Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frumpy New Year to Me

Well, I'm starting off the new year about as frumpy as humanly possible. Granted, I'm 12 months pregnant, but let me just give you a small window into my frump situation as 2008 turns to 2009:

Waistbands are no longer really an option. I got out my "sexy" (this word could not be used more loosely) maternity jeans yesterday and I needed a cool-down period after finally getting them on. It reminds me of what it would look like if you witnessed sausage voluntarily squishing itself into its casing. Looks like it's stretchy pants from here until "Labor Day", which luckily for me, should be coming sometime in the next three weeks.

My footwear options are as follows: UGGs, flip flops, slip-on tennis shoes. The other ones still fit, miraculously, but they feel like tiny personal torture devices. Why on earth would wearing a cute pair of wedge heels hurt my shoulders? Not quite sure, but they definitely, definitely do.

Due to the fact that I'm cheap and refuse to buy maternity clothes for cold weather, I have all of three options these days for tops that A) fit and B) keep me remotely warm. So, if you see me walking around town -- sorry, I meant waddling -- take note: Is it the gray sweater, the black sweater, or the striped turtleneck? You could take a wild guess and what I'm wearing right now and have a 33% chance of being right*.

What, pray tell, is the baby doing inside my belly that is making my skin look as if it's 75? Whatever happened to the supposed glow of pregnancy? I think it's like the theory that getting rain on your wedding day is "good luck". It's just something people say to make an obviously shitty situation seem better at the moment.

I shudder to think of what size bra I'm going to have to buy when my --gross phrase alert -- milk comes in. I'm already reaching letters of the alphabet I hoped never to be familiar with.

Note to my future baby - if the carpal tunnel doesn't go away after you're born, you're grounded.

OK -- Here's to a happy, healthy, unfrumpy 2009 for all of us.

*Did you guess gray? Ding, ding, ding, ding, you're right!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seven Pounds

Want to know what you're doing this weekend? Going to see the movie "Seven Pounds". My best friend's husband wrote this movie and it stars Will Smith and Rosario Dawson. No, it's not about the baby weight I never lost from having my daughter (though it could be), it's about something even more dark and disturbing than that. But I won't give anything away because it's one of those movies you just have to see, and then you have to talk about it with other people. So what are you waiting for??? Go!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lucky? Or Homeless?

I have been getting Lucky Magazine pretty much since it hit the stands. In my pre-child days, I would look forward to its arrival like a kid on Christmas, then I'd take it, along with a vase of wine, into the tub for a nice, long evening. Even then, I thought some of the fashions were a little... shall we say... avant garde, but I fancied that I was gaining style points just for knowing about them. Fast forward to now, when I have a toddler, a baby due in oh, about five weeks, and far less disposable income (not to mention no wine/mag/tub evenings in my forseeable future), and Lucky Magazine seems like a cruel joke somebody is playing on me. In fact, Lucky Magazine can bite me. 

Not only is it chock-full of completely impractical clothing items that cost more money than a year's worth of Whole Foods groceries (which is A LOT), some of the styles look to me more like they came from the inside of a mental institution than off the runways in Paris. For instance:

This little number was in their "Cute Outfit of the Day" section. Apparently, it's a Lucky Magazine staffer. Honestly, this reminds me of the time in college when I went to an 80's party, except this looks more like me the next morning, during my walk of shame back to the dorms, then when I actually went to the party.

Now, clearly this woman is gorgeous and has a fabulous bod, but does anything she's wearing compliment those things? If you saw this arrive at a holiday party, would you think, "What a fashionable, cutting-edge, style icon this woman is?" or "I wonder how long she's been off her meds?" Maybe my iconic days are over, but I'd be thinking the latter.

And finally, this is a spread from their most recent issue. This is where I start to look around for the hidden camera. This story is about mixing and matching clothes from different parts of your closet to get a new-fangled look. Wait, did they just say "A turtleneck poncho and a sequin skirt" with a straight face?

I fear that my relationship with Lucky Magazine could be coming to a swift end. I no longer find it stylish, relevant or, let's face it, lucky. Sure, it makes me nostalgic for the days when I could read it without bursting into laughter, but what can I do. I guess I'll have to wait for Unfrumpy Magazine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More Juiciness

I've spent a few posts musing about women's perplexing propensity for advertising themselves, or more specifically their asses, as "Juicy", but today I noticed a far more disturbing trend. I was walking by a local store called "Baby Couture" (which in and of itself is disturbing) when I was struck by something in the window. There, displayed on a teeny tiny toddler-sized mannequin, was a hot pink velour Juicy sweatsuit. This one didn't have "Juicy" written across the buns (which in the case of someone still pooping in their pants would actually be appropriate), but rather ALL OVER the outfit. There must have been 100 declarations of "Juicy" on the thing. Is it just me, or is the thought of someone labeling their toddler daughter "Juicy" borderline abusive? Is that really the word you want associated with your child? In public no less? 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Giving Thanks

I'm a few days late (and more than a few dollars short), but here is a partial list of what I'm thankful for this holiday season. 

These guys. 

This guy. 

Ok, her too. 

My wonderful friends and family. 

Kiehl's self-tanner. Seriously, thank you. 

Peanut butter. The kind that will probably kill me, not the healthy kind from Whole Foods. 

My new Frye boots. I'm not sure I'm cool enough to pull them off, but I'm going to try damn it. 

Less cringe-worthy folks in the White House.

The fact that I have a paycheck, even if it has less zeros than I'd like.

A certain baby being born to a certain friend whom I'm certain is going to be the best mom ever.

Cheers everyone! 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Plea

Mom, non-moms, women of all ilk --

I beg of you, when displaying an advertisement across the bum of your sweatpants, please consider the size of your billboard.  I for one am not confident enough to label my nether regions as neither "Juicy" nor "Pink", but for those of you who are, I applaud your pluck. Just remember that everyone behind you is looking at those words and equating them with your backside. So perhaps it should live up to its emblazonment? (This is particularly applicable to the woman I saw at the airport today whose "Juicy" rump could have been read by passing-by aircraft.) 

Thank you so very much. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roots Part 2

Wow. Apparently roots are an issue with many a mom, and fear of the box is palpable. Besides the comments I received here, I also got quite a few emails on the subject. Here's what I suggest. IF you feel like giving the box a shot (and I highly recommend doing so), why not try it a couple of days before you have an appointment with your colorist? If it works, then just come down with a sudden, raging case of contagiousness and call your colorist to reschedule. If you hate it, then you only have to live with your mess of a head for a couple of days. And that's what hats are for. 

