In A Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak

I’m always amazed when I rewatch a favorite childhood movie or television show and find the adult humor or mature subject matter hidden beneath the surface. Never did I think the same would hold true for a classic children’s book, but it did after walking through “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” a new exhibit here in town.

Last weekend, I stopped by the Main Library’s Bernheim Gallery on 301 York St. to browse the exhibit on display through Feb. 24.

The library exhibit features several of the beloved characters from Sendak’s 1964 Caldecott Medal winning picture book, “Where The Wild Things Are.” There are also giant, vivid panels depicting illustrations from other notable stories Sendak has written over the years.

Ashley Anderson and "The Wild Things."

Ashley Anderson and "The Wild Things."

The national traveling exhibition delves into the influence that Jewish culture and history had on Sendak as an author and illustrator, which was an influence I never would have detected reading his work in the first grade.

Did you know that Sendak was preoccupied with “shtetl” (Yiddish for “little town”) life growing up in Brooklyn, New York and intertwined elements of the Holocaust and the Lindbergh kidnapping into his 1993 book “We are all in the Dumps with Jack and Guy”?

In fact, as a child, Sendak had become intrigued by the worn black-and-white photographs of his European relatives, many of whom were murdered in concentration camps, and based several of the monstrous “wild things” in his famous storybook off of his aunts and uncles who had scared him as a kid with their cigar smoking, crooked teeth and long nose hair.

It is said that the main character, Max, in “Where the Wild Things Are” is symbolic of Sendak and his quest to explore his European ancestry and make sense of his American upbringing.

Sendak has always been interested in deriving his fantasies from reality, and that was exactly the case for his iconic book that I’m sure many children never would have imagined held a deeper meaning beneath the adventurous tale of a boy dressed in a wolf suit wandering through the land of ferocious beasts.

It was through Sendak’s journey in literature that he was able to better understand his Jewish identity and family history that caused him conflict as a child battling his parents’ Old World mentality in the vibrant New World of Brooklyn. Without his past and inability to truly break from it, Sendak may not have become the renowned author he is today. Nor would he have finally found a sense of happiness, which he was quoted as saying, “comes only through art … music, reading, working. That’s it. And crappy television.”

Now, who would have thought that was the real story behind one mischievous boy who travels to a land inhabited by wild things?

For more information, visit www.lfpl.org or call 502.574.1611. Contact writer Ashley Anderson at aanderson@voice-tribune.com, 502.498.2051.

Location

Main Library
301 York St.

Hours

Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.

Cost

Free

Special attractions

A Wild, Wild Rumpus
Saturday, Jan. 28: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Come visit the Main Library for a special reading of “Where the Wild Things Are” performed by Stage One Family Theatre. Children will meet Max and one of the Wild Things and create wild crafts with the Speed Art Museum.

Jewish Ritual Objects: Religion and Art
Thursday, Feb. 16: 7 p.m.
In concurrence with the Jewish Museum in New York hosting the exhibit “An Artist Remembers: Hanukkah Lamps Selected by Maurice Sendak,” University of Louisville history professor Lee Shai Weissbach will present an illustrated exploration of how Jewish tradition has approached questions of artistic expression through the ages.

Is America Following The Lead Of Italy?

“When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” –Dean Martin

I could be the last person in America to read Eat, Pray, Love, but there is a segment in the book that keeps running through my mind.

The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, references Luigi Barzini’s book The Italians when explaining why a country that has “produced the greatest artistic, political and scientific minds of the ages” has not become a world power.

Barzini’s conclusion is that after hundreds of years of corruption and exploitation by foreign domination, Italians don’t trust political leaders or big institutions.

Gilbert said the prevailing thought is that “because the world is so corrupted, misspoken, unstable, exaggerated and unfair, one should only trust what one can experience with one’s own senses.”

She added, “In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down.”

I have pondered Gilbert’s insight for weeks. I keep asking myself the essential question.

Is the United States headed the way of Italy?

Survey after survey shows that Americans do not trust their elected officials and don’t trust the people on Wall Street.

My parents grew up in a society where people trusted big companies to provide secure, long term jobs, excellent benefits and solid retirement plans.
They trusted Wall Street to invest in those big companies and fuel America’s economy growth.

