Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Art of Recycling a Wedding Dress

As most are aware of, tis the season for weddings! Even though I’m not getting married any time soon, I thoroughly enjoy watching and reading about other people’s weddings. The party planner in me loves seeing the planning process and how everything turns out in the end. As most women are aware of, one of the most coveted things in a wedding is the bride’s gown. The search for the perfect dress can turn a perfectly normal woman into a deranged animal.

These gowns can fluctuate in price from $200 up to the six digits in some cases. Let’s be realistic, if you’re looking to downsize this is your prime opportunity. Sure you can camp outside David’s Bridal for three days before the annual sale and take out someone’s Grandma to find the right dress at a bargain price. Or you can browse the interweb to compare prices. The downside with that is, you can’t physically see the dress and for all you know, it will need another $300 in alterations. 

The average price a woman spends is between $800-$1000. That is without alterations. And if you’re anything like me (short and…curvy), those alterations can cost up to $200. So with all your (or your parents’) hard earned money spent on this dress…what do you do with it after your big day?

That question has a couple of different answers to it. You can do what most do and store the dress in plastic for two decades in the basement.  It will chill there until your daughter decides she wants to be Frankenstein’s bride for Halloween and “decorates” your lovely dress with fake blood. 

Or you can take a different approach to the dress dilemma. And try one of these newfangled ideas.

·         Renting a wedding dress
If the thought of not owning this priceless heirloom is distressing to you, then please skip this option. If you’re looking to have a gorgeous dress for your wedding and can part ways with it after; then this might be a good alternative for you. Renting a tux is as common place at a wedding as doing the Macarena. So why has it taken so long for girls to jump on the bandwagon? I have no idea. But stores are popping up all over the United States that offer this service for as low as $100! Designer gowns will of course be a little more pricey but nothing close to what you would pay to buy one. Every rental store has different guidelines, so make sure you do your homework before you rent a gown. And best yet..this dress won’t be sitting in your attic for twenty years.

·         Borrowing a wedding dress
If you’re against renting one, then you must think I’m down right crazy to suggest borrowing one. But I recently read an article (that can be found here) of 3 friends who shared 1 dress for all their weddings. Now, it is definitely rare to find three friends who fall in love with the same dress, but if it happens…make it work. 

·         Selling your dress to a rental store after the wedding
Who wouldn't want to re-use this dress?
These smart brides realized that after their big day they are never going to wear their dress again. So instead of storing it in the basement, they decided to essentially “sell back” their dress to a wedding dress renting establishment. You take your dress in, the saleswoman appraises it and tells you what they would buy it for, and you make the sale. You leave with some money in your pocket and some extra space in the basement. 

·         Donating your dress
If you really want your own dress but don’t feel the need to keep it afterward, there is no reason you shouldn’t donate it. Thrift shops or “second hand” stores are always in need of wedding dresses. You were fortunate enough to buy one, some other women don’t have that luxury. Why not let someone else enjoy the dress? Not only will you be doing a good deed, but maybe splurging for the $1200 dress you really want will seem more acceptable if you know at least two people will be getting to wear it. Just a thought…

Bottom Line:

Everything depends on you. Some women have been dreaming about their wedding day since they were young and won’t settle for anything but the best. Other women would be happy getting married braless and in sweats.  Although I understand the sentimental value a wedding dress holds, I personally find it to be selfish to store a dress you (hopefully) will never wear again when someone else can use it. If you’re under the impression one day your daughter will walk down the aisle in your dress…you might want to re-think that. Styles change and no young girl walks to rock the wedding dress with the shoulder pads (sorry mom!). 

No thank you...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Love the Beach

I love going to the beach. Living on an island, I have had the pleasure of being able to swim in the ocean since I was born. I do not take this for granted and in the summer months, I try to go to the beach as much as possible. However, besides the swimming, there is another reason why I love beachin’ it so much. And that is the people watching. The beach brings out the unusual in people. Here are some things I have noticed:

Fat people in bikinis
 I’m all for having self esteem. Really..I am. But there is such a thing as taking self esteem to a whole new level. And that is when overweight people wear bikinis. There are plenty of other bathing suit options that will make the general public cringe when you walk their way. Prime example:

Nobody wants to see that. 

