Fashion

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I got new jeans

Friday, July 19th, 2013

I used to be a lot more flamboyant. Case in point:

That was just before my 25th birthday. I was young and free (and possibly tipsy) and saw absolutely no issue with striking a pose for a booty shot, because I’m sorry, those jeans got the job DONE.

I’m about to be 31, and while there’s no way you’d ever catch me posing for a picture like that anymore (because these days I’m practically a librarian), I wore those exact same jeans yesterday. It’s been more than 6 years, and I’m still wearing them. Granted, they’ve blessedly stretched with me, as my derriere extraordinaire isn’t exactly what it once was – because while the good news is you don’t stay 25 forever, the bad news is neither does your butt.

But they still fit – and this, my friends, is a victory.

However, they’re threadbare, and I’m one panicked lunge away from disaster. So last night, in a fit of low self-esteem, I booked a haircut, shopped for makeup at Sephora, and bought a new pair of jeans at Nordstrom.

Don’t tell me a new pair of Hot Jeans won’t make me feel better about life.

My old pair have been demoted to “Second Favorite Jeans,” and I’ll reserve them for special occasions – like when I do karaoke in small towns. But for everything else, you’ll see me wearing my new jeans.

:::::

I have a lot swirling around in my mind and my heart these days. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I’m processing through a lot of tough stuff. Some days, I feel like the very worst version of myself – and while I like you a whole lot, the internet probably isn’t the place to talk about these things.

So please accept a post about my jeans for today, and have a great weekend. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, like pose for booty shots. Unless you’re 25. Then go for it. You’ll want that picture later.

Ins-and-outs

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Lately, I’ve been using this space for a lot of personal processing, and just realized that I’ve neglected to update you on some of my actual goings-on. Yes, I am just that pompous to believe that the world is desperate to know about the ins-and-outs of my everyday life – so without further ado…

1) I cut off my hair: 10+ inches on the salon floor, leaving me feeling like a sassmuffin. My hair hasn’t been this short since 2008, and I’m ready to go even shorter next time.

2) It’s hard to tell what’s been the worst expenditure of the past week: head gasket repair, new clutch, 4 new tires, bill from the ER, or dental work. When it rains, it pours. And I cry.

3) If you want to believe in magic, watch “Searching for Sugar Man.” I haven’t been so captivated by a documentary in ages.

4) Today, I’m wearing a grandma shirt. No really, it used to be my grandma’s. It’s a red and black silk houndstooth print with a high neck and puffed long sleeves that cinch at the wrists. It’s the most old lady thing in the world, and I kind of love it.

5) Lissie’s cover of “You Can Go Your Own Way” is haunting and beautiful and completely transformative of the original. And I know what you’re thinking: you wonder if this means that I saw the movie “Safe Haven.” And the answer is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

6) The things I am currently most looking forward to: eating here in March, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity next weekend, and Greta’s arrival tomorrow night. Praise be.

Wherever you are, I hope that it’s warmer than it is right now in Denver. Someone put me on a beach so fast.

In which I compare myself to a bear, a bunny, and a slug

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Well, shoot.

I have been a horrible blogger, emailer, Facebooker, Instagrammer, and all around virtual presence lately.  It seems as though my Internet Self has opted for hibernation (the best part was the eating and eating and eating beforehand).

But it’s not as though my Internet Self is the Real Me, and the Real Me has been busy doing all sorts of things that are real – real like the Velveteen Rabbit.

For starters, I am working my fluffy cottontail off at my job.  Every day is a to-do list a mile long, and if you know me, you know that there is nothing I love more than taking a fat Sharpie and crossing off tasks.  I’m doing all sorts of things that I don’t know how to do, which forces me to just figure it out.  It’s challenging but fun, and I learn more every single day.

But remember when I was so excited to be wearing “actual outfits” to my new job?  The novelty has kind of worn off.  After about a month, I decided that none of my clothes were worth wearing, and the “actual outfits” started being the same 5 pieces in rotation.  I have so many clothes that I don’t wear (or that just shouldn’t be worn), and I’m feeling the need for a wardrobe overhaul.  I wish I had Kendi Everyday to help me.

