Love and Living Rooms

The only true currency in this bankrupt world…is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

- Lester Bangs

I got this email from a reader a few days ago – a reader, who, I may add, is most definitely not a NonSociety fan and had emailed me not-so-nice things in the past – that really got me thinking. He wrote: “I like your willingness to see style as an act of creation – trying things out rather than buying them. It speaks deeply to people, I believe…rather than buying something you are emotionally and physically divorced from, you create things that come from within.” And that’s it, really. To me, it’s not about heading to some expensive shop to buy overpriced things for your home…it’s about figuring out what you like, what you want (and what you don’t), and then honoring yourself by confidently and honestly expressing that vision in your home – and in your life.

Take my living room, for example. I absolutely adore it…and I get that not everyone feels the same. Some folks over on RBNS (NonSociety’s hate site, for those of you who don’t know) said that it was messy, ugly, eyeball-searing, whatever…and did that make me sad for a minute? Sure. But then I remembered that before I had taken the picture of my living room to post on my site, I had looked around at the dog toys littering the floor, the coffee mugs on the table, the afghan that’s there not because it’s pretty, but because it keeps my toes warm, and the pile of receipts by the door, and thought about moving them out of the shot…but then I decided not to. Because that’s not the point. I don’t live a perfect, beautiful life straight out of a magazine, and my apartment reflects that. It looks like I live there. Yours probably does, too.

The point isn’t perfection, or even aspiration to some far-off ideal. The point is to shut out the noise for long enough to discover what makes you feel great, and to then to be true to that. It’s just as important to know what you don’t like, what you don’t care about. I could care less about wedding cakes, so we had whoopie pies at our wedding. I like fake flowers, and so I buy them constantly. I also like Britney Spears. And freaking garlic salt; I would bathe in the stuff if I could. If you like something that’s “uncool”…so what? You like it. That’s what matters.

When we were in Aspen, the NonSociety girls talked a lot about this book that they were reading, Marry Him, which basically instructs readers to settle down with the guy that they’re dating if he’s “good enough”…because if they keep waiting for some guy to come along who checks every box on a miles-long checklist, they’ll be waiting forever. I think that’s absolute bullshit for about a million reasons, but mostly because the checklist that women carry around in their heads delineating the exact qualities that their future husband must possess is more often than not a construct based on others’ opinions. The noise that surrounds us on a daily basis (oh, he’s poor, can’t marry him, oh, he’s not cute enough, oh, he didn’t go to an Ivy League, oh, he doesn’t read enough/listen to music enough/go to museums enough) can skew our ability to see what might really matter.

When I met Kendrick, he was a touring musician who on occasion moonlighted as a coconut-water salesman between gigs. You think that checks off a whole lot of boxes on my friends’ “The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” lists? Prooooobably not. But if you limit your ideas about love, you limit your life – trust me on that one. I dated plenty of Checklist Guys before I met Kendrick – and certainly felt pressure to marry them from people in my life. Ultimately, though, I chose to create a family with a man who spun my heart around, rather than one that had the right “credentials.” I silenced all the noise, and chose Kendrick for him.

After I read the comments about my living room – and after the requisite moment of questioning my choices – I sat down, looked around me, and realized that man, I love our home. Our a-bit-too-busy-for-a-busy-space coffee table? A Salvation Army find from when Kendrick and I first got engaged, and my husband’s absolute favorite piece of furniture. The mismatched pillows on the couch? The coziest things ever, and from the bedroom that I grew up in. The dog toys all over the floor? Ugly, half-destroyed things that nevertheless bring constant joy to the two much-adored furballs in my life. Even that messy pile of receipts by the door symbolizes some medical reimbursements that I’m really pretty psyched about, and it makes me happy to look at it. So there.

It’s the same with love and living rooms. You should no more choose a partner in life because he meets your friends’ ideas of perfection than you should pick a lamp because Nate Berkus says to. Listen to yourself. You know what you love. Go get it.

‘Cause that’s cool.

