Lululemon and founder Chip Wilson can suck it.
Instead of the peace and zen that should emanate from a yoga-clothing supplier, Wilson is spewing hate and showing his ignorance. If his company’s damn clothes weren’t so damn overpriced, I’d be tempted to burn my Lulu outfits in the front yard.
I will admit I like Lulu’s clothes, despite the crazy-high prices: they’re cute, different, and stylish (says the woman who started playing tennis because she liked the outfits). They’re made from fabrics that stand up to a real workout (except for that one batch of see-through yoga pants, that is).
In attempting to explain the problem with the recalled yoga pants, Wilson created a couple of new yoga poses, which I don’t expect to see in my yoga class: Foot In Mouth and Flaming Douchebag. During an interview with Bloomberg TV, instead of taking responsibility for the faulty pants, Wilson blamed the women who wear them — and shell out $98 for each pair — for being too fat.
Yes, you read that right.
Wilson blames his customer base for being too fat.
“Some women’s bodies just don’t work for it.” I’m assuming the “it” he so uneloquently refers to is the pants. I would expect someone with a net worth of nearly $3 billion to be a bit more articulate, but I am picky that way.
When pressed to elaborate on the women’s bodies that “just don’t work,” Wilson added, “They don’t work for some women’s bodies. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time.”
In an effort to clarify this insane suggestion, the Bloomberg TV reporter asked Wilson if Lululemon yoga pants are something that every woman, regardless of size, can wear. He said, “I think they can, I just think it’s how you use them.”
Wait — how we use them? How we use the yoga pants? Maybe like, for yoga?
The yoga pants are see-through — even though they cost 100 clams a pair — and this jackass is blaming the customer? And trying to throw up a loophole that questions how we might “use” yoga pants? Come on, man.
It gets better. Or worse, actually.
As part of his raving lunacy, Wilson offered this:
“Breast cancer also came into prominence in the 1990s. Ultimately, I suggest this was due to the number of cigarette-smoking power women who were on the pill (initial concentrations of hormones in the pill were very high) and taking on the stress previously left to men in the working world.”
While he clearly has a history of blaming the victim, Wilson can’t be serious about the causes of breast cancer. I can’t get past his choice of words describing breast cancer as something that “came into prominence.” Sadly, breast cancer is not like a desperate celebrity seeking its 15 minutes of fame; it’s here for the long haul. And it’s been around a lot longer than the 1990s. Idiot.
On the Lululemon blog, Wilson wrote a post elaborating his ass-hatty ideas and blathering on in moronic fashion, then summarizes by dropping this little gem: “lululemon was formed because female education levels, breast cancer, yoga/athletics and the desire to dress feminine came together all at one time. lululemon saw the opportunity to make the best technologically advanced components for [this] market in the 1990s.”
Sooooo, this genius created Lululemon because of women’s education, breast cancer, sports/fitness, and wanting to look pretty? Like a perfect storm, these mythical female elements of the universe converged to form a $10 billion company, and Wilson has women — fat, power-hungry, cigarette-smoking, birth-control-popping, breast-cancer having, vain women — to thank for his fame & fortune. Except, instead of thanking us, he somehow manages to blame and alienate us.
Screw you, Lululemon. I’m going to the Athleta store; I need some new yoga pants.
“I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love. At the moment, I have only the greatest happiness and I am so proud of the way he lived and died, of his incredible power and grace.I’m sure he will come to me in my dreams and will seem to be alive again. And I am suddenly standing here by myself stunned and grateful. How strange, exciting and miraculous that we can change each other so much, love each other so much through our words and music and our real lives.”
I saw this ad in the Sunday paper.
Pinktober is sucky enough for those of us who are unwillingly on Team Pink. One month is bad enough.
My mom died today.
Eight years ago today.
In some ways it seems like just yesterday. It some ways, it seems like I never even knew her. At all. I can’t really remember the sound of her voice. When I try to recollect her voice, I hear the sound of her when she was sick, and it was not her, not the real her. I miss the sound of her laugh. She had a great laugh. It was genuine and from the heart. From the belly.
I miss her so much.
And yet, I feel like I don’t remember her at all. It’s as if she was never here at all.
She was awesome. So awesome. And she would want to spank me with the wooden spoon for being so unhappy and ungrateful for what I do have and for cussing so much.
Some times, I really hate those whose moms are still alive. I hate those whose moms are still healthy. If you have a mom, and she’s alive, I hate you. If you have a mom, and she’s healthy, I hate you.
