The Boss


Preface: I am in no way an expert on the American historical figure, William M. Tweed. Nor am I really even a fanatic. The following mini-lesson is a loosely pieced together google search laced with my memory of junior year American History class.

William Tweed – nicknamed Boss Tweed – was the leader of Tammany Hall, a corrupt New York Democratic organization operating in the height of its power from the late 1860s to the early 1870s. For the DiCaprio fans, recall Gangs of New York and the politician trying to infiltrate his control within the Five Points – that was Tweed. Stuffing the ballot boxes with fraudulent votes, flagrant cronyism, bribery, embezzlement – Tweed was rife with ill-gotten power.  The man’s legacy has become the caricature of the nefarious politician. 

With the brief history lesson complete, let’s fast forward one hundred and twenty years later and move about eight hundred miles west. There, in the suburbs of Chicago, a couple was elated to finally have a little girl after a procession of three boys. They dressed her in lace and bows. They gave her dolls and lambs. Finally, a sweet little girl. 

Allegedly, she ripped the bows from her hair and toddled around the house, exacting her rule over the family. The lamb (stuffed with a metal music box) was allegedly used as the strong-arm man of the operation. Those who did not submit to her will would get whacked by the lamb. Allegedly. 

They nicknamed her Boss Tweed.

Anyone trying to name a blog knows its challenges. For starters, you have to grapple with the fact that if you want to write, the easiest way to do it is through the denigrated medium of “blog”. Then, you have to think of a name that encapsulates the message of the site. Now there is a whole slew of somewhat ridiculous – albeit popular – blog names. Especially for female writers. Cupcakes. Sequins. Everybody’s Girl. Wanderlust. Blonde. Goop. I love and subscribe to all of these sites – when Gwenyth tells me to take ashwagandha as a daily supplement, I take ashwagandha. Yet it felt inauthentic to model my writing after those creators or their chosen titles.

Instead, I chose something that made me laugh. My parents selected a manipulative, fat, infamous politician from the 1860s as a cute namesake for their long-awaited, towheaded daughter. Of all the nicknames to give to a bossy little girl, they picked Boss Tweed. That’s really funny and weird to me; it is indicative of my family and the way I was raised. It felt like a good title. Max will tell you little has changed; that I still am the Boss Tweed I was at age two. I’m not sure if he’s saying it lovingly, but if I’m concerned about authenticity I may as well embrace it. 

So here we are.  The domain was free and I needed a name.  The Boss Tweed. To those of you who are earnestly trying to research Boss Tweed and wound up here, I apologize.