Pedicures & Color Possibilities: A Husband Weighs In

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The Compete Cutex Manicure, 1933 via The Vintage Site

I only asked him as a courtesy.  I didn’t think that he’d have opinion, but he did.

And it surprised me.

I’d sorted through my bottles of nail polish, throwing out shades that I hated or bottles with lids that no longer opened.  I was left with 5 shades:

  • Houston We Have Purple by OPI [dark dramatic shiny purple]
  • From A To Zurich by OPI [dark maroon]
  • Strawberry Margarita by OPI [bright bold pink]
  • Incognito by Dior [neutral beige-y medium pink]
  • Nail Glow by Dior [sheer pinkish purple that makes nail tips look white like a French manicure]

So there I sat, on the screened-in porch, trying to decide which of the above colors I was going to put on my little piggies.  About 90% of the time I wear the Dior Incognito because it’s classy and goes with everything.

I repeat, everything.

But Zen-Den was out there on the porch with me, too.  So I asked him which color he thought that I should wear.  And the color he picked was…

Of Chips & Buns, Making Small Talk At The Dinner Table

I. The scene

Zen-Den and I went to dinner at a Tex-Mex place.  Sitting there at our table, me sipping a frozen Texas Twister, him drinking a Dos Eqius, waiting for our tortilla chips to arrive, we got to talking.

II. The Subject

Thinking about the recent news story that I’d seen that day, I asked Zen-Den what he thought about man buns.  Specifically, the man buns of Disney.

I figured that the sports babble radio guys who he listens to during his daily commute would have had something to say about man buns.  But apparently they’re not as aware of male hairstyles as one might hope.

Zen-Den had no idea what I was talking about.

III. The Conversation

He asked: What kind of buns? Ones that you eat? 

I said: No!

He said: Buns with your hair?  On men?

I said: Yes, the ones on your head.

He asked: Like granny buns?

I said: No, not like Granny Clampett.  More like sumo wrestlers.

He said: The guys are fat?

I said: No.  I don’t think so.  Maybe some are.  The photos show thin guys.

 He said: There are photos?  Where?

I said: Online.  In a blog or something, I think.  I read an article. 

He said: So these thin guys pull their hair up and twist it into a bun?

I said: Yes!

He said: How?

I said: I don’t know.  It’s just up there.  Maybe with a scrunchie?  Or bobby pins?

He said: Why do they do it? 

I said: It’s probably a thing like being a hipster with your hat.  Or those “git r done” guys with their shaved heads.  It’s cool, I guess.  

He said: Why?

I said: I dunno.  Because men are stupid? 

He said: That’s true… that’s very true. 

I said: I’ll send you the link to the article.

He said: Nah.  I don’t want to see it.  Sounds weird.  That’s why I like listening to radio.  I don’t have to see any pictures of stupid men.

IV. The Conclusion

The conversation ended when our server brought us fresh homemade chips and salsa.  They captured Zen-Den’s attention, so he was no longer interested in cross-examining me about man buns.

I stopped talking about them, but will admit that I enjoyed watching a middle age business guy struggle with the idea of men wearing their hair in an up-do… just because they can.

Kindness Deconstructed, A Fun With Foibles Post

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John the CincyZooLion is not pleased that Ally Bean was dissed. *growl*

# # #

I’VE ALWAYS OPERATED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION that kindness is a good thing.

This, of course, is a simplistic point of view.  One that along the way has gotten me into more trouble than you might imagine, allowing me to perfect my eye-rolling technique.

From what I can tell, if someone, for some reason, does not believe that they deserve kindness, then anyone who shows them kindness becomes a problem.

And it’s time for a squabble.

# # #

TO WIT, LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW I remembered that a former neighbor here in the midwest, who now lives on the other side of the country, used to love this time of year.

So, spontaneously, without any expectation of reciprocity, I sent her a fast, sincere thinking-of-you email.

A random act of kindness.

A note saying someone cares about you. 

A positive little message. 

# # #

WITHIN THE HOUR SHE WAS ON the phone, not calling to thank me, but to tell me how bad she felt about herself after receiving my kind email.

That I made her feel like a failure because she never thought to send anyone a thinking-of-you email.

And why did I bother with this email, anyhow?  Was I trying to make her feel guilty?

What was my real motivation?

And my only response, which was the truth but it seemed to irritate her, was that I was thinking. of. her.  She liked this time of year in the midwest and I remembered that.

I was just saying “hello.”  Nothing more.

*eye roll*

# # #

WHILE THE GOLDEN RULE MAKES SENSE to me, I’ve come to discover that occasionally doing unto others what you would want for yourself, can lead to resentment among others.

Somehow, it would seem that some people with low self-esteem, or perhaps the inability to understand generosity of spirit, misinterpret kindness to mean manipulation.

Or showing off.

Or sanctitude.

Or, I guess, some other off-putting behavior, sneaky and weird, that doesn’t say friendship to them.

Meaning that, if you’re primed to believe that the golden rule is suspect behavior, then my kind email marked me immediately as an untrustworthy human being.

Twisted logic, huh?  Go figure.

# # #

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”


# # #

A Lazy-ish Summer Weekend, Idyllic As Can Be


• • •

It was a relaxing weekend here.  Nothing special going on, but enough to do to keep us content.

I read an enjoyable novel.

He watched his latest TV obsession.

We went for a walk around the neighborhood noticing that the new houses under construction are very large indeed.

