I swim for exercise three mornings a week. Swimming doesn’t require a lot of equipment, but a swimsuit is essential, unless you work out at one of those old homoerotic men’s health clubs where they won’t let women in because swimming is a nude sport. (Don’t laugh. They exist.) I’ve experimented with various suits, and found one that works for me. Speedo’s list price is high, but if you watch the sales, you can find closeout discounts or, mirabile dictu, a BOGO sale.
As it happens, last week’s BOGO colors included one I bought last summer, before I headed for California. That suit is about done, but I loved the color, so hey, I’m in for round two. You want to know why swimmers have green hair and dry skin? Behold, the power of chlorine:
If you’re reading this Wednesday and I didn’t die overnight, I swam this morning. Don’t have time or motivation? You just aren’t Princess Ivanka, then:
It’s in her description of her daily life, in which she somehow — until the election, anyway — managed to run her own company, serve as an executive vice president in the Trump Organization, train for a half marathon and spend time alone with each of her three children. Absent locating a wormhole in space, there’s really only one way to find time for all of these commitments, and that is with the help of staff. Yet her household help barely rates a mention in this discussion.
That’s from the NYT review of her new book, “Women Who Work,” which sounds about as lightweight and information-dense as other books of the Trump brand. I’m glad the mommy wars are over, truly I am; as a combat vet, I’m thrilled that today’s new mothers aren’t guilted by the ones who choose a different path. I think of that time as a benefit of the Clinton economy, when expensive cigars were burning, salaries were still pretty good and a lot of middle-class women could actually quit or downshift their jobs into something that allowed them to spend more time at home with their young’uns. The next administration put a stop to that once and for all; I know lots of women wished they had a second income when their husbands were thrown out of work during the financial crisis.
So choose your path, and God be with you, but you can probably do it without Princess Ivanka’s special brand of vapid advice, I bet:
But here’s what really matters about parental leave, as far as Ivanka Trump is concerned: She seems to still believe — as she did during the presidential campaign — that Americans ought to be paid for it. She waits until the penultimate page of her book to say so. But she does. (She talks about affordable child care, too.)
These final pages were written before Nov. 8, 2016. (Trump says in the preface that she turned in her manuscript before she knew the election results.) And what’s remarkable is that she wrote them as if she thought her old man was going to lose: “We need to fight for change, whether through the legislature or in the workplace.”
Well, her father didn’t lose. Ivanka Trump now has a formal White House role, as a special adviser to the president. She has security clearance and an office in the West Wing. She has access to the ultimate C-suite. At any moment, she could walk in and demand her father put forward a plan that mirrors precisely what she provides her own employees: Eight weeks of paid maternity leave. By European standards, that may be paltry. By American ones, it’s extremely generous and a very big deal.
Don’t bet on it.
There’s also a sympathetic profile of Princess I in Tuesday’s edition. It left me unmoved.
Folks, this may be the last update for the week. I’ll be running crazy errands to get ready for our trip this weekend, and can’t commit. If there’s wifi up there, maybe some pictures. Otherwise, I’m ducking out with a clean conscience.
Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’ll likely see you Monday.