Thursday, April 19, 2012


As I look more closely at my wardrobe, I realize that it has changed along with me over the years.  I guess you could say my fashion became less fashionable as years have passed, most notably because I can't wear those daisy dukes I used to love anymore, I have less time to spend shopping and now as a mommy, if it's not functional, it's gathering dust.  The wardrobe is a symptom of a more universal truth -- I've become uncool.

I see our lives as a timeline of coolness.  For women, it looks something like this:

When you're born, you're cool.  Period.  Your wrinkles are cute and at least one person out there loves you unconditionally.  You've got your whole life ahead of you, so no matter how much of a loser you're destined to be, everybody still imagines you're going to Harvard.

Coolness in your teens depends on your personal experience, but for myself this was a low point.  I had braces in high school.  Enough said.

In your 20's, you're way cool.  You don't give a rat's ass about the world at large, the awkward body issues you had as a teen are ironing out and, well, you're hot.  Some of your hotness is due to sheer youth.  You're in great shape and you've got hair where it's supposed to be.  You've most likely made it through college and the world is your oyster.  Even if you didn't go to Harvard, you still have time to f**k up your career and personal life and turn them around later. 

Here's where it gets tricky: the 30's.  Your coolness is rapidly descending with each breath you take.  You become aware that your eggs are drying up (thanks, mom) and there is indeed a biological clock.  You get married.  One major life event where your coolness starts to slip away.  You're no longer a young, party going vixen, you're a WIFE.  Off the market.  You gain a spouse and lose your prior identity all at the same time, even if you don't change your name.  The up side, however, is that you've become a woman who's confident in her own skin.  I think 32 is my ideal age. 

Notice the dip below the bar at 40.  A 40-year-old woman is the most uncool person on the planet.  Those fine lines are showing, gravity is your enemy and now you need mammograms. You went from wife to MOTHER.  I know celebrity moms would have you believe you can be a "cool mom," but it's just a distraction from the fact that nobody wants to hire them anymore either because of their age.  (Note: the sheer use of the word "cool" is uncool).  This is when you find yourself saying to your husband, "They don't make music like they used to."  You get a little jump in coolness in this decade because you embrace your plight and possibly have the MILF factor going.  You may also have achieved some professional success by this point that makes the uncoolness more palatable.

The good news is that we do have something to look forward to.  We get to watch our kids grow while reaching that age where only a scalpel can make you look 30.  So you don't have to spend so much effort trying to fool everybody (unless you live here in LA).  Coolness skyrockets when you get into the 80's thanks to the Betty White factor.  

All of this is, frankly, exhausting.  But since I'm not getting any cooler, I keep wishing LO could see the me that's still this side of cool.  When she's older, she'll never be able to believe I used to be a fun-loving young person too.  I tried cigarettes, went to keg parties and was once an athlete, but she won't know that version of me.  To her, I'll just be Mom.  I want to document this time with her and through writing and pictures, preserve little postcards from her youth so hopefully she can know the complete me.  Before the winds of uncoolness carry me away.  Quick, I can see the trees swaying...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Toenail Tune-up Time

Sometimes I'm glad that the ladies at the nail salon don't speak English.  That way I don't have to get a lecture on how bad my feet are.  I showed up yesterday for my bi-annual pedicure (shameful, I know) and I think it took the lady 30 minutes just to buff down my callouses.  Mani-pedis just never seem to fit into my mommy schedule but I managed to make it work.  Hooray!

On my quest to be more fashionable, I decided that by giving the old toenails a tune-up, I'd be expanding my footwear options exponentially.  It's a whole new world in my closet.  Now I'm not stuck wearing only close-toes; I can break out that new pair of yellow wedges I got for Christmas hoping they'd get some mileage this year.  No more waiting for a jaunt to the Skybar to sport the new duds.  The duster is out and the sandals are seeing the light of day.  Look out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mommy Chic

I just finished working on a new YouTube series, Big Girl in a Skinny World, for Marie Claire magazine's Hello Style channel launching on April 15.  While I'm not a plus size, I learned a ton about fashion.  The other day I took LO to a play group and the hostess commented on how fancy I was dressed.  All I did was wear a bright colored Old Navy top with jeans, a necklace and cuff bracelet and voila!  It's not that I looked great, it's just that I looked put together.  As the fashionistas would say, I accessorized.  Which really says a lot about how sloppy I must look on a regular basis if that's all it took to wow the other mommies.

This got me thinking.  Most professions have uniforms.  Doctors get the white coats, policemen get the blue outfits, even the check-out lady at the grocery store has a uniform.  I think Mommies have a uniform of sorts too.  I call it Mommy chic, which is misleading because it's anything but.  It's loose fitting pants, tennis shoes and a cotton t-shirt or sweatshirt with crusted food particles, spit-up and other souvenirs from the day.  And don't forget the ponytail.  Because who has time for the flattening iron?

Really, this would be more appropriate:

But we can't all walk around in haz-mat suits every day.  So here's my take on what every cool mommy needs for a day at the "office."

1. Shirt you don't care about.  It will become a canvas.

2.  Pants you don't care about.  These need to actually fit, not be ones you used to wear before you got pregnant that you still wear with the button undone.

3. Flat, slip-on shoes because you don't have any free hands to tie anything and you may need to sprint after runaway toddlers at a moment's notice.  The slip-on feature also makes it easy to dump playground sand out of your shoes whenever necessary.

4.  Sunglasses you don't care about.  Even if you don't live in sunny California, because the reasons to hide your identity seem to be multiplying.

5.  Accessories you don't care about.  Children love to pull really hard on shiny things.

Now take all of the above, hold your head high and imagine you look fabulous.  My wardrobe is full of stuff I don't care about but I'm making it my personal mission to add a splash of color here, a little flair there, and beef up my mommy style so I can go from playground pariah to mommy chic.  

Anyone with me?!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Yesterday in the car LO was asking for "moneys."  I asked why and she said "I want five million dollars."  I'm secretly wondering if she's been playing the lottery without my knowledge.  Fully expecting to find a bunch of crumpled tickets shoved in her car seat.  If she won, would it be wrong if I used part of the winnings to buy an Aston Martin?  She'd still have enough left over for college...DH has come down with whatever sore throat-upset-stomach-stuffed-up death flu has been going around but he's handling it pretty well.  Taking it like a woman....LO asks for cookies for breakfast every morning.  I try to explain that they're for dessert, but she gets very upset.  Is Cookie Monster somehow a bad influence?  Think I'm going to have to create my own puppet -- Veggie Verna...I went to the allergist to finally get tested since I've been sniffling and sneezing my entire life.  The skin test came back negative.  They can-NOT be serious.  I can inhale the pollen on my car for free and show them a result...right now LO is into puzzles, her stuffed octopus, singing "Firework" by Katy Perry into her microphone, saying "of course" and Nemo, her first jeans have all officially developed holes in the knees, something which never happened to me until LO became a toddler.  Is anyone else having this problem?...My mind is tired.  Time for bed.