An Interview With the Original Owner of My Vintage Coat

Dear original owner,

I scored your coat at a vintage shop and have a few questions for you:

Q: If you could afford this couture coat, I have to assume that you had enough money to have help. I imagine that you had a “girl” who looked like me and cooked, cleaned and took care of your kids. (So what did YOU do all day?) Could you imagine your “Girl” one day having a granddaughter who would buy your coat? My grandmother was a “Girl.”

Q: Can you imagine that married women would fight to be accepted into the corporate workforce and then some of them would choose to keep all their household responsibilities as well, thereby having two full-time jobs and thus tons of stress?! Meanwhile, their husbands tend to do the same amount of work that your husband did. Why? Well, there was a Enjoli perfume commercial back in the 80s where a woman touted:

I can bring home the bacon/ Fry it up in a pan/ And never, ever let you forget you’re a man.”

This commercial helped convince a whole generation (or two) of women to be 24-hour women. Many women accepted that philosophy quicker than a cashmere sweater at a sample sale. We’re still waiting on the men’s jingle on how they can work and cook the bacon. Although these days grass-fed beef would be more apropos.

Early 1960s coat shown via catalog ad from that time, alongside me rocking the vintage frock in 2012.

Q: What happened to the original top button? What do you think of the new blinged out button I replaced it with?

Q: Why did you get rid of the coat? Was it because it was no longer fashionable? Or, when you passed away did your children lack fashionable instincts and give it away?

Q: Did you have one of those leopard coats like Jackie O? If so, where can I find it?

Q: What size were you? If it fits me, I’m thinking that in those days, you were definitely considered a big girl. Did you feel beautiful? Did you have lots of clothing options? Did you ever diet? If so, which diets were available? I’m pretty sure that Jenny Craig and Atkins weren’t options back then. Perhaps you did Weight Watchers as your “reduction” program?

Q: How many sexual partners did you have? Did you wait til you were married and then that night think, “Is that all there is?”

Q: Our president today is a black man. What do you think of that?

Q: Did you ever hear Whitney Houston sing or Michael Jackson dance?

Q: Can you imagine two hurricanes, a tornado and earthquake in NYC in an 18-month period? It happened.

Q: Would you believe that we’re still on many of the same political issues as in the 1960s? Yup, we’re still arguing about abortion, are still talking about birth control and people are still fighting for their civil rights. I know, shocking. Hopefully in 40 more years, we can move on to other social, political and environmental issues.

So thanks for your time. I’m really enjoying your coat. By the way, who was the designer? The tag is gone. I can use the Internet — this massive public spiderweb of information — to try to find the answer. But my generation expects immediate gratification, so I hope you can just give me the answer.

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Dating Dealbreakers That Make No Sense

I’m very happy with my life. Dating is important to me, but a man is really just the icing on the cake. Now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t use that analogy since the icing is my favorite part of a cake. But I digress.

I’m also very realistic about who I am. And, I readily admit that I have some dealbreakers that don’t really make sense. Sure, I might be passing up some desirable candidates with these non-starters, but I. Just. Can’t.

The one with bad grammar. It took a while, but I’ve finally discovered and accepted that I have to be with someone who’s an excellent communicator. This eliminates anyone who can’t speak coherently or write complete sentences. Also, if you ask me to repeat myself constantly, I’m tapping out.

The one who doesn’t drink. I’m just done with that. There are too many activities non-drinkers can’t participate in. What does a non-drinker do at a wine tasting? Or a brunch? Or a wedding? The lifestyle difference is just too drastic.

The one who says “have a blessed day.” I know you think you’re being nice by texting this to me in the morning, but the phrase annoys me. There’s something presumptuous about you thinking you can bless my day. I (me! moi!) make my day what it’s going to be, thanks.

The one who calls. Can’t you just text me? I have things to do.

The one who acts old. Age is irrelevant. It’s about attitude. If you act tired and not adventurous. If it’s always too loud. Or always too cold. Or you don’t want to go someplace because of the possibility of crowds. Or you’re still printing things out. If you’re wearing leather pants from 1994, no amount of yoga and meditation will give me enough patience to deal with you.

