The Bully

October 14, 2011


Am I the only one who is sick and tired of bullies? It seems like they are a necessary evil in life like taxes and rain but it breaks my heart when my nine year old daughter tells me she is being bullied. All too soon, memories of my less than glamorous middle school self just come rushing back. What I often wonder is why as women we need to put each other down so much in order for other women to like us. Layla told me that there is a group of girls at school that have been cutting in front of her at school and have called her the…gasp…N word. I have feared the N word from when she was in preschool and had no clue who Hannah Montana was but could tell you all you needed to know about elephants. I told her the N word is what insecure people use because you are different and smarter than them. I also told her that I too had once-upon-a-time been called the N word as well…but now proudly embrace it. In kid terms, the N word is NERD! what is so bad about that word? If being a nerd means you are different, smarter and more culturally astute than your peers, then I am a nerd all the way. It is the nerds in life that become Steve Jobs. If the calculation to sucess in your adolescent years is a multiplier of who you put down to get on top combined with perceived beauty and athleteisim..then probably about 85% of us are royally screwed. So I am doing my daughter a service by saying this…bullies are not cool.

There are words that put a wrinkle right in the center of my nose..they are cliques and popularity. I wanted to tell my daughter that it was going to get better as an adult..that clicques would magically go away and that people weren’t going to be judged based on how many friends they had but I knew that would be a lie and that after pretending things like there is a fat man who comes down our chimeny every hear and brings you presents if you are good (for a month before) I couldn’t continue to sugar coat real life for her. The only thing I could tell her is to be true to herself and hope for the best…and enlist some good friends for standby when life throws you a wrench. I know as an adult, I don’t function well with groups. I am wired for one one or a few conversation. I am too weird for everything else and I will have to say it may have taken me over twenty years, but I am perfectly ok with that.

I guess you will never grow out of popularity contests. At times life can be one big popularity contest. I truly beleive in my heart that my Lucky story was just as good as the people who had 25K votes. I just don’t have the popularity or pizzazz to take it to that level. I tried and I can sleep at night knowing that (1) the people that really matter in my life supported me and (2) althought there was the temptation to cheat and vote for myself over and over again…I did not. (too much). I will always stand behind the quality of what I do and if that doesn’t make me popular then I guess I am just as nerdy as I want to be. I do beleive in the karmic mantra “what goes around comes around”…and as I pointed out in yesterday’s post, the fashion Gods took care of me. To sav my wounds of not winning, I treated myself to a little browse around TJ Maxx at lunch yesterday. Do you remember that scene in Little Shop of Horrors when Rick Morranis turned around to find a truly unique gem of a plant sitting on a stand of otherwise ordinary ones? Well somewhere in the section of designer dud boots selection, a pair of beautiful Cole Haan black boots a size 7.5.(I am hoping my boots do not comef alive and start killing off my enemies).  For those of you that aren’t fashion boots saavy, these gems are real leather with a Nike coushion sole. They are mastered for design and comfort. They were a perfect black with a touch of brown trim in a 3.5 dark wood grain heel. (the Holy Grail of boots). Since they retail near the $400 mark, I have had them on the “if I win the lottery” list. Well, I kid you hands shook as I picked up this pair of stunning boots and had to do a double take at the $99 price tag. The corners of my mouth were shaking in line holding my prize not to have the most giddy of smiles on my face. I am not sure I could recreate that smile if I had won the 10K (I am sure I could come close). I took a picture of them and sent them to a couple of my friends the way a mother does soon after giving birth. As I sit her basking in the smell of real leather mixed with sheer beauty…I know that these boots are the investment of the century for me. With every bad comes a good, and if it meant finding boots like these, I would get rejected every day for not being popular enough…because now I am a nerd in a great pair of boots.



Jean Jacket: Lands End (garage sale)
Scarf/Necklace: The Limited
Ring: Buckle
Striped Sweater: Old Navy
Cords: The Gap
Glasses: Coach
Glasses (Layla): JC Penney
Tshirt (Layla): homemade

