Tag Archives: Helen Gurley Brown

Beautiful TMI

“Just because chorus girls have to shave their legs and underarms is no reason why women in general should turn their nose up at the practice” Florence Courtenay, Physical Beauty (1922)

One of the things neither HGB or Arlene discusses is how to take care of body hair.  I imagine they trust that ladies are shaving their arms and legs, but they don’t give any discussion to maintaining the downstairs carpet.  Of course, every modern ladies’ magazine in the whole universe treats you as if you’re some kind of monster if your batch is anything but smooth, and it’s one of the few things I actually have image issues about.  I just can’t bring myself to shave it all off or wax–trim, yes, but not yank it all out by the roots–and I occasionally panic that this means I am an unsexy freak.

ImageHOWEVER, they both say to give a man what he wants, and I’ve found a quote from one of the sexiest men in the entire universe, Walton Goggins, that puts my anxieties to rest and pretty much settles the discussion forever: “Can I tell you how much I miss pubic hair? To me, if the size of a penis dictates virility, the length of a woman’s pubic hair dictates her femininity.” (New York Magazine, Jan. 14 2013). 

This, of course, from a man who once uttered the words, “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’,” securing my permanent spot on #TeamShane,  so his declaration to let it all grow is that much sexier.   After all, isn’t the real heart of this project to be feminine for the man I adore?  (So what if we’ve never met and probably won’t ever–a girl can dream, can’t she?)

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Keep It Spooky, Stupid

“If the sweater and the skirt are that tight, a man figures that you are distressed merchandise” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

I love Halloween.  It’s my favorite holiday, followed by Independence Day (where we play Fizzball & watch Independence Day) and then Christmas.  Ian always makes us great, award-winning couples Halloween costumes–we’re two of Buzzfeed’s 25 Best-Ever Costumes (The Maitlands and Alien & Ripley)–and this year, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

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Hi. I’m Completely Boring.

But ladies, LADIES, the “Sexy NOUN” costumes have GOT to stop.  I don’t mean to be harsh, but you all look like idiots.  There is no such thing as “Sexy Beetlejuice.”  Corn is never going to be “Sexy.”  You might as well just announce, “Hi, I’m dressed up as Daddy Issues,” when you cram yourself into a Sexy Chewbacca costume.

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How You Doin’, Baby?

There’s nothing wrong with being attractive or flaunting what you’ve got (unless you don’t have it, which seems to be the trend among girls who pick up a “Sexy” Halloween costume at whatever sad Spirit store popped up in the abandoned JCPenny’s near their college).  But for Heaven’s sake, have a little class and creativity.  Nobody think you’re hot.  Do guys hoot and holler when you do that little finger-to-the-duckface pose?  Yes.  But those type of guys would hoot and holler at a lamp if someone put a lacy bra on it and anyways, they’re probably bad in bed, which is why hey have to go to bars and pick up sorority girls dressed like Slutty Cinderella.

And before all you fake-feminist tramps start accusing me of being a “hater” and “slut shaming” (oh grow up) I’m not against costumes that happen to be sexy.  If you want to dress like Lara Croft or Bettie Page, rock on.  Just put some effort into it–the kind that doesn’t come in a plastic bag for $49.99.

Damsel in Distress

“If you really like men but would like to seem a little softer and less self-sufficient, go on a “helpless campaign.”  Let a man push open every door…have difficulty with your packages. He’ll help carry.” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

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I got a badge for looting!

Self-sufficiency is kind of something that I do.  I was a member of Girl Scout Troop 23 when I was a kid, and we were a rough-and-tumble, no nonsense kind of troop.  Once, we met with another troop who’s idea of camping was throwing down sleeping bags in their troop master’s living room and making s’mores in the microwave.  We all had a good laugh, because for us, outhouses were considered fancy-camping.  We used a “dripilator”–a gallon milk jug filled with water and plugged with a stick–to wash our hands.  Mrs. C had one-pot goulash down to such a science she could do it with her eyes closed over an open campfire.  We were pretty badass little girls.  

But the other day, I had a helpless attack, and luckily, I had a good man around to rush to my rescue.

