Archive for October, 2011

What Is Your Holy Grail?

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

“I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles”

~ Janis Ian

The only thing I have to say to this song lyric is: what the heck took her so long??

I‘d figured this out by age 14.

As I’ve shared earlier, by the age of five or six I was already overweight. I had corrective shoes and glasses, set off by mousy brown hair. Could my worldview have gotten any bleaker?

Children are little sh!ts. They are merciless in their brutality in elementary and middle school. I was always the last one picked for anything in any sort of relay race, soccer or even tether ball.

The kind comments I heard from well meaning adults were: “You’re so smart.” “You’re so funny.”

It wasn’t long until I figured out those were consolation prizes for never being a great beauty.

Fast forward to adulthood. When I turned 40 years of age I called my sister and said, “There is now never any chance that anyone is ever going to look at me and want me.”

“What do you care?” she asked. “You’re happily married.”

“Not the point,” I responded. “No stranger on the street ever wanted me. Now they never will.”

“I understand,” she said.

But how could she? She wasn’t 40.

Luckily for me, on the maternal side of my family the women really don’t come into their own until their 40s.

Somewhere after my 40th birthday I collected a bevy of 35 year olds who seemed to be attracted to me.

I credit their (potentially) misplaced adulation for allowing me to re-write my thoughts on beauty.

Could a plus-size woman be attractive?

What about a mid-forties woman?

At my sister’s wedding last month, after being made up by a professional hair and makeup stylist I was shocked at how amazing I looked. (And of course, the bride, also a 40+, was just glowing.)

Several glasses of wine into the reception I had a moment alone with my father and I kept saying, “You have such beautiful daughters…..we look amazing!”

His response was: “And you’re so smart too!”

Like the screeching scratch of a record player arm ruining your favorite album in an Allie McBeal episode, my euphoria at my own reflection in the mirror shattered.

I stared at my father like he was nuts: “What? Why the hell would I want to be smart? It is a consolation prize!! Don’t you understand??? All I’ve ever wanted is to be attractive!”

Where the heck has intelligence ever taken me?

What about being witty?? I ask you – where? Why would I ever “settle” for being these consolation prizes?

Screw intelligence! Screw a great sense of humor! Screw a kind heart! I don’t care if you ‘can’t fix stupid’ I just want my Holy Grail: I want to be beautiful!

So, with less than 5 years left on my ‘decade of gorgeousness’ (without lots of plastic surgery….if you’d like to contribute I’ll be happy to supply you with my PayPal account information) I am glad to have finally (w/only two hours of help by professionals) reached my Holy Grail: I’m finally attractive!

I ask you: what is your Holy Grail? What would it mean if you could actually achieve it?

Posted in LJ's Story, Tangent |

All Things Sparkling

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Recently a friend of mine mentioned there is actually an “International Wear a Tiara Day.”


Before I go off on a riff, I’d like to see a show of hands from my readers: how many of you think I’m going to decry IWATD as the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard?

Go on: raise your hand.

Well, if you thought I’m going to flip out about ridiculous anti-feminist fashions rooted in times when women were nothing more than mere possessions (unless of course you happened to be THE woman, i.e. Elizabeth I, Victoria, Mary Queen of Scots or Marie Antoinette….and obviously it worked out better for the former two than the latter two) then you’d be very, very wrong.

I love tiaras. I think we should wear them because it is Tuesday. Or Thursday.

I mean, what is not to love? A little shimmer, a little sparkle, a girl walks around feeling like a princess for a day. It is perfect.

The friend who mentioned the IWATD said that in her office they’ve decided to have an unofficial IWATD during the month of October. She went so far as to mail me and a co-worker two beautiful tiaras!


As it turns out, Tiara’s aren’t just for chicks. You can get one for your favorite pooch too! (See below)


I have my own little story about the power of the tiara.

My sister recently married and for her surprise bridal shower I brought a few accoutrements with me.

My sister relocated across the country so most of the people attending her shower have only known her 5-10 years.

I felt like her new friends needed a little perspective and a peek into her psyche as she grew up that only a loving sister could provide.

I sat her in the middle of the room and began my tale:

“Growing up, like many of us, my sister wanted to be a Princess.” I pulled out a pink party hat, trimmed in pink ribbons and placed it on her head.

“So it is no surprise that as she decided to marry she chose to wear a tiara on her wedding day.” With a bit of flair I pulled out a plastic tiara to replace the Princess hat.

My sister grabbed for the Princess hat and protested loudly. “I want them both.”

Of course she does.

Improvising, I slipped the tiara down quite nicely around the replaced Princess hat.

My story continued, “When I asked her if I could wear a tiara too, she quickly said, ‘Heck no!’”

One last time I reached into my bag, pulling out my final prop, a tiny Witch’s Hat with a silver bow. I slipped it on my head and turned to face the room of 20 people. “But she said I could wear this one instead.”

There was much laughter and clapping in the room until my sister cried out: “I want that one too!”

Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it: my baby sister. She wants what she has and she wants what I have too!

So endeth the lesson.


In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that when I arrived for the final dress fitting at the bridal shop, my sister presented me with my very own tiara to wear in her wedding. It is absolutely beautiful and fit my dress perfectly.

Of course, that doesn’t mean now that the wedding is over my new awesome tiara will never see the light of day. In fact, I may wear it whenever. Like when it is sunny. Or snowing. Or Tuesday.

Posted in LJ's Story, Tangent |