Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'll Take "Up My Butt" for $500, Alex!!!

            One of the greatest swindles of the modern day is surely the underwear industry. You get less fabric per penny than you do with any other article of clothing. Why does underwear cost so much? It makes absolutely no sense. By the cost of some underwear, one would think it was self-cleaning, or covered in diamonds, or made of a special fabric that will allow you to levitate at the push of a button. Yet, I have never encountered any of those special features when purchasing undergarments.
These cost $140 at Agent Provocateur.
Why? Anybody? What am I Missing?
            I happen to be in the lucky spot right now where I don’t actually need to buy any new underwear. During my time at university, one of my girlfriends introduced me to one of the best procrastination techniques ever. If you had to do laundry and you either didn’t feel like it, or didn’t have time, the solution was simply to go and buy more underwear. I recall this friend having a giant Tupperware shelving unit FULL of underwear. I carried this technique well past college and into current day. After a fall cleaning spree leading to the discovery of more than 50 pairs of underwear, I have put a temporary moratorium on purchases of this kind. And thank goodness! I can’t afford to buy more!
            I’m sure that if you want Grannie’s drawers you’ll pay a little bit less. I don’t, however. They don’t really work well with any kind of low-rise bottoms. They also would not help me to continue denying my elevation in years on the planet. There’s always the option of shopping the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale. Except, not really. When stores have large sales, it is often quite apparent why certain things got lumped into the sale category. VS is no exception. In my experience, the kind of underwear that is offered during this sale is not something you could even wear with clothes on. Bejeweled charms, seams up the ass, oddly placed holes… none of these things really make for comfort. And it is a certain fact that wearing uncomfortable underwear can ruin your entire day.
            I spend an awful lot of time at the gym. This allows me to rationalize any and all purchases of workout wear from places like Lucy, Lululemon, and Nordstrom. (I realize you may be judging me right now for not buying such things at Target and TJMaxx, but these places often don’t have apparel for long torsos and I don’t like my belly button hanging out. Sorry.) I have noticed that Lululemon offers their own brand of underwear. Am I supposed to wear special underwear when I go to the gym? And if so, wouldn’t you think it would be appropriately priced to allow me to buy enough? Sometimes I go to the gym twice a day so I’d need at least 10 pairs of magic exercise knickers. This special underwear at Lululemon costs as much as….. wait for it…… $18 a pair!!!! You have got to be kidding. Again, I had better be seeing diamonds or fireworks for that price.      
            The real rip-off is for the girls who are outfitting themselves in strategically placed dental floss. Logic would lead one to believe that these would be the cheapest way to go. It seems that the smaller the article becomes, the more it costs. And let me tell you, you are definitely not paying more for comfort! What’s a girl to do? Does men’s underwear cost this much? I have come to think that $10 for one pair of ladies’ boy shorts out of a suitable breathing mesh fabric is reasonable. “Hanky Panky”s, while extraordinarily comfortable, are $20+ a pair. And upon researching some other prices, I discovered a La Perla “luxury thong” for $43. What the hell is a “luxury thong?!” The world has truly gone mad. There are people starving in Africa while women spend hundreds of dollars on drawers that hardly anyone sees. At least hardly anyone SHOULD see them if you’re not a stripper. I knew a girl back in Indiana who always had a bubble of her undies sticking out of the top of her pants. It was really unattractive, and I’m not sure what she was doing wrong to make that happen. I suppose this would also be an appropriate time to mention that I don’t want to see anyone’s thong out the top of her pants. I’m sure you want me to see it since you paid so much for it, but no thanks. I’m all set. Unless, of course, you’ve figured out a way for your thong to show me network television while I walk behind you. That I’d be interested in seeing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: If Mr. Green Jeans Could See You Now...