Black lady eating fried chicken
There are some foods that are beach staples. Bagels, chips, sandwiches, etc. I usually try to avoid hot foods because well…I’m already sweating and a hot pastrami sammich does not sound appealing to me. However, one glorious day I awake from my slumber to look over and see a lady pummeling fried chicken into her mouth fistfuls at a time. Just watching her made me feel ten times hotter and I needed to jump in the water.
This isn't the actual lady I saw. But close enough.
Men in tiny speedos
I understand that it’s all the rage in Europe for men to wear teeny, tiny Speedos. I’m not saying it’s pleasant to the eyes, but it is what it is. But here in America, we have these things called swim trunks. Not only do they cover all your junk, they provide some modesty for those who don’t want their hairy crotches to be seen by the world. 

Kids pooping in the water
The bathrooms at beaches are gross. They smell, are filled with sand, and are completely nasty. So I don’t really frown upon people peeing in the ocean. It might sound gross but well…when the urge hits you and you know there’s no way your gunna make it 20 miles to the bathroom…the water is probably the best place to let it fly. But having witnessed a little kid pooping in the water…it made me wonder if their parents took it a little too far.
You can just tell that kid is dying to poop.

Making out on the towel
I never liked going to the beach with a significant other. I like to lay there and tan and sweat and do my own thing. The thought of another body hovering around me and wanting to touch..not for me. But obviously some couples love to take their passion to the beach and that is when I witness the inevitable “towel make out.” Is it necessary to be cuddling on the beach in 93 degree weather? I didn’t think so

Saggy tattooed bodies
Tattoos are all the rage right now. It seems as if almost everyone on earth has at least one and loves to show them off. Which is all good and fine. Except when you see the 75 year old man with saggy skin and faded tattoos that all are congealed into one. Or the lady who had a rose tattooed on her boob when they were perky and they now sag to her bellybutton and the rose is more of a long stem that leads to nowhere. Gross.
Sweet someone's grandpa has nipple rings!

People fully clothed on the beach
Beaches are notorious for getting hot. Some would even say that was their whole purpose. So understand my confusion when I see guys who go to the beach in Timbalands, black jeans, and sweatshirts. Why bother?

Boogie Board Knock Downs
Everyone who has been in the water at a beach has had the experience of being knocked over. Some have more traumatic stories while others may have just simply fallen. I use to play a game with my friends while we were boogie boarding. You would spot a group of people and try to knock them down while taking a wave in. There was a point system associated with this game. I once got a whole Asian family. Most moral thing I’ve ever done? Not quite. Hilarious? Absolutely. 
Me on my board

Parents not watching their kids
I can’t count how many times I have seen kids run or fall in the water and their respective parent are nowhere to be seen. This makes me angry for more than one reason. The water is dangerous for full grown adults nevermind defenseless little tykes. Also, it is not the responsibility of a stranger to make sure your child doesn’t’;t drown. Just because there is a lifeguard on duty doesn’t mean they can see every single person. Watch your fucking kids!

People selling shit on the beach
I’m not talking about walking to the concession stand and seeing beach gear for sale. I’m talking about the gypsies that walk towel to towel in hopes of selling you a one of a kind shit rock necklace. Or better yet, the hobo that was selling sweatpants on a beach. In 90 degree weather. Leave me alone and make way for the guy whose selling ice cream bars. He’s really who I want to see!

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Ode to my Dad

Since Father’s Day is fast approaching, I thought about writing a sentimental letter to my father and posting it. However, since my style is expressing my feelings by making lists I went with that. For those who know my father, they know he may have had the most profound influence on me as I was growing up. I owe him for bestowing upon me my sense of humor, my independence, and my dark eyebrow hair. He’s the guy mowing the lawn shirtless in 90 degree weather every Saturday listening to the playlist I made him on his Ipod. He’s the one that persuaded me to love music and to not take shit from anyone. And for that…he deserves a list.  

