Category Archives: Fashion

Hair today …. Don tomorrow

Recently I was watching Barbara Walters interview Donald Trump – and it occurred to me that one of them has almost the exact same hair as me…. and it wasn’t Barbara.  It’s official –  the Donald and I share lifeless looking, odd coloured clumpy yet wispy coifs  – not unlike the rather large full body mats my newly feral cats now sport.
speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Image via Wikipedia

My hair has no real part, it just goes every which way it wants.  There are little flippy things at the side sometimes, whenever it feels like it.  There is no predicting what it might look like from one day to the next.  The level of ridiculousness seems to be directly related to the occasion, and the necessity to be presentable. If I have nowhere to go that day, and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I’ll sometimes think to myself,  “Hmm, not bad – a Bonnie Franklin post-One Day at a Time thing going on”.  But then without a doubt, at my next event where I have a real vested interest in NOT looking ridiculous, like an old boyfriend is going to be there or something, (ha) then sure enough I will have something that either looks like I:
  1. am wearing a sideways Bump-it 
  2. have an aggressive head tumour
  3. am sprouting horns
  4. have purposefully flattened and parted it for my best Gomez Adams impression

Should I have something really important like a job interview, I can pretty much count on rocking something closer to the Donald Trump or even Don King look.

Don King

Image via Wikipedia

 I don’t know exactly when this happened – if I had to nail it down to a decade I think it would be the 90s.  I used to have normal girl hair.   At one point it even moved, and had what I believe they call “body”.  Now the texture is similar to the angel hair we used to put on the Christmas tree.   This new thin, dullness was further aggravated by a recent Groupon experience.

Without Groupon, I never would have considered going to that nice, trendy salon that was practically in the city.  It was all decorated in black and white, with lots of angles and flattering lighting.  It’s obviously for people who are extremely sophisticated – like those types who accessorize and dress differently according to what season it is. (Even though they’re going to be too hot in those sweaters.)

But – it was only going to cost me a fraction of the price of the normal fancy salon haircut, and since my nest emptied I’ve been trying to care about “me time”, so why not live a little and be adventurous?  I went in and sat in the chair and the chic girl looked up from her texting and with a thick, exotic accent spoke to me, while trying to hide her disappointment. 

“What are we going to do today?” 

Then I muttered a bunch of incoherent things about

“It’s too long at the back …. but I don’t like it when the back gets the clippers on it because then it’s boy hair.”

“I don’t really like bangs, but I really hate my forehead, and headbands are out so leave it long…”  

Yadayadayada ….  And then I ended my speech with my signature, “It’s only hair” tagline, that used to go over so well at First Choice.

The whole time, I was admiring her cute fashionable outfit and her long locks (which I now understand were extensions).  Anyway, I hated for her to have such a boring customer, and I just got completely swept up by the pounding dance tunes and complimentary trick mirrors – and  when she started talking about doing something “funky” I agreed wholeheartedly.  Bring it.  I’m all about the “funk”.  I’m practically Grand Funk Railroad.

When she was finished I looked pretty decent – old boyfriend decent even, with my dramatic, Twiggy-esque “statement” hair, all carefully “messy” and with dramatic sideburn things.  Luckily I had a date with hubby and some manual labour – I struck quite an impressive figure in my hard hat as I helped him drag and chip brush.

But … in the cold light of the next day, when the glow of funky chic had worn off, I had to deal with it myself.  It became evident that what “funky”  really amounted to, was her cutting all the hair away from around my ears.  Equally problematic, my ongoing funkiness was going to be directly dependent on me having to do stuff that I don’t know how to do.  Like use products … and pull my hair into dramatic “wisps” onto my face.  After working on it for half an hour, I had moved away from resembling high fashion Twiggy-esque model, and settled on a look that was closer to be “Sad elf with huge hairless arcs above ears” .

That was about 8 weeks ago.  It  gradually morphed from sad elf to Donald Trump.

Now comes the hard part – going back to my usual hair dresser like nothing ever happened.  I already have a reputation as a problem client, who takes in pictures of cute haircuts that I want to her to give me, that are virtually impossible for me to have. 

“Yeah, that’s cute – but that wouldn’t work on you.  Your hair is too thin/short/long/patchy/thick/cowlicky”… the list is endless.

