Boring McBoreFace

Looking into the newly rehabbed house a few blocks from mine, when they try and sell these joints, the ensure there is nothing of offense, or interest.

I went out today on a recon mission. I was investigating floors. I will tell you why in a different post*, but for now, know that I was scrounging for facts.

There were two homes for sale a few blocks from me that had Sunday open houses. They’re in two different directions, one east and one south.

The Sunday open house. You know, when the salesperson lights scented candles and has non-offensive furniture and decor staged in order to entice strangers who are traipsing through. Just in case somebody might put in a bid on the property. Except all the best ones go really fast.

To be honest, I think that it’s really a ploy to get contact info for the realtor’s list. Fear not, Loyal Reader, I got away. I didn’t sign in. I am still anonymous. They’ll never take me alive!

Anyway, both were rehabbed homes. One was a 1940’s house that was gutted and then reconfigured with a modern, open floor plan. The other was a hundred-year old colonial that was restored rather than taken down to the studs and phoenixed.

The original floors were replaced in both properties. And in both properties the flooring results were surprisingly unattractive–especially the 40’s house which is on the market for a very ambitious (ridiculous) price. You’d think with the Sub-zero fridge and Wolf range top, wall oven and microwave they would have done more with the floors.

I mean they were shiny and all smooth and whatnot, but you wouldn’t say that they were beautiful. They were definitely something you’d walk on, but so would linoleum or a packed dirt floor.

The thing about both of these homes—at least to me–is that they were devoid of character. They had no stank. No sense of where they were–and no sense of a future. It’s likely good, because the buyers can create their own future on these blank canvases.

I took a few photos to capture the emptiness of the spaces. It was telling, at least to me, that every single filter I applied–all the ones on Instagram, the dozens on Pic Stitch and the artful ones on Prisma–every one of the filters added more depth than the room held in real life. All of the filters gave more space, more dimension, sharper edges and more contrast  than I saw walking through the actual rooms.

It all seemed too generic and too fresh by half, too much of someone else’s idea I didn’t want to be there. My house already has a self. I don’t want to lobotomize it.

* I got some stuff I need to process before I write about this.

Sit Your Sass Down 

A wooden side chair with a floral pillow on its seat. The chair is in the living room.

The design team had an idea. It wasn’t an especially original one. It was an idea that accommodates present day home fashion. Wait for it, are you ready? A master suite. 

So there would be the bed, a monster walk-in closet, a private bath with a sink-a-piece, and a sitting area. All for the master and mistress of the house. If you look at newly built homes, and at old homes that have been remodeled for flipping, or really at any desirable home on the HGTV channel (home and garden TV, for the uninitiated) you will see the master suite concept

So it’d be an easy, “yes,” if one of my goals was to maximize resale value. I mean, why would it be such a thing if it wasn’t a thing that most/many/all people want–or at least that the tastemakers want?

But I don’t want it. Sure I yearn for a walk in closet–it’s not like I’m an alien. And a water closet and shower en suite is also tres attractive. But seriously, what the hell do I need a friggin’ sitting area in my bedroom for?

How many places to sit does one bottom need? I can sit in the living room. I can sit in the den. I can sit at the table in the dining room. If the weather is nice I can sit on the front porch. There is a table and chairs on the back porch. There is a desk to be sat near in the new office. If I want private time to sit, there’s the bathroom throne. 

Honestly, what a waste of space. A sitting area? For real?!? Not a requirement for this Doc. Nosiree. 

That was an easy decision. 

F the LBD

The amazingly beautiful Audrey Hepburn, wearing an amazing little black dress like a boss. This was a promo shot for Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Brittany looked at her dress, benignly laying across the bed. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. She poked at her belly. Yes, it was a belly. Rhymes with jelly. It didn’t bounce back as quickly as with the first two babies. The third time was definitely not the charm. She was like the stretched out elastic on an old pair of panties. Droopy drawers.

The dress was looking much less benign. She heard the baby shifting positions in the next room. She wondered how moms ever got anything done before baby monitors. One thing about being on baby number three, she knew better than to jump at the first shifting and snuffling. It would likely stop. It did. She turned her attention back to the black dress that seemed a little more hostile.

To be honest she barely gained much more weight than the baby, yet she was still lumpy. There was a party to go to and she was committed to getting into that form hugging dress. She pulled on her “firm-control” black hose and lifted her saggy breasts into what had been a pretty bra. She decided to iron her hair and then address the dress. She’d also do her makeup. She was going to wear the very pretty, very shimmery gold shadow from the Gwen Stefani Urban Decay palette. Where was her mascara?

Ashley would be at the party, too. This was Ashley’s first baby. When Britt saw Ashley last week, Ashley looked absolutely fabulous. Her chubby cheeked infant snuggled into the stroller that Ashley jogged behind, her yoga pants hugging her jiggle-free ass. Britt had the clumsy double stroller with her own Anna on a scooter nearby. They were heading to the “make your own cornucopia” class at the arts center. She was wearing yoga pants, too, but with her husband’s oversized college hoodie covering her hips. Hips, slash, lumps.

