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Friday, May 20, 2005

Breeder of Discontent

For years we did not have a television. About a year ago we bought one.

Now suddenly I realize how inadequate I am. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not thin enough. Not cool enough. Not fashionable enough. My hair is not shiny and bouncy enough. My boobs not perky enough.

My house is not decorated and accessorized nicely enough. Unless, you are a toddler, then it is decorating nirvana.

I realize on a deeper level that it is all an illusion. There is no such thing as "perfection", as evidenced by movie stars and their never ending plastic surgery. But I do feel much better about myself the less television that I watch.

What about that housewife show? In all fairness, I have never watched the show, but I gather it is about a neighborhood of housewives, and I have seen photos of the cast. I am a housewife. I know lots of housewives. I don't think I know any that look and dress like the women on that show. And I certainly don't know of an entire neighborhood of them. I am shuddering at the thought of having to live in a neighborhood like that and being forever cast as the inadequate frumpy wife.

Which brings me to another rant. I am a small boned person. I generally wear the smallest size clothing a store has to offer. But when I shop at Old Navy I have to buy size medium or large shirts. Why? Who is their target dressing audience? Ten year old boys? because I think that is who the smallest sized clothing would fit. I mentioned this to a friend recently and she said she doesn't even venture in to that store. A world where I wear a size large is not a world she wants to visit. Me either, for that matter.

Unless, perhaps, the shirts are supposed to be worn as a second skin, which they just might be considering how fashion ignorant I am. Is that an attractive look? I could save a lot of money and just go around topless.

And maybe bottomless too, since I am so sick and tired of those low waisted pants that slip down my hips everytime I exhale. Call me crazy, but I honestly don't think that a 36 yr old woman walking around hiking up her jeans every few steps, is an attractive look.

I am thinking of boycotting that store, at least for grown-up clothes. My husband has already made fun of all the men's clothing they have to offer. The last time we were in there he picked up a jacket and asked me what I thought of it. I had to tell him that it might be cool if you were 18, but on a 40 yr old man, I am afraid it resembles a Members Only jacket or something you'd find at JC Penny's.

The children's clothing is okay, if you find things on the clearance rack and it seems almost like they are paying you to take it away. I do hate it though when I buy something and then two weeks later it is almost free. And I wonder about the business strategy of running the clothing through the store so quickly. I refuse to buy things at Old Navy that are full price, just on principle. I would hazard a guess that I amnot the only one.

And why is it that the shorts for boys are getting really long. One of my sons asked me if they were capris. Is it that they need to put all the extra fabric somewhere, from shortening the girls shorts to basically underwear length? But the rant about clothing manufacturers making little girls into street walkers will have to wait for another day.

Then, when I thought all hope was lost, I went into the Gymboree store that just opened near us. My 2 yr old daughter and I both gasped when we entered. And she ran inside and started gathering everything she could in her little arms screaming "pretty! pretty!" Who could argue with that? She got some new clothes, a new dress, shoes, and a pocketbook. I am not sure why a 2 yr old needs a pocketbook, but she wanted it and it matched the dress and shoes perfectly. I know how special that is. Who am I to deny her?

Here is where I should probably wrap it all up and tie it all together. But I can't.

Usually, I would just rant away to fabulously patient husband, who likes play the role of the devil's advocate. We have some heated debates and can rant like together like no one else, which really is a great form of foreplay. And efficient, since we can do it with our clothes on and when the children are awake.

But he is away for 4 days flyfishing in Wisconsin, with his best friend. Conveniently, for him, without cell phone reception. It sounds like pure torture to me, hiking through the woods to the river carrying a bunch of crap, fighting off mosquitos, trying not to fall into the water and drown or get hypothermia, sleeping in flea bitten motels. And pointless, since they don't keep the fish. He keeps hoping that one day I will pick up his hobby with the same enthusiasm as him. Not. going. to. happen.

Well, that's all I got here. Move along now folks.

Have a great weekend.


Blogger Silly Old Bear said...

Lands End, I think, still makes "normal" clothes. At least compared to Gap / Old Navy.

I feel very very old at 40, and not wanting to look like a rap star. They can keep their bling bling.

I don't know about fly fishing, since I've never done it, but I think four days without cell phone reception MIGHT be nirvana...

Thanks for the comment..

9:38 AM  
Blogger TBG said...

I agree with you about old navy sizes they are ridicolous.

I try never to pay full price for anything because I know next time I am there it will be marked 90% off. So in turn I stick to sales if I can find a size that is not overly upsetting.

YES GIRLS SHORTS ARE TOO TOO SHORT, sorry but I dont find anything attractive about a 15 year olds rear end hanging out of her shorts no matter how skinny she is.

Gymboree is great but very pricy unless you find sales. Little girls love pretty and accesories. I bet she will look adorable in all her new items.

Rant all you want. I quite enjoy your postings.

Have a great day.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

You are probably right about Lands End, I do get the kids winter stuff from there. But it doesn't have that instant gratification like shopping in a "real" store.

9:52 AM  
Blogger deni said...

I just found your blog and I had to laugh about the low cut jeans that you have to hike up every 30 seconds, that is so true. I am 41, and I certainly don't want anything hanging out. I am also small boned, and it's terribly hard to find clothes that fit.

