Though we all know this website is meant for teen girls, I've got a confession to make: not only do I have a teenaged daughter but two young sons, as well. One of them will enter teendom in less than a year and, frankly, I’m a little anxious.
Being a teenaged guy can be pretty tough -- even tougher during certain parts of the year. Need a clue? Homecoming. Another? Prom. Yes, I’m talking about ohmygodIhavetoaskagirltothedance season. For a guy it can be pretty painful.
Did you know that incidences of male stuttering increase 450% during the ‘asking a girl out’ process? That circumference of under-arm sweat circles goes up 600%? My guess is you didn’t because those figures aren’t true. Still, asking a girl out isn’t easy, which is why I’m particularly disturbed by a certain trend I’ll call The Big Ask.
Don't make me feel like a zero...
Not all of you may know about this, as it may not have spread to all four corners of the world yet, but in good ‘ole Iowa it’s been going on for years. Guys don’t simply ask a girl to a dance anymore. They go big, or stay home.
Here are some examples:
White sporks strategically stuck into Kylie’s lawn spelling out, “Will you go to Homecoming with me?”
The Burger King sign that says:
Hannah + Jacob
= Winter Ball?
Crispy Chicken Sandwich just $1.99
The bag of flaming poo placed carefully on Mallory’s doorstep with the sign,
“Prom would be crappy without you.”
Okay, so the last one wasn’t very good, but you get the idea.
So tell me, who in the world dreamed up this humiliation? Isn’t having the balls to go up to a girl and ask her out enough? What if she says, ‘no?’ It’s one thing to have your ego crushed. It’s another to know you spent $12.96 on four bags of Blow Pops so you could waste two hours mounting them on a poster board reading, “Life will suck if you don’t go to the dance with me.”
As a mother of boy who will (hopefully not too soon) be entering the dating game, I must call for this madness to stop. Asking a girl to the dance will be hard enough. Why make it harder?
If you don’t agree, then answer me this: As the girl in this little scenario, what if you don’t want to go out with the guy who asks you? It’s a lot easier saying ‘no’ to someone who didn’t just glass chalk the windows of your car with ‘The Top 10 Reasons U R Awesome.’ Another question: What if the guy just bags it? What if he decides he can’t come up with something cool enough to do so he just decides not to ask you at all? It’s been known to happen.
Okay, okay. So you already have a boyfriend. You know he’ll ask you to the dance and he knows you’ll say ‘yes.’ Why not have a little fun? My answer: resource utilization. Save his energy for more important acts of subjugation, like taking you to see a chick flick or carrying shopping bags at the mall. Big Asks waste serious brownie points. With everyone trying to go green, you really shouldn't be wasteful.
Let's face it, we’re already high-maintenance. Stop the eye roll, you know it’s true. So this time let's throw the guys a bone? Say 'no more Big Asks,' please?
My son will thank you later. I will, too.
It’s Homecoming weekend for our school district. (Yippee!) Due to this, I feel compelled to remind students of the Leave No Wild Child Behind Act. Brought in as companion legislation to the Leave No Child Behind Act of 2002, this act focuses on behaviorally-challenged females in non-academic situations, mandating the following:
If a female has rendered herself judgement-impaired, be it via a lemonade-induced malaise or simple case of temporary stupidity, under no circumstance should they be abandoned or given the go-ahead to engage in activity that may result in the their harm, harassment, or future embarrassment. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Going to a party and accepting a proposal to enter the party giver’s parent’s bedroom or otherwise private, confined space with a member of the opposite sex whom they do not know well, even if they have been crushing on that person for a while.
- Meeting someone at a party/game/7-Eleven parking lot and deciding they seem okay enough to take a quick ride in their car.
- Meeting someone at a party/game/7-Eleven parking lot and deciding they seem okay enough to accompany during a quick walk around the block.
- Meeting someone at a party/game/7-Eleven parking lot…blah blah blah, you get the idea:
girl + guy + isolated environment + impaired state = bad.
girl + guy + isolated environment + no impaired state?
Sorry. It still equals stupid.
Additionally, under no circumstances should said female be allowed to pose in any state of undress in front of a photo device. This includes video cameras, cell phones, and the security camera embedded in the ATM outside of Walgreens.
Please note, this individual may not be judged by the quality of their appearance, the amount of lemonade they have consumed, or any statements they may have made prior in the evening. In addition, any statements or claims made by the individual during their attempt to proceed, to include, “I know what I’m doing,” “Go on without me, I’m fine,” or “Leave me alone, you’re not my mother,” will be rendered insufficient cause to continue.