It seems like one issue is that people have had bad luck with such matters in their past. To this I ask, how distant of the past? Are we talking bad flashbacks to eighth grade? Did you once upon a time don the dreaded frosting cap? Maybe the products on the market are better these days. I can't vouch for any besides my trusty L'Oreal Feria with a brief foray into Clairol Natural Instincts. (With Feria, I usually use the color Chardonnay. I figure I drink enough of it, I might as well cover my head with it.)  Again, I can't stress enough not veering too far from the hair color you've already got and keeping the color on for less time than recommended in the instructions. 

A couple people asked me if my colorist would get mad at me for taking matters into my own hands. I admit I had that same concern. But then I came to the realization that A) I'm 35 years old. I can't worry about whether or not my colorist is mad at me and B) My colorist sees a lot of heads of a lot of hair and I bet mine is not the worst case scenario and C) That's her job!!! Even if I come in there with a Bozoesque rainbow afro, I'm PAYING her to make me look fabulous. 

So I say, hit the box with confidence. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Root Removal

They say money is the root of all evil. In my life, roots are an evil that cost me too much money. So I'll let you in on a little secret of mine that lets me fight frump AND save money at the same time. I color my own hair. Yes, it's true.  I don't do it every time - rather I just use it as a way to put off the moment when I hand my ATM card over to my colorist. Right around the time when my fingers are starting to itch to call the salon, I drive my self and my frumpy roots over to the drugstore and pick up a box of blonde. Then I take it home and get my plastic gloves on - and voila! I just bought myself another month or more of rootless joy. 

I discovered this technique back in the day when I was just starting to work and had no money (but somehow, better clothes.) My roommate and I would crack a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck and help each other get to our desired shades of blonde and brunette. I abandoned it altogether later, when my husband and I were in our brief-yet-blissful phase of two incomes, no house and no kids. (This was also when I was paying copious amounts of money to have pretty much all my body hair removed, not to mention biweekly mani pedis. Sigh.) Now that we're homeowners and parents to one and 3/4 children, I'm back to my old tricks. 

So here's how I do it. I buy a color that's as close as possible to what I'm already sporting. (I've used a few different brands with success, but I'm partial to L'Oreal Feria.) Then I basically ignore the package's instructions. I mix up the stuff and put it on my roots for between 5-7 minutes. Then I cover the rest of my head and leave that on for about 8-10 minutes. So grand total, the stuff is only on my head for less than 20 minutes. (As opposed to the 30 that they tell you it requires.) I think this just keeps everything looking a little more natural. 

The reason I don't do this every time is that I've discovered that after a few "blonde in a box" sessions, all my hair turns one color. I think that a blonde without at least some variation (highlights, lowlights, etc.) looks fake. Brunettes, however, are a whole different story. My old roomate is now a highly successful advertising guru married to another highly successful advertising guru, and she's still trusting her gorgeous brunette mane to the box. 

So there you go. I figure this saves me at least $600 a year, which I can then invest guilt-free into something really important, like massages and shoes. Try it if you're so inclined, and let me know how it goes! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Madison Avenue Frump

I was paging through Parenting Magazine the other day (to which I have never subscribed but started getting immediately the moment my daughter crowned and keep on getting despite not really wanting, kind of like a period. Hmmm.... no wonder it's called a periodical) and I saw this:

Ok, so despite wondering why the heck Ty from Extreme Home Makeover is peddling Similac, I take extreme umbrage at the way the "moms" in this ad are portrayed. Now, I'm not saying they're not cute. Or somewhat nicely dressed and shod. In fact, my husband thinks my issue with this ad is overly harsh criticism on my part. BUT HERE'S THE THING.

I am in advertising. I come up with and then produce ads of this nature. I know for a stone cold fact that there were no less than 3 meetings specifically on the wardrobe and styling of these "moms". Probably more like 8. There were countless emails between the creative team, the wardrobe stylist and the client. Then there were wardrobe sessions, where the creative team went through racks of clothes with the wardrobe stylist to select EXACTLY what these "moms" should wear, down to their shoes, earrings and hairstyle. AND THIS IS WHAT THEY CAME UP WITH.

If this isn't proof that the world at large sees moms as frumpy, I don't know what is. Because even if these particular "moms" aren't all that bad, this is supposed to be what we in the advertising world call "aspirational". Meaning, this is what moms should ASPIRE TO BE. There's not an interesting item of clothing among the bunch -- not a print, not a trend, not a shred of personality. We've got two pairs of jeans and two pairs of khakis -- are there no other options for us moms to cover our asses? No skirts, no gauchos, no actual color palettes? Yes, yes, I see that the "mom" on the far right (who, by the way, is 21 if she's a day) is wearing a somewhat bohemian top. I think she's supposed to be the "sexy" one. But seriously, the rest of them look like they just finished shopping on the clearance rack at Old Navy. Except for the fact that I actually DO that, and my clothes are more interesting than this nonsense. I won't even go into the shoes. Bah.

Look again. Now imagine them with leaky breasts, disheveled hair and baggier clothes. This is just lightly airbrushed frump, if you ask me. Not that you did. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Unfrumpiest Apologies

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reads this... I am alternatively amazed, humbled and thrilled that anyone would want to read my random rants and observations. That said, I realize that I am a huge slacker. And it's certainly not for lack of material... I can't tell you how often I think to myself "I have to write about that on my blog". It probably has to do with the fact that I write for a living, so even though this is the most fun topic for me to write about, at the end of the day it's sometimes hard to motivate. Or maybe it's because the baby in my belly is sucking up all my motivation to do anything but eat and sleep. Whatever my excuse for being a crap-ass blogger, it's all about to change. I am making a resolution! My goal is to write at least once a week, and step it up from there. Hold me to this please! Demand your frump vigilance! (That reminds me, THANK YOU to Nina for being a swift kick in my frump-a-rump right when I needed it to get my last post up.) Ok. Until we meet again...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Frumpiest Place on Earth

A few weeks ago we took our daughter to Disneyland for a whirlwind weekend. We had a wonderful time, but I quite nearly poked out my eyeballs for all the frump I was forced to look at over the three day period. The constant visual attack led me to wonder if perhaps there's room in Snow White's dwarf lineup for a female one named Frumpy. At any given time, at least one (and usually many, many more) of the following was in my direct line of vision: jean shorts, fanny packs, crotch packs, saggy boobs sans-a-bra, black sneakers (paired with both white and black socks...honestly can't say which is worse), grown-ups in head to toe cartoon clothing, tight clothes on people who had no business wearing them and momullets (that's a mullet on a mom). Oh, and I have come to believe that there is a severe fup epidemic sweeping our nation. 

