Seven Brides for Only One Brother

We’re about to get Biblical up in here.

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, by Sir Edward John Poynter

Let’s get this straight.  King Solomon starts out on the right track.  He builds a temple, he moves the ark of the convenant to it, he dedicates it.  Good, good, good.  Then he starts accumulating riches and signing treaties right and left, and each time he puts his John Hancock down, a lesser king gives his daughter in marriage.  Badda-bing, badda-boom, Solomon’s got a piping hot, fresh, new wife.  Nevermind that Moses’ law said in plain Hebrew that a king shall not “multiply wives to himself.”  Solomon was multiplying wives like nobody’s business.

God already told him that his wives would lead him astray and turn his heart to false gods, and son of a gun, if the Lord wasn’t right.  So how is this man wise?  1 Kings 10 tells us that “the whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.”  Yet one chapter later, it states that Solomon loved many foreign women.  Hold up.  First off, nobody “loves many women,” foreign or not.  At least not at the same time.  That is not love.  Even Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias could tell you that.

Just dealing with two lovers is hard enough.  Ask Mary McGregor; she was torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool.  Even she had the decency to know that “lovin’ you both is breakin’ all the rules.”  You hear that, Solomon?

You either love Pharoah’s daughter or you don’t.  If I were her, I would be all, “Don’t come in here, telling me you just married some Ammonite skank.  I’m not trying to hear that.  And don’t be defiling our kingdom with those nasty Edomites and Sidonians.  If you so much as lay a hand on a Hittite, you’re never touching me again.  I don’t care if you are a king.  Israelite, please.”  I would have told him to put everything he owns in a box to the left.

And then he’d be all, “Don’t hate the player; hate the game.”  But the player tallied up 700 hundred wives and 300 hundred concubines.  And really, what’s the difference?  Wives get gold nameplates on their desks?  Actually, concubines have lower social rank, which prevents them from marrying.  So Pharoah’s daughter was right; it WAS slumming.  But I’m sure all one thousand of them got along hunky dory.  Just watch one episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives” and see how that plays out.  Everyone wins with fundamentalist Mormons and polygamy!

Look how happy Ken and Barbie–I mean Kody and Meri–were back in the day.  She had no idea what was coming.  Although, to be honest, I can’t say that I could have resisted his Pepsodent smile myself.  Three wives and seventeen children later, it hit him!  “Oh, snap!  This didn’t work out well for Solomon, and he was the wisest dude ever.”

God schooled Solomon in 1 Kings 11: “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son.”  And he did.

So the lesson here is one man, one woman.  Ideally, ’til death do you part.  But WWMRD?  I’ll tell you what Mickey Rooney would do. He would marry and divorce and marry and divorce until he racked up eight wives total (so far).  Talk about a player!  I realize everyone loved Andy Hardy, but this man is ONE INCH SHORTER than Dudley Moore.  He must seriously have it going on.  Five foot two!!  And at 92, he’s bound to have shrunk.  Discs degenerate, people.

Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield
Mickey Rooney & Jayne Mansfield

God bless you, Mickey.  Now let’s just do a quick run-through of the ladies you managed to get to say “yes” when you bent your knee, from most recent back to WWII (in which you served).  Jan Chamberlin (m. 1978), Carolyn Hockett (m. 1969–1975), Marge Lane (m. 1966–1967), Carolyn Mitchell (m. 1958–1966), Elaine Devry (m. 1952–1958), Martha Vickers (m. 1949–1951), B. J. Baker (m. 1944–1949), Ava Gardner (m. 1942–1943).  Well, at least he finally figured it out.  He’s been with his current wife longer than the other seven wives combined.  An old dog CAN learn new tricks.

He explained, “When I say I do,’ the Justice of the Peace replies, ‘I know, I know.’ I’m the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, ‘To Whom it May Concern.’ But to have been married eight times is not normal. That’s only halfway intelligent.”  My point exactly.

