Go to The Establishment
The Establishment
Letter sent on Jun 2, 2017


Oh hi there.

So at the risk of being cryptic and coy — traits that I vastly prefer in my poetry consumption — The Establishment has some pretty tremendous news coming down the pipeline that just might change everything.


I bring up this shadowy — if spectacular — specter not to wield secrets (another sensation I’m not particularly fond of) but because I’ve been processing like hell this past week.

The Est. team all went on a short vacation and one day in a small town of Arroyo Grande — where I’d rented a tiny weird house with my boyfriend and was madly reading H is for Hawk, an incredible memoir — I wanted to get my nails done because I madly bite them and they looked like hell after we’d been backpacking.

Everything in the local seaside town was, of course, all booked with old ladies who all laughed like I’d shit my pants and fallen down the stairs when I asked if they took walk-ins. So instead, I wandered across the highway about a mile away into a tiny strip mall where I found a lovely Korean couple, a mother-father duo who owned a salon.

The husband painstakingly did my nails, clucking at my raw and muddy cuticles as his wife sewed blouse after blouse and their toddler daughter squealed about with her doll in tow, her cries echoing in the cavernous, cold, tiled room that reeked of chemicals.

On the television I watched reruns of the Country Music Awards. Power-couple warblers Miranda Lampert and Blake Sheldon won everything — thanking God and Johnny Cash — and the sweet man fussing over my nail-polish sang along to Shania Twain.

It was a surreal moment; as I wandered back over the highway on the baking cement, vaguely admiring my new claws — I’d chosen The Est. seafoam green, of course — I was struck by the profound simultaneity of our lives.

Or rather, the incredible complexity each one of us holds inside us. Have you heard of the maybe-not-a-real word,Sonder?

Basically it’s the realization that every. person. is living a life as strange and vivid and huge and tiny and complicated and exhausting and incredible and painful as yours.

I felt dead-high on the sheer concept of the human experience.

Ch-ch-ch-anges are coming and they’ve always been hard for me, even as I crave chaos and tumult and spontaneity.

Today I am thinking of all the people in flux, those poised on a precipice. Maybe what’s next will be wonderful. Or maybe you’re terrified because you know it won’t be.

But I see you. And together we can forge a future that is brighter and more beautiful than where we stand today, our eyes sweeping what seems to be an endless warfield.

With love + rage,
Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director

The Agony Of 140 Characters As A Tweeting Whore

By Tina Horn

It never would have occurred to me in a million years to give Tina Horn a Facebook page, or even to keep a blog. Rather, I created an ironclad persona that dematerialized and rematerialized at the discretion of my clients. This was part of the sustainability of this work. Intimacy with the Real Me was not on the menu.

Including fallibility. Many tools of the sex trade that I learned in that house have stuck with me for life. One that really stands out? “Mistresses don’t get sick.”

How Much Of Our Creative Selves Are Sacrificed To Motherhood?

By Sarah Stankorb

Much as I aspired to see the world differently, I’m like so many American women tasked with organizing and transporting my family daily. There isn’t space for the surreal, for the charming, to bloom.

It isn’t hard labor, certainly, and because I freelance I have considerably more flexibility in my schedule than most working parents, but I also do not have free time. My working hours just slide to surround my children.

What Phone Sex Taught Me About Racism, Police Violence — And Life

By Alex Blank Millard

I was Eva #450. I was put on the phone immediately.

“Are you pregnant, Eva? Tell me you’re pregnant!”

I had never been pregnant, but I described what I thought it might be like.

“Oh yes, sweetie, my belly is sooo round, I can barely see my feet!”

“Oh yeah?”

“Oh yes, and I’m standing in front of the mirror right now, lifting my tank top and running my hands over my belly.”

“Yes, and it’s big, right?”

“Oh yes, it’s so big, like, a balloon-”

His breath was fast.

I Don’t Want My Son To Join The Military — But I’d Never Condemn Him For It

By Lea Page

They ran in twos and threes, seemingly oblivious to the sweltering miasma of humidity and car exhaust. The soldiers’ companionable ease with each other — breathe in, breathe out — was a counterpoint to the clenched silence in our car, and it hit me: They were family to each other. They would watch each other’s backs, take a bullet, even, no questions asked. Once you’re in, you’re in.

How The Global Queer Rights Community Is Finding Hope Amid The Hate

By Sam Riedel

This is the quandary in which the international LGBTQIA community finds itself: beset on all sides by revitalized hatred, yet eager to celebrate new victories which once seemed impossible. It’s a precarious balance.

Community leaders can’t allow themselves to be so carried away by success stories that they lose sight of what still needs to be done — but at the same time, single-mindedly obsessing over each new injustice would prevent them from making the most of victories to come.



Like what you read? Give Katie Tandy a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.