  • http://themanhattanfoodproject.wordpress.com elizabeth

    The summer before I got married one of my dear friends and I decided to throw a joint bachelorette party, as we were getting married within a few weeks of each other, and to get the festivities started we had the attendees gather at my now-husband’s and my apartment for a fruity drink or two. Two of the girls who arrived had never been to our place so I gave them a brief tour, and while I’m sure that it wasn’t completely intended to sound like this, I could feel a bit of a sting from their reaction:

    “I love your place. It’s so…quirky.”

    In all fairness our place then was and our place now IS quirky: our furniture is a mix of minimalistic pieces, many from IKEA, along with a giant recliner that looks completely out of place and my futon from college that still acts as sofa because we don’t have a second bedroom in which to store it yet. We have an assortment of photos, transit maps and art pieces, many from my super-talented BIL, all over the walls. Magazines and catalogs usually get piled up too quickly and take over tables. In short: it is not at all what you’d find in an InStyle spread, but I’m very OK with this because it doesn’t stop it from being cozy and inviting–and isn’t that what a home should be?

    I may never agree with you on garlic salt, but I have to give a big ol’ thumbs up to this whole post. :)

  • raiiin

    great post, jordan. i admire your confidence to shrug off less-than-positive comments about well- everything. i don’t *always* love every post on ramshackle but i adore the brave and happy girl behind it.

  • Maureen

    Well said, Jordan.

    • jordanreid

      Gracias.

  • Agoraphabulous

    Great post. I love to look at uber chic DIY design sites like Door Sixteen — but their relentless perfection is so daunting and, if you will, cold. Why not spotlight the opposite — the messy, warm, inviting look that's much more attainable for most of us regular old humans. You don't have to be an “expert” to share what works for you.

    BTW — I don't really think of RBNS as a “hate” site. I agree with a Gawker commenter that its more like the post-production of a reality show. The subjects of a reality show don't ultimately control how they are perceived — its up to the producers/editors to “spin” the material & make it more entertaining. Some people enjoy NS as is , but much more (according to traffic stats) enjoy seeing the content put through an often snarky-yet-incisive filter. Those latter folks read RBNS. I'm sorry their assessment of your living room hurt your feelings but I wonder if you'd have been inspired to write *this* post without that kind of feedback?

    • jordanreid

      Agree re: RBNS. I don't have a problem with the site, per se, other than that I know it's hard on the people who are written about (including myself), and that's unfortunate. I talked quite a bit about this in my interview with TheGloss.com; basically, I don't think it's up to me to determine how my content (or anyone's) is consumed; readers (and RBNSers) are under no obligation to like anything I write, and even if they hate it, at least they're reading…so to go about boo-hooing because someone made fun of me doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I do try to address certain things that are written on there because…well, why not? The challenge is to accept the presence of critics, and to continue writing regardless; in other words, not to let detractors silence your voice or tarnish your beliefs. And that's sometimes difficult.
      In any case, I think it's a fascinating phenomenon.

  • christinag

    Why do you respond to every scrap of criticism from RBNS? Seems unnecessary to me. Especially this one.

    • Anonny(ing)

      See, I'm not sure I agree with your comment. I read both RBNS and ramshackleglam, and a lot of the times Jordan is very much…damned if she does, damned if she doesn't (“she needs to ditch JA”, “how dare she bite the hand that feeds her”; “all she does is shill, does she not have anything original to say”, “she's got such terrible taste”). Also, I should mention, sorry christinag, my comment is not directly aimed at you, I realise you might not think any of these things.

      Just like RBNSers are entitled to comment and dissect every little thing, so is Jordan entitled to post her opinions related to what was written about her, especially when she uses a bit more tact and a little less vitriol in her writings. She's not striking back, she's just…presenting her thoughts on the matter.