           When I decided to start this blog, one of the platforms was that not all people with an interest in fashion are vapid, superficial nincompoops. I’ve always found it pretty offensive when people have expressed to me comments like, “You’re too smart to be a musician,” “You’re too smart to work in retail,” “You’re too smart to WHATEVER.” There are intelligent people touring all walks of life. People’s intellects should not be judged based on their professions, hobbies, or interests. That being said, we cannot escape the fact that there are plenty of superficial, idiotic morons walking amongst us (some of them even have ivy league diplomas). While these people can be infuriating, they also provide much fodder for our entertainment.
            Thanks to a friend, I was directed to this article on Gizmodo: “Skinny Jeans Are Damaging Your Health.” I don’t wear skinny jeans because I find it really uncomfortable to have such an anaerobic fabric as denim clinging like Saran Wrap to my calf muscles (and my legs are quite chicken like, so I don’t know how the chunky lower leg crowd can stand it). Overall, I don’t have a problem with them. And there are several people who have managed to find pairs that fit and didn’t make them look like they were suffering from a bizarre case of edema in the thigh/ass region. (You know… very thin on the bottom, but looking like there might be a circular life preserver around the hips underneath the pants.)
            According to the article, some of you out there have taken the vanity thing to an extreme and are actually wearing pants that are giving you nerve damage. NERVE DAMAGE!!!! I can’t stop laughing when I think about this. Your jeans are compressing the outer nerve in your thigh into the bone at the top of the hip joint. You may have numbness; you may have pain. Now I happen to be familiar with nerve pain. I have suffered from sciatica, caused by compression of different spinal nerves, on and off for years. And I can assure you that nerve pain is one of the most jarring, excruciating sensations I have ever experienced. So, I am just shaking my head at the fact that anyone would allow themselves to suffer nerve pain from wearing pants that are too tight.
            In addition to this, I can’t figure out how you are getting these tight jeans on your body without spraining back muscles and giving yourself a hernia. I wear leggings and tights, and they are fairly tight and a pain in the ass to put on, but not tight enough to cause nerve damage. These skinny jeans have to be even tighter than support hose. Right now, I’m picturing someone trying to put a pregnant sow into one leg of some pantyhose, because that has to be an equivalent simulation of what is going on here.
            Vogue.com thinks they have the answer with this fall’s “The Perfect Fall Pants.” In print they are claiming that bootleg and straight leg pants will be the new skinny jean. I can agree with the sentiment. The examples they give, on the other hand, make me wonder what kind of crack was passed around at their daily morning meeting the day this was compiled. Their cover photo exhibits some Rochas brocade pants to the tune of $1540. (Rochas makes some beautiful clothes, but their Fall/Winter 2012 collection looks a bit like they were trying to outfit Professor Trelawney – crazy divination professor/Emma Thompson – from the Harry Potter movies.)
            Filipa Fino (Vogue) claims,Being fitted on top and flared at the bottom, these pants accentuate a feminine shape…The key to these pants is a heel, and they’re great if you’re short and want to hide it!” That may be true if the pants were not this horrific pattern. Not only do these pants scream pajamas, but these circles are going to make any tiny person look dumpy, no matter how flared the silhouette. To be honest, they look more like a wide leg than a flare.
            Sadly, it doesn’t really get any better. Aside from this beautiful pair of trousers by Prabal Gurung (which could be perfect if they weren’t $1125), the other selections in the editorial are either ugly, impractical, or both. Ankle zips on high-waisted white pants that appear to have front pleats by Doo.Ri. Ankle length skinny pants from Gap (didn’t they say they were going to show us something different than skinny jeans?). A couple of pairs of putty colored pants with slanted pockets at the hip courtesy of Gucci and Balenciaga. A Helmut Lang cropped pleated pant. I love Helmut Lang without question, but I have tried on enough of his pants to know that they are made specifically for boy shaped bottom halves.
Need I go on? You can look at them yourself. The colors are bland and boring and none of them will look good on anyone who isn’t a curve-less size 4 or below. This leads me to believe that these people working for Vogue don’t know much what they are talking about. Nor do they understand what a flared leg actually looks like.  Maybe their pants are just too tight and they’ve gone daft from the nerve damage.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Danger, Will Robinson!!!!