Why No Dad could ever be better than mine:

1. Nobody else’s dad got as excited to do things as mine. We would go camping and to the beach and it was like he was the third child. As my mom packed up sunscreen and towels, my dad was the one packing the boogie boards and donuts. He was the first one into the water and the last one out. It was free reign with him and he never annoyed us to put on more sunscreen or not wander into the woods. It was his excitement that got me excited to do things my lazy ass probably would never have done.

2. He always told me how proud he was of me. Even when it was winning Student of the Month in elementary school he made me feel really good about myself. He never once made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.


3. He finds fart humor funny. 


4. He watched 90210 and TGIF with me on Friday nights and was just as into it as I was.

5. He ate chicken nuggets & fries three times a week because that’s all I would eat. He didn’t get mad when I threw up string beans at the dinner table (even though it was technically his fault). He laughed when I threw up all over his just washed car  on a road trip and had to drive the whole time with his car smelling like vomit and diner food.


 6. He told me stories about getting in trouble when he was young and he never tried to come off like he was a saint.


7. He showed me the importance of being financially responsible and drilled into me to never buy things I couldn’t afford. Probably the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten.

8. When I went to college, it was the first time anyone in my family had gone so we had no idea what to expect. He forced me to ask tons of questions and to know what was going on rather than do everything for me. While other parents wrote their kid’s admission essays and paid their tuition bills without giving them a second glance, my dad had me calling financial aid with a detailed list asking what all the charges were for. This wasn’t because he was cheap. This was because he didn’t want them screwing us. Which they tried to do. Every semester.


 9. He put his family before anybody and made sure that was obvious. He traded his Friday nights to go to my Girl Scouts Father/Daughter Square Dancing with me and actually made it fun.

And the last reason why I wouldn’t trade my dad for the world, is going to be written in as an anecdote. For those who know me, they will see that this is probably the main reason why I love my dad so much.

This not me.
10. I am not an athletic person. Sure I try to fool people when I volunteer to join a beach volleyball team or when I play badminton in the backyard. But everyone knows that’s just a rouse. However, there was a time in my young, formidable years when my Dad still had hope. As a man who prided himself on being good at all sports, he didn’t think twice that his children might not be athletic. He enrolled me in the sport that every kid growing up on Long Island was required to play. Soccer. Not only did he sign me up, of course he was the coach. My mom, knowing this wasn’t going to last too long, put on an excited face and kept on reminding me about the munchkins that would be served during halftime. I tried to put aside the fact that those long, wool socks were starting to make my legs itch and focus on playing hard. Approximately five to ten minutes into the game, I saw pretty flowers and went to go pick them. My dad patiently reminded me to stay on the field. A mere five minutes later, I saw my Grandpa on the sidelines and went to go get a hug. My dad patiently came over and said I had to continue playing. My legs were getting a bit tired so I decided to sit down since no one was near me anyway. My dad told me to get up. By halftime I was ready to eat my munchkins and go watch TV. My dad sensed this and began to get a bit frustrated. I made it to the end of the season (I have no idea how) and told my mom I was done with soccer.  In fact, that was the end of my athletic career. A sports drop out in first grade. I didn’t want to disappoint my dad, but that shit was just not for me. He never made me feel bad for it though. And even though my brother went on to play (and be good at) a lot of sports, my dad never tried to pressure me into joining another sports team. And I appreciated that.  Probably more than I’ll ever admit.

So Happy early Father’s Day to everyone! I have a feeling my day is going to include watching the Yankees and eating riggies. And I am very much looking forward to that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worst Fashion Fads of the '90s

I know I haven’t written in a while so this blog post better be damn good. I searched my brain and came up with one of my favorite topics. The ‘90s. As a child growing up in the ‘90s I witnessed (and participated in) some pretty extreme clothing fads. I could go on forever with all the hideous, neon-colored get ups I (and thousands of others) adorned in our heyday; but I chose to make a list. Surprised? I knew you would be.  

My picks on this list were based on some specific criteria. A) what styles am I happy to never see again and B) the most popular (at least in my neck of the woods) fashion choices being made in the ‘90s.


