Why She Thinks?

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She Thinks started when Cindy decided that she and her daughter, Ally, should write together, and Ally couldn’t come up with any good reasons to say no. We wanted to see how our perspectives differed as a younger/older woman, mother/daughter, less/more experienced persons, brunette/blonde. Each week, we pick a topic sent to us from our readers that makes us think. We then go on our own and spill our respective guts/brains/hearts out on the page, and then post our thoughts here. To keep things interesting, we don't read each other's posts until we publish them. This means that sometimes our opinions and stories match, and sometimes they don't. That's what makes it fun!

We’re not trying to solve the world's problems, but who knows? Maybe we will.

Read more about Cindy and Ally.
Suggest a topic.

For anybody who knows me or who has read this blog in the past (and knows how crazy I am about shoes)…this one will strike you as odd.  But it is the truth.

I HATE all the shoes with the ridiculous stiletto platforms that try to lure us into thinking that we can actually stand in a shoe sitting more than 6” off the ground…and then walk.

You know the ones I’m talking about…they look pretty at first glance, but they’ve been known to give women nose bleeds when they wear them!

The theory of course is that the platform helps to raise the front part of our foot off the ground enough to reduce the angle down from the 6” heel behind the platform.

But who are they kidding?

The whole combination just makes us walk on stilts without anything touching the damn floor!

And when I see women try to walk in them…I think they look like they’re either constipated (ya have to squeeze your tush really tight in order to stay upright in ‘em) or have had their feet bound since birth (shuffling along in 2” increments).

(Pause) (Breathe)

Ok.  Now that I’ve said it, I feel all the 54 years that I am.  And right now, that feels old.

Why?  Because when I was wearing a cute little shoe with a 3–*-” heel (not too long ago), I remember my mother saying to me …”how do you walk in those things?”  And she sounded old when she said it.

So I’ve become my mother.

But I’m standing by my hatred.

‘Cause I think they’re just too much shoe.

Honestly, how can you look at them and not think they’re bulky.

I mean come ‘on!?!  A platform bootie?

It looks like little foot tanks, or the boots they put on people who have had major foot surgery.

Or platform shoes that combine their bulkiness with animal prints?  Like we want lots of spotted patterns on our feet?

*Exception: some animal print shoes can be lovely with a simple outfit, adding just a bit of interest while making the whole look classy…and styling, as long as the shoes are an accent and don’t look like we just wrapped our foot in a live leopard.

Finally…and the end of my rant (I promise)…What is up with the large, bulky platform shoes that are COVERED with sequins, jewels or crystals?

It’s not enough that we’re towering off the ground, but have to be shooting off rays of light as we walk?

Maybe I am old.

Or I’ve just gotten to the point where I like to blend the pieces of my wardrobe together into one cohesive look, rather than having all the attention go to two gigantic coverings on my feet.

Who knows.  I’m so worked up now…I think I’ll put on my favorite pair of simple, classy, fuzzy slippers and curl up with all my new fashion magazines.

Maybe they’re showing the new line of 6” platform running shoes.

1) Uggs with mini-skirts. I thought that those silly, furry, bulky boots were no longer popular, but I can attest that the sorority girls on college campuses all over the place (well, at least in Boulder), are still rocking the Uggs, especially with short skirts or shorter shorts.

There’s absolutely no logic in it.  If it’s cold enough to actually wear the damn boots, then put some pants on, ladies.

2) Jeggings. For those of you who don’t know, “jeggings” are leggings made to look like jeans.

This is not a question America should be asking…

Now, I have a confession: I believe that I accidentally bought some jeggings.  Now they’re not denim colored, so I don’t think that they’re technically jeggings, BUT they’re definitely not just leggings, either.  I thought I was buying some black leggings, but when I got home, I realized that they had a zipper, button, and pockets.  All of these signs point to jeggings (except for the color).  I am not proud of them.  I don’t like that I own them.   But sometimes (SOMETIMES) I wear them.  I will never (NEVER) wear denim colored ones, though.  They’re silly, ok?

3) Temporary Lip Tattoos…? I don’t know if these are actually catching on, but if so, then THESE:

4) Finally, can I just complain that 9 out of every 10 wedding dresses in the world are strapless???? Let me tell you a little something: strapless tops/dresses are flattering on MAYBE four percent of women.  I, sadly, am NOT one of those women.  They don’t look good.  Pulling them up every five minutes and shoving your boobs back into them doesn’t look good.

Straps = our friends.

