Archive for February, 2014

Thanks to the site ‘Borrow Me,’ brides-to-be can shop for a wedding dress without leaving home. For $35.00 per dress (includes roundtrip shipping) you can borrow a dress for 48 hours. No longer do you have to battle the crowds.

Have a ‘Home Dress Party’ and invite family and friends to help you choose. You’ll even be able to skype and consult with a personal stylist.

I think if you’re a girl who has a good idea of what type dress you want, this is a great service. However, if you’re the girl who tries on ten dresses when shopping and picks the original, this may not be for you – unless money is no object. It adds up… quickly. Also, if you’ll need to try on multiple dresses, then you’ll need to do so way in advance as the back and forth shipping will take time.

Since the package is transported via mail, my question is – who pays if it’s lost in the mail? And what if at your ‘Home Dress Party’ (where wine is served) someone spills red wine on you. Who pays? The person who spilt the wine? The dress company? Or, will you be liable, like a customer in a china shop where the policy is – ‘you break it, you buy it.’

Also, since you’re not in a showroom with an attendant supervising, your little sister, the one who borrowed (and stretched out) your sweaters without asking, when you were teenagers, will want to try it on. She always resented you for getting the new, pretty clothes first and that she got the hand-me-downs. But, that’s a different story for another day. You let her try it on and gasp when you hear the rip. Who pays? You? Your sister? This could cause more friction in an already contemptuous relationship. She may step down from the job of bridesmaid. Bye the way, the site also sells bridesmaid dresses.

Shopping for a wedding gown with my daughter was quite an experience. At one shop she told the attendant she wanted a ‘simple dress with no frills.’ The guy must have heard ‘I want a Gone With the Wind’ dress. Each dress got bigger and heavier. One dress was so big I had to look inside for my daughter. I didn’t see her; but, I swear I saw clowns doing acrobatics. Wearing a 10 pound dress on your wedding day may be challenging and tiring, but I imagine the clowns are there to help.


Restaurants all over are starting to ban cell phones while eating. BUCATO in Los Angeles bans cell phones and encourages guests to “share their meal with fellow diners.” BOULEY (New York City, New York) forbids photos of its food in its dining room.

When we went to New York on vacation we ate a restaurant where space was limited and the tables too close for comfort. Not only did I hear the guy at the table beside us talking to his wife, but I also heard what he was thinking. Yes, we were that close. When I reached for my spoon I accidentally grabbed his spoon. When I reached for my napkin I accidentally grabbed his napkin. When I reached down to scratch my leg I accidentally scratched his leg. When I stretched my feet and accidentally touched his I found myself in a brief, illicit game of footsie. When I apologized, saw his expression and heard his thoughts I slapped him. How dare he think that.

There was a time before cell phones when we ate family dinners and talked to each other. While eating dinner if the phone rang we didn’t answer it because the only person rude enough to interrupt dinner was a telemarketer. We would balk at their rudeness. Now it seems not only do we allow distractions, we welcome them.

I understand using your cell to text, talk, play games or do whatever while eating if you’re alone. However, if you’re with someone and your attention is on your phone and not your dinner companion, then you’ve just invited the telemarketer to dinner.

In New York City at 129 Grand Street is a new store PUCKER which has makeup express bars. For 45 minutes at $50 professional makeup artist make you ‘Glam on the go.’ There’s a makeup menu for you to choose your look. When you’re done, take a selfie at the ‘selfie booth.’ There’s even a lounge for friends and family to wait and relax in.

It’s comforting to know you can put your trust in someone to make you look your best. But take my advice and be careful who you pick to give you a makeover. If you pick someone who looks like a clown, chances are you’ll look like a clown. Never let the scary looking clown lady come at you with eyeliner. It won’t be pretty.

Besides makeup bars there are also ‘Blow dry bars,’ where you pay someone to blow dry your hair. They don’t cut hair. They don’t dye hair. They just blow hair. You can do this during your lunch hour. You pay someone who has patience, the right tools and finesse to struggle with your hair. I would love if I no longer had to brush, comb, apply conditioner, mouse, gel and spray and when all is said and done – look like a before ad.