The one who’s a security guard. This might seem like a weird category, but somehow I have a security guard magnet and nothing I do is breaking down this force field. The horrible suit. The fact that you spend your whole day talking sports. Or, the reality that you have your leg hoisted up on the desk while you’re trying to talk to me … None of this is a win.

The one who doesn’t get what I do. I know that my own family can’t even explain what I do, but at least learn to pretend! Or, just stop asking.

The one who hates New York. One, I just don’t get you and two, I can’t see myself leaving. Except maybe for Paris. For  a while.

This shouldn’t eliminate that many guys, right? So I’m looking to be set up. Anyone have a candidate who does NOT have these dealbreakers?

On Losing the Age Complex

I have a legendary age complex which means that, clearly, I hate birthdays. The first time I cried on my birthday was when I turned 10. The injustice of being double-digits was just too much to take. 13 wasn’t much better and at 18, I had a total meltdown.

Obviously 30 was a big deal (which seems so ridiculous now). I planned a trip to Northern California to distract myself into being happy. Between the beautiful views, constant wine drinking and debauchery that my friend Michelle and I always got into, I thought I was going to avoid falling apart. On the morning of my birthday, we were driving to a winery in Napa Valley when I spontaneously started speaking incoherently and spouting tears like a Peanuts character. This wasn’t drunk waterworks, but it sure looked and sounded like it.

One reason I have this age complex is because my birthday is in October. This meant that I was always one of the oldest classmates. Turning 16 was the only time being the oldest came in handy. That year, I was one of the first to get my driver’s license — well, second to Geri Stolar whose birthday is in September.

Being the oldest kid in my immediate family is a contributing factor to this complex. So much older that I don’t want to mention how much. Let’s just say that my brother, sister and I never share the same decade.

And finally, I have a really young mom. In fact, we discovered last year that we were using the exact same age when we lied about our age (clearly, she must trend UP now that she’s a grandma).

This year’s birthday rolled around this past weekend, and for once, I didn’t have to fight back tears. Sure, I felt the standard “I wish I would have…” and “I can’t believe I’m so old,” but no quivering lips every time I glanced at the calendar and no tears and no need for a rocking chair for self-soothing.

I’ve LOST all of that this year — and more:

  • I lost my workaholic ways and gained time for things that are more meaningful to me.
  • I lost my excuses and gained new strength, endurance and flexibility from spending time in the gym.
  • I lost my solitary focus and gained time to spend with my friends and to make new friends.
  • I lost the thought that I needed to be tied to a company in order to be successful and have stability and that I owed it to myself to break through the glass ceiling, and in the process gained my own business and a life of instability and the chance to put the ceiling where I want it!
  • I lost being concerned about it being too late to try new things I’ve always wanted to do — like riding a kickscooter and taking ballet and thereby gained joy and creative expression!
  • And check out the photo, I’ve lost some weight and gained a better health and a whole new outlook!

I spent my birthday with friends and found some time to squeeze in half an hour of shopping in the Meatpacking District. From the fitting room, I paid for the outfit, had them snap the tags and wore the outfit right out the store. That’s true birthday girl style.

How to Catch a Cougar

Cubbies, this is the advice you’ve been looking for on how to attract a cougar. It’s based on a focus group of women “of a certain age” who are exhausted by your juvenile, and sometimes precious, sometimes hilarious advances.

