Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: There Is No Such Thing As A High End T-Shirt

$65 Linen T-Shirt by Calypso St. Barth

           I need to address something mindboggling I came across while waiting in a doctor’s office. Have you ever seen this magazine Real Simple? I find the magazine to be a bit of a joke… Its main premise seems to be to suggest all kinds of crap you can buy to “simplify” your life. I don’t know about you, but my thoughts on simplicity generally involve buying less and throwing out as much stuff as possible. The magazine is clearly geared towards middle-aged women so they include a rather pathetic attempt at a fashion segment.
            A matrix of sweet little t-shirts was staring me in the face. At first glance, I didn’t see anything offensive. Then, like evil crickets, the prices of these t-shirts started jumping out at my face, one after another, $30, $46, $58, $65, $73, NINETY FIVE FLIPPIN’ DOLLARS. Hold – the – phone.
            As a fashion lover, art lover, mod furniture lover, I am used to seeing outrageous price tags attached to things I would like to own. That alone is not enough to send me to the moon. What made it possible for me to go and have lunch with “Curiosity” on the red planet was the blurb I read when I turned the page, which actually rationalized paying $65 for a t-shirt. They would have you believe that paying more for a t-shirt actually gets you a better quality t-shirt. A t-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt. I am a shopper’s (retailer’s) best friend and can rationalize the purchase of just about anything ($695 black sequin stilettos as concert attire shoes for a musician, $160 jeans – because they make your butt look much better than the cheap ones,  $26 nail polish), but there is absolutely no circumstance when paying $65 for a t-shirt is rational. The time when I bought a magazine subscription for $75 from a toothless man who showed up on my doorstep was less crazy.
            T-shirts that were made in Europe or the US will cost more, yes. The magazine was right about that. They are still made with machines, however. Little European grandmothers are not hand-stitching the hems on these garments. Very few brands actually manufacture their t-shirts in the US or Europe. Lots of high end designers still have their product made in China – Vince, Kate Spade, Joie to name a few. So, they are laughing with your money all the way to the bank. Imagine the markups. Anthropologie is another one with ridiculous markups on Asian craftsmanship, and their t-shirts are definitely not always the greatest quality.
            So they’re not hand-stitched, they’re made in China. Are the fabrics really better if you pay more? No. This article says they are, but I beg to differ. I’m just speaking based on personal experience, but the t-shirts I’ve had that have stayed nice the longest have been the ones I’ve bought off the clearance racks at the Gap outlet for $4. They’re soft, they’re not too thick, but they’re not tissue thin. Tissue tees are comfortable, but they don’t hold up very well. They tend to end up with holes in them, sort of like their namesake. The article claims that silk and linen would raise the price, but I don’t know that I would call something a t-shirt if it were made out of silk! Wouldn’t it then be a blouse?! And RAYON. Rayon’s great, if you own stock in a drycleaner. What a magical combination – a $65 rayon t-shirt that you have to pay $12 to have dry-cleaned.
            T-shirts are a year round staple. You can sleep in them, layer them, wear them with jeans, wear them with shorts, spill food on them, wipe your hands on them, hang out with little kids in them… They are an everyday piece that’s going to need washed a lot. I won’t pay more than $10 for mine. I splurged on one a few months ago… $15. It had a bird printed on the front. I will not judge you if you choose to spend $65 on a t-shirt if you really like it. We all make ridiculous purchases now and again. Just don’t think for a minute that what you have done is rational in ANY way. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Gardener's Revenge

You see a pretty caterpillar, I see Chucky.

