I leave it to you to guess which pieces she insisted on and which pieces Mom gently persuaded her into.

I plan to assert myself when it actually snows, though. She WILL wear socks with those flipflops, if it’s the last thing I do.


p.s. Dick was thinking to himself this morning (early, as he leaves the house at 5:30) and he realized that the camera is an important part of my blogging, and that since he’s missed seeing pictures in my last few posts, he would have one more look-see in the cushions of the couch for the missing camera (last seen the night I cut my hair). I’d told him it had to be in the couch, but apparently we hadn’t delved far enough into the couch’s innards over the weekend. So Dick went couch-diving this morning, which is much too similar to dumpster-diving at this house, and he FOUND THE CAMERA. So here is a picture post just for you, Dick. Thank you for taking the time this morning to use your Daddy eyes.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Do your parents know what your favorite book is?

Sarah Palin is like a national Rorschach inkblot test, especially for women. What we see when we look at her tells an awful lot about us. I’m not talking her politics per se, I’m talking her great hair, snappy clothes, edgy glasses, and Tina Fey sparkle.

Maybe we hate her because she’s beautiful. Maybe we love her ’cause she’s feisty. Maybe we feel threatened by her seeming ability to have it all. Maybe we think her priorities are really mixed up as we yell at the kids to get their ding-dang shoes on RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Maybe we think she’s the Rosa Parks of the 21st century. Maybe we think a beauty queen could never be king.

I have mixed feelings about her (politically AND personally), but I don’t really care that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 outfitting her with more bracelet jackets, though reading about it did send me to my Project Runway guide.

Me: What’s a bracelet jacket?

Tara: I don’t know — a cropped jacket maybe?

Me: But I think she wears longer, belted ones too. I think it just means you can see her bracelet when she wears it.

Tara: Oh. I guess that could be it.

The sartorial excesses of the aspirational governing class don’t really offend me. What else are they going to spend all those donations on anyway? More bad TV commercials?

But I’ll tell you what I do care about. Sarah Palin’s parents remember her reading everything from the local newspaper to Little House on the Prairie as a “strong, quiet” child, but they can’t quite recall what her favorite book was as she got older.

That may seem like a little thing. And it would be great if they listed a bunch of books that she read and raved about, but just couldn’t pin it down to one favorite. But no. “Her parents could not recall her favorite books as she grew older, but said they read Reader’s Digest aloud as a family.”

Reader’s Digest, my friends.

Now, I like me some Reader’s Digest when I’m indisposed, and I confess to enjoying a lot of frothy romantic-suspense-mystery-romance in my Thank Everything Holy The Kids Are In Bed time.

But my parents know what my favorite book is.

(And it ain’t Reader’s Digest.)

(Unless I’m on the pot.)

Do your parents know what your favorite book is?

Visit more What’s On Your Nightstand?

Motherhood’s New Clothes

Is there anything worse than the perfume-pushers at department stores who douse the unwary? Probably not, but I also don’t like fashion or makeup or shopping. My ovaries have even failed me in my laundry endeavors. In fact, it is entirely possible that I am not a woman at all, except for those three children who miraculously arrived to suckle at my bosom and sing Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam all day.

Most of the time when people talk about fashion, I think of the Emperor’s New Clothes fairytale. Or Thoreau, who advised: “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” This is when I’m not thinking about other intellectual things like what’s for dinner and what was on TV last night.

Fashion is a creative, subjective thing. One person’s [insert high-fashion label] is another person’s thrift shop bargain (unless by thrift you mean “vintage,” in which case they really ARE the same thing). Consider this ring featured in The New York Times.

The comments were the best thing about this column, proving again that the Internet really is like manna, a gift from Heaven that nourishes and allows the unempowered a format for correcting the hubris of salaried journalistas. Here are just a few:

is that my highschool ring? (Mary)

What a find! It must be really difficult to research and source these unique items, what with a Banana Republic on every other corner in NYC and most shopping malls around the country. Maybe you could do a piece on gum ball machine jewelry too. (Sar Casm)

That is one ugly ring — why not go to Salvation Army or Goodwill and pick up something for $1? (Casino Con)

Man, I love the internet. Only, let’s not diss Salvation Army, ok?