Really.  Why can I not put together effortless outfits like her?  I do not have the spiritual gift of fashion.  I need serious help and skinnier thighs.

In other news, I mailed off my taxes, glory and amen.  Yes, I owed money.  But given that this was my most complicated financial year to date, the very fact that they’re finished is a victory.  (Of course, it should be mentioned that *I* did not do my taxes – my dad did them for me, and then sent them to me to sign.  I also wrote in my phone number, because I am the champion of doing my taxes.)

Speaking of money, remember how last month I paid off and destroyed my credit card?   Full steam ahead: I JUST PAID OFF MY CAR.  I wrote the final check this morning.  The deed is done.  I have ONE debt left – my student loans – and I’m all over it like a slug on wet pavement.

If I could wrap everyone up in a gigantic bear hug (after all, I HAVE been a hibernator)… I would.  This blog serves as a way to connect with some of my favorite people, and I miss you when I’m gone.  It just doesn’t feel right, you know?  Don’t forget about me, and I promise to not forget about you.

Come hell or high water or high-waisted jeans

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m not exactly on the cutting edge of fashion.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not BEHIND the times.  I’m not wearing shoulder pads or anything.  I know how to dress myself and my slightly complicated figure.  I splurge on good denim, accentuate the positives, and know when to belt a dress.  When I actually try, I can put together a somewhat decent outfit.

But most of the time, I don’t really take fashion risks.  I like my tried-and-trues.

So on Saturday, when Ashley and I were at Anthropologie and she convinced me not only to try on but subsequently drive home with a pair of high-waisted jeans, I was shocked.

And when we got back to the house and my brother immediately brought up Steve Urkel, and then taught my nephews how to taunt me with the classic Urkel line, “Did I do that?” needless to say, my confidence was shaken.  But then I remembered that my brother isn’t exactly rocking the fashion world himself (sorry, Jeremy).

So I put on the new jeans, and headed out for dinner and drinks – looking no less than 7 feet tall, I might add.

But I left the tags on, just in case.  (I know – go ahead.  Judge.)

So what say you, my little sweeties?  Yay or nay on the high-waisted jeans?

Navigating

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It’s feeling more and more difficult to use this space to express anything of substance.  I used to pour my heart out onto this blog, exposed for all the world to see, my inner-most sentiments laid bare for any passerby to interpret however they wished.  But in the three years that I’ve kept this site, I’ve been learning that while honesty is the best policy, it’s not always meant for the masses – and that certain things should be saved for those precious few who are closest to me.

So unless I’m blogging about my undergarments or confessing my fascination with Lady Gaga, sometimes it’s hard to know what to share.

For example, yesterday, I had a melt-down.  Like, a full-on, forehead-to-desk sob fest.

Did my heart get broken?  Did I get horrible news?  Did I go bankrupt?  Did someone ask when my baby is due?

I wish.  At least then this melt-down would have been legitimate.

Oh no, friends – I was just feeling overwhelmed by life – life, and feeling inadequate.  I could say a lot more about why I was feeling inadequate, but I realize that the pressure we women put on ourselves to be extraordinary in every area of our lives is ridiculous – and damn it, Elizabeth Gilbert thinks so, too.  So there.

Anyway, I hope that you’ll stick with me as I continue to navigate what to say in this space, and in the meantime, settle for the little details from my life – like the fact that last night, I bought a fancy ruffly tank top from T.J. Maxx, only to get home and discover that it was a romper.

What’s a romper?

Something that I should never, ever wear: a tank top with sewn-in short-shorts.

At least I didn’t say “sewn-in crotch.”

Specs

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

When I was a little girl riding my bike over the adobe hills on the outskirts of Montrose, Colorado, and throwing dry ice bombs into the canal behind the house across the street, and trespassing into various fields in the name of bedlam, my Uncle Chester was busy being a ROCKET SCIENTIST at NASA.  No matter what stupidity you read here, let it be known that there is actual intelligence in the Parsons genes.

We lived thousands of miles apart, and saw each other every couple of years before he died in 1991.  I only have a few memories of him from real life, from real interaction – but one thing is for sure: Uncle Chester wore The Glasses.