Say You, Say Me, Say I’m Dorian Gray

“Lady.”  One word, and my best friend’s mother went weak in the knees.   School had just started in the fall of 1980.  “I’m your knight in shining armor, and I love you.”

good ol' wikipedia
good ol’ wikipedia

Did anyone watch The Gambler and Lionel Richie sing “Lady” as a duet last April on CBS at the MGM Hotel?  Did you catch Kenny Rogers’ story about Richie writing the second verse to “Lady” on the toilet?  Yes, it was destined for greatness.  It was the first record of the 80s to chart on all four of Billboard’s singles charts, including the Hot 100, adult contemporary, country, and top black singles.  Over thirty-two years have passed since it hit Number One, and time has taken its toll.  At least, on Kenny.

Last October, he told Oprah’s BFF that his plastic surgeon was one of the world’s best, and that he had “the money to do it, and I had time off.”  Look, we’re all vain.  Men are not immune to the lure of cosmetic surgery.  You’ve seen Mickey Rourke.  You can’t escape Bruce Jenner nonstop on E!.  And Barry Manilow’s cheeks look hard and puffy like papier mache.  But Kenny defended, “The truth is that I don’t know what I would have looked like if I hadn’t done it.”  Good point.  Maybe a debonair Colonel Sanders?

Now just try and Google image “Lionel Richie before and after.”  A funny thing happens.  There are no matches!  Do you know why?  Because there is no such thing.  Lionel Richie is almost godly in the way that he looks the same as he was, and is, and will be.  He does not change.  Well, that’ s not entirely true.  His jawline and hair length have changed since his Commodores days, but not much else.

Now Kenny has eleven years on Lionel, so it only makes sense that he looks older than Lionel.  But that doesn’t explain why time stands still for Lionel.  Did he sell his soul to the same dark lord that Ralph Macchio and Rob Lowe did?  The old adage “black don’t crack” will have to suffice.  It clearly ain’t crackin’.  The evidence is at hand.

I actually think he looks BETTER now than he did in ’86.  And if he did get surgery, that doctor has skills.  Either way, Lionel should be giddy.  If it were me, I’d be dancing on the ceiling all night long.

Romping About

I just watched a clip of Romper Room (for the first time in my life–purely as research), and I made an observation: not one of them was wearing a romper.

Webster defines a romper as “a jumpsuit for infants.”  These rompers look like onesies to me.  The Free Dictionary describes a romper as “a loosely fitted, one-piece garment having short bloomers that is worn especially by small children for play.”  Neither of these definitions include garments for grown people.  And Webster should know; he’s been defining for a while now.  But I definitely remember seeing fashionable gals wearing rompers a couple decades back.  Check out this animal and floral print.  Looks like someone borrowed grandma’s negligee…

ebay wants $48 for this. Are you kidding me? In THIS recession?

What we do know is that rompers are worn by those who romp.  Romp is defined as rough and energetic play.  Lively, merry play.  One site equated it to capering (playful skipping).  And here I thought capers were only in my Olive Garden chicken piccata. All I know is that I definitely do not romp.  I move like a basset hound with hip dysplasia.

The urban Dictionary, however, our go-to source for slang nearing obsoletion, defines a romp as the nasty, like a romp in the hay.  You know, frolicking boisterously.  In which case, one would shed all clothing, not put on a uniform to perform it.  So why does label this a romper?  

I’m not catty, so I’m not going to comment on a butter face wearing a butterfly belt.  Wait–is that Posh Spice?  Nevermind.  But I do take issue with this as a romper.  It is obviously a jumpsuit, more genetically related to an Elvis Jumpsuit than to a romper.  And that material clearly lends itself to dromedary toe.  So, ioffer, you may offer, but I politely decline.  A jumpsuit extends to the floor.  A romper has blousy bloomers that allow for gusts of wind to air out nether regions.  See below.

Don’t act like you don’t remember this silky little number.  I wore something almost identical in a fetching shade of maroon to my uncle’s wedding the week that Whitney Houston topped the charts with Dolly Parton’s song.  Yes, it was appropriate garb at the time, unfathomable though it be.  It was a very Contempo Casuals time in our country’s history.

Being a square may no longer be hip, but I can’t imagine that even the women who fall all over themselves trying to get a copy of Fifty Shades of Gray would want to see their man in this (yes, that’s what they called it) romper.  Don we now our gay apparel!

you're welcome, www.liquidvinlyclothing. com
you’re welcome, http://www.liquidvinylclothing. com

Surely this is impeding his cavorting.  But with that tat and that wedding band, romping is definitely on the agenda.  You go, middle aged man!  Way to keep your BMI down.  See, P90X does work.