Ford Thunderbird meets 3 ton boulder at 105 mph
from 25 feet up in the air. Nice work, kids.

            First of all, I would like to congratulate you for making it this far into the day without getting in a car accident. You have beaten the odds that are tipped quite heavily in the other direction. I have concluded this not because I have actually looked at any statistics on how often people get in car accidents, but because of the batshit crazy driving I have witnessed from people on the road in the last month. I swear there must be some secret government agency that has employed a team of women on cell phones in Lexus SUVs as some sort of population control.
When did it become unnecessary to take a road test to get a driver’s license? Okay, sure, the DMV would tell you that people still take tests, but I beg to differ. I fear for my life every time I get in the car! I used to think it was frightening to drive in downtown Chicago. I fairly quickly realized that as hair-raising as it is, the traffic is predictable. If someone leaves enough space for another car to move in (bumper to bumper flying 20 mph over the speed limit on the Loop), someone’s moving in. Now driving in Massachusetts, on the other hand, is like being in a horror film. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what people do here.
         I’ll be the first to admit, I had no idea how to drive when I took my driver’s test. I took my road test in New Bedford (that’s the ghetto, for those of you not from the area). And I am quite certain that I only passed because of some sort of deal between Manny, the driving school teacher, whose car I was using, and the state trooper. Driving isn’t really that complicated though, and it didn’t take too long before I figured out what to do. I may have a bit of a lead foot, but I assure you I only break the law when it is safe to do so. If you don’t know how to drive, you shouldn’t be speeding. Do blind people run? No.
         On another note, I think I’m going to need to contact the Feds. I have found weapons of mass destruction. And they are right here, among us, living in assisted living communities. Elderly drivers. I’m sure there are some competent elderly people driving. But honestly, when was the last time you heard about a 30 year old driving a car into a convenience store? There’s a food mart not far from my house that had to put up cement columns in front of their front wall due to all the drive throughs they had. That gives a bit of new meaning to that concept. We really should look into mandatory retesting once people hit 70 years or so.
          Texting and driving is supposedly illegal here. Yet it seems that every time I find myself behind someone driving 45 mph or less on the highway, I pass them and look over to see them with their head towards their lap, tongue hanging out, and totally engrossed in thumb-typing. Put down your damn phone! Texters are worse than elderly drivers!
         I used to have a 45-90 minute commute to work. The day I decided I would need to stop putting myself in so much danger I will never forget. I was driving home on 128 northbound and looked over to the southbound traffic to see a large black SUV standing straight up out of the ground, with nose/fender FLAT ON THE GROUND. How do you do that? Did you wake up and decide you would singlehandedly try and reenact The Fast and The Furious on your way into Boston? There’s no way to get a car like that without making it airborne. After that, I knew I was done with commuting. Good luck to the rest of you. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Marni, Marni, Marni!!!

            It wasn’t until this last year that I started noticing Marni’s footwear collection. This designer has been around since the 1990’s, but I’ve never really considered their work anything to write home about. Either I’m evolving or they are, because I just can’t get enough of their summer collection. (And when I say I can’t get enough of it, it’s both literally and figuratively speaking given my current income.)
            If you’re unfamiliar with this Italian fashion mogul, I would describe it as quirk meets sophistication. To clarify, when I say “quirk” I don’t mean it as something that could be compared with the [fuggo] sweaters Anthropologie usually carries in the winter. It’s less nerdy/crafty and significantly more evocative of the art collection of Peggy Guggenheim. This is fitting as both Ms. Guggenheim and Marni’s creator, Consuelo Castiglioni, are of Swiss descent. (You will never hear me utter a negative word about anything coming out of Switzerland. I would trade my citizenship in a nanosecond. Tangent concluded).
            Marni released their Fall/Winter 2012 preview earlier this week. The looks are an interesting juxtaposition of delicate prints, menswear inspired silhouettes, and hefty accessories. I particularly like this retro-sculpted color-block pump. Their Winter Edition 2012 preview seems Mondrian inspired – never a bad idea. The menswear hint is evident in the footwear. I love this derby style loafer – I think the choice of adding gold and black accents actually tones down the red for some added versatility. It’s not fall yet, however. It is that beautiful transition between spring and summer. So let’s take a look at the shoes that inspired my sentiment.
                This black and white polka dot sandal is just sweet. I love that it ties across the ankle. It’s a simple concept, so easy to style. I’m imagining them with a pair of white with black polka dot cuffed shorts that I have and a plain black top. I probably wouldn’t mix it with other prints. And I think it’s more of a casual shoe. This wedge, on the other hand, is quite a statement of an evening shoe. I go back and forth between accepting suede as a summer material and not. I think as a textural accent with the right outfit it can work. What I love about this wedge is the cutout revealing a layer of gold. From the front, it’s just an ordinary shoe, but when you walk away, people are going to notice!