Things to not Do If You Want to Catch a Cougar

1. Don’t say any of the following:

  • “You look GREAT for your age.” So basically you’re saying to the woman, you’re old, but you just don’t look it.
  • “You’re only X years older than my last girlfriend.” OR, “You’re X years younger than my mom.” I shouldn’t have to mention why you shouldn’t say the first one. And, you should never ever compare a woman to your mom. And B, never ever compare a woman to your mom.
  • “I like older women.” No one wants to be considered or called an older woman.
  • “Wow! You’ve never had kids? None? Never?!”  Clearly, she’s not dead and she could still have kids. Obviously, you think grandmama can’t.
  • “Why are you single?” It’s bad enough when anyone says this, but so much worse when a young’un says it. It’s not a permanent condition.
  • “I love the old school jams.” I realize this may work on some women, so just choose carefully and make sure you choose a time period that actually aligns with her age! And a personal aside, I DON’T like old school music. And no, I don’t want to see Patti Labelle in concert. I cannot think of one song she sings — yells — that I like. Shes my mom’s generation. Plus, you’re talking to someone who’s paid to see Lil Wayne in concert. Wait, isn’t that where we met?

3. Don’t yell out of your car window to get our attention.
This works on the younger girls. They can prop themselves up by their elbows and lean right in your car window. The age limit on that is 25. Also, it’s not OK to act up when your yelled out advances are ignored. Calling us a bitch just reinforces we’ve made the right choice.

4. Don’t live at home with your parents.
This won’t even advance you past round one.

5. Don’t still be in school.
If you’ve already been working and are changing jobs or something or it’s your second, third, etc.,  degree, no problem. You’re still working on your first — or figuring out what you want to do with your life? You’re entirely too much trouble. Plus, it’s impossible not to feel like we’re robbing the cradle.

6. Don’t assume we’re desperate, or easy.

Sure, as women age, they get less attention. It’s a reality and only a big deal to some. It doesn’t equal unilateral desperation and you’re not singlehandedly  making up for that.

7. Don’t use super shorthand in texts.

If you actually get the phone number of your desired cougar, don’t  send a text with that hieroglyphics —initialisms or  text talk. We just can’t feel good about ourselves if we answer messages that say things like “Wht pt of BK r u from?”

PSA: Stay Out of My Pocket, Timesheet and Uterus

Otherwise known as, the 10 Most Annoying Things Said to Single People. Unsaid thoughts in italics.

1. Must be nice to not have any responsibility.

2. You’re amazing and now that you’ve  [FILL IN THE BLANK with lost weight, gotten your hair colored, started working out, got a new job, moved, etc.], you will find a man.

3. I would never [FILL IN ANYTHING from skydiving to hanging on the Lower East side after midnight or attending a hip hop concert], I have too much to live for.

4. Kids are SO expensive!
And totally voluntary.

5. Why don’t you have kids?
See above (the voluntary part).

6. Why don’t you start going to church to meet someone?
Because I already have enough gay friends, judgmental old people and men who think my role  is to submit to them.

7. “I don’t see how you can you go out so late during the week!” And later in the conversation, said with a sigh, “Well at least you get to sleep.”
Am I sleeping or not?

8. I don’t have time for [FILL IN THE BLANK].
Yet you just gave me a lengthy rundown of the Real Housewives and Love and Hip Hop. And somebody named Honey Boo Boo. How about using THAT time? Meanwhile, as for me, I ain’t got time for no bronchitis.

9. Obviously, you should  [FILL IN THE BLANK with whatever hard work needs to be done]. You have so much more free time.

10. I can’t believe you spend that on shoes!
I can’t believe YOU spend that on daycare! Or college! Or soccer! 

Bonus: And one that’s personal to me (and some other singles, I’m sure)
11. It’s easy to quit your job when you don’t have anyone to take care of.
That’s because YOU are gonna take care of ME. You didn’t know?

Bloomberg’s Ass, Nosy Neighbors and More Nonsense

I’m not sure if it’s because women are wearing less clothes and have great summer sunglows or because men have their guns out and want extra attention, but something about the summer really made the overcommentarians crawl out of the woodwork.

At least these comments are SO bad that they’re funny.

1. “Your ass is as big as Bloomberg’s”
A friend and I are strutting along in Chelsea when a passerby says, “Dayum, your ass is as big as Bloomberg’s!”

We look at each other in confusion — not only because we have no clue just how big a Bloomberg ass is, but because we BOTH have big asses and aren’t sure to which of us he’s speaking. I contend that since we’re in Chelsea on our way back from Park, the man had to be referring to my friend’s ass. My friend insists the man looked straight, plus, we were next to the projects, so clearly he was talking about thine ass.

