Tag Archives: HGB

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?)

Con Men

One of the things I’ve noticed in all my books is that they treat men like some precious mythical figure, a perfect being of grace and glory who exists only to compliment you, hold doors, pull out chairs and buy presents (if only we would let them, seems to be Arlene and. HGB’s battle sigh) Nowhere do they mention, for whatever reason, how to handle a guy who is an absolute pinhead.

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Pictured: Winning.

Ian and I took our internet-winning Barbara and Adam Maitland costumes to the Albany Comic Con on Sunday to meet my best friend Heather and her boyfriend Alex.  We went last year in our Alien costumes and won the contest, so we thought we’d try our luck again this year.  It’s a fun convention, full of vendors and cool toys and piles of stuff I used to buy on pilgrimages to Anime Crash and Tower Records (RIP) and it’s always awesome to see Heather, who’s been my best friend for over a decade.

People mobbed us for pictures and we happily obliged.  “Awesome costume!” rang through the halls.  We actually saw a Beetlejuice, who was as happy to see us as we were to see her (she was with an Edward Scissorhands.)  But right as we were leaving, some guy in a pretty weak Captain Hammer costume looked at me and said, with a reed-thin smirk, “Your costume would be perfect if you were a foot taller.”

Seriously?

If I had been wittier, perhaps I might have said, “Your costume would be perfect if you weren’t so damn ugly.”  If this project hadn’t been so ingrained, I might have spit out some combination of vulgarity and violence.  But HGB and Arlene never tell us what to do in these situations, when the guy is being less than gentlemanly.   I was on my own to sort this situation out.

So instead, I looked him in the eye and said, “Actually, my costume is perfect” and kept on walking.  Behind me, he stammered something akin to, “Uhh, I just thought…the actress…duh….”

Con guys are notoriously creepy.  I’ve never had that happen in Albany, but the internet is full of horror stories of girls being forcefully touched, photographed and, if they say no or ask someone to stop, they’re harassed and cursed.  There’s a sense among many of these men than your body belongs to them just by being there, like you are nothing more than an action figure brought to life by a magical fairy.  Captain Neckbeard didn’t make body comments to Ian, who is a few inches shorter and a thicker than 1980’s Alec Baldwin, and I’m sure he didn’t say “Batgirl doesn’t wear glasses” to the adorable towheaded tike who asked us for a picture.  But because I’m an attractive woman and therefor can’t be a “true” geek, it seems like he felt it was okay to shout comments about my physical form as I was walking past, minding my own business, off to get pizza with Heather and Alex.

I’m sure Captain Neckbeard didn’t intend for it to be an insult.   I’m sure in his head, he was saying, “Wow, that costume is flawless” and it just came out wrong because he’s a dope.  But here’s a hint, gentlemen.  If your “compliment” has any variation of “if” “except” or “but” in it, it’s no longer a compliment.

And for all the con-men out there–when you see someone in a costume, no matter how good or bad it is, you say, “Hey, nice costume,” because it takes guts to wear a costume in public on any given Sunday.  They didn’t wear it for your entertainment.  They wore it because it makes them feel awesome and helps them have a good time.  So if you can’t say anything nice about anyone, how about you keep your trap shut?

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.

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?

Dye, Dye My Darling

“They just want to know where they can get that color.  Even the dyes are simple enough to do at home” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

Oh yes, dying your hair is very, very easy.  You combine the components into a mixture that smells like cat pee and rotten fruit, slather it on your hair, watch an episode of 30 Rock and then rinse out.  Microwave popcorn is harder than dying your hair.

It’s very easy.  It just doesn’t work.  Maybe if you’re some delicate fair-haired blonde, sure.  But not for a staunch brunette like me.  The first one all but vanished before I could even get pictures up.  So I tried it again with a brighter red, and, well, that didn’t go so well either.

For starters, Red #2 ran down my forehead into the shape of an upside-down cross. The mark of Satan should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to turn out well.  

The second clue should have been the Shield-esq crime scene left behind by the red dye.  Seriously, the end result of the season five finale, “Postpartum,” was cleaner than my bathtub during the rinse, and that ended with a dead body.  

And yes, my hair has a pretty red sheen in the right light, like, in my bathroom and nowhere else.  If anything, it made my hair a little darker.  It doesn’t even show up in photographs, which is why I haven’t posted any.  

HGB is always talking about how you can be cheap cheap cheap.  Like a little chick, she is, cheep cheep cheep.  If you want real haircolor results, just pay the $50 and get it done by a professional.  Or buy a wig.  If money is tight, learn to be happy with the color you have.  I’m not a wealthy woman.  I’m very DIY, but there are some things that are better left to people who have lots of training to know what they’re doing.  Hair color, in my case, might just be one of them.  After all, I buy my meat from the grocery store instead of butchering my own farm animals and I buy my sweaters instead of knitting them myself. 

So I tried, and I failed miserably.  I can live with that.  That’s what this blog is about.  And HGB, well, she knows where she can stick all that money she’s saved.

 

 

A Lover Sings

“You’re the kind of girl who likes to open a bottle of pop too early in the journey” Billy Bragg, “A Lover Sings”

My friend Liz RT a post from a former, older male friend of mine: I could never be the cool dad. Unless tween girls think surliness & drinking & discolored sweatpants with weak elastic are cool. Do they?

I’m not going to go into all the moderately-scandalous details of our friendship (ask me about it at a party sometime) only that at one point he may or may not have referred to me as “his secret girlfriend.” *  But it was my early 20’s, and I was young and eager for affection, and he later broke my heart via a mix CD with Billy Bragg’s “A Lover Sings” (who does that?!?) and quit speaking to me until years later, when we got back in touch, had a too-long and awkward lunch and never spoke again.  

But seeing this tweet made me very, very sad.  He was never quite a fashion plate, although I do confess that I would swoon whenever he wore his yellow button-down and dark blue jeans, and he did have this cute blue scarf he wore clumsily looped around his unshaven neck.  He was a proto-hipster, a mix CD making, pulp reading, Chandler quoting genius.  And now, apparently, he just hangs around drinking gin and wearing gross sweatpants. But he was always surly.  Glad to see some bad habits never die hard.

Arlene and HGB and Dorothy put so much pressure on US, ladies, to stay fit and trim and cordial and pretty.  And there was no one on earth I tried to be as pretty for as him.  I would have DIED before showing up for one of our coffee dates in jeans and a tee-shirt.  Once, I wore cute go-go boots for him and he told me I looked like a streetwalker.  See what I mean about surliness?

But if a man isn’t going to put pride in his appearance, why should the woman he’s trying to woo put any into hers?  And then haven’t we all just given up?  Because it’s not about the clothes–it’s about the effort.  It’s about saying “I respect and care for you enough to put in some time” the same way we put time into our appearance when we go to work.  Looking good is not a crime.

And there is a time for sweatpants, a time for pajamas, a time for baggy jeans and a time for too-big tee-shirts. But it’s as if he’s given up.  It’s as if he’s given in.  The man who used to share his Junior Mints with me at Clive Owen movies and sat so close to me during Rififi that our knees were touching is no more, just one more sarcastic, bitter, middle-aged man loafing around while life goes by.  And those, darlings, are a dime a dozen and not worth a tenth of that.

Maybe that’s not the case, I don’t know.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, attaching value and meaning that isn’t there.  But what I do know is that the man I knew, the man who gave me vintage crime paperbacks and taught me to love French Roast coffee wouldn’t be caught dead slumming like that. 

 

*Answer: He totally did.