Monthly Archives: February 2014

Red Carpet Ready


Oscar Red Carpet

Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter

As the saying goes, “It is an honor just to be nominated.”

While I’ve been crossing off the days in anticipation of the Academy Awards on 3.02.14, I have received some exciting news of my own.

I learned that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award. This nomination came courtesy of  Jenn Lost In Chaos.

My excitement quickly turned to anxiety, when I realized:  I’m not at my goal weight, and I have to be red-carpet-ready for my big moment!

Oh no, what will I wear? I guess I’m going to have to depend on shape wear to save my fanny…among other things.

Luckily, I recently heard about a new line of shape wear sold via one of those mesmerizing late night infomercials.  I had to see it for myself, so I got my Google on. I wasn’t sure what search terms to use, so I started with “Spanx for arms.”

I was surprised to find more than one manufacturer of shape wear for arms. Is this a great time to be 50 years old, or what?  No need to worry about bingo arms or bat wings in our future!

Then I looked more closely. The “Armery”  appears to create sausage arms, especially in the nude shade. That’s it. I vow to pick up my hand weights and do the necessary reps and sets to avoid walking the red carpet with giant bockwurst swinging from my shoulders.

During this last Holiday season, I was staying with the hilarious sister. One evening, while she was getting dressed for a party, she called me into her bedroom. There she stood, wearing only her black bra and panties and a cleverly designed “torsette.” By the way, believe me when I tell you…..she looked exactly like this:


She handed me the tag she had just cut off her new shaper, and said, “Read this!”

I sat down and read:

“Invisibly smoothes, shapes and slims. Wonderful Edge® no ride, no lines…Shape your waist and smooth your back….Wonderful Panel® no ride, no lines with a seamless appearance…..stretches for a better fit and more comfort”

The hilarious sister said, “Now watch this.”

She sat down, and amazingly her torsette was instantly in motion. Very s-l-o-w-l-y, the hem at her hips began to roll, and like a motorized window shade in a Las Vegas hotel room, it steadily rose until it reach her bustline. In a matter of seconds, like a high roller on the Vegas strip, I was enjoying my own priceless view.

Naturally, I made her stand up, sit down and repeat this. Several times. It was hysterically funny, and we were in tears.

As she struggled to peel off the torsette, she said, “You know, it’s a good thing people can’t see what’s going on underneath your clothes.”

Amen sister.

Needless to say, that shape wear fail and it’s tag full of empty promises was returned for a full refund.

In addition to the torsette, options in shape wear now include: tummy trimmers, thigh slimmers, butt lifters, cellulite smoothers, back fat banishers. I’m all for proper undergarments, skirts and dresses that “hang” correctly,  and smooth lines…but this is getting ridiculous.

Now we find out that shape wear can cause health problems. Surely, this is a surprise only to men people who have never worn any. While there are gents who sport Spanx For Men, personally, I haven’t heard any fellas tellin’ tales. However, most women have had a painful shape wear experience at some point.

There is the shaping-camisole-caught-in-your-curlers-conundrum; the bruising sensation as a Spanx waistband traverses the knees to hips region; the fierce struggle to squeeze into an all-in-one shaper that results in dewy make-up and messed up hair. This brings suffering for beauty and fashion to another level.

I had to help a bride elope from her oppressive shapewear halfway through her wedding reception. She could barely breathe due to a bridal belly ache. The petite bride had tiny Spanx so I was able to discreetly hide her bridal shaper in my small evening bag. No one was the wiser. If I ever had the nerve to ditch my shape wear midway through an evening, I’m certain mine would require something more the size of a satchel.

My own painful shape wear incident happened during a long afternoon and evening of funeral home visitation for my Mom’s husband, Gene. I was sure I was going to need amputation…at the waist, due to strangulation by a shorts style shaper. The situation became excruciating after a carry-in dinner of Coney Dogs from our hometown favorite, in honor of Gene. Believe me, the absurdity of eating hot dogs with chili and onions at a funeral home while wearing a shaper, is not lost on me. Frankly, I’m surprised rocket combustion didn’t launch me into orbit.