I reluctantly agree that the man was probably referring to me. And I still have no idea how big Bloomberg’s ass is.

2. “And Tina just continued to party on!”
A pipe burst in my condo building one night (I’m on the condo board). Multiple people were handling the situation, including two other board members, the super AND the fire department.

Yet this wasn’t enough for my freakshow of a neighbor who requires so much attention that her husband deserves sainthood. Apparently, I, as Board president, was expected to be on the scene as well (will a nail file be helpful?)

She sends an email to the ENTIRE building complaining that I was “partying” while all this went down — and reported the time I returned from said party. OMG, she had to call the fire department herself! She could have died!

Forget Mrs. Roper or Mrs. Kravitz, those nosy neighbors have nothing on this bitch.

3. “Awww! you’re on your honeymoon!” 

My huzzband, apparently.

A street vendor shouted this to my friend and I in Cancun. When we say no, he says, “Just practicing then?”

Dude, you have absolutely no read on body language. We are not coupled up or touching and my companion has on pink “show pony” shorts.

 4. “Women are reading those 50 Shades of Grey books and fantasizing about it, but when faced with the real thing, they don’t know what to do.”

I assume you think you’re the real  thing. Is that why you posted a photo of yourself posed with your car? And another with your refrigerator? That alone should be enough to disqualify you, but you are also not hot, young or rich. You are no Christian Grey, my friend.

5. “Can I borrow your salt?”
I’m in SoHo having breakfast outside after a workout (I was a mess but thankfully in a Lululemon outfit). Guy walks by and we make the briefest eye contact. Moments later, he walks by again. Finally, the third time, he approaches and says “Can I borrow your salt?”

I oblige with a smile, trying not to laugh, wondering what he’d say next. He follows up with a huge sigh and, “That was so lame, I’m embarrassed.”

Dude, if you’re gonna go in, at least TRY to close.

6. “Do you like seamen?”
Fleet week. This one kicked off a night of the worse pick-up lines. Ever. I know they’ve been on a boat for months, but that should give them plenty of time to come up with ways to avoid lameness.

This ranks up there with the demand for me to “Smile.” Or calling me “Princess. Or asking “Can I have your number.” And just as bad as summoning me with a “Spp.” Ask any woman alive and guarantee she’s doesn’t want to hear it.

2012-2013 Bucket List

I’ve never really believed in creating a bucket list. One, because I’m not the type to put off things that I really want to do. Whenever people say things like “I’ll wait until the kids grow up… or until I retire” or a similar long timeframe, I totally admire their patience but also shudder inside.

The other reason I haven’t created a bucket list is that I couldn’t imagine determining what I wanted to do over the course of my lifetime.

Then, I happened upon Lesley Carter’s bucket list. Read about the lifestyle changes she’s made and you’ll understand why she’s my new idol! What a great example. She accomplished all of this in ONE year! Not only that, but she’s pregnant now, yet she still has a list of adventurous items she wants to do this year (and has made tons of progress!). I’ll definitely be watching to see what happens. It’s encouragement to us all.

So here we go! 2012 is way gone, so I’ve created one for 2012-2013. I’ve already done two of them, but unfortunately, I didn’t take photos! My goal is to have at least one photo for the rest along the way.

 My 2012-2013 Bucket list

1. Go skydiving

2. Take a surf or skateboarding lesson

3. Climb Michu Pichu

4. Visit a state in the U.S. that I haven’t visited before (That would be Oregon, Washington, Hawaii or Alaska)

5. Live in another country for a month

6. Move to Manhattan

7. Go to a fashion show during Fashion Week

8. See an amazing sunset

9. Join the board of a non-profit I believe in

10. Be a mentor to someone

11. Fall in love

12. Achieve my ideal weight

13. Be able to do 100 pushups

14. Master the Urdhva Dhanurasana yoga pose (Upward bow or wheel pose (aka backbend)

15. Try oysters

 What’s on your list?