Shannon Kelley

Shannon Kelley
Santa Barbara, California, USA
June 11
Shannon Kelley and her mother Barbara Kelley are both journalists, and have just written a book called "Undecided". Together. (...Right??) This blog is a taste of what you'll find in "Undecided", a book about choice overload, analysis paralysis, grass is greener syndrome, longing for the road not traveled, and how the success of the women’s movement has left women stumped in the face of limitless options — and how to get over it. The book comes out on May 3: if you like what you're reading here, get the book here: And subscribe to our blog here:


Shannon Kelley's Links
AUGUST 5, 2010 11:36AM

Cranky Pants and the Girl Ghetto

Something struck me  as I clicked on the daily newsletter in my inbox Wednesday and it totally pissed me off.

Now before I go on, let me assure you that I love, that I’ve been reading it ever since Dave Talbot started it before the idea of digital journalism… Read full post »

Everything is going to be great!

Don’t you just hate it when someone says that? They’re cheap words that come in handy when we’re psyching up ourselves–or someone else–for a march into the unknown, but really. Who do we think we’re fooling? We can’t know the… Read full post »

JULY 29, 2010 12:11PM

On Purpose, Take Two

Back when Harvard Business School’s class of 2010 started grad school, those best-and-brightest had no reason to expect that their high-flying dreams might crash along with a tanking economy.   Which may be why they asked HBS buisness administration professor Clay Christensen to deliver a comm… Read full post »

JULY 27, 2010 1:05PM

Of Curves and Curveballs

There’s a 13 year-old pitching prodigy ruling the ranks of Florida’s Little Leagues, who’s been known to send opponents back to the dugout in tears. And this pitcher is a she, and the only girl on the team.

Her name is Chelsea Baker, and her stats are impressive: on the… Read full post »

JULY 22, 2010 11:40AM

Job Talks And Mad Women

So we’re going to put two and two together here, draw on some other stuff, come up with five.  Or maybe three.  Who knows.  It’s all about the math.  Or maybe not.  But it’s important.    There’s even a treat at the end.


Last week, the San Jose Mercury &… Read full post »

JULY 20, 2010 12:55PM

Botox Feminism

This week’s Newsweek poses the interesting question: Is your booty in your beauty? That is to say, do pretty people make more money (short answer: yes), and if so, should women, to quote Ru Paul, work it at work?

An interesting debate, to be sure. Not least given feminism’s real–and… Read full post »

And so now the Mail Online tells us that the newest chick at the checkout line is the feminist housewife.  More precisely,  she’s a young, well-educated Britster who has decided to throw career to the wayside and instead stay home and bake cakes.

Haven’t we heard this one before,… Read full post »

JULY 13, 2010 11:23AM

There’s a Coach For That

Want to get a job? Change jobs? Get married? Get divorced? Have a baby? Lose the baby weight? Organize your closet? Come out of the closet? Streamline your life? Whatever it is that you’re after, in all likelihood–according to a piece that ran in the L.A. Times this weekend–t… Read full post »

So this past Christmas, Santa left me a little day-planner, filled with retro images of 1950s housewives and their gray-flannel mates, captioned with suitably snarky one-liners.  Today by chance I happened to flip to a page showing two smiling businessmen, wearing suits, ties and hats, and lo… Read full post »

JULY 6, 2010 12:52PM

You Are Here

Last week I came across a fascinating piece at… which, arguably, is made are all the more fascinating for its utter familiarity. The piece, by Rebecca Traister, is called “The new single womanhood: Young, urban and not necessarily looking for a man, a crop of memoirists are sket… Read full post »

JULY 1, 2010 11:10AM

Happy Birthday, Undecided

What goes around,  you know, comes around.  That’s what came to mind yesterday when someone sent me a link to this post on College Candy wherein Charlsie, a new college grad, charts the difference between choosing a major and, sigh, choosing a life.  Let’s look:

Looking back, co

Read full post »

So, today an Undecided reader tipped me off to an interesting read over at TheFrisky, entitled “Why Being Called ‘An Opinionated Woman’ Hurts.” Writer Chloe Angyal sets the scene:

Last weekend, I was hanging out with a male friend who I’ll call Stan. Over the cour

Read full post »
JUNE 23, 2010 8:19PM

I’m A Mess; You’re A Mess

Or, as Wavy Gravy put it, we’re all just bozos on the bus, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.

