Posting Under the Influence

Right now, you may be asking yourself why Addie would want to post under the influence, and your consternation is understandable, so I’ll tell you why. Because I love you all like a fat kid loves cake, and you’re been good boys and girls all year long, and you deserve a treat.

Here are my rules of PUI:

  • I get to say whatever I want about anything, which probably goes without saying since I usually do that anyway.
  • Once this post is published, I will never, ever go back and edit it, no matter how much a typo or nonsensical phrase is bothering me. This one is a big deal, trust me.
  • I get to use all the salty language I like, so if that sort of thing chaps your hide, you should probably go ahead and sneak on out of here.

Now that we've got that straight, I'm going to cover a few items in the order in which they occur to me. I realize that writing conventions dictate that I should tell you what I'm going to tell you, then tell you, and then tell you what I told you, but this isn't a five-paragraph essay, I didn't make an outline, and I don't think any of you are developmentally delayed in any way. This is totally extemporaneous, so work with me, will ya?

Let's start by talking about Christmas Newsletters. You know what I'm talking about, because when you get one, you ask God what you did wrong to deserve to find the literary equivalent of Taco Bell diarrhea in your mailbox. If you yourself distribute a Christmas newsletter, I'm going to ask you to please reconsider this blatant affront to your so-called loved ones. These letters suck, and they probably love you too much to tell you to your face.

I get one every year from my MIL (yes, she lives just across town, and yes, I'm aware of her every move much as NORAD is aware of the movement of every single aircraft traversing the airspace of the good ol' USA at any given moment). Here's the coverage we received this year:

Garrett and Adrienne still live in Atlanta, and Garrett's trophy shop is doing well. Jared graduates high school this year, and Tyler is two years behind him.

The rest of the letter goes something like this: I went to Michigan to see tulips, I went to a conference in New Orleans, I sprained my ankle, I pooped once and saw corn I didn't remember eating, etc. (Ok, ok, that last one wasn't really in the letter!)

Here's my idea for an entertaining (albeit not altogether true) Christmas newsletter:

Well, another year has gone by and I've still failed to achieve my full potential. I've been thinking that perhaps I have some sort of parasite that is preventing me from reaching my goal of world domination. My psychiatrist and I are seriously considering increasing the dosage on my medication (the anti-depressant, not the anti-anxiety), but the last time we did that my ass expanded to about twice it's normal size. The upside is that although I was fat, I wasn't too bummed out about it.

The kids are well and happy, although their academic achievement leads me to believe that neither of them will be setting the world ablaze with amazing scientific discoveries. As for the dogs, we've recently discovered that Bruno and Hoover love bleu cheese, imported beer, and licking each other's ding-dongs. We thought we were getting greyhounds, but I think we may have actually adopted Gay Hounds. In any case, they're just great, and I love the way they howl when I sing It's Raining Men.

See what I mean? Nobody is interested in this sort of stupid, boring minutia. I call to the stand Stephen of Plus Est En Vous, who has informed me via comment that my last post was so boring that he sustained a mild concussion upon being lulled to sleep and subsequently striking his head on his keyboard. I would launch into a grueling examination of the witness, but I have to agree with his contention. Nevermind, Stephen, you're dismissed on the grounds that I can't poke any holes in your premise.

On another note, I have to warn you all against following the procedure I described in the post entitled Dog Language Barrier. I just performed this act with Bruno, who responded this time by jumping on my back and humping me. Seriously. I removed myself from this menage a dog, and he approached me as I sat on the couch and grabbed my leg and proceeded to go to town, whereupon I called him a pervert and squirted him with water. The language barrier is hereby broken, and apparently rubbing your head on your dog's side means, "Go ahead and hump me, big boy!". Who knew?

Let's move on, shall we? I'd also like to talk about my favorite new store at Perimeter Mall, Martin & Osa. Lord, how I love this store! G and I are both totally smitten by this offshoot of American Eagle Outfitters, whose target demographic is grown ups with jobs. As Bob Barker & Drew Carey would say, The Price is Right and the clothes, as I would say, don't make me look like a garden variety idiot. If you have this store locally, please go spend some money so they don't go out of business.

Speaking of G, he and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary on Monday, so I'll just take this moment to say that I love this guy more than cashmere, diamonds, and a perfectly cooked steak. Suffice it to say that without the rays of sunshine that literally shoot out of his ass, my life would be dreary indeed.