Now that I cheated on her with Groupon, I feel like I need to make an effort to be more faithful and lower maintenance.  This time I’ll take in a picture of Donald.  And maybe a promise ring.



Filed under Aging, Fashion, Humor

Failure is a Gift… and My Gifts Are Failures

Well, it’s about a month until the big event, and time to start the nightmare that is Christmas shopping.  Trying to buy other people something they want.  What a concept.  If they want it, and are over 16, and they have the means — or even if they don’t have the means but have a credit card — chances are they already bought it.

This makes shopping even harder, because now I have to think like a marketer, and identify an unmet need, and then fill it.  I need to buy people something they don’t even know they want, but that will delight them, ideally beyond their wildest dreams.  This is a tall order, and one that I have been known to take very seriously.

I’ve failed miserably at this in the past.  I used to be a sucker for gadgets. My first gift to my then boyfriend back in 1974 was a “hot lather machine” for shaving.  Seriously.  And I couldn’t WAIT for him to open it. He was barely old enough to shave, and somehow I thought that the only thing lacking in his life (now that he had me, the ultimate prize) was the foam that he put on his face before scraping it with something sharp, was too cold.  Life altering indeed.  Even more staggering is that he used it, but I think that’s just because we were in the early stages of relationship training where he still did what I said.

And I distinctly remember presenting my sisters with such technological wonders as nail dryers.  Because what girl hasn’t suffered  through the cruel hardship of having to wait for her nails to dry, or heaven forbid “wrecking” a freshly polished talon (which we all sported in the 70s) before it was sufficiently hardened?  Much like Dr. Drew, I was able to act as a Lifechanger and bestow upon them these nifty gadgets that would actually blow on your nails FOR you. Talk about luxury.  Ivana Trump had nothing on us.  I think that these gifts would have been more meaningful if my siblings were asthmatics or something, and blowing on their own nails presented more of a problem, but sadly these ladies have always enjoyed perfect health so I wasn’t able to have quite as dramatic an impact.

What other useless gadgets have I gifted, you ask?  Well, I’ve attempted in good faith to transport my sisters and girlfriends from their kitchen tables to luxurious spas, by providing them with the rare and coveted facial steamer.  So what if you can accomplish the same thing by leaning over your boiling kettle, or opening the oven door during broiling – at the time I was almost exclusively shopping at the high-class “Consumers Distributing” store, and from the picture in the catalogue it seemed like a definite  life changer, in an  elegant  “Calgon take me away” sense.

And remember back in the seventies when everyone smoked?  Well, everyone except my dad.  My mom chained smoke (God rest her soul – not a coincidence ).  So I was able to find the perfect gift to solve the problem of my dad’s constant bitching about secondhand smoke.  It was of course to buy her a ‘smokeless ashtray’.  I expected to win hands down the favourite child of the season award that year.  But surprisingly, turned out not to be a big hit.  Mom was annoyed because the thing basically smoked her cigarette down to the filter in seconds, as it was powerfully “inhaling”  the whole time it sat in the ashtray.  Consequently her number of smokes per day skyrocketed.  And while Dad was hard of hearing, the industrial sounding hum that this thing emanated seriously impacted his enjoyment of Bonanza reruns.  Conclusion:  total bust.

 And sometimes, without intending to, in my zeal to dazzle I guess I could be downright insulting.  But, keeping in mind that I aspired to improve lives in a similar fashion to Richard Simmons and  “Oprah’s Life Class”, when my dear friends complain about cellulite, naturally I take that as a challenge to come to the rescue.  The quizzical (disbelieving?) expressions on the face of recipients whom you’ve just (at no small expense, might I add) gifted with an anti-cellulite product is something that must be seen.  Never mind that in my head I visualize them, because of me, now being able to rock their Daisy Dukes, and not in a “the People of Walmart” kind of way.  It’s true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

But I am not always on the giving end of crappy gadget gifts.  My husband gave me something for Christmas early in our married life, that signalled that indeed the honeymoon was over, and had me seriously questioning our compatibility.  My feelings were hurt and I couldn’t believe that he thought that this was a suitable gift for me, his trophy wife.  It has gone largely unused, but I’ve kept it over the years, just for spite. 

It’s Black Friday and I’m hitting the mall.  Let the games begin.



