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Tag Archives: tips

Confessions of a night owl

I’ve always been a bit of a late-night junkie.

When people in my family hit puberty, we lose the ability to sleep. It’s like clockwork, really. HORMONES BAM WHY DO YOU NEED SLEEP? It’s impossible to FALL asleep, and once you’re there, you have to be very, very careful to STAY asleep, because once you wake up, all bets are off. You might get an hour’s sleep, or six hours, but if you wake up too much, there’s no falling back to sleep. Or you might wake fully up for no reason at 3 a.m. and there you have it, then! That’s all the sleep you need! (It’s not. Not at all. You’re sleepwalking all day and you yell at people, and sometimes walls and/or your own feet for being stumbly.)

My grandmother and great-aunt never used their beds because why bother? They slept in their recliners with the televisions on. That way, they figured, if they woke up, they could at least watch some fine late-night television. My dad’s currently getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. That’s actually quite a bit for him.

(Ironically, Mom sleeps like the dead. She’s in bed every night by 9 and up by 4-5 a.m. and she’s one of those “I’m up, let’s sing songs of little BIRDIES!” people that make you want to throw things. Talk about opposites attracting.)

A normal 9-5 workday never worked out for me. I hate alarms. I hate getting up early. I hate going to bed before I’m tired. If you’re an insomniac to begin with, going to bed when you’re not even tired is a waste of time. You just lie there and every stupid thing you’ve said in your ENTIRE LIFE goes through your mind.

I was a little nervous about the new job. See, I’m working weird hours now – til 1am three weekdays a week and over 10-hour days on the weekend days (I have to get up kind of early those days, but I get out at 8.) I worked the late shift at the answering service quite a few times over the years, and it never bothered me that much (things always slowed down a lot, and mostly we could chat and laugh, which was always good) but a job where you were actually WORKING and expected to be MENTALLY ALERT until 1 a.m.? Eeesh.

Well. Come to find out, this works PERFECTLY for me. Who knew the solution to over almost 30 years of insomnia is shifting your sleeping/waking hours? (FINE, I’m sure some scientist knew this. Everyone has Circadian rhythms, right? Well, who’s to say mine aren’t much different from everyone else’s? I mean, my brain seems to run at a different weirdo speed than most of the world; I wouldn’t be surprised if my rhythms are all off, as well.)

It took a bit of getting used to (a month or two, to be honest) but come to find out this is kind of perfection. I get to go to bed when I’m tired. I only have to set the alarm twice a week. I can let myself sleep as late as I want 5 days a week. Let that sink in – I can sleep until NOON if I want to FIVE DAYS A WEEK. (I don’t – I usually get up between 9:30-10 – but I COULD.) I’m actually perfectly alert until 1 a.m. (well, most nights – some nights the copyediting and proofreading is very, very dry, and my most favorite cheerful goofballs happen to have the night off, and there’s a lot of hurry up and wait, and on those nights I get a little yawny. But who wouldn’t, even during a normal day of work?) Then I get to go home, and it takes about an hour to unwind, and I’m off to bed. AND I CAN ACTUALLY SLEEP. I’ve been getting almost 8 hours of sleep a night for months. IT IS GLORIOUS.

ME EVERY NIGHT. (Plus about 40 years, let's be honest.)

ME EVERY NIGHT. (Plus about 40 years, let’s be honest.)

(Well, side note, not EVERY night; there’s a certain cat who’s QUITE sure that once the sun comes up, it’s playtime. So he leaps into my bed and tromps all over me and says “MEOW MEOW MEOW” all up in my face and I say sleepily “No no good boy go lay dooooown” and he is VERY EXCITED to hear my voice and then there is MORE tromping and meowing and “HEY MOM HEY MOOOOOM maybe it is time for wet food? Mom mom MOOOM! Meow meow meow PURR IN YOUR FAAAACE!” and sometimes there’s tickling my nose with his whiskers, which is not optimal, and sometimes even WORSE, there’s licking of my forehead, which he knows makes me giggle and squirm and put my head under the covers. That’s a VERY fun game for him because it means he’s won! Man, is that guy lucky I adore him.)

BUT! If you work nights (or want to sleep many hours into the sunrise) you have to follow many rules, such as:

  • DARKNESS! I had dark curtains but they weren’t enough. Em recommended blackout curtains and I got some for Christmas. They make ALL the difference. Those, plus closing all the bedroom doors most of the way (sadly, not all of the way, because there’s a certain cat in this household – YES, the same cat mentioned ABOVE – who cannot bear closed doors and would caterwaul and throw himself at the doors until I opened them, and that’s not going to help you sleep, because he needs to come and go or he can’t handle his FEEEEELINGS – are keeping my room dark like a TOMB and it is GLORIOUS.
  • QUIETNESS! There’s only so much of this I can get, because of the cat, you see, but quietness is important. I live on a somewhat-busy street, and the cars start being loud early, as do the children waiting for the bus and the upstairs neighbor who has a normal schedule and gets up early in the morning. I have mostly solved this with a very loud fan. I suppose I could use a white noise machine, but those make me nervous. Someone gave me one once, and my choices were “forest” (every now and then this very loud frog would be all “RIBBIT!” and how is that white noise?), “ocean” (which would have been fine but whoever recorded this put on screechy seagulls and also it made me have to pee all night), “wind” (which kept having these gusts which made me think the house was about to fall down and I was having nightmares about Auntie Em and the storm cellar) and “storm” (rain is soothing, except for the having to pee part, but random VERY LOUD THUNDERCLAPS are not. I’M AWAKE NOW IS MY HOUSE ON FIRE?) So I just turn on my fan and angle it away from my bed and it makes just enough whooshy white noise that I don’t hear much of anything except for the time some man came to my house trying to collect a debt from the prior tenant and knocked on my door AND all the windows (and you can be sure I reamed him a new one and he left apologizing and I think is so scared of me now he will never return.)
  • MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA! OK, so this one might not be for all of you, but I’ve been on meds for my sleeping issues for…oh, most of my adult life, and I take a teeny tiny pill every night that helps tip me over into slumberville. It doesn’t always work, but I’d say 90/100 times it does the trick. Aaah, prescription zzzzzs.
  • BEING COMFORTABLE! Comfortable sleep clothes are a MUST. You can take your sexy negligees and wear ’em to your heart’s content, my friends, I’m wearing flannel and t-shirts and, on very cold nights, a sweater over that, and maybe furry socks. And sometimes the cat is allowed under the covers because he is a warm little furry hot water bottle. You also need to know what kind of covers you need. Lots? Few? (Me, I’m a 4,000 blanket person. I like to feel MUMMIFIED under blankets. So I can barely MOVE. It is just my best thing.) How about pillows. Squishy? Hard? Feather? Foam? GET YOURSELF COMFY, YO. The more your bed’s a happy safe haven, the more you’re going to want to stay in it longer. There’s nothing worse than waking up because you’re freezing or in a pool of sweat. Plan ahead. And, related to this…
  • DO NOT DRINK ALL THE BEVERAGES BEFORE BED. Seriously, do you want to crawl out of that warm little cocoon you’ve so carefully constructed to pee like 14 times all night long? Especially when you KNOW when you get back the cat will have taken the warm spot in the bed and then you have to move him and he’s all “MEOW MOM YOU ARE THE WOOOORST” and then decides “Well, I’m awake, can I climb on you like you’re a mountain? Who cares, I’m gonna” and it takes forever to get back to sleep. Just curtail your orange soda after a certain time of night. You’ll be fine, my little gumdrops. You can drink all the soda in the morning, if you want. I won’t tell anyone.

