disconnect the phone
WHAT NOT TO WEAR. OR BUY, APPARENTLY.
I have been trying to buy new clothes and every time it results in BIG MASSIVE FAIL. Here are some of my problems:
1. I have no patience for the hunt. None. I want to go to one place and walk out with clothing.
2. Regardless of whether this is objectively true or not, I feel like I am too young for “classic” and too old for “cool.”
3. I have a weird in-between workplace. I cannot wear jeans, but I do not have to “dress up.”
4. I have a weird body. Don’t get me wrong, if you were lucky enough to get me naked you would probably die of delight, but fitting my deliciousness into commercially produced clothes is another matter. I am short. I am skinny in some places and thick in others. It adds up to an off-the-rack disaster.
5. I only sort of care. I want to be comfortable, I want to feel like I look good, and I want most things to be machine washable. Beyond that I sometimes get an attitude, like I have more important things to worry about than clothes. The only problem with this attitude is that I end up in crises like the current one, where I have about three or four outfits I actively like and many others that I tolerate.
6. I am kind of cheap. Or maybe it’s not so much “cheap” as “stuck in the past.” I am like a shopping grandma: “Fifty dollars! For that rag! Back in my day…” Yeah well. Back in “my day” I got most of my clothing either from the thrift store in my economically-depressed college town or actually out of a dumpster. Now I am trying to hit Michigan Avenue chain stores on my lunch hour. There is a…bit of a price differential.
Should I give up and call upon a higher power, like one of those department store personal-shopper folk? Should I cultivate an ever-snootier who-cares attitude, and continue to swath my physical person in the boringest, blandest, most neutral-colored fabric I can find at Target? Is there more to life than another knee-length black skirt and another cashmere v-neck sweater? Should I simply look forward to the day when we all wear disposable nanofiber uniforms or are just brains in jars? Help me, internet.
NORA-RELATED, APOLOGIES FOR VIRTUAL BABY BOOK
1. She turned 9! There was some Friday evening bowling with about seven of her maniac friends. You can infer something about our privileged magnet-school demographic (which I lovingly mock at every opportunity) by the fact that all the kids were thrilled, amazed, and stoked that there was SODA provided at the bowling alley. They all sucked down the soda like the rare party treat it is, and many bowling hijinks ensued. A pitcher of Dr Pepper is the third-grade equivalent of tequila shots.
2. There was also a family party. My parents arrived bearing gifts, one of which was a five-foot length of clear PVC pipe with gift wrap at the top and at the base. I thought she was a little young for a bong and told them so, but it turned out to be a bank shaped like a parking meter.
3. Another gift was an experiment kit called “Magic Science.” The box makes me mad every time I look at it because CONTRADICTION IN TERMS, YO.
4. The other day at breakfast she went on this weird anti-humanity rant that unsettled me a bit. We were talking about the luna moth, which only lives for one week and does not even have a mouth.
Me: You have to wonder what is the point of an animal like that. I mean, why it evolved.
Nora: Maybe other things eat it.
Me: Yeah maybe. Everything has some purpose.
Nora: But what’s OUR purpose?
Me [thinking philosophically]: Heh, people have been trying to figure that out for a long time.
Nora: I mean, some people are DESTROYING THE EARTH! The Earth would be fine if it weren’t for people! What is the point of evolving if we just evolved to wreck everything? [more slightly incoherent third-grade-environmentalist content here]
Me: Well, humanity has also, uh, done some good stuff, like art, and science that can maybe solve some of those very problems, and…
Nora [not listening]: And nothing even EATS us!
MORE HUMAN/NATURE RELATIONSHIPS GONE WRONG
Recently we went back to the Shedd Aquarium, my favorite museum in Chicago. Normally I do not even bother with the so-called “Oceanarium” part, because the regular fish are so cool, and I am not sure I entirely agree with the keeping of whales and dolphins and big things like that. I agree even less now that I have seen the whale trainers practicing the belugas’ tricks with them. Most were normal, fetching balls and touching targets and so forth, but at one point a trainer blew her ultrasonic whistle and made a certain hand motion and the beluga moved the lump of fat on its head back and forth in a rhythmic fashion. This was totally disgusting and I cannot fathom why you would want the animal to do it on purpose. I would give it a fish reward to stop doing that.
Here, have a revolting Wikipedia quote about the beluga’s fat head. You won’t want lunch after this.
Its head is unlike that of any other cetacean. Like most toothed whales it has a melon—an oily, fatty tissue lump found at the center of the forehead. The beluga’s melon is extremely bulbous and even malleable.
EXTREMELY BULBOUS. Googling “extremely bulbous” gives you an extremely bulbous mixed bag of results, from plastic surgery disasters to hot air balloons to alien abduction. And icky whale headlumps, of course.
—mimi smartypants shouldn’t judge.