Sunday, January 13, 2008

Trying Out Some Trends

If you've seen me looking extra dorky lately, allow me to explain. I have been trying out two trends this week because they are very practical for me and I decided to give them a whirl. One was an accident and one was premeditated. I'll start with the accident.

Does it just seem like homes with all hardwoods are colder? I guess in many ways to me, they are cozier and homier, but literally speaking, they are colder. And maybe this stands to reason. Maybe carpet holds on to heat or something. But anyway, some days I just cannot get warm enough. I have so much hair that it makes more sense for me to wash it at night, but even if I had thin, short hair I think I would still need a shower at night just to warm up. I have tried robes and layers, but I either feel bulky, like I can't do anything without my sleeves falling in the sink or the dinner I am preparing, or constricted like I'm being hugged too tight by all these layers. There just doesn't seem to be a good comfortable fit in my wardrobe. So the other day I decided to slip a short sleeved shirt on over my long sleeved shirt. It was less bulky than my fleece or one of George's shirts, but not so constricting as putting on another long sleeved tee shirt of the same size over the one I already had on (does this bother anyone else?). George was watching me so I gave this disclaimer (of course) "I know this looks really dorky, but I am cold and I can't find anything else comfortable." And to my surprise he said, "actually, I think it looks cool. Kinda sporty." So I wasn't so convinced until two days later. We had been reminded on Thursday that Amabel did not have school on Friday. Normally I would've loosely planned my week around this, but I didn't remember. So I was pretty surprised that my mother-in-law did. Evidently, I had actually told her about it months ago, she had asked for the day off way back then and just found out that she could get it off on Thursday afternoon. So she called Thursday evening to see if we wouldn't all like to go out to breakfast and then to the Magic House. She and I have only ever twice done something together with the kids and not in the past year at least so I was kind of excited and said yes right away. Of course, I had a ton of laundry and errands to do that I completely forgot about until Friday morning when I was trying to get dressed for our outing and couldn't find anything to wear. I remembered George's affirmation and decided to try out my makeshift outfit one more time- different shirts, but same look. I felt a little self conscious but that isn't really anything new anyway as my jeans are always falling down. (I am sorry but this low rise trend has got to end!) Anyway, I saw at least two other moms at the Magic House with the exact same thing going on! (Two was confirmation so I quit worrying about it after that.) It's sort of a strange thing to wear, I totally remember it from junior high! But all of my thread bare long sleeved white tee shirts with the beginnings of holes in them and spaghetti sauce spatter stains from careless cooking on them have new life breathed into them now because I can cover them up with short sleeved tee shirts! What an economical trend!

The other trend is one I'm still not sure about. I am also not sure how long it has been going on. George and I got a chance to go out to dinner and a movie last night. We had some free movie passes and George's mom offered to watch the kids for us and to feed them dinner so we went to McAlister's first. Incidentally, BOO McAlister's! You have changed and for the worse! The menu is not on chalkboards anymore. And the menu has bizarre things on it now like chicken cordon blue! Gross! You know what that is. It's chicken stuffed with ham and cheese. It's disgusting. And they have it pictured on these black plastic plates. Remember the baskets? They have been plastic for a while. But plastic plates now? And the plaid? The plaid is really cheap looking now. It just screams "big bad spread to thin, too big for our britches, chain store!" Now I know that if you went to Mississippi State and ate at the Bulldog Deli or even if you went to Ole Miss and frequented the "original" McAlister's, you might think that the spread to Memphis or Jackson or Auburn was too much. That's where I came in and I thought it was great. So there could've been an earlier lapse of quality that I am unaware of, but the lapse in quality from 1996 when all the McAlister's were listed on the front of the take home menu, when the McAlister's went up on University in Auburn, to now is just awful. As in I am full of awe at the loss of a good thing. I looked at their website and saw that they got a new CEO in 1999. Phil Friedman. Thanks a lot, Phil. You ruined McAlister's. I may never go there again.

