August 29, 2008

You Look Just Fine! mailbag

Dear YLJF,

I have worked for a fairly conservative financial office for almost twenty years. I recently realized that I am the only woman there wearing pantyhose. Although my co-workers wear professional-looking dresses and separates, it is a forest of bare legs!
_______________________________ Nylon Nihilism

Let me share a few letters from the You Look Just Fine! archives.

Atlanta, April 1986-I will be a June bride. Unfortunately my church is not air-conditioned. Will anyone care if I don't wear pantyhose with my long dress?

Cleveland, August 1992-Every summer my firm holds a summer team-building retreat. Attendance is mandatory. I plan to wear summer suits or casual skirts so that I will still be professionally dressed. Must I wear pantyhose to outdoor programs?

There are two appropriate answers to this question. To see which one applies to you, N.N., answer this question:

Do you have a tattoo?


You are over forty. Wear pantyhose with dressy dresses and professional suits if you feel comfortable doing so. However, you are not permitted to malign your younger colleagues as vulgar, tasteless or slutty.


You are under forty. You go, girl! Thank goodness pantyhose have gone the way of chastity belts, girdles and white gloves. You may wear them if you choose, but not ironically.

August 24, 2008

Olympics 2008 Roundup

Under-age gymnasts, bikini-clad cheerleaders, exotic locations, arcane sports . . . bring it on! I love the Olympics. For 102 weeks, I disdain sports, then for two weeks I can't get enough. The Olympics: pomp, circumstance, spectacle, politics, scandal, international circus and, oh yes, there are a few games thrown in, too.

My favorite part is the opening ceremonies, specifically the Parade of Nations. Unfortunately, the commentators rarely talk about what interests me most: what are they wearing?* I submit my recommendations for medals in the Best-dressed Nation at the opening ceremony. Few recognize the difficulty. From pixie gymnasts and beefy weightlifters, all the athletes have to look good in the same uniform.

The medals for the 2008 Summer Olympiad are:

Gold-Gambia. Sky-blue dashikis with matching skullcaps. Fabulous!

Silver-Sweden. The Swedish women wore traditional Chinese cheongsam in the colors of the Swedish flag, blue with yellow piping. Clever and stylish.

Bronze-France. They're French. They always look good.

Chinese officials deemed a seven-year-old too ugly to sing on TV, but permitted a whole contingent of Hungarian female athletes to appear wearing hideous, loud, dowdy schmattes and dopey hats.* Go figure.

Second worst, the Russian team, whose male athletes wore traditional high-necked peasant blouses under modern blazers. Traditional, modern, hot and unattractive.

The little boy walking with Yao Ming had an upside-down flag. So what. Now that the flag manufacturer and the kid-wrangler have been thrown in prison, is it any improvement that on the video the kid is waving an empty fist?

As ever, the television coverage was woefully incomplete. I didn't see Ms. Bug Catcher whose job it was to catch moths in a giant net at the nighttime tennis matches. I missed the "Sandboni" at the beach volleyball, too. After the swimming events, Michael Phelps removed his prosthetic legs and swam home to Atlantis under cover of secrecy, but I would have liked to have seen that, too.

Track and Field events provided a batch of new aptonyms: Usain BOLT, Dee Dee TROTTER and mis-aptly-named Jamaican runner, Melane WALKER.

See you in two years for the 2010 Winter Olympiad!

*Even the on-air commentators mentioned these horrors!

August 9, 2008

Keeping Up

Sigh! I love to travel. It's healthy to get away now and then. But it never fails: I can be gone for a week, a month, a mere weekend, but upon my return I fall into a major funk.

When I get home, I feel pathetic. Other people have busy lives and uncluttered houses. They have jobs, high-achieving children, well-tended yards, up-to-date photo albums and appliances that work properly. Their lives appear manageable.

This time, I was only gone for four days, but I felt like a sullen teen-ager during the duration. "How are the boys?" Fine. "Will you go back to work?" Shrug. "Are you dating anyone?" No. "How does it feel to be child-free for a few weeks?" Weird.

After eight hours driving back, two hours through Chicago rush-hour traffic, I was home. Home to unread newspapers and mail, a living room filled with old computer parts and new components, a blinking answering machine. My new washer still does not work properly and my yard is still an eyesore.

Inspired, I prepared a "to-do" list. I'll show it to my fairy godmother when she visits. In the meantime, I should get out more . . . or less?

August 8, 2008

Ohio relatives (photo)

With my Aunt Ronnie and cousin Margie

Family Bat Mitzvah, Oct 2004 (photo)

Cousin Allison, Bill, Mom, Arnie, Ted, Julian (14 months), Allison, Hart (11)