“Almost ready?” It was her husband. He was always impatient with her when she got like this. She could almost chant his words, “You look beautiful. Don’t be hard on yourself. Look at these beautiful children. How could you be feeling like you’re anything less than amazing?”

He didn’t understand. She wasn’t worried about him. Women dress for each other, not for men. She wanted Ashley, and their friend Kelly, to look at her as a peer-mom, part of the hip supermom sorority. She wasn’t going to sink to the suburban mini-vanned, sweat-pantsed, sweet lattes with whip demographic. The hair in her pony swung clean and shiny.

All three of them had babies in the past four months. She didn’t want to be the one that didn’t quite recover. Intellectually she knew it was stupid, but in her heart, no, in her soul, she needed to look fabulous. Her four-inch Louboutins–what a great find they were last year, before she became a waddling baby vessel–were at the foot of the bed. She stepped into them. Her right foot was a little squeezed, but as she walked in front of the mirror she felt stronger and the pain vanished. Sexy shoes did that. She kicked them off.

Britt went into the bathroom. She needed to pee. This would be the last time for the night. It was time for the Spanx full body shaper. Control was definitely what she was going after. She liked to have her hose on first, it made the Spanx a little easier to get into. She wondered if she should have bought a new, bigger size. Too late for that. She adjusted the legs, moved the fabric around, pulling some of it up higher, evening out her body. She could still almost breathe. She looked in the mirror and couldn’t find a lump to poke. There was no give to her artificially compressed body.

The dress on the bed looked benign again. Britt pulled it over her head. Her stomach wasn’t really flat, but it was not obviously fat. Her back end had a bit of a perky lift. She put her heels back on and made a circle in front of the mirror, smoothing the knit fabric over her curves. She clipped on her shiny earrings, grabbed her bag and headed to the baby’s room to scoop her up and go to the party.

Yeah, this was a lot of effort for a neighborhood holiday get together, but they all did it. Didn’t they? Still, she felt that the pressure to perfectly wear that little black dress was a drag. She wondered if she’d ever move beyond this stress. Maybe when the kids get bigger. Maybe.

Pieced Apart

She-Hulk all freaking out because she did her transforming. Outside of the cartoon are some guys freaking out worse.

Dammit. When did that happen?

She had just run her hand along the back of her leg and was halted by a hole.

Seriously? My pants got ripped?

She used the passive voice because she had no knowledge of a trauma, or any activity for that matter, that would have created the tear.

It’s not like I’m wearing them out. I only wear them May to September.

When she looked in the mirror this morning, she wasn’t happy. These pants didn’t have the most flattering cut. They made her look like a very heavy bottomed pear. She swapped out three different tops before she settled on one that made her look more balanced.

Did I catch myself on something? All I did today was sit. Is it this stupid chair?

She couldn’t stop herself from fingering the hole. She wondered if she could sew it together. If it wasn’t frayed she might. It was too high up to convert the pants to shorts.

Like I’d actually really pull out a needle and thread. I use safety pins to hold up the hem on those khakis.

As she walked out of the office, she half-waited for someone to tell her she had a hole in her pants. Someone who got a peep of her fleshy white leg against the black of the cotton. Then she thought about ripping the pants up. She could think of nothing else.

I’m not going to do anything with these other than put them in a pile where they will accumulate dust. And guilt.

She climbed up the stairs and put her key in the door. She walked into her apartment and tossed her bag on the table next to the door. Next to a pile of unopened mail and unread catalogs. She started unzipping her pants as she approached the couch. She let them fall to her ankles and sat down.

These pants are stupid.

She picked the pants off the floor and put her fingers in the hole. She pulled her fingers apart. She watched as the hole got bigger and the fabric frayed. It made a sound of motion as she rent the leg from the seat. It was a crackling along a path like the gunpowder trail to the powder kegs that gets lit in a movie before the big explosion. She took the leg and found more fabric weakness. She pulled strip after strip apart. She wanted to do the same to the other leg but didn’t have a way in.

Where are those fcuking scissors? All bitches have scissors. Shit. Here’s a knife.

She stabbed a hole at the back of the other leg and continued the dismemberment of the trousers. She didn’t know if it was the sound or the feeling of resistance as she broke through, but it was something. She looked at the tatters strewn on the floor and threads and scraps scattered on the couch. She was breathing heavily.

Done! Damn that was good.

She walked to the kitchen and took a glass from the cupboard. She wiped away the sweat that beaded above her lip. She took a bottle out of the fridge, and, in one motion, she unscrewed the top and filled the glass. She walked back to sit among her handiwork. Drinking wine–in her panties.


Unfashionably Late

General Ambrose Burnside. Better remembered for his facial hair than being a general. Not remembered for a mullet.

You should know something about mullets.

You know what I’m talking about. A mullet. It’s a haircut or a “hairstyle,” when the hair is cut short in the front and on the sides but left long in the back. Long can be anywhere from just brushing your shoulders to maybe a quarter down your back.