Anyway, while I was at a restaurant that slightly resembles one of my favorite places to eat from college, I noticed this girl with a headband on and a pony tail. And I thought, "Hey, that sort of looks strange. And yet, I like it." I tucked it away in my memory, but not for long. The movie theater was crawling with pony tail and head band two timers. And I thought to myself that the thing about that is, I always wear a pony tail. I do this because my hair keeps getting curlier but it is too heavy to hold the curl so it just sort of ripples in an annoying way. Frank helps with this, but Frank is expensive. Thus, the pony tail for two months, a month after every haircut. Also, Frank can't work me in at the last minute very often which is really annoying. And I don't mean last minute like the day of or the day before like you think I mean; I mean last minute like in the next two weeks. And I just can't be making hair appointments four weeks in advance with my crazy life. I finally just had to go to Great Clips last time. And Great Clips stinks. So I paid twenty bucks to continue wearing my hair in pony tail. Nice. But I have always had this thing where I hate to wear a pony tail to church. It's like wearing a pony tail to prom or something. It just looks like no effort. Well, some people can do these sleek looking perfect pony tails with a JCrew hair tie that looks like a model. Mine is like this huge bush of a pony tail with three times the amount of hair that any human should have on her head so that it always breaks the elastic in the hair tie and then weighs down so it looks frumpy five minutes after I pull it back. But a head band sort of dresses up the pony tail. It adds a little something that seems to say "No I didn't just roll out of bed. Or if I did, I at least took the time to put this band on top of my head." And I like that message.

So that's the new look I'm going for these days. I'm not sure if it's working stylistically, you know as far as whether or not I am a complete laughing stock. But I like what it's doing for me in a practical way. I'm eeking out a little more wear from tee shirts that truly should have been thrown in the trash can long ago. And hey, I'm letting the world know that it's not just that I don't care about my hair; it's just that the pony tail is really the best option for this mop, but hey, if it makes you feel any better, I have this head band on too.


lauren said...

you are hilarious! :) i bet you look super cute in both. i've dabbled in the head band ponytail thing too. it's so cute, but i have to admit i'm always nervous that the cute college girls are like, "whose that frumpy mom crampin' our style?" ha ha!

Anonymous said...

That's so funny! I just yesterday noticed a very classy looking teenage girl at church sporting the head band ponytail and I really liked it. I didn't think about it for me so much, but thought, that's how I'd like Caroline to look as a teenager.


Anonymous said...

Also, you don't like chicken cordon bleu?!? Who doesn't like breaded chicken stuffed with ham and a cheese sauce?!? Yumm! Maybe it's me though, I do like me some creamy dishes. Incidently, I learned how to make homemade cream of chicken soup that makes recipes taste way better than the can! Very economical too...don't discount SL recipes yet! :)


Wrights said...

I bet you look very cute in both your new stylin' trends! I have done the headband thing on the days that we have to be somewhere before noon and I just can't squeeze in a shower. Has your hair gotten crazier after having babies because mine sure has! I have way too much to go around and now 6 months out of having a baby, it is falling out but doesn't seem to be getting any thinner. I remember the same thing happened after AW was born. I want to try your t-shirt and long sleeve idea too. I have seen other people do it and it sounds cute and easy. People always think I am a teenage mom anyway so I have nothing to lose, really!

Anonymous said...

You seriously need to consider a would be hilarious. As I read, I can just see you right here in person talking, which I suppose means you're being true to your "voice," to use an oh-gag English dept. term (that one drives N nuts).

Yea for wardrobe epiphanies (that don't cost $$)!

I LOVED my pregnancy/post-partum hair because it had just a tiny bit more body. I wish there was a way to transplant some of your fabulous volume over to me and do us both a favor!! I have the wimpiest pony tail of ALL time. It's a disgrace to ponies everywhere.

Becca B

abby said...

Becca, I totally wish we could share! I seem to remember trying to figure out one time how many of your pony tails could fit into mine. I guess the grass is always greener huh?

And y'all what IS the deal with the post pregnancy hair? I heard that you don't shed any hair during pregnancy so that is why you shed so much the first few months. But why would mine be curlier now? Pregnancy is so strange. Not just hair and body, but everything changes. I feel like my personality changes! And then my feet grow and I have all these shoes that don't fit. Wah! And just when you get back into whatever that new groove is, you have to adjust all over again. No, I am not pregnant. But knowing me, it probably won't be long.

