Friday, July 25, 2014

Fashion is a Two-Faced Bitch: Old Fashioned...

This is the year I am officially old.  No, it doesn't have anything to do with my actual age, wrinkles, or droopage ratio.  I feel old because I've scanned several fashion magazines this week and I have not found one fall fashion that I want to embrace.

I feel like I should be lounging, newly permed,  around my neighbor's pool with a gaggle of older gals, gossiping away in our one piece skirted bathing suits, wrinkled evidence of too much iodine and baby-oil tanning in the 70s all on display, talking about the crap that passes for fashion these days.

High waist jeans?  Gross.  Crop tops?  Nightmares.   And I don't wear pastels in summer.  Why would I wear them in winter?  Leather?  Let's not.   Bollywood?  But what?  Bolly what?  That's a trend now?  Funnel coat?  I'm not wearing anything that sounds like it might add pounds.  And I believe we covered the scrunchie comeback last week.

It's true, I've never been a fashion maven.  There was that time when I was 21 and admired another girl's way with leg warmers.  She would wear them with pointy-toed pumps.  She was a beautiful  girl with a bird-like bone structure, and could pull off the odd fashion choice. With my athletic build, I was neither beautiful nor bird-like.  It was like putting leg warmers on Rocky.  It didn't stop me from trying.  I tried again  in 1984 when I paired a baby blue cotton dress with red pumps and pink ankle socks.  I don't even think that was a trend at the time.  I think I might have been stoned.

At some more lucid point in my adulthood, I adopted a classic, simpler way of dressing; structured, clean lines in neutral colors and quality fabrics, with an occasional pop of color. This is what looks good on me.  If it weren't for the way I attract dirt, cat hair, loose threads and food stains, I might even pass for well-dressed in some circles.

But now, it would seem, a classic style no longer passes for a style.  Fashion has become diverse and complicated.  Clothing is made to layer in odd ways.  It wraps and ties and serves multiple purposes.  Is it a dress, a shirt, a skirt?  How the fuck am I supposed to figure that shit out?  I see odd combinations of fabric, styles and decades.  These new clothes, they have holes in weird places....I don't want a tan on just the middle of my back, for Christ's sake.

I can feel myself faltering. I can't compute the code that allows two fabrics with different size stripes to be worn at the same time, and even though I lived in the 80's, I couldn't pull off an 80's style if I wanted to. Not that I want to, exactly, that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying that even if I wanted to, I couldn't. Do you understand?  I feel as though I've passed over some invisible line into the realm of the style-less.  I've become one with the masses, dressing daily for practical purposes.  Like being adequately covered in public. Like someone who wouldn't know a statement necklace if it jumped up and bit her on the nose.  Which is why I don't wear statement necklaces, incidentally, because that seems like a valid concern.

And this feeling of not relating to current fashion trends makes me feel old.  This is not to say that older people are unfashionable.  Style is ageless-we all have heard that.  I have many friends who are walking proof.  I have other friends who have transcended fashion and are simply elegant.

But as for me?  I  may as well buy some elastic-waisted jeans, a velour sweatshirt featuring kittens, and some comfortable walking shoes.  And a fanny pack.

Chicken out

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Like Magic....

To My Fellow East Coast Commuters:

The next time you get in your car, after you've turned the car on, but while it is still in park, take a good look at your steering mechanism. That's the round wheel-like thing.  See it?  Good.  Now, take another look, see that longish handle sticking out to the side?  Yeah?

That stick?  It's like magic.

Don't believe me?  Push it up.  See?  See it?  There, on your dash.  See it blinking?  I know!  Now push it all the way down.  Oh my God, it's blinking on the other side now!  Holy shit, right?  If you like that, you aren't going to believe this.  Get out of the car, no, don't turn it off, just leave it in park and get out for a second.  Go around to the front.  Check it out, Homey, it's blinking there, too!  Now, reach into the car, and push the stick all the way up again.  Got it? Good.  Now go to the back and see what's changed.  It's blinking on the other side!  Whoa.  Is your mind as blown as mine right now?

"Has that always been there?",  you ask.  Yes, since  around the 1940's, believe it or not.  As a matter of fact, it's standard in most cars.

"Well, what's it for?" you say.  "Tailgate parties?  That's festive!"

And THIS is why I have high blood pressure.

Just use your turn signals, People!  I can't read your minds!

Have a nice day.

Chicken out

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When Suddenly Nothing Happened..

I was in the drama club in high school.  We performed a Monty Python skit one year.  I don't remember the whole skit.  I just remember this one line that ends in "when suddenly, nothing happened!".  This could be my tag line.

It's not really the fact that nothing happens as much as it is my expectation, each and every time I step out the door, that something will happen, and then nothing does.