Motherly Advice

May 26, 2017

I hold on to Jackson’s arm as he flings him self around me on a set of bleachers. It is Layla’s eighth grade graduation and I was trying to hold onto some sort of emotion long enough to be nostalgic. It is really hard when my head turns like a wind up toy every time Jackson breathes funny. Josh had already taken Cece out to the hallway but I was stubbornly holding on to the notion that I would see them announce her name. I craved hearing the words they used to describe her, creative and poetic. I fought the urge to raise my hand and list off additional synonyms for Layla Taylor: artistic, unique, passionate, genuine, old soul, good friend. I can go on and on and on – and not just because I am her mother. “Are we bringing them to the ceremony?” she asked, in the snarky teenage tone that suddenly worked its way into her inflection range. “They can’t stay home alone.” I said, in my new defensive tone – a mom/teenage hybrid. This is common now. Teenagers and toddlers are the epitome of the self-centered years, the time in your life where being an asshole can be explained simply by referencing age and everyone nods in agreement. Trying to explain to Layla that Jackson’s behaviors are mostly because toddlers lack impulse control is like explaining to Jackson that Layla is hormonal.* Back in the gym, as I am just as focused onto Jackson and I am swallowing my tears as a beautiful girl stands on the podium, with a soft pink dress that contrasted her bright green hair, and she is giving a speech about how much middle school made her grow. I envied her, almost as much as I envied Layla, at the very beginning of adult hood with so much ahead. Like a Hallmark greeting card, I mouthed the words along knowing the theme and how graduations go. I look at Jackson; he is sitting on the step smiling at me. That smile, the way he twists his lips into a perfect little grin, he looks angelic – and completely full of mischief. I see the spark and he ignites, across the gym floor. I am spry and suddenly thankful for all the running I do as I dart across he gym after him. I could hear the entire gym laughing. My mouth can’t figure out whether to laugh or cry and my lips start shaking at the confusion. I realize half my bra may be hanging out, but I am moving too fast for anyone else to notice. “Good catch” someone comments as I scoop him up and drag him into the hallway.

Continue reading Motherly Advice

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

February 28, 2012


And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singin’, ‘We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t, we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse’
The Rolling Stones

What I want is a Monday that doesn’t make me cry. At least my outfit was an easy choice. I love this shirt from the Limited I got a month or so ago. The blue and green primary color stripes make it casual but the great cut makes it fun to dress up. I couldn’t resist a couple pops of color including my purple Coach pumps and the beautiful turquoise and gold necklace/bracelet set Josh got me for Valentines day. I have been pretty into the primary color trend lately..pulling greens and reds into my everyday.  I have made it almost a week with out shopping, and I have to say Monday is the hardest day to get through with a merchandise treat.







Shirt: The Limited
Pants: Express
Bracelet/Necklace: TJ Maxx (gift)
Shoes: Coach (via Ebay)
Sunglasses: XOXO (via Burlington Coat Factory)

I am at summer camp. Perhaps a grown up version of my former child. It is breakfast time..bacon, eggs, toast. The picnic tables are crowded with fellow campers. I see familiar faces of family and friends in mixed company of their former and current selves. My grandpa is much younger and walking around ready to grab our noses. My sister is a young child and is playing with her look alike daughter. My husband is there with his current bald head with our children. Layla is younger, maybe five or six and Olivia is a baby. I pack my plate full of breakfast essentials. Ketchup goes on the hash browns, Tabasco over my eggs and butter on my toast. I have my egg cooked sunny side up so a little of the yoke seeps out ready to be sponged up by the toast. I have one link of sausage and two crisp strips of bacon. My stomach is rumbling as I balance my plate, napkins and fork and find a seat. There is a spot on the bench next to my cousin at her mid twenties self and my dad..freshly mulleted from the mid nineties. I set my plate down..ready to devour the breakfast. I realize that I forgot to grab my juice. I need some fresh squeezed orange juice to wash down the grease and butter. I got up and walked over to an area where people were getting drinks. There were a few faces I didn’t recognize and for a minute I had a feeling of uncertainty about these strangers. I kept my eyes fixed on a particular man..he was skinny with a couple teeth missing. He looked angry. I quickly poured my juice and returned to my seat. To my surprise, there was a large woman sitting there. She looked at me with taunting eyes as I realized my plate was missing. My buttered ketsup and hash browns, my runny eggs..all missing. “That was my seat.” I said. “Move your feet, loose your seat.” She replied in a child’s voice. “Where is my food?” I asked. She shrugged with a Cheshire grin on her face.
Clearly this was a dream. I woke up with such tantrum like anger that it seemed to consume my morning. I was so mad that this big bully woman had stolen my seat and my breakfast. In the dream I pouted and huffed off to my little tent where I refused to eat. My little hunger strike only hurt one person. No one else at the campsite was hungry. I always tell my girls that there is no point in throwing a tantrum…you never get what you want. No one likes a spoiled brat. But, lately I feel like I just want to throw an all out tantrum. Unfortunately I have little control over what happens to me sometimes, like I am trapped in my own life. All the bullies around me have stolen my seat and throw out my breakfast. By feeling sorry for myself, I am on a useless hunger strike. As adults, we can’t just cry and pout when things don’t go our way. We are told to “suck it up” and “get over it”. Wouldn’t it be funny if you could just throw yourself on the floor when someone was mean to you? I remember when I was a kid throwing one of my (famously epic) tantrums. My mom just sang that Rolling Stones song “you can’t always get what you want”. That made me angrier and I said that song was stupid. Wouldn’t you know it is one of my favorite songs now? When I am having one of those days where people are throwing away my breakfast all around then I just like to sing the words and feel a little better. “You can’t always get what you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need.”