SO, to sum up: I am getting the best sleep in my life by working weird hours. And when I tell people what hours I work, I get that face. That “oh, I feel so BAD for you” face. But I get to work with people who are ALSO happy to be working weird hours, and we’re kind of like kids who get to stay up all night and sleep in all day, and if anyone says anything about it we can say “I WORK NIGHTS” and this makes people kind of back away from you as if you might be radioactive (you kind of might) but little do they know, you’re actually kind of working the best hours ever.

(This all might be moot if you have children, or are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t understand weird hours. I decided about a month into this I was only allowed to date either other newspaper people, or writers, or maybe people who do long-distance truck-driving because who else is going to be up at these hours?)

Also, there is nothing better than doing errands in the middle of the day on a Thursday. NO ONE IS IN THE STORES! You can get in and out and it is like MAGIC! Yes, all of the employees think you’re unemployed, but who cares? YOU WIN QUICK SHOPPERY! Also, if you leave work at 1 a.m., no one’s on the roads, so you can drive really slow when the weather’s bad and NO ONE IS THERE TO CARE! It’s all very “I own the world, this is mine now” and empowering.

Now you know a secret: people working at night don’t always hate it, after all. Just don’t tell anyone. Then EVERYONE will want to work nights, and who’d open the stores early then? THE WHOLE AMERICAN ECONOMY WOULD COLLAPSE. I’d feel TERRIBLE. Eek!

And if anything goes on before, say, 10am on a weekday, you guys will let me know, right? Good, good. Much appreciated. All the love. *smooooch*

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What they don’t tell you about walking on sunshine is that it is SO SO HOT.

It’s hot.

Like, heat-wave hot.

BEYOND hot.

Like, living on the surface of the SUN hot.

(Now is when Andreas tells me I am exaggerating.)

Today, I asked my boss if somehow we were living in Tucson and no one told us. She thought maybe.

I'm pretty sure if I looked outside today, I'd see this.

I’m pretty sure if I looked outside today, I’d see this.

It’s the kind of hot where everything’s making me cranky, and I don’t want to leave the house, and there just aren’t enough cool things like icy beverages and popsicles and cold showers in the world to make it better, and I just don’t want to do anything but sit around and sigh sadly.

SO CRANKY AND HOT.

SO CRANKY AND HOT.

(Don’t you even tell me, as my mom always does, “You’ll WISH it was this hot when WINTER gets here!” Because I will NOT think that. I NEVER wish it to be this hot. And even when it’s super-cold in the winter, I don’t get this lethargic and crabby. I’m much better at cold than I am at hot. I HATE HEAT.)

According to a map I saw of Merka, it’s hot all over the place, except in a few places it’s in the 70s. (Well, I suppose in Alaska it’s cooler, but also there are moose and such up there, so that barely counts.)

Welcome to Merka! MONSTER HEAT WAVE!

Welcome to Merka! MONSTER HEAT WAVE!

So, because a lot of my readers are living where it’s quite toasty at the moment, I thought we could look at a helpful list of tips I found on the internet for staying cool when it’s hot out. That’ll be good, right? Yep. Totally will. We’ll think cool thoughts together.

Here’s the list. Ready?

1. Have a water-drinking competition with your family. I don’t think drinking water is competitive, and I know I read somewhere that if you drink too much of it, you can actually get water intoxication. You feel drunk and it makes you sick and stuff. I don’t know the science and I’m too hot to look it up. Something about imbalancing your chemicals or something. I bet Andreas knows. Just drink enough water so you don’t get dehydrated and don’t dare each other to drink more. Also, it’ll make you pee. Like, a LOT.

2. Sit in front of the air conditioner and eat marshmallows (sort of the opposite of roasting marshmallows over a campfire…) What the hell? This is foolish. Just eat whatever you want in front of the air conditioner. Popsicles. Fried chicken. Oreos, I don’t care. Weirdo.

3. Put an ice cube on your skin and see how long it takes to melt. Ooh, is this like naughty-times? Because it’s too hot for naughty-times. Get off me. GET OFF ME, I SAID.

Is she SLEEPING on the ice cubes? What is happening here?

Is she SLEEPING on the ice cubes? What is happening here?

4. Use a fan to blow your hair around like a fashion model’s and take pictures. And you have to do this during a heat-wave why? You could do this anytime. Also, you’re going to look weird, not sexy. Just so you know.

Well, this dog looks pretty good. But dogs always do.

Well, this dog looks pretty good. But dogs always do.

5. Read that book you haven’t had time to read because you’re usually outside. Ha! “Usually outside.” It’s like you don’t know me at all. I avoid outside as if it’s filled with bugs, sun, and strangers. Oh. Wait. It is.

6. Call a neighbor and invite them over for ice cream. No, because a., I don’t know or want to know any of my neighbors, and b. none of my friends are going to want to drive across town in this kind of heat for something they could get from their own freezers.

And if they eat it like this, I TOTALLY don't want them to come over. This is just creepy-times.

And if they eat it like this, I TOTALLY don’t want them to come over. This is just creepy-times.

7. Spend the day wandering around your local air-conditioned mall (assuming you have an air-conditioned way to get there). I actually somewhat agree with this one. One summer it was so hot my roommate and I were dying so we went to the mall and we watched a movie in comfort (we didn’t have air conditioning in that place) and we so, so, SO didn’t want to go home. But we had to. Because you can’t live in the mall, as much as you want to. But I don’t suggest spending the DAY there. I mean, you might as well go to work. Work’s air-conditioned, right?

8. Have a movie marathon–of movies that take place in the winter. This isn’t going to make you feel cooler. But if you want to watch movies, go to, I guess. Also, did I mention eat popsicles? Do that.

Watch this movie if you have to watch a cool movie. This movie is the best thing. (Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm." Highly recommended.)

Watch this movie if you have to watch a cool movie. This movie is the best thing. (Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm.” Highly recommended.)

9. Call an elderly friend or relative and make sure they’re doing all right. OMG, everyone always says this. Who are these lonely forgotten old people, and why must we all be reminded to check on them? I’m guessing they’re old people that have no one, and that makes my heart hurt. My old people are fine. Mostly that means my grandmother, because the rest of my old people have died of non-heat-related reasons.