They trusted political leaders to pass legislation that made the nation better, like the Civil Rights Act, even when the vote wasn’t politically expedient.
We trusted our leaders to do the right thing.

My children are growing up in a society where none of that is happening. Corporations dump loyal employees, cut benefits and wiggle out of paying for pensions. Wall Street rewards them for it.

Wall Street has been based on a system of paying employees huge bonuses for gambling in silly trading games, rather than helping the economy produce growth.

Washington seems more focused on the latest opinion poll or their lobbyist buddies than what is good for the average citizen.

Long term thinking seems to occur around the “24-hour news cycle.”

If the American people are following the path of the Italians, you can’t really blame them.

On the other hand, I don’t want to see the United States become the next Italy.

I want to trust big institutions, but that trust has to be earned.

I trust many life insurance companies because they are heavily regulated and oriented towards safety. I’ve been in an associated industry for all my adult life, know the people who run the companies and believe in the concepts they sell. The culture is very different from Goldman Sachs.

I want to trust government. I voted for President Obama in 2008 because I thought he would bring change to the economic system. Instead he gave us Geithner, Bernanke, Dr. Lawrence Summers and all the people who got us in this mess to begin with. Having said that, there is a good chance I’ll vote for Obama again as I am not impressed with the competition.

There is a way to turn things around but the window is short. I’d like to see economic incentives for people who save and invest as opposed to bailouts for those who lack self control.

America could completely become the Italian model, where we retreat to our own worlds and focus on immediate pleasure.
Although there are a lot of downfalls, as Gilbert notes, the Italians can make one heck of a pizza.

In the big scheme of life, that’s amore.

Don McNay, who lives in Richmond, Ky., is an award-winning financial columnist for Huffington Post Contributor. You can learn more about him at www.donmcnay.com.

The Couture Closet Puts Brides On The Right Track For Beautiful Weddings

The Couture Closet, located beside the train tracks in La Grange, celebrated its fifth anniversary this month.

The Couture Closet, located beside the train tracks in La Grange, celebrated its fifth anniversary this month.

Every bride looks forward not only to her wedding, but also to each anniversary that commemorates it as the years go by.

Business partners Lauren Montgomery and Tera Davis are celebrating a special anniversary of their own this month — their fifth year as owners of the Couture Closet bridal boutique, which is at 123 E. Main St., La Grange.

These two entrepreneurs met while studying event coordination at Sullivan University. Initially, they thought about opening a wedding-coordination business after graduating.

“We wrote our business plan with that in mind, but each of us had about ten years of experience in retail, so we already knew this side of the industry,” Tera said. “Adding wedding-coordination is still in our ten-year plan. Eventually, we’ll be able to dress the bride and help her with everything about planning her wedding.”

Although she lives in Jeffersonville, Ind. and Lauren lives in St. Matthews, they chose La Grange as the location for their store — right beside the railroad tracks that run through town. The grand opening was Jan. 2, 2007.

Co-owners Tera Davis (left) and Lauren Montgomery met while studying event coordination at Sullivan University.

Co-owners Tera Davis (left) and Lauren Montgomery met while studying event coordination at Sullivan University.

“We wanted to be in a smaller area where people weren’t just stopping in on their lunch break,” Lauren said. “Our goal was to make this an experience. They come out here with their ladies and make a day of it. This boutique is between Louisville, Lexington and Cincinnati, so we attract customers from all three cities. It’s a perfect location.”

As many as 75 bridal gowns are in the store at any given time, and each one has been hand-picked by Lauren and Tera.

“They’re here because we love them,” Tera said. “We’re the only people who work here, so the brides are always dealing with an owner. It’s in our best interest to give 100 percent customer service. If we don’t have exactly what a shopper wants, we’ll help her figure out where to go to find what she’s looking for.”

The Couture Closet features an indoor gazebo in which the bride’s entourage enjoys refreshments while mirrors show her how she looks in gown after gown.

Madeline Nicholas, originally from Goshen, came from Indianapolis to explore the selection of bridal gowns.

