Author: Daddy Coping in Style

Slow Clap, Roseanne

I’ve never had a strong opinion about Roseanne Barr. I never watched her original show growing up. I sort of rolled my eyes at the reboot of her show, as with the other reboots currently on TV. Is there really a complete dearth of creative content? Cuz I have a few TV scripts I’d like to get out there. (Seriously.) With her re-boot, last week, I paid passing attention to her pro-Trump views and the articles focused on her incoherent political views. To my understanding, she’s a Trump supporter mainly to save us from Pence. Fair enough. I see that logic. (However, I think that while Pence is a political troglodyte who’d prefer a Christian equivalent of Sharia Law where women and men are communally separated – more or less – at LEAST he isn’t a complete lunatic who could potentially embroil us in an unintended nuclear war with….who-knows-which country.) But I see what Roseanne means. And then I watched the pilot of her show and I was gobsmacked. Roseanne is bringing shockingly relevant issues …

Chapter 5: You Only Get One Chance to Do This Right…Don’t F it Up.

Another poignant moment came thanks to an acupuncturist. I was in a session for a leg injury and I told him the story of my bag. He said, “I have another patient I should put you in touch with. She’s a gem and she’s high-up in fashion design. Let me call her for you.” He did. And he put me in touch with her. This sent-from-the-fashion gods woman offered to meet me for coffee on a beautiful summer morning. I thought I’d need to impress her because she was a high-power consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue. I met her on a street corner. I walked with her to an uber-crowded Starbucks and she said, “I hate waiting in line for corporate coffee. You wanna just hit the coffee truck?” Again: the kind of grounded attitude I never expected in the fashion world. We walked out, I splurged with $2.50 for two light-n-sweets from a coffee cart and we sat on a bench. I told her my concept and showed her sketches and even brought swatches …

Chapter 4: Who’s Carolina Herrera?

So I called Ben Liberty. A brief phone conversation revealed a super friendly man who seemed far-from-pretentious when he listed the companies for whom he creates samples: Gucci, Coach, J.Crew. Once again, I was talking to a behind-the-scenes fashion mover-and-shaker who voiced full enthusiasm for my project. Spoiler alert: throughout the entirety of my research and building this company, everyone everyone EVERYONE has been nothing but helpful and enthusiastic. I expected Project Runway attitude and fashion snobbery. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Well, actually, Howard with the Italian fabrics was condescending and unimpressed, but then again, I didn’t actually tell him what I was making.) So, in person, Ben ended up being a blue-collar Bostonian with a fantastic small factory on the far Lower East Side of Manhattan. “I used to be one of hundreds. But 9/11 destroyed our business. No one could get to us. Everything south of Chambers was closed off for months. We couldn’t do business. That’s why I’m the only one left.” His factory was about 1,000 square feet …

My First Sponsored Post (But Actually Not)

I’ve never written a sponsored post. There’s a whole world of badass bloggers who are making a living writing about products and services and restaurants and hotels and all sorts of fabulously gifted items. I’ve lacked diligence and focus to do so effectively. I dipped my toe into that world by recently attending the “Dad 2.0” conference, an event where hundreds of dad bloggers from across the country came together to network, commiserate, and meet companies actively seeking bloggers to write sponsored posts. I’ve found it intimidating to imbue my stories of everyday life with shout outs to Crest or Kia. I’m afraid I’d be disingenuous. It changes blogs, a lot. But before I get judgmental about it, the conference was all about “how to make money from your blog”. And why not? Companies are desperate to find new ways to reach audiences. In the Hulu and Instagram world, we try to avoid ads at all costs. But we are a nation of consumers. Buying stuff drives the American economy. And if industry can’t market …

Chapter 3 – International Color Cartel

So I called the fabric guy. It was just before Christmas and he said, “I can’t meet until the new year. I’ll be in Italy making decisions about colors and textures.” I had it in my mind he was one of the international color cartel that decides what the rest of us poor consumerist schlubs will be force-fed for the next year. A few weeks later, my design partner (James) and I were ushered into a conference room lined with 4 rows of 12×12 fabric swatches. Fabric guy (Howard) knew he was dealing with newbies. His eyes-half-mast behind the glasses demeanor gave away nothing. He wasn’t a shark ready to take advantage of us, but I could see the sigh behind his Elliott-Gould-in-Ocean’s-Eleven glasses that said, “this is such a waste of time.” Before meeting Howard, I told James I wanted the bag to be leather – like Louis Vuitton bags, but dyed deep navy blue. “Ok, well Louis Vuitton isn’t leather, first off.” “Oh.” “It’s coated canvas.” “Coated with what?” “Um…plastic.” “You mean, these …

