You know when you throw on your fuzziest purple socks and sparkly sneaks, it’s gonna be a great day.
You know when you throw on your fuzziest purple socks and sparkly sneaks, it’s gonna be a great day.
During my last quarter as a undergrad I was enrolled in independent study with a favorite (and well-known) professor. It was an easy way to get credit–we met every two weeks while I was doing research and writing an academic paper about my findings.
Our meetings usually lasted between 30 and 45-minutes, during which time we’d talk about the paper, but also about what my post-graduation plans were. Having earned his PhD in Sociology, and taking a particular interest in news media, he delighted in knowing that I wanted to be a writer some day.
For our last meeting he decided we should go on a field trip. To be honest, I felt a little anxious about it. It’s one thing to know your professor in an academic setting, and an entirely different thing to spend time with them off campus. (I’m not suggesting it isn’t normal to do so, because I think at certain universities and for certain kinds of teachers, it’s very normal to interact with students like that.) When the time came to go on our excursion, we got into his (very nice) BMW and set off to our destination.
Truth me told it ended up being rather uneventful because when we showed up we were told we had needed to make an appointment to speak with an official of the location. Discouraged, my professor tried to finagle our way into the office, but alas it was a wash. Not totally defeated he suggested we go out to lunch and turn the afternoon around; I agreed.
We ended up getting Vietnamese food to-go and ate it as we drove back to school. Probing me for a little more information about my career goals, I mentioned that while I did love writing, I was also considering working in higher education as a counselor, and that I wanted to work on a college campus while I earned my masters.
Like I said, he’s a well-known professor, so I wasn’t surprised when he told me he knew someone at Stanford University (in the Bay Area, where I’m from).
“You know I know someone in the Sociology Department at Stanford. I could pass along your information to him, and see if he knows of any job openings.”
Me: “Wow, thank you, I’d really appreciate that. Stanford is a great school.”
“Yeah, and if nothing else I think he has a few kids, maybe you could be his babysitter.”
Stunned is the best word to describe what I felt when he said that. Really? A babysitter? Babysitting is what I did when I was 16-years-old. Before I worked my ass off and earned a degree from a top-flight institution. All I could think at that moment was, Would he ever say such a thing to a male student in my position? And of course I know the answer to that: no.
Like every woman I have my good days and my bad days. If the jeans feel a little loose around the waist, it’s a good day. If the bangs look like the brim of cycling cap, it’s a bad day. If the makeup is flawless AND the booty is poppin’, ladies and gentlewomen, that’s what we call Christmas in July.
And it’s not always just about how I look. I get a fuzzy feeling when I let Husbot have the last piece of pizza, I nurse a baby squirrel back to health, or I drop a fiver into the coffee cup of a violin-playing hobo. Then again, I feel like a total asshat when I realize the car I just flipped off is a Meals on Wheels van being driven by a little old lady.
But for the sake of entertainment, let’s say I’m having a good day all around: clean black pants, shiny locks, and the cure for the common cold in my back pocket.
At 5:15 pm I get home from work. Naturally, I have to take my dog out for a walk. Let me tell you here and now, nothing brings my big inflated head back down to Earth faster than that furry, four-legged Napoleon.
Firstly, he barks. At everything. A wheelchair, a baby stroller, a fern blowing in the wind. An errant piece of trash in the street, the smell of gasoline, and of course, other dogs. I swear to sweet bobble-headed baby Jesus that I’ve tried everything. A firm, “No!” An introduction to his perceived enemy (ALWAYS ENDS BADLY). Profusely apologizing to everyone we pass. A treat reward or disincentive. He still barks. So I usually just cross the street, dragging Cujo Jr. behind me.
If I could avoid the whole walking situation entirely, believe me, I would. But we need to accomplish two things on Joey’s walks: exercise and bladder/intestinal elimination. Cause listen, if there’s one thing I feel badly about in our dog’s life, it’s is the fact that the dude can’t go to the bathroom on his own accord. That sucks; no one else in our household has the same restriction. Furthermore, the place we rent has no doggie door, and even if it did, I’m generally convinced those only lead to other stray animals entering your home unannounced, usually while you’re asleep. Seriously, I don’t need any more mouths to feed.
One of the joys of dog ownership is cleaning up after your pooch. If we go on a mile long walk, I can guarantee that for 9/10ths of the distance we won’t run into anyone else. But as soon as he senses there is another human in his vicinity, his butt starts percolating somethin’ awful. And no sooner have I spotted someone in my line of vision, he’s squatting down with that pitiful look in his eyes, and I’m reaching for a lavender-scented baggie. Humiliation: complete. (Bonus points if he can squeeze a second one out while a group of male models run by.)
I love him, I really do. He’s worth all the work it takes to keep him alive and happy. But no other living thing does such a good job of reminding me that no matter what I think, my shit does stink, and his does too.
Well, not exactly. I’ve been busy. I’ve been on vacay in Costa Rica (where I didn’t see a single monkey), I’ve been training and participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (during which I learned that I am capable of walking 30 miles a day but incapable of following the directions on Icy Hot) and attending bridal showers.
