7 Quick Takes About Algebra, Myers-Briggs, and American Girl

1.  I ordered Roman shades for our living and dining rooms.  Finally!

I can check off one of the items on my New Year’s goal list.  My days of being depressed by my pathetic living room curtains are numbered.

Even once I saved up the money to buy the shades, I procrastinated ordering them.  Such a hassle–measuring the windows, choosing fabrics and styles.  I don’t enjoy that process much.  I just want it done but done perfectly.

And then comparison shopping between retailers.  . . . I priced Budget Blinds, Next Day blinds,the Levolor brand from Lowe’s (on sale), Bali (from Lowe’s), and the same brands from JC Penney.

Levolor from Lowe’s was the cheapest by far.  The down side is that we need to install them ourselves.  (“We” meaning Pat does the work and I stand by barking helpful hints.)  If Pat and I ever divorce, it will be because of window treatment installation.  I’m considering hiring someone to do it, so I won’t need to be diplomatic.


2. When was the last time you used algebra?  It was two weeks ago for me.  Our local consignment store offers you a choice between (a) paying a $6 consignor fee and then getting 50% of the sales on your stuff or (b) paying no fee and getting 40%.

Which to choose?

0.5x – 6 = 0.4x

0.5x = 0.4x +6

0.1x = 6

x= 60

Amiright amiright?

If I’m right, that means I’d have to sell $60 worth of stuff to make back my $6 fee.  I’m going with the 40/60 deal because I don’t trust our crummy consignment store to get $60 for my stuff.


3. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! made news the other day for showing up two hours late to a meeting with important potential advertisers with the company.  She made news a few years ago, when she was hired, for being the first pregnant woman to be appointed CEO of such a large company (or something like that).  She’s been in the spotlight a lot since then, especially since she has an uphill job turning Yahoo!’s fortunes around.

Anyway, reading that made me think, “What if her kid is sick?  What if she was up with him all night?”  Just thinking about her life stresses me out.


4. I’m feeling a bit better about my fondness for Impressionism, after reading about how a Monet water-lily painting earned top dollar at a recent auction.  I guess I share tastes with some wealthy Chinese and Russian art collectors.


5. Congratulations to Ellen, who is having her baby boy today!  Check out the precious nursery she put together for him.


6. I’m reading Please Understand Me, which is a primer on the Myers-Briggs personality types.  Funny–some of the characteristics of temperaments other than mine are things that I always considered character flaws!  There’s a certain amount of navel-gazing in poring over personality-type material, but it also goes a long way in helping me tolerate other people!

It’s also fascinating (and confusing) to ponder how much of someone’s temperament is inborn, how much is developed due to external circumstances (“nature vs. nurture”), how much is due to developmental disabilities or psychological disorders, and how much is simply individuality.

For instance, I think Girl1 is definitely ENF . . . J or P, not sure about that last letter yet.  (Girl2 is possibly an introvert–an “I” and not an “E”–I’m not sure about her other traits.  Right now she is so very two years old.  The two-ness overshadows her other traits.)

The book explains, “The NF child is not really comfortable in large groups where instruction is not individualized.”  This makes me think of Girl 1’s  soccer experience, where she had a hard time comprehending the instructions that the coach would shout out to the group.  I attributed it to a cognitional/ sensory condition, but maybe it’s just temperament.  And is there really a bright distinction?

Also, “NF children . . . may want the same story read over and over.”  I started reading Girl 1 a chapter book, Little House in the Big Woods, but we didn’t make it through.  Each time I picked it up, she wanted me to start at the beginning again.  I couldn’t help being a little concerned because, at age five, it seemed to me that she was old enough to be read chapter books.  But maybe she’s just the type who needs more repetition.


7. Anyone else out there remember Pleasant Company, i.e. American Girl before it sold out to Mattel?  (I just realized that all of the original dolls have been discontinued.  Sniff!)

Remember the message from Pleasant T. Rowland on the back of the catalogs?  I was fascinated that someone was named “Pleasant.”

I still have catalogs from the late 80s and early 90s stored away.  Such fond memories.  I also have a Molly doll in a box under my bed, just waiting for my girls to be old enough for her.  I’m second-guessing whether I need to save all those catalogs for posterity though.  I could make a respectable sum for them on eBay . . . .

Happy weekend everyone!  Click over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes.





11 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes About Algebra, Myers-Briggs, and American Girl

  1. We do myers -briggs at my job and its funny because I have never thought about doing an assessment on my kids..Hmm maybe I will give this a try…

  2. I ordered Molly for myself/my girls last year when they announced they were discontinuing her. She was my fave. Also, I am an NF (I/ENFJ) and both of the examples of your girl were also how I was a child. 🙂

  3. I can totally relate to number one. Nathan lives in fear of hanging window treatments.
    The Meyers Briggs book sounds really interesting.
    American girl catalogs! Oh the memories! I would play with the catalog for hours dreaming of having my own Felicity doll. It took me a year, but I saved up the $81.45 to buy her. Can’t wait till A is old enough to play with her.

  4. Um – I still need to finish reading the post, but I stopped after the Lowe’s blinds installation issue – we went through Lowes and they do installation you know! Not all that expensive and worth it – because if they screw up, they have to fix it right. Just fyi.

  5. Now I’m at “Little House in the Big Woods” – maybe Girl 1 just really liked the beginning part and wants to hear it again – and she doesn’t want the book to end – or the time with you reading to her to end. I like Girl 1. Girl 2 reminds me (looks-wise) so much of Aunt Lise when she was 2ish.

  6. Love what you said about personality types here, esp. “it also goes a long way in helping me tolerate other people” (so true, even though I fail a heck of a lot), and also about pondering “how much is due to developmental disabilities or psychological disorders, and how much is simply individuality”. I find the personality types/ temperaments all so very interesting!
    Also, I can’t believe how much the American Girls have changed! I’ve started buying some of the books from the original girls when I see them at used book sales. I remember looking through the catalogs at all the doll accessories.Those were the good ol’ days. 🙂

  7. Hey, thanks for thinking of us, Laura! I read this post on Friday or Saturday on my phone but I was so drugged that I think I missed your shout-out… I didn’t miss the take about algebra though-I’m impressed! I never use algebra anymore. My husband, on the other hand, is always doing math for fun because he’s a freak, so that take made me think that you and he would get along!

  8. I recently went to an “American Girl Tea Party” with my goddaughter that was put on by the local parish. They raffled off a doll at the end. I didn’t realize how pricey those dolls are (have become)? $30.00 for a jacket alone for one of those dolls? Was it like this in the 80s and 90s, or has this all just developed recently?? I wasn’t really familiar with the apparent American Girl doll craze before I went to these tea parties and became educated?!

    • I remember when they went from $72 to $84 for the dolls, and that was in the early 1990s. So actually they’ve gone down in price considering inflation. They _were_ high quality, so you could kind of justify the price. Not sure if that’s the case now. . . . I remember getting the catalogs and the aura of it all was magical. It wasn’t nearly as hyped up as it is now, though.

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