1. Bucket hats

You know what I’m talking about. The hats that don’t look good anyone but a newborn baby. They’re supposed to keep your face out of the sun. They do the job at the risk of you looking like an overgrown toddler going to the beach with your mom. Blossom really got this trend rollin’ in 1990 with her colored bucket hats decorated with big flowers. But the trend persevered on and my favorite Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was still rockin’ it in 1999. Sigh.

2. Tribal Tattoos

As a pre-teen, nothing was sexier than a beefy boy bander with a tribal tattoo around his bicep. As a young woman, nothing is a bigger turn off. I am not quite sure what the history is on this tat (I don’t really care enough to look it up) but it certainly made its mark on the ‘90s. All the cool boys had one and unfortunately, are probably looking at it now and wishing they hadn’t given in to their impulses when they were 18.

3. Platform Flip Flops

 As a flip flop hater in my early teens ( I couldn’t stand the thing between my tow) I frowned upon this trend. Seeing some girl in the deli with huge platform white flip flops on made me think of a stripper. Your 8 year old daughter does not need to be 5’6 you can skip the platforms. What really got me was when the flops got dirty so the white looked more beige-brown. Then you looked like a dirty stripper. And who likes those?

4. Parachute Pants

 Hot Topic kids know what I am talking about. Those pants that just ballooned out making  a normal sized person seem like a hippo. They came in all colors and some had attached chains. These pants were usually reserved for the punks or goths that didn’t want to conform to wearing jeans. A part of me always thought they looked comfy (like XXXL sweats) but I never did get the nerve to purchase them. I pray every night they never make a return.

5. Male Tank Tops

 This was more an early ‘90s fashion statement. I would know because my Dad still rocks them. Not so much the mesh ones (Like the guy who sings “I’m Too Sexy”) but the male tank with the huge armpit holes. I see American Eagle is starting to sell these again with their logo. I don’t care how ripped one is, male tanks should be banned. By a tight tee. Take off your shirt. Wear a beater (if you are a guido) but please…don’t wear the tank.

6. Visors

Another unfortunate choice of headwear. I will admit I owned a baby blue Old Navy visor and put my ponytail through it once at a Mets game. You got me. That doesn’t compare to those crazy kids who spiked their hair so it stood straight up under the visor. Or god forbid those daredevils that put the visor UPSIDE DOWN on their head. What rebels. I am glad to see this fad is not likely to make a comeback. No one looks good in a visor. Unless you worked at Carvel and had crusted ice cream on it like myself. Now THAT was a fashion statement.

7. Slogan shirts

 This covers all the “I’m with stupid” shirts and mostly every shirt sold at Hot Topic with little caricatures and stupid sayings. To be 100% honest as soon as I see these shirts on people I judge them. Quickly and without remorse. If you have any self respect, no matter how little, do NOT buy a shirt with a stupid saying. Even if the saying is a tad humorous. It won’t be by the third time you wear the shirt. Cartman is funny. On your shirt, he is not. Just…don’t. No one wants to date someone who wears these shirts. Trust me on that.
8. Bowl Cuts

 The hair most boys (and some girls) rocked to death. Was there really any other type of male hairstyle in the ‘90s minus the mullet? Again, Nick Carter had one so I thought it was sexy. After a couple of years, it split so you can see the guy’s forehead (so a half bowl cut?) and the hair just went all the way around. I didn’t hate it at the time but looking back…it was a no go. Unless your child is 5 or under please don’t allow them to keep this haircut.

9. Overalls with one shoulder unbuckled

 If you can’t picture what I am talking about you definitely didn’t get out much. Overalls were my go to when I was younger. It was like an older version of the onesie. But then pop culture had to kick them up a notch and have all the latest hunks wear ‘em with one side unbuckled. Amazing. I wish I could just blame the guys on this one, but plenty of girls rocked this style too. Unfortunate for all.

10. Jelly shoes

 One of my staples growing up. Immensely uncomfortable and left your feet black in ten minutes. But they were all the rage! Came in every style and color and matched everything! Didn’t matter that they provided no support and left your feet throbbing. They were like $10 and fashionable which is al I (and countless others) cared about at the time. I cannot look at a pair of these without shuddering now.

I know I skipped over a lot. Again, this list could have gone on for days. Is there any specific ‘90s fad you absolutely hated??