10. Soak in a tub of lukewarm water. I don’t like tubs, because they seem filthy to me. Also, when it’s hot, I want cold water. Not lukewarm. Cold. So I’m freezing. Then that cold lasts for like twenty minutes when I get out and then I’m all hot again, but still. It’s better than nothing. Dad says that only crazy people take cold showers and that the SHOCK will KILL me but I’ve been doing it for years and I’m still kickin’, baby.

I'm rarely this HAPPY in the cold shower, though. Who the hell is? It's cold. You move fast or you freeze.

I’m rarely this HAPPY in the cold shower, though. Who the hell is? It’s cold. You move fast or you freeze.

11. Write a note to remind yourself not to complain about cold temperatures next winter. Then write a note to remind yourself to stop being a supercilious asshat.

12. Have a sub sandwich buffet for supper: set out rolls, meats, cheese, veggies, and condiments, and let your family put together their own sandwiches. I don’t have a family. Who’s going to eat this Subway shop I’ve set up in my house? Dumbcat? He doesn’t like human food. It makes him hide under the couch. What a waste of all those things. I mean, there are only so many sandwiches I can eat, you know?

13. Give yourself permission to be a little lazy; after all, in this kind of heat you shouldn’t try to do too much. Except work, grocery shopping, laundry, packing for vacation, hanging with Dumbcat, doing a million theater reviews…yeah. I don’t know that I have an option to kick back and be lazy, yo. Sorry, me.

These don’t seem to have been very helpful tips. Here are MY tips.

  • Sit in front of the air conditioning
  • Eat all icy things all the time
  • Tell Dumbcat to get off you because he’s so heavy and so furry and so hot, even though you love him
  • Try very hard not to get cranky over things that wouldn’t normally bother you because it’s really just the heat speaking
  • Go swimming if you like such things and can swim (I do not, and cannot)
  • Don’t do things that make you extra hot, like cleaning the house, moving heavy furniture, or riding the mechanical bull (one or more of these is a euphemism, you can decide which)

Stay cool, my little ice cubes. And if you are my real-life most-beloved, and I am snappy, please know I am not snapping at YOU, but at the HEAT, which is like WALKING INTO A DAMN OVEN.

RIGHT INTO AN OVEN.

RIGHT INTO AN OVEN.

Ahem.

Happy Tuesday.

HAPPY TUESDAY.

So…so…hot…


How many times a week do you shave? If you answer incorrectly, we may have to kill you.

I know! Don’t fret! Here I am! It’s been a busy few days. There was an overnight guest (MOM!) and delicious-dinner-eating and play-reviewing and play-review-writing and accidentally dropping the f-bomb in front of my very religious mom (long story, I get road rage) and Dumbcat-shenanigans (he was VERY LOUD AND NAUGHTY) and manicure-giving (which was actually totally a highlight, more detail to come) and nephew-birthday-attending. And do you know what there was not? Any crying or bathroom-weepery. I am quite proud at how the weekend turned out. The only downside was I didn’t get enough sleep, there was some non-family-related drama I could totally have done without, and I got a weird sunburn where I forgot to apply sunscreen. (Shoulders and the back of my neck. Although I did apply sunscreen there. Apparently, just not enough, or it was JUST SO DAMN HOT I sweated it all off. Who knows.)

We will have WEEKEND RECAP one of these days (it’s a big week full of theater reviews – three in one week, one with a relative I haven’t seen in a while, so THAT’S exciting! – so I’m going to try to squeeze blogging in amongst all my bon vivantery) but today, as promised…

DATING TIPS FROM 1949 for the FELLAS!

Howdy, 40s man, I am here to HELP!

Howdy, 40s man, I am here to HELP!

If you all recall back many moons ago (ok, I think it was Saturday) we discussed Esquire’s dating tips for the lay-deez in 1949. If you don’t remember, you can click here and catch up, or you can read the following recap: foursomes, restaurant rage, ninja-murder, don’t hold too much liquor, always talk to bores. And young Brando is hot. But, as one of my VERY INTELLIGENT COMMENTERS mentioned, I totally forgot a hottie from back in the day; I will rectify that now.

Young Paul Newman. I am SO SORRY for the oversight; he was a little too young for the movies in 1949, but we can look at him anyway. RAWR.

Young Paul Newman. I am SO SORRY for the oversight; he was a little too young for the movies in 1949, but we can look at him anyway. RAWR.

So! Our tips for the ladies were totally helpful; I’m sure I’m going to be getting invited to many tip-related weddings soon. I didn’t forget you, fellas! I know you’re all “OMG AMY HELP! I AM CLUELESS IN THE WAYS OF CATCHING A LADYPERSON!”

Well, tip one is, don’t say “catching” or “ladyperson,” but I digress.

Esquire was totally helpful for men of the 40s, too! 

So without further ado, let’s see what we’ve got for you! (That may or may not be a euphemism, depending on how well this goes.)

Do you use the continental approach, based on the belief that an immediate pass flatters a woman?

I can assure you THIS Continental would never bore anyone!

I can assure you THIS Continental would never bore anyone!

This is the average man’s greatest mistake. If a pass, on first acquaintance, doesn’t insult a girl it at least bores her.

OK. I’m already confused. What exactly is meant by “pass?” Like, a bad pickup line? Or, since it was the 40s, just talking to her? I’m going to assume it means bad pickup line. And if that’s the case, then, yes. It probably will insult her. (Or, more likely, make her roll her eyes, laugh, and walk away.) I don’t know if it would BORE her, though. I mean, watching paint dry is boring. Having a guy say “Are your legs tired? ‘Cause you been running through my dreams all night” is ANNOYING and CLICHÉD, but not BORING.

Do you show your real fondness for a girl by telling her about her bad points and advising her how to improve them?

This is again an error. If you must tell her you hate her perfume or how she does her hair, wrap it up in heavy sugar coating.

Hee! “A real fondness.” Yes. I find the people that criticize my bad points are my most closest friends, confidantes, and LOVAHS. Also, “if you must tell her you hate her perfume or how she does her hair…” YOU MUSTN’T DO THAT. I suppose if you don’t like the perfume scent she wears (I mean, we’ve all known someone who wears a scent we’re not keen on, even though they, as a person, rock), maybe give her a nice bottle of perfume you DO like, and say, “I smelled this and thought you’d smell amazing wearing it” and when she does wear it, compliment it a lot, I don’t know. I’ve never had anyone cuss me out for my perfume choices. (Because DAMN, I smell amazing. I’m good at perfume.) If you don’t like how she does her hair – SHUSH IT RIGHT UP. Seriously. Or go date someone else. Her hair is none of your business, just like your combover to hide what we all know is a damn bald spot isn’t ours. Stop being controlling.

Are you getting the feeling I’m going to get angrier at the male advice than I did at the female advice? Me too.

Do you show your devotion to a woman by holding her hand or putting your arm around her when her friends are present?

