June 24, 2011


In homage to summer and all things girly, here's a vintage Fragrant Liar salute to Spanx (circa Winter '09), with mucho thanks to Janie!

I needed an undergarment for my new sweater dress which hugs my curves a little too well. However, it was Sunday night when I decided this, and in Marshall’s all I could find was Spanx.

First off, this “shaper” on the hanger looks like a body bandage for a two-year-old, though the tag said it was LARGE. It fits me from boobage to mid thighs. I did look stylin’ in my sweater dress, and I wore the ensemble, including black bootery, all day. However, a lot of tugging occurred, as my Lycra contraption rolled up from the bottom and down from the top. I gave in by early afternoon and let the girls free, since they have little tolerance for compression at a hundred-thousand pounds per cup. I slid the elastic cinch just below the boobcage, where I gained a new appreciation for bucking broncs.

Later that evening, in my closet, I tried to take off the Spanx. You might think:  "easy peasy." But you would be wrong. Perhaps it was the route I took. The over-the-head route. I had grabbed the hem and pulled it all the way up, over my head, at which point I realized, with my arms pinned across my chest, elbows akimbo, and bionic Lycra stretched as taut as a Bay Bridge cable, I had effectively strait-jacketed myself. That's because wearing Spanx is like stuffing yourself into an elf’s condom. Unless you can shrivel up on demand, you're a captive little fucker.

So I stumbled around my closet, in a wrestling match with my Spanx, and gave myself a full nelson. Disoriented, I tripped over my boots and flailed around on the floor. I paused in my hapless exertion to enjoy a moment of debilitating terror, wherein I imagined I might die and no one would find me till the next day when my putrefying scent would overpower the catbox. That, or being so tightly encased, if the thing hardened, I might actually emerge with wings and a penchant for light bulbs.

Fifteen minutes later, I managed a Houdini-esque escape by dislocating both shoulders and using my rabid spittle as a lube. I staggered to the shower, exhausted, out of breath, my hair electrified, and I stood under the water in a dazelike Goldie Hawn in Overboard after her nightmare with a chainsaw. Buh, buh, buh, buh.

Tragically, my cat Matilda saw the whole thing. Next morning, she hunkered down and growled as I waved the spanx in her face in an effort to desensitize her. When I left her, she was mumbling incoherently about throwing herself in front of a car.

Heed my warnings, people. Spanx should be worn at your own risk. I’m in recovery now, wearing slacks two sizes too big and a bulky sweater that leaves me shapeless. Ramping up for:  Spanx vs. Me, Round 2.

June 19, 2011

So . . . I Cried Today

I don't cry very often, unless we're talking gripping emotional cinema, like The Last Samurai and Game of Thrones (Nooooooo! Not Ned Stark! Why Ned?), and of course Bambi—and potentially Old Yeller, which I confessed tonight that I've never seen. But it wasn't a movie that had me all choked up today.

I called my incredible pops and wished him happy Father's Day. He is the most loving man I've ever known, and he's instilled in me a great appreciation for all things men. I miss him, because he lives so far away, but he's not the reason I cried today.

I had another great date tonight with a really wonderful guy, so only smiles there.

My oldest and youngest daughters were together today in Fort Polk, Louisiana, and they called me three times while I was on my date. I didn't realize they did, so I didn't answer. They also sent me a bawdy text I bet most kids don't send their parents (I so love their spirits), so of course I called them back to share a good laugh. But then they said, "We just wanted to wish you a happy Father's Day."

I wasn't sure at first why those words hit me so hard—like in that place right at the core of you, where you normally don't let anybody get to—but I almost couldn't talk with that big lump in my throat. And I realized that after all these years of being the only parent they've ever known, it was the first time they had acknowledged that I was both their mother and their father out of necessity, and that they understood it wasn't always easy. I felt validated. They got it. They got me and what I went through.

Ah, parenthood. Who but your kids could take you out with a one-liner?

Tonight I got the best Father's Day gift ever. Made me exceedingly proud to be their mom. Then we had a good laugh about the adult things their mother might be up to these days. Those apples did not fall far from this tree.

June 16, 2011

Getting to GRRR

People, my parents have regaled the masses with this quaint anecdote for, um, alotta decades:  Since Kimmie was a tiny tot, she called perfume "pisspume". Even then, I had a knack for taking all the air out of the hoity toity. These days, I wear Obsession, sometimes Eternity. They seem to agree with me, but I want something new, so I'm all googly for Chanel Allure. And by all googly, I mean, all googly.

A primo fragrance costs as much as a pro rejuvenation these days. And you can get that pricey sex-in-a-bottle home and find out that when other people smell it on you, instead of upping your Jessica Rabbit factor, you're suddenly Pepe Le Pew—an olfactory mess—and you've missed your opp for a sweet chemical peel (heh, I said sweet and chemical and peel in the same breath).

Apparently, these days, the general public needs to engage with a fragrance like a sommelier gargles the taste of wine (okay, it's not exactly gargling, but come on). At least you don't have to do a sip-and-spit, but the "notes" in a fragrance have to react well with your skin. Per Wikipedia, the definitive source of all things brainiac:

"Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, making the harmonious scent accord. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage."

That totally sounded like a menage. No wonder it costs so much. But WTF? I just wanna smell delicious.

My good friend, Anne Marie, once got onto a crowded elevator, and another floor later a guy squeezed in. He looked around at everybody and said, "I don't know who smells so good, but I'd love to have dinner with you tonight." She had a rockin' grrr factor going. That's when you know your fragrance is working for ya. It's not overpowering, but just enough in close quarters to get you dinner—and maybe lucky too.