Then again, I don’t think straps would really help these dresses…

Topic: A call for topics…

Cindy Thinks

Ally Thinks

So… as you may have noticed…its been a little quiet here on She Thinks lately, yes?

Well, it’s partly because we’re busy and such, but mostly because we’ve run out of interesting topics to write about.  We know they’re out there…but we just can’t grab onto them and get inspired ourselves.

So help us out here: if you enjoy this blog, please, send us topics!

We’re just… blank.  And we’d love to know if you have any burning or interesting questions that you’d like us to (attempt to) answer.

I’m sure with your help, we’ll get inspired again and hit the keys with gusto…at least for awhile.

And hey…in advance…thanks for anything you come up with.

Yes, I echo Mom’s call to send us topics, but will also take this as an opportunity to say that She Thinks is slowing down.  We both love writing this blog together, but we also both have a lot going on, and I’ll especially have a lot MORE going on with GRADUATE SCHOOL and WEDDING PLANNING very soon.

I’m not ready to say it’s over completely (although that may be the case…), but I think its fair to say that our posts will definitely be much more sporadic in the months to come.

That said…we’d really like to round out a full year of She Thinks before we slow down, and end the summer with a bang before this new phase of my life begins.

So please  SEND US TOPICS, mmkay?  We can’t promise we’ll use all of them, but inspiration is half the battle…

My Maiden name was Kram.

It was nice and short and went well with Cindy.

Cindy Kram.

Easy to remember, and easy to spell.

And the fun part of the name was that it was ”Mark” spelled backwards.

My dad named his manufacturing company “Mark Industries” (a nice little family inside joke).   And, I’m pretty sure I have a cousin out there named Mark Kram (funny family huh?).

People used to tell me that my last name was almost certainly shortened from “Kramer” (a well known German name) when my grandfather immigrated to this country, but my dad denied it…adamantly…as did his dad.

But I didn’t care.  I just thought it was cool that it was Mark spelled backwards.

Growing up, I never felt a strong attachment to the name.  But I identified with it.  I was Cindy Kram.

I guess, as a girl, I got the message early on that it was a temporary moniker that I’d someday shed for another, so don’t get too close.   Boys are raised with the expectation that they will keep their last names and “carry on” the name throughout the generations, but none of that pressure (or expectation) is bestowed upon girls.

But I was raised in a pretty progressive family where most of the gender expectations were being challenged on a regular basis.  So when it came to actually changing my name when I got married…I really had to think about whether or not I wanted a new name.

I felt like I could choose to take on a new name…or not, (which actually ended up causing me lots of angst).

Should I hold onto my given name and buck tradition?  Did Cindy Kram carry an attachment to my heritage and history that I should hold on to?  Did giving up my last name for a man mean that I wasn’t an independent woman?  Did I want to have a different last name than my husband?  Or… my (future) kids?

Finally…it came down to the most important question of all…did I like the name?

Carrillo.  Cindy Carrillo.

It kind of flowed.

I liked the two “C’s.”

But I couldn’t roll my “rrrrrr’s” when saying the name (unless I used the phlegm in my throat) and felt a bit intimidated by a name that I knew carried a whole new ethnicity with it.

Most folks think its Italian, but it’s actually Hispanic.  Or rather Spanish…as my mother-in-law used to tell me.

But even so, she said I didn’t have to role the “rrrrrrr’s.”  She said they pronounced it with a hard “r” and “l” sound (Car-ril-lo)…not (Carrrrr-eee-yo).

So I tried it on.  Played with it.  Wrote it down.  Practiced a new signature.  Pretended that I was being introduced at a party, “I’d like you to meet Cindy Carrillo.”

And I started to like the way it felt.

Only then did I start to embrace the idea of taking on a new name with true enthusiasm (and let go of all the other stuff).

But not my mom.

She never really loved the name Kram herself (her maiden name was Dankner – so not all that wonderful on its own!), but I think she liked the married identity that the name brought to her.  And that it was shorter than her maiden name (she loved having a full name that was only 7 letters – Del Kram).  And (if truth be told)…that it was Jewish.

And Carrillo was not.

So she came up with an alternative that she carefully proposed to Brian and me.

She explained that since Brian was becoming a doctor…and we were now living in a time when women shouldn’t have to change their names to match their husband (ALWAYS the feminist)…she thought we BOTH should change our names to…

Cohen.  A nice Jewish name.

Brian would be Dr. Cohen: a nice Jewish doctor.

Problem solved.