      • christinag

        I read both, too. I'm not saying she isn't entitled to feel, act, write whatever she wants. This is her space. And my point is exactly that. Why should she apologize for creating her home the way SHE wants create it? I completely understand dialogue with critics, but this ridiculous schoolyard rivalry is getting TIRED. I followed Jordan because I thought she was different. Tact, vitriol, doesn't matter. I don't come here to read passive aggressive jabs at former colleagues or “hate” sites. I come here because, for the most part, I find the content interesting. I don't think Jordan should ever explain herself to RBNS, but what I didn't say in my original comment? I found the following digs distasteful:

        1. “the NonSociety girls” (I mean, do I give a f*ck if it was them or some other vacant-headed women? That book is a bastardization of everything love and marriage should be in MY mind, why do I need to know it's the NonSociety girls?)

        2. “he doesn't read enough” – Oh, c'mon. Comments STRAIGHT from JA and RBNS comments/posts/chat. Immature. But, ya know, I like Jordan, so that's cool.

        That she didn't acknowledge my original comment – a little rude since she feels the need to respond to people who DON'T support her, but whatever. That she has hundreds of other words in this particular posting I agree with – fantastic. I'll keep reading as long as it stays interesting.

        Being “damned if you do, damned if you don't” is not a unique situation to people who put themselves out there for the world to consume. You want to be in the spotlight? That's the trade off. I'm just one of the people who support her and wonder why she feels the need to respond to it since that's not what most of her readers are here for.

    • nicolette

      Jordan rarely brings up RBNS. I think you missed the larger point of the post. Which I think is that people will say negative things about your style (or your wallpaper) and fill your head with stupid advice (Marry Him) but who cares what they think if what you do makes you happy. Mentioning RBNS and real conversations that she's had with people (NonSociety girls) is relevant.

      • jordanreid

        That's exactly it, Nicolette. Sorry I didn't respond earlier, ChristinaG; I was thinking about what to say, because it can be tough explaining yourself without coming off as defensive. The point of this post isn't RBNS, that ridiculous book, or even the damn wallpaper; it's just what Nicolette said: I want to encourage people to do what makes you happy, regardless of others' expectations.
        That said, I don't see any reason why I wouldn't reference a site that talks about me on occasion; why not? I want this site to be about communication and honesty (and sure, positivity), and it doesn't make much sense to me to pretend that the people on RBNS aren't part of the conversation.

  • elizabeth_TMFP

    A few years ago I was hosting a little get-together (more like a pre-party/landing spot for everyone to convene before heading out for the night), and two girls who were in attendance had never been in our apartment before, so I gave them a brief tour. While I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were well-meaning when they said this, I couldn't help feeling the sting when I heard their reaction:

    “Oh, I love your place! It's so…quirky.”

    Yes, it stung a little (I had the impression that quirky wasn't really part of either girl's aesthetic tastes), but it ultimately rolled off my shoulders because I'm pleased with our melange of stuff. Yes, our couch is my futon from senior year of college (it's still in good shape and I don't want to replace it until I have a second bedroom to store it in) and we have a big, overstuffed recliner, but so what? We also have an awesome collection of wall hangings, ranging from transit maps to my brother-in-law's amazing art pieces, and a pretty well-stocked kitchen. Maybe it's not ready for its closeup, but it's cozy and inviting–and that works for me.

    I may never agree with you on the garlic salt thing, but I give a big ol' thumbs up to this post!

    • jordanreid

      Ha…thanks :)
      A similar thing happened to me: Kendrick's buddy came over (I was out of town, so presumably the place looked like a disaster, but still) and basically said that he didn't like our place very much. And it REALLY bothered me. I could care less about this dude's opinion – he's not exactly Style Plus – but…something about someone critiquing your home can really sting. That's partially what inspired this post :)

  • Cookie

    I absolutely agree. That book, even that thought in one's head, makes picking a spouse equal to picking a handbag. Oh, I might not find one I like, so I'll settle for this. It is disgusting and selfish. You are absolutely right and refreshing to call bullshit on this “theory” and to have followed your heat.