To be fair, this is a little bit of the pot and the kettle because yes, that was me at dinner in Downtown Disney, with wet hair, bags under my eyes and an ear-hat with "Mommy" embroidered on the back, but at the very least I was trying. I mean, nobody says you have to look glam at Disneyland, but let's just address some basics. I maintain that a good pair of Haviana flip flops are at least as comfy as Tevas or Crocs, and a whole lot easier on the eyes. And while I completely get the desire to go hands-free, is there any reason a fanny pack is better than a backpack? 

If I had tried to capture all the frump I encountered I would have burned through my memory card in a red hot minute. But I got a few choice snaps. Enjoy! 

Minnie's long lost sister, Frumpie.

This was something interesting I saw quite a lot...a mesh, waterproof bag being used as a purse. Perfect for snorkeling... but cruising around Disneyland? Maybe she was going to spend a lot of time on the submarine ride.

This is an example of too much effort being spent on entirely the wrong thing. I mean, this outfit is matching down to the trim on the pediped socks.

Oh yeah. If there's a uniform for moms at Disneyland, this is it. Jean shorts, bad perm, black sneakers and black socks. America, this is who's choosing your next president.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It wasn't me

My daughter has recently discovered nature's perfect design in making a finger the precise shape and length for which to probe a nostril. I can only imagine how miraculous this discovery must be to an almost two-year-old brain, and therefore I don't really want to kill her joy by stopping her. Plus, I know that the minute I tell her not to do it, nosepicking will become exponentially more interesting. So I let her spelunk to her heart's content and hope that she will eventually outgrow it. (Not that I have.) That's not the problem. Here's the problem. 

When she does produce a nose nugget, she exclaims, "I have a booger mama!" and hands it to me. At home, I can just grab a kleenex and remove the offending item. But in the car, I'm up booger creek, so to speak. (Yes, I realize I could plan ahead and put kleenex in the car but I am SO not that organized and I'd probably use it all cleaning up spilled coffee before I needed it for a booger anyways.) What I usually do is just reach back and pluck it from her tiny little finger, then put down my window and do the old roll-and-flick. But see, when people see me doing this, THEY THINK IT'S MY BOOGER! I have seen the telltale dirty looks and shaking heads. But what else can I do? I can't do what my husband does with his own boogers, which is put them on his socks, because I usually don't wear any. Plus I think that's gross. So I guess I'll just continue to go around town looking like a mad booger picker. Talk about frumpy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sundresses - Who Knew?

As I promised earlier, I am writing today about the magical frumpoflage powers of the sundress. I've been watching Mad Men on AMC, and am always amazed the the get-ups those moms used to wear. Granted, I know it's a TV show, but apparently it's pretty true to the reality of the time. Dresses, dresses, dresses. Even their version of sweats was a housedress. While I'm perfectly fine with constant dress-wearing going the same way as smoking and drinking scotch while pregnant, I've still come to the conclusion that a cute sundress is the easiest, most comfy way to fight frump in the summer. Southern California girls are good at sundress. They make it look easy. It's not quite as easy here in NorCal, where it could be 60 degrees in the morning and 90 by the afternoon. And then there's always the threat of a wayward wind burst in San Francisco, which turned a recent sundress experiment of mine into a 20-second peepshow. All that aside, I still think it's a good way to go. You can wear a sundress from the grocery store to the park to lunch with friends to a wedding, and still feel like you're wearing your pajamas. I'm wearing one today (A-line...good for growing bellies, baby-related or not) and never you mind that my hair is dirty and I have very little makeup on - I still feel like I look pretty damn unfrumpy, if I say so myself. Between my unfrumpy sundress, my $10 unfrumpy jelly sandals from Old Navy, and my big old Nicole Richie sunglasses, I'm a far cry from Tevas and jean shorts. At least for the moment at hand. Tomorrow, as they say, is a brand new day. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Photographic evidence of Frumpfoot!

I am excited to unveil a new phase of UMM --photos!! When I get my iPhone, I'll have many more opportunities for photos being that it's much less obvious to take a picture with a cell phone than with a camera. However, I was recently at a museum with my daughter and I was able to snap a few inconspicuous photos of some heinous footwear offenders. Keep in mind, this is only what I was able to capture -- there was plenty more where this came from. In fact, I believe I only spotted one decently shod mom among the whole group. Again, why does this have to be so hard? I was wearing a pair of $40 Steve Madden gladiator-ish sandals - flat, comfy, no-fuss, but with a modicum of style. This is not rocket science, people. 

Exhibit A:

Honestly, I'm not even sure I'd know where to pick up a pair of these if I found myself wanting some. Jerusalem, maybe? (Note my daughter's legs in the background. She's an excellent decoy.)

Exhibit B:

Here, photographed for perhaps the first time in history, a frumpfoot trifecta! For the record, I think one of these is a man, but isn't it just a little bit disturbing that you can barely tell the difference? 

This just goes to show you that they're out there, and they're ASSEMBLING. Stand firm in your stylish flats, fellow frumpfighters! We can prevail!

PS: I just now noticed that one of those frumpfoots in the second picture is wearing jean shorts. I'm pretty sure that's the guy, though I'm not sure that's an excuse. Remember, dads can be frumpy too. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

With frump, I mean child

I am entering a whole new stratosphere of the frump war. I am now a mother of a toddler with a baby on the way. I'm a little over 4 months pregnant—enough to look thick and busty, but not quite enough to be filling out those maternity clothes yet (though I gave up on all my regular pants over a month ago). I thought the frump fight was hard before—now THIS is tough. For one thing, a good 9/10ths of my wardrobe is now moot. For another, I'm even bustier now than I was with my last pregnancy so many of my former maternity shirts now make me look like I'm appearing on the Howard Stern show. A lot of my friends complain about their growing rumps when they get pregnant, but to that I say—at least you can cover those up with a long maternity top! All of my roundness happens from the waist up -- boobs, chin and cheeks. I'm like a snowman on stilts. The boobs I can cover (though most maternity fashion serves to highlight happy preggos' newfound cleavage.) The rest of me, however, is pretty much out there for the world to see. Maternity burkhas, anyone?