And please, somebody back me up. chicken cordon blue is the worst idea in the history of food. George and I call it "ham puffs." And I remember they were served up to all of us at intern training one time and we, people who were desperately trying to raised support for our livelihood and pinching every penny, all went out to dinner! No way were we eating that. And the McAlsiter's ham puffs look strikingly similar. Sorry Elizabeth! And I am surprised I never noticed it before, do you think we have completely different palates? I make "cream of chicken" from scratch for chicken pot pie. But to me, no recipes, even chicken pot pie, with cream of chicken are really worth the trouble. That's right, because they're gross! I thought y'all didn't like casseroles anyway! (Minor disclaimer: I do use C of C for that mexican chicken-y thing with the salsa and tortillas. That is my one exception!)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I know you've mentioned that you don't like cream of gross soups, that's why I mentioned making the cream soup from scatch :)I guess I didn't realize the cream as a concept was gross to you, I just thought it was the fact that it was processed and in a can, which does gross me out yet, I love anything creamy-- but I'm pretty sure I like all the eclectic foods you like too, it's just that my husband probably likes none of those foods, plus doesn't like the creamy ones(yes, that's why we don't do casseroles, but it's b/c of him, not me!), so I'm pretty much regulated to meat and three type of food. And no, Chicken Cordon Bleu at McAlister's doesn't sound good, but I have a great recipe, so now I know what to cook next time the Edema's come to dinner-ha!


p.s. I several people out and about today that weren't teenagers sporting the headband ponytail and it looked good!

vwlaura120 said...

Hey Abby!

Thanks for the comment last week, I appreciated it!

Love the entry. I've been doing the long sleeve tee-tee shirt combo since High School, and haven't stopped. It's one of my favorite ways to wear my spring/summer clothing during the winter. And I understand your annoyance at ame size double layer long sleeves. UGH! However, I find a fitted zip up hoodie is good too for layering because the sleeves are fitted, but stretchy enough for rolling up out of your way. H&M have them for real cheap ($10-$25) and in a plethora of colors. American Apparel carries them too, but I've never bought them there.

As for the pony-tail-headband look, instead of spending all that money on a few different headbands, head to the fabric store...or take those old tees and make them new! Take a piece of fabric and double it over with a small stitch, tie it back at the nape of your neck and you're good to go. Alot of my students wear them long, with an extra tail hanging down their back, but I like to stick to a shorter band!

OH! and if you're willing to at least try it, Rachel Ray has a great recipe for "fake" chicken cordon bleu, where you fry up the chicken, and wrap it in ham and swiss. Then you make a dipping sauce with heavy cream, white wine and spices!

Take care!

RHB said...

I had to do the ponytail to church thing this week and felt like a slob, but surprisingly, D liked it! Go figure.

katie said...

Mmmmm...Chicken Cordon Bleu. At church they used to serve CCB at Wednesday night dinners. I had a contest with a guy twice my size. I ate 5 and won!

lauren said...

2 things to add...

-go to forever 21 for headbands for this look-they are super cheap.

-i had no idea you were a cream of whatever soup snob! i think i have this thing for southern foods now because my mom NEVER made a casserole in my life. they were rolling their own sushi when i was little. so when i discovered the phenomenon of creamy casseroles, i fell in love. not to mention grits, cheese straws, and sausage balls! ;)

abby said...

just to clarify. I love real cream. I use it in soups etc., whip it up, make dessert with it (NO cool whip!) And I like real cheese. I make cheese grits all the time. I do not like canned soup. at all. and i am not a big fan of swiss cheese in particular. and the biggest thing, the very biggest thing you need to know about me and the rest of my family, if you know nothing else, is that we HATE, and i don't mean that we will decline or tell you to your face, i mean that we will eat politely and then complain and clutch our stomachs the whole way home, hate HAM! Ugh! it's not natural. canned soup is not natural either. nor is cool whip. nor is processed cheese. velveeta? oh my gosh! there just aren't words. i am fairly certain that this is the cheese persuasion of most ham puffs, er "chicken cordon bleu- please, blue!" but HAM is like stomach ache on a plate. so if you take a nice, innocent piece of chicken and then stuff it with HAM, and then with processed cheese, you are just ruining that chicken the same way Phil ruined McAlister's. And that's all I have to say about that. :)

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