Calling Elie Saab …

Dear Elie Saab,

I love this dress and would really like to wear it at my daughter’s wedding. Here’s the problem – I can’t find it anywhere and if I did find it I couldn’t afford it so I am in a pickle. Now, you know it’s not this season – which makes it much less valuable – and – I promise I will wear it well AND tell everyone what an amazing designer you are. See – win/win! Thank you, in advance, for the dress. We will talk specifics when you contact me. Hugs and kisses,

Izzie Darling

Don’t Want to Know!

Noise makes me nervous. Noisy nonsense makes my hair hurt. In an effort to retain a few strands … here is a list of what I don’t want to know about:

  • Anything that has anything to do with Snooki, The Douchebag Bachelor, and The Real Bitches Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County, Pinot Noir, etc.
  • How much political candidates spend on their campaigns. Here’s a novel idea – what if you people led by example?  Announce your office intentions, take the grillions of dollars you use to attempt to get that office and spend it on all sorts of programs that will help your fellow citizens and make this country a better place? Swear you would get more “coverage” than you are paying for, more votes, and you’d sleep better. Just a thought.
  • “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”- there was a time when I enjoyed hearing all the juicy details about EVERYONE. Sick, I know. Thank God, life changes can happen. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t sit next to me.
  • Another story about a woman/man overboard. Just this morning, a new report about a woman mysteriously disappearing while on a cruise. With her boyfriend. In a last-ditch (no pun intended, really) effort to patch up relationship. Note to people in relationships spiraling downward: NO VACATIONS. Tragic.
  • The end of the world. When it happens, it happens. Not worth a millisecond of worry. Live Big each and every day you find yourself on this side of the terra firma.

A solar flare is currently headed our way, threatening to wreak temporary havoc on all things electrical.Must shut this puppy off before it goes up in flames. And clear my head.

I wish there was a vacuum cleaner for the brain.

Later.

Plastic Surgeon FREAKED Me Out

I went to see the best plastic surgeon in town … on a lark. If you had access to my bank statements, you’d know it was a lark. I’m a cat, curious and skittish. But more curious. And I wanted to see what this man would say to me. He’s known for “Sleeping Beauties”, performing facial surgery on women who, when recovered, look like they’ve had the best rest ever. And they don’t have those crazy Jack Nicholson eyebrows – the first tipoff that somebody’s been under the knife.

Made a consultation appointment and appeared at the correct time. After very little paperwork, I was ushered into surgeon’s office. He was nice. But he’s in his seventies and had no grey hair and very few wrinkles. Oh yeah, he’s a plastic surgeon. And here’s how it went:

Doc: “What are you here for?”

Me: “Well, you have an excellent reputation and I’ve admired your work. Am not loving the fine lines around my mouth and wanted to know what you would do?” (Why does he keep putting his left hand under his desk?)

Doc: “Well, you have a long neck so I would do a neck somethingorother and then a midline facelift. You don’t need body work.” (How would you know? I’m fully clothed sitting across the desk from you.)

Me: “My neck? Facelift? Draw me a picture.” (And stop putting your hand under the desk)

He proceeded to draw the scariest picture of the side of a head with stitches and scars everywhere. Enough!

Me: “That looks terrifying, not to mention the recovery would be heinous.”

Doc: “I’ll throw in the upper eyelids for $1000.”

Me: “Upper eyelids … I don’t even wear mascara. What? Forget the eyes, how much for the stuff you suggested?”

Doc: “blablablablablabla”.

Me: “So you’re talking $20,000 walking? Are you f-ing kidding me? No offense, and I realize it’s your job, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

Doc: “No, and you’ll probably need tweaking in about eight years. Show me your stomach.”

Like a moron, I pulled up my shirt and showed him my stomach. What in the living hell did a midline facelift+ have to do with my stomach? I must be on Candid Camera.

Me: “Thank you for your time. You’ve confirmed my intention to age gracefully = no knives near me unless eating. But good luck – for every one of me, there’s ten you”ll “fix”. Yeah, you!”

And for the record, Dr. Demento, keep your hands where I can see’em AND hahaha, my stomach is none of your business, surgically speaking.

Oh, and if I decide to take him up on his offer in the next year, my consultation fee will be deducted from the 20K. I have happily eaten $75 with my own knife and fork.

Later.

*Unlike Nora Ephron, I feel great about my neck!

