The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

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What I Wore Wednesday: Does this Boy Scout make me look fat?

pleated poppyWell, damn. This whole What I Wore Wednesday business is much harder than I thought it would be.

For starters, I can’t figure out how to take a decent full body picture of myself.

I wonder how this chick does it? She always looks so dang cute!

Secondly, my kids are shitty photographers. 

I hate asking my husband to take pictures of me because I don’t like to expose him to my self-deprecating freak outs more often than absolutely necessary.

And above all, seeing these pictures and feeling so vulnerable has been really difficult. If it’s true that “the camera don’t lie,” I’ll pass on the brutal honesty, thanks anyway.

{Big sigh.}

Of course, timing is everything.

Ever have one of those days when nothing you put on feels right? I’ve been having about a week of those.

On a related note, are you familiar with the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant? Great book. Love that book. But I totally get why menstruating women were temporarily banished from the tribe back in ancient times. If my female ancestors were anything like me, it was a safety precaution for the rest of the tribe.

Anyhooooo.

Aunt Flo and I were feeling extra moody and uncomfortable on Monday. Even my “fat jeans” were too tight. After about five outfit changes, this is what I finally settled on wearing for the day:

"Does this Boy Scout make me look fat?"

Comfy, yes, and a step up from sweatpants, but still, not very flattering. The whole point of me wanting to participate in WIWW was to become less of a schlub.

Let me tell you something about that top. I bought it at Target last spring, but I’ve only worn it a couple of times. Every time I put it on, I feel frumpy. It’s too big and it’s totally see-through, so I have to layer it. Half the times I try to wear it, I take if right off and it stays on “the pile” until I get motivated to put my clothes away.

Early Monday morning, after trying it on yet again to see if it would hide my bloated muffintop, I gave up on it for good and finally tossed it in my Goodwill bag. I really struggled with that decision since it is the only new top I’ve bought all year. I’m not much of a clothes shopper.

Five minutes later, wracked with guilt and frustration, I retrieved it from that bag and tried it on again, this time to mask a clingy long sleeved t-shirt that was making me look like I had a low-hanging third boob. Success! It hid my spare tire. Moving on.

Right after dinner we went outside to snap this pic and when I saw it I almost puked. “Is that what I looked like all day? Holy CRAP you guys, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I think you look pretty, Mom,” Nature Boy sweetly tried to comfort me.

I burst into tears. 

Feeling bad, I put the kids to bed and assembled the troops:

That’s my new Hillblingy Goblet half-full of red wine, a bowl of Cheez-Its, an impromptu S’more I made on top of my gas stove, and the remote control. Misery loves company.

By the way, that Target top is now back in the Goodwill Bag, which I moved to my car to avoid the temptation of trying it on yet again.

The next day (yesterday) was my husband’s birthday. We had lunch plans so I wanted to tart it up a little. I did my hair. I put on makeup. I grabbed the prettiest t-shirt in my closet. But still too bloated for jeans, I threw my frumpy cargo pants back on and tried to cover up all my jiggly bits with a sweater.

As we were walking out the door I asked my husband to snap a quick pic of me for this post.

This is the picture he took:

But what I saw was this:

“Ew! Do I really look like that? OMG! Wait, let me turn sideways so it’s not so full frontal.”

Take two:

"What hump?"

CRAP! Nice posture. Here’s what I see when I look at that picture:

(This is actually me, dressed for a costume party in 2001.)

 

Day-amn. Body Dysmorphic Disorder, anyone? Looks like someone needs a session with Stuart Smalley.

But until I can get in to see him, maybe I’ll just self-impose a new rule: no more WIWW until Aunt Flo is gone and takes my bad attitude with her.

Also, while I’m feeling so crappy, I think I’ll continue to brutally purge my closet before my bloating subsides and I feel less critical about myself and my pathetic wardrobe.

But now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a hankerin’ for more birthday cake and a bag of potato chips.

Until we meet again, I remain, your frumpy friend,

-Iris

What I Wore Wednesday

I have a confession to make.

I’m not much of a fashionista.

You know that cute outfit I wore for my big photo shoot with my BFF Laura a few years back?

Designer denim, close-fitting top, industrial-strength bra, chunky necklace, leopard peep-toe heels…

I don’t really dress like that most of the time.

In real life, I’m more of a sweatpants/man’s t-shirt/comfortable shoes/ponytail/no make-up kind of gal. In other words, Frumpasaurus Rex.

Truly, if you ran into me at the Piggly Wiggly, you probably wouldn’t even recognize me. That’s kinda my evil-genius-plan, actually.

Of course, it never works out that way. Like the Murphy’s Law of Fashion, if you ever want to guarantee you’ll run into someone you know, leave the house in your pajamas or house cleaning clothes (aka, my daily uniform).

