Red Table Talk

My children and I recorded an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk in September.  Jonathan and Jael joined me on the show.  Jael was interviewed here in Colorado.  The episode was released on Facebook on October 7.  I thought everyone who worked on the episode did a marvelous job.  Jada, Willow, and Adrienne were wonderful.  They could not have been more supportive.  Though we taped for almost two hours, the show was edited in such a way that virtually every salient part of our conversation was captured in the 27 minutes that ended up in the final edit.  Everything was fairly presented, without bias.  I am truly grateful.  Red Table Talk is a transformative show, tackling difficult subjects with grace.

I’ve heard from a lot of people since the show aired.  The usual group of fundamentalist haters has been active, but most of the comments have been supportive and thoughtful.

I have also heard from a lot of transgender folks who recently transitioned or are hoping to transition.  Many of them would like to visit with me by phone or in person.  I have had to tell them that I am not in a position to do so.  I remember when I was agonizing over whether or not to transition,  I wrote a few well-known transgender women and heard nothing in response.  Because of my experience, I try to answer every single person who reaches out to me. If perchance you have contacted me and I have not returned your correspondence, I apologize.

For those who have a family member who has transitioned, I recommend my son Jonathan’s book, She’s My Dad, published by Westminster John Knox Press.  It is an honest, engaging, redemptive story.  Included in the book are responses I wrote to five of the chapters.

For those wanting to read a good memoir on transitioning, I recommend Jennifer Finney Boylan’s She’s Not There, Joy Ladin’s Through the Door of Life, Deirdre McCloskey’s Crossing, or Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness.  All are excellent resources.

If you would like to know more about my own thought process as I went through my transition, I would encourage you to go back to the beginning of this blog and look at my entries from 2014.  That is when I wrote the most about the journey from Paul to Paula.  Throughout the last five years I have written about it occasionally, though there has been no rhyme or reason to the timing.  This blog tends to be less strategic and more stream of consciousness.

I know it may be hard for some to understand, but at this point in my life, my transition no longer occupies a lot of space in my daily existence.  I knew when I transitioned that as a well-known pastor, I had responsibilities.  I could not just disappear into the crowd.  I would need to be public about my experience.  But nowadays, only about one in ten speaking engagements is about being a member of the LGBTQ community.  The rest are about gender inequity, a subject about which I am very passionate.

I never speak for the other members of my family.  Their story is theirs to tell or not tell.  It is up to them.  Jonathan has been pretty public about it all, but until Red Table Talk, my daughters stayed pretty quiet.

For those who would like to speak with me, I am truly sorry I am not in a position to do so.  My work with Left Hand Church, my pastoral counseling practice, and my active speaking schedule keep me extremely busy, and I simply do not have the bandwidth for individual conversations.  I do have plans to write a memoir in the near future.  My agent is currently sharing my book proposal with editors.  I will keep you informed of the progress.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your words of encouragement.  My children and I were hoping the Red Table Talk episode would help families going through the experience we faced.  We always knew that as a family we would make it through the dark night to the light of dawn.  It is good to share that hope with others.

Integration

Most of my public speaking is on the subject of gender inequity.  Working toward gender equity is a passion and a subject with which I am comfortable.  Last week I was in San Diego speaking to a group of financial advisors.  About 80 percent were male.  The men were politely receptive, but the women were far more enthusiastic.  It is what I have come to expect.  It is difficult for men to grasp the extent of their privilege.  Most would like to see gender equity, they just don’t want to give up their own power in order to make it happen.  I understand.  I once had a lot of power, and still retain a lot of power.  Giving up power is never easy.

While I knew giving up power would be necessary when I transitioned, I had no idea how profoundly my life would change.  I had a lot of ideas about what life would  be like as a female, but ideas don’t fare so well in the face of reality.

I thought transitioning would solve all of my gender identity issues.  While it did make my life more peaceful, meaningful and rewarding, I still feel as though I live in a liminal space, somewhere between male and female.  The borderlands are my home.  I will never have the experience of a cisgender female, and in many ways, I never had the experience of a cisgender male.  We know from fMRI studies that the brains of transgender people, studied before hormonal treatment, function somewhere between male and female.  I could have told them that long before MRIs existed.  I never felt comfortable as a male.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had several opportunities to reflect on my life as a man.  I’ve been providing pictures of myself as Paul to the producers of Red Table Talk.  Looking at the pictures reminds me that integrating the two halves of my life continues to be a challenge.  I’m not sure I’m any better at integrating Paul and Paula now than I was three or four years ago.