I Would Marry My Dog if He Could Talk and Screw in a Light Bulb

And a few other things … but that’s the truth. And, that’s exactly what I said to the last man who asked. When I get the “I thought you’d be remarried by now!” and the “Why aren’t you remarried yet? stuff, I’m very honest. I was married for 20 years, it didn’t work out. While I’ve had relationships since, none have been worth a lifetime commitment. Doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen, just that I can’t be a nurse and won’t be purse. Kooky? Yes. Stupid? Not so much. Until then, it’s me and him …..

Get me a beer, pronto!

Onto other kooky stuff –

I was in a great shop yesterday. A cute mom and her daughter, a blonde version of Holly Golightly, came in. “Holly” wanted to try on a few things while Mom took a seat for the fashion show. Do you know what a “hanger” is? The female human version usually has broad shoulders, is thin, and can wear anything. “Holly” was a hanger, so her options were endless. While Mom told me her life story as well as those focusing on the health of her extended family, “Holly” rocked the racks.

In the middle of this personal/retail therapy situation, in blew our town’s version of Mr. Fabulous (think Martin Short as Franck inFather of the Bride and/or the enthusiastic(!) Kevin Lee on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). But our Mr. Fab is very attractive and has better bs. Nevertheless, it was double air kisses all around and he added levity to the therapy show. Mom’s stories were getting sadder and sadder, so I was damn glad to see him. When “Holly” came out in her 47th outfit (I kid you not), Fab turned to me and said, “Your top is amazingly beautiful”. So, being the truthful sort, I announced to the whole store, “I got it at Walmart and it cost $9.” Shut it down, shut it down, SHUT IT DOWN!

At the mention of Walmart, Mr. Fab had to dash. Mom and “Holly” weren’t far behind, not because of Walmart, but because the racks were now bare and Mom was about to gnaw her left arm off as she was starving. As for me, I just chalked it up to yet another adventure, drove home and collapsed after walking and feeding Himself. He didn’t give a bone what I’d been through.

When reviewing yesterday, I’ve come to several conclusions. Mom needed to talk and I listened. Next time, I’m charging for it. Mr. Fabulous is always in a good mood. “Holly” had a big time.  I’m keeping my fashion secrets to myself. And am rethinking dog marriage; he’s like the others, just wants to be fed. Thank God, sex is not in the equation.

Some adventures aren’t all they are cracked up to be. And a lot of people are cracked.

Be happy. It’s a choice.

Later.

Blame it on Eve

I’m talking about clothing. While I wouldn’t call Eve a style icon, her curiosity and that damn apple did present us with the need to “cover up”. Don’t know who decided to make dressing an art form, but God bless him/her/them.

Did you know that any clothing over 20 years old is considered vintage? I didn’t, but am all over vintage clothing for a number of reasons. First and foremost …..

My Grandmother

My grandmother was born with style. I think this photo is 1930’s but her outfit looks like Norma Kamali was around at that time. Luckily, I have some of my grandmother’s jackets and other accoutrement which I wear frequently. Because it was so well made and way cool. I LOVE vintage clothing. The fabrics, the craftmanship … oh, I feel a case of the vapors coming on.

Before I take to my fainting couch, I must tell you why I’m double lucky regarding vintage. My city has the very best treasure chest of vintage clothing, shoes, hats, handbags, and other accessories in this hemisphere. IN ONE SPOT! Cheeky Vintage! Just the name makes me swoon.

The owners of Cheeky Vintage, Denise and Tina, are brilliant and have a serious love and eye for vintage perfection. But don’t just take my word for it; Lucky Magazine calls Cheeky one of the country’s best vintage stores. And the positive press goes on and on. Go to cheekyvintage.com to drool.

Chanel, anyone?

Treasure Chest

Just fainted.

Later.

Stop Being A Mother?

I am a mother.

Mercifully, I still have my own mother in a time when the majority of my friends have lost theirs. My mom and I have most certainly had our differences over the years. Big emphasis on differences. But she’s still my mom, and I know that she has always done the best she could to be a good mother. And no matter what my age, I will always be her child.

Many times, I’ve wanted to yell and scream at her, especially when she tells me what I should and shouldn’t do. But I’ve lived long enough to know that she just wants to help, and what sounds hurtful and critical is not meant that way at all. She wants to be relevant in my life, she wants me to be the best person I can be. So, I must let my interpretations of what I think she is saying fall through my mental sieve, and love her. It’s just the way it works for me. Time and experience, wasted anger and rage, have taught me to be the daughter of the woman who would give her life for me. At the end of the day, it’s all about respect. And the fact that my dad would probably whoop the living hell out of me, even at this late stage of the game, if I treated her with any disrespect.

