My Kingdom For A Decent Foundation Garment!

News item: Prince Charles, Camilla celebrate 9 years of marriage That, of course, is not the real news item here as any woman anywhere can immediately tell you. The patriarchy, I tell you again, is not properly equipped to provide insight into news events. Accompanying this article is a link to a slide set showing the happy couple over the years. It only takes two clicks to understand in a very practical way what it really means to have the power, the wealth and resources of the British Empire at your disposal:


Is that the best old lady bra you have ever seen in your life? YES!

Time passes, gravity does it’s inevitable work and the boobs of rich and poor alike head southward. This is clearly a case of  “it’s not what happens to you in life – it’s how you handle what happens to you” and Camilla has called upon the Royal Corsetier for a boost, so to speak. dndwI have to say, I’ve never been a Camilla  fan but even the slim and elegant Duchess of Windsor couldn’t pull this off. Oh, she was pretty great at getting her couturiers to design garments that pleated or bunched up around the critical area so one could not tell exactly what was where but camouflage isn’t  the same as mechanics and in this area, Camilla wins it hands down.

And its not just a matter of time and technology, either. Gaze upon some Camilla’s contemporaries – prominent American ladies who have ample means and devoted designers but have not been able to match Camilla’s accomplishment. These three are of different boob situations but the common thread is that they are all a mess. First,  we have a woman who is declared and accepted to be a world famous fashion icon. Michelle Obama’s boobs are disproportionately small for her bulk overall but … oh, heck I don’t even know how to put this into words and I bet you can’t either. What in the world is going on there?


Then they came for the shapewear and there was no one left to speak.

But big or small, high or low, all boobs start to droop sooner or later and America’s unofficial ambassador of style and beauty has chosen the push up method instead of Camilla’s pull up strategy. The choice of an in-your-face external device instead of  a more demure undergarment says exactly who she is and failure to speak out against this declasse move says a lot about American citizenry  under the dominion of our betters. First they came for the cardigans and I did not speak out because I don’t wear cardigans.

Another member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee is our beloved Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Her boobs are the least of it. Amirite?

Seriously, her boobs are not her biggest style problem but boobs and bras are the topics at hand here so let’s focus there. Hillary is an older lady and surely her small boobs are sagging but we might never know because wearing tops that actually fit is not one of her priorities. She might not even wear a bra for all we know. And I think it goes without saying that location of bust darts be damned. Question: Has Nancy Pelosi ever had breast augmentation? Or are those the cantalupos the good Lord gave her?

… aaand the suns set over the Democrat empire.

Good Lord, woman – get a winch hoist for those things, would you? You only own all of San Francisco and half of Baltimore so make an investment in yourself, would you? I’ve got to think that this is where Camilla’s royal boobs would be without her marvelous brassiere task force. American women in the political spotlight would do well to learn a lesson here.


The Joy of Greeting Cards

I opened a box today that I thought was framed pictures from the old house but it turned out to be a memorabilia that was stored in my mother’s attic. Right on top encased in a sticky plastic bag was my lost silk orchid wedding bouquet looking much less tasteful than I remembered it. Among the assortment were a few random greeting cards, including this one:


eyes wide open

Art imitates art, I guess and this image seems to be modeled on a popular book of its time.

Other items in the box:

  • two student nurse uniforms
  • a pearly pink ceramic jewelry box
  • a ceramic graduation girl standing on a cloud emblazoned with gold script detailing my HS graduation
    • the cloud base contains many many inexpensive religious medals and some detachable garter hooks from an old girdle
  • 4 assorted greeting cards
  • a padded silk keepsake card from my confirmation
  • 3 girl scout badges and a sheet of 4th grade geography homework , all belonging to my daughter
  • a cigar box holding 12 White Owl New Yorkers with custom wrappers proclaiming “OUR WEDDING DAY”
  • a dozen high school wallet-sized pictures of other HS graduates
  • a program from my nursing school’s Dedication Night noting (between the main address and the candle lighting) choral selections I Believe and Climb Every Mountain, then  the recitation of the Florence Nightingale Pledge, immediately followed by another choral selection:  Let There Be Peace On Earth
  • a 3″ lapel pin making the wearer an Official Bicentennial Belle
  • two dozen glow-in-the-dark key rings all in the shape of a number one from various pizza places, body shops and municipal contractors

[worknotes for the forthcoming novelette Suzette, A Life]


I Clasped My Hands Against My Bosom And Lifted My Face Skyward When I Said This To Him

Scene: A married couple discus the design merits of vintage china patterns for a hypothetical acquisition:

Her [final line of dialogue]: This is the difference between us - I am interested in delicate beauty and understated elegance and you are trying to re-create the Viceroy’s dinner table at the end of the British Raj.

aaaaand curtain.


This morning, I struggle out of my blogging coma to report an event of great excitement: The creek workers have returned and they brought two truckloads of shrubbery with them.