Maybe that makes me small & petty & hateful. I can allow for that and I don’t care . It’s not rational, and I know that. It’s not logical, yet I don’t give 2 shits. You did nothing wrong, yet I feel the way I feel. I hate you. Could not care less. I hate you nonetheless. Even if you & your mama don’t have all that great a relationship and even if she drives you crazy or she’s distant or she’s not what you want or expect or need…I don’t care. I still hate you. Because she’s here. And mine is not. And that makes me hate you. All of you.
I hate cancer.
I fucking hate cancer.
Yesterday I wrote about the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and my friend M, who I met through this little blog, sent me this photo. It’s the new Freedom Tower, built on the site on which the former World Trade Center stood. M and her son visited New York City this summer and happened upon this beautiful convergence of the financial district skyline and the new building as the sun was setting. The result: a stunning light shining from the new tower.
Looking at the play of light suffuses me with warmth, and it calls to mind the visual my yoga teacher uses while instructing us to concentrate on our breath. She says to imagine our slow, long, belly-tightening exhale as a plume of breath exiting through a small hole in the top of our heads. A concentrated ridding of toxins and stale air. That’s what I think of when I see M’s photo: out with ruin, in with new life. Signs of life.
The Freedom Tower stands 1,776 feet tall and, according to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation,”serves as a beacon of freedom, and demonstrates the resolve of the United States, and the people of New York City.”
Surrounding the tower is the Reflecting Absence memorial, which pays tribute to the 2,986 men and women who died on that terrible day. I visited the memorial in February while on a girls’ trip with my bestie Yvonne, and I still haven’t found the words to describe the experience. It was a brutally cold, insanely windy day — I think the temperature was 27 degrees, which is this Texan’s version of hell — but the discomfort the weather provided seemed fitting as I began my trek toward the memorial. I walked from our Times Square hotel to Lower Manhattan, freezing my tail off the entire way. This idyllic shot of Central Park blanketed in snow looks tranquil, but within that tranquility were some mighty cold temps.
As I reached the Financial District, I noticed an increased police presence around the memorial — a sad reminder of the lasting effects of the terrorist attacks. Ditto the incredibly long process of getting through security to enter the memorial.
The memorial contains two giant pools of cascading water, each set where the Twin Towers used to be. The walls of water are the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States, and the deep, dark pit in their centers are an incredibly powerful symbol. The brochure from the memorial says that the pools are intended to be “a reminder of the Twin Towers and of the unprecedented loss of life from an attack on our soil.”
The names of those killed that day in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon are inscribed onto waist-level granite surrounding the pools. The six victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are included as well. Seeing all the names is powerful, especially upon the realization that the names stretch all the way around the massive pools. Seeing multiple references to unborn children is crushingly sad.
I wonder if the friends and families of those who perished gain some smidgen of comfort from seeing and touching the names. I wonder if those friends and families are at all buoyed by the fact that random people like me, who never knew their loved ones, are moved so deeply by seeing those names etched into the panels.
I also wonder why we need signs such as the one pictured below. Do people really have to be told not to scratch or sit on the panels containing the names?
And do people need to be told not to throw anything into the pools? Were I to see someone scratching, sitting or throwing things in this sacred place, I’d be sorely tempted to push them into one of the pools.
The Survivor Tree, pictured below, is yet another symbolic piece of the memorial. (Apologies to the unnamed tourists who ended up in my photos.)
According to the memorial’s blog, The Memo, this tree endured the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center. A few weeks after the attack, the blackened, leafless tree was discovered in the rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The ornamental pear tree was originally planted in the 1970s between buildings in the World Trade Center complex. Before September 11, the tree was tall and full. When it was uncovered after the attack, it was an 8-foot-tall stump with broken roots. ”The tree is a testament to our ability to endure,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. After the attack, the tree was nursed back to health at a nursery in the Bronx, where caretaker Richie Cabo said “It looked like a wounded soldier. When I first saw it, I thought it was unlikely it would survive.”
By the spring of 2002, though, the tree showed signs of life, and Cabo knew the Survivor Tree would survive. “It represents all of us,” said Cabo. and the then-8-foot-tall stump with broken roots is now a 30-foot tall thing of beauty and is a popular site at the memorial.
Like most of us, the Survivor Tree has faced hard times and has seen better days. Uprooted and damaged, yet showing signs of life.
As I left the memorial on that frigid day in February, I took one last look at the Survivor Tree and smiled as I noticed the tightly-closed buds forming on the branches. While it was still too cold and too early in the year for those buds to open and unfurl their renewal, they were there. Showing signs of life.