  • janaecious

    Please stop letting them see you sweat. By them, I mean RBNS. Sure, they are funny as fuck but I'm gonna need you not to spazz and then blog about how much they hated your wallpaper. Also, stop referencing Non Society. You left, right? okay. Leave that shit in the past. Especially since you didn't want to give any specifics as to why you really left. Why keep bringing up those “girls” as if they are of any substance?
    Be happy you dipped and do you! shitty wallpaper and all :)

    • jordanreid

      I don't really mind letting anyone “see me sweat” – I turn deep purple when I get nervous, so it's kinda hard to hide my emotions from anyone ;)
      xo,
      dippy do

  • http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/ Alejandra Ramos

    I, for one, think your living room is a lot of fun and I actually love the style of your home (well, from the pictures I've seen). This is going to sound so weird, but I totally have a crush on your vanity table and wish that I had room in my bedroom to do something like that. I'm lucky that my apartment is big enough that I have a second room to use as a library/office…but I'd still really love a little space in my bedroom where I can do my makeup and hair comfortably. (Now I kind of just bop all around our apartment, usually pushing my fiancé out of the room so that I can have privacy while I get ready.)

    As for the negative comments on RBNS…I know it must be hard to ignore, but that site really grosses me out. It seems like such a vortex of negativity. I'd never even heard of it until you left Nonsociety and I Googled because I was confused about where your blog went and didn't see any messages on Julia's page (or any of the other girls) pages about it. At first I thought it was a technical issue, but then soon found your new site thanks to them. I admit that I did get sucked into reading it for a bit though while trying to figure out what was going on, and just found it so awful and toxic! I know that they think that they're being funny or snarky or even some kind of ombudsman type site–but really it just seems really gross to me. I don't understand people who are cruel like that. I don't understand the point of investing so much energy into something that you hate or even just disapprove of. I mean it's like, OK, so they don't like Julia or they don't like your living room. Fine. But why spend so much time obsessing over it? It's so weird to me. It's not like you're some kind of crazed wallpaper terrorist slipping into people's homes and redecorating without their consent. In real life, people would never go up to someone and say “your wallpaper is weird and I don't like your couch.” Why do people feel like it's OK to do that on the Internet?

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that you shouldn't let their black cloud mess with you sunny day. :)

    • jordanreid

      “crazed wallpaper terrorist…”
      you are hysterical. and your comment just made my day :)

      • http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/ Alejandra Ramos

        lol glad you liked it. And thanks for the vanity table re-do link. I'm seriously trying to figure out a way to get a table in here somewhere. I'm going to play around & see what i can figure out! :)

  • Douglas

    Jordan, needless to say I agree with you on the post and I'm glad if my email in some small way brought this post about. It is more interesting to cultivate your own sense of “style” that might not jive with our society or our friends. The great thing about real friends is, they don't *really* care what your living room looks like. Beyond that point, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on underpinnings of this thing we call “style”–sociological, psychological, and economic. I tossed out some ideas and even if you just peruse the highlights or cliff's notes, I think you will find some things you can use.

    Most people would not be able to read strong (yet fair, in my opinion) criticism of the RBNS variety. Even if you're strong enough, it can distort your thinking. On the other hand, I guess it is a source of feedback and unlike Julia, you seem to value input instead of just fishing for compliments/attention. It gets personal over there and even though you note I'm not an NS fan I wonder if all the bashing lowers outselves to JA's level. As far as “not reading enough”, thank you for pointing out that line, I laughed heartily–that comment coming from someone whose idea of spirituality is “The Secret” but couldn't hack “The Sacred and the Profane”. Sad.com.

    • jordanreid

      Thanks for writing me such a thought-provoking email.
      While hearing nice things obviously makes me happy, I genuinely do view criticism (and yes, even the non-constructive stuff) as feedback; that's why I'm happy to respond to RBNS (especially because that was my only way of getting feedback – besides emails, of course – in the pre-commenting days). I may not take the really vicious comments to heart – I can't, if I want to stay sane and true to my beliefs – but I definitely take it all into consideration. What's important is establishing a conversation and a community…it's nice if it's all sun and positivity, but it certainly doesn't have to be.