Two more items:
  • I suspect that the employees at JoAnn fabrics are part of some undead army of terrible customer service zombies.
  • In 2009, I intend to find out who keeps putting those community newspapers on my driveway, and I'm going to cuss them out.

Well, that's about it for now. If you made it all the way through this post, go ahead and award yourself 500 bonus points, and have a drink on me.

The Day After

Well, it’s the day after Christmas, and I’m reasonably sure that I’m the only person in the universe (or the corporate world, which is one of the planets I live on) who’s working today. As proof, I submit the fact that I’ve received three emails in my work inbox: One from Dell, offering special deals on laptops, another from Expedia, offering special deals on travel, and the last was a forwarded joke from a relative. Oh yeah, my company is hopping today.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the previous post, I’m working on knocking out some of my end-of-year objectives, one of which is writing a user manual for a proprietary software system. Forgive me if this doesn’t bring the juices of my passions to a boil. I’m barely managing a simmer over here. Very Barely.

See what this does for you:

To add an evaluation to the profile, navigate to the Evaluations section by either scrolling down, or select “Change View” from the right navigation bar. Once you click “Add Evaluation”, the form will launch, allowing you to document the activity completely and in compliance with best practices.

Oh yeah, this one is a real page-turner. Honestly, I’m thinking of navigating over to Gilly’s, scrolling on over to the pool table, and clicking some billiards with a pool cue.

Holiday Updates

I'd be remiss if I didn't start this post by wishing you all slightly belated Happy AlcoHol-idays. Yesterday was my one and only day off work, and I've been struggling to finish all my work objectives for the year, hence the belatedness.

That said, yesterday was fantastic. Here at Casa d'Addie, we've eaten, drank, and made merry until we could take no more. I hope your celebrations have been as much fun as ours.

Let me direct your attention to the picture here, which is one of Garrett's gifts to me. I know it's hard to see exactly what this is, but these are four canvases with the same portrait of our departed buddy, Cosmo, rendered in the pop art Andy Warhol style. I intend to hang them in a square, most likely in my bedroom or office, and I couldn't have been more touched by his thoughtful, labor-intensive gift.

Please take a moment to envision me in a red floor length evening gown singing that Salt N Pepa featuring En Vogue classic, What a Man. That's for you, G!

In other news, this was Bruno & Hoover's first Christmas with us, and I think they'll be looking forward to next year. Santa didn't forget to fill their stockings, and he left them each load of toys (Kong Wubba, long Kong tennis ball retriever, and stuffies) and they got a candy-cane shaped rawhide. For dinner they had a whole turkey neck, an apple, and a bite of roast beef, all of which was well-received.

The human boys seemed to enjoy themselves as well, and Santa was pretty good to them, too. Tyler got an Airsoft gun and 20,000 of the little pellets that are the ammo, and Jared enjoyed playing his electric guitar with his new special effects pedal thingie.

Aside from the lovely merchandise, perhaps the highlight of the day was playing Rock Band with the in-laws (which was preceded by loads of liquid refreshment, by the way). There's just something indescribably amazing about watching my MIL sing Hungry Like The Wolf while my FIL played guitar. You truly had to be there, and I wish you had been.

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations, Alex, and thanks for playing!
Feel free to redeem your bonus points at any participating retailer.

Of course you're ALL winners, but Alex was the first to guess what I call the dog snuggling procedure I described in the previous post.

Dog Language Barrier

I don’t mean to brag, but let me tell you, I know how to drive dogs wild with insatiable canine affection. Before someone calls the Don’t Molest Your Hound League (aka the DoMoYoHo League), I just mean that the dogs really like this particular thing I do, which I’ll gladly describe so your hounds can also benefit from this technique:

  • Get on all fours perpendicular to the hound, who has to be standing up for this to work.
  • Approach the dog, and place the top of your head on the dog’s side so that your head is touching the hound’s ribs.
  • Now push your head a bit against the dog until he starts leaning on you (you may want to wear one of those whiplash collars or other suitable medical brace if your dog is especially strong), then move your head in a random pattern all over the dog’s side.

Bruno, in particular, LOVES this procedure. He moans, bends into a semicircle, puts his forepaws on my back, his nose drips, he rubs his face on my neck, and generally makes every imaginable gesture of ecstacy. Eventually he just collapses onto the floor and will stare at me for upwards of an hour after we play this game. When I do this with Hoover, Bruno tries to get into the middle of it and will sometimes growl or pout because he’s not the one getting what he considers to be the hottest action in town.