Leaving the memorial, the wind whipped in between the Financial District’s buildings. The sun dipped out of sight, and the temperature seemed to drop even lower. My feet hurt from my cross-town walk, and my face ached from being the only part of my body exposed to the cold. But my heart was warmed by the Survivor Tree, and by this random tourist in her chicken hat.
September 11, 2001. A day that changed our lives. It’s been referred to as this generation’s Kennedy assassination — everyone remembers where they were when it happened. As the unbelievable images flooded the TV and the tragedy unfolded, our brains struggled to comprehend the horror of what was happening in Lower Manhattan.
Four planes hijacked and intentionally crashed into three buildings — both towers of the World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. That third plane crashed into a remote area of Pennsylvania before it could reach its intended target.
I was pregnant with my favorite girl on this fateful day. My #1 son was a toddler in the throes of the terrible twos, and life was hectic. The day before the attack, I suffered what I thought was a terrible thing. I had my ultrasound to check the development and health of my unborn child. We wanted that child’s gender to be a surprise, as it was with my first pregnancy. So many things in this life of ours are structured and scheduled and planned to the hilt that the idea of hearing my OB-GYN say “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” very much appealed to me. My sweet mama, however, did not like that plan because it thwarted her shopping efforts for my unborn children. That motivated YaYa wanted to buy pink or blue, not gender-neutral colors. She disapproved, but I held firm, and we were indeed surprised and delighted to learn of that first baby’s gender at the moment he entered the world.
The men in my husband’s family like to close ranks, and produce lots and lots of boys. My hub is one of four boys, as is his dad and one uncle. There were 14 boys born in a row in that family. Girls seem to not be on the menu, and the hub’s family predicted yet another boy for the clan. When my #1 son entered the world in 1999, they likely smiled smugly at the interloper (me) who insisted there was a 50/50 chance either way. Boy or girl didn’t matter to me; either one would be great.
Fast forward a couple of years later and again I pursued my surprise. Despite the family history of lots of boys, I still didn’t want to know until that child’s birthday. At the ultrasound on September 10, 2001, we peered over my big belly to peek at the fuzzy image on the monitor. The baby on the screen appeared quite clearly and cooperated fully in our efforts to count fingers & toes while avoiding glimpses of the boy- or girl-parts. That baby cooperated fully, but did it with his/her right arm laid across his/her face, as if to convey the inconvenience he/she suffered as he/she afforded us a quick glimpse into that underwater world. Little did we know that this dramatic gesture in utero would prove to be a harbinger of things to come.
We laughed about the dramatic gesture but did not speculate as to the gender of the child-to-be who would act that way, even before being born. We were clear about not wanting to know. We reiterated our wish to be surprised. We said it multiple times in multiple ways. And still, the doctor slipped. My heart was broken.
I went to bed with a heavy heart and a perhaps misguided anger toward that blabby-mouthed doctor. I awoke to images on The Today Show that made no sense. My pity party was officially over.
A few months later, a baby girl was born.
The all-boy trend came to a screeching halt, and sugar & spice became the fragrance du jour. Trucks, dinosaurs, and baseballs were joined by fluffy stuffed toys, floral patterns, and giant hair bows.
Twelve years later, my #1 son and my favorite girl will discuss the al-Qaeda attacks in their social studies classes. A lot has changed in the 12 years since the terrorist attacks. My busy toddler is now a 9th grader, and that dramatic baby in my tummy is a 6th grader. Twelve years later, my little darlings are not all that little anymore, and before long they’ll be spreading their wings and setting off on their grown-up lives. The world is a different place now than it was before the terrorist attacks. More dangerous? Perhaps. Less secure? Certainly, at least in our minds.
We will never forget.
A friend of mine has suffered an unspeakable loss. I’ve been reeling since I heard the terrible news last night. An unexpected tragedy suffered by someone I like and respect has rudely interrupted my vacation, shattering the peace and tranquility of time spent at the shore.
My heart is heavy as my friend joins a club for which no one wants a membership. I’m instantly transported, despite my best efforts against it, to the time of my mom’s death, and all the sadness and grief that entails. Nearly 8 years later, I’m instantly transported back to the worst time of my life, via a friend’s shared loss of her beloved family member. While I can’t fathom her exact experience, I know enough to know that her heart will never again be whole, her life will never be the same.
I draw much comfort from quotes. The words of those more eloquent than myself soothe and calm me during tragedy. A couple come to mind as I walk silently behind my friend in her grief. A few steps removed, trailing her with flowers and cards and support and whispered words for the inevitable falter in her step as she attempts to move forward toward a life wildly shaken.