Please don’t. Even a girl who is affectionate in private dislikes public mauling.

Is this a 40s thing? I don’t know that this is a big deal now. I don’t know that putting your arm around someone or holding their hand is a public “mauling.” Well, unless you’re a bear, or like Vincent from Beauty and the Beast. Are you Vincent from Beauty and the Beast? Then I can’t help you with dating advice, go hang out in the sewers.

He seems very mauly, right?

He seems very mauly, right?

Can you describe the dress or hat worn by the last two girls you took out?

If not, notice and comment on the next few. Women appreciate having men notice the efforts they make over their appearance.

I’m so glad we don’t have to wear hats in this day and age. I hate hats. They always make my head hot, and make my hair all squashed in the hat-area. Is this question a test? “QUICK! DESCRIBE CLOTHING ITEMS!” Yes. It’s nice to say nice things about what your date is wearing. I don’t take umbrage with this question. I do, however, take umbrage with hats.

One of these is not a hat. It's a cowl. You can't pull one over on me!

One of these is not a hat. It’s a cowl. You can’t pull one over on me! Get it? Cowl? Pull one over? HA!

Do you have a double code about drunkenness for men and women when they are together?

If a man has to get drunk, he’ll be more attractive if he restricts this behavior to stag company.

We gonna hang? Cool. But leave your Zimas at home, dude, they didn't even have those in the 40s.

We gonna hang? Cool. But leave your Zimas at home, dude, they didn’t even have those in the 40s.

Whoa. Where are you going to find all those male deer? Like, are you going to break into a zoo? You could get totally injured, not to mention, it’s not at all cool to get drunk around wild animals. They might impale you with their horns. That’s possible also a euphemism.

Oh, stag is an old-timey way to say “only penises need apply?” Great, good, sorry for the confusion. So this tip is telling you not to get drunk around women. Well, I guess. Whatever. That seems old-fashioned, but this is the 40s, what can I tell you.

Do you sometimes take a girl out on parties of four or more, as a change from twosomes?

A good idea. A girl may feel hurt if you never ask her to meet your other friends.

MORE TALK OF FOURSOMES! Or even MORE than foursomes! ORGIES, PEOPLE, THE FORTIES ARE HAVIN’ AN ORGY!

Yes, a girl might feel hurt if you never ask her to meet your other friends. She might think you’re keeping her as a dirty secret in the closet, only good for twosomes and not good enough for PUBLIC twosomes. OR ORGIES. Unless, again, you’re Vincent from Beauty and the Beast; then the girl might be all “Yeah, let’s stay in the sewer and play Risk again tonight, what do you say? I think I’m getting really good at it.”

This is the NEW Vincent. He's not as mauly. But his eyes turn yellow when he's pissed, or having sex. I mean, so I hear. I don't...um...watch this show or anything. Heh.

This is the NEW Vincent. He’s not as mauly. But his eyes turn yellow when he’s pissed, or having sex. I mean, so I hear. I don’t…um…watch this show or anything. Heh.

Do you make distinctions between the jokes you’d tell a man in the club and those you’d tell a girl in a park automobile?

Almost no women like bathroom jokes or jokes with dirty words.

What’s a park automobile? Like, a park ranger’s car? Oh, it’s a typo and it means PARKED automobile? Were there no copyeditors in 1949? Urgh. Probably they were all women and they were busy buying hats and having foursomes.

PARK CAR!

PARK CAR!

ALMOST no women like bathroom jokes or jokes with dirty words. Especially when you’re in a park automobile. Because nothing says “put your hand on my gear shift, little lady, let’s get this old-timey automobile up to 40 miles per hour” than “HA HA DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE HUGE TURD?”

But apparently, some women must like that. Because almost means SOME do. So keep looking, bub, and someday you’ll find your lady of flatulence.

Do you tell a woman she’s beautiful, even if she isn’t?

This habit hurts nobody and makes a lot of girls happier.

Well, it hurts the girl you’re lying to, who now thinks you think she’s beautiful when she apparently is a hosebeast. Stop lying. If she’s not beautiful, just don’t mention it. Is that so hard? Talk about something else, for the love of Pete. Also, why are you dating her if you don’t think she’s pretty? Were you blinded in a terrible acid experiment in science class or something?

Do you ask an attractive girl — who is probably busy most evenings — to call you up sometime when she’s free?

Don’t do this: you may always ask a popular girl far enough ahead of time to find a free evening.

Also, she probably has the clap, so ask out the dog-faced girl from the last question, you’ll be less apt to have your dick rot off.

Do you plan your evenings with a woman ahead of time or leave the choice of amusement up to her?

It’s much more flattering for a man to announce the evening’s program, showing he has given thought to her amusement.

“TONIGHT WE WILL BE AMUSING OURSELVES WITH GAMES OF CHANCE, AND ALSO EATING SHELLFISH.”

“But I’m allergic to shellf-“

“SHUSH. I MAKE THE PLANS, AS I HAVE A PENIS.”

Do you believe it necessary in the modern age to push in a girl’s chair for her and to light her cigarettes?

These small courtesies mean a lot to a girl.

“May I light your cigarette?”

“I don’t smoke.”

SMOKE IT, I SAID!

SMOKE IT, I SAID!

“YOU’LL SMOKE AND LIKE IT. ESQUIRE SAYS IT MEANS A LOT TO YOU. NOW STICK THIS UNFILTERED CANCER STICK IN YOUR MOUTHHOLE WHILE I POKE A MATCH NEAR YOUR FACE, BABYLOVE.”

Do you ever tell a girl you love her, under the spell of the moment, when you suspect that you won’t tomorrow?

This is a dirty trick and if you do, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. Moreover, the word will soon get around to other women.

Is anyone else getting the feeling that “under the spell of the moment” means…um…in the midst of…unloading?

No? Just me? Great. Good. Grand.

Oh, maybe it means in the HEAT of the moment. You go, Asia. You go, you timeless bastards.

Oh, maybe it means in the HEAT of the moment. You go, Asia. You go, you timeless bastards.

Well, we learned up above that girls don’t like things that are dirty, except some do, so I guess keep looking for the filthy ones. And stop lying to women. You know we’re gossipmongers, and we’ll tell everyone you’re a lying liar who lies about being in the spell of moments.

How many times a week do you shave?

Once a day is minimum, if you care what women think of you.

Forty-two times a day is OCD, if you care what doctors think of you.

(Also, did 40s women hate beards? HEY! 40s WOMEN! I WILL TAKE YOUR BEARDY REJECTS AS I TOTALLY HAVE A BEARD-LOVE GOING ON ALL OVER HERE!)

Would you dine a girl expensively and not buy her flowers, or economize on the place and bring her at least a gardenia?

Most women would prefer having flowers and less to eat.

“I brought you effing ROSES, the least you could do is eat from the free BREAD BASKET and stop WHINING about being HUNGRY!”