Monday, July 28, 2008


I was at a park this weekend with my daughter and I had a run-in with a frump. This woman was so frumptastic that it had seeped into her personality and she had become officially as frumpy on the inside as she was on the outside. The park we were at has a section where every ten minutes or so, little fountains start spraying water out of the ground and kids, as you would expect, go apeshit. My daughter had been running around and squealing for about 15 minutes when, as not-quite-two-year-olds do, she decided in an instant she was done and wanted to go home. So here I am with my arms full of damp toddler, wielding a bulky diaper bag, swarmed with giddy children when... (cue the dramatic music)...I bump into someone else's kid. No, let me rephrase that—I NUDGED the kid. He swayed a bit but didn't even stumble. As I'm starting to apologize, I hear this shrill voice say, "HE WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOOOOOOUUUU!!!" I turn around and see a frump rocket barreling at me full speed ahead. She instantly does a full body inspection on her child to see if I did any permanent damage as I stood there in complete shock. It should come as no surprise that this woman was wearing sweats that had been cut at the ankle for a lovely "cropped" look and an oversized gym shirt. But even worse, her kid (the victim of my senseless drive-by nudging) was sporting a FULL WETSUIT and a huge floppy sun hat. At the park. Amidst what are basically glorified sprinklers. When it was like 71 degrees outside. 
 I can't help but wonder—are women like this enjoying motherhood, or is it just a dizzying series of Things To Be Afraid Of? Sun. Water. Other children. Other mothers. All these landmines of daily life that seem to turn some moms into shrill-sounding, UV-wielding beasts. It would be one thing if I had cavalierly knocked a child down, but to receive a tongue-lashing from a harmless nudge seems beyond ridiculous. Kids are going to get bruised. And dirty. And sometimes, though hopefully not often, they'll even bleed. It seems to me that it's our jobs to stand by with as much composure as possible, doling out kisses and band-aids and reassurance that it's all going to be okay. Not freaking and frumping out on other moms at the park. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What the Gay Man at Nordstrom Taught Me

I went into Nordy's the other day to buy a baby gift and I was instantly jumped by a gay man wielding Lancome products. Maybe my yoga pants and scant amount of makeup set off his frumpdar. I usually avoid product pushers but, when it comes to my personal appearance, I've always had a weakness for gay men. Most of my hair stylists have been men who love men, and "Fabulous Gay Robert" did my wedding makeup (which is probably the best my face ever looked). I figure that when these guys approach my hair or my face, they're not bogged down with the monotony of doing their OWN hair and makeup every single day. They do what's right for me, instead of just giving me a variation of their own routine. At least that's what I tell myself. Not to mention the fact that gay men have better skin and hair than pretty much any women I know. 

So Mr. Man pulls me aside and instantly starts painting my face with yummy smelling products. I spent way too much time and money with this guy, but at least I can pass along the juiciest gay man makeup tips. (Wasn't there a book that was popular a few years ago called "How to Make Love Like a Gay Man?" I personally think we'd all get a hell of a lot more out of "How to Apply Makeup Like a Gay Man.") 

1. First, put moisturizer on your face. Lots of it. Then, put your foundation on with a brush. This sounds NUTS but I swear it gives you that J Lo dewy thing.

2. When you put on your concealer, mix a little moisturizer in with it first. MORE dew. 

3. You don't need to put on lots of eye makeup, just work the hell out of your mascara. Put the brush on the very base of your eyelashes and then wiggle it around a bunch before you brush it through your lashes. Basically, if your eyes are watering and your nose is running, you're doing it right. 

4. Don't forget your eyebrows. I have bad ones. They have no arch. He drew some on me and I looked like a whole new person. I am never ignoring my eyebrows again. 

That's it. I left Nordy's with a dewy complexion, bedroom eyes and intact eyebrows. And shockingly, by following the tips above, I've been able to mostly keep them all going. And trust me, it doesn't take much time. Or you better believe I wouldn't still be doing it. 

Monday, July 21, 2008


I just returned from a weekend away with a whole bunch of friends whose collective unfrumpiness puts me to shame. It was completely inspirational. Not only am I going to step up my frump war, I'm going to write more about it! Thank you friends, for all the fun and for the kick in my frumpy ass. 

Here are a few things I learned this weekend:

Target has fabulous clothes. 

Frump is alive and well in Southern California as well. I heard tales about a pair of high-heeled, open-toed sneakers on a mom at a baby shower and werewolf-like facial hair on a mom in a music class. 

Breastfeeding seems to have helped every mother on the planet lose weight, with the lonely exception of me. 

Living where it's sunny really helps with that whole tan thing. 

Excellent summer wear that's unfrumpy AND comfy: sundresses. More on this later.... 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Do or Don't?

Despite my trepidation about Crocs, I'm strangely attracted to these shoes. There's a part of my brain that thinks these could be super comfy and look kind of "euro" therefore unfrumpy. But there's another part that thinks they look like a swimcap that's been fashioned into footwear. What do you think? I need some guidance, fellow moms. 

Thank you thank you thank you! Your collective unfrumpiness saved me from making a grave error in judgement. That and the fact that they didn't have my size. Phew. That was close.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Sad Truth

In honor of Father's Day, I have been pondering the existence (or rather the lack of) Dad frump. Why is it that so many women fall headlong into the deep end of the frump pool after becoming parents and so few men even get their feet wet? Yes, yes, I realize that it falls to us to stretch our bodies into unrecognizable shapes in order to have said children, and that plays a large part. But it doesn't fully explain the sudden hair disasters, the tragic footwear choices and the fondness for wearing scrubs in public. Men don't lose their sense of style once they have kids. They don't stop shaving or bathing. If anything, they get a little more relaxed, toss out those few suspect items of clothing that were still around from their single days, and, let's face it, start to look even hotter. This is NEVER SAID of women. In fact, the whole term "MILF" stems from the idea that there are so few Ms anyone would like to F. Even when dads gain a little post-kid weight, it's usually kind of cute and, more importantly, spread around their bodies instead of throwing a party right around their midsection with a little after-party on the behind/lower back. Well Dads, Happy Father's Day to you... even if I have to hate you just a little bit. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Frumparchy

I have decided that there is a distinct hierarchy when it comes to frump, largely dependent upon a mom's circumstances. Here is my attempt at organizing this observation into some sort of chart-like, pyramid-shaped thingamajig:

The highest level of unfrumpiness (thus the least frumpy) is reserved for working moms (WMs). I know this from experience. Whether we like it or not, WMs are guaranteed at least 20 childless hours a week, out in public, where people wear clothes that need to be dry cleaned once in awhile. WMs actually spend time in the morning considering their general appearance and aroma. This very fact alone makes WMs the very picture of unfrumpiness. (I'm not, by the way, advocating that all moms be WMs. I would much rather getting my frump on at home with my baby girl than out teetering around in heels, smelling of tuberose. But hey, I gotta feel good about something.) 