I spent the weekend in the city with my BFF/writing partner Matthew; we went to Greg Sestero’s book launch for The Disaster Artist and saw Steely Dan play Gaucho at the Beacon.  Both were awesome.  But when it came time for me to catch my train back upstate, he dropped me off at the curb (there was no parking) about two blocks too early.  I hurried along, arms aching from hauling my heavy vintage suitcase, and no one could tell me how the heck I was supposed to get to Penn Station.  I was going to miss my train.

I could have bucked up and figured it out on my own, but something inside me just couldn’t.  I started to cry.  I was tired and sore and frustrated.  I called Matthew sobbing, begging him to come back and get me.

And he did.

I found my way to the ticket line a full ten minutes after my train left and as I stood there, trying not to faint and he appeared like magic.  He’d parked the car in an overpriced lot and come running when I called.  That’s the mark of a friend.  He hugged me until I could breathe a little slower and helped me get a new ticket and sat with me until my heart rate came down.  

The strange thing was, I was floored by his generosity.  These days we have such an independent spirit, even so much as allowing our leaders to deny other people food, shelter and a healthy life because of the “I worked for mine, why should you get yours free?” mentality.  This, “you packed the suitcase, you carry it” is a pretty ugly little space to occupy.  I didn’t expect him to come back and was even prepared to be angry at him for not being at my beck and call.  What an awful way to think of a friend!

It’s no sin to ask for help.  No one likes a wilting flower, but even Tina Fey says that if you are mad enough to cry, turn on the waterworks.  Show your vulnerability, and people will respond.  And in turn, you will help out when you see someone in need.  It’s pretty easy, but it takes practice.  So go out there and give it a try, on both sides.  Help and be helped.  It’s nice when you get used to it.

(But getting a rolling suitcase probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either.)

 

Silence is Golden (or at least the cost of my sanity)

“Talking all the time about anything is unsexy.  Sphinxes and Mona Lisas knew what they were doing!” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

I ran into a friend the other day–okay, I use the term “friend” loosely, we’re friendly by convenience even though I think she’s a lunatic and she thinks I’m a heretic and possibly a *slut*.  Point is, we were trapped in a small room together, and she started telling me this long story about being at a dinner party and this girl was getting drunk and it was weird and she was getting sooooo drunk and it was soooo weird watching someone get sooooo drunk….you get the point.  And that’s the short version.  The entire five minutes we were together she drove this thrilling story home.  Good to see you too, dear.  (She didn’t ask about my weekend, naturally).

Now for instance, my friend Pete can tell the same story every time I see him and it’s entertaining every time.  He managed to make a story about missing the bus absolutely riveting.  It’s a talent, and one that can be cultivated.  

I’ve started being a little more reserved in how I speak, and in doing so, I’ve begun to notice how often people a) talk about nothing and b) reveal too much.   I don’t plan on zipping my lips anytime soon (I do love to chat!) but try taking notice of when you talk and what you say.  Do you need to tell the cashier about your ear infection?  Does your boss really need to know exactly what you did over the weekend?

Save your gossip for your girlfriends.  Save your best stories for parties.  And when in doubt….zip it.

 

 

Record of the Month Club

“Don’t have two many records.  If a man gets tired enough, he’ll bring over some new platters” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

1) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–go cook a radish, HGB.  You can NEVER have too many records.  I have a whole crate full of actual real vinyl, and I love all of it–that’s not even touching on my mountains of CDs and oodles of MP3s.

2) That being said, most of the music I love the most has been at the recommendation of men.  My mom introduced me to Jethro Tull and Blondie, and my sister Shaun got me into The Smiths and Siouxsie and the Banshees, but it was my dad who introduced me to Cyndi Lauper, Steely Dan, The Vapors, Talking Heads and, of course, Warren Zevon.  Ian introduced me to Tom Waits, Matthew gave me Duran Duran, JaR and Michael McDonald.  Thor got me into Justin Townes Earle, and in exchange, I got him into the Replacements.  