Madeline Nicholas, originally from Goshen, came from Indianapolis to explore the selection of bridal gowns.

Strapless dresses are still popular among Kentuckiana women, Tera reported, but last year’s wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William renewed interest in sleeves of various lengths.

Combinations of fabrics, such as a satin skirt with a flirty kick of tulle at the bottom, are in, as are belts or sashes bedecked with rhinestones, beads or flowers.

“When we’re asked to find the right dress for the mother of the bride or of the groom — both are often called ‘mother of the occasion’ now — we show them our up-to-date collection,” Lauren said. “Most shops have clothes that make them look frumpy, but we call ours ‘modern moms’ dresses.”

With shoes, accessories and gifts for each member of the wedding, the Couture Closet outfits customers from head to toe.

“Women who come here are happy as they look forward to their wedding and marriage,” Lauren said. “We help them decide what to wear on one of the most important days of their lives. This is fun for us, but it’s also an honor.”

The Couture Closet, located at 123 E. Main St., La Grange is open Tuesday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Appointments are recommended. For information, visit www.coutureclosetboutique.com or phone 502.225.0305.

Desserts First Is Girl Scouts All Grown Up

Sorry fellas, 2012 has been declared the “Year of the Girl.”

The slogan was created by the Girl Scouts to mark the 100th anniversary of the organization, which was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga. on March 12, 1912.

Along with the centennial celebration, here in Louisville, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana will host its sixth annual Desserts First, which has arrived just in time for the three-month-long cookie season continuing through March 18.

The popular event features a competition among local chefs who will create original desserts and hors d’oeuvres using Girl Scout Cookies as the key ingredient.

“I actually went and visited (a Desserts First event) in Detroit and thought we could maybe do this and do it better,” said Suzy Gessner, director of development of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. “This event is for adults. We have young professionals that come and we sell corporate tables. We’ve even had people (come) on their first dates before. It’s a time to leave the kids at home and enjoy Girl Scouts all grown up.”

Desserts First will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at The Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 S. 4th St.

Those who attend will be able to taste the various Girl Scout cookie-inspired creations of chefs from such restaurants and businesses as Jack Fry’s, Bakery Cafe, Consumers Choice Coffee and Sweet Surrender.

The winner of best dessert will receive the Golden Whisk award, while the Golden Grater award will be given to the best hors d’oeuvre.

Papalino’s, BoomBozz Pizza and other local eateries will also compete for the Golden Wheel award, the prize for this year’s new pizza category.

Marty Rosen, food writer for The Courier-Journal, Megan Malone, blogger of www.megabiteslouisville.com, and Ann Evans, executive director of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, will participate as the evening’s judges. The three will select the winner of each category, while the public will also vote for the People’s Choice Award for favorite dish.

“You’d be surprised on some of the hors d’oeuvres,” Gessner said. “We’ve had everything from lamb rolled in Samoa cookies to chicken saté that had Do-si-dos peanut butter filling and a Samoa coffee drink.”

Desserts First will offer a cash bar and silent auction that will include tickets to sporting events, getaway packages and memorabilia.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts, Desserts First will also give away a pearl necklace from Haas Jewelers valued at $1,000 to one lucky winner in honor of Girl Scout founder Low having sold her valuable necklace of rare matched pearls in order to finance operations of Girl Scouts in the early days.

“The main thing is to raise awareness and to connect with our community,” said Lora Tucker, CEO of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and retired U.S. Army colonel. “It’s an incredible event and fun event, and (Girl Scout) Cookies really allow girls to do great things. (Girl Scouts) was without a doubt one of the cornerstones of my life. I had the opportunity to come back to my home state and lead this council after leading incredible young Americans, and now I’m trying to make a difference in our girls here in Kentucky.”

Tickets for Desserts First are $50 per person; $1,000 for corporate tables of 10. Proceeds will benefit Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, which serves more than 23,000 girls and 6,700 adult members in 64 counties.

For reservations and information, visit www.gskentuckiana.org or call 502.636.0900.