I will now recount for you, internet, my most recent bridal shower experience. I’ll preface this by saying that it was a lovely affair, I honestly enjoy the company of both the bride and the groom and I think they’ll be a great couple. The food was great and the people were very nice. Could not have had a better time.
Now that the pleasantries are out of the way. Of the twelve twentysomething women who attended this shower, I was the only one without an engagement ring. ALL eleven of the other women had been proposed to within the last 14 months and were between posting engagement photos on facebook and saying “I do”. When I relayed this to my friends and family they asked if I felt left out or pressured, two reactions I hadn’t even considered. Rather than inspire me to initiate a formal union with my significant other, the games and favors and pastels made me thankful that I wasn’t there, I wasn’t in the center of that hurricane, I wasn’t wearing a toilet paper veil in someone’s living room. Someday that will be me and it will be wonderful but until then, remember that we’re not all dieting for our weddings, and that parties should have cake.
PS Wondering what to Google next? Try Toilet Paper Wedding Dress. Astonishing how some people spend their free time.
I’m interrupting this blog to pay homage to a very special lady. Born Eddi-Rue McClanahan in Healdton, Oklahoma, on February 21, 1934, McClanahan stole our hearts with her roles in Maude, Mama’s Family, and the Golden Girls.
Golden Girls is, was, and always will be in my top three favorite television shows. I own every season on DVD (despite the constant reruns on Hallmark and Lifetime), and I could tell you two minutes into each show what the plot is about. (A nudist hotel! A game show! Stan and his crazy toupee!) St. Olaf, Sicily, and Big Daddy are all worthy idioms that warrant their own tattoo. On my body. Who’s got a hot needle and a Bic pen?
We lost a wonderful woman today, though I’m certain she’s arriving at the Pearly Gates on a glorious palanquin carried by ten shirtless hunks, ready to greet Dorothy(Bea) and Sophia(Estelle) with a delicious cheesecake and a tawdry story.
So here’s to you, Dame McClanahan. Thank you for being a friend.
So there I am at Walgreens, getting photos developed (pictures of me and J$ to give to my Gramma for her birthday, natch) and I look up to be assaulted with this:
There is no shame in wanting your ass to look good. Might I suggest putting down the Snickers, and lunging your way a gym?
I’m not what you’d call a fashion plate. I don’t have a stylistic vision or drive, I just wear whatever is clean and least offensive in my closet, bonus points if it’s black or makes me look thin. Someday when I have the kind of money that makes Bill Gates weep I’m sure I’ll pay someone to make me look good.
So what’s weird is that I have a lot of opinions on what people wear, even though I, myself, don’t try very hard to be stylish. Which brings us to yesterday when I was in Macy’s shopping for a bra. The intimate apparel section just happened to be adjacent to the Juniors’ department, and while I’m definitely not shopping in anything with the name Juniors attached to it, I couldn’t help myself from taking a look around.
As I crossed the threshold of the forbidden land, the clouds parted and the sky began pouring shit upon my head. I was bombarded with truly awful looking duds. It was all neon-this and rayon/polyester-blend that, nary a natural fabric in sight, my eyeballs started dancing around like Tila Tequilla on speed, crying out for a focal point.
Then I found it, like a beacon in the fog, calling to me. Ladies and ladies, see for yourself:
Strike 1: Poor material. Some might argue that a garment is only as good as the fabric from which is it cut; and those people have made a lot of money in the fashion industry by selling quality clothes. Yet others have decided to buck this sage advice and opt for the cheapest, most visually abrasive material they can find…then give it a whirl in a pool of acid. Because, really, what’s classier than the look of thin denim-that-isn’t-really-denim? Lucite heels, that’s what.
Strike 2, Awful cut: Rompers, rompers, everywhere! I see rompers with straps, I see rompers without; both make me want to blow my brains out. Rompers are the hidden-in-the-basement cousin of the classic dress: they may be related, but no one’s admitting it. Business from the waist up, party down below, this mullet of the fashion world makes.me.die. Elastic band in the middle? Why not, you can’t possibly fuck it up any more. Throw some tassels on it, too.
Strike 3, Mass production: The biggest problem here is its abundance. Do you see all those offenders lined up on that clothing rack? Fine with me if some waify Austin/Brooklyn/San Francisco hipster wants to wear a romper, but sweet baby bobble-headed Jesus, PLEASE don’t let this trend be “the new leggings.” I can’t stand to look at this fashion castaway for the next 36 months.
I don’t want to be all crotchety about “kids” and the “crap” they wear, because we’ve all been there and done that. Hell, I owned more than one pair of men’s JNCO jeans.
But shit straight-up has three strikes against it, which means it’s out. I can’t support this and I won’t pretend it’s not happening. Lock your kids up, throw away the keys, and if you love them never ever let them near an acid-washed romper.***
***Unless they are under the age of six. Then *squee!* go for it.