  • http://twitter.com/LovelyOnTheGo Lovely At Your Side

    Jordan! We love this post! I feel the same way, my room is littered with my pitcher collection. The pitcher collection that came from my mother's house, gifts from my friends for graduation, birthdays, etc, gifts from my sister for just because, and (the newest!) a surprise gift from my boyfriend of one I posted and loved and was a little sad to see it sold! then it came in the mail for me! Me! My desk is a table my grandmother picked up at an antique sale. Homes should reflect the inhabitants, and should look lived in. Unless of course you are a mannequin, than please, feel free to live in a sterile, perfect space. But who never, ever leaves crap around? I'd love to meet that person, maybe they have some organization tips.

    • jordanreid

      I want to see your pitcher collection!!!

  • http://www.ONAtlanta.com KyleCollins

    Totally agree with your aesthetic, J. You have to think: we've all been brainwashed for YEARS about what's cool/what's trendy/what's an “appropriate” living space. And what has done this? Magazine spreads, catalogs, TV makeover shows, etc. that have been staged and styled within an inch of their lives. It's just another area of life where we've been sold a fantasy that isn't real. Kudos to you for following your heart, your eye, and for encouraging everyone to do the same. I am on board. XO.

    • jordanreid

      Hey Kyle,
      Thank you! That's just it – it's NOT REAL, and all that glitter and fanciness makes people feel bad about what they're doing, because it's just totally unattainable for the average person. Why not start figuring out ways to make real life beautiful and special?
      xo

  • C.

    I'm a RBNS reader, and I'm glad you wrote this post. I've never thought that the majority of the negativity directed toward you is at all justified, and your attitude here only proves that. NS drama is so very entertaining in a nasty way, and because you were part of it, I don't think there's any way you could have escaped being collateral snark damage. Just keep doing what you're doing– it's more or less impossible to sustainedly pick on someone who's honest, open to criticism, and willing to try new things.

  • caitlindentino

    What a great post … and healthy reminder for all parts of our lives, not just living rooms and love.

    For me, I rarely post photos from cooking that show the background because it feels messy – but it is a true part of my life that the wine glass and fruit bowl are usually in the kitchen with me too. I have a feeling they might start showing up more too.

    Thanks Jordan!

  • Sarah

    A) I think your living room looks fantastic (I LOVE that black and white wallpaper).
    B) I think women who believe that they can somehow control who they fall in love with or orchestrate how that relationship might turn out are idiots. Getting married should not be the end goal – happiness is the end goal
    C) I always thought you were too good for those Nonsociety trollops and I think this site is a major step up for you
    D) All of this is my opinion and should be of little or no relevance to your life – I just wanted to say it

    • jordanreid

      Well, thank you! I love it too :)
      That's exactly the problem – equating “marriage” with “happiness.”

  • Catnip

    Everybody is a critic. Glad you are not letting the negative comments get to you. I think it is brave to share your home and family to the public. As along as your surrounding make you happy…. That is all that matters.

  • http://petitebitcherie.tumblr.com/ Ginger

    I comment on RBNS quite frequently, but I've never understood the garlic salt hate. ;)

    Really though, out of all your posts, this is probably the one that really struck a chord with me. If it makes you happy, you shouldn't apologize for it just because you're “supposed” to be more sophisticated or better. I used to apologize for wearing Uggs (yes, yes, they're ugly), for shamelessly rocking out to horrendous music, enjoying blue box mac&cheese and Lone Star beer. I'm supposed to know better than that, right? Well, to hell with it.

    And let me just say, the “Marry Him” checklist is precisely the kind of thing that's likely to send me into a keyboard-pounding, reblogging rage. It's contrived, damaging, insulting crap. I'm happily married and I can't stand people who attempt to turn marriage into a disgusting, calculated arrangement. It's totally disingenuous to try to pass it off as “love”. It's a good way to pick a horse, but not a good way to pick a – hopefully – lifetime partner. I feel bad for all the Mr Rights who ended up with women who picked them because of their pedigree, their education, their salary and the potential size of OMG, the ROCK.