In front of the mirror I say a quick prayer and get to work. With blow dryer in one hand and brush in the other, I brush forward. I brush backward. I brush up. I brush down. When it comes out good I want the world to see it. If I had plans to stay in I change them and go out. It doesn’t matter where I go so long as I’m seen. If I’m sick in bed with 104 fever it doesn’t matter – the doctor at the hospital emergency room will see me. If twelve feet of snow blocks my driveway it doesn’t matter – the snow plow driver will see me. On the few days a year I have a good hair day I want everyone to see it.

When I have a bad hair day I’ll stay in and wear a hat. I can’t be seen in public. One time I cried a little and my eyeliner ran, making me look like a clown. That’s what I got for letting scary looking, clown lady give me a makeover. I had bad hair and a bad makeover. It was a scary sight.


The toy maker, Mattel is putting Barbie in the Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue in an attempt to promote sales. Barbie will appear in a version of the black-and-white bathing suit she wore for her 1959 debut. Some people are upset because the swimsuit issue demeans women and Barbie’s unrealistic proportions send an unhealthy message to young girls. She won’t be on the cover and she’ll be wearing more than the real life models that wear suits made of dental floss and strike a provocative pose. Unlike Barbie they will be airbrushed to remove cellulite, acne and anything that seems even remotely humanly realistic. They will be airbrushed to within an inch of their life to create the illusion that sells magazines.

Growing up I played with Barbie’s and stripped naked every single one. I’m not sure why I denied Barbie clothes (especially when it was 2 degrees,) but I did. Barbie owned elegant evening gowns, sportswear and appropriate cold weather attire, all which hung neatly in her closet. There were times, depending on the story line I created for her that I’d dress her for her stage debut, but once her scene was over I’d undress her and hang the clothes back in the closet.

Looking back now, I realize the difference about Barbie’s closet and my closet is she didn’t need a sorting system for her clothes. She was able to wear all her clothes, all the time. In my closet I have a ‘Fit and wear now’ section. I also have a ‘Don’t fit – ate too many donuts’ section. I also have a ‘What in the world was I thinking when I bought it’ section. And in the way, way back, waiting to be worn, I have the ‘Illusion’ section. This section consists of clothes I bought thanks to the model in a magazine that was airbrushed, 6 feet, 2 inches and weighed 90 pounds. I look at those clothes and think they were just like buying clothes for my Barbie – a waste of money.

This weekend I watched an old sitcom I had never seen before. It turned out to be part 1 of 2. Since I became emotionally invested in the show’s characters; I had to watch part 2. By the end of part 2 I was hooked and I’m planning a weekend where I can have a Binge-A- Thon. Yes, I’ll spend hours upon hours watching TV. In the winter when snow covers the ground and the weather outside is frightful it seems more plausible to binge watch TV. Even though I live in North Carolina I won’t let the fact it’ll be 60 degrees and sunny this weekend stop me from watching 536 hours of solid TV.

A recent Harris poll found that more than 6 in 10 TV viewers consume multiple episodes in one gluttonous stint. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix we are no longer subjected to repeats during the summer months. We no longer have to waste valuable time fast forwarding through commercials. We can have our favorite show at our fingertips, just by snapping our fingers.

I binged watched Downton Abbey and saw Lady Mary date, get engaged, marry, have a baby and lose a husband all while Lady Edith (her sister) still couldn’t land a man. I was emotionally spent at the day’s end. I binged watched Scandal’s Olivia Pope’s on again – off again relationship with a president who has yet to make one presidential decision.

The thing about binge watching – you pop some corn, dim the lights, put gum on the floor and you have a movie theater atmosphere. Sure, you may lose track of time and forget to feed your kids, but everything comes with a price.

After hours of TV when I got up from the couch to use the bathroom, I realized I couldn’t feel my butt. Oh, no. What happened to my butt? Thanks to my Binge-A-Thon, my butt went numb. Such is the price I paid for getting invested in Lady Mary’s life. I bet she never had a numb butt. Lucky for her, there were no televisions in her time.

This month the Guilford County courthouse has banned cellphones. People entering the courthouse pass through a metal detector and will denied entry if they’re carrying a phone.

