The Daily EO: September 3rd, 2013

When I shop, I tend to look at mannequins and outfit layouts so I have some clue on how fashionable people dress. But, what irritates me is how they pin up the clothes to make the size 0 look even more form fitting and attractive. How am I supposed to live up to such high standards? Should I actually be able to put tiny clothes on and the pin them to fit even better?

What is this about?

September 3rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I get my revenge by moving the normal sized items from being hidden in the bowels of the rack right up in front (hiding the teensy sizes) to offend everyone in their sheer largeness. Imagine, being a size 12!

The Daily EO: September 1st, 2013

I’ve told you before, September is the beginning of the new year for me.  Time to move from the languid days of Summer into the more focused Fall.  And time to sharpen my dedication to The Daily EO.  Yes, I’ve been a bit spotty in my updates.  Well, spotty is even a stretch.

But my mother told me “If you have to write, you’d better get paid for it”.  So, since I don’t get paid, I write when I want to.  And in August, I wanted to lay on lounge chairs, be outside, or doing things I actually do get paid for.   So, you wondered!  You checked your email often.  When or When will she post today’s update!!??  I CAN’T STAND IT!

I am excited to move from August into September because somehow I gained 5 pounds this summer and I’d like it to go away.  I say “Somehow” like it is a big mystery.  Hmmm.  Wine, Jelly Bellys, hamburgers, hotdogs, early mornings and late nights with reduced exercise?  What could have happened?!  This is so strange.

Well, to start me off right, I went shopping yesterday to get new running shoes.  An aside here: I don’t call running shoes “sneakers”.  That seems like such weird phrasing to me.  Like saying “garment”s or something.  It just feels like sneakers are what people wore back in the 1970s to play tennis.  I don’t know what sneakers are.  I just don’t say it so I don’t get caught in calling a non-sneaker a sneaker.  How Embarassing.

Anyways, I need all sorts of stability and support in my shoes, so generally I can’t get the sleek cute, wonderfully coloured modern “sneakers”.  (eep, is that the right usage) I asked the guy at the Running Room if I could get some really cute yellow & blue nikes, and he said “No.”  Just “No.”  So, I get left with the old style ones – from the 2000s.  Sooo Yesterday.

So, I tried on shoes I needed – with some weird metallic blue with teal blue trim and laces – and frankly didn’t even like looking at my feet.  And usually, I love looking at my feet.  I do it all day long.  What an awful colour!  (the shoes, not my feet)   Those laces!  I hate them!  We were going to try some others styles, when in the backroom, he found a different styling of the same shoe.  In my size!

September 1st, 2013 Extra Ordinary:  If you are going to turn over a new leaf, you have to look the part.

Yeah!  These will make me run fast!
Yeah! These will make me run fast!

The Daily EO: February 19th, 2013

My insurance claim has finally come through, so I finally can purchase replacement items for my things that were stolen.   This is good.  Because the bag that I have been dragging my things around is somewhat embarrassing.   The first thing I went shopping for is sunglasses.  I went to The Bay because I didn’t want to spend a fortune but I didn’t want to get drugstore sunglasses either.

But people disorganize things, so when I finally found the ones – and a lovely plaid pattern on the arms – they were not in the correct section.  But that is okay – I found them anyways.  But when I turned over the tag – it said $230.

Now for some of you reading this, you may feel that $230 is quite reasonable to pay for sunglasses, but it is about $100 more than I want to spend, and $150 more than the insurance company is willing to reimburse.

But now nothing else compares.

February 19th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Plaid arms mean Burberry, Susan – you know that.

 

The Daily EO: November 20th, 2012

I was in Yorkdale mall about 6 1/2 years ago with my best friend Lisa (www.screaminglisa.com).  She had come east to Ontario for my wedding shower – she was my maid of honour – and we were doing a bit of shopping.  Neither of  us – and I hope she’ll forgive me saying so – are fashion mavens nor do either of us fit into size 4 jeans or size 8 for that matter.

