Wednesday, September 28, 2016

You're Just Another Brick and I'm a Sledgehammer.

As I age, I'm realizing more and more that I'm a sledgehammer. Some women are warm and giving, natural nurturers, the type of person you want to be your mom or grandma. That's not me. Some women are iron fists in velvet gloves, they keep order and rule the roost but with a soft touch that lets you think everything was your idea. That's not me either. Some women use their wiles to wheedle and cajole, hiding cunning minds behind smiles and fluttered eyelashes. That couldn't be me if I wanted it to be.

It's time to take down a wall.

I am a sledgehammer. I'm cold and hard with blunt edges made for laying waste. When I want something, I get sheer force of will and application of brute strength. I can't pick a lock, but I can sure as hell break down a door.

Where am I going with this? Brace yourself, I'm going to get all feminist for a bit. I try to keep my politics off social media, because Facebook is for pictures of kids and dogs and races. I realize that my brand of godless liberalism doesn't jibe with most people's positions and I don't feel like fighting about it in a forum that just creates bad blood and (let's be honest) changes no minds. 

Now, Bernie Sanders was my horse in this race from the announcement of his candidacy. Why? Because his brand of democratic socialism aligns nearly 100% with my own ideals. That's a good reason to vote for a candidate. Second on my list was Hillary Clinton. There's a few minor policy points that I lean farther left on, but nothing that would keep me from voting for her with a clear conscience. 

So why don't people like Clinton? I'll tell you what I think: She's a woman.  Yeah, she's got some scandals (or perceived scandals) in her past. Show me a politician who doesn't. The difference is, she's got two X chromosomes and she's seeking power and people can't stand it. Women aren't supposed to be ambitious. We aren't supposed to want power. We're supposed to be good little girls, quiet and biddable, smiling in the corner while the men do the "real" work.

Sexism is everywhere. It is sometimes subtle, but it's there. 

Ever been told you'd be prettier if you smiled? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I'll smile when I fucking feel like it and only when I feel like it.

Ever been catcalled on the street, then had the guy go full "Fuck you, bitch, you're fat anyway!" when you don't engage? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I am not your goddamn ornament, asshole, and your approval is neither required nor desired.

Ever been told you're too loud, or that your personality is abrasive? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I'll raise my voice to be heard, and I don't need to be your friend to get shit done.

Ever been in a group of people when a concept is introduced, then had a male co-worker lean over and start man-splaining it to you? No? Then you're probably a dude.
I wrote the presentation, asshole.

Along with that, ever presented an idea at a meeting, had it be dismissed or ignored, then had a male co-worker say the exact same goddamn thing and be acknowledged? No? Then you're probably a dude.
And you bet your ass I say (LOUDLY) "I JUST SAID THAT."

This kind of thing is what's been happening to HRC from the beginning of this campaign. We get snide comments about her suits (stop calling them "pants suits", goddammit, no one calls a man's suit a "pants suit"). We get commentary about her voice (She's loud! She's shrill!). We get nasty remarks about the way she laughs (She sounds like a hyena!). We get the classic "She should smile more" but when she does? "Oh, she looks smug.

Men are "assertive", women are "agressive". Men are "direct", women are "abrasive". Men are "strong leaders", women are "bitchy". Men are "stern" and women need to smile more. 

If you want I'll bare my teeth at you.

This is a person who is possibly the most qualified candidate for President in recent memory, if not ever. She is educated, she is articulate, she is experienced. I say if she wants to be stone faced, let her. If she's smug on the debate stage, she has a right to be. Personally, I'm impressed as fuck that she didn't start laughing her goddamn hyena laugh mid-debate with that word-salad spewing, self-aggrandizing, lying, cheating, swaggering blowhard. It is an insult that she is forced to compete with him at all. 

I recall very distinctly the first time I heard "A woman could never be President, could you imagine her with her finger on the button every 28 days?!? Yuck yuck yuck, hardee har har". I was 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was Mondale's running mate. It was infuriating then, and it's infuriating now...particularly coming out of the mouths of women who back Trump. Well guess what, people. That pretty much makes a post-menopausal woman the ideal candidate for President. None of those pesky hormones getting in the way of good government. 