Ok, hound people, I know you’re going to try it, and I hope your dogs like it as much as mine do. I'm also really enjoying picturing it in my mind, to tell the truth.

Here’s my disclaimer: It does occur to me that there may be some special meaning to this in “dog language”. Hopefully I’m not performing some gesture of submission that means, “Bruno, you are my King. Your every whim will be met cheerfully and on the timetable you specify. You’re welcome to sleep on my bed, eat my dinner, and wear my favorite party dress.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ONE MORE THING! - I have a terribly dirty-sounding name for this activity, and I'm offering 1000 bonus points to the first person who posts a comment with a correct guess of the naughty, naughty nomenclature!

The Name Game

Ok, Ladies & Gents, you may have noticed that I've changed my banner from "Addie-Tude" to "Confessions of a Trophy Wife". Honestly, I think that title has it all: irony, humor, and that perfect tongue-in-cheekiness. Thanks to Jen for the suggestion!

Over the weekend, I'll toy with changing my address too. Of course the URL switch may turn out to be too much of a stretch of my technical skills, so there's a distinct possibility I'll still be right here Monday.

Either way, please stay tuned!

Confessions of a Trophy Wife

Oh, that is a good title, isn't it? I fear the rest of the post will be less provocative, but please do forge ahead with the reading. After all, how boring could it possibly be?

DON'T ANSWER THAT!

Anyway, I'm not a trophy wife because I'm a six foot Brazilian bikini model; I'm a trophy wife because my husband operates the family business, which is a trophy store. I like being married, so my duties with the business are limited to the province of the facetiously entitled V.P. of HR. What this means is that I'm involved whenever there is an employee issue, or in the event of hiring or firing, and I attend the annual Holiday luncheon.

Now that you better understand my role, here are my confessions.

#1. I dread that holiday luncheon all year. Social skills are not a huge part of the trophy manufacture process, and this is always a two hour showcase of that very fact. Since we had the luncheon today, that's approximately 364 days I have to enjoy before the next one. Yay!

#2. Sorry job applicants...I laugh at your resumes. I have some special resume and cover letter tips that I'll share here.
  • If you have a rose in the header AND footer of your resume, you'd better be applying for a job at a nail salon.
  • If your cover letter bears the phrase, "I focus on customer delight", you need to know that it's not that kind of job. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Escort Services".
  • If your introductory paragraph on either of these documents includes the phrase, "Strong attention to derail", please understand that using spell check doesn't catch every error, and it doesn't qualify as fastidiousness.

#3. The real shocker: I have fake trophies. I have two of them, to be exact, but I suppose I could have as many as I want. One of them is a beautiful acrylic emblazoned with the following:

Addie
State of Georgia
Mud Wrestling Champion
Undefeated 2001-2006


I used to have that one on my desk when I worked in the office, and people always thought it was true, and I'd explain that being shorter was a big advantage because of my low center of gravity, and I'd otherwise b.s. endlessly until I made myself laugh.

The most prestigious award I have was actually built by the boys for Mother's Day. It's a wooden three-post trophy with the figure of a lady holding a bouquet of roses atop a large, glistening cup ornament.

The inscription reads:

World's Best Mom
Ever


I love being a trophy wife.

Seeing Is Believing


Seriously?

Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes

Yesterday G & I spent the evening with the MIL and FIL in Grant Park (near Oakland Cemetery). We started with dinner at Six Feet Under, a restaurant I recommend highly. The entree I ordered was called The Big Tuna, and it was a rare Ahi tuna steak crusted with sesame seeds atop a bed of steamed spinach, all of which was drizzled with a wasabi dressing. It was, in a word, delightful. My suggestion: order The Big Tuna!

After dinner we headed over to take the Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes (for info, you can click the title of this post). In general, the homes on the tour are lovingly restored Craftsman and Victorian jewels, and it's fun to see how tastefully and respectfully the owners have brought back their original beauty and luster.

One notable exception on the current tour is the house pictured here. This house, located on Park Street, is 108 years old and has served as a single family home, a church, and a boarding house, and is now owned by a couple who have been renovating it (in a manner of speaking).