            Oh, petunias! I have some that are apple blossom pink, deep purple with a white star in the middle, magenta, and red. Their stems are sticky and covered in little hairs and, despite this unbelievably irritating quality, I pick off each individual wilted flower head before it can go to seed. Sometimes I miss the dead ones and end up playing catch up. This requires a lot of dedication. It is a labor of love. My grandfather informed me that his friend, Dick Tipple, deadheaded his petunias daily and subsequently had them bloom through October. Who would argue with a guy named Dick Tipple?
            My petunias are carefully located in pots on the back deck of the house. They are not in the ground. I keep them close so that I can talk to them, and so that I don’t have to exert extra energy to take care of them. I also keep them separate from the other vegetation in our yard with the hopes that they will be separate from the miniature vermin that eat vegetation.
I know that even caterpillars need to eat. I just don’t understand why they have to eat my petunias. Perfectly cultivated, daily deadheaded, fertilized, precious petunias. They used to have such beautiful green leaves, and now they are perforated like crappy paper. The blossoms will start to open, ready to shower me with colorful affection, and the next day I come to find a raggedy edged trumpet, petal free. I pick at least six of these green caterpillars off each plant per day. I don’t use pesticides. That would be too kind. Of every plant in the entire block, these blasted caterpillars chose to eat MY petunias. That is an offense against me. They have declared war. Lethal injection? I don’t think so.
Guess what, little caterpillars. I dream about setting you on fire. I would like to stab you through with mini scabbards. If I could rig a mini electric chair I would – fry your little brains like eggs over easy. Sadly, you don’t have a neck to snap and some of you even hang from things for fun. I’m not a killer. I’m a kind person. In my mind I smoosh your little heads, but I can’t follow through. Instead, I will offer you a gift. I shall send you on a trip! Off you go, you little shits! A free flight through the air, no wings required. Don’t come back.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Why Won't This Fugly Dress Stop Haunting Me?!

Dolce & Gabbana Needlepoint Lace Dress

            This dress just won’t go away. This horrible, dreadful, no good Dolce & Gabbana dress seems to be everywhere, and I can’t figure out why. It is one of the ugliest dresses I have ever seen! I have seen it on the television show Fashion Police, thanks to Emma Stone's poor decision to wear it. And I keep seeing it in magazines. UGGGGGGGGH. Can I tell you why I dislike this dress so much? Do you want to know? Too bad, if you don’t. I’m going to detail it anyway.
            Let’s start with the sleeves. These poofy elbow length sleeves are the exact same sleeves that were on the dress my mum made for my fifth grade graduation dress. I loved that dress. And it was okay for me to love those sleeves then, because I was ten. Those are little girl sleeves. Those sleeves were also on MANY of the dresses I saw in this catalog that came around Christmas and Easter time – I think it might have been called the Toy Soldier, or something along those lines. They carried matching dresses for sisters and mothers. They were quite expensive, and a lot of their dresses had a similar sleeve aesthetic. I couldn’t figure out then why my mother wouldn’t want to wear a dress just like mine! NOW I get it. Thank you, mother, for not ever dressing like a ten year old while you were in your forties. The only place where it is appropriate for grown women to wear sleeves like that is on sister-wife compounds hidden in the west in Arizona or Utah or Nevada… and that is because those women have so many other problems that sleeves are the last thing they need to be worrying about.
            When I think of the sorts of things that people needlepoint, samplers, pillows, and decorative wall-hangings come to mind. Large quantities of lace make me think of curtains. This dress is about half lace, half needlepoint. It should be in someone’s living room. In a window? Although, I certainly wouldn’t want it in my window. The needlepoint is sort of strategically placed on the dress to say, “Here are the wide parts.” And it would be difficult for a young girl to wear that much lace and not look old (or like she should, perhaps, be in a coffin). It covers the knee, so it’s business length, and there’s nothing coquettish about it.
            The pattern: oh my. My mum – she saw it and recoiled. She’s Pennsylvania Dutch, a quirky sect of German Americans with a culture that remains fairly German countryside. “It looks like a German tablecloth,” she said. To which I responded, “No German would allow that into their home.” I could see my Grandma intentionally spilling jars of pickled beet juice on this dress so that it would have to be thrown in the trash. (If you are unfamiliar with pickled beets because you do not have family hailing from Amish country or others places where they might pickle beets, they are mulberry red. They sit in mulberry red Crayola crayon colored juice that does not come out of any textile, can stain countertops, and for all intensive purposes is indelible). My mum and I then decided that this pattern is what would happen if a little Chinatown knockoff shop tried to replicate a Pennsylvania Dutch needlepoint tablerunner. So, you silly rich girls with your bad taste, go ahead and spend eleven grand on this dress and wear it out. See what happens! Forget the paint guns, I’m going to go find some pickled beets. WATCH OUT! I’m coming for you! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Remember You! How's That Shirt You Stole Workin' Out For Ya?

