Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: Who Needs Mace?!

Mr. Louboutin's handbag
will keep birds from landing
on your shoulder. And icedams. It
will definitely prevent icedams.
Yucko. I don't even remember
who to credit for this crap.

           It goes without saying that there will be trends that not everyone understands or finds himself moved by. I know for a fact that my mom was definitely not down with the low-low-rise jean craze (Thank goodness…. No self-respecting woman, especially past the age of 30, should be showing ass crack). She also did not appreciate the “guys wearing their jeans below their butt” trend, while my brother sported that look for a lot longer than we all would have liked. My friend Beth does not like over the knee boots, stating they remind her of prostitutes and pirates, neither of which she wants to dress like. Even my dog has preferences, being nice to the white dog living in the house behind us and really not liking the little black pug that sometimes wanders into our yard unattended to defecate wherever he chooses (Does that make my dog a racist?). I am baffled by and cannot wrap my head around the won’t-go-away trends of Spikes and Skulls.
            To specify, when I say spikes I am referring to anything pointy and made of metal that has been stuck on an article of clothing. You may call it a stud or a cone. Whatever you want to call it, I don’t get it. Most trends and fads stick around for a short while and then fade out. This one is not seeming to fade away. What exactly is the point of covering your accessories with spikes?
Ouch! At least after the blunt studs pierce
the skin the calf hair will feel nice  and soft.
House of Harlow 1960 'Tilly' $250
            I recall entering high school and there being a senior whose name was Thor. I’m not joking – his family was Swedish. Thor wore a black leather jacket with spikes on it. He had spiky blonde hair. I seem to remember there also being pointed dark accessories mixed in. THIS made sense. I found it edgy and dangerous. This was the kind of person you wanted to have by your side if you had to walk through a dark alley at night. The other two things that come to mind when I think of spikes are bulldogs/dog collars and nuns.
            The Missionaries of Charity (Mother Theresa’s branch of sisters) are one of the few branches of the Catholic church that still participate in corporal penance. So, these poor blessed little ladies wear spiked chains around their waist and biceps for at least an hour everyday to help connect them with the suffering of Jesus and the poor. Those are some badass, hardcore, edgy sisters.
These remind me of a triceratops.
I think they might leave a
nice imprint in a fresh tot's tush.
N.Y.L.A. 'Sibeta' $42
            When I see a young or older lady wearing a handbag covered in spikes, or wearing a pair of stilettos covered in spikes, I think of bulldogs, Thor, and nuns. I imagine those are not the desired impressions. Additionally, what happens if you have spikes on your handbag and you accidentally sit on it? Or you’re wearing it on the subway, and it’s crowded, and some thoughtless person pushes by you quickly and with force? Do you not worry about being covered in evenly spaced tiny bruises? If you have spikes on your shoes, you could hurt someone else. I actually see this as a pro and not a con. Shit-kicking shoes can really help you get your way in certain situations. As with guns, however, there’s always that chance of misfire. Perhaps a small child who has just learned to walk will tumble face first into your stud laden toe, becoming permanently disfigured, and forced to grow up to be a womanizing serial killer. You might take a tumble down the stairs and inadvertently kick your own ass, resulting in the odd tiny bruises you already got from your spike-covered handbag. Your skin will start to resemble that of a cheetah.
I like mohawks. I like silver. I like sparkles.
This shoe makes me want to gag.
And it's only $765 on sale. I don't care
if the label says Alexander McQueen.
            If that isn’t enough, skulls continue to adorn all kinds of apparel. “Oooh I’m so edgy! I have a skull on my scarf, and a skull on my handbag, and I even have skull jewelry.” I have a skull on top of my C-1 vertebra. Am I edgy too? If everyone does something, it’s not edgy. It’s not even interesting. It’s commonplace. Of all the people who claim to really like skulls, how many of them do you think actually do? I bet they just say they do because they think it’s cool. Even if you’re one of those people who says they’re into Day of the Dead, it’s DAY of the Dead not DAYS of the Dead. I really enjoy my kneecaps. I think I’ll have kneecaps printed on all of my t-shirts.
            Clearly, I just have a problem with people who do things because they think it makes them look a certain way, instead of doing things because they really like them. I had a radiologist once who gave me a steroid shot in my spine – he had a skull and bones embroidered on his lab-coat. I would wager to say that Dr. actually liked bones (or he was part of the Skull & Bones club at Yale, where he graduated from, and was not afraid to show it). And I’m fairly certain that Thor liked spikes, along with the color black, and probably things like Death Metal and maybe puppies (everyone likes puppies). For the rest of the uninventive ladies out there covering themselves in spikes and skulls, maybe you should try doing something different if you would like to stand out. Perhaps covering yourself in shards of glass would be much edgier, in the literal sense. They would sparkle in sunlight, and would definitely encourage people to stay away from you. And perhaps if you’re looking for a new object to print on everything you own, I don’t know… how about a trash can? Nothing says cool like taking care of litter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