I should preface my review of this place by saying that I'm a purist when it comes to historic preservation. I'd rather see one of the grande dames of the mid-Victorian era fall to graceful ruin than see her disrespected.

That said, this house made me very, very sad. The craftsmanship was horrible, the space planning nonsensical, the loving touch of restoration replaced by tasteless devotion to low-end finishes and furnishings. The sense of history is utterly gone from this place, except for the staircase, which is absolutely spectacular, and a hint at the potential of this structure.

Shame on the AJC for this article. Shame on the homeowners for undertaking a renovation that should have been a restoration. Shame on the Grant Park tour committee for putting this sad monument on the tour.

Muzzles Are A Girl's Best Friend

Feel free to sing along: A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but muzzles are a girl's best friend.

I'm serious. Consider the following scenario.

I've just returned from an errand to replace my tires, during which I was gone for about two hours. While I'm away from home I always muzzle the boys, just in case. In case of what, I have no idea, but it just seems like a good idea. As soon as I walked in the door, I let the boys outside for some R & R (Romping & Relieving).

As I'm watching them, I notice that Hoover has assumed his predatory position: standing stock still, staring at something like he's been deep in the bush in 'Nam, tail straight up, totally unresponsive. My first thought is that he's spotted a squirrel or something, then I realize that's not the case at all.

He's staring at Bruno. Poor, innocent Bruno is on the other side of the yard, happily returning the contents of his water bowl to Mother Earth, totally unaware that he is being stalked. As Bruno starts to move, Hoover pounces forward a few yards and freezes again, stirring the leaves as bit in the process. Bruno hears the noise, recognizes the predator/prey dynamic, and apparently decides that he will have none of this game.

Every hair on Bruno's back stood on end as he charged forward before Hoover could even react. Flying across the yard, he took about 6 full strides before throwing his shoulder into Hoover and knocking him into the leaves with a rustling thud.

Mind you, all of this happened within seconds, so by the time I got between them there was enough gnashing of teeth and throaty growls to let me know that without the muzzles, this would have been an emergency vet stitch-a-thon.

Is it any wonder I'm signing that song?

Calling All Plumbers

Excuse me, do you know what a thermocoupler is? How about a gas control valve? Do you own a variety of wrenches, vice-grips, and maybe even a toolbelt? If you answered yes to these questions, can you come over to my house...right now?

As I mentioned in the earlier complain-a-thon that barely passed as a post, my water heater is busted, broken, and/or beat down in some way. G, in his admirable, self-sufficient way, has decided to attempt to fix it. All by himself. Earlier I thought I smelled gas; turns out it was just testosterone. No need to call the fire department after all (although I do love firemen!).

In the last three hours, he's removed the old thermocoupler, and installed a new one. Throughout the process, he instructed me as a surgeon to a scrub nurse in some old movie, "Flashlight! Q-tips! Mirror!" I was just waiting for him to ask for a 10 blade and forceps when he announced that the thermocoupler was not defective after all.

"It must be the damn gas control valve...damn! Lowe's closes in 30 minutes, you coming with me?". I didn't really want to go, but the question was rhetorical, so off we went.

Once we got to Lowe's, he walked at such a pace that I jogged behind him, and still spent the majority of the trip staring at his back and wondering how he could walk so fast. "It must be that eight inch difference in the old inseam", I thought, making myself giggle with unspoken dirty jokes related to measurements and inseams. Feel free to make up a few of your own before reading on...fun, isn't it?

Upon returning home, G walked through the door and said to Bruno, "Bruno, old buddy, I sure wish you could plumb." To which I quipped, "He sure wishes you could, too." It was not well received by the first audience, so I hope you'll all get more out of it than G did.

In any case, I'll summarize by saying that I've heard more explitives, seen more of G's crack, and fetched more odd household items in the last few hours than you could imagine. After all this, the gas control valve didn't work either, something about the thermal coupling switch, so I guess now we should call the manufacturer on Monday, explain the myriad ways in which we've voided the warranty, and hope they'll still help us.

Well, Viriginia, is there really a Santa Claus? I guess we'll find out Monday.

Updates on Nothing in Particular

It’s been a slow here on Addie-Tude, I know. Who wants to hear my excuses?

No takers, huh? Good!

In any case, it’s been a busy weekend and a hectic beginning of the week, and I haven’t had too much interesting news to report, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I hereby present my Updates on Nothing in Particular.