The next rung down the ladder belongs to stay at home moms with help (SAHMsWH). This category rivals WMs for the title of least frumpy, depending upon the amount of help. Unlike WMs, many SAHMsWH  often find time to regularly work out and get manicures, in which case they rise to the top of the list. At the very least, they can carve out a little time to stand in front of a mirror. Unlike the next category. 

Our third group on the frump totem pole is stay at home moms (SAHMs). I get to be one of these every Friday and ay carumba, what a difference a day makes. There is really no time (or really, reason) to spend any time at all on outward appearance. My daughter loves me no matter how much underarm hair I have, what I smell like, or what is splattered all over my comfy, comfy sweat pants. I try not to leave the house without some basic maintenance, just in case I run into an ex-boyfriend. But the temptation to just "run out" while looking like a cross between sporty spice and roseanne is fierce, I tell you. 

Finally, the frumpiest level of them all is saved for stay at home working moms (SAHWMs). Again, I'm speaking from experience. On the days I work from home while also tending to my child, frump isn't a possibility, it's an inevitability. Without a doubt, my husband will come home at night to a wife that's unwashed, in pajamas, and sitting amidst piles of toys and dirty laundry. On these occasions, I spare everyone in the outside world from my frumpfest. I mean, I won't even open the door for the UPS guy. Unless he's delivering wine, of course. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Despite being completely pathetic about blogging lately (it's a long story involving two bathrooms, a backyard and a heatwave) a couple of recent incidents have led me to believe that I am starting to be seen as some sort of unfrumpy.... Expert? Maven? Guru? I'm not terribly sure what to think of this, seeing as I frump out far more than I should if I am to hold such a title, but I'm always happy to answer any questions. (Perhaps more disturbing is that fact that both of these queries came from moms that could run circles around my frumpy ass when it comes to style. But I digress.)

The first question was what to do about the insidious problem of thongvertising. That would be when your thong decides, completely on its own accord, to make a grand appearance above your waistband. And what wisdom did this maestro of unfrumpiness have to share on the matter? "Um, I have no idea. I just kind of try to shove it down as low as possible whenever it starts creeping up." That's it. That's all I got. Anyone else care to broaden our horizons on how to solve this universal problem? Thongvertising moms want to know.

The second was from a friend who wondered what she should do on the occasion that she works out in the morning and doesn't have time to go home between errands and picking up the kids. I told her that just by nature of the fact that she WORKED OUT she is already way ahead of the game. Secondly, I asked what her workout clothes look like. Husband's sweats? College t-shirts? Head and/or wristbands? She said, no, she buys all her workout gear at Lululemon. Ding ding ding ding ding!!! Perfect score. Working out AND wearing cute gear? I pronounce you 100% Unfrumpy. 

Anyone else need enlightening of this caliber? Bring it on! I'm on a roll!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Going on a Frumpcation

Someone please tell me how on earth a girl can travel with a toddler without ending up looking like something that's been chewed and spat out? We've taken two weekend trips lately - one to Seattle and one to Portland. In both instances, I arrived looking and smelling like Courtney Love after a two-week bender. First of all, it's next to impossible to dress correctly for the entire process of traveling. I needed something warm on both myself and my daughter for the cold climates in which we were landing, yet that "something warm" ended up being the bane of my existence while going through security -- trying to remove my layers and my daughter's layers while also collapsing the stroller, shoving it through a tiny tunnel AND keeping both of us from contracting some horrific foot disease from being barefoot in the airport (walk on your toes). (PS. How crazy ridiculous is it that we have to remove the footwear of infants? I mean, am I seriously going to be able to fit an airplane-obliterating bomb in my daughter's tiny pink maryjanes?) Anyways, then, once you're on the plane, it's either claustrophobically hot (on the ground) or blasting cold air in one spot on the top of your head (in the air). So, I just kept my warm layers on the whole time and ended up working up some nice bodily aromas. Then, on top of the temperature issue, we have the issue of keeping a toddler occupied for over two hours in under three square feet of room. For me, this involves lots of food items (which end up largely on my person) and small toys (which get thrown one by one onto the disgusting floor of the plane for me to pick up repeatedly - a surefire hairdo killer.) There's also the emotional turmoil of dealing with your neighbors - on these particular flights my daughter cycled between kicking the seat in front of her (there's so little room that I couldn't move her feet in any conceivable direction where she couldn't reach it), patting the person next to her (which I thought was cute but I'm not sure he did), or trying to touch the man's hair directly behind us (I think I kept that one at bay but I can't be sure). All this to say, I'm sorry Portland and Seattle, for landing on your doorstep in such a frumptastic state. Thank you for two wonderful weekends!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Humble Request

Fellow moms, lovely friends, dear husband - 
If I have a visible booger in my nose, PLEASE TELL ME.

If I have lipstick on or spinach in my teeth, PLEASE TELL ME.

If my headlights are on too bright or (and I'm speaking from experience here) one of my nipples is peeking out of a holey sweatshirt, PLEASE TELL ME.

If my g-string is riding up, my bra strap is riding down, or anything else is within sight that no one should have to witness, PLEASE TELL ME.

If my makeup's not blended, my whiskers need plucking, my armpits need shaving (or deodorizing), or the back of my hair needs immediate attention, PLEASE TELL ME.

If there is anything on or about my person that, if I were aware, would cause me Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, PLEASE TELL ME.

Yes, it will be slightly embarrassing for both of us, though more for me than for you. But as I continue to go about my day, meeting with coworkers, fraternizing with other moms, conversing with baristas and possibly running into ex-boyfriends, I will be silently and fervently thanking you for your candor. After all, a girl can only pay attention to so many things at once. 

And of course, I will return the favor. With pleasure.