If I Wrote The Fortunes

            There’s always that moment of excitement. What’s it going to say? What wise words is this cookie going to share with me? You eagerly crack the thing open and pull out that tiny slip of paper hoping for some sort of life changing statement. You’re a fool. It’s a cookie. It’s okay; we all do it. Deep down somewhere a hope has been instilled that the meaning of life might find its way to you via a printer in a cookie factory in some city’s Chinatown. It’s never going to happen. NEVER! Why? Because they fill their cookies with “fortunes” like the one I got last week, “Most people, once they graduate from the School of Hard Knocks, automatically enroll”
            Notice the lack of punctuation at the end of that completely muddled nonsensical thought. I’m sorry, what? Automatically enroll in what? Rehab? Kindergarten? The University of Phoenix Online to be classmates with Shannen Doherty? Talk about hard knocks… how many times has she been to jail? She looks like she could hard knock Hulk Hogan’s teeth out. One of the other “fortunes” picked up at that meal was, “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.” I beg to differ, Mr. Fortune Cookie Author. I would call that a nap. All this got me thinking that perhaps I should be writing the fortunes in the cookies. I am certain that I could do a better job. Not only would they be in comprehensible English (although perhaps that takes some of the fun out of it), they would actually be “fortunes.” None of this cliché crap. Fortunes are supposed to foretell the future, hence the prefix “for.” They don’t call it a clichétune or a randomstatementune.
            Here are some of the things my fortune cookies would say. I’ve taken the liberty of also translating them into broken English.
1.     You’re going to die. Too much life bring certain death.
2.     Someone at your job will do something so idiotic that you'll wish assault were legal. Coworker make want for right hook large like mutant coy.
3.     Clothing sizes are going to shrink. You eat cookie you get fat.
4.     Once you sit on seat warmers in a high-end car, you’ll want them forever. Warm ass make happy. Cold ass make sad.
5.     You will experience spring after winter. Snow bring mud every year.
6.     A woman in a Lexus will cut you off on the highway. Rich bitch cause danger.
7.      You will kill at least one plant. You evil. No touch green.
8.     Someone will owe you money. No loan money wife’s brother. He good for nothing son bitch.
9.     You will wish someone would make you cookies. Keep Pillsbury Ready to Bake cookies in fridge – no need friends.
10.  You will get rained on. Water fall from sky. Bring soap.
11.  Someone will make you feel stupid. Smart people don’t know they mean. No worry, lots of dumbass in Idaho.
12.  If you never feel stupid, and you’re always right, you might be an asshole. You assface. Hope cookie stale break tooth. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Fashion Friday!: No Need For Cold Feet

SmartWool Popcorn Cable Sock

           Today is Black Friday. It is a somber day. There’s a lot of mindless idiocy going on in the shopping malls and people are buying up anything they can that’s on sale, just because it’s on sale. Or they’re committing senseless violence so that they can be the one to take home the discounted electronic product they see in another’s hands. It’s ridiculous and disgusting. It makes absolutely no sense. I would like to help bring some grounding to the situation by talking about feet. More specifically, as it is Fashion Friday, clothing for feet – socks!
            I have mixed feelings about socks. It’s really been quite an evolution of thought. It started with “Fun and wacky socks are awesome!” Next came, “I’m really sick of socks that stick out over my sneakers. I want all short socks.” Very quickly after that thought was, “Why the hell don’t they make socks for girls with big feet?! Every pair of socks I have has a hole in the toe after I’ve worn it three times. Screw this, I’m buying men’s sneaker socks.” “I’m sick of socks! Is it summer yet? I don’t want to wear socks anymore. Flip-flops! YES! NO SOCKS! Wait, I don’t need to wear socks with UGGS? I can go year round without socks! JACKPOT!”
Puma Running Socks
The most recent sentiment has been, “Life is too short to spend searching for socks that match. I’m just going to grab two and hope that no one notices.” To simplify and assist that last sentiment, my sock stock has become mostly Puma sneaker style socks, black with different color writing. They’re all very similar, so I can grab two and have sort of the same thing. I highly recommend these Puma socks because they are a little bit longer than the average sock, so they don’t bust at the toe on my long feet. Some of them also have a little extra cushion under the ball of the foot. Or they’ll have a bit of compression around the arch. I really can’t speak highly enough of the Puma sock.
Patagonia Light Weight Merino Crew Sock
Patagonia makes some nice socks too. They’re pretty expensive though. I am only lucky enough to know about these because on one rainy day in NYC I happened to step in a puddle with my UGGS. Remember how I told you how great the soles on those are? How the water just seeps up from the bottom to make sure you have nice clean feet? Yeah, that was NOT a fun experience. Luckily, I was loaned an excellent pair of Patagonia wool socks. They were quite nice to borrow (it would probably be more accurate at this point to say that I have stolen them) – so warm, soft, and snug. And they were men’s socks so they were big enough for my feet. I don’t know why they make women’s socks so small. (All right, so my feet are a solid two sizes larger than the average woman, but still!) Not to mention, it’s fun to wear other people’s stuff because it reminds you of them. SmartWool socks are also great, but expensive. I don’t know how people can rationalize spending $20 on a pair of socks.
Maybe they don’t have to. Maybe everyone buys their $20 socks on sale on Black Friday. I will not be doing that. I do hope that along with their socks, the majority of people are buying some pants. I have to say that I was in Boston last weekend and noticed quite a lot of ladies NOT wearing pants. I even shouted, “Why isn’t anyone wearing any pants?!” and “Look, I can see her underwear!!!!” Do I need to republish my original blog post? Perhaps I shall, since Thanksgiving feasting has rendered me too lazy to write any more…….. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You May Not Believe In Santa, But Karma's A Bitch.

