Everybody’s Got Something

We watched Sherlock Holmes Colon Game of Shadows a few nights ago. Don’t judge. It was certainly not my favorite of colon movies. That honor goes to Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. I haven’t actually seen this movie, and don’t plan to. I just really like the title. Anyway, I think a better title would have been Sherlock Holmes Colon The One Where Everyone Looks Like They Smell Really Bad.

The other day my buddy Gita suggested I write about teeth bleaching. She’d seen a box of bleaching strips in the drugstore and those bad boys were $50. AMERICAN MONEY. What’s that got to do with a 19th century fictional detective, you ask? Well, I was noticing in the movie there were a bunch of gypsies with really straight white teeth. Really, really white. Like almost blue. And straight. Did I mention that? Straight, even, and blindingly white. I guess they used their costume budget on Noomi Rapace’s hair extensions so more authentic dentures for extras were out of the question. Apparently all those jokes about British dentists are lies and more lies. It seems our cousins across the pond perfected UV whitening in 1889. Cheeky monkeys.

I’m not part of the Cult of Blinding Teeth. I brush, I have the occasional cavity or root canal. I had braces and a retainer I never used. Once I even bought a box of industrial strength whitening strips from a coworker who was in dental hygienist school and was selling them for some sort of fundraiser. I smoked for a number of years so I’m sure I really could have used them more than the three or four times I actually did.

I did a little Amazon search. Seems if you search “teeth whitening” you get something like 2,600 products. The most expensive one I found was something called a Glo. It looks like a retainer mated with a tanning bed and connected itself to an iPhone. It’s $275, BUT it uses a technology called Guided Light Optics, so you know it’s worth it. It does not say if it accidentally shocks you that you will receive superpowers, but a girl can dream.

Point being, fifty bones is a bit much for me to pay to have Band-Aids coated with hydrogen peroxide affixed to my teeth for any length of time. And the only way I’m going to stick $250 in my mouth is if I’m sitting at a table in Commander’s Palace and soft shell crab is involved. I don’t think people are foolish for wanting white teeth, and if you’ve got the money then by all means, stick the equivalent of an oral tanning bed in your mouth. Our many methods of tooth enhancement is one reason the terrorists hate us. Let’s face it, until Al Qaeda invents something that delivers both tooth whitening AND Botox in one nifty application, we still rule the world.

I’ve noticed an emerging trait in myself. I get a little pissy when the actor’s teeth don’t match the character’s teeth. It’s petty, I know that. I’m just saying that Ferdinand and Isabella decreed that bathing was illegal so I’m guessing they didn’t take a lot of time to scrub the old molars. I don’t think anyone playing Isabella should have teeth so white they seem transparent. They do extraordinary things with special effects these days. If you can make a person blue, I should think you could make her teeth brown. And gnarly.

Beyond that, of all the cosmetic enhancements I wish to make, blindingly white teeth are just above wanting my elbows not to look like smiley faces when they are not bent. I’ll spend the $50 on some sunscreen and moisturizer. A little concealer and lipstick never hurt anyone especially when the lipstick has blue undertones. Makes your teeth look a little whiter. And I notice two-inch black roots waaaay before teeth. There is an astounding array of nice hair color touch-up kits for about six bucks each.

No, if I’m going to spend $50 on something to make me look better, I’ll buy five of my favorite v-neck t-shirts from Target. It’s deep enough of a neckline no one really notices my teeth.

Taking It To The People

Have I mentioned I hate summer? I mean recently. I believe you can find previous mentions here, here, and here. One of the many things I hate about summer is shorts. I know I do not have to wear them, but sometimes they are the only thing that will do. Since the three pairs I had were either falling off me, falling apart, had paint all over them, or a combination platter thereof, I made the ultimate sacrifice. I went OUT and bought some shorts.