Speaking of which, last Monday afternoon, little Bucket Head and I ran to the store for a couple of last minute staples (i.e. wine and kale).

Anyhooo… as I’m walking to my car in my flip flops, dirty cargo pants, and tomato stained t-shirt, I saw a striking woman smiling at me. No lie, this lady looked like a movie star. She had on short-shorts (with the legs to pull it off), sassy wedge heels, a peasant blouse, huge sunglasses, and her hair was Farrah Fawcett perfect. She almost blinded me with her luminescent smile. I wondered why she was smiling at me. Was my fly down? Toilet paper stuck to my shoe? Was Bucket Head shaking his groove thing? That’s when it dawned on me…OMG, I know her.

It was Mini-Me’s STUDENT TEACHER.

Hold it right there, Bub. Don’t assume she’s 23 years old just because she’s a student teacher with killer gams in a trendy getup. Welcome to Atlanta, honey. This foxy lady is a full-grown woman with three kids ages 10 and up! I would have guessed she was in her mid thirties.

My first thought: SHIT – I hope she doesn’t see these two gigantic boxes of wine in my cart! Then I thought, well damn, maybe it will earn my child some sympathy points… as in, “Bless her heart, her mama’s a lush and all.”

The next day, Mini-Me said “Mrs. Fletcher told me she saw you at the grocery store yesterday. I just love her. She’s SO pretty. Mom, can you believe she’s 41 years old, just like you? I mean she looks so young!!!”

{mwah mwaaaaaah}

Fuck. A. Duck.

And I don’t say that lightly. Ducks have super scary penises, FYI.

So I was feeling even frumpier than usual when I happened upon this post by a sassy new blogging sistah, Heather. It confirmed my suspicions that I should probably put a little more effort into my everyday outward appearance.

pleated poppy

The comments from that post lead me to another post called What I Wore Wednesday by the adorable and totally-not-frumpy-looking Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy. There, women from all over the blogosphere are linking up to showcase cute outfits they wore the week before.

And that reminded me of this post from last week by Megan over at Declutter Daily. Megan is my decluttering hero. She only has 24 things in her closet! Here’s what she has to say about that:

More recently I am finding that I  tend to look more put together,  mostly it’s just the difference between a blouse and a t-shirt, nothing big. I guess it is because everything is easy to find; accessories, shoes, scarves- I know where they are and the choices are not overwhelming.

Put all these events together and what do you get? A fashion show! Yep, I peeled off my nacho cheese and dog hair encrusted sweats and put together a real outfit today, with a bra and lipstick and everythang!

Wanna see? (Oh just humor me and look. I’m obviously starved for attention.)

"Oh Niles, you cheek! Of course I'll star in your British mini-series about frumpy Americans!"

"Ack, the nerve. He cast someone else for the role! Didn't he see my jiggly grandma arms?!"

 

 

 

"Fine. Forget the mini-series. Who do I have to fuck to get some unbroken taco shells?"

"Ewwwww. Ike's been eating crayons again. Dammit. And you wonder why I drink."

 

 

So that’s What I Wore Wednesday. And wouldn’t you know it? I didn’t see a single person I knew. Figures.

And that’s why I’m wearing it again today, and probably tomorrow too. Although I paired it with some leopard flats and a coral cardigan today, just so people won’t think I’m homeless.

Bucket Head took this action shot... he's only 4, give him a break.

Here are the details of my ensemble, just in case you want to emulate my look, and/or avoid where I shop:

  • Jeans: Levi’s 501, from the men’s department at Kohl’s
  • Tanks: J. Crew (striped tissue tank) & Jockey PJ tank under it
  • Cardigan: J. Crew
  • Shoes: both pairs are from Target
  • Bag: Coach Outlet
  • Bracelet: SERRV Catalog (OMG, it’s on sale!) 

Final verdict? It felt good to be fully dressed in something semi-presentable. I actually felt like people treated me differently…in a good way. Maybe I was just reeking of confidence and commanded more respect. Hey, better than my usual reek of wine, urine, and defeat, I’ll tell you that

Let’s get an expert opinion. Bucket Head? What did you think of Mommy’s new look? 

"Oh SNAP!"

I’ll take that as a compliment.

Here’s to making an effort!

-Iris

PS – If you haven’t yet, please “like” The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs. One vote per device. If I make it into the top ten, I’ll tell you the story about the time I shot a man.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


WTF Wednesday – Parking Lot Pariahs

I’ve tried Wordless Wednesday. Pretty tough gig when your passion is words.

I’ve also tried What I Wore Wednesday. Those may have been my four least favorite blog posts ever.

So rather than continuing to force my stubbly square peg into round, perfectly coiffed holes, I’m making an executive decision to dedicate this Wednesday to something I’m actually good at: shaking my head, raising my hands in despair, and saying WHAT THE FUCK! 

