Dudes, Where do You Get Your Fashion Advice?

Dudes, Where do You Get Your Fashion Advice?

This is an open letter to a particular slice of male society who are shooting themselves in the foot. Not literally plugging one in their big toe, just metaphorically, however still has the the same effect on their desirability as a festering foot would.  They are walking fashion train wrecks, and these men need an intervention. What twigged me to this pressing issue was an event I attended the other day at one of my kids’ schools. What I saw that night inspired me to write you menfolk this letter. Picture the scene: youngsters so excited, wearing dresses, their first pair of high heels, boys in suits, all with precision hair styles and shiny smiles. Their parents are coming to watch them graduate from middle school, excitement is in the air and the kids are feeling pretty darned fancy. As the parade of parents stroll in, I am struck by some of their interpretations of the words “formal dress event”. The ladies had generally made an effort, and wore outfits befitting the occasion. Some of the guys however, holy shit. I can’t make this stuff up. One Dad donned a pair of sloppy shorts ripped in dubious locations, and a cut-off sweatshirt thus putting his armpit squirrel on prominent display. Seriously, he looked like he just rolled out from under his car, stuffed his dirty white-socked feet into a pair of pre-Cambrian sandals and sauntered into his child’s grad. To complete his outfit, he tipped a big can of Monster energy drink up to his unshaven greasy face and dribbled it into his scruff. His daughter must have been so proud. Then there was the one with the black jeans, a chained up wallet and a t-shirt espousing his rank in a white supremacist group. I will just let that sink in for a minute. Another Dad was at least in clean clothes, but I think they might have been pajamas. Not the sexy kind either. Before you decide I am the most heinous judgy bag in the world, I do admire somebody in their work gear showing up because that is as quick as they could get there. A mechanic or construction worker isn’t going to be neat and tidy on their way home from work, not if they are working hard anyway.  (For the record, a sweaty guy wearing a pair of Carhartt overalls is mangerie – straight up sexy.) These working guys are not the people I am talking about. It is the ones who make the choice to look like they just crawled out of a dumpster that make me cringe and want to save them. A few wise words for you my fine and...
The Evil Among us: Fake Cancer Scammers

The Evil Among us: Fake Cancer Scammers

Have you noticed your socials feeds are riddled with heart wrenching appeals for clicks and support, and more critically, money? I know mine are, and they are relentless. The stories are indeed tragic. Sick babies, burnt out homes, devastating injuries and cancer. So much cancer. There are also appeals for blood donation, hospitals, animal shelters and various charities. Lots of need, and limited funds. These appeals are particularly compelling when they come from a local source, or for issues that touch our own situations. People who have big hearts donate generously because essentially humans are decent. We understand that it could be any of us, at any time and we need to spread the love around. Passing the hat to help people who have fallen on hard times or are ill, is one of the most humane and selfless acts of generosity. Now, it is even easier to donate to causes we care about with on-line giving. A few clicks and you have saved a kitten or contributed to some kid’s bone marrow transplant. Whatever you care about, you can help in a New York minute with a donation sent through the web. And therein lies the problem. Any jackass can come up with an appeal for funding on any issue. However for some reason cancer seems to be the trigger that gets people giving and makes them easy marks. The good and compassionate people on Facebook or wherever click away their money only to hear that the person they funded isn’t actually sick, or doesn’t even exist.Or worse, they never know they were taken for a rube. There was a story sometime back about a woman who was pretty damned gutsy about her scam. She convinced people at her workplace that she had cancer, and was “pushing through it” and coming to work. She even shaved her head (talk about commitment). Her co-workers set up a fund for her, they created on line appeals and even held fundraising events for her expenses. She never had cancer. She didn’t have so much as the bloody sniffles. Her main diagnosis is that she is a scumbag with no moral fiber. It was good to read that she was eventually charged for fraud, but those kindly donors were out their money, and likely a little piece of their souls too. Another impact of this sort of story is that people become mistrustful and miserly when they are asked for help again. So the genuine tragedies that happen to good people are at risk of being viewed with a nasty skepticism because of a few terrible humans. As a cancer warrior myself, I become apoplectic when I hear about these charlatans whose only...
In Sickness and in Health