We've been trying to poke holes in the patriarchy for decades. Women like our own Tammy Baldwin and Tammy Duckworth and Elizabeth Warren made it into government and made some noise. Women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor and Sandra Sotomayor made inroads. But poking holes isn't getting us far enough. It isn't getting us equal pay, paid maternity leave, quality affordable childcare, and access to health care without the government dictating what that means. We've had 200+ years of men running this bitch, and for some reason now that everything is (apparently) a giant shitshow we've decided that the way to fix it is to put another man into office. 

It's time to get out the motherfucking sledgehammer and lay waste. And the sledgehammer in me recognizes the sledgehammer in HRC. I want a strong, competent woman to go out there and fucking govern. It is time. Screw cookie baking contests. Rise up with your RBF, slap on those sunglasses, and let's ride. 

If you're a Libertarian, I think you can vote for Gary Johnson in good conscience. Go for it. If you're a disgruntled Bernie supporter, please don't fuck us all by protest voting. Please. If you're a Republican and you can vote for Trump...well, I won't pretend to understand, because he isn't a Republican any more than I am. And if you can't bring yourself to vote for any of them? That is your right, but at lease go to the polls and write in Micky Mouse if you have to...but go vote the down ticket races. That is where shit gets done.

I felt the Bern. I did. But come November? #imwithher and I won't apologize for it. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Played Dress Up and It Was Awesome or "Front Door Fashion is my BFF and StitchFix Can Suck It"

So I've been getting boxes from StitchFix for a while now. I've gotten some awesome jeans, a couple of cute tops and camisoles, a maxi skirt or two, and lately? A large number of total head scratchers. Clothes that don't remotely fit, or make me look like a box, or fit like a bag, or get stuck on my shoulders. Also, with StitchFix you're getting unrelated pieces, not cohesive looks.

Newsflash, I can't dress myself. I mean, I can dress myself for the gym and I can throw a pair of black scrubs together like a boss, but regular clothes? Yeah. Forget it. Jeans and a t-shirt all the way.

Which makes my deep love of high heeled shoes hard to justify. When you're always in jeans and a hoodie, there's not a lot of call for knee high boots.

I still buy the's just harder to find a reason to wear them besides walking around the house being the very tallest person here! You all look like ants HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! 

So about a month ago, at 3am, I stumbled upon Front Door Fashion. Historically, every idea I've ever had at 3am has been a super-fantastic one, so I dove in. This is a Dallas based company that assembles full looks including accessories and ships them to your door. The idea is that instead of getting a shirt, or a pair of pants that you like but have no idea how to get entire outfits that you can mix and match, along with instructions on how to do that. Style cards, shoe suggestions for each look, and notes from the sylist about how to make it work for your body type.

It's the size of a suitcase. Signature required because there 
is $1000 worth of clothes and shit in there.

The profile you fill out is pretty lengthy, and you're encouraged to leave detailed notes for the stylist...and boy did I ever. My overly-long-but-not-skinny legs, my freakishly long arms, my easily-stuck-in-tailored-clothes shoulders...right down to "Hey, my hair is super-hero blue! Don't send me blue shirts!!" 

You're also asked specific questions about what sizes you take and how different garments fit you. I gave exhaustive detail. To the point that I was worried the stylist was going to think I was unbalanced. But if I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it right. 

Since this is a full styling service, it takes a few weeks to get your stuff. It was about 3 weeks for me. The delivery is signature required, which is kind of a pain, but I get why. This is a huge box with a LOT of stuff in it. A thief would be very well dressed indeed. 

So what was in the box? OMG so much awesome! I feel a little guilty that I didn't do my hair and put on make-up to play dress up with this stuff. Please excuse my plain face and hospital hair...I have to work tonight.


Everything was in a garment bag, labeled and named to correspond with the stylists notes and the style cards included. There's also a packing slip with everything itemized by outfit. You have 5 business days from receipt of the box to decide what you want. A return label is just slap it back on the original box.