We spend some of our time mocking those who are fashion forward types and worried about being cool for the sake of being cool.  So when she saw someone who was wearing these absolutely brand new trend of “skinny jeans”, she pointed them out and said “I think they make even super skinny people look fat”.  I agreed with her because frankly, I was busy walking around in my mid 2000s jeans with a low rise waist with boot cut.  I mean, she was right, they didn’t look particularly flattering.  We wanted to hide the body – not show it off.

But here I am nowadays with probably about 6 pairs of skinny jeans/pants AND a pair of GLO-E-US riding boots.  I don’t know, perhaps there people in malls saying my skinny pants make me look fat.   Hmmm.

Regardless, I am not 20 any more, I don’t really care about what some yahoos might think, but I do like the trend of skinny pants.  Why?  Because skinny pants show your shape – from your wide hips to your thin calves – and I like that.   There are a pant that just tell it like it is.  They call a spade a spade.  So by pushing them on us, the fashion world is saying “Bring us your hips people!  We want to see some curves.  Or no curves.  We don’t care!  Just show us what you’ve got!”

That’s good.  Because “not fashion” bodies is what most of us have.

November 20th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Yep, I’ve got hips, and a waist and that is just fine with me.

The Daily EO: November 10th, 2012

Ah.  The Saturday of a long weekend.  There is nothing that feels freer.  (except being unemployed and not knowing that it IS a long weekend).  And what a day here in Vancouver.  Cold, but the skies were clear and the sun was shining.  Perfect day to hit the streets with tea and sunglasses and walk the length of downtown. I stopped into a Starbucks – one of the hundreds – and had myself a free tea thanks to a giftcard.  Yum.Now, in the interest of full disclosure.  I got lost walking form Gastown to Yaletown. I did.  It’s true.  It’s a long story, but I was responding to emails and answering my phone etc while I was walking and not truly paying attention.  And, when I attempted to get myself sorted out, I had the misfortune of using maps on my iPhone.  The app thought it would be helpful to keep turning the map based on the direction I was headed, but really, all I wanted was to know which was south.  As I knew how to walk that direction.  So, yep, that was me, with several false starts meandering around “almost Yaletown”  staring at my phone.   From here on out it is using my brain to get somewhere!

Only three weeks ago, I told of my first gelish polish experience and despite my nails’ insistence continuing to grow and creating a gap it was time to go back and do it again.

I got a pedicure and a manicure.  The experience of sitting in a massage chair while one technician works on your feet and someone else does your hands should not be missed by anyone.  It feels. . . deserved.  Expensive.  Hollywood!

And as I watched, a long nail technician free hand painted my french nail polish.  Free hand and quickly!  I was amazed:

Oh my god! That is so sophisticated. Like Totally!!

I walked home and stopped in Pacific Center, because with these nails I truly fit in with the downtown shopping crowd.  Nevermind I was wearing Sketchers and a yoga jacket.  But I fixed that, spending way to much on boots (GLO-RE-US!), and getting a great deal on a rain coat that doesn’t have a hood.   I bought some woman’s cord skinny pants at the The Gap, and “Ethan” who rang them through told me they were his favorite pants (he was wearing them).  Hmmm.  I double checked when I got out of the store.  They say “women’s” on them.. . .  I am so disconnected with youth these days.  We used to wear the boys pants.

After a complete day of gym, nails, shopping and planning dinner with friends, I strolled home with my arms laden feeling pampered and satisfied.  This must be what is it like to be on the D-List (A- Listers don’t walk, work out in the gym alone, make their own dinner plans or carry their own packages).  Nor do they answer work emails while standing in the middle of The Bay.  Or go to The Bay for that matter.

November 10th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:

It must be Hollywood! Who knew there was a branch here?

The Daily EO: November 1st, 2012

Sorry for the barrage of posts, but I am catching up.  Sorry to be late!

I have never owned a pair of rubber boots.  Never.  Well, maybe I had some cute ones when I was a toddler, but I am pretty sure I did not.

