there anything you want to talk to me about?I don't know.What do you mean you don't know?I don't know.What do you mean you don't know?I don't know. That's what I mean - I don't know.Toc toc toc. All the while I tried to save that bobbing hand - of affection - from vanishing. I felt somehow that if it drowned there would not be a single pointer on the wide stormy surface to show me where our great love had once stood. That bobbing hand of affection was a marker, a buoy, holding out the hope that one day we could salvage the sunken ship. If it drowned, our coordinates would be completely lost and we would not know where to even begin looking. Even in my weird state, it was an image of such desolation that it made my heart lurch wildly. *** For a long time, with her immense pride in herself - in us - she did not turn to anyone for help. Not friends, not family. For simply too long she imagined this was a passing phase, but then, as the weeks rolled by, through slow accretion the awful truth began to settle on her. By then she had run through all the plays of a relationship: withdrawal, sulking, anger, seduction, inquisition, affection, threat. Logic, love, lust.Now the epitaph was beginning to creep up on her. Acceptance. 

-Tarun J.

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What do woman say to little boys? " Stop fighting. Stop being so rough. Stop rough housing." They're boys you know, that's kinda what they're sapossed to do. So, men are sapossed to overcome all these biological drives and I'm just really interested in helping women overcome theirs caus' I think the spotlight of " Outgrow your bestial nature." has been pointed just a little bit too long at men and I think it's time to swivel that motherfucker around and point it at woman and say stop making yourself look like fucking sex clowns to milk money out of men's dicks. Stop lying about who you are and what you're about. Stop being flirty, manipulative, and trying to be sexy. Just stop doing it. It's time for women to outgrow biology just as men have been instructed to for about the last 20,000 years to outgrow their biology. "Stop slamming doors. Stop yelling. Stop climbing trees. Stop being rude. Stop farting. Stop enjoying fart jokes. Just stop being men." Ok, Well; women stop being women. Be people. Be people who have sex, absolutely but, don't be caricatures. Don't aim to be like a woman who looks like the outline of some playboy mudflap on a trucker's rig. Just be people. Be sexual. Enjoy your sexuality and bodies but, stop trying to bury us in tits so that we pass out and you can rifle through our bank accounts. Just stop doing that shit. I won't enable it anymore. Why does your face have to look like some half rained on Picasso water color? I don't need rainbows on the face of a woman. I don't need these weird butterfly wing goth eyebrows and shit like that. Male sexuality is demonized and female sexuality is elevated. That's bullshit. Then women wonder why men prefer porn to them. It's caus' porn doesn't nag you for wanting stuff that's defined as "kinky" or "weird". Male sexuality is demonized and held in low esteem. Woman's sexuality is always beautiful. Woman's sexuality is unremitting shallow. I'm not saying men's isn't but, we know that about men, right? What turns women on? Women say confidence. Do you know what that means? Money. Do women say " He is really confident about his sidewalk art. He is really confident about his subway busking. That's such a turn on!" Why do men like looking at naked women and women get turned on looking at clothed men? Because if a man's clothes aren't on you don't know how expensive his wardrobe is. This is what Mohammad Ali said. I'm going to throw on some old jeans and a old t-shirt and I'm just gonna walk down into some little town and find some woman who doesn't know who the hell I am and then when she's fallen in love with me and we get married, I'm going to take her to my million dollar mansion and my yacht. This is the reality. Once you start having money, once you start having power, then the true nature of massive swaths of female sexuality becomes clear.

-Stefan Molyneux

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