The Cell Phone Upgrade: I finally made the determination that it was time to ditch my old pink RAZR cell phone, which I’ve had for several years, so we took a little trip over to the store and picked up a new model, and this time I’m rocking a smaller purple Motorola model. I can’t text message for sh*t on this phone, but I guess it’s a small detail, just don’t send me any text messages, because I can’t figure out how to work what I’m informed is “T9”. T9 really, really blows.

The Greyhound Gala: G and I attended this shindig on Saturday night, and it was a great dinner at Blackstone Steakhouse. We had a great time, and I had a fantastic beef tenderloin and key lime pie, and G had entrĂ©e envy after tasting my steak and noting that his prime rib was fattier. Isn’t the definition of prime rib a “plate full of fat”? I throw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it.

Work Stuff: I have a million things to finish before the end of the year, not the least of which is my self-assessment for my performance review. I’d rather gargle broken glass. Things in general have been tense around my virtual water cooler, to the extent that one of my colleagues emailed me to ask if the company offers anger management classes. That about sums it up, folks. Tomorrow I’ll be making a rare appearance at the office for the annual Holiday Potluck and Secret Santa exchange, so let the forced merriment commence!

Holiday Shopping: We made some excellent progress on this front over the weekend, and even went a little nuts buying gifts for the dogs. Somehow a stop at Petsmart for treats spiraled into free-for-all of toy and stocking stuffer purchases that cost way more than it should have. All I can say is that we’re officially crazy dog people, and we should have a couple of happy ho-ho-hounds on our hands on Christmas day.

Assorted Things That Are Harshing My Mellow: Mass hysteria about the economy. Auto Company Bailouts. Cold weather. Skinny jeans. Otto Von Crapp. Sophomore Science Project. Junk mail.

Random Things I’m Liking: Christmas trees. Cheap gas. Firefly Sweet Tea Infused Vodka. Raindrops on roses. Whiskers on kittens. Doorbells and sleigh bells and warm woolen mittens. Just kidding on those last few…I just wanted to get that song stuck in your head.

Did it work?

O' Christmas Tree!

Behold, if you will, my tinsel Christmas tree, a monument to the sparkly, tacky, mid-century holiday aestethic! I love all things retro when they're done with taste, and some things retro even when they're not (case in point). Don't worry; I have a real tree upstairs for the purists around here.

Anyway, I don't know what it is about mid-century architecture and design that intrigues me so much, but maybe it's just that it brings back a simpler time. A time when a gal could drive a car with fins, have cocktail from a glass that looks like a hollowed-out totem pole, and make a meatloaf while wearing stiletto heels, all while her husband puttered away building a bomb shelter wearing a cardigan and smoking a pipe.

I know, if I get bitch-slapped by a feminist, I totally deserve it. Forgive me, I was heavily into Mad Men last season.

In any case, I love this tree. This year I'm having a bit of trouble maintaining the ornament distribution on the lower branches, though, as you can see by all the baubles lying on the floor. Every time Bruno or Hoover walks by and wags his tail, at least one snowflake or disco ball goes flying. Since this tree is stationed near the main entry of my house, this happens a lot.

I like to think of these ornaments on the floor as a side-effect of hound happiness. Framed that way, it doesn't bother me much, especially after a few of those totem-pole cocktails.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Air Quality Issues

I’m not sure if you all know just how lucky you are. After all, it’s been over 10 days since I’ve posted a word about what comes out of my hounds’ butts. Well, all good things must come to an end, my friends.

Maybe it’s all the excitement we’ve had around here lately, but these guys have been gassy. I’m inclined to say it’s related to an upset in their routines, because the last time anything this foul assaulted my nostrils was when we first brought Bruno home. Sure, I’ve been feeding them yogurt, but they just keep on letting it rip.

Since I work from home, there’s really no respite from the wicked stank. Hoover’s tush is repeating like a Howitzer, and Bruno’s booty is blowing like Old Faithful. I feel like I’m trapped in a phone booth with the star of “4th Meal Me”, the follow-up documentary to “Supersize Me”, in which someone eats only Taco Bell for a month. Smells like day 29, I’d say.

Seriously, a hot dumpster would smell refreshing in comparison, and I think there’s a hole in the ozone layer forming directly above my house. I’m not sure if this headache is garden-variety or methane poisoning, and I’ve reached the point where my fight or flight response is activated every time I hear that subtle little “pfffftt”. If someone in Atlanta did canine colonics, we’d be the first in line.