In Sickness and in Health

Every June we celebrate Father’s Day. To be fair, we Moms get a whole lot more fussing on our day in May than the Dads do. I hate to admit it, but I am always grateful that the kids’ teachers would make sure there was a card or crafty thing for Dad because I have been known to forget. My husband and I aren’t greeting card people anyway. Our traditions don’t involve shmoopy mandatory cards, in fact we don’t follow the rules of magazine marriages and groove more to our own beat. For instance, we prefer to save for vacations and not go for expensive date night dinners. Out of necessity, a trip to Costco without the kids is what we call a date these days. We don’t exchange jewelry, or do couples massages at the spa, hell we don’t even stay up on New Year’s Eve anymore. We are knee deep in busy kids and being middle aged. We have earned our naps, and dammit, we will take those naps. The one rule we do follow is an important vow from our wedding. Among the promises we made that day was that we would be there for each other in sickness and in health. At the time, we pictured the sickness part coming way the hell later than the health part. We had visions of sickness looking like elderly me helping geriatric him with his cane, or to find his teeth every day because he was forgetting where he put them. “In the glass on the bathroom counter honey”, I pictured myself saying. We knew realistically that humans start to fall apart as we age and in our declining years we would need to be strong for each other when illness came calling. What we didn’t know is how little time we would have between “I do” and cancer. It is me. I have cancer, and it is a bad one. My husband and the Father of our children had to make good on his promise to be there for me when it got hard. Really hard. And because we aren’t celebrating “Husband Day” (although that should be a thing) this post is about my kids’ Dad. When I was diagnosed, he must have felt like he was suddenly crushed by a falling brick wall. I am not sure how he felt at first, because his initial response was that he would take the cancer on himself if he could wish it to be so. He was terrified for me, and our kids. Others might have shunted aside their vow and succumbed to their fears and bolted. He did not. Every single day since cancer came to fuck...
On the Topic of Men – Musings From an Old Girl

On the Topic of Men – Musings From an Old Girl

I love men, truly. In my many years on this mortal coil, loads of dudes have passed through my life. I have worked with them, been friends with lots, ogled the shiny ones (I am talking to you Dwayne Johnson) married two of them, and crossed swords with more than I can count across a boardroom table. I have used them, been used by them, admired more than a few, and always made a point to verbally throat punch the ones who needed it. I may also have physically thrashed one who deserved it. (Let’s just say that last one needed a lesson in how to treat a woman and will make him think twice about trying to hurt one in the future.) With all of these varied males who came into my world, I now consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of the hairier sex and have a few observations. I believe men are born with the innate understanding that they will live their lives prevailing in any path they choose. Even before their feet hit the ground each morning, they revel in the fact that their exceptionally formed and attractive junk somehow makes them destined for success and glory. Or at least I hope that is how they feel, because wouldn’t it be awesome not to question yourself and not over think everything? You go buddy, this is your destiny, use it wisely. Another interesting, and highly amusing concept is that guys haven’t a clue in the world how female brains work. We confound them at every turn, and they are never quite sure how to manage their relationships with us, and we know it. This is how we even up the power balance because they got more muscles than we did. If we really need to set off a man’s brain and turn it into a garbage fire, we just ask him if our new jeans make us look fat… and we wait for the sweat to start. Mission accomplished. Speaking of bodies, I love men’s bodies of all sorts, fat, thin, tall, shortish, whatever – they all have their own appeal. The ones I admire the most are confident about whatever their genes have given them. For example, I know of one chunky dude who does co-ed nude yoga. To him I say: “Own it buddy, you can drop the mic after doing the downward dog in front of a whole bunch of ladies.” Men – generally – spend less time bellyaching about their flabby bits, and that makes them a special kind of magic. It also makes them attractive as hell. It isn’t all sunshine though. For example, I genuinely think sometimes men get...
Valentine’s Day Sucks

Valentine’s Day Sucks

If you think Valentine’s is romantic, wonderful and provides a chance to reconnect with your love, then you might want to move along to another article, you won’t like this one. Still with me? Good. So what is it with these Hallmark holidays anyway? There is so much red heart-shaped shit in the stores, I feel like I am having a bleeding cardiac nightmare that I can’t escape. The pressure of expressing love monetarily, or even finding love boiled down into this one contrived day is ridiculous. In particular, I kind of feel bad for dudes around this day. The pressure they are under is enough to make coal into diamonds in their colons. As a for instance, random Joe six pack assumes his honey- bunch wants something, but what that might be: clueless. Joe then waits until the very last minute, which is why 711 stores do a booming business on February 14th. Poor Joe. He worries about all the trappings that the retail industry foists upon this “holiday”. He maybe coughs up for a dozen roses, or perhaps spends a paycheque leveling up by hitting the jewelry store and maxing out his VISA card for a special gift. Many men are vulnerable to the siren song of the jewelry shop lady and spend their last dime to get you that latest offering from Peoples. But you hate it. The “tender hearts” necklace of 2009 sits in its original box being passive aggressively never worn because you actually wanted a spa day. The struggle is real isn’t it ladies? You want something, but you wish he would just somehow know what that is. That yearning for him to be able to read your mind eventually recedes, I promise. Because if you are north of 30, you likely already told him that if he brings home one more box of heart-shaped wax with the label “chocolate product” on it from the corner store, you will jam it in his gob, or somewhere nastier. If you are in your 40’s you probably went and got yourself something, wrapped it and made a tag of love from him. Kind of like Christmas and your birthday. Once you hit 50, his job gets easier… just wine and a gift certificate for Uber so you can go out with your girlfriends. We ladies don’t get a free pass on the Valentine’s pressure either. Why should the responsibility of showing love by spending money be his alone? We love our dudes and want to do something nice for him. We all know what that is, so you can dispense with the card, the chocolate, the dinner date and spend the money on some fancy...