My two daughters are the two best people I know. We get sideways sometimes. I’ll have an issue with one, and after exhausting the topic and getting nowhere, I’ll talk to the other about what I can do – or not do. Mothers are like that; we want our chicks to thrive in the best possible circumstances. And I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, unwarranted comments and offered advice has been misunderstood as hurtful criticism. This part of the mother job is the hardest. And that is an understatement.

Both of my daughters are adults. They are living adult lives. Yesterday, my youngest daughter and I got into it via text; she lives in another city and is making big decisions about the next few years of her life. I wanted to find out where she was in the decision process. Long story short – it ended badly. My opinions weren’t wanted, and I made it worse by pushing and pushing and pushing. Driving home from work, I felt like my skin was going to fall off, I was boiling inside. She was the one who, as a toddler, would press her face against the window and cry hysterically when I had to leave for work. She was the one who would throw up whenever I left town. But she’s an adult now. I forgot.

I’d invited my eldest daughter over for dinner last night. I was still in a swivet when I got home and the story of the day spilled out. She said, “Mom, you’ve got to let her go.” I’d never thought about it that way, but she’s right. The lessons always come from the most surprising places … and circumstances.

So, no matter what, I will always be here for both of them. For the tearful phone calls, for the requests for advice, to feed them when they are hungry, hug them when they are sad, laugh with them when we are amused, help them whenever necessary. Yes, I have to let them go. Hard but doable. This “freeing” process is going to take much discipline on my part. But I’m going to give it my best. I’m quite clear what letting them go doesn’t mean.

I will never stop being their mother. No matter what. Ever.

Be happy. Your choice.

Later.

My Issues Have Issues. Really.

I used that line to decline a date request. And I wasn’t lying. My issues for today are … business names, a neighborhood, and knackwurst.

The first issue was prompted by a parking space at a shopping center. Yep, I parked right in front of the Dress Barn. Could this national clothing chain for women have picked a more unbecoming moniker? Methinks NOT. I was prompted to find more professional insanity because I wanted to and I do not use my time wisely.  Here are the names of real business I found; feel free to add your own.

CLOTHING

Girdle Garage

House of Hose

GROOMING

Indiana Bone and the Temple of Groom

American Hairline

Nervous McStabby’s Hair Care Place

Lunatic Fringe

Slingin’ Ink Tattoo

BOOKS

Crapbooks

The Bookie Joint

FLORAL

Florist Gump

The Stalk Market

FOOD

Crazy Cow Steakhouse

OK Chinese Food

Bologna Boutique

Nasty Buffet

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Master Baiter’s Sportfishing and Tackle

Bada Bing Bail Bonds

Enough. Moving on to a new neighborhood. My eldest, Miss Peach, recently moved into a swishy townhouse with her friends. She invited me to see it right after she moved in. Her place is beautiful, nicer than mine. As she walked me out and down the road to find my car, I surveyed her “hood”. Which prompted one question. “DID YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING NEXT DOOR TO A METH LAB?” She said, “Oh!”. End of convo. We are very casual about potential life-threatening situations. Moving on.

Knackwurst. At a recent cocktail situation, I ran into a friend. He’s a great guy and has been promoted to CFFOBPRQ of an enormous company. I forget what we were talking about, but for whatever reason, he called me a “Knackwurst Head“. Knowing only that knackwurst was not complimentary, I did what any self-respecting woman would do and emptied the contents of my hors d’oeuvre plate into his cocktail. I mean, really! A knackwurst, for those of you who don’t know, is a short, plump, highly seasoned German sausage. I am NOT a Knackwurst Head, you MOLDY PIECE OF HOG’S HEAD CHEESE!

Feeling better already! Gotta run, late for appointment at Sweaty Betty’s Beat & Tease.

Be happy or go to your room. Your choice.

Later.

The Love Letter

My Grandfather

This wonderful man wrote me a letter when I was four days old.

“My Dearest Little One –

Please forgive a fond Grandfather for the delay in welcoming you into our family and accept this letter as a small token of my love and affection for you.

First of all, let me congratulate you on your excellent choice of parents, and always be assured that they are rare people indeed. I have known your dear Mother since she drew her first breath of life and in all the passing years, the love I hold for her has mellowed and increased with the passage of time. Your Father is the newest member of the family, but he has earned a place in our hearts by just being himself and loving your Mother with all his heart. As for your Grandmother and me, well, we are just plain run-of-the-mill Grandparents, and we solemnly promise to spoil you and jump at your every beck and call.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be with you yet, but you can bet your Sunday boots that I am looking forward to that time with the greatest anticipation. I shall probably cause you some discomfort with all my foolishness, but just don’t be too harsh on me as all Grandfathers are just a bit silly at times. My chest has increased at least 10 inches since you were born and I’m sure it will continue to do so as I compare you with all the other inferior grandbabies of my friends. You must not feel any conceit, but I am sure there is no other little girl in the world quite like you, and you must always accept this position with charming grace.