UPDATE: The other night, my husband said to me, "Let me look at you." He then went on to look at me intently for about a minute. I thought it was really romantic, until he said, "You need to pluck." Turns out he had read my post. Thank you, honey!! 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Starbucks Frump Sighting

There I was at Starbucks this morning amidst a bevy of moms, thinking to myself how stylish and put together they all looked, when in frumped one of the worst offenders I’ve seen in a long time. Let’s start at the top, shall we? She was wearing a circa-1982 bright pink headband worn in the actual style of 1982 – low on the forehead like Oliva Newton John. Actually, come to think of it, it was more like David Lee Roth because the headband was pushing up her long, unruly, rocker-length hair. At least Olivia had the wherewithal to pair her headband with a nice, short, sporty hairdo. Moving down, she had on a hoodie, which was all fine and good until she turned around and it had a giant, pink peace sign on the back along with the words, “Peace & Love”. Now that’s just confusing. 80’s up top and 60’s in the middle? And I’ve just never understood why people who clearly never lived during the era of hippies would don their clothing. It’s not like we see people our age running around in poodle skirts. Now, the pants. They were exercise pants—Capri-length exercise pants that were pretty fitted and very worn yet have probably never seen the inside of a gym. (No judgement here - my exercise pants haven't been to the gym in a long while either. But I'm not donning them as daywear!) And capping off the look were ankle socks worn completely pulled up (did I mention the pants were Capri-length?) with, yes, sandals. I don’t think they were Tevas but the effect was exactly the same. She rushed in, pushing a giant stroller filled with children and looking frazzled, took one look at the line and exclaimed, “Is this the line?” (Not sure what else it would have been.) Then she made a frustrated noise that sounded like “Bfffffffffffff” and rushed back out. Little did she know she made my day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

They Promised Me Smaller Boobs

Ever since I got them, in like 5th grade, I've wanted my boobs to go away. They are far too bodacious for my liking. I realize that, to most women, this is a little like the rail-thin model who says, "I really want to gain weight, and I just can't! I keep eating Big Macs and losing weight!" But seriously. I hate my big old brown-eyed fun bags. Always have. And so, when I heard moms lamenting that they "went down at least a cup size!" after nursing, a little bubble of hope started to surface. Aha! I will be one of those moms whose bodies totally changes after having a baby! My boobs will get small (and will magically become the same size), my legs will get long, my hair will get thick, and my shoulders will shrink into the wiry little shape of a hanger. Or at the VERY LEAST, my boobs will go down one teeny little cup size. Everyone says so!!

Fast forward to now, 18 months after having a baby who I nursed for TWELVE MONTHS, my boobs are bigger. And lower. And still so very lopsided. Why, oh why?? Why am I quite literally the only woman I know whose boobs have not shrunk even the tiniest little bit after nursing? It is so cruel. I have so many friends who are sad about their baby-related boob loss and it just makes me neon green with envy. What I would do for the same post-partum effect.

The only positive side effect is that, because my lady friends have indeed dropped at least a good solid inch, I don't have as much cleavage. Or rather, I do, but it is no longer visible in my shirts' necklines. Because, last I checked, most fashion designers aren't making necklines that go halfway down to your navel. So I can wear normal necklines now. Wa-HOO.

If my husband were reading this post, I'm sure he'd see this in an entirely different light. HE is thanking his lucky stars. I, on the other hand, am trying to squeeze my ta-tas into bras that don't fit because I'd rather live in denial than buy bigger ones. Does anyone know of a "I must, I must, I must decrease my bust exercise" I can try??

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Look

If you're ever in the mood to do a little Frumpwatching, head to a CPK at about 6:00 on a Sunday night. I was there last night, and I felt like I was at a frazzled mom convention. It is like a little toddler petting zoo. While I normally fixate on the more outfit-and-hair-related aspects of frump, this time I noticed something else. A look. It was a cross between "How did I get here?" and "Please let this be over soon." Usually it accompanied a melting down child, a spilled glass of water or a number of other child-related mishaps. I know this look well. I've worn it myself a number of times - on the airplane, at the mall, in restaurants, I could go on. It adds a whole new layer to frump fashion. You know how models have a look that makes their outfits look better? (I think Tyra calls it "fierceness".) Well, this is a look that moms get that make us look even frumpier. Maybe we should call it momness. We could be wearing our sleekest designer jeans (over Spanx, of course), a cashmere sweater and heels, but the minute we get that look in our eyes, we might as well be sporting wrestling pants and tevas. (A look I saw at the park on a mom this past Easter.) I don't have any advice on how to combat this expression. I'm not sure it's possible. I can't imagine smiling and acting like nothing's wrong while your child throws a back-arching, food-throwing fit at a restaurant. Maybe this is what Xanax is for.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unfrump My Daughter

After a nail-bitingly long period during which I thought she would permanently look like one of those oil paintings of Henry VIII, my 18-month old has finally reached a point in her hair development where I simply must intervene. I'm just not exactly sure what to do. It seems she has inherited my insubstantial fluff-like substance that disguises itself as hair. That, combined with her tendency to sleep deeply wedged into the corners of her crib, leaves her looking like an urchin child the majority of the time. Even when I wet it down with water, it starts to rise slowly as it dries like a fluffy hair souffle. I've even gone so far as to use "product" on it, which either does nothing, or makes her hair so greasy, she looks like a tiny, pale Sopranos character. I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what to do with my own hairdo, now I have to worry about my daughter's?

Maybe I've discovered an untapped niche. I was at the drugstore earlier today and was wandering the hair product aisle, looking for inspiration to strike. There's plenty of products for adults that promise "more body", "waves", "thickener", "extra shine". Maybe I should start a line of hair care for babies that offers things like "fluff reducer" and "mullet manager".

Does she need a cut? New hair products? Baby Rogaine? The Hair Club for Babies? Somebody help!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Unfrumpy vs. Fabulous

I feel the need to draw a line in the sand between being an Unfrumpy Mom and being a Fabulous Mom. Unfrumpy is really not that high of a bar. It involves near-daily showers, low-waisted jeans, non-frightening footwear and a vague attempt at makeup. Fabulous, however, is a whole different stratosphere. We're talking weekly mani/pedis, regular blow-outs, non-stretchy clothing and maybe even a little Botox. Fabulous Momness requires a whole lot of time and money of which I have neither. This is no judgement on Fabulous Moms - believe me, I'd love to join their ranks. But in the face of working four days a week and running after a toddler, I simply don't foresee that happening anytime soon. This is not to slight being Unfrumpy, either. Unfrumpy Momness is not just a look, but also an attitude. It's a way to say, "I'm proud of being a mom, I just don't want to forget that I'm also a me." And we Unfrumpy Moms can dabble in Fabulous territory, when we have a little extra time or for special occasions... it's just not an everyday thing. Capiche?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I love you, Banana Republic sweater coat