    On some level, I also feel bad for people who are stuck in a very narrow way of thinking about love and marriage, and who look for Mr Right with a bulletpoint list in hand. As I'm sure you've had the chance to observe, it's nothing but a recipe for loneliness and disappointment.

    • jordanreid

      Agree. It feels so…unfair, somehow – to both parties. And the worst part is that the goal is happiness, when happiness is the least likely thing to come from such a contrivance.

      • http://petitebitcherie.tumblr.com/ Ginger

        I think a lot of people mistake “looking perfect on paper/in pictures” for “being happy”. It's sad.

        Growing up, I've had the chance to see many “rom com perfect” marriages up close and the reality was just… ugly.

        • jordanreid

          You know what looks ugly on paper? Uggs. But they're AWESOME.

          • http://petitebitcherie.tumblr.com/ Ginger

            HA!

            I dare all Ugg haters to try them on – just once! – on a cold, gross morning, and not feel instantly warmer (and happier).

  • http://www.bekindworkhard.tumblr.com/ Jessy Rawls

    I agree with everything you said here. What's the big deal with garlic salt?? Anyway, I love your living room, the wall paper is busy but I love it. It doesn't matter what others think of your house/apartment whatever. To them it's just a house, to you it's your home :) I'm a sophomore in college and I'm living in an apartment for the first time with my best friend who is also my boyfriend. The biggest compliment I ever got on my apartment was when a friend told me my apartment felt like a home.

    I think some people don't like your tastes because it is unique. Some people just cant understand others who have original taste. I absolutely love your taste in clothes/food/etc and quite a few times you've mentioned something you've bought and I went out an bought the same things (Like that GAP hat, I'm sad winter is ending because I can't wear it anymore.)

    Anyway your blog is great. I feel your posts are honest which I appreciate, plus they teach me things. Keep it up!

    • jordanreid

      Aw, thank you so much!
      I feel you on the hat – it's pretty much the only reason for me to be sad that winter's ending. Maybe I'll find some cute fedora-y thing for the summer :)

  • Anna B.

    Keep expressing this much joy in your life, and I will happily put up with any bad taste you may have….

    • jordanreid

      Ha! thank you :)

  • ajones

    I must say that I've always liked and respected you (despite, ahem, your time at NonSociety – which I thought “cheapened” you), but this post just really makes me happy that there are people in this world like you. People who aren't afraid to be themselves, despite all the noise around them that might be saying otherwise.

    You are a strong woman, that much is clear in your posts – the little glimpses of Jordan we get to see. But you are also REAL and flawed and HUMAN. You don't have this mask on like so many others in the blogging community. You're not afraid to be you, and post about it, no matter what. This post has made me respect and like you 1,000 times more than I ever did before for that exact reason.

    And I will KEEP coming to this blog BECAUSE your living room is cluttered, you make mistakes in the kitchen, you aren't afraid to make fun of yourself, and you aren't afraid to be truly honest with your readers. Thank you. Wonderful post.

  • Molly

    you're it, girl. that's all i have to say.

  • Lizzy

    I just wanted to say that I really liked this post.

    And I, for one, appreciate the garlic salt. Although I wish I were the kind of blogger/foodie that when I crave a PB&J sandwich, I start baking bread, making my own jam and grinding peanuts, I'm light years away from that point. Sometimes I'm exhausted or in a rush and garlic salt will be just fine. :)

  • http://modern-traditionalist.blogspot.com/ Modern Traditionalist

    My boyfriend, the one I love dearly and who just got me through the devastating loss of my cat, is 9 years younger than me. He's just starting out in his career and makes half of what I do but he's smart and the greatest man I've ever known. I couldn't be happier. Women with their lists and their books will never know happiness.

    Thank you for being just who you are.

    • jordanreid

      I'm so glad that you're with someone who makes you that happy. And my condolences about your cat – I know how hard that is. I'm so sorry.

  • J.J.

    Just kiss and make up with Julia already, Jordan.

    • Cait

      Make up with Julia? Ew. That's just weird. Julia Allison is a destructive whirling, swirling fameball…never to be trusted.