But I live in Vancouver now and frankly I am tired of having wet sodden feet.  Rubber boots – especially Hunter ones – are all the rage out here.  Skinny jeans and a pair of rubber boots.  Here I am running around in ballet flats and a winter puff coat looking like I might have just moved from Muskoka (where a proper pair of winter boots were worn but I tossed those to make moving room for other things like pots and pans).

A quick trip to Army and Navy fixed me right up.  A bit splashy (ha!), but I jumped in puddles while I walked home. And Emile could stomach the price.  Next, a rain coat.

Hmmm.  My umbrella does not match my boots.

November 1st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Dry feet.

Fashionista me? I think that is stretching it.

The Daily EO: October 31st, 2012

I’ve mentioned that I have to wear a lab coat at work.  We have personalized lab coats.  I have 9 of them (someone got a little crazy on the order desk) with a circular patch that says “Susan” on the right hand side.   When we ordered, it was decided that I was a medium and that seemed to fit me.  And it does.

In the shoulders.

But my hips, it pulls.  And it bags around my waist.  Lab coats are made for people who are straight up and down.  I think we generally call these people men.

October 31st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I need a Diane von Furstenburg wrap lab coat.  I’d be so much more attractive, and therefore confident.  And therefore a better leader.

The Daily EO: October 20th, 2012

When I was a little girl, my aunts and uncles would visit us in Cranbrook often.  “Auntie Judi” came once a year and would take over my bedroom and I was happy to give it to her.  Judi was my favorite aunt – no, that’s not quite correct – she was the one who seemed to get me and she lead the life that I thought I wanted to lead.  She was single, laughed alot, had no children, travelled, and gave me attention.

What I remember most about those visits is hovering at the closed bedroom door wishing she didn’t always sleep in sooooo late and the painting of my fingernails.  Mom didn’t paint her nails when I was a kid – well, at least that I remember.  So when Judi came flying into town with her brightly coloured nail pots, I knew that I could be pretty and fashionable just like her.  And she just seemed to ignore my pudgy fat fingers.   Invariably, almost immediately upon completing my nails, I would smudge or chip them because I wasn’t a gentle or patient child.

Not much has changed in that regard – I still am restless and active.  Mom passed on to me working hands and working habits.  I can count the number of manicures I have ever had on one hand – pun intended – because it is pretty costly for something that last about 24 hours for me.   The wish be pretty and fashionable may have been created by society views girls and women – but it is still there.

When I was a teenager, Mom started getting gel nails which had its drawbacks.  First off, I did not have the income to support the maintenance cost.  Well. .. I guess that is the reason because as a teenager I didn’t really care about long-term consequences like nail bed health.  (and really does anyone stay up worrying about that?).  But the filling requirements, the worry of infection, the damage to natural nails. . . it wasn’t something that seemed like a good idea even when I got income to pay for it.

But a brilliant person – who probably could have worked on the cure for cancer – invested gel polish.  This being a cross between regular polish and fake nails.  Essentially, it is nail polish that is strong and durable.  It is painted on your regular nails but set with a UV light. ( I wonder how that ages your hands. . . Hmmmm)

As I explored downtown Vancouver Saturday morning, I ended up in Yaletown.  That is where all the beauty bars are kept I think.  And I found exactly what I was looking for – a small salon tucked into a Galleria with fading aging pictures in the window (I don’t want to pay for fancy storefronts).   They could take me right now.

October 20th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Pretty and Fashionable.  That’s me.

Pretty Pretty. Now remember where we are starting from – short, chewed nails. They are only going to get better from here.

The Daily EO: October 18th, 2012

Women between the ages of 30 and 45 still want to look stylish and fun yet sophisticated and not slutty.  Why is it that I cannot seem to find a middle of the road priced stores that sell normal sized clothes for someone who wants the above?

Most of my shopping trips involve walking into store that’s either a little too young for me – shorts jumpsuits and reaching around back to the hanger in the pack that is gaping because it is such a “huge” size.   Or a little too old for me – cut too roomy, too high on the waist or too much elastic in general.

