Victoria’s Secret Misogyny


I should probably preface this with a warning. I am cranky – full-blown, PMS cranky – so this may come across as sounding a bit bitter and cynical.

Wait…that’s not because I’m cranky; it’s because I am bitter and cynical.

I just finished watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I feel like I need to be dipped in a vat of boiling Clorox.

When did this happen? Is this the first time this has aired? Was there some sort of demand for this? Did any of you see it???

Well, in case you were wondering, it was awful. Don Draper meets the porn industry awful. It was a parade of emaciated, six-foot tall models walking down a catwalk 93% naked with things like big fluffy angel wings or metallic tail feathers attached to them.

There were a few musical acts during the extravaganza. One can only assume they were there to lend an air of legitimacy to the show.

FAIL.

FTR, the shots of a pregnant Beyonce beaming at her husband as he performed with Kanye West didn’t help, either.

Going into and coming out of commercial breaks, they would show little ‘behind-the-scenes’ snippets of the models talking about themselves, their interests and their fellow models’ interests. AS IF ANYONE CARES. They sounded like a pack of idiots. Also, I’m pretty sure their ‘interests’ were written for them. For instance, one of the models was described as being a boxer in her spare time.

Please.

Another model was described as being ‘soooo smart’.

That one may have been true, because she put a pair of black glasses on in the dreamy camera shot of her they flashed to immediately after the statement was made.

Ugh.

During the entire broadcast, I was making snide remarks. Out loud. By myself.

I think I may have hit a new low.

At the risk of sounding like a cranky, old stick-in-the-mud, when did we skid back to 1972? Seriously. Gloria Steinam devoted her entire life to making sure women were seen as something more than pretty faces attached to a nice rack and a round ass…and this is the best we can do?

Before tonight, I used to watch Mad Men and cringe at the thought of women being treated as though they were less than human. Tonight, Victoria’s Secret elbowed the world, winked and let it know that they’re on board with Don Draper.

The show was obviously targeted to men, which makes me kind of wonder why so many of us expend so much energy trying to snare a man. I mean, honestly? What are we thinking?

OK, I’m going to go pop a Midol and hope that my mood improves before we meet again.

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Run Only If Chased


Against my better judgment, I decided to take Rocco and Frankie for a long walk on the beach yesterday. We had taken a few walks together this week without incident, so it seemed like a pretty good idea.

What do I mean by ‘without incident’? Oh, well, being a Jack(ass) Russell Terrier, Rocco can be a bit…unpredictable? He’s usually good with dogs his own size, but he has been known to attack the ones that could snap him like a stick.

They’re supposed to be a ‘smart’ breed. Not so much. I think that’s what JRT owners tell themselves to make them feel better about adopting the little psychopaths.

Just to stay on the safe side, I always leave Rocco’s leash on him. You know, so I can easily grab it/him when he gets a little unruly. I learned that little trick after about 874 incidents where he would run circles around a dog and/or its owner to evade me. So embarrassing.

Anyway, we took a nice, healthy walk down the beach – me listening to music; Rocco and Frankie stopping every 12 steps to pee – when I caught a flash of them in my peripheral vision running greyhound-style off the beach and up the dune to one of the tumbling multi-million dollar houses. That could only mean one thing: there was a critter to be had.

Me: SHIT!!  ROCCO!  FRANKIE! STOOOOOOOOOP!!  NOOOOOOO!!

Needless to say, they completely ignored me. After a split-second’s thought of pretending they didn’t belong to me and leaving them to fend for themselves, I took off running after them.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate running? I mean really hate it. I’m built for comfort, not for speed. I get winded just walking up the stairs.

As I ran up the dune, I saw the head and back of what appeared to be a large fox.

Me: FuckfuckfuckfuckFUCK!!!

I had nothing but my iPhone with me and I totally didn’t have time to download a shotgun app! What was I going to do if I caught up with them?? Wrestle the fox off of my dogs??

Turns out foxes are really skittish and (fortunately) able to leap tall fences in a single bound. Or something like that. All I know is, by the time I caught up with them, there was no sign of the fox. My two idiots, on the other hand, were still on the prowl – moving in opposite directions under two different houses as I yelled at the top of my lungs for them.

Total. White. Trash.

After a few minutes they must have come to the harsh realization that I was their ride home, so they skulked back to me.

LET THE BEATINGS BEGIN!!!

OK, so I didn’t exactly beat them, but I wanted to. Instead, I lectured them the whole way home, which is worse than a beating (ask my son).