                Chunky wooden sandals are really not my style at all, but I think I would make an exception for this one. There is a flat platform version with canvas straps, but I love the orange leather and yellow accent on this heel. The best part is the hidden espadrille! Cleverly disguised with black and white stripes, this foot-bed gives your foot the feel of summer and some cushion on top of that chunky wooden heel. I would not wear these with shorts. You’d look like a hooker. A hooker with impeccable taste in footwear, but a hooker nonetheless.  And the last one: I just had to give you a close up of the strap of this sandal. What says summer better than orange sequins?
            I can’t attest to the comfort of these shoes like I can with the patron saint of well-dressed feet, Miuccia Prada’s two shoe lines (Miu Miu and Prada). Or Bally (Oh die Schweiz! Be still my heart. Always tempting me with her wiles). There doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Boston to try on or purchase anything Marni. While it is a sad state of affairs for me, I think it was probably a wise business choice by the brand. The majority of the wealthy women in the metro area either live in Brooks Brothers or engage in age inappropriate dressing. (I swear if I see one more person my mom’s age wearing leggings and a non-ass covering shirt, I’m going to have to start handing out business cards with a link to my “Look Ma, NO PANTS!!!” post.) Net-a-porter has a decent sampling of the brand’s footwear in their online boutique if you are opposed to buying directly from Marni’s online boutique. Barneys carries Marni online as well. As is standard there are variations in what is available from different retailers. Some of you may be lucky enough to find these gems in person nearby.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Giant Size Raisinette?? Nope, That's a Person.