February 21, 2012


Who said we can’t wear navy and black together or that white shoes aren’t permittied after Labor Day? Where is this Bible of fashion rules? Who came up with the idea of wearing black to make you look thin instead of wearing a great cut shirt ? I have been seeing a lot of really fun color combinations lately and I am happy for all the rule breakers and trend setters that asked why not. In honor of the smart ass slackers and the rule breaking fashionistas, I say wear what makes your feel comfortable. I have been told that stripes are not work appropriate. To all the rule breakers out there: Stipes all around! Nothing says summer like a great navy and white striped top. I love this tank from J.Crew. I practically lived in this tank and my red boat shoes last summer. Every time I look at it in my drawer, I feel the warm rays of the summer sun. In order to keep my mood uplifted, the navy tank was necessary. I love the idea of pairing navy with lime green. I haven’t quite found the perfect lime tee…but I did find a scarf that had that touch of lime I was looking for. (like a Captain and Coke on a warm day…..) Sometimes it just takes a cheap new accessory to freshen your wardrobe. I love how my lime and navy scarf kicked up my classic khakis and navy striped tank. Looking to add some color to your wardrobe but are afraid? Try a colorful necklace or is the easy and cheap way to keep up with the spring trends. 


Tank Top: J.Crew
Shirt: Gabriel Brothers
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Dillards
Bracelet: Gift

What the hell’s the matter with you? Stupid! We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw “Old Yeller?” Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? ” Bill Murray Stripes

I love the movie Stripes. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly reccomend it. It is your basic “my life is going no where, I have a crappy job, I need purpose so I will join the army” kind of movie. (circa 1981) Did I mention Bill Murry plays the lead slacker?  I put on my navy tank, looked in the mirror and for some reason that quote from Stripes popped into my head. Yeah, I am that strange. There is always a random movie or song quote playing in my mind like a soundtrack to my life. I even imagine I have entrance music at times. (turn around…every now and then I fall apart…). The thing about Stripes is it has the familiarity of a a great slacker comedy. It is funny when a person goes against the flow. Most people I know that are “slackers” are actually really smart but just not challenged. Some of us don’t fit into the conventional norms are are always going to ask “why“. Like Bill Murray’s character, John, us smartasses function best when we are challenged and pushed into our roles. We don’t just adapt to what people expect us to do. We are square pegs trying to fit inside of round holes. Do you ever feel that way? Its like  your job or your family or even your friends are trying to mold you into something you are not. In the movies, the protagonist often realizes his or her strengths, rallies the group and defys authority to come out as the hero. Unfortunately real life rarely works that way. When was the last time you got a group of people to challenge authority and it worked? Most of us will eventually slowly conform to becoming a round peg. Today, I say to challenge that. Question authority and ask the questions. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that that is the right way. I guess we all need a little Bill Murray in our attitudes…a little smart ass authority-challenging wild streak. Whether it is to stand up to that bully at school or work or putting your self ahead of everyone else’s problems, a little bit of rebellion is alway good for confidence.

The Tip

December 19, 2011
“So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory. Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive” 

I dream of being awesome. In every sense of the word..sleeping me does things that normal me would never have the nerve to do. I tell people what I think and I stand up to strangers. Sleeping me has been know to get in a few fights. My “sleeper” usually involves hair pulling and scratching. (me-ow!). I am fearless. This is nothing like the real me. Awake me is awkward and a push over. I cringe at the word confrontation and get easily frustrated with what I should have said. I am a bully’s dream because I comply and try my best to play nice. I don’t have an aggressive bone in my body. Except in my sleep. Then I am the Chuck Norris of dream world. No one messes with me. The other night I was dreaming I was at some dive bar. I often have dreams where I am having a fun time drinking and hanging out with friends. Sometimes they have faces some times I just remember odd conversations.