My horrid barefoot run (through sand!!) made me think of my ever-growing list of marathon-running friends. I see their posts on Facebook and I can’t help but think…freaks! Crazy, crazy freaks! I mean, it’s one thing to run a mile or two to keep in shape or whatever, but 10+ miles? Well, that’s just showing off.

Because I’m a bit poop-obsessed (I’m not proud), my mind naturally goes to what if you have to poop when you’re running? Guess what, you guys…they just go ahead and poop. While they’re running.

I try not to judge people. I really do. But that’s just fucked up.

And by ‘fucked up’, I mean impressive! No, really! Congratulations on your perseverance, your determination and your ability to push your body (and your dignity) to its limits.  I mean that from the bottom of my…spinal cord.

I kid because I love.

It’s A World Of Laughter


You guys, I accidentally stumbled into a reality show yesterday!

OK, so it wasn’t a real reality show, but it totally would have been if House Hunters, Hoarders and Obsessed were combined into one show.

I should have known there would be a problem when I walked up the driveway and saw at least a dozen of those concrete garden figurines. You know…gnomes and such. Only they weren’t whimsically situated in the landscaping; they were kind of all bunched together in two groups with a circle of white landscaping bricks around each circle.

Odd, thought I, but the exterior of a house doesn’t necessarily define the interior of it.

Take my parents, for instance. My mom has always decorated and maintained the interior of the house and has kept it in impeccable condition, but she’s taken a back seat to my dad when it comes to the exterior. I think it’s her way of throwing him a bone and making him feel like he has some say in…well, anything. It hasn’t always worked out for the best, though.

The great garage debacle comes to mind.

My dad decided that he wanted to paint our shutters. We lived in a white colonial with simple, dignified black shutters.

Interesting factoid – Do you know what color most shutters are in Italy? Green.

I guess my dad was feeling homesick or something, so he decided it would be a good idea to paint our shutters green – not just any green, though. No. Not my dad. He picked the brightest kelly green paint he could find. No, seriously. Leprechauns walked by the house and were all, ‘Damn, those are some bright green shutters. What were they thinking?’

He didn’t stop at the blinding shutters, though. He decided to paint the (2-car!) garage door as well. Close your eyes and imagine a cookie-cutter neighborhood of ranches, split levels and colonials in various muted tones. Then imagine a white colonial with tacky kelly green shutters and a garish kelly green garage door. Did the needle just run across the record in your head?

I guess even my dad thought the garage door was a bit much, so he decided to paint the center squares of it white and leave the cross bars green. You know…to break it up a bit.

It looked like Christmas candy.

Did I mention that our house was situated directly on a ‘T’ intersection where a stop sign forced every single car to soak it in?

You know when you’re an awkward tween and you just want to blend? It’s kind of hard to blend when your parents are immigrants and your dad marches to the beat of an accordion.

One day he came home with a Vespa motor scooter. It was big and bulky and silver. Because he’s safety-conscious and…ahem…frugal, he bought himself a helmet at a yard sale. It was metallic gold.

Oy.

Close your eyes and imagine a white colonial with a Christmas candy garage door opening and a metallic gold-helmeted Super Mario brother buzzing out of it on his silver Vespa.

Just. Wanted. To. Blend.

Your dad’s so cute! He looks like Super Mario!

Me: My friends think you’re cute.
Dad: I don’t like ‘cute’; it’s one step above ugly.

Oh, and I lied when I said my dad is safety-conscious. He’s the king of jerry-rigging (you know, because he’s…frugal). One time? When he couldn’t get a good picture on his television? He fashioned himself an antenna out of the electrical cord from a broken appliance of some sort. He attached it to the back of the television and painstakingly maneuvered it into the venetian blinds until the picture was perfect.

Remember back in the day when you’d have to fool around with rabbit ears to make the television picture clear? I think my dad secretly misses those days. It was as close as he ever got to being a NASA scientist.

Everything was just fine until my anal-retentive mother decided to vacuum the room a few days later, saw the cord in the blinds and plugged it into the wall. Fortunately, the switch on the wall that activated the outlet was in the off position, so nothing happened…until my dad walked into the room the next day, turned on the light switch and blew up the television.

The debate over which of them was most wrong still rages on.

Anyway, back to the gnomes…

The interior of the house looked like Walt Disney had vomited all over it. There were figurines everywhere – Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear – easily a thousand of them. There were three Disney ceiling fans in the house (one in the family room). The bedrooms had Disney curtains, Disney sheets and Disney bedspreads. The dining room had Mickey and Minnie tablecloth and a framed picture of Pluto on the wall. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Me: Do you have children?
Homeowner: No.
Me: …

He was wearing a red sweatshirt with a small Mickey Mouse embroidered over his heart. She was wearing a t-shirt with a giant Tinkerbell that extended from her shoulder to her hip and said ‘WARNING: Mood subject to change without notice’. At least four times in the 82 minutes I was there, I had to remember to close my gaping mouth.