Yes, my friends, it’s officially known as WTF Wednesday. And unlike the word “vajillion,” I did not invent it.

For those of you ESL readers of The Bearded Iris, WTF is an expression people use to succinctly express a combination of utter disbelief and disgust. Mothers of young children are particularly familiar with this feeling, especially upon the discovery of bodily excretions in odd places like walls, ceilings, or door handles.

I probably mutter/sigh/shout/sob this glorious phrase several times each day, so the challenge for me will be to pinpoint and highlight just one mindboggling topic each week.

This week, my most profound WTF experience was a no brainer:

Say it with me, friends: WHAT. THE. FUCK!

I know what you’re thinking: Iris is going to get her ass killed one of these days taking pictures of cars and bad drivers.

Maybe so. But totally worth it. This is precisely the kind of crap that pushes me over the edge. If I don’t do SOMETHING about it, I will most likely explode. And like my husband says, “At least she’s not keying cars anymore.”

I took this shot last week at my daughter’s overcrowded elementary school, where parking is always at a premium. And I’ll have you know this car is nowhere near the entrance to the school, so don’t get all compassionate on me and give this d-bag the benefit of the doubt. Chances are pretty good the driver was not racing to administer an EpiPen to a child in advanced stages of anaphylactic shock.

And I can’t imagine the driver of this vehicle is strategically trying to protect the sides of her Armada by purposely taking up two parking spots. If it was a vintage cherry Mustang, that would be one thing. But a late model Japanese SUV? Don’t think so.

Nope. This is just vehicular inconsideration at its finest.

Was he in *that* much of a hurry to volunteer in little Johnny’s classroom that he couldn’t take 30 extra seconds to straighten out his parking job? If he’s two minutes late will the kids in that class miss their opportunity to make 3-D topographic maps of the state of Georgia out of candy and marshmallow dough? Don’t get me started.

This level of inconsideration is deplorable to me. And in a public parking lot where everyone can see and take pictures and slash your tires? Dumb ass.

And I see it all the time.

Earlier this week at my daughter’s dance school:

Are you effin’ kidding me?

This parking lot is so small and crowded that people regularly have to park up the street and walk across a weedy meadow to get to the school. But this lady is going to prevent an additional car from parking here, in the RAIN? Really? She’s lucky Bucket Head was asleep because I was *this close* to cramming my big ass Mombulance into that spot and swinging open my door over and over and over. Can’t you just hear me: “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry! I couldn’t get out. I guess you didn’t realize it, but there are handicap spots closer to the front door for folks with special needs, bless your heart!”

Twat waffle.

I don’t know who died and made me the head of the Brigade Against Asshole Drivers (BAAD), but what’s done is done. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent about it.

Clearly, dealing with such inconsideration on such a regular basis is enough to cause any decent citizen to hit the crack pipe. But instead of letting these idiots get me down, I’m going to find a more constructive way of managing my stress.

We are in the process of (slowly) remodeling our master bathroom and I wonder if there is a special shower head like this fab little Monoglide that can soothe away my road-rage-induced stress. Perhaps Professor Toilet can help. And if not, maybe I can borrow his sick-ass wrench to leave a little hello-howdy on the next poorly parked car I see.

Just keeping it real, one parking lot at a time,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.
All rights reserved.

Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.

My 4 year old son Bucket Head doesn’t like to make mistakes. He recently started doing this thing where if he needs help with something like a chore or a puzzle piece, he undoes whatever we’ve helped him with and says “Yet’s just betend that didn’t happen, otay?” Then he expertly does it himself and we all applaud and high five and fist bump like “What a brilliant child! He did it ALL BY HIMSELF!”

I mention this because a few days ago I posted some rather unflattering pictures of myself with mock hairdos and asked you to help me choose one for my new look. (Don’t bother lookin’, I took that mofo down.) It was supposed to be funny, but a vast majority of the comments indicated to me that I missed the mark.

Fellow bloggers, has that ever happened to you? A post just doesn’t go the way you intended?

Well, let’s just pretend that didn’t happen, okay? 

Thanks for all the sweet advice and the well wishes for my hair appointment though! It went very well. I don’t know why I was so nervous! Out of practice, I guess. Sure do love my stylist Kristie. I’ve been going to her (not often enough) for the past three years. She’s the one who cut and colored the style on my avatar that several of you seem to like. Local friends looking for a great stylist, email me and I’ll hook you up with her number.

My new ‘do looked especially great on Friday when I walked out of her salon, but you’ll have to take my word for it because the receptionist had a bad case of the DTs, bless her heart.

