Outfit of the Day

The last couple of years I’ve really leaned into dressing comfortably as a method of self-care.

This has been my modus operandi for most of my life, but I’m now the queen of fuzzy socks, leggings, hoodies and piles of fleece blankets and dog snuggles on the sofa and I’ve curated a wardrobe that’s perfectly suited not only for virtual work, but also gives the coziest never-leave-the-house vibe ever.

This is normally not much of a problem, except recently, when everyone started peopling in person again in earnest. I had a conference earlier this month, which was absolutely agonizing to pack for, given how far down I’d whittled my wardrobe. And next week there’s a photoshoot for a small magazine. If I didn’t do something soon, I’d be representing my employer in some form or fashion that gives way more hermit than I think they’d appreciate.

I knew I needed help.

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The shoe thing is complicated

DC89 - [ Infliction ] - Damnation Pumps - Black
No, these aren’t mine. I can’t even look at these without winching a little.
Yesterday was the kind of day that called for my butt-kicking black pumps. I needed to deliver bad news at one meeting, cope with unrealistic expectations at another, then pep talk someone out of a little funk. My shoes gave me extra swagger, showing people I wasn’t messing around.

And then, like always, the things turned on me. Bitches.

Generally speaking, if I’m wearing my black pumps it’s to make an impression. And I’m going to pay for it. Just like Cinderella, if I’m not making a hasty adieu after a certain period of time in heels, there’s change a’coming. I can go from fabulous to frump in seconds. From the moment I slip those suckers on and I’m suddenly a female Samuel L. Jackson, a clock is ticking down to a time when I’ll be limping around on what feels like bloody nubs, whining like a lost puppy.

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What the Righteously Indignant are Wearing this Season

78/365, flyI did it. I made it a teensy fraction of the way through January before breaking one of my resolutions.

This one had to do with reading stupid stuff on the internet, so I was doomed anyway.

This particular absurd artifact was a list of What Women Shouldn’t Wear After 30. Just the title took me from zero to full-on righteous indignation in seconds – which I suppose is how internet tripe should be approached for maximum gratification. I tried to find the article again just now, so we could all mock the author together, but there’s a ridiculous amount of advice on what women should or shouldn’t do after age 30, which got my blood boiling all over again.

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A Public Service Announcement for dorks

My toes at a Vegas pool. Photo courtesy of my awesome friend, Sally.

I really thought I’d be able to get a video of my cute skin doctor, Steve, saying “use sunscreen, you dumb dorks,” but he wouldn’t agree to saying something that straightforward, even when I told him it was for the children.

And there’s some restriction that has to do with HIPAA or something, so I couldn’t take any kind of video of him and his assistant in his office this morning.

You’re not going to get to see how cute he is. Sorry.

In November, 2012, I had a huge basal-cell carcinoma removed from the left side of my nose via a procedure called Mohs.

Don’t worry, the doctor told me, no one has ever lost a day of her life from this type of cancer. So I blithely went about my routine, scheduled a family trip to Guatemala, as well as a presentation in front of a couple hundred people, and another half marathon.

Okay, the doctor said, maybe you should worry a little more than that.

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Damn you, sweater

Clothing store or medieval torture device. It could swing either way.
Clothing store or medieval torture device. It could swing either way.

One of the jobs I had before I do what I do was for a fashion designer. I kept tabs on which factory was producing what garment in what country, when it would ship and to where.

When a job opened that would have been a promotion, I thought maybe by virtue of proximity I would have gleaned enough information about the fashion industry to be a candidate. It’s not like I would have been designing clothing, so maybe they’d overlook the fact I had no degree or experience in fashion. Or any interest in fashion. Or that I dressed like an unpaid college student who got lost in Casual Corner.

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Babs and the laundry

laundry_blogJack asked yesterday if his friend could come over. Mike looked at me to see if we had plans that would conflict with such a visit and I shrugged.

“Sure,” he said. “Nick can come by for a couple of hours.”

Jack hesitated.

“Okay, um, could you put on some pants?”

“Wait, what? These aren’t okay?”

I hadn’t even realized Mike wasn’t wearing pants. It wasn’t like he was running around in tightie-whities. He had on some nondescript black, athletic undershorts that could have been bike pants or running shorts. But Jack, sensitive to the fact he was having company, had honed in on his dad wandering around the house in his underwear.

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The worst fashion decision I ever made

umpire_2I love the raised eyebrows I get when I tell people I’m a Little League umpire. I wonder how many times in my life I’ve been so motivated by such a reaction.

I’m certainly not compelled because I’m the mom who drops everything for her kid. I don’t have time to fill and I don’t actually like sports. I was the girl in high school PE who flinched when the ball came at her. I haven’t checked since to see if I’ve improved. Until recently, I’m not sure I’d ever worn a mitt.

I hope to save my kids from this fate by constantly exposing them to sports. At the slightest mention of interest, I sign them up. But kids sports require parental involvement, and I can’t afford a stunt double.

At the parent meeting for Colin’s first season in Little League, the coach passed around sign-up sheets. The snack form was full when it got to Mike and me. I signed up to sell raffle tickets. Then coach asked for two umpire volunteers.

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Saving Face: Of Skin, Snakes, SPF and the Rise of Franken-Beth

Some two or three decades ago my freckled skin and I became good friends with Hawaiian Tropic, SPF 4 in my pursuit of the teen ideal of beauty. Despite my determination to transform my natural skin tone from its normal translucent hue that would have been coveted in Victorian-era England, I never really tanned.  In the years since I have learned to balance my grudge against the lotion industry and its failure to deliver on promises of bronze perfection, with my disdain for my inherited pallor.

Sometime several months ago, I absent-mindedly picked at patch of dry skin on the left side of my nose, creating a small sore that stayed for weeks. A scab would form, which would wash off in the shower, or slough off when I ran and rubbed the sweat off my face with my sleeve.

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