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: "...so 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 hair...it 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.