Ow, my eyes. Actually, if you squint and stare at that picture long enough you can see the image of Saint Genesius of Rome, the Patron Saint of Comedians.

So let’s just move on from this unfortunate “help me pick a new hairstyle” incident. This whole What I Wore Wednesday crap has really messed with my psyche. Let’s just pretend that didn’t happen either.

Whatd’ya say I just get back to my regular schtick and not care so much about how I look or what I’m wearing. That’s not really who I wanted to be when I grew up. I like the snarky bitch with the beard and the camel toe better.

And frankly, so do you.

yours truly,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.


How Iris is Slowly Getting Her Groove Back

Do you like a good underdog story? Then please “like” The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs.  Three months ago I was ranked at #891. Today I’m #10 (Hot damn!!!). Apparently there is a shortage of good vagina-related comedy in the blogosphere. Happy to serve.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

pleated poppyA few weeks ago, after becoming fed up with my “frumpy old mom look,” I decided to put a little more effort into my appearance. As luck would have it, that same day I happened upon the What I Wore Wednesday meme, hosted by Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy. Funny how when the student is ready, the teacher appears, don’t you think?

My first two weeks were pretty hard and depressing. (See week #1 and week #2.)

First off, let me just say, I find it takes near heroic measures to be clean AND plucked AND have my hair done AND makeup on AND be wearing something that doesn’t embarrass my kids. Most days I can pull off two of these things, tops, but all five at the same time? Damn. That’s a lot to ask!

But this third week is going a little better! For starters, I took my friend Ann’s advice and bought some new undies. The right foundation garments make all the difference, ladies! Thanks to Ann’s endorsement, the ASSETS collection by Sara Blakely at Tarjay is my new BFF. I bought one of these last week, but I think I probably need one of these instead for better muffin-top management. Don’t fret, soft-centered gentlemen readers, there is a whole collection of Manx (man Spanx) too! Who knew?

I also bought myself a new pair of jeans. Another reader, Colleen, highly recommended the Levi’s Skinny Jean. I was hoping to firm up my jelly-belly a little before I bought anything new, but I thought maybe one new pair of skinny jeans would be just the ticket to feeling less frumpy. Colleen was right, by the way. They fit great (buh-bye camel toe!), they feel great, and they make me look much more put together than those grey cargo pants did last week.

This is me today. Same top, same shoes, totally different vibe:

Levi’s Skinny Jeans – Kohl’s
Ruffle top – Nordstrom (last year)
Boyfriend cardi – Brook’s Brothers (last year)
Mossimo Leopard flats – Target (last year)

 

Here’s how the rest of my week looked:  

at Mini-Me's Fund Run last Thursday

Striped tee – Target (last year)
Yellow tank – J. Crew outlet (2008)
Levi’s 501 jeans – Kohl’s (last year)

I’m posting this picture for three reasons:

1.) Check out my horrible unfinished master bathroom. This is what happens when a DIY project becomes a DWDITTDTM (Damn, why did I try to do this myself?)

2.) This is a cry for help. For the love of God, will somebody with some photography skills please teach me how to take a picture of myself?

3.) I’m wearing my favorite button-down shirt. It’s Foxcroft from Nordstrom…was a gift from my stepmom a few years ago. It’s wrinkle-free but doesn’t feel gross and synthetic. Love this shirt. I used to save it for church and meetings, but this week I decided to pair it with my regular old Levi’s 501 jeans. I liked it. I think I’ll do that more often.

So, I’m making some strides. But still, there are days when this is the best I can do:

another self-portrait fail...love the garbage bag in the background

At least I’m trying not to leave the house on those days anymore.

Okay, last one:

One more example of a self-portrait gone bad, but I wanted you to see the shrug I hand-knitted out of dead Muppets. It makes me look like a gay caveman.

Unless I have it on my head…

Fabulous!

fondly,

-Iris

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


2011: A Bearded Year in Review

Is it over? Already? Good golly, Miss Molly…what a year!

Sure, there were a few boo-boos:

 

 

 

 

 

…and some rough times:

 

 

 

 

 

But we made some neat stuff:

 

 

 

 

 

…and a few really cool discoveries:

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there were a few horrifying discoveries too:

oprah: the light within

 

 

 

 

 

And let’s not forget the awkward moments:

 

 

 

 

 

…inappropriate things:

 

 

 

 

 

…and over-sharing for which I appear to have a special gift:

 

 

 

 

 

And even though there were some failures:

 

 

 

 

 

I’d rather focus on the triumphs:

 

 

 

 

 

…treasure the celebrations:

 

 

 

 

 

…and bask in the love.

 

 

 

 

       

              “…the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

 

Happy New Year, friends.

Looking forward to sharing a 2012 filled with growth, love, and laughter with you.

-Iris

© Copyright 2011-2012, The Bearded Iris.

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