      Great post, Jordon. It gave me goosebumps! You're really a very good writer, and I hope you'll continue having fun with your blog.

  • TaraMae

    “I chose to create a family with a man who spun my heart around.”

    I love this sentence!!!! The sentiment really struck me. I went through one of “those” phases with the man I am currently madly in love with– I worried extensively about his intellectual pursuits (or lack thereof). Then, one day, it hit me– nobody else makes me as happy as he does. Merely picturing his face in my mind can bring the shit-eatingest of grins to my face. And I realized, if I feel this way around him when we are completely alone, what the hell do I care about what society or other people may think? I'm so glad there are other people in this world who think that way, too. Rock on!

    P.S. I made that lemony roasted chicken the other night… perfection! Your blog is one of my go-tos for recipes nowadays, especially since I am just learning to really cook. Thanks for everything, Jordan.

  • Cait

    There are quite a few comments here that reference RBNS. It can be a funny place when they're targeting Julia Allison for all the right reasons. Someone needs to call her out because she's obviously gotten away with some really rotten behavior her entire life. But what I find interesting is that, there are those at RBNS who will criticize you, Jordan, but not with much enthusiasm, whereas the people at RBNS who like you, REALLY like you, enthusiastically. :-)

    • jordanreid

      i appreciate the support, sincerely :) thank you!

  • zoejamm

    EXACTLY jordan! i love this post. :)

  • Sarah

    I was just noticing that in that shot of you with the brown hair when you met your husband and in that shot of you from that movie, you look “weightier.” Nowadays you look substantially thinner… Is it just me?

    Also, have you given up your acting pursuits or is that still something that interests you?

    Best,
    Sarah

    • jordanreid

      Yeah, I was a little heavier when I met Kendrick (maybe five pounds? I don't weigh myself, so I couldn't tell you). Maybe my shape changed a bit because when I moved back to NY I began walking all the time? I didn't change my eating habits or anything, so beyond that…don't know. Also, short black bobs that make my face look like a moon and enormous push-up bras aren't particularly flattering on me ;)
      Re: acting pursuits…it's just not a major interest of mine at the moment. I'm totally loving writing and hosting in a way that I never loved acting, and my focus is on seeing where that goes.

  • ashleylynne

    Amen, woman! I couldn't agree more.

    -Ash

    PS I love BSpears too. There, I said it.

  • Julie Siemens

    Not to be in support of the book, but aren't you kinda doing what it's suggesting? If you had been one of the women that wanted a checklist man, you wouldn't have gotten married – and this is NOT at all to say that I think you settled, I mean that you identified what was a priority to your happiness and went after that, which is kinda what the book is about, or at least what the Amazon review says it is.

    Garlic salt…. never something to be apologized for. I would bet you good money that no matter how many cooking classes or fancy schools you attend, you'll still love it, and that's the point of taste buds – to eat what you like.

    • jordanreid

      You know, I think at heart that might be what the book is saying, but I think the overt message (I mean, the title is “The Case for Settling for Mr. Good-Enough”) is powerful enough that the emphasis on “settling” is what most women are going to take away from it.
      Re: garlic salt – I agree: this love affair will stand the test of time ;)

  • J.J.

    Honestly. . . Julia's in a lot of pain. And you were her friend at one point. So what could have happened? I know everyone is praising you here, but there a ton of jabs at Julia and her current situation here, that maybe not everyone is noticing. But underneath all the sunshine and unicorns, I felt something insidious here, Jordan. I think demonizing Julia is absurd. I doubt she did anything that horrible. You were clearly Step One on her road to breakdown so why not address it? Or privately make ammends? You wouldn't be here blogging without her, obviously.

    • jordanreid

      The post isn't intended to be a “jab” at or “demonize” anyone; it's intended to be a purely honest take on a topic that I feel very strongly about.

      • Katie

        Uh, that woman does not deserve any apologies. Don't broadcast your personal secrets, Jules, if you can't deal with the repercussions.

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  • allimille

    Jordan- I noticed that you're living room wasn't spotless, and I thought, “How awesome is that! So cute and lived in! She's one of us!” I loved it because of, not in spite of, the fact that it didn't look like it came out of some magazine!