Have you seen this woman? Apparently she's stealing
meat.... (try typing that with a straight face).
Call the Scranton PA Police at 570-348-4134.
            As I get older I find that I see more and more faces that I recognize in the places that I go (I NEVER forget a face. I may forget your name and all sorts of other important information. Faces stick). Sometimes it’s like a complex logic puzzle trying to figure out where and why I know the face. Did I go to grade school with this face? Did I go to college with this face? Did I play in youth orchestra with this face? Have I played gigs with this face? Did I meet this face in another country? Did I see this face at the gym? Is this one of the faces of the really deranged people I’ve encountered at Barnes & Noble? NOPE! WAIT! I’ve GOT it! I REMEMBER YOU! YOU have the face of one of the many SHOPLIFTERS I tailed while working at Anthropologie.
            What an awkward and entertaining moment it is to reencounter these people in regular life. I find myself having so many questions. I want to go up to them and ask them why. Why do you shoplift? Are you psychologically ill? Are you a cleptomaniac? Do you do it for fun? Do you do it because you take a medication that makes you take things? Do you steal because you can’t afford clothes? If so, don’t you think you should, perhaps, be stealing from Walmart, or somewhere a bit more appropriate for necessities? But, I think the number ONE question I find myself wanting to ask these people, is how exactly did you have the balls to complain about the service you were getting when you were stealing from my store?
            If you’ve never worked in retail, and you are an honest individual, you probably wouldn’t believe how much theft is actually happening in most stores. It’s unreal. Not only are you being ripped off by sniveling, snot-faced, coddled teens, but professional theft rings, middle-aged women with serious issues, and your own trusted employees. Product goes missing everyday. You watch it walk out the door half the time with your hands tied behind your back, unable to do a damned thing about it. If the professionals took it, you didn’t get to see it leave, you just notice the giant empty spots left behind. I was lucky enough to see a professional jack several thousand in handbags from a Nordstrom…. He was on his way out the door to his getaway car, too far ahead for me to do anything about it. The man was literally covered in handbags so I found myself wondering how no one else noticed the spectacle.
            Some of these “customers” seem to think that they deserve to be treated with the same respect as anyone else while they’re “shopping.” Laughable, I know. In all honesty, these people are treated to even better service than the rest of the clientele. While all hands on deck offer them assistance, ask if they can help, offer outfitting options for what they have in their hands, courteously try to take things to fitting rooms for them, and wait on them hand and foot as they walk every inch of the store, these “customers” are not only stealing product but attention while real shoppers find themselves unattended. And yet, these “customers” so often complain that they’re getting “too much service,” “are being followed around,” or “feel uncomfortable.” 
            Well, you know what, darling? Perhaps we were just concerned for you, because you’ve looked 8 months pregnant for, oh, about 12 months now (what’s up stolen apparel baby!) and wanted to be able to offer you a seat if you felt faint. Or maybe we were worried that that kind of raggedy looking Filenes bag (that you’ve been stuffing merchandise in) you’re toting might give out, and we wanted to be able to offer you a fresh bag for you to carry your things in. Maybe we thought that you were having problems reading the price tags (when you were getting close to them, ripping them off, and switching them with a tag with a lower price) and thought we could assist you with our 20/20 vision. PERHAPS, you should just try PAYING, like everyone else and watch what a difference it makes. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Shall I Wear My Jacket On My Legs?