           When I moved out to Indiana I remember being shocked at how many people had blonde hair and orange skin in the winter. Here in New England most people are pasty for about nine months out of the year. I myself am a fluorescent shade of white. I could probably be a medical diagram of the circulatory system. I’m sure you can understand how perplexed I was by these strangely colored people. It was not long before I discovered the fact that several birth control medications and others used for acne and other skin conditions react not so well with ultra violet light, resulting in orange pallor. Mix this interesting reaction with the copious quantities of sorority girls on my Big Ten college campus and you find yourself with a front row seat at the Oompa Loompa family reunion.      
Since I saw the news teaser about the woman, Patricia Krentcil, who allegedly took her child into a tanning booth, I have not been able to get this picture out of my head. Yes, I know people are concerned for the welfare of the child. I guess that’s reasonable while a bit hypocritical, as crack moms shoot up in front of their kids on a regular basis and no one seems to care about those children.  I am way more concerned about the mental well being of this woman. How can you be so unhappy with yourself that you think turning your face into a melted snickers bar will make things better?
I tried the tanning salon a couple of times myself. One of the girls in my dormitory told me that tanning would cure my sinus congestion. I didn’t believe her, of course, but was curious at this widely accepted hobby I knew little about. I don’t mind sweating while I exercise or at the beach where I can go cool off in the ocean. Sweating while you are lying still in a lit up coffin like tube, however, is pretty gross. Those things are HOT (not to mention nasty)! It’s not like parking yourself on a towel over soft sand with the warm rays of the sun heating up your skin as the occasional breeze cools you down. It’s more like sitting on a radiator (if you grew up in an old house you’ll know what I’m talking about) except your whole body is on that radiator. And the weird little shields you have to put over your eyes aren’t the most comfortable. Sometimes you can even get stickers to put on your skin. You can have white shapes burned into your skin with a sort of reverse branding effect. I only lasted ten minutes in the ultraviolet tube my first time and my ass was burnt lobster red THROUGH the bathing suit I wore. (You do not know whose naked butt touched that thing. Yuck.) I don’t think it ever really turned into a tan.
            Why are people still participating in this odd, self-destructive activity? I think it’s been made pretty clear that going to the tanning salon is a really quick way to serve yourself a hefty helping of melanoma. Do people just not care? This is a pretty superficial image oriented activity. I imagine most people tan because they like the look. So, you would think that someone who wanted their skin to look a certain way would be less than excited about having large chunks of their face removed for biopsies.
            I did see on one episode of Dr. Oz that some quack was recommending getting in a tanning bed to increase your levels of Vitamin D. If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I think Dr. Oz is a space alien and anything he supports you should probably run away from screaming. So, if you are unfortunate enough to have been swindled into thinking that tanning is a safe and effective way to get Vitamin D, I can assure you it is not. You can get the UV rays from the sun to turn your cholesterol into Vitamin D and while you are still at risk for burns, it is not even close to as bad as putting the ultraviolet light inches away from you. Believe it or not, there is an even safer cancer free way to get Vitamin D and that is at your local drug store. Who would have guessed? You know what else you can get at the drug store? Sun free fake tanning lotions!
            I think avoiding the sun altogether is a bit extreme. I certainly plan to spend many days at the beach this summer, with some sunblock on. And I will welcome the Celtic in my blood as the freckles show up all over my face. But I don’t want to work for Willie Wonka. And last time I checked he wasn’t accepting applications. Lay off the cancer chambers, America! Go to the beach and get skin cancer the normal way! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Holy Holey.... No.


by 7 For All Mankind

Shopping for jeans, for some of us, is like hunting for the Holy Grail. There are more variables than just inseam and waist length to worry about. Perhaps if you are male and have no hips that is not the case, but this girl has a pretty round behind and that does not make the denim search easy. Thank goodness, that whole Britney inspired “ultra low rise” trend is over. Now at least we can know that when we go to try something on that we won’t have to worry about peek-a-boo crotch (I just HAD to borrow that description from my aunt). Yet left behind are the issues of visible crack (just say no to drugs), muffin top (should only be the edible kind), pockets in the wrong place (not on my hamstrings thank you), finding a dark enough indigo that won’t also stain your furniture… So, once you find a brand and cut that fits, you stick with it. At least I do.
I am a devout worshipper of Seven for All Mankind. Their denim is super soft and they have two different cuts (Dojo and A-Pocket) that flatter my figure, are comfortable, often have sparkly crystals on the pockets, and fit like a glove. They have other cuts that I can’t even get my whole leg into so they appeal to the skinny girls as well. This is not, unfortunately, a cheap habit to have. I end up buying mine at places like Saks Off Fifth outlet. I can’t remember the last time I paid less than $120 for a pair of jeans (OUCH). Knowing that that is what I’m working with for a price, I have a hard time not orally expressing my irritation at pulling my size out of a pile and holding them up only to find that they are FULL OF HOLES.
ENOUGH with distressed denim, already. I don’t understand it. I fall down enough that I put holes in my pants on my own. I certainly don’t want to buy them that way. The whole concept of wearing ripped clothing out in public was never something I easily embraced. I have what I thought to be a common belief, that if you put a hole in something, it is ruined. Or in the best-case scenario said article of clothing is delegated into the “painting the house” category of weekend wear. I guess I am not in the majority on this view. How is it unacceptable to wear moth-attacked cashmere sweaters, but totally fine to wear ripped jeans? Hypocrisy, I tell you! So maybe if you’ve had a pair of jeans for a long time, and you fall down in them in the parking lot on your way into DSW, rip them, have your ever so wonderful mother run over the rip with her sewing machine so it doesn’t get bigger, and then wear them on Saturday around your house and to the movies because they’re so soft you don’t ever want to take them off, that’s okay. Shelling out hundreds of dollars for pre-destroyed clothing – not okay.
,Take, for instance, this hot mess of a skirt I found on Net-A-Porter. It’s no longer available so I have no qualms about giving you the link to more pictures. Even the name “Fine Trash distressed denim pencil skirt” tells me I don’t want it. Why does anyone think this looks good? Someone please give me an answer. I wouldn’t pay $10 for that skirt, never mind $430. If I were that skirt and someone did that to me, I’d be distressed too. It looks like it got run over by a garbage truck.
Fabric with holes in it doesn’t last as long either, especially when your toes get stuck in the “distressed” hole while your unaware foot keeps forcefully pushing towards the floor ripping the mild distress into a tattered mess. If you really want denim with holes in it, I suggest you buy some cheap jeans at Old Navy, throw them in a puddle, and run over them a few times with your car. It’s a lot more cost effective. You can give me what you save. I’m still going to request that you don’t wear them outside your house or the movie theatre. It just looks messy! We did grunge when I was in high school and it’s over. I throw out socks with holes. I won’t even donate sweaters with holes. Pants with holes need to go the same route. And don’t think that just because you wore a hole in that spot where your thighs rub together and you don’t think anyone can see it that it’s okay to wear those jeans out either. I CAN SEE IT! And I might just point it out to you in a very public and embarrassing way.  