Now. Shorts are funny things. Especially for someone whose legs look like giant stalks of white asparagus. Or like tree trunks with the bark ripped off. And because I am not a size 4, my choices are limited. I can wear what are actually pedal pushers or possibly clam-diggers. Because that’s such a flattering look on a girl. I can wear these canvas things with drawstring waists or a lovely seersucker madras plaid. A jaunty knee length denim number would be awesome if it were 1984 and someone else were dressing me because I’d taken leave of my senses. I did finally manage to find a pair of booty shorts. NOT a good look for most people, but I did happen to notice they had tabs and could be rolled down to cover my business. Sold.

These shorts have three buttons at the waist, then the waistband morphs into something I thought would be super comfortable. It’s an elastic band about the width of my thumb and covered in soft cotton knit. The legs say I’m a hottie, the waistband says I’ve given up. The thing is that the elastic is not tacked anywhere but to the front button placket.  So it squirms. It twists. Trying to get the waistband straightened out is like trying to get a cranky infant into one of those long onsie things with feet that have the snaps at the diaper so you have to put the damn thing over the baby’s head. And the baby has a stomach ache AND an ear ache and is all squirmy and sweaty and screaming. That’s what getting into these shorts is like.

Other than that, I love them.

Yesterday I tacked the elastic to the knit band in a couple of places, and that has helped. I don’t know about you, but I read user reviews before I buy something online. I’ve learned which ones to ignore (those with neither punctuation nor capitalization) and which ones to take to heart (those in which the reviewer has actually used the product are helpful). I sat down to compose a helpful review. Here it is:

Title: Designed by Satan

Review: I never believed in Satan until I wore these shorts, but that is clearly who designed them. Because the elastic is not attached to the knit waistband, you must spend five minutes (I timed it) working the kinks out of the elastic. Once you have done this, you must carefully arrange the shorts on the floor and stage a sneak attack to put them on. You must put them on gently lest they realize what’s happening and start twisting around and laughing manically.

In short, these shorts rebel like a 14 year old.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I like the style. The length is short, and I do not use the tab function to roll them up because I don’t like to have to have a special hair removal session just to run out for milk. They aren’t actually pedal pushers which I did not want. And that’s why I’m keeping them. The size is true. The khaki color has a lot of red in it, fyi.  Tacking the elastic to the waist has helped, so if you have needle and thread you can enjoy poking them into submission.

I thought that was a helpful review. Target did not. It would not let me publish it. The unhelpful site would not actually say WHY, but I removed references to Satan, teenagers, and infants and it seemed to take. It is now titled “Waistband of Doom”. You can’t read it online because Target hasn’t published it. But as much as I love Target, the website sucks (insert joke about 1997 calling for its website) so I’m not terribly surprised or upset my honest and helpful review was not published. Target also did not respond to my tweet where I name-checked them, but to be fair, I once tried to compliment the management staff of a store and there was nowhere on the website to do so nor did they respond to that tweet.

Just know if you’re going to buy a pair of Pure Energy shorts with a knit band, you’re going to want to refill your Valium. But I found the fit to be true-to-size bordering on generous and I really like the polished cotton material.

More Like Fashion Backward

I haven’t watched morning news shows in some several years mainly because if I wanted to see two middle aged women sitting around getting drunk, I’d invite a friend over. Also there doesn’t seem to be any news anymore. Yes, I love hearing about every step Wills and Kate take, but occasionally I like something with a little more substance. Call me a stick-in-the-mud, but I like my morning news to tell me if we went to war with North Korea overnight or if Greece still exists. KIDDING! Seriously, the only reason I don’t watch all 17 hours of the Today show is because the TV is inconveniently located. If there’s an important news story, SVU will do a storyline about it within a few weeks. Also I really like knowing the latest in alcohol-delivery technology.

Yesterday I watched a feature on what to wear poolside. Now, admittedly, I might not have been the target audience for the piece. I don’t dress to be seen poolside. I dress to be invisible. The surest way to do this is wear a swimsuit with a skirted bottom and have your coverup be something like a t-shirt from a 1991 SAE mixer. Or, in my case, any number of formerly-white peasant-style blouses covered in paint and live bait stains and a nylon fishing hat from Eddie Bauer. HAWT! I no longer have to time or energy to stage a fashion show to get in a pool, and certainly not a lake, but I was intrigued by the spot on Today because the Style Expert they had on was costumed, and the first outfit they showed involved a blazer.