And now we arrive in modern times, right here, right now.

They say you can’t wear it the second go round if you wore it the first go round (oh, remember Merry-Go-Round?  And The Wild Pair?  Sorry.)  These celebs look young enough to be abiding by that rule.  But that doesn’t defend these rompers.  They look wrinkly, and none of these denims is a proper dark rinse.  And is the pseudo-Applegate wearing acid-washed?  There is NO excuse for that!!  They can try to play it off as fun and flirty, but, ladies, we know the romper truth.  We know how they extend bathroom stall time by up to thrice a normal amount.  And then you’re basically hovering, buck naked, over a public toilet.  Or you resort to the tug-aside.  Either way, no, thank you.  Let’s send this look out to pasture and retire the romper for good.

Advertising Icon Transformation

courtesy of

I know, right?  You’re already uncomfortable.

I love makeovers.  LOVE them.  And even though I love food, the makeovers are my favorite part of Rachael Ray’s show.  And even though I love me some kooky, tipsy Kathy Lee and Hoda banter, my favorite part of Today is the ambush makeover.  And don’t get me started on Clinton and Stacey spiffing stylistically-challenged folks up in straight leg, dark rinse trousers that elongate them.

So I understand the irresistible lure to fix the ugly and the outdated to market a product (although, apparently auto companies have not quite grasped that idea, and have actually gone in reverse for the past forty years, producing uglier, blander models, but that’s neither here nor there.)  Successful advertising often requires changing with the times, and–in the case of the Quaker Oats Company–the need to stop offending particular groups.  On her 100th anniversary, syrup icon Aunt Jemima received her latest makeover.  I totally get the desire (read: pressure) to update her image, but do all transformations have to include a younger, thinner version?

courtesy of

Truth be told, I’m not digging this current Jemima.  I’m not feeling the nurturing.   Those pearl earrings are more for the boardroom than the kitchen.  I’m not saying you need a do rag to cook, but I do have concerns that stray hairs from her more polished coif may find themselves in my pancake batter.  And I just feel like if I asked her to whip me up some flapjacks, she might not be so keen on it. And before you call me racist, just know that the original Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green, actually was born into slavery in 1834, so the look was indicative of the time, like it or not. I imagine she did have the last laugh (all the way to the bank).  Now onto a W.A.S.P.ier icon…

again–from neatorama

Unlike the changing Jemima faces, who–let’s remember were all paid to represent her–Betty Crocker was never a real person. Her name and face were contrived to appeal to homemakers. Well, I’m a homemaker, and I’m not down with any of these Betties. Talk about a lack of nurturing.  The portraits all look so sterile.  These faces don’t say yummy walnut brownies to me; they say news anchor or banker wife (or “no wire hangers!”).  And I’m almost certain one of them is a Baxter-Birney.  Next!

courtesy of

I think we can all agree the 2006 Sun Maid Raisin girl makeover was an epic failure.  I prefer the happy Gilda Radner to this creepy CGI no-indentation-in-her-upper-lip-Julia-Roberts-smile Little Red Riding Hood.  The cheerful immigrant girl was clearly up at the crack of dawn to pick grapes, but I doubt the “new and improved” Raisin Barbie would have stumbled home yet.  And something about her armpit bothers me.  And finally…

courtesy of
courtesy of

In retrospect, maybe the 70s Brawny dude does look like he did a little porn on the side, but at least he looks like a real guy.  Depending on your age (white people) you either have an uncle or a brother who looked like this guy.  And he probably had a name that rhymed with “hairy” to match: a good, solid era-specific name like Gary, Larry, or Barry.  He changed the oil on his Camaro himself (while listening to his Boston eight-track), he drank beer out of cans–not bottles–and gave no thought to wine pairings and manscaping.  This is the guy I want representing the durability and strength of my paper towel.  This guy knows how to clean up a mess.