(A good friend just shared this link with me in response to today's post. It's a short video about denim history - pretty cool! Additionally, you can go to denimtherapy.com to get those holes patched up. Have a good weekend!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

475,000 Isn't Enough For You?

            I am not a fashionista. That is not a word. Despite the fact that I should probably own stock in TJ Maxx, I am not a Maxxinista. That is not a word either. Bogo is no more a word than Pfogt (Pay for one get two). There is no such thing as a Spalon (is it really that hard to write out “Salon and Spa”?). And irregardless will never mean anything, regardless of how many people seem to think it will.
            What is going on with the English language? When did people stop wanting to be articulate? When did people in marketing decide they were smarter than the lexicographers? The Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged is said to contain 475,000 entries. It’s difficult to find an accurate count for how many words are in the English language (some estimates say 1,000,000+), especially given the debate over which words actually belong. There are many more words than there are people in the town I live in (roughly 30,000). I can’t imagine knowing all the people that live in my town, so I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to know every word in the dictionary. It would be nice to try though, wouldn’t it?
            This horrific, AWFUL, vomitrocious (That’s not a word either… I made it up playing Scrabble as a child. I think the definition is obvious.) term “fashionista” to my ears is worse than fingernails on chalkboards. One of my problems with it, aside from the fact that it just sounds vapid, is that “ista” is not a suffix used in the English language. While it may have its roots in Latin, like English, “ista” is primarily found in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. There aren’t any concrete word origins available for the term “fashionista,” though one website I saw claimed it was a combination of fashion (brilliant deduction there) and Sandinista. Now, until the moment I saw that website, I had never heard the term Sandinista. Given that it is actually the name of a Socialist political party in Nicaragua, I’m guessing that website was grasping imaginary straws.
            So, rather than find preexisting words to say what we mean, our society has decided to just make up new ones. According to the Oxford English Dictionary online, they add new words every three months. Even the lexicographers have sold out! I understand the addition of things like “fluoroquinolone” and “astrocytic.” The scientific fields are constantly running into new chemicals and discoveries that must be documented in the language. The point being, there aren't words already in existence. They aren’t creating words to feign intelligence or out of sheer laziness. Was it really necessary for March’s new word entries to include “scratchiti,” and “pussyclaat (wouldn’t recommend putting that one in a search engine),” and “vegetably?”
            The marketing word creations are the worst. Not only are they contributing to us becoming a nation of people who sound like total “boofheads” (another March addition, Australian slang apparently), they are turning said “boofheads” into advertising machines. Every time I hear the word “Bogo” I associate it with Payless Shoes. “Frappuccinos” are at Starbucks. “Maxxinista” is TJ Maxx’s variation on my least favorite fake word. I don’t know about you, but unless someone is writing me a check for some serious dollars, I don’t want to be an advertisement.
            Having a conversation with some of today's young folk is like trying to converse with a chipmunk. Supposedly, they are speaking English, but it sounds like senseless garbage to me. Is it really that exhausting to use real words instead of just pronouncing the first letter of every word in the sentence? Like OMG, ITCTNF (I totally contracted Toe Nail Fungus)! It’s like the whole country is developing a language disorder. (It’s called aphasia; don’t try and make a new word for that). I find it somewhat disconcerting that my German friends speak and write better English than the majority of people one hears interviewed on the news. Even worse, the language skills of the judging panel on America’s Best Dance Crew are F<3KING APPALLING. I realize we expect less from MTV, but unfortunately that’s what the chipmunk brained young folk are watching only perpetuating the problem. It’s one thing to cheat at Scrabble, where lifelong reputations are at stake. Indoctrinating a nation with nonsensical gobbledygook is inexcusable in my book. Call me old-fashioned, but don’t call me a fashionista or I’ll come at you like an angry midget in a Christmas movie.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Dirty Feet Need Not Apply