Why don't they make clothes that are appropriate for our age bracket that fit? When I shop I see either clothes that my grandmother would wear, or ones that my teenage daughter would wear.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was thinking the exact same thing the other day as I sat and watched my 11 year old and three of his friends. Their shorts were all down below knee length and I was laughing at the fact that all the lost material from the girl's shorts seems to have found it's way onto the boys!

We always buy Old Navy clearance.

We don't have Gymboree here but I love finding it on E-Bay. They have clothes that are sturdy enough to be passed down.

And I hear that they are starting a "plus size" line at Old navy.
Good news huh?

have a great weekend!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Heh, this is why I don't go to the mall. If I do, I see all kinds of shiny, pretty things that I had no idea I desperately need to make my life perfect. I am oh so much happier sticking to thrift stores where I feel like the clever one for scoring a great find! Much easier on my fragile ego!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Some of my favorite jeans have been Gap jeans- although I shop in the mens section because they have jeans that don't give you plumber's butt. I don't care who you are- that's just not attractive.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean I'm not as fat as Old Navy says I am!?!


Just made my day - have a great weekend!

(Liz @ This Full House)

1:21 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Old Navy sucks. Which is why I don't happen to be wearing some capris from them as I type. But really, their clothes fall apart, and I need XL shirts there! Go look at the rare pics of me on my blog - I'm not an XL person. Really. Not that that's bad. But my husband can't believe that I wear 14s in everything. I keep telling him that I'm average.

But I think we both regard me as thin as Teri Hatcher and it never dawns on me that I'm not until a)I'm looking at my armload of XL clothes in the dressing room at Old Navy, or b)I'm hitching up my damn low-riders over my bottom roll of hip fat, where it will stay secure for a little while under the cushion of the top roll of hip fat. But sometimes the impressive jiggling causes 'em to fall down again.

3:13 PM  
Blogger susie said...

I just had to buy jeans. I bought some from Lands End. They almost go up to my boobs, and I still have to hike them up. I also bought some Levis. They are better, but a tad too tight. I still have to hike them up. Apparently, I have a size 6 waist and a size 10 hip and that just doesn't work these days. Check out the petite section for shirts. I buy mediums there and they actually fit instead of being stupidly tight.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Ring Master said...

This is totally unrelated to this post (although I totally agree about Old Navy). Have you always had the creative commons note at the bottom of your blog, or is this a result of the recent plagiaristic attack to your work?

7:21 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm laughing because I am wearing a pair of Old navy capris right now, but they have a drawstring in the waist so I can tighten them so they stay up. But then they kinda have a cinched papersack look, not sure that is the look I am going for.

I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment. What is wrong with jeans today is they are made for people who have no hips at all. So when you buy the jeans that fit your hips they are too large everywhere else.

I avoid the mall also, which is why I just discovered Gymboree. A bunch of new stores just opened near me and they are not in a mall.

ring master,
yes, that copyright at the bottom of my blog is new

8:47 PM  
Anonymous halloweenlover said...

I don't even have a daughter and I get OUTRAGED on the street at what kinds of clothes little girls wear. OUTRAGED! Why must we dress them like they are 21 years old and at a club?

I find that pants are also made for people with no hips. Grrrr.

You are the best wife ever to take care of all the babes while the husband goes fly fishing.

9:58 PM  
Blogger impromptu-mom said...

I am such a Gymboree nut, but I never pay full retail. Ebay is the way to Gymbo. Even the NWT items are a good deal, and if you don't mind second hand, you would be in heaven. I almost never visit the brick and mortar store unless I just absolutely cannot control myself and I have to have something from the new line. My daughter is only 18 months old, so all she sees is "pretty", but Mommy obviously gets a charge out of it too!

Your blog is great as always! Thanks for brightening my day!

11:07 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I totally agree about the Old Navy clothes, although I shop there all the time. I am pretty tiny, and not so much there (wow, an ON commercial just came one, weird). But I have an even bigger problem with some other stores. I mean the stores where I am a size extra-extra small. I know I am not very big, especially on top, but I am not THAT small. But it makes my boss, who should be a large+ feel better, cause at these stores she is a small. But how realistic is this? I buy a lot, but HATE shopping at these places. They are losing my cash, big time!

1:28 AM  
Blogger J said...

OK, we've got the light saber spoons over here, finally. You can all breathe easier, now. And Chris? Don't pull out your hair, but...we got a blue one on the first try :P But now J is asking, "Where's the green one?"

6:03 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I have to ask, do you actually take all 7 kids clothes shopping in a "real" store? I mostly shop from Land's End online. Why drive to a store in usually nasty weather and get all sweaty trying on clothes in that weird yellow lighting that makes you look one step from liver failure, when you can shop from the comfort of your couch with your laptop?

As you probably know, Gap and Old Navy are owned by the same parent co., and I think of Gap as the store for grownups and Old Navy as the store for kids/teens. That said, this past winter, when my baby was only 2 months old, and I was feeling deliriously thin (as compared to being pregnant), I ordered a BUNCH of clothes online from Old Navy, all of which I returned.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Jack Naka said...

Keep it up. I enjoy your nice blog. check out my fashion industry site. It pretty much covers fashion industry related stuff.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Quit Smoking said...

Hello fellow fisherman,

Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

You will be one of the first to try it out.

Gone Fishin',


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