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??