               It would be difficult for me to forget the look of bewildered disappointment that came across my dear friend Michelle’s face when she discovered I had come back from my lunch break with a brand new pair of gold leather Prada T strap sandals (they were on sale). I saw it coming. I even tried to hide the bag on my way back in to work. Alas, no one can hide things from Michelle. While I respect this woman immensely for being the most fiscally responsible person in my age group I have ever met (homeowner, boat owner, enviable self restraint), I STILL maintain that the Prada sandal purchase was one of the BEST I ever made. I have beaten these lovely metallic thongs to Hell and I’m still wearing them. The footbed is like heaven, enveloping my feet in the luxurious cushion of the most sensitive marshmallows and giving my toes the glorious thought of puppies frolicking in a flowering field. Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating a tad.
            Finding summer sandals should not be a difficult task. There are so many options! Flats, wedges, flip flops, espadrilles, slides….. Don’t get too carried away. While “What would Jesus do?” may be a lovely sentiment, when buying shoes NOT SO MUCH. I strongly discourage buying any shoe that could be categorized under the heading “fisherman” unless you are, in fact, a fisherman. (I will, however, bet you $5 that fishermen don’t actually wear sandals while they are out trying to reel in giant tuna). And this goes for men as well. Unfortunately, gentlemen, your selection for not fugly, not Jesus-y sandals is pretty slim. I don’t envy you. And buying designer sandals is not going to help much, either. The men’s sandals I had the pleasure of schilling last spring while I was convincing people to part with obscene amounts of money at Salvatore Ferragamo were definitely of the ancient disciple variety. Most of the feet I sold these to probably shouldn’t have been showing their feet in public in the first place. Just for the record, standing in the shower is not actually the same as washing your feet.
            I actually really like Birkenstocks. Not for formal occasions, of course. But if you’re just mucking around, they’re great! If you run into any Germans, they may look at you a bit strangely for wearing house shoes out in public, but we are an evolved nation! This is the only land where grown men dress up in tights and butt pads to jump on top of each other on fake grass. Wearing house shoes outside is the least of our problems. I digress.
            While I can condone the investment in a great pair of versatile everyday sandals, especially if they are shiny, I just can’t get behind the designer flip-flop trend. I remember when you could get flip-flops at CVS for $1. I didn’t want them then. And my mom probably wouldn’t have bought them for me anyway. They’re unsupportive and they’re not safe. If you come in contact with shards of glass or rusty nails your feet would probably be better protected by cardboard boxes. Times have changed, and I’ve come around. They’re comfortable and really the only thing I care little enough about to expose to hot sand. (Ironic isn’t it? There are lots of sharp things at the beach these days).
            Michelle must be rubbing off on me, because the thought of someone spending more than $30 on a pair of rubber/plastic/EVA foam ovals with straps attached makes me wonder if said person had their brain sucked out their ear through a straw by a little green man. Many illustrious fashion houses have put their stamp on the popular summer shoe and are charging hundreds of dollars. Salvatore Ferragamo has some PVC flip-flops with an ΓΌber matronly bow for $160. The Prada flip-flops are plain and $270, but they DO come with a bag (I say with left eyebrow raised). Valentino has brass-studded bows on theirs for $295, but the best nonsense comes from Chanel. For $395, you can be the owner of some plastic flip-flops with their trademark Camellia flower on the foot. COME ON!!!!!! They are ALL MADE OF PLASTIC!!! Not a person on this green earth could convince me that there is a legitimate reason why any of these flip-flops are any more comfortable or supportive than a pair of cheap ones from the drug store. And it’s not like they are hand crafted by schooled cobblers. Crafting a fine leather shoe is a painstaking art. Flip-flop making is not. Save your money. Get your flip-flops at Target. Or go to Havaianas if you really want something fun. Then at the end of the summer, people who wash their feet and people who don’t can both chuck them in the trash without any guilt. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