Once again, let me tell you how welcome you are and how much I love you even though we haven’t met. I am counting the hours until I can hold you in my arms. The name I sign at the conclusion of this letter is a first for me, and it brings an overwhelming feeling of pride to do so. Give my best to your Mother and Daddy and save a little bit of your love for your –

Granddad -“

I Want to Know Why ….

… a person cannot look you in the eye? This topic came up over dinner last night, but no answers were forthcoming.

Have you ever had a conversation with an eye-avoider? What gives here? There are three people I have known forever, but I couldn’t tell you what color their eyes are – because they do not look me when we have a conversation. I would assume they individually hate my guts, but they do it with any and everyone. Two are pathological liars and one has the self-esteem of a rotting corpse. Maybe I’ve answered my own question, but I’d rather hear from you.

Why are some people unable to look you in the eyes when engaged in conversation? I’m very curious about body language – today. Let me know what you think!

Sooner than later. Ok?

I Remember (Grand)Mama

My Grandmother, in a piece from her trousseau

“Don’t frown; it will cause wrinkles!”

If my Grandmother said this to me once, she said it a million times. I miss her. While it has been years since she passed away, she took flight over Memorial Day weekend.

Grandmother was elegant, charming, and always a lady. She was also an extraordinary flirt, which is a win-win for a gorgeous woman, which she was.

She was the only child of prosperous parents. Her aunt made every piece of her wardrobe (including everything from the lace to the buttons of her trousseau).

Grandmother had three husbands, three children, and seven grandchildren. People still come up to me and say that she and my Grandfather looked like a movie star couple.

I don’t think she felt like much of a movie star during WWII. My Grandfather was in the Cavalry and she lived on an army base in San Antonio with three children under five. There were lots of Hispanic children on the base, which, for some unknown reason, inspired my five-year-old Mother to become a humanitarian. She took my Grandmother’s jewelry box, which was filled with some serious bling, and passed the contents out to all her young friends. My Mom still remembers the spanking she got and none of the jewelry was ever recovered. Whoops. Completely overwhelmed with kiddos and trying to live on a very small budget, she finally threw in the towel, called my Great-Grandmother and pleaded for help. My Great-Grandmother thought over her darling daughter’s plight – no money, three ankle biters, and army base life. She did what any mother would do. She sent her a full-length mink coat. No wonder my Grandmother’s hair turned white at 26.

Flash forward to my appearance on the scene. Grandmother was all of 40 when I was born. She adored me because she didn’t have to birth me, I was her first grandchild, and I went home with my parents. She also loved me like her own child, which I could have been. My sister and cousins will tell you I was the female equivalent to “Baby Jesus” according to my Grandmother. They were loved as well, but sort of had “shepherd status”. Happens.

Four Generations

Mom, me, and Grandmother

I spent lots of time with my Grandparents. And it was all good.

The Three Amigo(a)s

Flash forward to the last years. She called my Mom, “Sis”; they lunched together every Friday. While “mothering” might not have been her best gig, she gave it what she could. Grandmother never said a bad word about anyone but I’m sure she thought of some zingers. And she had very nice manners. When my Dad’s father, Andy, came to town, she invited him for dinner. Andy was born and raised in the very rural deep South. And he thought Grandmother was “hubba hubba” material. After dinner, he gave my Grandmother a big compliment. He said, “Beautiful Lady, them squashes was delicious!”. Her reply, “Oh Andy, you do go on so.”

She was a steel magnolia. Her southern accent got deeper when she sipped on her favorite adult beverage, a scotch mist. The only time we got sideways was when McPaddie was born.  We decided to call McPaddie by a nickname; Grandmother said she absolutely would not call the new baby anything but her formal name. I said that was fine, the entire world minus her, would be using the nickname. She caved, and dearly loved both of my daughters. When she passed away, we ordered a blanket of fresh magnolias for her coffin. When I went to check on the situation, all the magnolias looked like they’d barely survived a southern tsunami. I marched myself into the funeral director’s office and said, “SHE MAY BE DEAD BUT THE FLOWERS SHOULDN’T BE, MR. MAN!”. Winner, winner, scotch mist for dinner!

I miss her.

The Steel Magnolia in her early 20's

My Grandmother at 78

And she was right, you know. If you frown, you will get wrinkles.