Maybe “costumed” isn’t a fair term. She had on a little Pucci-inspired shift and giant white glasses on her head. She looked like what you’d want to look like poolside. She looked cool, pulled-together, color-coordinated. She looked like a woman who would not sweat while trying to haul four beach chairs, a cooler, and three toddlers down to the water’s edge. Obviously I hated her immediately and watched the rest of the segment strictly to mock her.

So, shorts and a blazer poolside is a thing. Because you’ll be wearing a “pleat short” you won’t need jewelry, OBVIOUSLY. Jewelry with pleats? Sure, with pleated mom jeans! Okay, first? No. Second? A BLAZER? BY THE POOL? It’s the Poolside Collection by JP Morgan Chase! Admittedly her reasoning was sound. You have the shorts as a swim coverup and then you toss on the blazer for–get this– what she calls “après pool”. Just like après ski. You know this because she says, “just like après ski.” I don’t know what skiing has to do with being poolside in the Brooks Brothers Pool Bound Business Collection™, but I am out of the fashion loop.

Nowhere was this more evident than in showing a great poolside outfit for pregnant gals. The model had on a cute maxi dress with an incredibly unfortunate print that looked like an abstract crayon resist done by an unmedicated ax murderer. The model wore a fabulous wide-brimmed sun hat. You know why? If you guessed to keep the sun off her face, you are so wrong you’re probably still wearing high-waisted sailor jeans from last summer. No, when you’re pregnant–I’m sorry. When you, “have a nice, beautiful belly to celebrate,” you’ll want to “counterbalance proportionally” with a hat. WHO KNEW? Also the maxi keeps you cool because, “it’s very breezy. It almost creates an internal whirlwind inside.” DUH. Everyone knows maxis with wings keep you cooler and drier and also make your business feel like it’s being touched by the breath of a thousand chilly angels. WHEE!

They also showed a cute little strapless shift. I say “little” because it was from Banana Republic and their entrances are decorated with pressure-sensitive doormats so if you weigh something ridiculous like a triple digit, this giant spring shoots up and catapults you over to the food court. But they give you a BOGO coupon to Auntie Anne’s, so there’s that. The look was ruined by a hairstyle of a sort for which the only explanation could be they ran out of time before finishing and had to get her on set. There was a side ponytail–no problem. Then on the other side of her head was this, um, knot? The only look I can compare it to is that Rachel Dratch character who’s a Siamese twin and has a baby arm growing out of the top of her head. It was most unfortunate.

I’m sure if I had to sit on set and come up with three minutes worth of descriptions for swim coverups, I’d be a blithering idiot and come up with phrases like “sassy, sexy, and sun-ready” and not use the plural to describe any article of clothing. Seriously, what is it with fashion people? You don’t wear pants, but a pant. You eschew panties for a panty. It’s not a pair of shoes, it’s a statement shoe. And everything is set off by a smoky eye and a nude lip. This is why models are so thin. They’re trying to lose body parts so the descriptions are accurate. Damn you, fashionistas!

I was, however, inspired. I was at my favorite little boutique (i.e. Target) yesterday and I bought a maxi dress. I KNOW! Here’s the thing. I have to go to New Orleans the end of next month. If you’ve never been in New Orleans the end of June, you can recreate the feeling by standing in a bathroom with your shower on full blast hot. I’m looking to create an internal whirlwind to keep me cool. Also I think a maxi will cover my ankles up since they tend to stay the size of watermelons from April to October. I am undaunted by the fact that my arms have seen neither tone nor tan since before Bill met Monica. I’ll celebrate a large, pale upper arm by counterbalancing with a jewel-toned strappy wedge sandal and a gimlet eye.