On the flip side, if the phrase, “She deserves what she gets,” is uttered at any time by a female witness in close proximity to the situation, said female is to be dubbed a traitor to their sex and shunned until such time as they make amends.
Here’s the thing, guys: we all act stupid on occasion and sometimes what we fantasize about in our heads ends up being a downright scary situation in reality. Don’t let your fellow females down. Protect each other. As rock legend/sage advisor, Pat Benetar, once said, “love is a battlefield.” Your girlfriends are your fellow soldiers. When you go out as a team, you return as a team, leaving no wild child behind.
Be safe out there, troops. I don’t want any casualties.
Not this weekend. Not ever.
So it’s Friday morning, the day right after I posted ‘Back in the Day: Shoes.’ I’m on such a high I decide to dive right into researching the expected sequel, ‘Through the Ages: Shoes.’ I’m so excited…I can’t wait!Sound good? Sound realistic? Of course not cuz it’s a big fat lie. Start again:It’s Wednesday, the day before I normally post. I haven’t lifted a finger and I’m like freakin’ out, man! This isn’t a silly post I can just slap together. I’ve got a lot of work to do. As soon as I drop off the kids at school I decide to dedicate my day to intensive shoe research (Please don’t tell my husband. He would NOT be pleased.)So I get back home and start researching. Typically, I go to a ton of websites and do some pretty exhaustive poking and digging. Seriously. That’s just the way I roll. My readers deserve the best. J But not this time. This time I land on a pretty cool website ( http://www.centuryinshoes.com/ ) that has just the right amount of info, pictures - everything I need to produce a great post. Well, darlin', I ain’t no fool. I take a look at this site and think, “Why should I bust my butt recreating something that’s already out there?” Short answer: I shouldn’t. At the same time, I wasn’t quite ready to relinquish one of my favorite topics. Therefore I bring you….THROUGH THE AGES: ShoesThe Signature Shoe of Each Decade As decided by a committee of one (me), the following shoes have been deemed the signature shoe for each respective decade. They’re not necessarily the most popular styles, just the most remembered. As always, if you think I’ve blown it, feel free to chime in with a comment. Unlike my rule at home, what I say doesn’t always go. Let’s start with the Fifties:
for a true Fifties photo add bobby socks
1950s - The Saddle Shoe
When you think of the Fifties, what comes to mind? Poodle skirts, cardigan sweaters and saddle shoes. These black and white leather shoes were the equivalent of the present day ‘just hanging out’ sneakers which, back then, were only found in the gym. With that being said, a small aside: I must pay homage to a shoe that debuted in the Fifties but still sends fashionistas into rapture: the stiletto. It took sex appeal (and bunions) to a whole new level.
1960’s - Go Go Boots
Booys as everyday footwear? Seriously? Thanks to go go boots, yes. Before them, boots were only worn if you had a snow shovel or riding crop in your hand. Introduced in 1964, they really took the stage when Nancy Sinatra debuted her signature (and only) hit, These Boots Were Made for Walkin’, in 1966. Though they came in all colors and heights, the one ingrained in our collective memory are the white ones that hit below the knee. Made for walkin’, indeed.
There's no place like the ER
1970s - Platform Shoes
Fashion in the Seventies reached new heights with these puppies -- four inches or higher, to be exact. Platform shoes (and boots, and sandals) looked like any other footwear, only they had soles thicker than Jessica Simpson. Some styles looked pretty outlandish. Others looked pretty groovy. All looked pretty scary going up and down the stairs. Imagine the look on the Emergency Room nurse's face when the patient told them the reason they were there was because they fell of their shoes. Don’t laugh too hard. It happened.
from simple beginnings....
1980s - The Ballet Flat
Okay, back to the ground. While you’re there do a plie. That’s right, I’m giving this decade’s honor to the ballet flat. Everyone had a pair. No, they had seven pairs -- one for every color of the rainbow. They were so simple they went with everything, which is probably why we wore them with everything. They didn't all have bows. Many were plain but, never fear, there were plenty of silly do-dads we could clip on right where the bow should be if we wanted to add pizzazz. In an era when color-coordination was king, they came to our rescue. Bless them.