Why goodness, just the other day I was talking to Mr. W about music, and he recommended Richard Thompson’s “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me.”  We had just been talking about The Magnetic Fields “All My Little Words,” (which I told him made me think of him and which he found very flattering) and he pulled out that recommendation, just out of the blue.  I responded with Tenpole Tudor’s “What You Doing in Bombay” just to remind him that, yes, I am cool.

 

Music is a means of intimacy.  In this age of MP3s, we don’t often make mix CDs anymore (or goodness, tapes!) but the art of doing so, of buying someone a record that was so dear to you, was a way of baring your soul.  You took the risk that they would laugh at your choices, that it would reflect badly or that it just might not land.  It can be a way to say “I love you” when the words won’t.  I distrust people who think of music as just something to dance to or have on in the background.

So let a man bring you some new music.  Have him tell you why he likes it, a memory associated with it.  You might be surprised at what he has to offer.  Or you might be horrified because he’s seen Nickleback in concert 15 times and in that case, aren’t you glad you dumped him sooner?

Burnin’ For You

I love Burn Notice.  I love Michael Weston, I love Tyler Brennan, I love Tyler Grey because Kenny Johnson is a beautiful specimen of human male.  Right now I’m MAD at Burn Notice because Michael Weston is being a jerk, but that’s besides the point.  

THE POINT IS that Fiona is awesome, and today, I’m dressing like her.  She generally sports very breezy, light, loose little dresses and rompers, and always, always wedge heels.  She is the Patron Saint of Wedge Heels.

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Also pictured: my awesome Fiona-esq Honda Del Sol convertible

This dress was given to me by my friend Amber.  It’s one of my “lazier” summer dresses in that it’s loose and comfortable enough for me to wear while writing.  It’s backless except for the  cowl, so I don’t wear it any time I might have to be on assignment–it’s just a little too sexy for work.

Today I paired it with wedge heels (obviously, duh) a Fiona-esq cuff bracelet and statement necklace, giant Betsey Johnson sunglasses and a hobo purse.

Makeup-wise, I went with a bronze eyeshadow, a little bronze on the cheeks (in honor of her golden Miami tan) and pale pink lipstick.

I was not prepared for the compliments I got.  To me, this is just a dress for chilling, but everyone–all of them older women–piled on the oohs and ahs!  Guess I must be doing SOMETHING right to net those kind of compliments!  

Professional Pirate

Anyone’s who’s ever had a movie conversation with me knows that I love Cutthroat Island.  So much so that I follow Matthew Modine (William Shaw) on Twitter, only because Geena Davis isn’t on there.  

In the opening scene of the movie, Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) having just finished boning some gross looking soldier, gets dressed to go off and be awesome.  She puts on a vest with no shirt, and it looks amazing on her.  Then she makes a dick joke and goes off into the sunrise/credit sequence.  I swore that when I was an adult, I was going to wear a vest as a shirt, because at 13, my mom wouldn’t let me.

But, like becoming a Broadway actress, I never quite lived up to that dream…until now. 

ImageThe vest is from Bebe, a gift from my office for my 30th birthday. The jeans are American Eagle and it’s the first time I’ve ever rolled jeans, because I have this weird thing about my ankles.  The tank top is scoop-neck to mimic Geena Davis’, umm, treasure chest, and this outfit also allowed me to finally mastered the low-slung belt look.  The secret to dressing like a pirate is to not look like a pirate, because that would just be silly.

For makeup, I went with something I once read about Geena Davis, that her makeup artist uses a lot of browns and pinks on her, so I went with brown eyeliner and pink glitter eyeshadow in a very subtle blush.  

You can’t see it in this picture, but I’m also sporting a skull cuff that I made from a tee-shirt, and bitchin’ skull earring’s Ian’s mother brought me back from Mexico.

This outfit was a good chance to try out styles I’ve been wanting to attempt for awhile.  I’m really surprised at just how many permutations can come out of my closet; I almost forgot I had that belt (it came with a pair of shorts) even though I only have five belts.  One of the biggest things I’m learning throughout this whole year, fashion wise, is that being a clothes horse is not necessarily an asset.  There’s something about having to put together an outfit with only a few basic pieces–it requires your imagination, a new way of looking at the clothes in your closet and forces you to experiment with new looks rather than just running out and buying a new one.