(I’m also in tears of laughter about the “at LEAST a GARDENIA” thing. The poor sad gardenia! The least of the flowers! I mean, it could have been road-weeds. Count your blessings, I guess.)

Aw, they're totally pretty, too! What's with the gardenia-hatred?

Aw, they’re totally pretty, too! What’s with the gardenia-hatred?

If your hostess at a dance is obviously having a whirl, do you consider it necessary to dance with her?

You always should, as a matter of good manners.

“Having a whirl” is most definitely a euphemism, right?

Yeah, I thought so. Remember what I said earlier about the clap, boys.

Do you try to arouse a girl’s interest by boasting of your success with other women?

Don’t ever do this!

Listen, I take offense. You NEED to arouse women. It’s totally mandatory.

What? Oh, read the rest of the sentence?

Shit. Yeah, don’t talk about all the wick-dipping you’ve been doing all over town with the party hostesses, guys.

Jeez, I have like the worst reading comprehension ever today.

Do you consider it a young girl’s own business whether she gets tight and is indiscreet when she’s out with you?

Keep an inexperienced girl from getting tight, if you have to spank her, and don’t let any woman become indiscreet through liquor. Triumphs over drunken women don’t help any man.

I don’t…what can I even say about this one…um…there’s “tight” and there’s spanking and…

Well, other than SO MANY NAUGHTINESSES GOING ON, at least it’s not advocating date-rape. Way to go, 40s, way to go.

If a girl you’re fond of asks you to be nice to her cousin with adenoids and buck teeth do you cut her off your list?

Not pleasant, but if you rally around and give Cousin Belle a whirl, you’ll soon be known as the nicest man in town.

Or the biggest loser who does whatever anyone tells him. Or, if you follow the instructions above, you’re totally gonna get Cousin Belle preggers, and THEN you’re stuck, dude. Put a raincoat on that thing if you have to tell the ugly girl she’s beautiful, is all I’m saying, here.

Also, “not pleasant.” Well, I bet Cousin Belle doesn’t think it’s especially pleasant to have to hang with you, you douchekebob.

If you had a quarrel with a girl — in which she is clearly in the wrong — will you wait for her to apologize before calling her up or risk being a door mat and do it first?

Be a door mat — it’s easier for you to call a girl than for her to call you.

“In which she is clearly in the wrong.”

As they are. As they ALWAYS are.

It’s easier for you to call her? Why, is she chained up in the basement or something? Has someone cut off all her dialin’ fingers?

Oh. Because PRIDE. Because STUPIDLY MISPLACED LADY-PRIDE. Gotcha.

Well! What did we learn TODAY, men?

Um. Mostly, I don’t know about all of you, but I learned I have no interest in dating a 40s man, even if he’s a super-hot time traveler who looks like Newman or Brando. Because he’s going to set my hair on fire, not let me eat while shoving flowers in my face, take me out in park cars while restraining himself from making fart jokes, be all clean-shaven and obsessive about it, and insult both my hair and my perfume.

All of these? Total recipes for the hotness. Right? Right, ladies? Ladies? Where are you? You all ran off with young Newman, didn’t you. DAMMIT. Don’t come running back to me if he never lets you drink and expects you to wear all the hats.

These women don't look as upset as I would to have been decapitated and put in hatboxes. Also, one of them is wearing a Robin Hood hat, I think. Hmm. Perplexing.

These women don’t look as upset as I would to have been decapitated and put in hatboxes. Also, one of them is wearing a Robin Hood hat, I think. Hmm. Perplexing.


I knew I was in trouble when it asked “do you either play bridge or dance really well?”

You know what we all like? And need?

Excellent dating advice.

Remember a billion years ago (FINE, it was like a little less than two years ago) we talked about dating advice from 1938? And it was mostly “don’t get drunk” and “wear a brassiere” and “don’t get too familiar with the headwaiter?” And THOSE were really helpful tips, right? I mean, I know they’ve saved me from a TON of terrible situations over the last almost-two-years. Shut up, they might have. You don’t know my life. I might very well be having all KINDS of torrid affairs I don’t talk about on the interwebs.

SIGH FINE, if I was having a torrid affair, I’d probably at least drop hints about it on the interwebs. Or I’d be in a better mood or something.

So today I found ANOTHER super-helpful dating advice article, and the first thing I thought (well, after “YAY THESE’LL BE HELPFUL FOR ALL MY TORRID AFFAIRS!”) was “well, because you’re such a humanitarian, you need to be sharing these tips with the blog-people. I mean, keeping them all to yourself would be a total dick move, yo.”

So, let’s discuss dating advice from 1949!

Now, since this is 11 years after the LAST dating advice, it’s BOUND to be better, right? And also, 1949 is the year Amy’s Dad was born, so probably this is the sort of thing he grew up with. AND, this advice is from ESQUIRE, you guys. If there’s any magazine you can trust about dating advice, it’s Esquire. Right?

Oh, shit, this is going to be bad.

This is from a questionnaire so ladies of 1949 can make themselves more attractive to the opposite sex. Let’s see some men from 1949, so we can see what we’re getting.

Hmm. OK, I can work with this.

Hmm. OK, I can work with this.

Oh. Yeah, ok, this is nice. OK. Yep.

Oh. Yeah, ok, this is nice. OK. Yep.

A-fricking-dorable. 1949, you're doing alright. Is that all you've got for me?

A-fricking-dorable. 1949, you’re doing alright. Is that all you’ve got for me?

Oh. OH MY. OK. OK, 1949, you win. YOU WIN SO HARD.

Oh. OH MY. OK. OK, 1949, you win. YOU WIN SO HARD.

OK, so now we know what we’re playing for, ladies…oh, shit. Wait a minute. I’m being totally exclusionary. Some of my lady-readers like ladies themselves! They will like to know who THEY are playing for. I feel like a heel. An absolute louse. (Like that? I’m getting you in the 1940s mood with the lingo.) Wait just a minute.

Good, right? Sorry I forgot about you, ladies. I'm making up for it. Wait til you see.

Good, right? Sorry I forgot about you, ladies. I’m making up for it. Wait til you see.

Prettiest eyes ever. I love this woman, no joke.

Prettiest eyes ever. I love this woman, no joke.

I like young Marilyn before she started looking like life was wearying her.

I like young Marilyn before she started looking like life was wearying her.

OK, I ended with a princess. I made it up to you for being an inadvertent sexist, right? Good. Sorry. Love your faces.

OK, I ended with a princess. I made it up to you for being inadvertently exclusionary, right? Good. Sorry. Love your faces.

OK. NOW we know what we’re playing for. Let’s see how we get these lovely ladies (and gents) to fall crazy head-over-heels for us, what do you say, ladies? Great! Here we go! HELPFUL TIPS!

Do you bring the names of other men into the conversation to give yourself a sought-after appearance?

Don’t. This may give a man a sense of inferiority — he is uncomfortable with you, and soon drifts away to someone else. It may make him wonder how much talking you do about him.