The courthouse provides lockers for such items as pocketknives, but those fill up quickly. The fact this happens tell me a large number of the population is walking the streets with knives and other weapons. It sends a shiver down my spine.

Courthouse officials said they would install pay phones as a way to deal with the cell phone problem. Pay phones, wouldn’t that be a blast from the past? It would be renewed interest for something that’s become obsolete… just like the record album which is popular again thanks to interest from young people. Who knows, if we wait long enough maybe Blockbuster will return.

Since there is a generation that has never seen a pay phone I wonder – will they know how to use it and will they resent its physical confines? A pay phone has a cord so you can’t walk and talk and it’s about the size of an airplane toilet, giving one the sense of claustrophobia.

As for me, using a pay phone may cause great anxiety. Why? Thanks to my cell phone I no longer remember (or chose to remember) anybody’s phone number. That’s what a cell is for. Oh, I can tell you what # they are in my phone, but I just can’t tell you their #. The more technology progresses, the less we need to know.

Recently, thanks to my GPS I drove to unfamiliar address. When I had to make the same trip a second time I again used my GPS. Why? I relied on my GPS and didn’t bother to memorize street names. I let it become my crutch.

In the future when I go to the courthouse I’ll have to rely on my rolodex for when I use the pay phone. I certainly can’t rely on my memory.

An article in my local paper  reported that over the past two years Forest Lawn (cemeteries) have been quietly putting movable kiosks in several southern California suburban malls. The reason given is people may be less intimidated and more receptive to death if they’re in a setting that’s lively and happy.  A person munching on a Mrs. Fields cookie may be inclined to stop and checkout cremation urns or read the coffin pamphlet. 

After I read the article I asked my husband if he wanted to be buried or cremated. He replied, “Surprise me.” But, there are people who don’t like surprises so they plan entire life and funeral. This is the type of person who wishes they could be a fly on the wall at their own funeral for several reasons.  Reason #1: to see how many people show. A large number will prove to them if they were as popular as they thought they were. Just because a lot of people come to your funeral doesn’t always mean you were loved, it doesn’t; some come just to make sure you’re really dead. Reason #2: to hear what people say about them – good or bad. Reason #3: to see who cries and doesn’t cry. Reason #4: to see if the jilted ex-lover has the audacity to show up.

I think a funeral kiosk may start conversations that some people may otherwise not have. Sure, at Christmas, Grandma may not be thrilled opening the funeral brochure (you got at the mall) that was stuffed in her stocking, but it may prompt her to finally put her John Hancock on the dotted line of her will. Christmas dinner will consist of turkey and stuffing and the adults hastily drafting next year’s wish list, should Grandma meet an untimely, unfortunate demise.

Next Christmas, Grandma’s stocking is replaced with a cremation urn, perched atop the fireplace mantel. Grandpa is whistling a happy tune with his hot, new bride on his arm until he opens the funeral pamphlet stuffed in his stocking. His much younger bride got it at the mall. There’s a flurry of activity as the adults again draft up next year’s wish list. Grandpa stops whistling.

My local paper ran an article with the headline ‘Mannequins get realistic with tattoos and thicker waists.’ It reported stores are using more realistic versions of mannequins by adding fat, hair, tattoos, makeup and wigs. 

David’s Bridal mannequins will get thicker waists, saggier breast and back fat. I think if it’s realistic we’re after, David’s Bridal should have a pregnant mannequin. After all, there are pregnant, soon to be brides who still wear the traditional wedding gown.

I think the fact retailers want to reach out to the average customer with realistic mannequins is a step in the right direction, but I think also the models that appear on runways and magazine covers must also represent the average woman. Not every woman is super thin and super tall. An average model would be of average height, with a paunch belly, back fat, saggy breast to match her saggy neck and cellulite. If designers kept the average woman in mind when designing clothes, maybe, just maybe, they would sell more clothes.

If stores are going to lengths to attract the average female shopper, what measures will they use to attract the elderly female shopper? Will mannequins with blue hair-wigs and wrinkles be next?

These mannequins are all well and good, but unless I’m wearing my glasses I won’t see a single one. Hmm… glasses. I wonder if bifocal wearing mannequins could be far behind.