Saturday, June 30, 2012

Retro Fashion

Back in the 1960's, I was a child looking at adult women and wishing I could grow up to be one of them.  Their outfits made me swoon. 

While I never got that chance, my life isn't over.  I found this delicious dress at a thrift-store this week (Savers).  Thrifting is a blessing for those of us who want to play with clothes but need to stay within a budget.  The dress cost less than I usually spend for dinner.

The style of the dress appeals to me, as do the colors.  I didn't wear a necklace to avoid interfering with the cute neckline and stripes.  I'm not sure how else the dress could be styled, but it rocks by itself.  Any ideas on other ways to present it?

The dangling earrings were a recent gift from my friends, Lynne and Megan.

I had some free time, so I spent a little extra effort on my makeup (purple and gold eyeshadow).  I'm not proficient at this stuff, but applying it feels easier and gives me deep joy.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Funny Friday

Here are two pictures that amuse me.  The first is what I'll use when I retire...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Under Her Skin

One of the bloggers I follow, mouse, was recently insulted on her blog by an anonymous troll.  The idiot called her "obese" -- even though mouse is completely normal in size.

After stewing over it for a while, mouse responded with a post expressing her strong feelings, all of which are warranted.  (Her post is here.)  In it, mouse explains how, even though she knows she isn't fat, the insult still stung her and made her feel bad. 

It's terrible that strangers have the power to hurt us.  When they target areas we worry about (e.g., our weight, appearance or femininity), their words are potent.  Of course, we should try to slough off such comments, but that's easy to say and harder to do.  A moron insulted me a few months ago with a snarky comment about my feet (on a post showing off nail-polish).  Even though I knew he was wrong, it still bothered me, so my sympathy for mouse's emotions is strong.

Have you ever been insulted online?  How did you handle it?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All In The Family

Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw a family drama unfold that saddened me.  It really saddened me.  I don't know these people well (they are merely acquaintances), but what happened online was awful to watch.

Reflecting on it today, I believe there are some lessons we can draw from this situation about manners and even gender.  For that reason, I've decided to offer the situation for your consideration.  I invite you to present your perspective on this.  Although anyone on Facebook can view this drama directly, I'm going to use only first names and not disclose the family's last name.

The drama began innocently.  A middle-aged mother of three teenage daughters posted a picture of one of her kids.  The daughters are named Brittany, Samm and Minnie; their mother's name is Evelyn.  (That's Minnie on the left, in the picture her mother posted.)

The trouble started when the girls' uncle, Pablo, left a comment on the photo.  Rather than describe what happened, I'm going to quote the exact messages that followed (omitting a few irrelevant ones).

Pablo (uncle) - I'm sorry Britt and Samm, but she's the prettiest.

Samm (sister) - thanks, pablo..?

Pablo (uncle) - Welcome. I never said you weren't pretty, I just said Minnie is the prettiest... And I stand by it.

Samm (sister) - k.

Evelyn (mother) - ‎:(

Brittany (sister) - ouch?

Evelyn (mother) - I agree Britt!!!!!!

Pablo (uncle) - What do you want me to say? That Minnie is ugly? I'm sorry but I don't tell no lies.

Samm (sister) - no but saying that shes prettier then us. that's kind of rude. I mean yes she's very pretty but me and britt are also very pretty in different ways, one of us is not prettier then the other, we're all different. and that comment wasnt necessary, you could have very well just said that minnie was very pretty, which she is, there was no need to say that shes prettier then us.

Brittany (sister) - agreed

Lisa (relative) - Well said ladies. Some people feel the need to put others down to make themselves feel better. It's not about honestly, it's that he is just RUDE. You are all beautiful girls. Unfortunately, not everyone in this world is and which is obvious by his UGLY comment!

Pablo (uncle) - Fine, I take it back. You're all equally pretty and life is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. Apparently I just said that because somehow that made me feel better about myself. And for the record, yes, I do think you're all beautiful girls; I never said you weren't.

Brittany (sister) - No need to take it back. Your sarcasm tells us exactly how you feel.

Angela (relative) - Please.... This is clearly unnecessary.... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... Don't think the comment is rude in any way... You guys know your uncle very well.... And for those who don't know him please .... Words can be really hurtful if you take them out of context... There is no need for this....


Do you share my sadness at this?  What's your take on what happened?

More Of The Mermaid Parade

I took 400 pictures at the parade, so my first post showed you only a tiny fraction of those.  Here are a few more.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Don't Tell Your Father"

My mother, Barbara Jo, was a force of nature.  Despite being only 4'11", she had the presence and command of a giant.  Grown men quivered at her approach.

My mother ran our extended family like Stalin ran Russia.  When she told you to do something, you knew you had no choice.  She'd hound you until it was done and eventually you realized it was easier to just submit.  Barbara Jo was like the Borg -- resistance was futile.

At the same time, my mother was generous.  Extremely so.  When I went away to college and continuing into young adulthood, my mother would always slip me a few bucks whenever we visited.  By "a few bucks" I mean a few hundred dollars.  As she quietly gave me the money, she'd always whisper, "Don't tell your father."

I assumed she was joking and that my father knew about this.  It wasn't until after my mother died that I realized he had no idea.  Even worse, he didn't continue the tradition!  A stingy immigrant, my father didn't believe in spoiling children.  The extra cash that made my life so much better stopped like a faucet being turned off. 

For years, my mother's gifts made the difference between my living poorly and my living with a little luxury.  During that time, I had only enough to pay for necessities, so her extra money meant I could dine at better restaurants and have a little fun. 

I've explained before that I treat my friends like family.  When I adopt you, I open my heart and my wallet.  If I sense you need a few bucks, I follow my mother's practice of quietly slipping it to you.  My hope is that it'll improve your life the way my mother's gifts improved mine.  Some of you reading this know what I'm talking about.

When I give away money, I'm always tempted to say, "Don't tell your father."  Sadly, nobody would understand that statement; however, I still feel the urge to say that.  I want the lesson I learned from my mother to carry on.

Do you ever give away money?  How do you feel about this practice?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mermaid Parade

This year's Mermaid Parade in Coney Island was bigger and better than ever.  More paraders, more spectators, more costumes.  The weather was perfect and the atmosphere was cheerful.