Um. OK. So our first tip is don’t talk about any other men, ever. Shit. Some of my best friends are men? So I…just shouldn’t mention them? Like, ever? But what if Andreas tells me an awesome sciency thing, or BFF make me laugh and laugh about something? Hmm.

KEEP THINKING OF YOUNG BRANDO, AMY! YOU CAN DO THIS!

(I think it’d take more than name-dropping to give me a “sought-after appearance.” Heh.)

Do you wear clothes that make you a little more up-to-the-minute than the other women in your set?

Good — provided your taste is reliable and that the clothes suit you. Men may rant about the “crazy hat” but they swell with pride when their lady companions arouse admiring stares.

I…am confused. Do I need to wear a crazy hat? I own two baseball caps, a wool beret, a reversible fishman’s hat that keeps the sun off my face, and some winter beanies. Are those crazy enough? What if I pinned a brooch to them? Or tied some yarn to them or something? I sure do want my man to swell with pride. Yes. Yes, that’s a euphemism.

I am SO wearing this shit on my next date. I WILL BE SOUGHT-AFTER! By carnivores!

I am SO wearing this shit on my next date. I WILL BE SOUGHT-AFTER! By carnivores!

If you are asked to get another girl for a foursome, do you pick one obviously less attractive than you are?

You are unwise to do so. Get the most glamorous girl you know, and both men will be pleased.

Wait a minute. When did I agree to have a foursome? I don’t even remember to agreeing to a THREESOME. You can’t just spring a foursome on someone, 40s man, even if you are Brando. And where am I getting this ugly girl to fill out our foursome? This whole scenario is troublesome. (Also, I’m pretty sure, no matter how attractive the girl I get is, both men are gonna be pleased. We’re having a FOURSOME, yo, that’s like the BEST THING EVER for a 40s man. They don’t have porn on-demand on their computers like men today do.)

What? The foursome is referring to a DATE? Oh, well, man, I misunderstood THAT, now didn’t I? Carry on.

Do you make a point of building up other women, even those you dislike, in discussing them with a man?

This is sound practice. But don’t put it on so thick that it sounds like a line.

Well! Sound practice! Good show! Pip pip! Righto! And heavens forefend I rehearse what I’m saying so it sounds like a line, right? Wouldn’t want to sound REHEARSED on my date. But I do have to remember all these tips. But don’t sound rehearsed. SO MUCH TO REMEMBER. *pant pant pant*

Do men marvel at your capacity for holding liquor?

A great mistake: it gives you a fast reputation and runs into money — the man’s money — besides.

I am sitting here thinking about how much liquor I can hold. I’m thinking probably two or three bottles per hand? Like, if I were to hold the necks of the bottles.

Oh, DRINKING the liquor? Well, shit, wouldn’t want a fast reputation. I’m not Lightning McQueen. And OH NO! Wouldn’t want to spend the man’s money! I mean, he’s got to rent the hotel room for our hot foursome later, I suppose, needs to save his simoleons and such.

Look, "Esquire," I found your totally classy liquor store!

Look, “Esquire,” I found your totally classy liquor store!

How many comfortable chairs are there in your living room?

At least two, I hope. No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax and he can’t if either of you sits bolt upright.

“No man can fall in love unless he has a chance to relax.” Huh. Is that a rule? Well, THAT’S what I’ve been doing wrong? I have NO chairs in my living room! I have ONE COUCH! And four kitchen chairs, but one is broken and Dad has to fix it! Oh, well, no one’s ever going to fall in love in my non-love-conducive living room. THIS IS THE WORST. I need to go buy two beanbag chairs or something so I can gets me a MAN, yo.

What about this? Think I should get a couple of these? Could a man relax on one of these?

What about this? Think I should get a couple of these? Could a man relax on one of these?

Do you keep men interested by hinting that later — not tonight — you’ll be really demonstrative?

This is a low trick and one that a surprising number of men see through at once. If you kiss a man, it should be for your own pleasure and not to reward him.

A SURPRISING number! (But not all of ’em, so keep going, ladies, you might get a dumb one!) “Hey, honey, this date was the best, even though you kept talking about foursomes and wouldn’t buy me a drink and hate my kitchen chairs. Let’s do it again. WHOA NELLY! Get offa me! But maybe NEXT time, we can…hang a towel rack. If you know what I mean. And I think you do. What do I mean? Oh, I have this towel rack I need help hanging, but also maybe we could have all the sex afterward.”

I have to say I’m surprised 40s Esquire gives shit one about your pleasure, though, sincerely.

Do you make things easier for a man by suggesting that he climb into a car first, if he’s driving, or by asking him not to stand up when you come into the room?

This is an error — men know that they are supposed to show these signs of consideration to a girl and they respect her more if she takes them as a matter of course.

Just shut up and let him treat you like a lady, baby. Don’t mouth off. UGH. What the hell is WRONG with you?

Do you ever embarrass a man by telling him he’s good-looking or has big muscles or is too, too intelligent?

Try it! Almost any man can stand almost any amount of flattery, however obvious, without embarrassment or surprise.

“You’re too, too intelligent. No, seriously. TOO TOO INTELLIGENT. I’ve never met anyone like you. What? You’re not surprised? Or embarrassed? What if I told you you’re smarter than EVERY MAN IN THE WHOLE WORLD? Still not surprised? Not even a little embarrassed? Hello? Are you…honey? HONEY? Oh, shit, I think my date’s dead, this is just the worst. Where am I going to find another one of these?”

Do you knit when you are having a cozy, fireside evening with a man?

For some reason, men hate to see a woman doing anything with her hands when talking to her. Undivided attention is best.

I can think of something a man would like to see a woman doing with her hands while talking to her.

OMG, you guys are DIRTY. I of course meant making him a sandwich. Get your minds out of the gutter!

Do you either play bridge or dance really well?

If not, take steps to correct this at once. You’re better off if you do both well, but one talent is mandatory.

Oh, fuck. I dance like I’ve been electrocuted and card games with too many rules are the worst. I get so bored. I have a lot of talents. Can I substitute one of those? I choose “making sarcastic asides at the other numbskulls playing bridge or dancing.”

Are you so beautifully groomed that you make an average man feel like a lout when he takes you out?

Fine. Men are extremely critical of any imperfection in a girl’s neatness. If he feels like a lout once, the average escort will take pains to be better-dressed himself the next time.

I don’t think any man has to worry about this with me. No, sincerely. I’m lucky if I get out the door without my clothing being crooked, stained, or ripped somewhere strange. And my hair…well. Unruly. Just so, so unruly. Come at me, louts! I’m available!

Do you, when you have first met a really attractive man, clinch your future acquaintance by some polite variation of “Come up and see me sometime”?

It often helps out on the occasions when the man is too shy to make the first advance himself.

Aw, shy tiger. Don't be afraid! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!

Aw, shy tiger. Don’t be afraid! TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL!