There was some progress at the beginning, when Paul was still fresh in my memory.  Now, as my male life recedes from view, I am forgetting how it felt to be a guy.  I still know all the things Paul knew, but there aren’t many people who would tell you I am the same person.  I am not.  I am fundamentally different.  I keep finding myself speaking of Paul in the third person, as if Paul was a distant relative, not the person who shares my heart.

My friend Christy always affirms me when I use a sermon illustration about Paul.  She says, “I like that guy.”  Not many others talk about Paul that way.  Usually when people make a reference to me as a male, it is to question the alpha-based actions they see at work.  They say, “Whoa, is that Paula speaking or Paul?”  I usually say, “Paula’s allowed to be an alpha human, you know.”

There are fine books on the transgender experience, but I can’t say any of them have helped me with the integration puzzle.  It still feels like two different lives.  I think it would have helped if we had memorialized Paul in some way.  But back when that would have been helpful to my family, I wasn’t ready.  I was way too excited about being in my new gender.  (Truth be told, sometimes I think it might not be a bad idea to lock transgender people in a closet for the first year or so.  Our giddiness in those early days does not match the pain made manifest around us.)

This morning our interview on Red Table Talk had its debut.  I was very pleased with the show.  It’s rare that you shoot a television show and you’re happy with the way it was edited.  I thought the show was fair-minded and positive.  I am grateful to Jada and Jack and Katy and Dena and Chelsea for making this such a wonderful experience.

There was a fair amount of conversation about the difficulty all of us have had integrating the two halves of our common family experience.  It gets easier with the passing of time, but it will never be easy.  I suppose that is how things are for those who blaze a trail.  Not many evangelical pastors transition genders.

I’ve repeated the same three sentences in both of my TED talks: “Would I do it all again?  Of course, I would.  The call toward authenticity is sacred and holy and for the greater good.”  I’m doing another TEDxMileHigh talk this fall (November 16), but I don’t think the line is going to fit in the new talk.  I wish I could find a place for it, because living authentically is sacred and holy and for the greater good.  But as many have discovered before me, few things that are sacred and holy and for the greater good are ever easy.

By the Light of the Night

When I transitioned from male to female, I lost four jobs, my pension, and the vast majority of my friends.  On my bad days I wondered if my demise was inevitable.  I was lost. But it is okay, because that is also when I realized lost is a place too, and there are times when you have no choice but to spend time there.

It was a time of great fear and questioning, what John of the Cross called, “The dark night of the soul.”  As I have quoted many times, I believe it is what Dante was talking about at the beginning of the Divine Comedy when he said, “In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost.”

Did you ever wake up in the middle of the night in a blackened room and try to stumble your way to the bathroom, only to stub your toe on the corner of the bed?  You know, if you had waited a minute or so after you opened your eyes, they would have adjusted to the darkness.  You can still see in the dark.

I live in a low light community in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  After 35 years in New York, when I never knew the phases of the moon, in Colorado I always know if the moon is full or nearly so.  Since I follow it all month, I also know if it is waxing or waning.  It is waning now, but still formidable.  It was full when I came home from Los Angeles last Thursday.  A harvest moon illuminates like twilight.  But even when there is no moon, if you are willing to sit in the dark for a while, the stars and ambient light in the atmosphere are enough to light your way.

I am not saying it is fun to find your way by the light of the night.  But sometimes it is necessary.  Fortunately, you eventually make your way to dawn.  Daylight is good.  Life is easier in the daytime.  Happiness tends to come during daylight hours.

Happiness comes pretty much when you expect it.  Grandchildren laugh, you’re happy.  The first day of vacation, you’re happy.  You get a promotion, you’re happy.  Happiness is tied to external circumstances.  As a privileged white man, happiness came often.  Privilege brings more than a fair measure of external happiness.  Privilege does not necessarily bring joy.

Joy comes when you find your way in the dark.  Joy comes when you wait long enough in the place called lost until your eyes have adjusted, and you have enough light to see.  Joy comes in that moment when you finally see a way forward, or at least the first step, and you take it.