Filed under Aging, Fashion, Friends, Humor, Memories, Thats Life

Fashionably Late

It’s always the badly dressed people who are the most interesting.                  ~Jean Paul Gaultier

Even so, it may be time to think about a new wardrobe.  Mine is, after all, largely from the previous century, and I mean that literally.  I’ve just never been much of a fashion maven.  My weight over the past few decades has stayed fairly consistent, which I guess is the good news, and the bad news is that means I never HAVE to buy any new clothes, so I don’t.

Occasionally I’ll buy something current because I’ll notice that my collars are way huger and pointier than anyone else’s in the room (think Elvis Presley), or I’ll go to a meeting where I’m the only one sporting Alexis Carrington giant shoulders (Google it).  Or I go to a class at the gym and I’m the only the one wearing a headband,  tights, leg warmers and a fuschia high-cut leotard.

People talk about fashion faux pas such as wearing white after Labour Day and stuff.  Mine have always been a little more basic, and obvious.  Like the day I arrived at work wearing panty hose that had another complete pair of panty hose balled up in one of the legs.  It looked like a tumour. Or the time I was performing a last minute button repair to my black silk dress in the car, enroute to a wedding. (Hmm… black to a wedding? That was probably bad too.) Things seemed to have gone okay, the button was back in place, until I stood up to get out of the car, and my glasses, which had been on my lap, were now firmly attached to the bottom of my dress.

Or the day I wore two different shoes. In my defense, they were both black. I had to stop on the way to work to drop the kids off at my moms, and she looked all concerned and asked,  “Are you limping?”  It seems that the heels weren’t even the same size. (Note: I was extremely busy and tired throughout the nineties.)  Of course, I couldn’t go to work like that, so we dug through her closet to find a pair that I could borrow.  At that stage of Mom’s life she was mostly wearing house slippers, so I opted for her “Christmas” shoes – a lovely  pair of black velvet pumps,  complete with some shiny bling on the toe.  Did I mention it was July? Looked fabulous with my summer dress. Nobody at work batted an eye.  They were used to my “unique sense of style” by now.

I guess I just don’t have a good grasp of the subtle nuances of fashion, such as accessories and whatnot.  Like I get confused when I hear someone say something is too “Matchy-matchy”.  What???? I thought that was the idea?  Crap.  There go my themed, all beige outfits that make me look thin AND naked.  Plus, what’s going on with belts?  I had one thin belt that served me well through the seventies, but then I needed a giant version for the eighties and then in the nineties I think I mostly wore bib overalls and suspenders … so now that it’s 2011 which belt should I even keep?

And once we figure out the belt situation – what pants can I wear?  Are the ones with the huge wide legs and cuffs out now?  How about the pair with the built in fake seam right up the middle?  Are my Steve Erkel jeans that go up to my rib cage okay, or should I be wearing the “low-rise” ones that proudly display a plumber crack if I drop something?  Am I supposed to be wearing skinny jeans?  (At some point things got blurry when my girls and I started wearing the same size, and I wouldn’t let them get rid of any clothing items that fit me and had perfectly good wear left in it.)  I’m now either embarrassingly outdated or just plain embarrassing as hell with my low rise jeans and my West-49 belly top.

And once in awhile it seems a fashion memo goes out that I have simply not been copied on.  Like a few years back when suddenly it was okay by “business casual” standards to wear an untucked shirt under a pullover v-necked sweater.  It was an outrage, and I couldn’t do it! It was all I could do to resist tucking OTHER people’s shirts in.  I continued to tuck, fashion police be damned.  Eventually I finally conformed, but still felt like a sloppy rebellious adolescent, with my shirt tail flapping in the breeze.  Compliance was made easier by the fact that it is physically impossible to tuck anything into low rise pants.

And finally,  what’s with the whole movement toward scarf accessorizing?  I love the way they look on the magazine people, all chic and sophisticated, outfits with a matching scarf (but not TOO matching) casually slung around the neck area all elegant-like.  So I buy them, or I ask for them as gifts – and unless my daughter arranges it for me, I always just end up with a giant knot tied at my throat, looking like a croupy toddler all ready to go outside and build a snowman.

It’s not easy being this interesting.


Filed under Fashion, Humor