Look at all this stuff! 

I'm too lazy to go look now, but the total number of items was staggering. Earrings, necklaces, belts, shirts, pants, camisoles, scarves, jackets, jeans, etc. A ton of shit. It was all beautiful stuff, too. Nice colors, nice fabrics. The stylist even referenced my love of high boots in the style notes...she built two outfits around my boots!!!  YAAASSS QUEEEEENNNN.

The first outfit was coated leggings in a dark wine color. Kind of a leather look, which I found alarming at first, but holy shit they looked awesome and are so comfortable!!! It also included a long camisole, an asymmetrical hem knit shirt (with thumb holes! eeeeeee!) and a scarf. Honestly, I thought it looked pretty good (if a little basic white bitch), but even if I don't keep the scarf and the long t-shirt I'm keeping the damn leggings. Susan? Leggings are totally pants and now I have proof. I love the sort of loose-fitting-over-tight-fitting look on other people, but it always makes me feel...large. Maybe because I'm so tall? I'm always afraid I look like a barge. 

I felt almost fashionable.

The second outfit had a camisole, two different shirts, and a pair of distressed straight legged jeans (and a couple of necklaces and some earrings). The plaid is actually something I would wear...I love plaid shirts, and the camisole was awesome. These jeans are not at all stretchy, so getting them over my booty was a challenge, but they fit fine once I cleared that hurdle. I never know how to feel about the peek-a-boo shoulder type shirt, but I didn't hate this one.

This box was worth it for the goddamn camisoles.

The next outfit included a pair of trouser jeans. These were never really my bag, but I'm open. They were really comfy, just a little bit of stretch, and long enough to wear high heels (thanks, stylist!). I like the flannel shirt, it is soft and fit nicely. I'd probably put a t-shirt of camisole under it. The belt was great, and I needed a brown belt. Not a fan of the earrings (also, I wasn't going to try on earrings...seems icky). The alternate shirt was this loose red cross neck. A leftover from my many varied stints as a fat girl is that loose clothes make me feel big. I didn't hate this top, for all that it was loose and blouse-y, I'll need to consider it again in the next day or two. It's a good color for me at any rate.

It's maybe a little 1970s, but am I.

The next outfit was skinny jeans (which I don't need, but boy were these nice), and a couple of tanks. There was also this jacket which was weird as hell, but I kind of liked it. Sadly, it didn't fit. The sleeves wouldn't come up over the head of my shoulder, and when I bent my arm they were uncomfortably tight over my biceps. I'd never be able to get a shirt under this, and I don't think sizing it up would help...the sleeves were a bit short. This outfit came with an awesome necklace, though.

The black tank says "Save water, drink champagne"

So, yeah. That was Front Door Fashion: Take One. I was impressed. The stylist actually read my notes and everything aside from the jacket fit really well. Pants were all the perfect length, nothing too small or too big, everything comfortable and cute. Patterns that weren't totally off the wall, and even my shitty fashion eye could see many different combinations among the assembled outfits. It's going to be hard to decide what to keep...and my last few StitchFixes have all been "HAHAHAHAHA NO" and back in the mail the same day. 

This is pricier than StitchFix, and if you already have a decent wardrobe you may not need this kind of thing. My wardrobe is non-existent. Seriously...sad as fuck. I need jeans like I need another hole in my head, but a couple of these pairs may stay. And the leggings...sweet baby dolphins I loved those things. I can't believe it...I kind of shopped, and it was fun. Mostly because it didn't involve other people or dressing rooms and I didn't have to comb my hair.

Also today arrived my new swim suit from Savage Swim. It's my goal to wear it proudly in Hawai'i. I tried it on, and it is cute-ish if somewhat intimidating in white. You won't see a picture of it on me here, I have 30 days to make it look as good as possible...then all winter to build up a booty worthy of white bikini bottoms for next summer. 

So. Cute. And Scary.

That's all I got. Just pictures of clothes I got in the mail. Sorry not sorry.