Being rude to sales people will put you on the naughty list!

           Black Friday is only days away. That oh so lovely day when I will not set foot in a retail establishment because I no longer have to. I say a little, make that big – TEXAS SIZED – prayer for my many friends who will be working and hope they survive the day without being physically harmed by psychotic sale-seeking women or ending up in jail for retaliating against the self-righteous, mess-making, rude-ass jerk who happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. As you begin celebrating/enduring your holiday season, I would like to remind you that my friends/your retail service people have been dealing with holiday rollout for at least a month already. They are already sick of Christmas, and we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving.
            I met up with some of my best girlfriends this weekend for dinner. At one point, we all worked together in the same retail location and became a close-knit family, loving our jobs, our store, and each other. We get together regularly, despite living in different states, some having children (all of whom are adorable), and all working different jobs with incompatible schedules. One of the things that is shared by all, however, is an extremely high level of intelligence. I am not saying this with conceit or to pat our hard working backs. I bring it up because there seems to be an overwhelming majority that hold the belief that people who work in retail are there because they can’t do anything else and are not as intelligent as the 8-5 cubicle drones.
            I’ll be the first person to tell you that there are stupid people in every line of work, and someone is always at the bottom of every graduating class. I also am willing to bet you $5 (I’m broke, give me a break) that the majority of those drones (who may not be stupid) in their daily grind office-jobs, wouldn’t last two days in a busy store managing or selling people sweaters. You may think the only thing people at the Gap have to do is to fold shirts. In reality, those people are folding shirts, restocking the shirts that were sold, folding the shirts you just left in a pile because you think your invisible mom follows you around the world cleaning up your messes, putting the shirts in size order, watching out for that shady woman who’s stuffing sweatshirts in her handbag, throwing out that half empty Starbucks coffee that other rude customer left over by the denim, greeting the people walking into the store who blankly stare back at them and say neither “Hello,” or answer the question, “How are you?” and all of this while being on their feet for hours and keeping a smile on their face.
Meanwhile, their boss (this is where most of my friends come in) gets to do ALL of those things, plus manage monthly, weekly, and daily, how many people they can afford to have come and mollycoddle you and fill in for your invisible mom based on how much money the store made yesterday or last week. If you make a ginormous mess requiring the staff of the Titanic to clean up and don’t buy anything one week, that will cut down on the amount of money available to have people come in and help you the next week. On top of this, they’re trying to make sure they have their best employees there at the busiest times. You think they don’t know who their weak link employees are? Trust me, they know. It is REALLY hard to fire people these days. They’re also keeping an eye on the employees they have who are stealing from them (so disappointing). And, they are training the kids who have their first job ever, and whose parents told them they were "special," how to work. During holiday, they’ll all be there, most likely, two hours after the store closes cleaning up your mess. They might not see their friends or family until January, but they'll still find a way to motivate their workers and drive the economy. It is not an easy job.         
So, why do they do it? Believe it or not, some people actually enjoy hard work and helping other people. That doesn’t give anyone license to treat them like crap. While you shop this holiday season, I strongly encourage you to consider my advice. Don’t leave your food trash lying around a store. Go throw it away. You probably could stand the walk to a trashcan to burn off some calories anyway. If you’re not actually interested in something you see neatly folded on a table, don’t touch it. Every time you make a mess of something, someone has to fix it. Don’t try things on in the fitting room and then leave them on the floor. What’s the matter with you?! If you knock something on the floor in the store, pick it up!
Don’t let your kids run through display windows. It’s dangerous, and no one will have any sympathy for them or for you when they fall and crack their heads open on account of you being a lazy, negligent parent. Don’t let your kids scribe their names into leather furniture with their fingernails either. Toys and books for sale in a store are not a library or a babysitting service. If your kid drools on it, you need to buy it. Don’t get upset with sales people over things that are quite obviously out of their control: long lines at the cash register, you not following washing instructions on the clothing tag, the store being out of something you wanted, the company’s return policy not allowing you to return last year’s worn merchandise, the price of what you’re buying, your husband/kids being jerks. Get off the damned phone when you are paying for your items. It’s just common courtesy. It’s also a time when you might get important information, such as return policy, or that you have a piece of food stuck in your teeth.
There are no weekends in retail. There are no holidays in retail. There is no 8-5 in retail. Sometimes retail employees even work overnight – while you are sleeping. There are no tips in retail. There are no private jets in retail. Yet, the ladies I know in this line of work all know better how to run a business and balance a budget than anyone in Congress. Stop treating them like they’re stupid. They’ll smile at you while you do it because they have to, but karma won’t. You may not get what’s coming to you for a while. Or you just might find me driving right towards you, in the parking lot, on your way out, laughing as I collide head on with your brand new car.