“Grief is the price we pay for love.” — Queen Elizabeth II
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” — Khalil Gibran
While we can never understand why such tragedies strike, I do know one thing: I agree with Queen Elizabeth and Khalil Gibran on both counts. However, I wish more than anything that my sweet friend did not have to pay the price or become a strong soul in such a terrible way.
I have an app on my phone that gives me a yoga quote every day. The idea is to take a quiet moment and read the daily quote, reflect upon its wisdom, then go about my day in a serene and float-y way.
Instead, I usually read the daily quote as I’m loading the dishwasher and scooting our little piggie Piper out of the way and hollering at my kids to turn down the TV and wondering where my grocery list is and trying to remember if I paid the lawn guys and hoping I remember to water the new shrubs before they shrivel and die a brown, crinkly death in these dog days of Texas summer.
What part of that is serene and float-y?
None. Nada. Zilch.
I’m coming to grips with the fact that I just don’t lead a serene and float-y life. Going to yoga helps, although I don’t think I’ll ever master the art of calming my mind, even in the midst of a perfect yoga class, in a darkened room with my favorite instructor with her calming voice and lovely music.
Adding the daily yoga quote to my hectic, too-busy day and to my static-y, not-calm mind was a somewhat-desperate attempt to impart even more calm to my spastic self. Some days a quote resonates with me, and some days I think, “Yeah, right.”
Today’s quote grabbed me, and not necessarily in a yoga way but in a more all-encompassing way.
“These days, my practice is teaching me to embrace imperfection: to have compassion for all the ways things haven’t turned out as I planned, in my body and in my life — for the ways things keep falling apart, and failing, and breaking down. It’s less about fixing things, and more about learning to be present for exactly what is”. — Anne Cushman
That one got my attention and forced me to slow down (and to ignore the dishwasher, et al). My guess is that this quote applies to everyone, regardless of whether you’ve ever set foot in a yoga class or attempted a reclining pigeon pose. Of course this quote applies doubly to any of us who have faced a serious health crisis, such as a cancer diagnosis.
My first thought when I read this quote was about how much I’d love to be in the presence of Anne Cushman, whoever she is, and hope for osmosis. I’d love for her acceptance to permeate my body and mind. I’d really love to emulate her practice of “being present for exactly what is” especially as it relates to my post-cancer body.
If only there were a “being present” fairy. A lovely, serene, calming cousin to the Tooth Fairy, who would visit those of us who struggle after diagnosis. She could float into our windows while we sleep and sprinkle yoga-fairy dust around our pillows. She could whisper words of wisdom into our ears and smile knowingly as we nodded sleepily, eyes closed and minds calm. We would fall under her spell without even knowing it, and would awake from our typically-disjointed sleep, no longer plagued by hot flashes or night sweats or nightmares about recurrence. We would emerge from non-tangled, not-sweaty sheets, refreshed and renewed and filled with compassion for the many ways in which things didn’t turn out how we expected. We would smile as we alighted from bed, bathed in calm and knowing that we now have the power to embrace our imperfections. We would no longer instinctively avoid our reflections in the mirror; that part of our minds that tells us “Don’t look! It’s not pretty! It’s not the same!” would be erased, no longer needed. We would cease the relentless and futile pursuit of “fixing things” about our bodies and souls post-cancer. Instead, we would smile sweetly at the broken parts and love them because of, not despite, their imperfections.
My little dog has undergone a big change since we moved into our temporary house. Gone is the lazy, timid dog; he’s been replaced by a brave explorer who wants to charge out the front door and sniff around the entire neighborhood.
I’m shocked by his behavior.
He stands at the front door and scratches multiple times a day. It’s so strange. (One thing hasn’t changed, however — his lack of brains. He hasn’t yet figured out that the front door on the new house swings open on the opposite side as the door on the previous house. Granted, the previous house is the only home he’d ever known before this house, but still….He scratches at the hinged side of the door in the temporary house to alert any- and everyone to the fact that he wants to go exploring.)
I’m not used to this energetic, brave, and curious creature. I’d rather gotten used to my lazy dog.
Regardless of the sudden and inexplicable personality change, he’s nice to take for a walk. He doesn’t tug on the leash, nor does he make that unpleasant “I’m choking myself but I can’t stop” sound. He strolls leisurely but purposefully, sniffing every inch of ground and interrogating each blade of grass. He doesn’t pay any heed to people passing by, and he didn’t even notice the Vietnamese kids smoking pot in the garage two doors down.
On our walk today I noticed a piece of paper on the sidewalk, soggy from last night’s rain yet still intact and legible. It’s someone’s to-do list. I picked it up, both because I don’t like leaving trash lying about and because I’m nosy. I’m a habitual list-maker myself, so I was curious to see what action items are on someone else’s list.