Wait. Let me show you.

A mullet. When people thought they looked good. And people watched that stupid show, "Full House."
This is definitely a mullet. He thinks he looks good.
It could be longer than mid-back, I guess, but that might actually be a different hairdo. This style is infamously worn by that county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses, which is part of her job by the way, because she disagreed with the law on who can marry who. Not to be mean, but her hair made me think that she might be behind the times in more than one way. Even though it’s men who usually sport the mullet.

Anyway, the thing you need to know about mullets?

They used to be considered high fashion. MacGyver, the character who could make a fission bomb with a Doublemint gum wrapper, a paper clip, some volatile salt that he scraped off of a barnacle then using his infamous Swiss Army knife as a flint to spark the nylon string (had to be a petroleum based string) from his windbreaker on fire to launch the bomblette. Yes, him. He wore a mullet and still got the ladies–despite being a notorious science nerd. Actually, he had mad swagger for a science nerd.

The Arnold’s boy wore one. I remember seeing mullet shots when his dad was the Govinator of Cal-ee-forn-eye-yay. I wondered if he chose that look for himself. Maybe his parents did, but I somehow couldn’t imagine Maria giving it the nod. He wore it in the days before the family was caught in the maelstrom of the old man’s tawdry scandal. I wonder if Arnold’s love child had a mullet, too. I didn’t wonder before now.

Back to the style.

In it’s day, it was quite the look. Chuck Norris rocked the short on top, tresses in back. Tennis star Andre Agassi had quite the fetching mullet, his locks tamed by a headband as he returned every serve for eight Grand Slams.

You need more? Google “mullet” and “Mel Gibson” (he was YOUNG!), “mullet” and “Charlie Sheen.” Try Brad Pitt, too. Don’t forget the famous mullets of David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie and Paul McCartney. Patrick Swayze and Kurt Russell had leading men mullets. I almost forgot George Clooney. Yes, Clooney, too.

Then there was this.

Wow. Just wow, bono with your mullet. And that frock coat.
In the name of love, Bono, what are you thinking?
The mullet came under disrepute over the years. To be honest, I don’t think it was in repute for very long. People still wear them occasionally, but it’s become a shorthand for being unfashionable and unsophisticated. In the movie Joe Dirt, the loser title character “is a janitor with a mullet hairdo, acid-washed jeans and a dream…” according to Sony Pictures. The mullet defines the anti-hero.

But here’s my point. You don’t want your wedding pictures to show you in a mullet. Wedding pics don’t go away. When the album gets pulled out, everyone laughs. At you. Your wife insists on hanging the portrait prominently despite your apparent lack of style because over the years she feels she never looked better. Your grandkids may only know you by your mullet from this forever photo from the old days. You’re stuck with that mullet. Forever. Like General Sideburns. Without the naming rights.

And you guys sporting those long, luxurious hipster beards that you treat with oils and a special tool set? Take heed. You’re next.

Not My Beautiful Cake

David Byrne from Talking Heads in a very ill-fitting and white suit.

He was wearing a department store suit. While he had the trouser legs hemmed and left uncuffed, the attire would have benefitted from additional tailoring. In lieu of that, he could have selected a suit that fit him better.

That wasn’t something he saw. The suit wasn’t too big. It wasn’t too small. It was the right shade of corporate steel-navy. It was buy-one get-one for half price, so it was a value purchase, too. The label on the inside pocket was printed with a name he heard before, or at least a name that sounded like one he knew. It could be a designer’s name. It was definitely not an Italian name.

His wife didn’t see it either. Although the two of them were on the fussy side, the fussiness didn’t extend to the hang of fabric.

His hair was thinning, but was holding onto its off brown color. Off brown in that it was not black, but it didn’t have the warmth a shade of fawn would have. It was a bit steely, without being gray, like the color of his department store suit with less blue.

He couldn’t see the hairless spot at the back of his head. He was ambiently aware that there was less hair there, but he believed there was some. There was actually a barren spot reminiscent of a secret marshy spot, where all the grasses grow long and somewhat willowy around a water-filled hollow. Except the water here was exposed skin.

His gait was like a flat half-skip. His body jangled jauntily as he stepped but his feet barely left the ground. He balanced a huge plastic cake carrier on his left hand. The bottom of the container was dark blue. There was no cake left, but some icing clung to the inside of the dome and was joined by some chocolate flavored crumbs stuck to the edge and along the bottom.

He randomly baked, mostly cakes, mostly from a box, and brought the goods to share at his office. He’d always add something special to the cake, to make it his own like the coaches tell contestants covering Whitney Houston on a singing show. This time he added instant espresso crystals to the Duncan Hines mix for a mocha-flavor. It was his idea. He thought it was very special and very creative. His colleagues thought it made the cake taste bitter and a little burnt. The double coating of frosting was a counterbalance, but they would have eaten it anyway.

He hurried in his half-skip to the escalator and disappeared down the tunnel to the train that would take him home.