So far no grrrs on the Allure, which means my googly may be all wasted. If that's the case, I guess it's just another pisspume. What are your fave scents?

June 14, 2011

Miracle Schmiracle

Bad news, y'all. I turned off my resurrected cell phone last week because the battery was dying and the beeping at 3 a.m. was enough to make me want to fastball it back into the pool. But the thing wouldn't turn on the next morning at all, even after I exposed its little battery and gave it a thorough exam and a full charge—which is disappointing because now I'm forced to rethink what constitutes a miracle, like when I got all excited about Snuggies.

So apparently the Rice-a-Phoni trick only works temporarily, or sometimes, or not at all. So sorry for depleting you of hope. Rice-a-Phony.

THEN, I got a new phone; and last night, after a particularly AWESOME day that left me feeling kind of, like, dumb, I lost my phone. You'll never guess where it was. Think Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, and substitute boob for good. Yeah, that's right. Let me know when you can get that song out of your head now, 'kay?

June 6, 2011

It's a Damn Miracle!

Saturday morning, I decided, was a good day to spend by the pool, or in it. It was only 100 freakin' degrees outside in Austin, in an unseasonably hot and drought-y June, and the pool looked all sparkly and refreshing and woefully lonesome for company.

At first I sat in a lounger, reading The World According to Garp, and when I got sweaty, I headed for a dip. I stepped down into the water and leaned over to run my hands through it or look at my shadow or some damn thing. Point is, I don't know why I chose to bend over, as it were, but at that precise moment, my cell phone fell out of my swim top. And sank to the bottom. Of the pool. In zig-zag fashion. While I watched. Dumbfounded, and wondering why the hell I stashed my cell phone between my boobs when the whole point of hanging by the pool is to relax, uninterrupted.

Since I hadn't yet gotten all the way into the water—because it was freakin' cold despite the ambient inferno—I gasped and eased in as quickly as I could, up to my hips, with more gasping—and the requisite F-bombs—and used my toes to scoot the phone up the wall, like Patrick Swayze with the penny in Ghost. And I shed tears as I watched the phone rise to the surface with my toes sliding it up. And then I was a believer:  never stick your phone between your boobs if you're going to bend over.

So I got the phone in my hands and opened it (like Captain Kirk with his communicator, requesting a beam-up), and the itty bitty screens were completely black, and within a few minutes of sitting on the scalding deck, they were filled with water spots and mist, and I thought shit, shit, shit, and shit.

Breathing deeply in search of some sort of so-the-hell-what zen, I left the cell in the sun and spent the next hour as a rotisserie chicken on a plastic raft. And then I bitched about my little catastrophe on FaceBook and Twitter, until my roomie offered a most unusual solution.

I call it the Rice-a-Phoni trick. You fill a baggie with rice—in this case, long-grain white—then drop your disassembled cell phone into it and seal it up. Wait 24 hours, while holding your breath.

I did this, and nothing short of the miraculous occurred. We reassembled the phone, et voila! working cell phone! Brought back to life by Rice-a-Phoni, the incredible cell phone feat.

If I could get the same sort of healing for my rotisserie burn, I'd be chin deep in a bathtub full of Rice-a-MyOwny. Ba-da-boom!

June 3, 2011

Back to My Roots (Sort of)

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I hit a rural outcrop known as Lott, Texas. The 'rents were passing through from Phoenix to Florida, but stayed a few days to avoid the Memorial Day nightmare that is eastbound I-10 traffic, so I got to spend time with them "up 'ere."

Lott is between Temple and Waco, which means it's about 45 minutes from civilization as I know it. The daily forecast is:  windy, or sometimes plum blow-you-over gusty. The soil here grows some ginormous trees, and if you know anything about me at all, you know I have a ginormous affinity for thick-trunked behemoths--the ones that provide lots of shade, I'm sayin' (for all you gutter-brains).

I have fond memories of this vast oasis of cornfields, cattle ranches, and Civil War-era cemeteries. It's a great place to let your kids run hog wild, especially down by the crik, where the frogs scream and flee for the ponds as you run at them. My mother was born and raised in nearby Troy and Pendleton, and little has changed except for the passing of our small-town ancestors.

My uncle and aunt live in Lott as well, and they're the real deal. Uncle Mead is an honest-to-god cowboy (horse breaker/trainer, rancher, rodeo rider), vet, auctioneer, tobaccy spitter, and social butterfly. At about 72 now, there is nobody he doesn't know. He is adorable. The notable addition to their ranch is the off-road golf cart Uncle Mead now uses to get around the place. Yeehaw!

Aunt Sue is a bona fide cowgirl (same as Uncle Mead, but with female parts) and a champion barrel racer with incredible saddles and gleaming belt buckles the size of tombstones to show for it. Her prize barrel racing horse is Scoot. Scoot is 27, and now out to pasture with his mare. Even while out on the road taking care of business from rodeo to rodeo, he demanded his mare accompany him or the show would not go on. I tell you, the requirements of celebrities these days. But you don't want to sit on top of a cranky, 1,200-pound diva while careening around barrels through churned dirt.

Here's the champ, sound asleep.

I had a sweet little cardinal wake me up every morning at the butt-crack of dawn. His unorthodox methods for getting me to rise and shine and throw curse words at him far exceeded his pretty-boy factor, but I felt sorry for him because I'm sure the bird-brain knocked himself silly on a regular basis. Here he is in action:

Best sign of the weekend:

Oh yeah.