1990s - Doc Martens
This was a toughie. The Nineties were so anti-fashion (Birkenstocks, anyone?). But that’s exactly why I went with a shoe just as rebellious. A favorite of grungers and punks, these clunky work boot/shoes made a statement: this is a no fashion zone. That meant, of course, they later became fashionable. Still, you’ve got to respect them.
2000 - Flip Flops
Podiatrists rejoice! Thanks to flip flops’ poor arch support, they’ll be in business for a long time to come. Still, you gotta love these free n’ easy slip-ons. When I was a teen we just had the classic model - rubber soles with oh-so-painful hard plastic straps that hurt between the toes. We called them ‘thongs’ and only wore them to the beach (imagine that, thongs at the beach!) But during the 2000s they evolved into something more -- everyday footwear. The colors, the materials, the embellishments…you can dress them up or dress them down. The possibilities are endless. How long they’ll last, no one knows but they’ve sure made their mark.
So ends my tribute to footwear. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. I’m always interested in what you think so tell me, how did I do? Don’t feel bad if you don’t agree. If I don’t like what you have to say I’ll just go shoe shopping. That always makes me feel better.
This post is on something very close to my heart. I think about it, dream about it -- it permeates my existence. I’m talking, of course, about shoes. They make life worth living. Sure, there’s the whole ‘great family, nice house, wonderful friends’ thing, too. Whatever. The word ‘shoes’ puts me on a whole other plane. With that, allow me to present…
BACK IN THE DAY
Shoes: That’s all I need to say. Shoes.
When it comes to my shoe obsession, I know I’m not alone. How else did the Beatles song, “All You Need is Shoes,” became such a classic? Women love shoes. It’s in our DNA. Sure, we can’t all afford to be all ‘Sex and the City’ and fill our closet with $900 Manolo Blahniks, but the clearance section at TJMaxx? Watch out.
To understand my own personal relationship with shoes, you need to go back to my teenage years in the Eighties (surprise!). During that time I loved trolling the malls. All the clothes, all the purses, all the shoes! Problem was, I got stares wherever I went. Was I a great beauty? No. A freak of some sort? Well, yes, but that’s not the point. People stared at me because I was incredibly tall. I say incredibly, people!!
I was, and still am, 5’11”.
I know, I know. That’s not gargantuan anymore. What historians say is true: the general population has grown taller with each generation. People keep getting bigger. As a matter of fact, Xerxes the Great stood only five inches tall. His chariot was actually a Rice-A-Roni box with bottle caps for wheels. True story!
Okay, so maybe I’m not that strong in history but I speak the truth when I say that whenever I walked somewhere alone, particularly in heels, at least one three year-old girl would yank on her mommy’s sleeve and point. Part of me thought it was cool. Another part thought it sucked. You know the whole ‘gotta blend in instead of stand out’ part? Anyway, that part won out and I gave up shoes that had any sort of heel.
Though classic pumps were popular then, a lot of girls wore flats. They came in every color imaginable so if you wore a red shirt, you could wear red flats. If you wore a pink shirt, you could wear pink flats. Color coordination was highly prized.
There were also Sperry top-siders, a.k.a. boat shoes, which went with the whole nautical/preppy phase. Everyone had to look like they’d just stepped a schooner.
When it was rainy (or not) we wore duck shoes, these incredibly bulky rubber things that weighed an absolute ton. Still, they did keep our feet dry.
I can’t forget Dr. Scholl’s Exercise Sandals (later to be ripped off by Candies). Featuring hard wooden soles, they hurt like blankety-blank if you landed on them wrong. Wooden-soled clogs made an appearance, too.
When it came to gym shoes, Nike and Adidas were in a heated market share battle, though plain white Keds (as well as red Keds, blue Keds, green Keds etc.), Tretorn, and K-Swiss had their followers, too.
The goofiest trend had to be jelly shoes. Made of PVC plastic, this mid-Eighties fad came in all sorts of colors and styles. They really made your feet sweat, so they died out quickly.
Back to the most important part of this post: me. J So there I was, lost in a sea of flat footwear. When I got my first job out of college, I went to work every day wearing low rise pumps. Fashionistas would have been appalled, but my passion for shoes had long since waned.
Then I saw them. Black leather stilettos with the coolest gold buckle and two and a half inch heels. I know, not a lot of 'wow' factor, but that was part of their charm. They were the Michael Cera of shoes: cute in their own way with just enough star quality to put a sparkle in your eye yet leave you with a feeling of accessibility. My guard immediately went down. “I can wear these, can't I?” I said to myself. “After all, it’s only one pair.”
