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?

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific But For The Love Of All That Is Holy, Stop Touching It

I watch a lot of late night television.  A lot.  At the time it actually comes on.  Late.  I don’t record it or DVR it or whatever else people do these days.  I simply know when shows come on, and then I sit in front of the television at that time and watch them.  If I were too busy to do that, I would have to reassess my life.  Many times, when Leno or Kimmel are on commercial, we turn the channel to Letterman, and my husband asks for the umpteenth time why he is still on the air.  My hub has no memory of Dave’s heydey decades ago; all he sees is the crochety beige shell of a host who lost his humor and his sass well before the Towers fell.  He’s like that cantankerous old ventriloquist dummy, Walter.  Sometimes we think, “This will be the night that the Top Ten is actually funny.”  But it never is.  Never.  I tell him I’m pretty sure they did a really funny list in 1993, but then I remember even Conan was funnier than Dave that year.  Crap, that was twenty years ago.  TWENTY.  One score.  Yeesh.

Nonetheless, Dave, Jay, Craig, Conan, and the two Jimmies have one thing in common: guests.  They share the same guests.  We see the same actors in different suits, night after night, promoting the same movie with the same clip and the same set-up that gets really old.  But even this pales in comparison to what really gets my goat.  And a week never goes by without it happening.  Sometimes it happens twice in one night.  And it’s never the actors, only the actresses.  And no, it’s not their ridiculously short dresses that they intermittently tug down, as though they had NO IDEA how it would register on camera, as though a stylist strapped them down in a chair and dressed them against their will, never explaining how fabric bends when one moves from standing to sitting, or worse–some madman appeared just before they went on stage and hacked six inches off their dress with a cleaver.  The nerve!

But that’s not it.  What chaps my hide is how often they touch their hair.  I don’t mean once or twice.  I mean every couple of seconds.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, be normal.  Inhale, touch hair, exhale, sit still like a composed human being.  And they try to play it off as though they weren’t doing it.  Jay Leno will say a witty retort, and they will laugh nervously, and bang!  There goes the hand up to the face.  Half the time, their hair isn’t even IN their face to begin with.  They just want to touch it, like they’re Kelly LeBrock and they just started using Pantene, and they can’t believe how touchable it is.  It is so annoying.  Sometimes they will take the same strand of hair and attempt to pull it back behind their right ear, but it’s just a TOUCH too short, and so it immediately falls forward, and yet they spend the entire segment, fiddling with it, yanking and falling, yanking and falling.  Katie Holmes is the worst!  And no, it doesn’t make you look cute and sweet and humble, and aw, shucks.  It makes me wonder 1) why are you so damn insecure if you are a famous Hollywood actress millionaire or 2) you need to upgrade your Hold Control on your hairspray.  Can I suggest TRESemme (ooh la la) extreme hold?  That’s like five dollars at Walgreen’s, and that crap’s not moving.  Not in a tsunami.

I’m not talking about hair twirling.  It’s not just a casual, playful thing.  It’s moving it back, moving it out of the face, pushing it away, over and over and over and over again.  Mila Kunis.  Demi Moore.  It’s not sexy.  It’s distracting.  Don’t their publicists tell them to ix-nay the hair-touching after so many repeat offenses?  Look, if you simply cannot control yourself, perhaps you should do what Scarlett Johansson so often does.  Wear an updo with nary a tendril in sight.  Pulled completely off the face.  Then there’s nowhere to hide.  And isn’t that the point?  Aren’t talk shows for shameless self-promotion?  If you still can’t fight the fixation, then just grab the water mug and sip.  Some people do that a lot.  Just don’t take it to extremes.  Maybe you could tug on your earlobe like some hyperactive Carol Burnet.  Bring that one back into vogue.  Or rub that chin hair nub back and forth, the one you plucked three nights ago.   Or–and this is crazy–you could simply fold your hands in your lap and act like a lady–and I can’t believe I’m saying this–like Britney Spears did on Kimmel last September.  She kept her hands in her lap and off her face.  She did have the world’s shortest oufit on, though.  And she was all stiff, like maybe she needed to pee.  But her hair looked fabulous, all Barbarella and sexpot.  And she barely touched it at all.  Go, Britney!