Recipe of Past Desserts First Gold Whisk Award Winner

Salted Caramel Coconut Tart
By Stacey Borah, Sweet Surrender Dessert Cafe

Ingredients for all components

  • 2 boxes of Samoas
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 qt cream
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 14 oz bittersweet chocolate (small pieces)
  • 1/8 tsp coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350

Prep:
Spray 2 to 10” cake pans with non-stick spray and line them with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic is as smooth as possible and there are no large air bubbles.

Make the cookie base:
Place 2 entire boxes of Samoa Girl Scout cookies (minus a few for garnish) in the food processor. Process until fine and sandy with the appearance of graham cracker crumbs. Press crumbs into first prepared pan and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Make the sponge:
(adapted from “Simply Sensational Desserts” by Francois Payard):

  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups dried shredded coconut

Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl (or in a stand mixer) and whisk on high until it has tripled in volume. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the coconut. Spread in an even layer in the second prepared cake pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Make the caramel:

  • 2 1/3 cups  heavy cream
  • ½  cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Place cream and sugar in the largest heavy bottomed sauce pan that you own. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until thick and caramel colored, stirring very frequently. This mixture just loves to boil over, hence using the largest pan you own. Once it is thick and a medium caramel color, remove from stove and cool.

Make the ganache:

  • 14 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 2/3 cup cream

Place chocolate in a large bowl. Heat cream to a boil, then immediately pour boiling cream over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth and cohesive. Chill until thick but still pliable.

Assemble!
Leave your baked cookie base in its original plastic lined pan, and spread some cooled caramel over it in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of coarse salt over the caramel, making sure to spread it as evenly as possible. Take the coconut sponge layer out of its plastic (carefully) and press it on the caramel layer. Then spread an even layer of ganache over that. Finally, take any extra caramel and ganache and drizzle them over the top.

Place the tart  in the freezer for roughly an hour, until it chills and is set. Then gently tug on the plastic wrap to release it from the pan. Discard plastic wrap and place tart on serving dish. Makes 16 generous servings.

When The Going Gets Tough, Trinity’s Man Is Dieudonne

Nathan Dieudonne.

Nathan Dieudonne.

The Trinity High School basketball team found itself in an unusual predicament at halftime of the Republic Bank/Coca-Cola Louisville Invitational Tournament championship game on Jan 14.

The Shamrocks — No. 1 in The Lexington Herald-Leader’s Cantrall Ratings — were struggling to break down Moore’s 2-3 zone and trailed the Mustangs by a point at Bellarmine’s Knights Hall.

On a team bristling with potential game-changers, it was senior forward Nathan Dieudonne who emerged from the locker room hell-bent on being a second-half savior.

The Boston University signee ramped up his defensive pressure, pulled down one rebound after another and used his size (6-6, 205 pounds) to capitalize in the paint on offense.

Dieudonne tossed in 13 of his 15 points in the final two stanzas and the Rocks coasted to their third LIT title with a 74-57 victory.

Worked Harder

“I just started working a little harder and Coach (Mike) Szabo told me to play a little bit better defense and the points would start coming,” Dieudonne said after finishing 6-for-6 from the field with nine rebounds.

It was just the latest in a long line of standout performances for Dieudonne, who started all but one game as a junior last season and averaged 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

The Rocks finished 21-8 after falling to Ballard in the opening round of district play.

A year later Dieudonne has become a consistent interior option for an up-tempo Trinity team that won the Republic Bank Holiday Classic last month and entered this week undefeated against in-state competition and on a 10-game win streak.

Trinity’s two losses came to St. Raymond’s (N.Y.) and Salesian (Calif.) at the prestigious City of Palms Classic holiday tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.

Versatile Star

“He’s our only big guy so we do need to get him down in the block,” said Szabo. “He’s matured and I think he understands his role and the impact he makes on our team.”

Through 17 games Dieudonne is averaging 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field and 73.8 percent from the foul line. His offensive versatility makes him a difficult player for most defenses to handle, according to Szabo.

“What sets him apart is the fact that he can do so many things,” Szabo said. “He can finish around the basket, score with his back to the basket or face up and knock down the jump shot. He can also put the ball to the floor and go by you.”

It was this diverse skill set that caught the eye of first-year Boston coach Joe Jones.