A couple of months ago, I bought a black sweater coat at BR. Not the kind that ties at the waist - I've tried those on and that look only manages to add about 10 pounds each to my bosom and my hips. This kind buttons like a coat but is made out of cable knit. It was one of those purchases where, at the time, you weren't really sure if you were even going to keep it. Like, let's take this puppy home, try it on with some things, kick the tires, see what happens.
Well. I am in love. I feel like a kid with a security blanket, I want to wear that thing all the time. I find myself thinking things like, "I wonder if anyone will notice that I wore this the last two days in a row?" That is SO unlike me. But I am a woman obsessed.
It is so comfortable and cozy, I feel like I'm wearing a bathrobe. But, unlike a bathrobe, it's streamlined and stylish. Even when I'm wearing it over my Lululemon sweats and a t-shirt with ballet flats, I feel like Audrey Hepburn. (Okay, Audrey Hepburn after about 6 months of binge eating.) And when you put it with jeans and boots? Heaven! It's got that whole "chic without really trying" thing going.
So, find a sweater coat. Buy it. Wear it. Love it. I promise you'll thank me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The new mom clause

Let it be said that NO new moms fall into the frumpy mom category, even if they are wearing a house dress with leaking breasts. You have a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for at least the first five months of your child's life. There is just no reason to be wasting your energy on self-maintenance when you're spending 92% of your life sitting on your rear and nursing. Plus, who wants to risk wearing a cute shirt when you've got leaking mammory glands? Not that any of your cute shirts would fit over those loaded milk dispensers anyways.
I spent the first few months of my daughter's life wearing solely easy access tops. I thought this was genius, until the day when I went out into my front yard and started talking to my next-door neighbor with my hoodie unzipped to my navel. Seems that when you spend most of your time with your shirt open, you get insensitive to the cool breezes that would normally tell you that your ta-tas are exposed. I also had no problem rocking the maternity pants well into my daughter's first year. They're comfortable, they frumpoflage the lingering post-prego jelly roll, and they make you feel skinny because they're the only things you own that are too big.
Now, I have many friends that have given birth and then promptly looked fabulous. I don't get how that's humanly possible, but somehow they manage to look exactly like their former selves, just with bigger boobs. Personally, I think these women have made a deal with the devil. For the rest of us mere mortals, I say frump out while you have a good excuse!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Do you know this stuff?

If not, allow me to introduce you to a nice little anti-frump weapon. It's called "Eyebright" by Benefit Cosmetics but it should have been called "I slept". This stuff is magic. When you've finished putting on your makeup, you put a line of it above where you put your eyeliner. Voila! Instant sleep! On Benefit's website they say some crazy stuff about putting it in the inner corner of your eye next to your nose and drawing some sort of line up from the outer corner towards your eyebrow, but that sounds a little Star Wars to me. I'll stick with my nice subtle line and eyes that don't look like I just rolled out of bed.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Frump Confession

Forgive me frump fighters, for I have frumped. I am guilty on two counts of public frumpeness. The first was last Saturday, when, thanks to a sick, sleepless child I spent the better part of a night in a glider chair rocking and saying ssssssshhhhhhhhhhh. I swear I tried to take a shower the next morning, but somehow things just kept getting in the way and not only did I not bathe, I never even got out of the sweat pants I slept in. But did that stop be from venturing out into public? Hell no! I plopped a pink Red Sox baseball hat on my greasy head, threw on a sweatshirt, and headed out into the world. For HOURS, mind you. The whole family went running errands, then out to frozen yogurt, then walking around cute downtown Palo Alto, then out to dinner. In the pants I slept in. And the tank top. It was a low, low moment in my fight against frump.

But then, this morning, I sunk even lower. The little one and I drove the hubby to work, both of us in our PJs, figuring we wouldn't even get out of the car. But when we dropped him off, damn if there wasn't a Jamba Juice calling our name. So, I threw caution to the wind and headed on in. Let me give you a mental picture. I am wearing cropped sweats (a dire no-no for stumpy norwegians like myself), an oversized hooded sweatshirt with a sticker of Jiminy Cricket over my left breast (a gift from my daughter), grey slipper boots with big fluffy pom poms dangling down each side, and a baseball hat. Oh, did I mention I had yogurt wiped all over one of my pant legs? Because I did. My daughter was in her footie PJs with full-blown Einstein hair. We were quite a sight. My apologies to you, Mr. Jamba Juice Barista, for the fright we must have given you this morning. I'll try not to let it happen again. At least this week.

Ok. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Frump Sighting #2

In case you've missed this gem in the comments section, I had to give it some props. This sighting illustrates a fashion frump-pax that far too many moms make. They think back to the last time in their lives when they felt sexy, and live forever within that decade. For this frumpster, that must have been circa 1982:

...Living in a rural community provides me with countless encounters with frumps. Most recently, on a local ski hill, my husband and I enjoyed seeing a woman wearing a one piece (tourqoise and purple) nylon snow suit with coordinating head band. I don't have to tell you she also had white boots with skis 2x her height. Referring to her as Olivia Newton-John for the remainder of the day we enjoyed humming Xanadu every time we saw her.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This one's for Kerry

I got my very first Unfrump Request! This must be what it feels like to be a bad karaoke singer in a dark bar when suddenly, out of the audience comes a request for Free Bird. So exciting!

Here's it is: " how about a little help for those us fighting not to fall off the bridge into the River Frump. How about the top ten, quick, easy and relatively cheap ways to unfrump or defrump or prevent frump?"

With pleasure, fellow unfrumper! Here are ten cheap (or even free) ways to keep frump at bay.

1. Never leave the house in a condition in which you wouldn't want to run into an ex boyfriend. This is a good rule of thumb that, if followed religiously by all moms, would probably rid the world of frump once and for all.

2. When in public, try to always have at least three of the following: clean hair, clean clothes, concealer, mascara, lipstick or gloss, and a fresh manicure and pedicure (haha! that last one was a joke. just seeing if you're paying attention.)

3. Accessorize. I saw a mom at the store the other day in jeans and a hoodie with a cute chunky necklace on. It made a huge difference. It's like a giant sign that says, "I'm trying here".

4. Ever heard that saying "shoes make the man"? Well, it should be "shoes frump the mom". I see some staggeringly frumpy footwear out in momdom. There are a lot of inexpensive, comfortable and unfrumpy shoe choices out there these days—ballet flats, flip-flops, slip-on sneakers, flat boots, cowboy boots, etc. Let's save the cross-trainers for the gym (or in my case, the closet floor) and the corrective footwear for the nursing home.

5. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Pluck.

6. Eschew spandex. Unless it's in your Spanx. And oh yeah... get some Spanx.

7. This is going to sound like a cruel joke, but get a good night's sleep whenever possible. You can spot a 5-hour night's sleep a mile away.

8. Have sex! Seriously, don't you feel so much less frumpy after a good roll in the hay? Your hair has a perfect muss that not even Sally Hershberger herself could match, your cheeks are nice and rosy, and you have a sexy little glint in your eye that says, "Guess what I've just been doing?"

9. Moisturize morning and night. Your face AND your bod. Moist people are unwrinkly people.

10. Take a good look at your purse. Does it scream "mom"? Make a minor investment in one that's hip, funky or even trendy. Personally, I carry a super-convincing knock-off Gucci tote that cost me about $70. It allows me to salvage some fashion dignity, even while I'm filling it with baggies of crackers and Wet Ones.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Frump Sighting #1

Joy of joys! I've started getting frump sightings emailed to me from friends! It's so heartening to know that I'm not alone in my frump fright. Please keep them coming! This one is from my sexy, totally unfrumpy prego friend Aimee. (Who is on frump alert before even giving birth! VERY impressive...)

...I saw a young mom in my pre-natal yoga class that reeked of "I give up". She was tall and thin, with a tiny belly and she was wearing blue-gray baggy sweats, an unflattering shirt, unsupportive bra, no makeup whatsoever and bad was half up in 2 ponytails on the side of her head. She looked sad as well. I know yoga isn't a place to dress up, but it is a place to celebrate being a strong, spiritual woman and mother. At least I manage to throw on a little mascara. In any case, I just remember thinking that I hope to never give up like that. I'm sexy, darn it -- lumps and all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Frump Soldier Reporting from Duty

I attended a Preschool Forum last week. I probably should have written about it sooner, but I think I needed this much time to fully process the Frump I encountered and let it pass through my system. I don't think I could have done it justice when I was still reeling from the shock. Allow me to take you though my evening.

6:58 - Preschool Forum starts in 2 minutes. I am just now leaving my house, wondering if I have enough time to stop at Starbucks for a Nonfat No-water Chai before I get there.

7:05 - I'm on my third pass-by on Starbucks and still no parking spot. Damn. I'm going to have to go sober.

7:10 - I'm here. Wow, look at all the cars. Crap, there's no parking. Guess I'll just park here, in the yellow zone.

7:15 - I enter and freeze. I think I now know how the soldiers might have felt as they landed at Omaha Beach on D-day...but instead of being faced with Nazis, I am being faced with the largest frump mass I have ever seen. I start desperately looking for comrades.

7:18 - Here's my train of thought: "Why do all these people look like moms? Why do all these people look so old? Wait, this must mean I look like a mom! This must mean I look old!" Panic. Elevated heart rate.

7:20 - Phew. I found a few moms from my (very unfrumpy) playgroup. Heart rate is returning to normal.

7:21 - Oh look! There's wine here! Bless the organizers' frumpy little hearts.

7:25 - Wine in hand, I begin my reconaissance into enemy territory. I notice that VERY FEW other moms have wine. But I also notice that most of those wineless moms also have really bad gray root situations. I feel better.

7:30 - I squeeze myself through the frump lines and get to a booth. I ask some questions about philosphies, class size, parent participation, etc. but I run out of questions pretty quickly. I look around and notice lots of women in pants with elastic waistbands having deep, passionate conversations with preschool representatives. I nervously take a pamphlet and move on.

7:45 - After a few more booths asking the same questions, I feel pretty much ready to go. Or should I get another glass of wine?

7:50 - Now that I am acclimated to the Frumpmosphere, I decide to look around and really take it all in. It truly is amazing how few women in the room I can tag as unfrumpy. And I'm really not that critical - I mean, I'm no pretty picture either. But my roots are covered, my shoes have a hint of a heel, and my outfit matches. Big sigh. This may be an unwinnable war.

7:55 - Mission accomplished. I have a ton of preschool information in my hand, a glass of wine in my belly, and a whole lotta Frump to recover from. Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree - mama's coming home.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm just not sure about Crocs

Are they a comfy, quirky fashion statement? Or a cruel hoax being played on the mass public?

Convince me.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Aloha Frump

The report from Hawaii is that frump is alive in well in the U.S. tropics. That said, I must say that I was happily surprised by the number of moms I saw that seemed like they were trying. I talked with one super cute 7-month prego mom at the pool with an 18 month old girl and she was sporting a pixie hair cut and a bikini. Now that's impressive. But now, because I simply can't help myself, I must give a frump report.

So I'm on the beach with my family, enjoying the small window of sun among a whole lot of rain, and here it comes. You might as well have started playing the Jaws music. Walking towards me is Sergeant Frump in full uniform. Tragically, she was kind of cute and had a nice figure. But that's where my compliments must come to a screeching halt. This woman should have had MOM tattooed on her forehead. She was wearing something I can only refer to as a sportsuit. It's a bathing suit that looks like it belongs in the Olympics--fine if you're swimming laps in the pool, but beachside in Maui? On her head, she had a sun-proof, water-proof, sex-proof floppy hat. Obviously, between the suit and the hat, this woman decided that the best place for her to shop for her upcoming visit to paradise was REI. And on her back? Oh yes. A child. In some sort of fanny pack that extended up her back to allow for a seated toddler. I believe there was even a water bottle dangling from a carabiner attached to the child.

I said to my husband, "Wow, frump alert." And he responded by looking all around and saying, "Where? What?" It made me realize that maybe men aren't as sensitive to the insidious nature of frump. And by being oblivious, in a way, they're unknowingly enabling it. I would hope that before I ventured out in the getup I have just described that my husband would perform a full-scale intervention on me. But perhaps not. It's really my job to keep my frump factor low and my vigilance high. While he is a beneficiary, my frump fight isn't for him anyways. It's for me to feel like I'm still me, even though I have a child that I love and cherish. And it's just fine to love your child and not collapse into wearing safari gear and 72 SPF on an overcast beach in Maui.

So there.

P.S. One more thing. The only people who should be wearing "boy short" bikini bottoms are actual boys. Or Gisele. They may seem like a more forgiving alternative to regular bikini bottoms, but instead they just highlight the exact things you'd like to hide. I'm not really sure why this is true, but believe me, it is.