You know the ones.

The ones that the scientists wore in “Apollo 13.”

The ones that Squints wore in “The Sandlot.”

And… the ones that the cool kids are apparently wearing now?

Every time I see some hipster in The Glasses, I have to chuckle, and then kind of cringe.  Because if by being related to Uncle Chester I claim that I have a fighting chance at brilliance, then I have to admit that one day, I, too, might look like Buddy Holly.

Never rule anything out.

– – – – – – – –

Mom’s surgery went really well last night – thank you for all of your well wishes and prayers.

One of those days

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

I overslept. Again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but for as long as I have been setting an alarm clock, come morning, I do not hear it. I mean, I must hear it at some level of consciousness, because I hit the snooze button. Excuse me, the “SNOOZ” button. Why do alarm clocks leave off the “e”? Or is that just mine?

Wait, is that true? Does my alarm clock really say “SNOOZ”? I think so. I can’t remember. I can’t say that I’ve ever “officially” checked; it just seems like that is what is embedded in the deepest subconscious part of my brain – the part that gives me REM cycles. I’ll have to do some reconnaissance and report back.

You know what’s funny? The phrase “snooz button.” Say it ten times fast, and try to keep from laughing.

You know what’s annoying? The phrase “alarm clock.” I bet that if, instead of a beeping, my alarm clock just said, “ALARM CLOCK. ALARM CLOCK. ALARM CLOCK,” over and over and over, I would get up and get on with my day.

So, late again, I jumped out of bed and threw on a t-shirt and a skirt and my red heels, and ran out the door. Things I neglected to think of:
• My skirt is covered in slop of some sort.
• My white t-shirt has a ketchup stain on it from the spicy fries I ate last night at the French Quarter, where I played a show with the fantastic Meg Allison and Josh Stevens.
• I’m not allowed to wear t-shirts to my BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL workplace.
• Having no time to do any quality control, the hair on the back of my head strangely resembles a mangy badger’s rump. I am so not as cute as this girl today.

I desperately want to be a morning person. They’re so chipper and spry and productive and put together. But I’m not really a night person either – I used to be, but now I am an old lady, in my late-mid-20’s, and go to bed by 10pm most nights.

So if I’m not a morning person, and I’m not a night person, I guess that just leaves me mid-day. And isn’t that the best time to be alive anyway? That’s when things happen. And today, the lunch hour part of my mid-day is going to include a free sample meal at my happy place: Whole Foods Market.

One size fits most

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

I own a lot of things that I like. I like my chocolate brown towels. I like my two little glass bowls that are just the right size for a little bit of yogurt. I like my tall green vase. I like so many of my books. I like the quilt on my bed, and the CamelBak pack I take hiking, and my game of Scrabble that came in a wooden box.

But I own a couple of things that I really, really love. My 1950’s floral chair. My sexy Macbook. My Martin guitar. My beaten down, worse-for-the-wear, “just hold it together, sister” Honda Accord. And my black Michael Stars turtleneck.

If you’re not familiar, Michael Stars is a brand that makes “one size fits most” clothing. I do not know what this means, since sometimes their shirts fit me, and other times, well, I suppose I’m not one of the “most.” I just did a little research, and apparently, to Michael Stars, “most” means sizes extra-small to medium. I do not think that is an accurate assessment of “most,” but that’s just me: a solid medium with boobs.

When shopping, my eye is always drawn toward Michael Stars t-shirts – especially the ones that are infused with “Shine.” I do not know what they do to make their shirts glow with an effervescent luminescence, but I’m all over it. Like a slug on wet pavement, I am all over it.

Last August, I was shopping on old Ballard Ave. in Seattle, and came across a black Michael Stars turtleneck. Overpriced, but well-made. Elbow-length sleeves, and slim-cut down to just past the hip bone. Thick, stretchy cotton – no “Shine,” but magnetic, all the same. I bought it on that hot August day in anticipation of the upcoming dreary season, and this has been my go-to shirt all fall and winter.

I want to wear it every day. I’m wearing it today. And I can’t promise that I won’t be wearing it tomorrow, too.