            I get a whole conflagration of junk mail from department stores and various fashion brands. It’s a wonder there aren’t flames constantly shooting out the orifices of my laptop. I used to tolerate it as “education” for my day-jobs in fashion retail: information on competitors, information for clients, and information to earn the trust of clients – all valuable. Now these emails serve to remind me of how poor I am, how remarkably disinterested I am in the superficial/narcissistic side of fashion, and how completely idiotic retail marketing can be.
            On Tuesday I got one of my multiple-a-day emails from Neiman Marcus, which I usually don’t mind, as their buyers have really been impressing me as of late. This one was going to take me to one of their online styling editorials: “WAYS TO WEAR: the jacket.” Hmmmmmm. Now that’s a tough one. The elusive jacket. How does one wear a jacket? When one finds one’s self a wee bit chilly, perhaps chillier than a sweater can repair, one may reach into one’s wardrobe, pull out a jacket to put on, and protect one’s fragile self from icy air.
Come on, dumbass, when it’s cold, you put a jacket on. If you’re warm, you take it off. Does that really need instructions? Have we become so dippy-brained that seeing an email like this is not offensive to our intellect? There is a fine line between dressing well and carrying yourself well out of pride and respect for others around you and complete and total NARCISSISM. This sort of email plays into the narcissism side. “Let me show you how to wear these jackets we sell so YOU can think YOU look better than EVERYONE else.” That is what NM is really trying to say. And it’s likely that you’ve bought into it. Sad.
Trina Turk Talia Printed Pants $218
            While I get in my LAST punch about this promotion by telling you the model in it looks like she has fewer brains than a French cruller and the Trina Turk pants they pair with a double breasted military-esque coat might be some of the most ungodly, hideous threads I have ever seen (whoops that was two barbs), I will excuse my negativity by saying there is a lot of nasty stuff going on in the world right now. It is difficult to see the women of Tunisia looking at possibly taking a step backwards in their right to equality and not balk at “WAYS TO WEAR: the jacket.” At the same time, without the levity provided by occasionally sinking into the superficial, I think we might all explode with sadness.
            In the spirit of dressing well for pride and propriety’s sake (rather than narcissism’s), let’s explore the joys of jackets. I don’t particularly like the Smythe jackets from the Neiman Marcus promo, but in general, I am an outerwear hoarder. I would like to believe that the primary cause of this tendency is that I am always cold and not that I have a psychological issue. My jackets get a lot of indoor wear. If you’re rolling in cash and closet space, by all means, get a jacket to suit your every whim. If you are normal, on the other hand, it’s nice to get a mid-weight jacket for fall. Ideally, this is something heavier weight than a cardigan, but not so thick that you couldn’t layer another coat over it in the peak of arctic freeze. Think North Face fleece. And to maximize the wear (I’m thinking through multiple years), pick a neutral color, no print: taupe, dark camel, grey, brown, or black, (perhaps military green or navy). The first three, of course, are preferable because they could be worn with black or brown.
            I am now going to resist the urge to suggest a bunch of thousand dollar Helmut Lang and Allsaints Spitalfields leather jackets (see, most of us have a hard time with practical).

Patched Surplus Jacket from Anthropologie $138
I’m not completely sold on the patchwork idea of this jacket, but I like the neutral colors. I also like that the sleeves roll up and button (practical!). Trenches are nice because you can always take that belt and tie it behind you, giving you a waist and a breeze. I could also envision buying this a bit on the larger size so I could wear a hoodie underneath it to dress it down and keep a little warmer. The belt could also be replaced with a ribbon for variety or color.

Suit Jacket from Mango $79.99

This is a great basic suit jacket for any wardrobe. Nothing outside the box about this one. Dress it up, dress it down, layer it under or over. I’m not sure what else to say. 

Moto jackets can have a tendency to look rough and rugged, but the brass findings along with the nice camel shade of this jacket really soften the look. The darts in the back will give it nice tailored lines, and I also like that it doesn’t appear to be cropped. Cropped jackets go in and out of style and can often be a nuisance if you really are wanting some warmth out of them.

Jacket with Metallic Buttons from Zara $129

I also don’t mind this navy jacket that could double a blazer, from Zara. The buttons and collar give it a nod to the military feel and it's simple enough not to interfere with anything. It could easily be dressed up with a silk scarf. 

Now THIS.  You MUST buy this.
Lipslide Jacket from Miss Sixty $173

You can’t believe I’m serious…. People will confuse you for a birthday cake. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Shirts No Shoes No Soup For You!

