I hope everyone had a smashing Father's Day...last week. I know, I know, beyond belated post. But I wanted to give this some real thought and give Daddy his due. Okay?!
My daddio had an absolute fantasy father's day - spent playing golf on the St. Andrews course in Scotland. For realsies. And he shot the best game of his life. God was apparently rewarding a very deserving father.
Let it be first noted: I am my dad's first born and his first daughter. So it comes as no big surprise that we've always been close. He's been my Yoda. From start to finish. He's absolutely always showed up when I needed him, cheered me on through everything, and gone to bat for me in the moments where I need back up. He's had unwavering faith in me and I credit much of my ambition with a desire to live up to that faith. Daddy came from a small community in the deep south, got himself into an Ivy League college when he'd never even visited, then went to law school, passed multiple bars, and decided to go into business. He still runs that business today, as well as a number of others. He. is. super. impressive. And we all know that old rule that every generation should strive to do better than the last. I better go to the freaking moon.
But that's sort of a resume. The marrow that makes him so great is of course the intangibles and the moments. For example, when we were growing up, my dad called my siblings and me "nerdlers." As in: "What are you nerdlers doing? Why are you burning play-doh, nerdlers? Why is there shaving cream on the ceiling fan, nerdlers??" Only recently did I learn that he came up with this "nerdlers" business because he wanted to desensitize us to the term "nerd" if we were ever called that by other kids. He wanted us to be proud of being smart in school, and not ashamed. That tricky wizard.
Once, when I was in high school, my dad busted out with one of the top ten things I've ever heard him say. As background: my dad is an active Republican and very conservative (deep south, remember?) and I went to a woman-hear-me-roar all-girls' high school. While I was there he said to me, in a conversation that I otherwise can't remember: "You know, I became a feminist the day you were born." Did you just start crying? Because I did. Get this man a medal.
Now, as an adult, I've discovered the true secret of his genius. He empowered his kids. (And Mommy co-parented this way as well - she's owed the same props!) We grew up believing that we were capable of anything but inherently deserving of nothing. The rules applied to everyone and compassion should temper every interaction and decision. Work should be rewarded, not ability alone. I believe this mantra helped my brother, sister, and I avoid much of the curse of entitlement that so many of our peers have. In sum, I got really lucky with my parents and I hope my kids will think the same of me one day. Oh yeah, and Daddy is the best fudge chef in the world - when you can convince him to make it.
I taught myself how to shave my legs in elementary school. Eye liner changed my life at 17. And at 28, I have just started using foundation. Perhaps it is summer officially hitting, but I've come to the harsh realization that some of those "freckles" are actually sunspots from playing at the beach since I was a fetus. And using concealer and bronzing powder just isn't doing the job.
Plus, I have been aware for some time that I should be wearing at least some SPF on my face everyday, lest I look like this at 47:
So, the other day I went to Target - where you can return makeup you tried and didn't like - and spent 20 minutes in front of the No.7 section in the Boots aisle. For those who haven't yet had the pleasure, Boots is a UK store that I fell in love with when I was studying at Oxford. Target, in yet another stroke of co-branding genius, has a Boots AISLE in their stores. It's also where I buy my Rimmel products. But I'm getting off track here. Target tends to do that to me.
A little bird told me that No.7 brand is effectively Chanel by a different name, and that the products are made by the same manufacturer. Or in the same factory. Or by the same gnomes. I don't really know, but Chanel makeup products are the jam, so I baselessly believed.
I tried blending several shades on my hand and then caved and just put some on my face. I landed on a slightly darker shade, keeping in mind that it's summer. This isn't actually the shade, but here's the bottle:
Elegant, no? Although I do have a heck of a time trying to get the cap back on every morning.
After just a few days of incorporating this into the daily routine, so far it's a winner. I don't know how much it "lifts" and "firms" but it goes on smooth without being super matte or shiny. It's definitely smooth, and doesn't cake or crack. I think adding just a breath of powder to set it would be smart, as over the course of the day the shine can crop up. As someone who has always had freckles and whose color changes dramatically each summer, I've been somewhat awed by women with consistent skin. Could I be one of those women now? Dare to dream.
But I can hardly believe that the prospect of figuring out foundation used to make me feel like this:
One Kings Lane has a "Lobster Bake" sale today full of seafood eatin', party hostin' goodies. Including a ton of crab-related items that I now want. Let us fantasize. All these items can be found here. (All photos from One Kings Lane site, today.)
Thanks to the sweet, inclusive gesture of a grad school friend, I have belatedly joined an active group of Bachelor and Bachelorette watching ladies. A group that has grown a fairly substantial following for its Twitter accounts of the series. They have been welcoming and hilarious, and I've rapidly grown to love the show. It's the kind of thing that you'd never watch alone, but in a group, it's suddenly fascinating. Like the Olympics. Of dating. (Let's be real. You are not watching Olympic volleyball at home after work. You're eating cheese and watching Four Weddings on TLC. Even though it is... So. Bad.)
From what I understand, I've come upon an unusual season for my first experience. We love Emily (the Bachelorette). Apparently you usually either sort of hate or are lulled to sleep by the main character in this whole ordeal. Emily is obviously well-trained in the art of withstanding awkward moments and sustaining brutal conversation. And she is also impressive in her honesty. Is she absolutely tiny with blond hair, a $350K+ wardrobe and obvious veneers? Yep. But I totally want to go with her for a ride in a golf cart at the beach with a tumbler of wine and giggle about nothing. She seems genuine and hopeful. I'd be impressed even if she wasn't also a full time single mom.
And truth be told, I am a believer in the mantra that you can meet the "one" anywhere. I don't think the "how we met" story foretells the ending. I met my boyfriend in a quasi-strange way that could elicit an eyebrow raise. So, whatever. Go on a weird tv show and try to meet someone. Worst case, you break up and power through just like you have every other break up. Doing it all on camera might seem masochistic, but to each their own.
I've mentioned my love of Walmart and Neiman Marcus, but would you like to know perhaps my third favorite store? Total Wine. You're already dying to go, I can tell. The name says it all. If there was a store called "Happiness" or "Magic Beans" - you'd probably check it out, right? Total Wine is, as its name implies, an enormous wine and beverage warehouse, essentially. I fell in love from going when I used to live in Virginia. It always, always, always had the lowest prices on wine - in addition to a ton of wines from around the world that you'd have a hard time finding someplace else. The staff are well-trained, so you can go in and do amazing things like tell them what you're cooking for dinner and how much you want to spend and, like tour guides in a magical forest, they will lead you to the perfect vine - er, wine. The 10% discount on cases doesn't hurt either.
So why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks am I sharing this with you today? Total Wine just opened their first store in Texas and it is one mile from my house. One. Mile. Like a moth to a porch light, they were pulled to me and we've found each other again. It's like going home.
Let it be noted that Total Wine has no idea who I am. Other than that lady who comes in and buys so much wine that she needs help to her car. I like to host folks, and get good deals, what of it? Point being, this isn't an ad.
“Four years ago, I was just a guy who had a crush on a girl, who had a boyfriend. And I had to do the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do, which was just to… wait…And, a lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a date with a girl I work with but I think, even then I knew that… I was waiting for my wife.” - Jim Halpert, The Office