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  • http://painjunkie.spaces.live.com/blog/ John R. Durant

    Jordan– I appreciate your perspective. Your comments about “Marry Him” struck a good note with me. I'm glad my wife didn't have an artificial checklist when she met me. For me, she was (and still is after 17 years and 5 kids with one more on the way) my dream girl. We met in college, and she called me up to ask me to go to a Hare Krishna restaurant and have some soup. I fell crazy in love with her, and we were married 5 months after our first date. Later on she told me that she asked me out because she thought I would be interesting and because I was a “safe date”. She didn't expect or particularly want any romance to develop, and that made things relaxed and easy. She had tons of male friends, and they were all tall, handsome, and pretty great guys. I came along as a bald 26 year old 5'7″ guy who made his own loaves of bread each week and studied around the clock. I'm completely sure that very little about me that would fit the checklist most women may have. But, I was happy with who I was and knew what I was about. I had decided long before meeting her that I was sure of three things 1) I would never settle for anything short of real love. 2) I would commit myself entirely and unreservedly to the woman of dreams 3) I would not look for the girl of my dreams. Instead, I would focus on becoming the kind of man that my dream girl would find interesting and appealing.

    I think more men would be a lot happier and make a lot of women happier if they committed themselves to the same three things. It's not about having the best abs (although I've always been very fit, because it's a good thing!), great hair, or the right car. All of that nonsense is about trying to get to some “destination” where hopefully things will suddenly be magically wonderful. It's a mirage. My 17 years of marriage have not been about artificial destinations. It's about a journey and maintaining the commitment no matter what kind of chaos enters the picture. I didn't ask her marry me actually. Instead, I asked, “Will you commit yourselve to learning to love me every day for the rest of your life? Because, that's what I'm offering. I promise to fall in love you with every morning for the rest of your life, no matter what we go through or become.” We've kept our promise. After all this time, she can tell me about what muffin she just ate, and I'm still completely captivated by her every word.

    • jordanreid

      John, I think you'd fit a lot of women's ideas about the perfect man to marry…checklist or no :)

  • holleebecker

    Hi Jordan. I am a 40-year-old suburban housewife. But 12 yrs ago, I was a 28-yr-old newlywed, living on the Upper East Side with my husband in a teeny studio apartment, that I can now describe retroactively as lovingly ramshackle, thanks to you :)

    At the time the husb was a struggling med student with zero income and massive student loans, and I was working as a fashion and beauty editor raking in what couldn't have been more than 20K a year. Our furniture consisted of pieces left by our apartment's previous occupants, combined with a few pieces of my own and a few of the husb's.

    Yes, we now live in a big suburban home, with two kids and a dog, and all the rest of the generic trappings you can imagine go along with it. But not a day goes by that I don't think about our wonderfully free and haphazard years living on top of each other in Apt. 7K. Those memories are a part of the fabric of our story, the thread that's been woven through the journey we've taken and the life we've built together. Sometime we sit up at night, after the kids are asleep, and reminisce about those carefree years. No, you can never get them back in exactly the same way. But the memories are a part of you. And they are what keep you going through the tough times.

    To this day, we keep our old, rickety Ikea bookshelf from our Manhattan apartment in our master bedroom. I can't tell you how many family members have questioned it's existence and scolded me to get rid of it. But I will never part with it. It's a part of me, and a part of us. And cool or not, I wouldn't trade it in for anything in the world.

    :) Keep being who you are… cause it's wonderful

    http://holleewoodworld.tumblr.com

    • jordanreid

      Thank you, Hollee :)
      Even on our hardest days, when the dogs are barking, the apartment is a disaster, and the bills are piling up…I sometimes think ahead to a time when I'll imagine we'll do just what you described: look back and reminisce fondly about the whole thing.
      And that de la Vega cabinet we dragged off the street? It's not going anywhere – mark my words.

  • Jennifer

    This is so awesome. I love it.

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  • Anita

    Amen, sister!

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