            Remember the days when the signs were everywhere? “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” I remember them being mostly pictorial warnings. It seemed reasonable. I don’t know why anyone would try and enter a restaurant or place of business either without shoes or half naked. It’s just indecent. I have recently noticed that these decals seem to be missing from a lot of business entrances. 
            Do the businesses assume that people have gotten smarter and don’t need that reminder? That is ridiculously wishful thinking. People are NOT getting smarter. Did they decide the signs were aesthetically violating? I guess that could be true, but people without shirts who are ordering donuts are much less appealing than a tiny sticker on a door. Maybe there is a secret club of shirtless, shoeless rebels that have removed the signs when no one was paying attention. Whatever the reason, I call for a reinstatement of the No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service rule.
            I would also like to add an amendment to this rule. If I see that you have taken your shoes off in a restaurant, coffee shop, or really any place of business, I (or the business) want the right to come and violently rip your food and drink out of your hands and hold it hostage until you put your shoes back on. What is that all about? Can I tell you that I have seen at least four people with their shoes removed in places of business in the last week? Who decided that was appropriate?
I saw one woman in a restaurant who had taken her sandals off, left them on the floor and was sitting Indian-style in booth. Granted, I’m happy she didn’t have her dirty shoes on the seat, but really, her feet didn’t belong on that seat, shoes or no shoes. At Barnes and Noble in the cafĂ©, I saw a girl who had also removed her sandals and was sitting on one foot and dangling the other one. These places serve food! Why are your dirty, skanky-ass feet airing themselves out? And again, in another place of food service, Starbucks, I witnessed an Asian couple, BOTH of whom had taken their shoes off and actually were reclining in the lounge chairs in such a way that their feet were UP IN THE AIR. That’s right, their feet were higher than olfactory height for a midget. That has to be some sort of Board of Health violation. Speaking of olfactory sense and foot combination, a few weeks ago my poor mother actually witnessed a man in a book store who sat down, took his shoe off, and then lifted the shoe to his nose to smell it, as if he were enjoying it’s smell like a freshly-bloomed rose.
If you want your feet to be fancy free while you eat or drink, get your stuff to go, take it home, and then take your shoes off. It is discourteous to take your shoes off in a public place unless you are getting a pedicure. I don’t want to see your feet. I don’t want to smell your feet. I don’t want to sit where your dirty feet have rested their ten little piggies. If I see your feet while I’m waiting for my coffee, I want to run up to you and smack your coffee cup out of your hands much in the way I remember the beer cups were hastily tossed to the floor at frat parties when word was out that the Dean was paying a visit (Indiana was a “dry campus.” HA right). And if you are still so selfish as to think you have the right to take your shoes off in public places, where other people will have to experience your feet, well, then I hope you get ringworm.

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: What Can You Do With Some Clay, A Fake Owl, And A Really Ugly Leopard Print Shirt From TJ Maxx? Let Me Show You....

Artistic Rendering of Your Average Bird
In Animal Print Pants Copyright
S Botham 2012