Wait…..What’s that? The Leibster Awards doesn’t involve an actual ceremony, a red carpet or a statue? I can stay on the couch for this Award Ceremony, too? 

Darn! I had a spot cleared on the bookshelf for my statue.

Silver lining: I have the perfect thing to wear. Yoga pants. Sans shape wear.

I’m golden after all!

Many Thanks to Jenn. It is an honor just to be nominated.

Now go check her out and see what she is up to over at  Jenn Lost In Chaos.


In The Bag


The future came and went

The future came and went

A few months ago, our city joined a growing number of California cities and counties and introduced a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. I understand the reason for the new law. This is a beach town, and the ban is a positive step towards keeping discarded bags off our beach and out of the ocean.

Shoppers here in Surf City now have three options:

  1. Bring their own reusable bags to the store
  2. Purchase reusable bags which vary in price from $.99 to $5.99
  3. Purchase a paper bag made from recycled paper for a .10 “pass through fee”

I’ve been in the habit of toting my reusable bags to the market for quite a few years, but the ban on plastic bags applies to ALL stores:  Groceries, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, drug stores, etc.

Overall, it has been a smooth transition, but we’ve had our rough spots. I’ve witnessed some tense confrontations between shoppers and cashiers and baggers. Unfortunately, none of cashiers or baggers are members of the city council, and therefore didn’t pass the ordinance.

I’ve heard shoppers demand to know what is being done with the revenue generated from paper bag sales. (Revenue stays with the store to cover the expense of providing the costlier paper bags.)

I live near a large retirement community. I’ve seen defiant Seniors wheel carts of loose groceries out of the store. Their purchases rattle and bounce across the pavement on the way to the car. Then they pile the loose groceries into the trunk of the car.

What happens next for these stand-your-ground-shoppers? How many trips does it take to get a trunkful of loose groceries into the house?

Seeing this, I wistfully recalled the days of the “lazy man load”:  looping the handles of at least (8) plastic bags over each outstretched arm in an effort to get all the groceries into the house in a single trip. We’ve all done it, but why? We’re not Sherpas ascending Mount Everest, we’re merely transporting the load from the car to the kitchen.

I quickly discovered that a full day of errand running requires several bags. This is where my dilemma began.

Maybe it’s just me, and my OCD…. but I feel I need to use store specific bags. I mean, is it acceptable to carry an Albertsons bag into Ralphs? I feel sorta hoity-toity carrying a Whole Foods bag into folksy ‘ole Sprouts. It seems downright gross to put my shiny new purchases from Target into a ratty Safeway bag.

This was getting complicated, so I decided to forgo the store-branded bags altogether – well, except for the freebies – I mean let’s be reasonable.

I went online. Since I hate visual clutter, I had the bright idea to buy bags to match my car. This way my cargo compartment would look mono-chromatic and orderly during a full day of errand running. Hey, you find your bliss, and I’ll find mine.

Then I began to wonder: Could the reusable bags technically be considered fashion accessories? Should they match my outfit? Maybe the should match my shoes? Unsure, I went ahead and bought a few in a bold, black and white toile print. Classic, with a twist.

Luckily, until we sort out the style guidelines, I’m confident a Trader Joe’s bag works as a solid neutral. Like nude patent leather, it goes with everything and you can carry it anywhere. It’s what my Mother would call “transitional.” It is widely accepted as the “go-to” bag. Thankfully, I own a several of these, and a few could be considered vintage gems.

Many of us germa-phobes sanitize our shopping carts with anti-bacterial wipes upon entry into the market. But concerns have been raised about the reusable bags presenting a more serious sanitation issue. Cross-contamination is inevitable. Bacteria and viruses can even be transferred from one shopper’s bag to the next shopper’s bag via the bagger.

Oh you think this sounds crazy? Did you hear about the reusable shopping bag that sickened an entire soccer team in Oregon?

Nope, no need to attend a Family Pa-flu-za or embark on the Explorer Of The Seas. Another modern convenience: you can pick up a case of Norovirus right at your local market.

Crap! I may need to just sack everything and start over, because now I need bags that are WASHABLE

For now, the collection of shopping bags in the back of my car continues to grow.


I’m not living in my car, but I am officially a bag lady.