There is a particular kind of joy that comes when the step you see in the dark is one that empowers others to embark on their own journey into the dark night, or into the light of dawn, depending on the day.  The joy is in the knowing that their journey is sacred and holy and for the greater good, just like yours.

Odysseus wasn’t done journeying when he returned to Ithaca and was reunited with Penelope. He was a lover of experience and accepted another final journey, not back out to sea, but inland.  He was to travel until he got to a place in which people did not know an oar when they saw one.  There he was to plant the oar that he carried with him, as an offering of propitiation to the god Poseidon.  Only then did he get to return home and live into “sleek old age.”

Like Odysseus, we are all on a journey, maybe our first, maybe our last, but all into the unknown, undertaken when it’d be much easier to stay on the couch with our feet propped on a hassock, binge watching somebody else’s journey.  But this living is serious business, and we are pilgrims, always drawn forward through both the promising dawn and the dark of night. And for all the uncertainty of each journey, we can know these two things.  We will not be without love, and if we keep our hearts turned steadfastly to the right, there will be joy.

Sorry ‘Bout That

I took an August break from my blog.  It wasn’t planned.  It just kinda happened.  I’m good with it.

Part of the reason is that I have had a lot of wonderful things happening.  The film production company with which I am working has contracted with the screenwriters for the movie about my life, and I’ve spent some time talking with them. Last week, we talked about 2013 and 2014.  That wasn’t easy.  The human mind has a marvelous way of tempering one’s memories of difficult times. Pulling those painful memories from their place in deep storage was difficult.  I am meeting with the writers and the memories again when I am in LA this week.

The main reason I will be in Los Angeles is to appear, along with Jonathan, on the Red Table Talk television show.  We’ll be interviewed by Jada Pinkett Smith and her family.  The show came to Colorado last week to film my daughters and granddaughters.  The conversation will be about how my transition affected our family. I do not expect it to be an easy interview.  We tape on Wednesday.  I have no idea when it airs.

Friday evening I returned from a speaking engagement with the Levi Strauss & Company at their headquarters in San Francisco.  I spoke for over 200 employees about gender inequity.  It was their second annual Viola Women’s Conference.  The people at Levi’s were wonderfully responsive.  I am always amazed that some of the best work on issues of gender and racial equity is happening at the corporate level, not with religious institutions, as one might hope. Unfortunately, a lot of conservative religious institutions bring up the rear on issues of social justice.

Saturday I presented a keynote at an LGBTQ event in Denver.  Sunday I spent the day with other presenters who will be speaking together this fall.  I’ll let you know about that as soon as I am able.

A couple of weeks ago I was in New York City for a board meeting and had a chance to visit with Jonathan.  I said, “I’m not sure how I feel about doing more and more public speaking.  Every time I get on a plane, it is because I am transgender.  When I am at Left Hand, I’m just me, Paula, talking with our people about our common spiritual journey.”  Jonathan understood.  He said, “Every time I get on a plane it is because you are transgender, so I get it. But whether you like it or not, there is another call on your life in addition to your church and your counseling practice.”  I know he is right, but I’m having a hard time making peace with it.

As I listened to my daughters talk about their experience being interviewed for Red Table Talk, I was reminded once again of just how much my transition has affected all of their lives. I exploded the family narrative, and still, years later, there is so much for all of us to work through.

We all understand that it is hard enough for a family to struggle through the transition of a parent without the problem being exacerbated by a religious community that rejects the person who transitioned and treats the rest as if they no longer exist. Cathy and my daughters have rarely heard from anyone from our old denomination, a place in which both girls served as children’s pastors.  The longer I am away from the evangelical bubble, the more I realize just how uncompassionate it is toward those who dare to challenge its points of fear.

In the first couple of years after my transition, I worked a good bit with progressive post-evangelical churches creating a new movement of congregations that share the governance and worship style of evangelicalism, without the fundamentalist doctrine.  The With Collective and Launchpad are two of the organizations with which I have had the pleasure of serving.  With brings progressive churches together and Launchpad starts new churches.  I serve as an advisor to With and serve on the board of Launchpad. The more I am working in the secular arena, the less time I have to devote to these two important ministries. Between my public speaking and preaching at Left Hand Church, I am a busy person.