If I find something gorgeous, it is usually priced gorgeously.  Or things that I think look so fabulous – like shift dresses, or blousey tops – look not right at all on my curves.  It’s a dilemma, I tell you.

I must tell you that I am both fashionably and make-uply retarded – though I think I’ve mentioned that before.   How to wear a scarf, layering and accessorizing?  Really?  I can barely match my pants to my shirt.  I like dresses because then there is no matching at all – except trying to find the right shoes.  Sigh.

So I sent an e-mail to a personal shopping company today to get more information about their services – well, frankly, to get more information about their prices.  Doesn’t help to use the clothing budget to pay someone to tell me what to wear when I can’t afford to buy it any longer.

Apparently they also offer life consulting too.  I wonder if I need that?  How do you know if you do.

October 18th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I do many things well, yet shopping not so much.   No, I just get a bad case of mall disease and want to come home.

The Daily EO: June 28th, 2012

The first suit I ever purchased was in Victoria, BC in a beautiful cream colour, size 10.  I bought it because I needed something for my MBA entrance interview at McMaster University.   I purchased the suit (more than I could afford, but my BFF Lisa convinced me it was the way to go), broke up with my boyfriend (dodged a bullet there), flew to Ontario (thanks Mom), and convinced Mac I would be a good fit.  I still have that suit actually, because despite it being 15 years ago, it’s classic.  Not Jackie O. classic, but it wasn’t the 60s.  Plus, at the time, I think it cost me 15% of my annual budget, so I can’t let go of it.  And I got in, so it must be a lucky suit, anyways.

They say that clothes do not make the person, but I don’t know about that.  I am woefully ignorant of fashion, do not read women’s magazines (they just try to make me feel inferior somehow, although I have considered a subscription to Chatelaine as of late), and am completely mentally handicapped in the application of makeup.   But when I have made the effort to find good quality, well-fitting clothes that perfectly match the occasion, a sheen of confidence envelopes me.  My 5’8″ stands tall, I walk confidently with my heels first and I want to shout “I belong here!”  Wherever here may be.

Over the last three years, I have reduced from a size 14/16 (yes, I was occasionally a 16, nobody would ever believe me, and that is yet another advantage of being tall) to a size 12 (with an occasional 10).  My closet is decimated.  I can fit into all of my career clothes certainly, but they hang on my waist, they sag in the front, and generally go not look good.  And no, a belt cannot fix ill fitting clothes.  Please spread this around.  I sorted through the closet a while back and created three categories:  too big – donate, too big-put aside for altering, and wearable.

My professional closet – once a decent sized – now consists of 2 pairs of pants and 2 shirts suitable for interviews and three boxes of “for altering”.   It just doesn’t make sense to purchase or alter clothes in potentially the wrong size.  And spending the money when I don’t need to is folly.   So, the alter boxes sit.  So long in fact, I probably will have to re-sort them to check for fashionability again.  Like I have any idea.  Sigh.  I am so hiring a consultant when I can afford to (Punch List addition).

But in this new life I am forging for myself, I have found confidence and a sense of power and ability to achieve more.  And it flows when I put on running clothes.  Often in the morning, I will rise and change immediately into workout clothes.  This is two-fold – if I see someone they won’t think “Look at that unemployed bounder, she is still in her pajamas” and it is one less barrier to getting out the door for a run.  It’s a public declaration of my intentions (for the cat I guess).  One cannot take off work-out clothes, one must peel off sweaty work-out clothes.

And as I type this (not in my pajamas), I have in a racing back Lululemon purple top, a Running Room racing back sports bra, and Adidas Climalite black snug fitting shorts.  And indeed I feel strong. And powerful.  And like an athlete.  And when nobody is looking, I will flex my bicep or admire the cut of muscle across my shoulder or sneak a peek at the curve of my waist to my hips.  After a run or work-out, I want to stay in these stinky clothes for a while as a reminder of what I have achieved for that day.

Do clothes make the man?  No, but the right ones match what you are feeling inside and help it come out.

June 28th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  I ran 4.0 km in 35 degrees Celsius (with the humidity).  What potential will this racing back unleash today?