Dream world drunk me was going to order another beer. I am not going to lie, dream me doesn’t have good taste in beer because I was getting a MGD. (maybe this was 1997 dream world drunk me…). There was a girl next to me getting her tab. She had one of those sour scowls that bar tenders hate. If you have ever worked as a server or bartender, you know the look. It is the look like this patron will never be happy no matter how fast their appetizers come out or how great the happy hour prices are. There is no fix for unhappy at a bar…we just sell things to help you forget you are unhappy. (mind eraser anyone?). The former server in me, both in dream and real world, glanced over as ms. sourface got her credit card slip. I saw her bill had come to approximately ten dollars. I watched as she filled in the amount for the tip….twenty five cents. Even though this was a dream..and the numbers never lie..every part of my waking body cringed at that waste of a tip. I tensed up the way I always do when I witness a crime of tipping. No matter how long you have been out of the game, waiting tables is something that will never leave you..or your psyche.  I still have serving nightmares seven years later. Serving nightmares are when you dream you are waiting tables but something is never right. There is this table you just can’t seem to get to. You walk toward them to refill their drinks or bring their appetizers and the table moves farther away from you or something distracts your attention. You heart is pumping with anxiety and doom.  These dreams are a leftover reaction to the feeling of getting your apron knocked right off your body..or you ass handed to you by a crowded night. Then you run around like a crazy person filling drinks, bringing food, making quick small talk and relying heavily on the patience and generosity of strangers to make the night worth the stress. 
When I looked over at that twenty-five cent tip, my sleepy mind was jolted. Even thought I was asleep, I had the crystal clear thought feeling of disgust for this girl and pity for the bartenders. I did something I had always wanted to do…I confronted her. “Really?” I said with a new found confidence..”You are only going to leave a quarter…You do know these people only make three dollars an hour?”. My eyes stared her up and down and I could see the admiration from the bar tender twisting the top off of my cold MGD. (Wow…even in a dream my beer choice really bothers me..). There was a silence as the whole bar stopped to look at our confrontation. I could feel my hands clench and the blood in my chest stop running to my heart as I looked at her and wondered what the silent patrons around me tough…how was she going to react? She looked down at her bad tip and looked at the bartenders with and embarrassing smile. I had called her out..she was hoping she could slip out the door before anyone noticed how bad that tip was. She quickly added a 3 in front of the .25 and rushed away. The bartender bought my drink and added a bleu cheese stuffed olive on the side. (yet again really weird dream drinks). I felt amazing..I had finally confronted someone over a cause that was so personal to me. From all the ten percent tips to the prayer cards in lieu of tip (yes that really happens) to the eat and skip patrons and the people who camp out long after dinner is finished and don’t compensate accordingly. I stood up for the underdog! I felt like my arms go up like Rocky…the eye of the tiger..I stood up. 
I woke up feeling great. What I got was even better than sleep, it was an accomplishment. I believe a persons character should be judged on how well they tip. Have you ever been out with a ten percent tipper and you had do go back and sneak a five under the sugar caddie out of sheer embarrassment? Let me give you a few of my personal insights: servers make a couple dollars an hour. A server is not responsible for the food prices, food times or food quality. A server will usually never get a raise. Servers usually don’t have benefits and if they get sick or hurt, they won’t get paid. A server works long hours on their feet for days at a time. Servers are human and make mistakes and sometimes are affected by things in the personal lives which they bring to work. We live in a country where a restaurant is not responsible for paying the servers much. From a financial point of view, this keeps food cost and operating cost down as well as keeps many smaller restaurants from going out of business. If the server’s wages were to be part of the restaurant’s expenses..then your dinner would cost twice as much then if you were to leave a twenty percent tip. (my idea of what a good tip should be). By telling off that one girl (in my dream)..I couldn’t help but to reflect on the years I spent relying on the generosity of strangers. I have been given bad service before…and believe me I have given bad service. Unfortunately we servers are humans and not robots, and are subject to the same ability to make mistakes or just have a bad day as the rest of us. What can I say, my dream struck a nerve that I forgot I had. Here is a tip: twenty percent is really easy to mentally compute. Take the total bill and double it..then move the decimal place over one and you have your tip. (eg..your bill is $40. Double it = $80. then move the decimal over one = $ fancy tip calculator there!).  
I rubbed my confident tiger’s eye when I woke up. There is nothing that I couldn’t accomplish today. Except, I couldn’t get my pants on. My ass has now reached critical mass…no pants can cover it. (none that don’t have an elastic waist that is). It is time put my tip ranting energy into some real exercises. As strange as it sounds, when you are feeling large all around try not to wear loose clothing. It just adds more volume. When my butt is looking like it needs a separate bedroom, I try to find an area on my body that looks small. Mine is my chicken legs. I put on stretchy leggings and a flowy top to hide the problem areas. If you have a tiny waist, use a belt to cinch a loose top and create shape. Most women look their smallest in that area between boobs and muffin top. It is that area at the bottom of your rib cage…if you can find a top that cinches that for you with out creating the look of pregnancy, then buy it in every color. I felt overall large. My tip rant confidence had drifted back off to my dream as I stared at my closet with dread. I sighed and became grateful for one thing this season: ponchos are in style. I paired on over a pair of jeggings (elastic waist..score!) and some low boots for a Sunday feast that would surely put my weight loss efforts off another day. It is time. This is the time where I dust off my tennis shoes and my pilates mat..I get angry that I am not and natural size 2..and blast some Eye of the Tiger! 







Poncho: Lauren Conrad for Kohls
Shirt: Free People 
Jeggings: New York & Co
Boots: Rocket Dog
Bracelet: Target
Necklace: Charlotte Russe