On August 22 I flew from LaGuardia to Denver and saw an old friend from USAir at the Admiral’s Club at LGA.  She still works for the company and recently relocated to New York.  I reminded her that five years ago that very day, she had been the last human being with whom I had spoken while still presenting as a male. It hardly seems possible that it has been only five years since I began living full time as Paula.  For the first couple of years, I was not sure I would survive.  Now, I thrive.

It is an honor to share this journey with you.  Your words of encouragement mean more than you could possibly know.  I promise, now that fall has arrived, my posts will once again be regular.  There is much I want to share as I count both the costs and the blessings of the examined life, lived authentically.

Oh My Goodness!

A day or two a week I ride my bike about a mile to the end of a paved road.  Then, if I’m in the mood, I ride eight steep switchbacks a thousand feet up to the top of the hill.  Going up it’s hard on the legs and coming down it’s hard on the brakes.

About two years ago I was riding to those switchbacks on an extremely windy day when I watched a little drama play out at one of the houses along my route.  There was what I assumed to be a man with long hair and his wife struggling to get their camper off its four spindly legs and back onto the truck bed. Things were not going well.  The man kept barking orders to his increasingly frustrated wife, who finally threw up her hands and said, “I’m choosing not to die today!”  Then she walked away.

She was my hero. I could not get her off my mind for the remainder of the day.  I loved her chutzpah, and the calm self-assured manner in which she made her declaration.  For two years I have been waiting to tell that woman how much I admire her for what she did on that windy day.  I see her occasionally while I’m riding, but she’s always getting into or out of her car, or talking with someone.  Today she had come to the road to bring her trash containers back inside.  I stopped my bike and said, “If you have a minute, I’d like to tell you a story.”

She looked on rather amused as I talked.  She readily remembered the day and said she was afraid the whole camper was going to fall.  Then she thanked me genuinely, before asking, “Do you mind if I ask your name?”  I told her and mentioned that I live across town in Stone Canyon.  Then we both went on our way.

I rode several miles toward Estes Park on Highway 7 before returning to town.  As I got back into town, she happened to be headed into town in her truck.  She got out and said, “I need to tell you something.  I think what happened today was a God thing.”

“You see, I watched your TED talk last night.  As you were talking with me today, it began to dawn on me that you might be the same person.  I had no idea the TED talk had been given in Denver, and I had no idea where the woman who gave it lived.”  “So when I asked your name, I went inside and confirmed that sure enough, yours was the TED talk I watched.”  She went on, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear those words of affirmation today – no idea!”

“You see, a long time ago my husband transitioned to become a female, and it was her you saw that day in the yard with me.  But she still treated me like men often treat women.  She had a lot of opinions.  That was one of those days. The wind was blowing fiercely and I thought the whole camper was going to tumble, but she wouldn’t listen.  In that way, she was still a man. She always knew better.  I finally got to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore and left.  As I watched you last night, I thought, ‘Wow, she’s getting it.  She’s really getting it.  I wish my spouse could have gotten it.”

I started crying and told her how much I still struggle with my male privilege and entitlement, and how often it still affects the people I love.  She said, “But you are trying, and your words of encouragement were just what I needed.  Like I said, this was a God thing.”  She got back in her truck and headed on into town.  Through tears, I finished my ride.

I had really been struggling that morning with exactly the subject she was talking about.  I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and couldn’t pull it together.  I texted back and forth with one of my close friends, telling her of my struggles.  I mindlessly opened my email and dispatched the emails I could deal with quickly.  One escaped my junk file.  It was a new song released by the Gaither Vocal Band.  I’ve always loved their tight harmonies, but can’t take the theology of their music anymore.  But my friend enjoys tight harmonies as much as I do, and I thought I’d click on the track to see if she’d like it.

The song was entitled, This Is The Place. It is a new anthem written by Bill and Gloria Gaither about the church’s central place in our lives.  I thought of Left Hand Church and what it means to me, and finally released the sobs that had been reluctant to come for two full days.  I sent a link for the song to my friend and then headed out on my ride, my spirit much lighter than it had been early in the morning.

Had I not had that emotional release, prompted by that song, which I was listening to because of the gentle support of my friend, I still would have ridden, but I never would have stopped to speak to the woman.  I would not have had the emotional strength to stop and speak with anyone.