Speaking of fashion and motherhood, though, my good friend Andrea dropped out of high school to marry her high school sweetheart. (And no, she didn’t “have to”). She later took the GED and got a plaque from the state of Utah congratulating her on getting the high score that year. Then she became a pharamicist, and then later she said something profound about fashion and motherhood, which brought me a lot of vindicatory satisfaction at the time.

In her visits with new mothers at the hospital, Andrea said she could often tell which mothers were going to breastfeed by how they looked after the birth. Breastfeeding was less common in those mothers who fussed over their hair and clothes and makeup than those who looked like death warmed over. Since I looked like death not even warmed over after giving birth, I thought this sounded only fair. Who has time/energy/desire to primp with a bloodsucking eel attached 24/7?

Then Mrs. Fussypants had to go and give birth to her fifth boy child. And then she had to go and wear pearls. And earrings. And, is that mascara? And I KNOW she breastfeeds.

At least she did have to suffer the crime against humanity known as the hospital gown. Otherwise I’d have to hate her. As it is, I’m thinking I need to reconsider my principled stand against Beautified Mother Barbie. Now that Barbie breastfeeds, and all.

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p.s. Thanks to Fussy for allowing me to use her picture.

p.p.s. I didn’t ask Andrea’s permission before outing her as a smart high school dropout and probably misrepresenting her words egregiously. I hope she can forgive me.

Hide the Hunchback

First, another confession, and then, an honest-to-appearance tip.

I ran (in the minivan) to Walmart right after walking with Shalece today. While I didn’t shower or anything, I did change out of my exercise clothes.

But if the same kind of people shop at your Walmart as do at mine (people like me), then you know that I was NOT the most frumpy person there.

That didn’t stop Susan from saying to the (surprisingly well-styled) cashier “You have pink lips.”


This is what I looked like (Susan wondered why I was taking a picture of the mirror. Finally got her to be quiet by working her into the shot).

I wanted to get a picture of my back because that’s the subject of my Fight the Frump tip today: Hide the hunchback.

Now, I don’t know if this is a common woman problem, or if it is specific to my family, but I have to say that I think I get it from my mom. We just have a bit of a hump at the top of our spines. So I feel weird wearing shirts cut low, even a little bit, in the back.

It’s for sure not a calcium deficiency, ’cause we drink enough chocolate milk (Nesquik with added Calcium: we’re healthy like that) to float your boat (literally).

So when I went shopping with Tara for spring dresses, I kept my hunchback in mind. I picked her out a cute pink-y Easter dress and found a rather Autumnal (flattering darker colors) ensemble for myself for $15.50 at Ross. I love making Dick guess how much I paid for clothes. Perhaps he’s humoring me after ten years of this game, but he always guesses outrageous amounts ($35? $25?) and then acts all relieved when I say “$15.50” “for both the skirt AND shirt.”

Notice how the Mandarin-ish collar hides the hunchback, but it vees in front so I don’t feel choked to death. My breasts look kinda saggy (who’s still nursing?), but I promise I am wearing a bra in this picture, one of two I own; maybe I shouldn’t have thrown them in the dryer.

Speaking of bras, and nursing (anytime, anywhere), I loved Fussy’s post this week on Nursing with STYLE. The only thing I’d add is that great longer-length camisoles can be found at ‘modesty’ stores like Shade and Down East Basics. They’re sometimes a bit shrink-wrapped for this body, but that’s not necessarily a drawback for an underlayer.

Can’t wait to see what the other Frump-Fighters tackle this week, though I am trying to keep my participation secret from Dick. Don’t want to raise any unrealistic expectations.

Tickle-Me Tuesday: Random bits of absurdity

Thanks for reducing the pressure, Marie: ‘absurd’ seems more easily attainable than ‘humorous.’ And I love the new logo.

So, what strikes me as absurd today is the warning on the exercise bike at our apartment complex. It says to stop immediately if you feel pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, faint or ANY DISCOMFORT. Well, and I thought that was the whole point of exercise.

I’m training so hard lately because I want to hone my ping-pong game ’till I’m as good as these guys:

NOT because I want to get skinnier (well, you know, maybe a tiny bit). In case you had no idea that a size 2 is probably an unrealistic goal/ideal/image for most women, here’s a great picture I’m hanging on our fridge of the ‘ideal’ male body (from the New York Times):skinny-male-models.jpg

Hubba-hubba, huh?