I did laundry.

He repaired and painted the mailbox post while I cleaned the mailbox and numbers.

We went to a triple-A baseball game.

I shopped online for a new lamppost light to replace the worn-out one shown above.

He caught up on work while sitting at the kitchen table.

We ate, for dinner, cold sandwiches instead of cooking hot somethings.

And we drank bottles of beer instead of goblets of wine.

It was a weekend befitting warm August days under clear blue skies.

• • •

So gentle readers and kind lurkers, what did you do this past weekend?

Please tell all in the comments below.

May We All Be This With It When We Reach Our 70s

“I wore rouge today.”

I was standing in the personal care aisle at Kroger.  I wanted to buy some hair mousse, which is in a white container, and is on the shelf about ankle height, near the end of the aisle, on the left.

“Or I guess they call it blush now.”

In front of me was a woman, late-70s, with a coupon in her hand.  She and her cart were blocking my path– not because she was careless, but because shoppers and boxes of product yet to be stocked crowded the aisle.

“I have on mascara, too.”

She batted her eyes at me so I could see her blackened eyelashes behind her thick eyeglass lenses.

I smiled and said, “It looks nice.  I don’t have any on today.”  I batted my eyes back at her.

This made her smile.

“I don’t usually wear any, but I had to go somewhere special.  I went to lunch with a friend and there were men there.”

I smiled at her, nodded my head– and tried to casually, gracefully lean over to the left, reach around her cart and grab my mousse.

It was not meant to be.

“I’m sorry I’m in your way here.  But I have this coupon for $2.00 off and I can’t find the right product.”

I could see her predicament, the hair care line she was looking for had 4 different manifestations of their products, all in different colored bottles.

So I waited.  No rush really.

“It was a free lunch at Barrington Manor.  You know that place?  It’s assisted living for old people.  I’m not ready for that place yet.”

I told her that I knew where it was, in a fancy part of town.

“They had a make-up stylist after lunch who showed us how to wear make-up now that we’re senior citizens.  I didn’t have him do mine, but I asked questions.”

{ silence as she eyeballed the shelves  }

“And they gave us a make-up bag filled with $37.00 worth of free make-up.  FREE.”

{ big smile as she continued to look for the hair care product }

“Thirty-seven dollars!”

After about 30 seconds she found what she wanted to buy, then turned to me with her coupon and her product.

“This is right, isn’t it?  For the $2.00 off.  Like on the coupon.”

I looked at what she had picked up and pointed out that the words on her coupon were the same as the words on the bottle.

“Well, I hope I can read these words,” she said.  “I taught reading for years.  That’s what I did.  Read. Words.”

And with a chuckle and a “thank you” she moved on, leaving me to grab my hair mousse off the shelf and to reflect upon what it means to age stylishly while retaining your sense of humor.

May we all be so cheerful, curious and coherent when we reach her age.


A Camellia In My Hair. If Only It Was That Simple.

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Click here for more style advice.

# # #

I am a hypocrite.

If you choose to walk away from this blog and never read another thing here, I understand.  No one wants to follow a hypocrite.

Even a sincere, idealistic, middle-aged poser such as myself.

You see, for YEARS I’ve said to anyone who’d listen, that when the time came, when the moment arrived, when faced with THE DECISION, I’d go forward.


Into the unknown with head held high.

I would not weasel out of the truth by using chemical substances to cover the obvious.  I would allow myself to go gray.


But last week, while getting my hair highlighted and cut, my stylist asked me, WITHOUT SO MUCH AS ONE WORD OF WARNING, if I was ready to go gray now.

She told me that underneath the two-tone highlights for which I pay a fortune, my natural hair color is 50% gray.  Meaning that if I wanted to, I could stop the highlights, save money and go gray.

But without one moment of thought, throwing aside all my highfalutin talk about aging gracefully, I shouted: NO. I WANT TO BE BLONDE.

Make me blonde, please.

And so it came to be that my hypocritical nature came to light.  Loud & clear.  And I walked away from the salon with silvery golden blonde hair.

Link Love: Women With Smarts Edition

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Lecturers in the first winter course in 1906, Cornell University.

~ ~ • ~ ~

•  Ducks and sponges.

“For ducks, other people’s emotions roll right off them…  Not so for sponges.  Highly intuitive types often soak up other people’s feelings…” ~ Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy

•  What Your Favorite Summer Cocktail Says About You

“No matter where you go, you have an uncanny knack for getting everyone to tell you their life story.”  

•  10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

“After I wrote about the gender confidence gap recently, of the 10 items on a list, the one that resonated the most was the issue of whose speech is considered important.” ~ Soraya Chemaly

•  Ship Your Enemies Glitter

“Prank your Friends and Enemies. Let us send them some stupid glitter that is guaranteed to go everywhere. You don’t have to move a muscle.

•  Why You Should Kick Your Bucket List

“Well I propose that if you truly want to up your happiness factor, you need to kick that bucket list and make a f@ck it list.” ~ Elena at Fabulously 50 & Living With Batman

•  Everything Was New And Pretty Wondrous

“A long time ago (last week) in a city far, far away (Baltimore), Alice Bowman guided the most ambitious space mission in a generation. Here, she explains what it’s like to glimpse the edge of the solar system.” ~ Rachel Morris

•  The Cake Is A Lie

“The Cake is a Lie is a catchphrase… and is often used to convey the message that a promised gift is being used to motivate without any intent of delivering.”