But I did stop to speak with her, and the story has been with me all day.  The picture above is of the view I am looking at right now as I write this post.  I can see the road on which her house stands.  I say a little prayer as I look at it.

We are never alone on this journey.  If we reach out to trusted friends, take a chance on a song, and find the strength to speak to a stranger, the Spirit shows up, reminding us She is always there, even if unseen.  Today, She was seen.  I do not want to share the woman’s name, or the name of the street on which she lives. I want her to remain what we were to each other today – a gift from the God whose love is never far away, if only we have eyes to see.

The Result of My Convictions

Speaker Community Castle Tour and High Tea at TEDSummit: A Community Beyond Borders. July 21-25, 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

I’ve just returned home from the TED Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The summit was comprised of about 100 past speakers, including seven of us who spoke at TEDWomen 2018, and about 800 other TEDsters, including TED Fellows, TED Translators, TEDx Coordinators, and TED staff.  Jonathan was there too, which was wonderful!  The Summit was one of the most inspiring events in which I have ever taken part.

It took a couple days before I was not completely overwhelmed and intimidated by the people I was with.  It will be several more before I come down from the high.  Since the Summit ended, there has been a steady stream of comments on the TEDConnect app from those of us in the Speaker Community.  We are all feeling grateful.

The preconference began on the 20th with a guided tour of Edinburgh Castle, followed by afternoon tea.  That evening all the speakers gathered at the Playfair Library at the University of Edinburgh for a delightful evening meal, followed by a full morning and afternoon of activities for the speakers on Sunday.  The full summit began on Sunday evening and concluded Thursday afternoon.

The first session was at 9:00 every morning and the formal program ended at 10:00 each evening.  We were busy!  I did a short talk for the speakers on Sunday morning, led a Discovery Session for speakers on Sunday afternoon, and two Discovery Sessions with Jonathan on Monday and Wednesday.

The TED Summit was comprised of a diverse crowd of 900 people from over 80 countries representing a plethora of fascinating professions.  At one point I was in a conversation with an astrophysicist and a stem cell researcher, then literally turned around and had a conversation with an improvisational comedian and a well-known musician.  I talked with movie producers, filmmakers, government officials, political cartoonists, Broadway actors, and choreographers.  More than once during the week I thought, “What the hell am I doing here?  I’m a pastor from Colorado.”  I had to think about that.  A lot.

The attendees reminded me that I am a pastor, and more.  They see me as a refugee from religious intolerance and a champion for the rights of women and LGBTQ people.  The affirmation was humbling.  I always say the people of Left Hand Church are my grounding.  But I discovered something important at the Summit. The servants of humanity at the Summit are also my grounding.  They ground me in the other half of my calling, reminding me I have been given an international platform from which to fight for equity for women and minorities. I sometimes want to minimize that part of my work.  I suppose that is the universally experienced (well, except for narcissists) imposter syndrome.  How did I become a voice for so many people?  I was reminded time and again that my international platform is an important part of my calling.

I never saw any of this coming.  Not in the slightest.  In the first year after my transition I interacted with a handful of people.  Jen Jepsen, Mark Tidd and Highlands Church started me down the path I travel today.  Jeremy and Helena and Briar and Nicole at TEDxMileHigh catapulted me onto the international scene and TED brought me to the Summit.  All I knew was that living authentically was sacred and holy and for the greater good. The rest is the result of that conviction.

I loved being with Jonathan at the Summit.  He also left a life of comfort to sail uncharted waters.  I listened Wednesday as he talked with Anthony Veneziale and Amanda Palmer.  Anthony is co-creating the Broadway show Freestyle Love Supreme with Lin- Manuel Miranda.  Amanda is an amazing musician with an international following who has a powerful commitment to social justice.  Jonathan appeared to be completely comfortable with the two of them. He seems to accept that he belongs in this territory, with the other risk takers and change makers.

I loved the evangelical world I inhabited.  Edinburgh is the birthplace of the Enlightenment, and Scotland was the early home to so many of the pioneers of the Restoration Movement, the Enlightenment-inspired religious community in which my roots run deep.  I would have been content to remain in that world for the remainder of my days.  It is filled with good people.  But that world decided I was no longer good company and I was forced to leave.  The world I now inhabit is broader, deeper, richer and more diverse.  It is also filled with good people.