Me: Where do you plan to move when you sell your house?
Homeowner: Florida.
Me: Oh, that’s nice! Where in Florida?
Homeowner: We’re not sure yet.

Yeah, right.

Adventures In Poo


We’re getting our kitchen remodeled. I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I can throw a meal together when I have to, but I really don’t enjoy cooking. In fact, I frequently refer to our stove as ‘the most expensive clock in the house’. Unfortunately, a couple of years of touring houses has left me with kitchen and bathroom envy that words couldn’t possibly begin to describe. It was only a matter of time before our painted 1964 cabinets and nasty Formica countertops had to go.

Sky blue master bathroom? Tick-tock…your days are numbered.

Jack, of course, has been having cardial infarctions over the cost of the project. I keep trying to tell him it’s an investment. Not so much an investment in the house, per se…more like an investment in at least six months of not having to listen to me whine about the condition of the kitchen. That has to be worth a small fortune, right?

Rather than have the dogs underfoot with contractors in and out of the house, I decided to take them to the beach for a couple of weeks. Alone.

Did I mention that we don’t have a yard at the beach house? You really don’t appreciate the convenience of a fenced yard until you have to walk three dogs every (November) morning and every (November) evening, regardless of weather conditions.  Alone.

The first morning, I decided to take all three of them out at the same time. I’ve seen dog walkers with multiple leashed dogs moving down a sidewalk with ease. How difficult could it be?

Umm…very?

Rocco stopped every 12 steps to pee, while Maggie meandered slowly down the sidewalk, sniffing every square inch of grass, gravel and dirt as though she was a cadaver dog. Because he is a dimwit, Frankie just ran circles around me and tangled me in his leash. It was dark, it was cold, it was WAY too early in the morning, I was half asleep and outnumbered. I couldn’t find the first pile of poo (because even the sun was still sleeping), only to discover that I had stepped in it.

Won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

Just to spice things up and add a really fun dimension to my beach adventure, Rocco has developed a delightful habit of waking up anywhere from 2:00-400 in the morning, drinking a half gallon of water and insisting on going outside to mark every seven feet of ground, lest anyone forget he is King of All He Sees.

In spite of the chaotic and seemingly endless dog walking, there’s something about the beach that’s incredibly relaxing. I’m really enjoying my time here. I work from home and our broker opened an office about 15 minutes away from our house, so I have easy access to a printer/scanner/copier and free coffee. I’m also less than two hours from home, so it’s easy to drive back to show houses when necessary. It’s actually a good thing we’re having the kitchen remodeled, otherwise I may never go back.

Don’t tell Jack that, though. He probably wouldn’t think that was such a bad thing.

Yesterday I went to a little pizza party for the manager of our beach office, who recently decided to step down and go back to being a realtor. I thought it might be a good opportunity to get to know the agents in that office a little better in case I ever convince Jack to move down here permanently. It was quite lovely. Pizza, pasta and cake – who could ask for anything more?

We were sitting around a conference room table, munching on our pizza, kvetching about the market, poking fun at each other and having an all-around good time while a card was being passed around.

Uh-oh.

I always panic a bit when I’m signing a card. I wish I could be one of those people who simply signs their name with a benign ‘Good luck!’ and passes the card along. Nope. Not me. I want my comment to be heartwarming or clever or hilariously funny – you know, because I’m obnoxiously competitive and all – and it’s difficult for me to come up with something suitably charming at the spur of the moment. Unlike my son, who has been known to start a 19-page mid-term project the night before it’s due…and ace it, I do NOT work well under pressure.

Anyway, as I was thinking about what to write, I remembered my sister once telling me that she has a theory that no one really reads the notes that are written in group cards, so she always writes something completely nonsensical like:

Your kitchen floor is filthy!
Love,
Val

So, I glanced over at the guest of honor and wrote:

You need to shave.
xoxo,
Donna

Before I handed the card to the person next to me, I looked above my clever little note to see what the others had written and was amused (and slightly disappointed) to see that someone had out-clevered me with ‘I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers’, which, given the current state of the real estate market, is hilarious.

Then my blood ran cold.

It was not a card for the manager. It was a card for a co-worker whose sister had recently passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer.

You know those Southwest Airlines commercials? Wanna get away?

Yeah.

Nothing says ‘I care’ quite like white out on a condolence card.