See that guy over there?  No, not that one, the other one.  See him?  Don't you think he's acting a little odd?  No?  Well, I do, so I will memorize his clothing in case I'm asked later.  And what about that car there, the gray one.  Didn't that car just go by in the opposite direction 5 minutes ago?  Yes, I remember the license plate.  Maybe the driver lives in this neighborhood or just maybe the driver is casing the neighborhood.  Hmmm.  The lawn hasn't been cut here in awhile.  Usually the elderly gentleman who lives here is meticulous about lawn care.  Do you suppose he's alright?  Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in a couple of weeks....do you smell something?

Oh. My. God.  Up in the sky!  What is that?  Is that...is that a space ship?  It doesn't seem to be moving.  It's  like it's just hovering there,  and plumes of smoke are coming out of the bottom.  They seem to be shimmering, as though the spaceship is emitting some odd gas. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

Oh....I guess it is just a plane....

Everywhere I go, everything I do, I'm seeking out the nearest exit and watching for anything suspicious.  You're welcome.

Apparently, I'm not the only caretaker of the world out there. Take a look at this photo of God peering  from the clouds, snapped by an amateur photographer walking the beach.

I'm Watching You!

Chicken out

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No, I'm Good. You Go Ahead Though

I know a guy who is afraid of heights.  He's going to rappel down a 22 story building in a couple of weeks.  It's for a good cause.  I am also afraid of heights.  I'm  giving the other guy some money for the good cause.  I will not be rappelling from anywhere higher than my bed.  Why would I do that?

People say it's good to face your fears.  I say, "what's the point?"

If I have a fear and facing it results only in bragging rights, then I'm good.  I'll stay humble and fearful.  If I have a fear that, when faced, stands to improve my  life, then I'm all for it.

Littleb is afraid of the water.  He does not like water on his face,  never has.  This is a fear that his Dad and I will help him  overcome because knowing how to swim doesn't suck.  Last night, he jumped through the sprinkler several times and I almost cried.  It is not something he's ever been willing to do.  Real progress has been made this summer.

I am afraid  of  arachnids, heights and haggling.  I see no need to pet a tarantula or jump out of a plane.   Should I ever be in a position where I have no choice but to jump out of a plane into a rain forest full of bird tarantulas, then I guess I'll deal  with my fears  then.  It's sort of how Teenager Who Lives in the Basement (TWLITB) deals with his chores.  He procrastinates in hopes that they will cease to exist.  Sometimes it works.  I will exhaust all other options before exiting the plane.

The haggling, though, I'm not sure about that one.  Would a good haggle improve my  life?   It occurred to me this morning that I've never been through the car purchasing  process even though I've owned several cars over the years.  The first three were handled by my Dad.  He bought one when I got my license, helped me get another when that one stopped working, and then finally  did the haggling for me when I bought my first brand new vehicle.  He tried to teach me, he really did, but when he said,  "tell him you want _____ or you're leaving",  I handed the phone to the sales man and said, "Hey, my Dad wants to talk to you."

When that car wore out, I got married and my new husband purchased my next car.

I'm up in the air about the haggling.  There are other opportunities to purchase cars these days that circumvent the whole negotiation process so, really, it's not something I need to do.  Who decided, by the way, that we would all haggle over the price of a car?  Who made that rule?

What fear should you face to improve the quality of your life?

Chicken out

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Chicken


I know it's coming because  I can hear him outside the door and, sure enough, Ray's head appears in my door frame, followed by his body. He says, as he does every day, several times, "Oh Chicken, Sweet Chicken, how we all love Chicken.   And how's Chicken today?"

"Mornin' Ray.  Doin' well.   How about you?"

"Can't complain.   Got up on the right side of the grass"

"Just another day in Paradise, huh Ray?"

"Yup, that's right Chicken.  See ya later."

It's a good day when I know it's coming.  Quite often,  I don't.  Quite often, I'm standing at the copier or at the front desk, lost in thought, minding my own business when, suddenly...

"Chicken Sweet Chicken, we all love Chicken"

I jump a half-mile, turn a somersault and come back down, landing where I began.  I am growing tired of this conversational thread and I am especially growing tired of jumping out of my skin several times a day.

I suspect Ray knows this,  but the amount of pleasure he gets from sneaking up on me outweighs any guilt he feels over repeatedly initiating my fight or flight response on an otherwise boring work day.

I try to give old Ray the benefit of the doubt.  He's old and hard of hearing, I tell myself.  He doesn't realize how loud he is.

Some other things Ray doesn't realize is how many times a day his eyes wander down to my chest or how often he demeans women  or how many times a day he complains about his crazy wife.

But still,  we work together, so common ground must be sought.

"How're the grand kids, Ray?..."

And  he's off.  He'd give the shirt off his back for those kids.  His eyes shine and his persona changes from grouchy old man to proud Pépé.  

It's just another day in Paradise.

Chicken out