Since the yogurt isn’t working, I’m giving this 48 hours and we’re going to the vet. If that doesn’t work, I’m moving out of this stink box. Anybody have a couch to spare?

Vacation Update

We covered a lot of ground during my time off, and I think I can safely say that we did all we could in the short time we had available. I’ll try to summarize here, but I'll leave some of the juicy details for Mom's blog:

Monday: Mom arrived in the evening, and we took the train up to my house, and then hit the Vintage Pizzeria for calzones. After dinner we watched Dancing With the Stars, and went to bed. Overall, a quiet night by necessity. Mom had flown with Prince Valium and didn’t have much wind left in her sails, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday: Mom & I went to the DeKalb Farmer’s Market (the nice one!) to buy shrimp and sausage to create a low country boil for dinner, since Kevin was scheduled to arrive and had never had one. Kevin finally made it in after sitting on the tarmac for an eternity waiting for a gate into Hartsfield. Isn't traveling a blast? After dinner, we played Rock Band until we could take it no more.

Wednesday: We started our day at 11 in the morning at Wine Styles tasting wines for our Thanksgiving dinner, and settled on a couple of nice bottles. Then we headed over to Psycho Tat2 to get Mom's 70th birthday present, which was a dragonfly tattoo. There was a bit of a wait for the tat, so we swung by Mellow Mushroom for a BBQ chicken pizza, which was probably the best pizza I've ever had, and we dropped by the trophy shop before heading back for the tattoo appointment. Once Mom was inked like a rock star, we went to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market for some Korean dumplings for dinner. After dinner, Mom opened her birthday gifts and we played Texas Hold 'Em and drank Jack Daniels. It was a big day!

Thursday: We cooked, we ate, we played Mexican Train Dominoes.

Friday: G and the guys went and got our Christmas tree, which we then spent several hours erecting and decorating. I'm pretty sure we drank after that, but the details are fuzzy now.

Saturday: We hit the High Museum to see the terracotta soldiers of the Qin dynasty and the selected treasures of the Louvre, both of which were very cool exhibits. Once we were sufficiently cultured, we rolled over to The Vortex for ginormous hamburgers, and Mom flirted with our tall, dark and handsome waiter, showing off her tattoo and saying she just might want to take him home to Arkansas. It's amazing what a Corona Light can do!

Sunday: Kevin started our day off with a feast of homemade biscuits and gravy, home fries, and eggs. I'm pleased to say there's at least one cook in the family, and it was fabulous. After breakfast, Mom, Kevin, and I went up to Jeju, and I'll leave it to Mom to describe that on her blog, since I've pretty thoroughly covered the subject in previous posts. After Jeju, Kevin, G, and I hit the pool hall for some billiards, since Mom was too tired to go. During the billiard play, G took an embarrassing photo of me and accidentally texted it to my HR rep at work instead of the friend for whom it was actually intended. Nice work, G! Keep it up and maybe I can come work with you at the shop...wouldn't that be fun?

Monday: Mom was heading back to Hillbilly Heaven, so we packed her up and took her down to the airport. Later that night, we had dinner and martinis at One Midtown Kitchen. If you're local and love food, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday: Kevin's flight took off early in the afternoon, so we had breakfast, ran to the mall, and then I dropped him off at the train station to go to the airport. I went home and vegged out for the rest of the day, at least until Bruno started blowing oats in the living room. Yay!

Fit to Be Tried

Ladies, have your boobs started to take a roll? Do your previously-perky sweater puppets mock you by staring downward in a sullen gaze? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, or you suspect your hooters resemble two tube socks tied together and flung around your neck with a couple of bucks worth of change in the toes, you probably need a bra fitting.

Here’s a shocking statistic for you: fully 85% of us gals are wearing the wrong sized bra. That’s a lot of sagging, bagging, and wagging, wouldn’t you say? Bearing this in mind, I had a bra fitting recently, which I’ll describe now without further ado.

Atlanta’s own Phipps Plaza is the home of Intimacy, a veritable wonderland of sensible foundation garments. In addition to a huge inventory, this place is staffed by loads of matronly ladies with bifocals, discerning eyes, and tape measures. As you enter, you may notice that there’s not a droop in sight as the customers leave the store, in stark contrast to their state as they enter the store. You sign in with a hostess, and she adds your name to the list. When your turn is up, one of the bespectacled matrons calls your name and takes you into one of several fitting rooms, which she enters with you.

