Opening my hope chest

Dear Dad,

I’m having a great time in my new home. Work is going great, and I’ve been working on cooking more and expanding my kitchen repertoire at home.

Part of what’s helped me so much with this culinary goal is the contents of my hope chest that Mom brought out in January. Most of all, I’ve been using the stoneware casserole to cook meatballs. My latest attempt included soy sauce and chopped onions, and they were irresistible.


It’s interesting for me to be using my hope chest items, intended for new married life, even though I am unmarried. But I am grateful for them, and I think it’s a timely twist on the hope chest tradition.

Normally, these household items were destined for newly-married women to begin their adult lives. But women are getting married later than ever, and it’s no guarantee that I’ll ever be married. However, I have embarked on my grown-up, independent life, so this fine cookware is extremely useful to me.

I can’t help but revel in this twist on a patriarchal tradition: Instead of me serving as the cook and housekeeper to a man, I am taking charge of my own life. I cook my meals for myself, and then take the leftovers to my job for lunch.

Why, I’d even support hope chests for all children, to be given to them when they leave for college or start out their first full-time, grown-up job away from home. It’s a celebration of adulthood and independence.

Love, and thanks for the cookware,



What happens when an older supermodel shows off her bod

Dear Dad,

Have you seen Cindy Crawford’s latest photoshoot (click the link to admire)? She looks great! The 48-year-old supermodel posed unretouched in lingerie, and I am completely in love with the shot.

Her stomach is not tight. It shows some wrinkles and her thighs are wiggly too. But that’s part of why I love this photo so much. It reminds me of many of the women in my life who are beautiful and shining and age just makes them more radiant, like Mom.

Unfortunately, I found out about this shoot from a Twitter user who was shocked(!) that Cindy Crawford’s looked like someone who is nearly 50. In fact, he argued that her body was not as “amazing” as it should be for someone who “was one of the MOST beautiful women in the world.” He “expected more.”

It’s a tragic example of how harmful our society’s portrayal of women is. We’re so retouched and judged for our looks that when a woman reveals her natural body, people react by shaming it, insulting it, and saying how disappointed they are.

I, for one, love this photo. It serves as a reminder that women are beautiful at any age. And I hope those who see the photo get the message that tummy pooches, soft thighs and wrinkles are not something to be ashamed of.

Age is beautiful.