But the new effete guy?  The one in the red plaid shirt that he just picked up from the dry cleaners?  What’s his name?  Perhaps it rhymes with “Aiden,” as in Brayden, Caden, or Jaden.  How is he going to clean up spilled milk and vodka vomit if he just had his mani-pedi done?  A Brawny guy should not know what exfoliating is, but Caden does.  Honestly, I think fem queens will dig either one, depending on their preference for bears or not, and I’m certain the wording of “Pick A Size” beneath the blonder Tom Selleck is not lost on them.  But speaking as a straight woman with an opinion, I say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Not So Wonderful Wonder Bread


Browsing the dairy aisle today, I noticed the neon yellow tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!  (yes, it has an exclamation point, as if Elaine Benes from Seinfeld had designed it).  Not butter, you say?  Really?  Did you know they also sell Could it be Butter? (is that a rhetorical question?), as well as the not-so-grammatically correct Taste Like Butter, and You’d Think IT’S Butter! (again, the exclamation point for emphasis).  Where is the label that says “I Don’t Believe For A Second It’s Butter”?  I’d slap that right over each tub of  Smart Balance or Country Crock (aptly named) or Parkay (mmm, mmm, vegetable oil spread).  Reminds me of that Reddi Whip ad on tv where the waitress asks the customer if she prefers whipped cream or oil.  Wouldn’t we all pick cream?

What does taste like butter is Land O’ Lakes.  Because it is butter.  I reach for the yellow and red rectangles at the store, and I like the little kneeling Indian woman on it, P.C. or not, just like I like Aunt Jemima and I like Uncle Ben, who BTW was a real man.  And yes, sometimes, I bust out singing the chorus to “Kaw-Liga” as I toss it in my cart.  I don’t care if it’s high in saturated fats and leads to heart disease because I love it.  We accept the universal truth that things that taste good are usually bad for us.

Except in the case of white bread.  White bread is processed and flavorless and nasty, basically without merit.  Growing up, the choices at restaurants were always, “white, wheat or rye,” and I would choose wheat or rye because white is devoid of joy.  It’s not that it’s associated with bologna sandwiches and demographics that include Honey Boo Boo, and it’s not the snobbery of growing up in a Whole Foods culture; it’s just that it’s patently gross.  And it has the added bonus of high starch that converts into sugar and bang–you’re Paula Deen with diabetes.  And you didn’t even get any fiber to make you regular.

Every Sunday after church, we go out for barbeque.  The cashier totals up the bill and then raises a loaf of white bread and asks how much we want.  We get two slices per person, so that we can each construct a little brisket sandwich with pickles, onions, and barbeque sauce.  There is no choice, not even in Whole Grain Hippietown.  It’s white or nothing.  And though I wish wish wish they would offer another option, I realize that would drive the price up, and I respect the right of the small businessman to make his own choices.  And granted, they are not chintzy with the bread.  I imagine if you requested an entire loaf, they’d throw it in the basket, but who on earth would?  That’s what I don’t get.

As I bite into my brisket sandwich, the first thing that happens is the white bread comes into contact with saliva and immediately converts into a gummy paste that sticks to the top of my mouth.  By the time my tongue has succeeded in prying it off, it is too tired to chew.  I have to give my tongue a rest and sip iced tea for a solid minute, while my insulin levels spike and I try to avoid a coma.

Do people who like white bread only like it out of nostalgia, because they pledged allegiance to it in their childhood?  Is it a comfortable memory, associated with pimento cheese sandwiches and mayonnaise?  I’m not convinced it’s purely social strata.  Maybe people who enjoy white bread are the same people who order cheese pizza with no toppings, or hamburgers, just meat and bun.  People who insist on no variety, no spice of life.  Now, look, it’s different if you have some sort of allergy that prevents you from eating wheat.  But I’m talking in a world of pure freedom of choice, a world that offers rosemary sourdough and Jewish rye –why pick white?

Melony Goodness


At first glance–this looks like a family of five enjoying watermelon, right? That’s what I thought. But the more I look at it, it looks like enormous Vlasic pickle spears, the kind that would go swimmingly with a pastrami on rye. But that would imply they had barrels to pickle what was conceivably the largest cucumber ever grown, so I’ll assume it’s watermelon.


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