“I saw him on the (AAU) circuit this summer and thought he had a nice level of confidence and skill,” said Jones, whose Terriers are defending America East Conference champions. “He comes from a great family and he’s a hardworking kid. I definitely think he has the ability to be a guy that could step in and help us right away.”

The family Jones referenced consists of parents Marie and Carl, brother Danny, 20, and sisters Kianna, 16, and Nadia, 13.

Dad Bowl MVP

There is no shortage of athletic ability among the Dieudonnes.

Carl was a linebacker at the Air Force Academy from 1981-1984 and earned MVP honors in a 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl win over Vanderbilt.

Danny, a 2009 St. Xavier graduate, was a wide receiver on the Tigers’ football team and placed third at the State Meet in the high jump (6-4) his senior year.

Kianna, a six-foot sophomore middle blocker at Sacred Heart Academy, and Nadia, a seventh-grade student at St. Aloysius, are both rising volleyball stars.

Dieudonne said he will try to spend as much time as possible with his family before he heads north in the fall. A 3.6 student, he wants to major in human sciences to prepare for a career in physical therapy.

Two big matchups are on the horizon for Dieudonne and the Rocks.

Joe B. Classic

On Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m., they take on archrival St. X at Freedom Hall before traveling to Montgomery County on Saturday for the Joe B. Hall Prep Classic, where they will face an undefeated Madison Central team at 7:15 p.m.

“It’s always a great game and the intensity will be sky-high,” said Szabo about the matchup with St. X.

Trinity has won five straight against St. X and seven of the last eight. The Tigers entered the week with a record of 11-6 and are led by junior guard Alex Jones (9.9 points per game) and senior forward Nathan Smith (9.6 ppg., 5.3 rpg.).

Contact columnist Chris Cahill at ccahill@voice-tribune.com.

Baubles and Bubbly

Who knew my first two weeks as an intern would include modeling and champagne testing? Not me.

I was really excited to find out that one of my first duties as an intern here at The Voice- Tribune would be to model for Gifthorse. I was prepared to be making coffee for everyone in the office. Lucky me, I was very wrong. Look at the cover of the C section. That’s me! I’m famous! (Kind of)

Although excited, I was pretty nervous about being the subject of photo shoot. I wanted to do a good job and prove myself to be a good intern. Thank God for Butch Sager, owner and designer behind the fashions at Gifthorse. He made that very easy for me. Once I met him and saw all of the beautiful clothes I’d get to wear, I knew it’d be a piece of cake.

It wasn’t that easy. I have no idea how to model. And I had gotten rained/sleeted/snowed on while at school that morning so I was looking a little rough when I got to the shoot. Luckily co-owner and hair stylist Shawn Beirne was there to save the day. He teased my hair into a huge, fashionable mess that I secretly wish I could wear on a day-to-day basis.

Besides showing up with my hair a disaster, the first dress I was supposed to wear for the shoot was way too small. I couldn’t even get it on, talk about embarrassing. I ended up wearing the black handkerchief dress in the picture and I loved it. I was happy to wear it, also, because we had to shoot outside in the snow. It was a lot warmer than the other dress would have been!

The pictures turned out pretty darn good if I must say so myself. Overall, I think I’m pretty lucky. Modeling may not be in my future, but life is good here at The Voice-Tribune. I can’t believe that I get to do such cool things as an intern, and meet cool people like Butch and Shawn. Last week, I got to go with the staff members to The Brown Hotel to taste champagne and try gourmet food.

I think I’ll try to stick around for awhile.

 

You’s sooooooo CRAZY!!!!!…..no wait—–it’s ME that is soooooooo C-R-A-Z-Y

A gal pal sent me this article and I thought it was too good not to share.  Not only want to share with my chica’s but my bro buds too. 

Never let anyone make you feel less of a person!  When folks put you down or put you in situations that will not be a success for you, DO NOT take it!!!   Stand up for who YOU are and what YOUR dreams are and what YOU want/need.    

Live, LEARN, LOVE

———————————————————————————————————

 

You’re so sensitive. You’re so emotional. You’re defensive. You’re overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You’re crazy! I was just joking; don’t you have a sense of humor? You’re so dramatic. Just get over it already!