That’s all well and good in theory (and coming from the man who gave brown acid a bad name–and ice cream a good one), but who wants… Read full post »

JUNE 22, 2010 10:27AM

Happiness is Getting Old

Here’s a little good news for anyone who’s getting older (yeah, Peter Pan, that includes you): a recent Gallup poll has found that as people get older, they get happier.

You read that right. And I know, such a finding runs counter to the results of countless other studies and anecdotal… Read full post »

JUNE 17, 2010 10:27AM

Raised By Wolves

Weren’t we all?

I came across that line Wednesday in a piece by Maureen Dowd, who quoted Michelle Obama as saying that her husband had spent so much time alone growing up that it was as if he had been raised by wolves.

Love that phrase, don’t you?

Think about it… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2010 1:31AM

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

… and according to a recent New York Times piece (that, as fate would have it, ran on Friday, a big birthday for yours truly; big enough to officially bump me from one age range box to the next, in fact) neither do you. Surely by now you’ve heard the phrase… Read full post »

JUNE 10, 2010 11:12AM

Four Years of College For, Um, This?

You bet your mortarboard. Stick with us, you’ll find out why.

But first, backstory: Last month, New York Times writer David Leonhardt slapped the debate about the value of our American college-for-all ethos smack-dab on our collective kitchen table. Ever since, knickers have been in… Read full post »

JUNE 8, 2010 12:34PM

This Is Your Brain on Cybercrack

So. Remember that old anti-drug television commercial that shouted out: Here’s your brain on drugs — then showed an egg sunny-side up, sizzling in a frying pan?

Well, these days, the sizzler is the internet, as in uber-connection. And the result is less like fried eggs than a scramble,… Read full post »

If it sounds like the above could be the title of a horror flick, well, you’re not far off. I came across the following bit of clever repartee between Mick LaSalle, our often irreverent film critic, and a loyal reader in our local paper this Sunday and was… Read full post »

Guess who’s calling herself a feminist? I’ll give you a hint: she doesn’t read much but cooks a mean moose chili, and while she isn’t a big fan of hopey changey stuff, she has been known to engage in such enlightened chants as “Drill, baby, drill.” (Though she&#821… Read full post »

MAY 27, 2010 11:38AM

There Is No Balance. Only Work

At least, that’s how it must look to researchers at UCLA who have come up with a landmark video picture of what work-life balance really means to today’s frantic families. The picture? Not so pretty.

On the surface, it’s more than a little bit creepy: Thirty-two families t… Read full post »

Throughout the course of a woman’s life, a question that never ceases to be relevant is the one so many like to say isn’t–or shouldn’t be–relevant at all: What should I wear?

But the fact is, it is. Clothes, of course, do more than keep us warm and safe from indec… Read full post »

Men are single. Women, on the other hand, are unmarried. And that, ladies, is how language screws us once again

All of which came to light Wednesday via Maureen Dowd, who used the current flap about the sexuality of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan to note how quickly women… Read full post »

So, today I came across a post by Heather Wood Rudulph, over at her Sirens blog, that got me to thinking. In “Over-Planned Parenthood: Complications abound for women in their thirties and beyond who are trying to get pregnant. But are our too-smart, overly analytical brains making matters worseRead full post »

Let’s just agree for one last time that all this happiness business in the wake of the “Paradox of Women’s Declining Happiness” study has a very unhappy subtext: Blame the victim.

The victim being us.

You’re not happy? The horror! There must be something wrong with… Read full post »