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.


Nose Rings

Being sick for a week now has made me realize that I took for granted two very dear senses: smelling and tasting, neither of which I’ve been able to do in seven days. If I’d have known that Chuy’s Combo #4 was going to be the last thing I tasted in 2012, I would have relished it more. I also realize that although the decongestants, antihistamines, zinc lozenges, Airborne powders, neti pots, steam baths, shots of Tabasco, 147 wasabi peas, and one hot rum toddy have put not a dent in this sickness, at least I have Kleenex and/or Puffs to contend with the sniffles. After blowing your nose nonstop, the skin on your nostrils begins to get raw and dry up and flake off. The only thing that could have made it more painful would have been a nose ring.

I suppose if you have a nose ring, you could take it in and out at your leisure, but my question is: why ever put it in at all? And no, earrings are not the same thing. The holes in my ears do not aid in respiration. They do not have cause to ooze with fluids, such as noses do. I have always felt that one should draw as little attention to the nose as possible. Don’t pick it in public, wipe it carefully on the DL, don’t attach things to it that reflect light and consequently may cause a stranger to think you need a handkerchief. And don’t tell me that it doesn’t hurt, like those of you who say tattoos don’t hurt. Don’t wear that like a badge of honor. It is precisely because that nasal tissue is so sensitive that rings were placed inside bull’s noses in the first place, to make them compliant and easily led when someone yanked the ring. To boot, only the bulls who are handled OFTEN require such rings. By that logic, does wearing a nose ring imply a man or woman is handled often as well? Does it imply they will be used to breed repeatedly or be displayed at livestock shows?

Every generation has its trends. You get your nose ring, so you’re part of the group, the group that rebels against conservative values. The group that allows you to display your individuality and raise your flag of noncomformity, to the extent that you all agree on what exactly the new conformity is. It’s the same idea every decade: ducktails and leather jackets in 50s greaser culture, tie-dyed shirts and long hair and bellbottoms for hippies, mohawks and punk rock. So now we’re in the nose ring phase? This is what’s edgy? Are young adults doing this more out of a desire to showcase traditions of Indian and Asian culture or because they saw Miley Cyrus wearing a nose stud?

Maybe the level of risk is what makes it cool? Just humor the fuddy-duddy, because I don’t get it. I’ve never been a fan of infection, permanent scarring, or getting my clothes caught on my facial accessories and having them yanked off in a bloody mess. It seems less about individuality and more like the exact opposite: to reveal yourself as a sheep able to follow trends and mimic celebrity. Baaaaa. All well and good then; at least it’s easily undone. Better to go through a phase without obvious permanent mutilation. Reference the booming tattoo removal industry. The lovely Megan Fox has almost entirely removed the Marilyn Monroe tat with which she so identified in her youth. Fifty/Fiddy Cent says his motive for tat removal is to encourage his acting career and prevent hours in the makeup chair. And then of course, there will always be love gone wrong. Johnny Depps disappearing his Winonas, Angelina Jolie disappearing her Billy Bobs. We have all been young and passionate and believed THIS IS THE ONE, THIS IS FOREVER, or I WILL NEVER GET TIRED OF SEEING THAT CHINESE SYMBOL ON MY CHEST (which, as it turns out, meant something entirely different). But of course we do. Nothing has that sort of staying power, unless it’s along the lines of U.S.M.C. I won’t wear those Gap jeans from 1999, so I sure as heck wouldn’t want to carry around ink from then. But again, I am not a Millenial.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? I behold nose rings as icky, plain and simple. But thank God we live in a free society, full of choices, where we can do to our skin as we like, be it permanent or temporary. Blessed are we to have many different ideas of beauty–although. let’s be frank–many women still want to look like Jennifer Aniston, even if she is in her 40s. And you don’t see her rocking a nose ring