When I wore them to work the next day, my boss looked at me and smiled. “Great!” she said. “You’re wearing big girl shoes now.” That’s when the big shift inside took place. I was a big girl. I didn’t care if I stood out anymore. I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!
I spent $400 on shoes that weekend. In today’s dollars, that would be at least $8000. (Okay, so not very good at math either.) Anyway, it felt wonderful and I never looked back. Today I wear heels with pride. Not that I wear them all that much -- my knees are shot and Merrells are so comfy -- but when the mood strikes me I’ll strap on a pair.
And dahling, when I do I feel mahvelous!
Hey, guys! Have you heard about the latest fashion trend? They’re called ‘jeggings,’ a cute jeans/leggings combo to be worn in lieu of pants. Stylish, huh? I would LOVE to find out who designed these super sassy things so I can hunt them down and burn them at the stake.
You heard me. I am not pleased.
Don’t get me wrong, I know they didn’t have me in mind when they created them. No one, and I mean no one, wants to see my thunder thighs sporting a pair. Jeggings were created for the typical American teenager. You know, the 5’10”, 100 lb. girl with big boobs, tiny waist and long, lean legs? She’s featured in all the magazines.... Oh, sorry. You don’t look like that? Well just whip out the lip gloss and mark a big ‘ole "L" in the middle of your forehead right now.
Anyway, just because the target market for these cool puppies is limited to the perfectly proportioned, don’t think others won’t wear them.
Because they will, my dears. THEY WILL.
I’m not talking about your fellow students. Teenagers have much prettier bodies than their fragile self-esteem allows them to believe. But there are other people out there, people who latch onto fashion trends despite their ability to wear them. These individuals must be protected from themselves or we, as a nation, will face an ocular doom of ungodly magnitude.
So begins my cautionary tale….
I know, no leggings. Just work with me here.
Now others may remember it differently, but for me things really started taking shape in 1983 with the movie Flashdance, a sweet tale starring Jennifer Beals about a beautiful welder/exotic dancer who dreamt of performing for a real ballet company. You should have seen her. She was a maniac, maniac on the floor! She was dancing like she’d never danced before! Then she dumped a bucket of water on herself and the crowd went wild.
But I digress. The important thing is what the dancers wore: leotards, LEGGINGS, and leg warmers. (Oh, man. A chill just went down my spine when I wrote "leg warmers.") In addition to all that, there was Jennifer’s signature piece, the over-sized sweatshirt. Anyway, after the movie came out everyone wanted to have "the look."
Now thanks to a national aerobics craze fueled by Jane make-it-burn Fonda's illustrious videos, leggings (and legwarmers) had already worked their way into the gym. Once Flashdance debuted and girls saw super stylish young women wearing them instead of just super old (yet admittedly buff) ones, leggings started popping up everywhere. They officially became cool.
In the beginning, people wore them with the signature sweatshirts. Then they moved on to tunics. Oh! I'd be remiss to omit Madonna's huge influence, too. She made the leggings/skirt combo very chic. As time moved on, big wide belts were added to the mix, fashionably cinched at the waist.
For many years leggings were incorporated into a number of looks, all reflections of the times. They all had one thing in common, though: one's butt was ALWAYS covered.
Then one day tragedy struck.
Quicker than Jimmy Dean could say “sausage links,” a horrifying practice emerged that left many fashion victims in its wake. People started thinking – no, dare I say believing – that leggings could be worn as plain old pants. I can’t remember the exact year when it happened (sorry, I’m still dazed from the experience) but one fair morning in the early Nineties we woke up and realized the leggings trend had transformed into this:
Frankly, that’s more than I needed to see. And now it’s happening again.
Leggings already made their mild comeback, our first cause of alarm. Plus watching jeans go from flared to skinny? Buttock-challenged females are still in a state of shock. And now we have jeggings. I ask you, do we really need to see and/or reveal every pucker and bulge again? I, for one, do not. Still, there will be those who blindly indulge, ending in results that will horrify.
So what do we do? Scorn the poor, unknowing fashion victims? No. Our wrath must be targeted at the real criminals: the lame-brained designers who brought jeggings to life. I mean, come on. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Why force an item which only 11.3% of the population looks good in? I know their job is to make us feel physically inadequate, but this is taking it way too far.
I, for one, am standing up to this injustice. I hope you will join me, too. Do everyone a favor: say no to jeggings.
Trust me, the world will thank you.