Except I kinda liked the whole Hispanic (sorry…Spanish) thing.  It’s not often a blonde haired- blue eyed-Jew-from the suburbs of Detroit, could get a new layer to her identity without anyone judging her.

So I took the name Carrillo (mom ended up embracing the whole idea), with all its history and richness, and wore it with love and pride.

I never felt like I “gave up” Kram.  I just wore Carrillo over Kram like the layering of a perfect outfit.

And…when Brian and I split up, I asked him if it would be ok if I kept Carrillo (I asked his mom too).

It had become a significant piece of my identity.  I had two beautiful Hispanic (sorry…Spanish) kids with the name, and the name had been with me for almost as long as I had the name Kram, so it felt like it was mine.

So, I’ve kept it, and I’m glad I’m a Carrillo.

And a Kram.

P.S.  Now that Ally is getting married…to a “Kohn” (I know, the irony is almost scary), I’m leaving her alone to make her own decision.

P.S.S.  My mom would not.

First off, I’m changing this topic to “Should ALLY change her name when she gets married?”  I’m super selfish like that.

(And also because I don’t believe that there’s a rule.  There’s no “should” when it comes to this.  It’s up to her (and him).)

We’ve wanted to write about this subject for quite a long time, and now that I actually have to MAKE A DECISION about this in the near future, it’s time to talk it out.

I love my last name.  I identify with it.  I like having the same last name as my family.

I LOVE that my initials are ABC (just like my Daddy).

And with all of that said, it seems obvious that I should keep my last name when I get married to Mike.

I never even thought about this when I was growing up.  Sure, Alexandra Taylor Thomas or Alexandra DiCaprio sounded fun, but I never actually thought that I’d have to change my name someday.  My folks never brought it up with me or anything (which I now resent you guys for because I feel a little blind-sided).

Over the past decade, I think I’ve always assumed that I’d keep my name.

But now that it’s HERE (which is awesome), I have to think about what to actually do.

Even though I love my name and initials, I also want to have the same name as Mike (which is Kohn).

And, even more than that, I want the same name as my future kids.

(I don’t even have children yet, and they’re already making shit complicated…)

Mike says he’s completely supportive of whatever I decide, which is ABSOLUTELY NO HELP AT ALL.

So, I’ve been compiling a mental pro and con list about what I should do.

PROS OF CHANGING MY LAST NAME:

- I’ll have the same name as Mike… everyone will know we’re Mr. and Mrs.  (Though, with our luck – and the fact that we look vaguely similar – people will probably just assume that we’re brother and sister… or at least cousins.)  We can be introduced as Ally and Mike Kohn, not Ally Carrillo and her husband Mike Kohn.  It’s a symbol of us as a couple, as a team…

- I’ll have the same name as our kids.  Now I know our future children don’t HAVE to have just Mike’s name, but I don’t want to hyphenate.  Carrillo is long enough on it’s own – I’m not adding four more letters to it.  I think that’s just mean.

- Speaking of length, Mike’s name is half as long as mine.  My full name is Alexandra B Carrillo, and that is one long ass name to fill in on standardized test sheets.  I loose valuable test time filling in name bubbles!  Plus, I’d be able to cut my email address in half, and spelling it out for people would be way easier…

CONS OF CHANGING MY LAST NAME:

- I won’t be ABC anymore!  ABK just doesn’t have the same ring to it…  If Mike would just change the spelling of his last name to Cohn, this wouldn’t be an issue…

- I’ll have to change all of my online accounts.  I know, that seems like a silly thing to say, but damn if it isn’t a pain in the ass.  I mean, on top of changing my driver’s license, I have to change my Facebook URL!

- I have perfected the Alexandra Carrillo signature.  I’m proud of my signature.  Learning a new one makes me feel sleepy.  (It’s a lot of effort…)

- I like that my name is Spanish.

- Yes, most of these CONS are silly and stupid, but this one is real – and the one that matters: I have an indescribable, irrational, overwhelming fear that I’ll loose part of my identity.  Again, this seems foolish – even as I write it – but it’s a strange, lonely feeling thinking that I won’t have Carrillo attached to the end of my name.  I know that I’ll still BE a Carrillo, but still.

I tell myself to listen to my gut, but my gut is as indecisive as my brain.

And so, to sum up, you all decide for me.

YOU HAVE ELEVEN MONTHS (!) to get your pro and con lists in.

PS: While were at it, tell me whether or not I should work during my first year of Graduate School, and whether I should cut my bangs again.  These are all super important things I need to think about.

PPS: Maybe I should just change my last name to INDECISIVE… but that’s even longer than Carrillo…