Business casual casualty

Friday, January 18th, 2008

The first and only job interview I have ever had was in high school. I was late to my meeting at Blockbuster, and when the interviewer asked, “What quality would you most highly value in a manager?” I responded, “Someone who is totally understanding of my life, like today, when I was late.”

Needless to say, I never got a call-back. My “extra discount on previously-viewed VHS” dreams never came true.

Since that day, I have never had a formal job interview. As I previously stated here, I have never even had to apply for jobs – they have simply been handed to me by grown-ups who have taken a liking to me, for one reason or another. I’ve had positions created specifically for me. I’ve had some great jobs at some fun places that have allowed me to wear jeans to work. And I’ve rewarded their wardrobe-leniency by doing, if I may be so bold, a killer job at whatever task they’ve given me. We’ve had an understanding, my places of employment and me. It has been simple, easy, beautiful.

But all dreams must end. Every man, woman, and child will one day reach the moment when they must become an adult, and join the legions of grown-ups cloaked in what is known as “business casual.”

This morning, I had a job interview. You can imagine the panic that this threw me into, as I do not own anything that fits the bill of “business casual.” Not a pair of black pants. Not a single button-down shirt. No – I don’t know – what are they called? Loafers? Not a pair.

Tell me. In this great, vast megalopolis we call “The World,” is there a single button-down shirt that looks good on a woman? Anywhere? Because I scoured the city of Nashville, and tried on dozens of shirts, and they all left me looking like a dowdy, shapeless matron. HOW, pray tell, is one supposed to wear a button-down shirt and look good? I mean, I guess I could do this.

I couldn’t remember the rules. Hair pulled back, or hair down? Shirt tucked in, or out? Jewelry, or none? Painted fingernails, or bare? Look cute, or look conservative? Lipstick????

And those questions haven’t even addressed what I need to say in the interview. What do I need to know? How far back in the company’s history do I need to research? Do I need to have a statement prepared, telling them why I would be the very best person for the job? Or does that come across as arrogant?

Well, I went. I was interviewed by two men in suits, and I think they liked me. I should know sometime next week.

And just to ease my poor mother’s palpitating heart, I went with naked fingernails and covered cleavage. Everybody just calm down.

A time for every purpose (including black dresses)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

My dad and I are flying to Richland, WA, today to say our goodbyes to my grandpa. We bought last-minute tickets, and needless to say, the past 24 hours have been chaotic.

One of the tasks I had last night was to find something appropriate to wear to a memorial service. Now, given the circumstances, perhaps this should have been the last thing on my mind. Maybe this was a vain endeavor. But when it comes down to it, I simply do not own anything appropriate to wear to a funeral. Period. The only black dress that I own is a saucy little number that someone once called my “sex on a stick” dress. And can you imagine? The blatant impropriety? It would be the horrifying equivalent of wearing white to someone else’s wedding, or saying “bomb” on a plane.

And yes, even if I wore a shawl.

Earlier yesterday, at Dooce’s recommendation, I went out and bought these shoes – and on a terrific sale, I might add. So last night, I was searching for something that would complement my new wedges. Perhaps I was working backwards?

Here’s the problem with shopping for a funeral dress during the holidays: nothing is basic. Everything is flashy. Everything is jewel-toned and sparkly and velvet and see-through. Rule of thumb: funeral attire should not be capable of doubling as your New Years’ get-up. In fact, if you can even refer to something as “get-up,” then it should get the proverbial trap door.

In a brief hour and a half period, I searched high and low: Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Target, even Kohl’s (gasp) and Wal-Mart (scandal!). I ventured into stores playing music featuring backup singers who were panting. I saw sheaths that appeared to be shredded, but were, in fact, “meant to look that way.” What ever happened to a basic, affordable, modest-yet-well-cut dress? That I could possibly wear again?

I returned home defeated, empty-handed, with a blister from my new shoes. And I went up to my room, opened some boxes, and searched until I found a black skirt and top. That’ll do.

Perhaps my urgency in insisting that I find a new dress was in order to distract my mind from the fact that I am about to see death up close – something that has never happened before. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit scared.

And yet, selfishly, I pray that we arrive in time. I hope we’re not too late.