Before the conference began, I spent an evening and morning with friends who remain quasi-connected to the religious movement of my past.  We talked of the world from which we came, and the people we love who remain within it.  They are able to move back and forth freely in that world. I cannot.  But I have found a new world.

My new world is the pilgrims at Left Hand Church who have joined together to follow Jesus wherever he leads us.  It is the people at the Summit who love me well and encourage me to keep up the good work. It is my agents at the Outspoken Agency, who help me spread my message throughout the world.  It is my family who remain by my side, doing the hard work of redemption and reconciliation.

I am profoundly blessed.  I thank God I found the courage to live authentically.  I chose the road less traveled by, and therein lies the difference.

Yeah, But What Am I Supposed to Wear

I’ve only been posting every other week this summer.  I’ve been preaching a lot and I’m headed to the TEDSummit in a couple of weeks.  Those two things have gotten most of my attention. At the TEDSummit I’m doing a short talk and leading a discussion for the speaker’s pre-summit on the 21st, then Jonathan and I are leading a discussion for the full summit later in the week. Plus, oh yeah, I have to write another speech for a women’s event in Manhattan on July 18, right before I leave for Edinburgh.  I’m feeling good about the speeches.  I’m not feeling so good about what I am going to wear.

It feels like I’ve been here before, like maybe right before TEDWomen last fall.  Then I tried the personal shopper at Nordstrom’s and a couple of expensive boutiques for tall women, but ended up with stuff I ordered from Amazon.  I never order clothes from Amazon.

Half of the clothes I own are from Stitch Fix.  The speech I’ll be doing in NYC will be delivered right after the CEO of Stitch Fix delivers her keynote.  So there’s that.  And then I leave for Edinburgh, where the high is going to be about 62 degrees each day.  I don’t think sleeveless tops are gonna work in Edinburgh.

You know, there are people who say we choose to be transgender, because it’s so much easier than life as a man.  Uh, sure, right, yeah.  I can tell you what I’d be wearing if I were still a guy.  I’d be wearing jeans, khakis, a blue sport coat, and a few button-down collar shirts.  That’s all I’d be taking to New York and Edinburgh.  But no.  Life is not that simple anymore.

Everything I own is tailored for life in laid back Colorado.  Semi-formal here means a sleeveless summer dress and sandals. Every time I go to New York City, I feel like most women on the streets are thinking, “Honey, you can’t wear that here, or anywhere east of the Hudson River.”

I am extremely fortunate I can buy clothes online from major retailers.  To be honest, there is something wrong with that, because that means those retailers are making clothes that fit the frame of a 6’1” person with no hips, waste or curves.  In other words, they are making clothes for tall thin men.  I can buy 10-tall jeans from just about anybody and they’ll fit perfectly.  I don’t tell women that.  They get angry.

I did wear size 10-tall Old Navy jeans and an Old Navy sweater for my first TED talk, the one that’s been viewed over two million times.  The people who comment on YouTube can be cruel, but nobody criticizes those clothes.  They cost me about 45 dollars total, including tax and shipping.

I do wear expensive Tieks shoes because most women’s shoes are designed to be worn by manikins, not humans.  So when you find something that works, you stick with it.  I have lots of pairs of Tieks.  I mean, lots.  Women come up to me in the airport and say, “So, how many pairs do you have?”  It’s like a confessional for Tieks wearers. When I tell them how many pairs I have, I can always tell they feel better.  They go home and tell their partners, “You think I’m bad!  I met a woman with xx pairs of Tieks.” (Nope, I’m not telling you how many pairs I actually have.)

I am surprised at my style.  Before I transitioned, I had an idea about how I might dress.  I don’t dress that way.  I dress comfortably and if I could, I’d live in workout leggings.  But as my friend Kristie says, “Leggings are not pants.”

But back to the people who think we actually choose to be transgender.  Yeah, right.  You’re going to choose to switch to a metabolism that causes you to eat one potato chip and gain three pounds.  You’re going to choose to add 15 minutes to your morning routine just to do your makeup, you know, the stuff that cost you a thousand dollars at Sephora.  And don’t even get me started on skin products and the price of a haircut.

I’ll probably end up speaking to the CEO of Stitch Fix in jeans I got from Old Navy, and to all of those swells at the TEDSummit in an outfit I buy at the last minute from Amazon. This female stuff is not easy.