Hmm. Polite variation. What about “you are pretty, I would like to kiss your mouth with my mouth?” or “Do you like popsicles? I ALSO LIKE POPSICLES LET’S GET MARRIED FOR ALL OF LIFE?” I mean, for example. Also, “too shy” is often “disinterested,” so don’t confuse the two. Best of luck with that and all.

Do you keep your friendships warm by chatty calls to your men friends at their offices?

This is fatal.

By “friendships” do you mean “relationships” and by “men friends” do you mean “boyfriends?” Why are you being all coy all of a sudden?

And if I call my fella at work, is he going to put a hit out on me? I don’t like the sound of this “fatal” thing.

Teach you to call your guy at work to see how his day's going.

Teach you to call your guy at work to see how his day’s going.

Do you use artificial conversation gambits like “What movie would you choose if you had to see it every week for a year?” to start talk with a shy dinner partner?

A very good plan — someone has to start the conversation and a question like this can keep it rolling for quite awhile.

This can also backfire. What if the guy says Fried Green Tomatoes and nothing else? Well, first, you’d be all, “WHAT?” because it’s 1949 and that shit doesn’t exist yet. But then you’d be like, “why’d he say that?” and “what a weird choice!” and “do you think he’d pay if I ordered a vodka tonic, or would that be fatal, too?”

Do you save yourself wear and tear by not troubling to entertain men bores?

A grave mistake. Bores have their uses since a clever girl can practice her conversation on them, with nothing much to lose. Besides, they often have attractive friends.

True story: I thought this said “man hores” and I was like “HA HA FUNNY TYPO FOR WHORES!”

Hee, “men bores.” Also, this is the worst thing. Just the worst. A., you’re practicing conversation on some poor boring sap who thinks he has a chance to grope up under your crinolines? And B., you’re using him to get to his less-boring friends? Even if his less-boring friend is Brando, that shit is MEAN, yo. You’re never going to be invited to the foursome now.

Do you suffer from indecision when ordering dinner or drinks in a restaurant with a man?

This maddens them — learn to make up your mind rapidly.

This “maddens” them? What, are they going to throw a chair through a window, Hulk-style?

MAKE UP YOUR MIND, WOMAN, WE HAVE A FOURSOME TO ATTEND!

MAKE UP YOUR MIND, WOMAN, WE HAVE A FOURSOME TO ATTEND!

I often cannot decide if I want chicken or fish or shellfish or something vegetably and it takes me a while to decide. If my manfriend/man hore can’t wait for me, he can go off and be fatal all by himself. Too many choices makes me think I’m making a mistake.

Also, I thought I wasn’t allowed to order drinks because that meant the man was spending his simoleons?

This is the worst.

This was spectacularly unhelpful. What have we learned?

NOTHING.

Except that people from the 40s were pretty hot, because black and white photos make everything better.

There are tips for men at the bottom of that post. I can totally talk about the tips for men tomorrow. Oh, shit, wait, no, Mom’s here tomorrow, and she doesn’t care for blogging. Monday, then. What do you think, men, need some super-helpful dating tips? You’re probably going to get ’em anyway, just letting you know, but I was making it look like it was a democratic process.

HAPPY SATURDAY! I am going to bed because tomorrow is work and mom and dinner and play and I will no doubt at some point get overwhelmed and need to cry in a bathroom. Because reasons. Won’t THAT be fun! Hooray for visiting family!


An Open Letter to Linda Heasley, the CEO of Lane Bryant, Inc. (with some helpful tips)

Dear Ms. Heasley:

(I have no idea if you’re a Ms. or a Mrs. The internet isn’t being helpful and also it seems creepy to search “is Linda Heasley, the CEO of Lane Bryant, married?” because I don’t want to marry you or stalk you, even. So I’m giving you a Ms. Hope you don’t mind.)

I have been a customer of your store since college. I actually worked, briefly, at your store, while I was a graduate student. (“Briefly” because I was not much of a fan of telling customers they looked good in clothes they clearly did NOT look good in for commissions. Lying for money seemed a little too close to being a whore for me, so I got a job at a pet store instead, where they let me play with animals for a living. Sorry.)

See, I’m a plus-sized woman. That phrase should give you a thrill, ma’am. I’m your bread and butter. If it weren’t for women like me (and I suppose men who purchase plus-sized women’s clothing; I worked at one of your competitors through college, and we had a number of transgender and crossdressing clients who shopped with us; I don’t want to be discriminatory) you wouldn’t have a client base. There actually wouldn’t be any need for your store. And then you’d be out of a job! And you have a lovely smile. I wouldn’t want you to be out of a job. I bear you no ill will.

However, we need to have a talk.

As you are no-doubt aware, there are a number of plus-sized women here in the States. (And possibly overseas. Do you do much business overseas? I’m sure I could research this, but it, again, seems like an odd thing to type into Google.) Lane Bryant is often our closest store for professional plus-sized clothing. Now, not to hurt your feelings, but I do most of my clothes shopping at Peter Harris Plus, because they have your clothes but half to seventy-five percent off, along with a lot of other brand-names. Also, very few people shop there, and they never care if I bring a gajillion clothes into the dressing room even though there’s a sign that says I’m not allowed to. I like when I’m allowed to be rule-flaunty. HOWEVER! Peter Harris Plus doesn’t carry lingerie. Well, it carries long t-shirts you can sleep in. I mean undergarment-lingerie. Bras, in particular.

So, whenever I need bras, I am forced to make the trek to (shudder) the mall, and enter Lane Bryant.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I have many options for bra shopping! Well, no. Because I’m…um…well-endowed, ma’am. I need to try them on before I purchase them, because it’s not often I find one that not only fits, but supports. It’s a gift that was passed down to me from both sides of my family. We’re all boobilicious. Aren’t I just a lucky woman?

Now. You used to carry a very basic t-shirt material bra with a tough as nails underwire. They lasted forever, they fit and supported beautifully, and they were smooth-fitting underneath clothing. In other words, they were perfect.  Well, they could have come in a few different colors or patterns, but otherwise, fantastic. And it’s not like anyone saw them but me, Ms. Heasley. The parade of suitors into the Lucy’s Football bedroom is…well, less a “parade” and more a “ghost town.” With scary noises and also maybe tumbleweeds.

So what did you do? Well! Of course, you discontinued them.

I can only assume this is because they lasted forever, so people didn’t come back and purchase them as often as you’d like.

So now the only style that works and fits for me is this lacy/satiny thing. Which could be worse, I suppose. But they don’t last. Because of the frou-frou lacy shit which is flimsy as hell. And did I mention no one sees the damn things? So I don’t need lace. Who the hell’s seeing the lace, the cat? He doesn’t care about lace, unless the lace has cat treats all over it or something. Also, they only come in the boring blah colors. Black, cream, tan. Because why the hell would we want to have FUN COLORS OR PATTERNS.

