June 2008

It seems I have a problem dressing properly. Specifically, I have no idea how to do it.

We are headed to Oklahoma for a family wedding this weekend, and aside from it being very windy, I don’t quite know what to expect, and more specifically, what to wear. (Yes, even though I went to a different family wedding in Tulsa two short years ago. I have a bad memory, okay? And at that wedding, I was so distracted by the groom’s alarming tan that I blocked out all other useful information.)

This wedding weekend will include four different events at country clubs in the course of 2 days. FOUR. And as I learned last time, Tulsa is decidedly the south, not the midwest, which means it is fancier and they have “etiquette” there and I will have to dress appropriately and oh my god I don’t even have four different southern country club-appropriate outfits in my closet.

My mother was no help. (“I’m just wearing my linen pantsuit! Why don’t you just wear yours?” Um, because I don’t own one. I would strongly prefer to keep it that way.)

So I did what any modern woman would do and turned to The Google. “Dear Google,” I asked. “What should I wear to a rehearsal dinner at a country club?”

“This!” says Google.

Um, really? Doesn’t that seem a little, uh, non-subtle for the rehearsal dinner? “Hey groom! If you’re tired of waiting for your wedding night with your wife, check ME out!” Maybe I could wear a slip underneath. Yeah, that’s it. I’m on board.

Next up: “Dear Google,” I asked again. “What in god’s name should I wear to a ‘casual wedding day brunch’ that is being held at a country club where I know for a fact that men are required to wear jackets and ties to dine, even in the daytime?”

“Shiny brocade curtains as a dress, obviously,” says The Google

Right. Okay. Will work on that. I have a shift dress from a suit that I can probably spray paint or spackle or something to look shiny and patterned. Check.

The big one: “What is the right thing to wear for an ‘almost black tie’ (seriously, that is how was described) wedding taking place at a storied, fancy, old-school, debutante-loving, southern southern southern country club?”

“Duh,” says The Google.

Okay, I get it, a long dress is a smart move and the black accessories with a floral dress are a little hip and unexpected, but I have to be candid, Google, I’m a little worried about how that hat is going to fare in a suitcase. Also, my super short black gloves are at the cleaner. Do you think I could substitute weightlifting gloves instead?

And finally, our last event: the sendoff brunch. Google, help me: “What, pray tell, is appropriate for an event that asks guests to wear ‘traveling attire?'”

Okay, Google, I call bullshit. I may not know much about southern manners, but I’m reasonably certain that showing up topless in a swim cap is not going to work out.


Some things that I read in magazines inexplicably stick with me forever.  I once read that morning breakfast cereal shouldn’t have more than 7 grams of sugar per serving.  “That seems doable,” I remember thinking at the time.  “What a reasonable approach- not a crazy diet, just a general guideline.  I’ll do it!”

Have you ever looked at the nutrition facts in the cereal aisle?  This is harder than you might think.  Seemingly innocent cereals (bran chex, you taunt me so!) actually exceed this 7 grams guideline.  So since I decided to adhere to this random guideline from Shape magazine, I’ve eaten pretty much the same thing for breakfast every morning:  bowl of shredded wheat (no sugar!) drizzled with a tiny bit of honey (less than 7 grams sugar!) and milk.

Two days ago, I busted out a small jar of honey that I purchased in Hawaii a while back.  I drizzled some over my shredded wheat and took a bite.  “Ugh,” thought I.  “This honey is strangely bitter and smoky tasting.”  But I got used to it, finished the bowl, went about my day.

Yesterday, same thing:  strangely bitter and smoky tasting, but I can survive.  I brought this honey all the way home from Hawaii, dammit.  I’m going to eat it, and I’m going to like it.

This morning, I went back to regular old grocery store honey, hoping that would solve the problem.  Worse than ever:  bitter, smoky tasting, and just unpleasant.  “Man,” I think to myself.  “Is there something different about this brand of shredded wheat that I just don’t like?”

I looked contemplatively at the bowl.

“That’s odd,” I said.  “Why does it look all curdled in there?  Can honey cause milk to curdle?”

No, honey does not cause milk to curdle.  Keeping milk 4 days past its expiration date causes milk to curdle.  Which means that for the past THREE DAYS I have consumed a bowl of cereal bathed in CURDLED MILK.  As in, gone off.  Funny-smelling.  Spoiled.  I was apparently just too unawake to notice.

So for anyone who was wondering: if your cereal suddenly tastes like campfire, you should probably open a new carton of milk.  You can thank me later.

I forgot my book this morning, so on the el I was perusing the advertisements that hang above the seats. There, right above me, was the following text-only ad:

“Our friends all moved to the suburbs. So we got new friends! CoupleStop . com: Where couples clique.”

Has to be swingers, right?

Even though the website says “no swingers allowed!”, that has to be just a front, doesn’t it? 

I mean, look at them! You mean to tell me they got all dressed up and wore their lowest cut and sparkly-est dresses just to go out to a casual dinner with another couple they hope to become friends with? I think not.

You guys, the bespoke guy starts today.  I find myself oddly nervous about my outfit.

  • Discovering you didn’t close the freezer all the way so all your food has defrosted, cleaning out the freezer, taking two bags full of perfectly good food to the trash.
  • Singeing your hair with a fried hair dryer.
  • Realizing you’re out of milk for your cereal.
  • Looking at the weather report and learning that it’s supposed to rain all day today, including “severe thunderstorms” at exactly the time that the outdoor concert to which you have tickets is supposed to start.
  • Spilling perfume on your hands.  Not a little perfume.  A LOT of perfume.  Hi!  I’m pseudo!  I smell aggressively of green floral with citrus notes!