Monday, January 7, 2008

Deep Thoughts on the Cashmere Mafia

After watching Desperate Housewives, a Sunday night dinner tradition we greatly missed over the holidays (not that JP would admit it), I kept the TV on for the premiere of Cashmere Mafia while straightening up the apartment. The show is about four MBA-holding, corner office sitting, unrealistically thin and beautiful, best friends- all with different hair colors, of course. It was way too reminiscent of Sex and the City in parts and completely vapid in others, but every now and then there was something that rang true. One such scene involved Zoe, managing director at an investment firm and mother of two, scrambling to find a replacement nanny. I immediately told JP, "See! That's why working women have it so much harder than men- things like that always fall on us. You'd never see a male executive making frantic phone calls and rearranging his schedule to interview nannies." To which JP replied, "Are you kidding? You'd never let me make that decision." As I opened my mouth to respond that I would love to not have tasks like that fall on my plate, I realized I'd be lying. If I delegated that decision to JP, I'd be calling constantly to see where he was in the process, asking for copies of the girls' resumes, and making him tape the interviews so I could watch them later. It would not result in less work for me and it would drive him crazy.

And I think that's true for a lot of the things I complain about having to do- even if JP volunteers to do something (as he often does), I turn him down because I don't want to relinquish control over an important decision. Childcare isn't the perfect example because both parents should be involved in that process, but things like doctor appointments, researching vacations, organizing our finances, and looking for houses are all things I could, and should, let go of a little- or at least stop complaining about. I think delegation will be my biggest challenge in the working world- I work quickly and neatly and I hate watching someone else do something I know I could do faster and better. But I know I can't do everything myself and I need to learn to let go of the small stuff.

The other scene that made me point/yell at JP is when two of the women's husbands are counseling a third's fiance on being married to a high-powered wife. Their biggest piece of advice:

Husbands: "Never use the R-word, it's like the C-word."
Fiance: "What's the R-word?"
Husbands: "Relax."

SO true. There is nothing that gets me worked up faster than JP telling me to relax. He found it hilarious that other women apparently do the same thing.

I'll probably watch the next episode if Landon lets me. It's mindless, but so is most television. I enjoyed the fact that the writers didn't make the women total disasters in their personal lives. Too many stories do that and it irritates the hell out of me- no woman who manages to rise to the top of any corporation can be as klutzy, forgetful, and generally unlucky as most of the chick-lit heroines out there. Competent female characters, even those with too-perfect figures and hair, are a welcome addition to my personal TV lineup.


  1. I enjoyed the show too. One part that stuck out to me was when one of the main characters sneaked into the ballet recital through the stage. I thought it was great how she did what she had to do unappologetically to anyone else. I don't think I'd go so far as she did, but I also think sometimes if you want to be successful as a working mother you have to do things that other people might not agree with.

    I also thought what the character said about her cheating husband (wanting the alternative less) was poignant and relatable.

    I'll probably watch the next episode too. Hopefully I'll get more out of it than this time when I watched it with the sound off and closed captions on while I cuddled a feverish little one to sleep.

  2. I haven't seen this show but it sounds cute. Have you been watching Notes from the Underbelly? That one always makes me laugh because some of the stuff is so true.

  3. I'll be sure to watch the new show (Cashmere...). I watched DH late on TiVo because of bedtime issues with my kids and didn't catch the new show.

    As a working Mom, I let go of some things. My husband handles the finances for the most part - but I've never been great at that - and grocery shopping. I handle everything related to the kids -choosing childcare providers, choosing a pre-school, planning wardrobes, planning vacations, planning birthday parties... I wouldn't have it any other way though!

  4. Admittedly I'm easily enraged (as revealed by even the most cursory glance at my blog), but telling me to "relax" or "calm down" is pretty much the fastest way to lose a limb. I'm glad someone else agrees with me!

  5. I really enjoyed the new show too. I'll definitely add it to my DVR list. It's on too late for me most nights, but I managed to get sucked in after DH last night!

  6. Interesting! I was wondering if it was just because I'm home all the time that I'm the one on top of things like shots, doctors appointments, planning for childcare... I feel strangely comforted to know I'd probably be equally responsible for it if I were working!

  7. Ooh, sounds good. I'm going to have to watch. ITA about "relax". Grr!

  8. I only saw the first half hour. But I love the nanny stuff, and the id generation bit "I deserve" generation. It is so true.

  9. hahah i read your post on cashmere mafia right after i posted my take on it in my blog...great minds think alike..esp women in high places (or those on their way there!)

  10. Excellent entry! It is haaaaaard to delegate, at work and at home. Sounds like an interesting show.

  11. I agree...I can barely let Justin bring an animal to the vet without giving him the 3rd degree on what was said and what was done. Poor guy.
    But I liked the show...think I'll probably watch it, too, since I can't stomach most "reality" shows (and it seems we're going to have a lot of that if the WGA knuckleheads keep up this strike).

  12. Oh, I am SO glad I'm not the only one... Tell me to 'relax' and I start swingin'!!!

    And it's unfortunate, but I think I would be the same way when it comes to most decisions. Even now with wedding planning, I'm hesitant to let Adam make decisions.. hehe...