Chapter 2 – Starting the Path

So I called a good friend, (also an actor), who had some experience in design, James Brown. I asked him, “I have a random idea for a design I’d like to ask you about. Can you meet me at the playground where I bring my kids?” A few days later we met at a playground, aka my office. “What do you think of making a stylish diaper bag for dads?” He didn’t guffaw in my face. Phew. First step down. Right away, James put together some inspiring ideas and notions of other bags. A week later, we met up at a coffee shop (so we’d have a table for sketching) and laid out a basic idea of a messenger bag. I mentioned, “I’d like the bag to be deep navy blue. Like Louis Vuitton material, but blue.” Armed with a design, I first reached out to a friend, Mike Lubin, whom I like to call “the unofficial president of an unofficial gay dads club” with which I’m remotely active. I texted him a pic of …

So…Now I Confess…

While my blog is often about my personal/public therapy, it’s now truly my own confession time. I started blogging to sell stuff. I know, I know. Once again, I’m a monster. Worse than when I went hoarse yelling at my youngest due to his #tearlesscrying. But lemme explain: A few years ago I founded a company making “baby gear for stylish dads”. See, when I was expecting my first son, I wanted a really nice diaper bag. Something super stylish, super masculine, and not necessarily inexpensive. I was thinking, “I’m cool with paying $250 for a bag that states, ‘I’m a proud dad and I’ve got style.’” Shockingly, I couldn’t find anything like it. So I had a kid, got a dumpy bag, became permanently sleep-deprived, got some gray hairs, had another kid, became ten times more overwhelmed and under-rested, and then decided, “I think I’ll start a company making stylish baby gear for dads. I’ve never been a business person, I studied international affairs and philosophy 87 years ago in college, and I’m just …

Guys: we are gross.

Guys – we are so gross. For reals. I mean – I’m in a house of two gay dads, two little boys (one rather gender nonconforming) and a slightly incontinent female dog. And I swear that dog is cleaner and smells less than the rest of us. For example – note the above picture. That is the tiny flat part of the base of our toilet where the bolt attaches the john to the floor. Somehow, even though both kids are potty-trained and have a good enough aim, within five days, that part of the toilet is caked in…um…urine. Without fail. I swear to you – I clean this weekly. Until becoming a father of two “standing-up-pissers” I have never, EVER regularly (or ever) cleaned that part of a toilet. Admittedly, I lived in college apartments that could’ve violated health codes, I thought that was more about our kitchen cleanliness, rather than our bad pee-pee projection. Seriously – what is our deal in the bathroom, guys? I read somewhere, once, that mens’ urine can splash up …

Just Trying to be One of the Ladies

So I’ve re-joined the gym. For a few years I was the “I’ll-stay-in-shape-by-doing a-marathon,” which meant running intensely for three months of the year and eating and drinking my face off the other 9 months. After the marathon I’d buy a few groupons to a crossfit gym or a kettlebell class and use about 30% of the groupon…exactly the way they hope we will function. This year, I just thought – rather than waste most of my money, I’d join the neighborhood cheap-ass gym nearest my apartment. And actually? – it works. The lighting isn’t sexy, the towel service isn’t fluffy, but it’s fine. So I’ve been taking classes because I just want people to tell me what to do. I’m no longer 25 and hoping to be an underwear model (which was always a pipe dream. I don’t have the wherewithal to live on celery sticks and Emergen-C over ice). Now, I just wanna maintain some leanness. So I’m all about having someone else boss me around. For the past few months (even before …

From Fear to #MeToo and Back Again

I’m fascinated by the ongoing societal discussion of sexual harassment and worldwide reckoning with the thousands-year exploitation of women. The movement makes me think about a badass dear friend of mine, Charlotte, who talks about the dawning of the age of Aquarius (unrelated to the song) and who’s personal mission is to reunite people with their inner divinity. I’m not well-versed in astrology, new age intellectualism, or vortexes. But I do believe there is a deep energy force that connects humans to each other and to nature, and is what orchestrates the harmony with our Mother Earth (however unharmonious we humans try to make it.) Call this energy what you will. I’m fine with calling it God. So Charlotte is the leader (she hates that term but I’m proud to call her that) of an ever-expanding “circle of women”. They believe in the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine (which are vastly different from the notion of gender roles) and seek to harness the power (or divinity) within human beings to reformulate a more peaceful, energy-focused, divine …