            Last week I visited my second favorite place to read fashion magazines – the hair salon. All of the reading must take place before styling begins, as once I sit in Omar’s chair it is time for us to chat (I won’t let anyone else touch my hair. 17 years of flawless haircuts. I followed him up and down Newbury St. and now I drive to the North Shore to get to him). I picked up the August issue of InStyle to see what kinds of suggestions they had for my wardrobe and approached it with an open mind.
3.1 Phillip Lim pants
suggested by InStyle
            I got to page 114 in a feature that was supposed to be telling me about “smart pieces” I could take from now into autumn and found myself wondering if the editors sit in an office and conspire to see how many gullible idiots they can get to dress up like clowns purely for their own entertainment. The page displays “animal-print pants…. A bit more exotic than a pair of jeans but just as easy to wear.” Since when are animal print pants easy to wear? And if they really are, then why are you showing me the clothes laid out flat instead of on actual people? Additionally the pants they picked are silk (read clingy on big girls) and tapered to a cuff at the bottom (hello 80’s parachute pants).
            I’ve generally been of the mindset that animal prints are great for accessories such as shoes, foulards, belts, etc. Full outfits of animal print should be left to the zebras and the leopards and the cheetahs. We’ve all seen those girls/guys who overdo the animal print – wear a leopard print dress with a large print and then over-accessorize with child-like headbands and fishnet stockings and espadrilles…. You look at them and shake your head and wonder if it would be a good investment to buy them a full-length mirror, just so you don’t ever have to see them looking like that again. You then remember that girl went to school for fashion design and yet still does not recognize the names of Jil Sander or Brian Atwood and realize the situation is completely hopeless. The POINT is that there is an art to evoking the sleek, breathtaking glory of the felines of the wild. You don’t just throw on some animal print pants and call it a day. Unless you want everyone and their brother having Mr. T in their head saying, “I pity the fool…..” fill in the blank with whatever you choose. The whole point of animal print in real life setting was to camouflage the animal, not to make it stand out to predators and mean girls. 
            Later on in the magazine, different approaches to denim are suggested. And of course, they have suggested some animal printed jeans. If you are tall and thin, you go right ahead and rock those feather print jeans. If you are like me, and have an ass that’s more than twice the combined width of your ankles, do yourself a favor and DON’T DO IT! Do you want to look like a triangle from behind? Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that my shoulders are so broad. I guess this would be one way to make them look a bit thinner. If your ass looks like a feather-covered dumptruck, no one is even going to look at your shoulders.
            There was a time when I was unhealthily thin – 5’7” maybe 110 pounds. I had this wacky pair of Diane von Furstenburg jeans that were a purple base with a dark jewel tone print of circles and squiggly lines. I could wear those then. I couldn’t even allow one leg to wear them now. Things change. Bodies change. Get over it. Accept reality as it is right now. Mr. T wouldn’t want you to have animal-print-dumptruck butt, even if the editors of InStyle do.  

Contact me directly for more creepy photos of owls in leopard pants.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Some People Are Too Self-Involved For Children - And Yet They Have Them Anyway.....

            “It takes a village to raise a child,” Hillary Clinton so wisely put it. I take that as a go ahead to discipline your child in public places, and you can be damned sure I’m going to do it if you are nowhere to be found. Who took the parent out of parenting? Despite the fact that you may be able to fit as many Doritos in your kid as in your Louis Vuitton Speedy handbag, your child is not an accessory. You can’t just plop them down and expect them to sit still, take care of themselves, be quiet, not be kidnapped, etc. All of the above are learned behaviors, and generally the type that are learned FROM someone else (ideally a PARENT).
            I accompanied my mum to her company lobster cookout last week and bore witness to quite a disturbing scene. “New Guy,” as I’ve been trying to get her to refer to him (he’s one of those sort of small barrel-framed, slick haired, you-can-tell-he’s-douchey-from-at-least-4-feet-away kind of dudes), was there with his wife and little girl. His little girl was adorable, probably a little over a year old. She was walking, but you could tell it was still new by the way she led with her head and would occasionally topple over. This cookout was on the company lawn, which was a nice field with a big pond. Unattended babies and open water are not a winning combination. New Guy didn’t seem to make this connection. He and his wife would let their little girl just wander off and not pay any attention. They would stare at their plates of food while their baby girl meandered treacherously close to that pond. She could have drowned. I was horrified. I am not a parent. And I don’t babysit. If I am paying more attention to your child than you are, we have a serious problem.
            Luckily, this little girl would notice that her parents were ignoring her and after a while, she’d keep wandering back to her parents and then yell at them. She didn’t have words yet, but I’m sure if she did, she would have been shouting “HELLO! Why in God’s name aren’t you watching me?! I am a BABY. It’s your job to give a shit! Pay attention!” I sometimes wonder if that’s what a lot of crying babies are trying to say. Have you ever noticed those women in the mall who are just wandering around with their screaming child in the baby carrier with their ears turned off as if they were just holding a lunch sac? It makes me want to smack them. “I’m sorry, but do you not hear that your baby is screaming bloody murder? Maybe you should acknowledge it?” Can you imagine if you treated an adult that way? Your boss? Of course, your boss wouldn’t scream at you because adults actually have the faculty to use words. “Jane I need you to do such and such.” Jane ignores boss just like she ignores her baby. Jane gets fired. It’s unacceptable. Jane wouldn’t dream of treating her boss that way so why does she ignore her child?
            Back when I was a child, children’s needs came first. That is not to say we were coddled. If we were screaming and rude in a public place, my mom would haul us out. And if that meant mom didn’t get to do what mom wanted or needed to do, she’d be rife with rage and we’d be punished. It seems nowadays the moms stay and do what they want and instead punish the rest of us by forcing us to listen to their rude and badly behaved, poorly disciplined child. This is not the child’s fault either. Children aren’t like dogs and cats, which have instincts allowing them to survive in the wild.  One of my favorite child negligence examples was while I was working in the Natick Mall. In the mornings, I would watch new moms leave their children in strollers at the top of the stairs and then run up and down the stairs for exercise while no one attended their children. It’s a wonder none of them were kidnapped.
            My great aunt Fern was known to say things to errant children along the lines of “Go get some razor blades and play in traffic.” Or “Go tell your mother she wants you.” I have adopted some of these phrases, and others. I have stopped and scolded children considering stealing rocks out of store displays with the threat of being hauled off to prison and told some middle school age boys how incredibly inappropriate it was for them to be running around in a shoe store. To the negligent parents, I see the fear of God in your kid’s eyes when I speak to them in my low volume, predatory tone. And you may think I’m out of line, and I really couldn’t give two shits. Do you know why? Because your kids are going to grow up and be full-fledged members of society, at that point too old to scold. And at that point, I am going to have to deal with them even more than I have to deal with them now. And I REALLY hope they don’t turn out like you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Stylin' Kicks 'N Kickboards