My fit specialist, Donna, was the first to speak upon closing the curtain. “Let’s get that top off and see what we’re working with here.” I haven’t dated in a long time, but isn’t it customary to buy a gal dinner first? No matter; I do as I’m instructed, and a visual weighing and measuring process begins.

“What size bra are you wearing now?”, she asks briskly.

“36C”, I reply, judging from her face that this is the wrong answer.

“Um-hmmm. Wait here please.”, as if she needed to tell me to wait there, since my other choice was to streak out of the place topless.

Before I even had time to contemplate the idea, Donna was back with a very business-like nude brassiere. With one hand she unsnapped the bra I was wearing and somehow removed it from my person without time for an objection. Now brandishing the serious-looking nude bra, she swung it in front of me with the following instructions:

“Arms straight out” (whereupon Donna stuck my arms through the straps), “Now bend over like you’re touching your toes” (at which point she uh, arranged my goods into the garment), “Now stand back up straight” (and she fastened the hooks).

Bear in mind that the whole process took about 30 seconds, and I had every expectation that she couldn’t possibly have guessed the correct size without a tape measure. Donna, I’m sorry I ever doubted you, girl. Can you ever forgive me?

Upon standing up, I realized that it fit perfectly. I looked thinner. Taller. Just like those gals leaving the store. It was amazing.

“I’ll take it.”, I said, still shocked at how quickly it had all happened.

“I knew you would”, she said, clearly satisfied. “I’ll get you a few more to try and then we’ll check out. By the way, you’re a 32F.” F as in, I can't Freakin' believe what I'm hearing, or how Flipping Fantastic my Fun bags look!

Ladies, you’ve got to give this a try. The holidays are coming…have you thought about what you’ll give your boobies?

Marketing Genius

Winter does take its toll on our hands, doesn't it?

I was discussing this with my brother this week, and he suggested his favorite hand cream, the unfortunately-named Hand Relief.

Congratulations to the marketing department at Aveda for devising a product name that makes dry skin care sound dirty.

Bravo!

From the Top

Now that I'm working my way back into the swing of things after my visit with Mom & Kevin, it's time to start blogging about the experiences of the last nine days, and I'll start from the top...literally.

As you may know, I made the terribly ill-advised decision to "temporarily" dye my hair black to lend authenticity to my Halloween costume. After the gothic hue failed to wash out after the prescribed number of shampoos, it became clear that I'd have to either start listening to 9 Inch Nails (again) and shopping at Hot Topic, or I'd have to engage the help of professionals. I chose the latter, and rolled to the hairdresser last Monday morning.

After explaining my hair color indiscretion, I was informed that I had two choices: they could either bleach my entire head and then apply a corrective color (whereupon my hair might fall out), or they could try to apply some highlights (which would be unlikely to cause all-over baldness). After considering the excellent choices presented, I went with the highlights, which I've never had before, chiefly because I don't care for striped hair.

In any case, Sheila agreed that highlights were the way to go, and returned shortly bearing an ominously large bowl of a substance resembling the scouring powder slurry we used in the Army to clean grout. Although my head was swimming with fear and the smell of the Clorox paste, I noted that she also carried a box of foil strips and a brush suitable for basting a ham. After unpacking her implements and cheerfully warning me again that the highlighted strips might "fall out", she set to work applying the paste to tiny sections of hair and covering those sections with foil until I looked like the aforementioned ham.

Once my entire head was hammed out, I was left to sit. For almost an hour. As it turns out, this was ample time to notice that all the hairdressers in this salon were frosted and tipped to within an inch of their lives. It was also time enough to notice that this salon also lacked the requisite rocker-chick stylist, and was completely devoid of gay men. What kind of place was this? Was this even a real hair salon? These questions frightened me badly, but it was really too late to run screaming into the parking lot.

After 2 1/2 hours of foiling, defoiling, washing, re-coloring the bleached streaks, moussing, blowing dry and about half a can of hairspray, I emerged looking like a striped version of Marlo Thomas from That Girl, complete with a flip that swooped, defiant of gravity, from my head approximately six inches. Since my hair no longer looked like it had been styled with boot-black, and none of it had fallen out, I was thrilled, no matter how silly my new 'do.

Behold the power of lowered expectations!