Sound familiar?

If you’re a woman, it probably does.

Do you ever hear any of these comments from your spouse, partner, boss, friends, colleagues, or relatives after you have expressed frustration, sadness, or anger about something they have done or said?

When someone says these things to you, it’s not an example of inconsiderate behavior. When your spouse shows up half an hour late to dinner without calling — that’s inconsiderate behavior. A remark intended to shut you down like, “Calm down, you’re overreacting,” after you just addressed someone else’s bad behavior, is emotional manipulation, pure and simple.

And this is the sort of emotional manipulation that feeds an epidemic in our country, an epidemic that defines women as crazy, irrational, overly sensitive, unhinged. This epidemic helps fuel the idea that women need only the slightest provocation to unleash their (crazy) emotions. It’s patently false and unfair.

I think it’s time to separate inconsiderate behavior from emotional manipulation, and we need to use a word not found in our normal vocabulary.

I want to introduce a helpful term to identify these reactions: gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a term often used by mental health professionals (I am not one) to describe manipulative behavior used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy.

The term comes from the 1944 MGM film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. Bergman’s husband in the film, played by Charles Boyer, wants to get his hands on her jewelry. He realizes he can accomplish this by having her certified as insane and hauled off to a mental institution. To pull of this task, he intentionally sets the gaslights in their home to flicker off and on, and every time Bergman’s character reacts to it, he tells her she’s just seeing things. In this setting, a gaslighter is someone who presents false information to alter the victim’s perception of him or herself.

Today, when the term is referenced, it’s usually because the perpetrator says things like, “You’re so stupid,” or “No one will ever want you,” to the victim. This is an intentional, pre-meditated form of gaslighting, much like the actions of Charles Boyer’s character in Gaslight, where he strategically plots to confuse Ingrid Bergman’s character into believing herself unhinged.

The form of gaslighting I’m addressing is not always pre-mediated or intentional, which makes it worse, because it means all of us, especially women, have dealt with it at one time or another.

Those who engage in gaslighting create a reaction — whether it’s anger, frustration, sadness — in the person they are dealing with. Then, when that person reacts, the gaslighter makes them feel uncomfortable and insecure by behaving as if their feelings aren’t rational or normal.

My friend Anna (all names changed to protect privacy) is married to a man who feels it necessary to make random and unprompted comments about her weight. Whenever she gets upset or frustrated with his insensitive comments, he responds in the same, defeating way, “You’re so sensitive. I’m just joking.”

My friend Abbie works for a man who finds a way, almost daily, to unnecessarily shoot down her performance and her work product. Comments like, “Can’t you do something right?” or “Why did I hire you?” are regular occurrences for her. Her boss has no problem firing people (he does it regularly), so you wouldn’t know from these comments that Abbie has worked for him for six years. But every time she stands up for herself and says, “It doesn’t help me when you say these things,” she gets the same reaction: “Relax; you’re overreacting.”

Abbie thinks her boss is just being a jerk in these moments, but the truth is, he is making those comments to manipulate her into thinking her reactions are out of whack. And it’s exactly that kind manipulation that has left her feeling guilty about being sensitive, and as a result, she has not left her job.

But gaslighting can be as simple as someone smiling and saying something like, “You’re so sensitive,” to somebody else. Such a comment may seem innocuous enough, but in that moment, the speaker is making a judgment about how someone else should feel.

While dealing with gaslighting isn’t a universal truth for women, we all certainly know plenty of women who encounter it at work, home, or in personal relationships.

And the act of gaslighting does not simply affect women who are not quite sure of themselves. Even vocal, confident, assertive women are vulnerable to gaslighting.

Why?

Because women bear the brunt of our neurosis. It is much easier for us to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of our wives, our female friends, our girlfriends, our female employees, our female colleagues, than for us to impose them on the shoulders of men.

It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it. We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.

Whether gaslighting is conscious or not, it produces the same result: It renders some women emotionally mute.

These women aren’t able to clearly express to their spouses that what is said or done to them is hurtful. They can’t tell their boss that his behavior is disrespectful and prevents them from doing their best work. They can’t tell their parents that, when they are being critical, they are doing more harm than good.