“Doctor Doctor! My blood pressure meds are killing me!”
“Well, Ma’am, actually your blood pressure was killing you.”
“Doctor Doctor! I don’t need the Prozac anymore! I’m eating tree bark instead!”
“Well, Ma’am, since you sadly and ineffectively tried to kill yourself overdosing on Gas-X last month, I think we should stick with the Prozac.”
“Doctor Doctor! My poop…
“AHA! Say no more! I know what’s wrong with you!”
“You do????”
“Dr. Oz-O-Chondria." 

          I’m not sure what is more disconcerting: the fact that Dr. Oz was once (and may still be) a practicing cardiovascular surgeon, or the number of people he now has access to being a nationally televised talk show host. If you have never seen his show, DEAR GOD, keep it that way. I generally don’t watch talk shows, partly because they are on during the day, and partly because I know if it’s not Jerry Springer it won’t have my kind of excitement.
            Wednesdays are my days for ultimate self-destruction at the gym. So, it only seems apropos that Dr. Oz would be on during my 45 minutes of elliptical vengeance to cherry top my workout. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, Dr. Oz is sailing away from reality on the Hubble Telescope hoping to have lunch with Mork and Mindy. Nanoo Nanoo. Oz has to have broken the record for televised dramatizations using giant acrylic feces. Even worse, he’s convincing people that their doctors think they are crazy and are causing them more harm than good. Like in any profession, there are some subpar physicians walking the earth. And occasionally you may have the experience that a doctor thinks you are nuts. Well, if you go to your doctor spouting most of the weird things said on the Dr. Oz show, you probably ARE crazy. And if you’re not, don’t listen to Dr. Oz! Get another doctor!
            Have you seen his “scientific” demonstrations? A couple of weeks ago I learned that if I tie some red yarn to the back of my eyeball and set it on fire, and it burns slowly, then I can read in the dark. Another demonstration shows that if I poke a hole in my head with something sharp and there is a brain aneurysm underneath it, it will pop.  And yet another show demonstrated that if I put on mittens in the morning, then soak my mitten covered hands in ice water, and finish by rubbing my arms with these icy cold wet mittens, it will give me more energy. “You can quote me. The man is a FRUITCAKE,” says RN Elizabeth Arsenault.
            This past Wednesday morning he assured me that it is not harmful to eat the boogers you pick out of your nose. (He clearly didn’t take into account the social ramifications of that act.) Of course it was accompanied with another dramatization: he reached up into the nostril of a five foot high nose and pulled out green goop and licked it off his hand. I wish I had had a camera to record the nauseated looks on the other people exercising around me. This particular episode got so bad I actually had to stare at the floor to keep from revisiting the chocolate chip muffin I ate for breakfast.            
I can just picture him pint sized and singing, “We represent the lollipop kids!” and welcoming me to Munchkin Land. I really wish that is where he would stay.