So this past weekend, ma’am, I went to Lane Bryant. And you had a whole rack of sale bras. A WHOLE RACK! No pun intended with the boob/rack comparison. So I took one of each style of each in my size and thought, dammit, I WILL GET SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE FROU-FROU LACY THING.

Ms. Heasley, who designs your undergarments? No, sincerely. I have to assume it’s not you. You’re the President and CEO, per the internet. You must have a team of designers or something.

What size, exactly, are these designers? And, followup question, do they wear their own product?

I am not a clothing designer. I am artistically challenged. I’ll admit that. I watch Project Runway and I never pick the winners. I actually pick the losers AS the winners, to be honest. I am, however, as I mentioned, a plus-sized woman, who has lived in this body for her entire life. And as such, I know what works on a plus-sized body and what doesn’t.

Here’s what doesn’t work:

  • Skinny straps on your bras. I’m talking skinny. Shoestring skinny. Listen, this is not going to hold me in position for the entire day. Not only that, it’s going to cut into my shoulders. HARDCORE cut into my shoulders. Nothing sexier than straps cut so deeply into my shoulders that I have deep red welts, right?
  • Padding. Now, maybe for smaller cup sizes, padding would work. And maybe even be welcome. However, how about once you get into the larger bra sizes, you discontinue the padding? See, here’s the thing – I come with my own padding. I know, right? Hard to wrap your mind around. I do not need an extra quarter-to-half-inch of padding in my cups, ma’am. I’m going to start looking like a caricature. Something painted on the side of a plane, perhaps.
  • “Balconettes”. If you have smaller breasts, you probably want to push ’em up and out. Mine are already there. I don’t want to push ’em anywhere. I just want to keep them in place and not have a sore back at the end of the day. Balconettes are a demi-cup. They only cover half the breast. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU NEED IF YOU ARE BUSTY. You might as well not be wearing a bra, sincerely. You look like you’re spilling out all over the place, and not in a sexy way. In an ill-fitting bra way.
  • Underwire made of twist-ties. Again, much like the skinny straps, this is not going to work. You need underwire that could double as bulletproofing, that you could use to break into armored cars, that you could put someone’s eye out with. Not underwire that bends when you’re trying the bra ON. How is that supposed to last if it can’t even withstand being TRIED ON?
  • Patterns that wouldn’t be out of place on a lawnchair. You are aware, right, that even though we’re plus-sized, we’d also like to be sexy? OK, just checking. Sexy doesn’t equal patterns like BRIGHT FLUORESCENT PAINT SPLASHES or HOT PINK HOUNDSTOOTH. Especially on the aforementioned bras that are ill-fitting and terrible.
  • Whatever the hell this is. I don’t even know.  Even the model looks confused and/or pissed.

Guess what I ended up with after trying on all these terrible, ill-fitting bras, Ms. Heasley?

THE SAME SILLY LACEY SATINY BORING-COLORED BRAS I ALWAYS HAVE TO GET BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY PRACTICAL THINGS IN YOUR STORE.

Also, I should probably apologize for being snippy to your overly-cheerful salesperson. However, when she asked, “Any luck?” in a voice as chipper as can be with a HUGE-ASS GRIN while I lumbered out of the changing room all crabby with your poorly-made bras, I couldn’t think of any response other than “No, much like Vegas, the odds are always on the house here at Lane Bryant.” This confused her and allowed me to make my escape.

I also tried on a top that LOOKED cute, but randomly had a large band of elastic that cut across the waistband, and puffed out above the elastic, making me look like a weird mushroom person. WHY WOULD A PLUS-SIZED PERSON WANT THIS?

Kind of like this, only more form-fitting and more mushroom-shape-making. So perplexing.

Kind of like this, only more form-fitting and more mushroom-shape-making. So perplexing.

AND, the last time I went to buy jeans at your store, you no longer had sizes. You had colors and numbers and shapes. As if we were in pre-school. A size 2 red square! A size 3 yellow triangle!

RED TRIANGLE!

RED TRIANGLE!

“Which of these is a size 18?” I asked the salesperson. She looked like I had taken a shit on the floor of the store.

“We don’t have size 18. We have sizes 1-6.”

“Yes. I see that you’ve changed your sizing in a confusing way. Which of these new strange sizes is comparable to a size 18?”

“We have sizes 1-6. Also we have colored shapes that coordinate to the fit. Isn’t that innovative? No other store is doing this.”

“Yes. I would imagine no other store is doing this, as it makes it utterly impossible to shop and I’m sure is losing you business. So…in order to find out what size I am, I would have to…”

“Try on some of our new jeans!”

“Do you have a hint as to which size MIGHT be a size 18? I see you’re not allowed to tell me. You’ve had a long swallow of the new-size Koolaid. Maybe you could kind of nod when I get close to the right pair? Or wink? Blink, maybe? No? Great. Thank you. You’ve been very helpful.”

(I was a red triangle. I don’t remember what number. 2, maybe? I’ve never again purchased jeans from Lane Bryant. I think they broke my brain.)

So, to sum up:

  • Your bras are terrible, ill-fitting, and impractical.
  • Your clothes are strangely cut and unflattering.
  • Your sizing for your jeans was created by someone on acid.
  • You make your salespeople be crazy up-with-people all the time and one day, one of them will snap and start hurling hangers at the clientele.
  • Your clothes are psychotically overpriced for what you’re getting.

These are all fixable things.

  • Make bras that fit, support, and if you could, make them ADORABLE, dammit.
  • Talk to actual plus-sized women before making your clothes. We will tell you what’s flattering on us and what’s not.
  • Put your normal jean-sizing back. I know you think it’ll make us feel smaller if we’re in a size 2, but we’re also not stupid. We know it’s really 2×9. We’re not Math is Hard Barbies.
  • Let your salespeople drop the psychosmiles. They’re offputting and make us want to buy LESS, not MORE.
  • Make your prices commensurate with what we’re getting. It’s a tough economy. If I can buy three times as much at Peter Harris Plus, you can be sure I’m going to Peter Harris Plus. Again, I am not Math is Hard Barbie.

In conclusion, Ms. Heasley, I’m sorry to say, after this trip to Lane Bryant, I will be looking for alternate venues for my underwear needs. I’m sure there are places online that would be happy for my business, that have a good return policy in case they don’t fit, and actually understand how a plus-sized person’s body works.

However, if you decide to actually design clothes FOR plus-sized women (and/or men, again, not to be exclusionary), you let me know. I might be back.

However, I cannot guarantee I will not snark at your chipper salespeople. Sorry. I try very hard to be nice, but they’re just showing SO MANY TEETH. It terrifies me. I react poorly.

AAAHHH TOO MANY TEETH!

AAAHHH TOO MANY TEETH!

Most sincerely, yours in plus-sized shopping disappointment,

Amy.

(And bring on the perv-searchers looking for busty women and bra-shots right…about…NOW. It’s the risk you run, talking about the risqué topics in life, I suppose. Sigh, pervs. Just, sigh.)


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