Ryan Lochte's Shoe Collection (Supposedly) - I don't see
any Prada high tops in there.. you should get some Mr. Lochte,
they are quite heavenly!

I have very few athletic bones in my body. I excel at skating around in circles on hockey skates and clocking people in the shins with a field hockey stick. I wanted to play ice hockey and field hockey, but I also wanted to be a horn player. Since the latter requires a full set of teeth those things seemed mutually exclusive. The fine arts and sports in general tend to be mutually exclusive given the amount of time they both require. I also really enjoyed swimming, despite being really awful at it. Maybe it was my complete lack of skill that allowed me to develop such an appreciation for the sport.
            In 2004 the FINA World Swimming Championships came to Indianapolis so my dear friend Julia and I decided to drive up and watch.  We were lucky enough to get to see quite a few Olympians compete, including Ryan Lochte - what a sweetheart. We ran into him afterwards and he was kind enough to indulge us silly girls with autographs (which sadly we have both lost in relocations). I even got a few emails.
The ones on the left I wore with a broken foot. It wasn't
so horrible. 
            Since I am a long time fan, you can imagine my delight in seeing that Lochte has not only been amassing a collection of medals, but a collection of SHOES!!!!!!! (Of course, I’m talking about shoes again. I love shoes. Much more than I love gymnastics leotards or table tennis shorts. And to be honest I can’t even name any of the athletes that participate in those sports). What a beautiful sight that closet is. Fashion sneakers are so much more fun than workout sneakers. They don’t have to be as functional. Additionally, they make it out of the closet much more often than the four inch Ferragamo red and white striped peep toe sling backs. I tend to accumulate Pumas like some people get lint in their dryer. It doesn’t help that they sell Scuderia Ferrari Future Cats. What more could you want in a sneaker?
Sneakers from Ryan Lochte's footwear collection for Speedo
            So, our backstroking braveheart has also gotten his feet wet in the design pool. I’m not brown-nosing here; I like these high tops. 1. They are shiny. 2. They remind me of John Deere and some really awesome John Deere reminiscent Diesel sandals I used to have (WHAT???! Just because I love Ferarris does not mean I can’t appreciate a good tractor). 3. I could envision them on KG, Paul Pierce, or Rondo. Would you be okay with that, Ryan Lochte? Do you like the Celtics? I really hope you’re not a Heat fan. That might make it difficult for me to continue supporting you. While I am definitely not the creepy stalker, picture collecting, nutball style fan, I am from Boston. Boston sports fans are a lot like golden retrievers. You can accidentally kick us in the head and we’ll still come lick your face in the morning. I believe that’s called loyalty.