When these women receive any sort of push back to their reactions, they often brush it off by saying, “Forget it, it’s okay.”

That “forget it” isn’t just about dismissing a thought, it is about self-dismissal. It’s heartbreaking.

No wonder some women are unconsciously passive aggressive when expressing anger, sadness, or frustration. For years, they have been subjected to so much gaslighting that they can no longer express themselves in a way that feels authentic to them.

They say, “I’m sorry,” before giving their opinion. In an email or text message, they place a smiley face next to a serious question or concern, thereby reducing the impact of having to express their true feelings.

You know how it looks: “You’re late :)”

These are the same women who stay in relationships they don’t belong in, who don’t follow their dreams, who withdraw from the kind of life they want to live.

Since I have embarked on this feminist self-exploration in my life and in the lives of the women I know, this concept of women as “crazy” has really emerged as a major issue in society at large and an equally major frustration for the women in my life, in general.

From the way women are portrayed on reality shows, to how we condition boys and girls to see women, we have come to accept the idea that women are unbalanced, irrational individuals, especially in times of anger and frustration.

Just the other day, on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a flight attendant who had come to recognize me from my many trips asked me what I did for a living. When I told her that I write mainly about women, she immediately laughed and asked, “Oh, about how crazy we are?”

Her gut reaction to my work made me really depressed. While she made her response in jest, her question nonetheless makes visible a pattern of sexist commentary that travels through all facets of society on how men view women, which also greatly impacts how women may view themselves.

As far as I am concerned, the epidemic of gaslighting is part of the struggle against the obstacles of inequality that women constantly face. Acts of gaslighting steal their most powerful tool: their voice. This is something we do to women every day, in many different ways.

I don’t think this idea that women are “crazy,” is based in some sort of massive conspiracy. Rather, I believe it’s connected to the slow and steady drumbeat of women being undermined and dismissed, on a daily basis. And gaslighting is one of many reasons why we are dealing with this public construction of women as “crazy.”

I recognize that I’ve been guilty of gaslighting my women friends in the past (but never my male friends–surprise, surprise). It’s shameful, but I’m glad I realized that I did it on occasion and put a stop to it.

While I take total responsibility for my actions, I do believe that I, along with many men, am a byproduct of our conditioning. It’s about the general insight our conditioning gives us into admitting fault and exposing any emotion.

When we are discouraged in our youth and early adulthood from expressing emotion, it causes many of us to remain steadfast in our refusal to express regret when we see someone in pain from our actions.

When I was writing this piece, I was reminded of one of my favorite Gloria Steinem quotes, “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

So for many of us, it’s first about unlearning how to flicker those gaslights and learning how to acknowledge and understand the feelings, opinions, and positions of the women in our lives.

But isn’t the issue of gaslighting ultimately about whether we are conditioned to believe that women’s opinions don’t hold as much weight as ours? That what women have to say, what they feel, isn’t quite as legitimate?

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It was a little long— but well worth the read and worth sharing.  I hope you learned something – whether it’s you doing the gaslighting or you being gaslighted.  Remember—not everyone is a good person!!  But I do hope that you are a good person to everyone.  Be better –  Be stronger – Be Happy!!

Pendennis Club

The annual Bachelors’ Ball was held on the Friday after Thanksgiving at the Pendennis Club.

Also, The Society of Colonial Wars of the Commonwealth of Kentucky held its winter court on Dec. 1 at the Pendennis Club.

Photos by John Harralson

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Click here to purchase photos.

On The Town

Last weekend was an incredibly beautiful one with unseasonably warm temperatures for January, which seemed to put Louisvillians in a collective good mood.

We stopped by to capture the festivities at The Bards Town and Molly Malone’s in St. Matthews.

Photos by BILL WINE | Contributing Photographer

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Click here to purchase photos.

Louisville Lightning

The Louisville Lightning beat the Illinois Piasa Jan. 7 with a 15-5 victory Louisville victory at Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex.

The Lightning move to 5-3 on the season.

Photos by BILL WINE | Contributing Photographer

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Click here to purchase photos.

Wiltshire is thriving on Market

Let’s welcome The Voice-Tribune’s move to NuLu with a word of praise for another long-time St. Matthews institution that’s thriving there.

The classy bistro Wiltshire on Market is a direct descendant of Susan Hershberg’s much-loved Wiltshire Pantry, which got its start on Wiltshire Avenue in St. Matthews.

Its always appealing menu is based on American culinary traditions with international touches, and a strong emphasis on fresh, local produce and meat.

Wiltshire opened on Market in April 2009, so it’s practically an institution by the fast-moving standard of its trendy neighborhood.

Chef Coby Ming set a high standard before she moved down the block to take the kitchen at Harvest last summer.

I’m happy to report that Chef Casey Broussard has taken over without missing a beat.

We dropped in with our friends Karl and Anne on a mild Friday night, and before long the place was hopping, with people three-deep at the friendly bar and just about every table in use.

We were happy with our window nook just on the edge of the action, seated around a huge, shiny table fashioned from a thick slice of an ancient white oak tree felled by a severe storm a few years ago.

Chef Broussard’s menu gets weekly updates, particularly in the exact composition of the cheese and charcuterie (sausages and hams) board, which are both $9, and, our selection, the $17 cheese-and-charcuterie combination.

Other starters ranged in price from $4, for Wiltshire’s signature assorted marinated olives to $9 for cold smoked kajiki fish “rollups” stuffed with pink lady apples, cress and lemongrass vinaigrette.

Four “first course” items — small plates, really, that you could mix or match to make a meal — were priced from $7 for Fox Hollow short rib tacos to $9 for a flatbread “pizza” topped with barbecue-grilled veggies, fried oregano leaves and house-smoked Asiago cheese.

We sampled all four main courses — a slab of Stone Cross Farm crispy pork belly ($18), which is basically unsliced, unsmoked bacon. This dish was fried crisp and painted with a sweet sauce, served atop a crisp potato latke and dressed with fresh pea shoots and a quince compote.

The herb-rubbed beef hanger steak ($20) drew raves. It was prepared perfectly, medium-rare as ordered with a nicely charred edge, cut into four thick slices and plated on a blue cheese veloute sauce with sensuous fingerling potatoes cooked in duck fat, with oven-dried cherry tomatoes and fresh broccolini.

Crisp-fried fingers of Hawaiian sun fish ($23) were sauced with Cuban-style Meyer lemon crab mojo and garnished with pea shoots, hearts of palm, tart-sweet mango and tempura-style plantains on a bed of coconut whipped potatoes.

The Potato pavé ($19) appears to be based on a concept by Chef Thomas Keller of French Laundry.

It’s best described as a block of scalloped potatoes roasted in a block of stacked thin slices, creamy within a crisp, golden-brown shell.

It can also be described as “incredibly delicious.”

Served with local kale, crumbled feta and marble-size rounds of kabocha squash on an intense red-beet coulis.

The well-chosen, diverse wine list provided good-value red and white picks at its lower-price end: Belleruche Côte-du-Rhône from France ($32) and Heidler Grüner Veltliner from Austria ($38).

There wasn’t a clinker in a carload, and we capped dinner with perfect chocolate truffles ($5 for a shared plate) and outstanding coffee by Red Hot Roasters ($2 each).

With the wines, dinner for four came to $190.80, plus a $40 tip for perfect service. The share for two would have been around $95 plus tip.

Wiltshire on Market
636 E. Market St.
589-5224
Web: www.wiltshirepantry.com/wiltshire-on-market
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/WiltshireMarket

First Friday Trolley Hop

The first First Friday Trolley Hop of 2012 was a beautiful event – as always – thanks, in part, to unseasonably warm temperatures and a gorgeous, star-filled night.

The Hop is a monthly art show, tourist attraction, street party and celebration of downtown Louisville that brings new visitors and new life to the Main and Market corridor. The free event takes place on the first Friday of each month from 5 to 11 p.m., rain or shine. Most of the galleries close around 9 p.m. but the restaurants, clubs and shops stay open later. The trolleys run until 11 p.m.

Photos by BILL WINE | Contributing Photographer

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Click here to purchase photos.