Thank goodness that the dog got his early morning barking out of the way before this happened.

March 27, 2014 – 8:30 am: Thank goodness that the dog got his early morning barking out of the way before this happened.

They won’t give any shade and so far they seem to be all one type of arbor vitae – which I love but I question the lack of foresight in the selection of single specimens over mixed varieties – but they will effectively screen the dog walkers and looky loos from Stedman’s line of sight and cut down on the overall amount of aroo-ing that goes on here. And so I am officially thrilled.

Also, deer are the new rabbits. Look what they did to the branches of my mature bushes over the winter.

On the right side of this photo, behind the bare tree branches, you can barely make out the round, dark head of The Poodle talking to a creek worker in a green vest. He’s probably asking  how soon he can bring his dog around to pee all over the new shrubbery.


better than nothing

March 27, 2014 – 12 Noon: better than nothing

This is not going to reduce the amount of barking around here sad face but if the good Lord is willing AND THE CREEK DON’T RISE I’ll live long enough to see these grow tall and fill out.

I am somewhat less excited than I was three hours ago.

Famous Blue Raincoat

These are the trench coats that I have owned in my lifetime:

Fullscreen capture 3232014 122650 PM1. A navy blue London Fog raincoat with ivory buttons and a big north-south silver buckle. This was during my Bachelorette  Big City Nurse period. Gawd, you should have seen me. I cinched that belt as tight as it would go and always had a blocky red, white and blue silk scarf at my neck. I’d like to say it was a Vera scarf but I know it wasn’t. Picture me hustling along East 76th street  on my immaculate white  Clinic 502s. This get up looms so large in my personal history that I had to recreate it here with products currently listed on eBay.

2.A white lightweight unlined trench coat made of 100% polyester inside and out. This thing was totally unbreathable  so I never closed it but that worked out very well because the thing would billow behind me as I walked. It was fabulous. I don’t think I ever used scarves with this one because well, it was fabulous all on its own. I felt like I could wear anything and be suitably chic by topping it off with the white trenchcoat. Because it was all polyester, I could never wash any marks out of it so its glory faded over time and I had to stop wearing it.

3. A taupe water resistant trench coat with a removable wool lining. I think I bought this one from JC Penneys. I never wore the lining but I always wore a floral scarf around my neck which did double duty as a babushka in heavy rain. I remember wearing it one cold rainy night when Sami was out of town and I had to use an after-school baby sitter.  I worked a full shift, got the coat and the babushka soaked between the hospital and the car, picked up the kids and then a McDonald’s dinner  and got us all back to the house to eat at the kitchen table. My kids weren’t used to either the baby sitting situation or a McDonald’s dinner and so they were quiet (for a change) as we ate. I wonder if they were experiencing the same gratitude that I was  because we were together in a warm house with hot food front of us. How lucky we were then that this wasn’t our daily routine.  To this day, I think about that night. I’m not saying this was a scene from a Lifetime movie about a mother struggling alone to hold it all together, but when it comes down to it – food, shelter and people who love you. That’s it.

4. A black lightweight unlined trench coat made of 100% polyester inside and out. It’s the exact same coat as the white one so I think I  must have gotten it from a catalog. I did wear an oblong scarf of cream, gold and black design with it. I still have the scarf and I think the coat might still be around but if it is, I haven’t worn it in years and I am not attached to it in any way at all.

Well This Should Be Good

This is not the Father Knows Best I thought I knew. First up: cultural diversity:

I don’t know where she found one Springfield Junior College I guess but Betty brought home an Indian girl for the weekend.


I hope Fronk the gardener shows up and sings aye yi yi yi  on the scratched up guitar that he hangs from his neck on a string. That way we can get all of the smug patronizing out of the way at once. Actually, Fronk and Chanthini Ragnapali must be using the same dialect coach because this girl sounds Mexican. If Mexico is represented by Speedy Gonzales. Hollywood Mexican of the 50s I guess.

UPDATE: Cast credits for this episode reveal that Chanthini was played by Rita Moreno. (At least it wasn’t Mel Blanc.)

The second episode tackles the serious subject of the moral obligations that The Haves must obey towards The Have Nots. You can tell this is serious because it starts off very film noir.


Margaret gets a midnight phone call telling her she won a fancy $6000 car in a charity raffle for the Springfield Children’s Home. Jubilation all around but it doesn’t last for long.

Margaret drives over to the children’s home for a photo shoot to be featured in the Sunday paper. She gets her ass chewed by an angry grubby mechanic who says things like “them that has gets” and “people like you”. The mechanic can says these things to Margaret because he was an orphan too.


Margaret is abashed and one thing leads to another and by the end of the episode she trades her fancy Lincoln Continental  in for two plain Ford station wagons, one for her family and one for the orphanage.

And so The Haves do their social duty and grant bounty to The Have Nots. All is well in Springfield.

I’m Not Irish But I Wouldn’t Mind Having One of Those Musical Whiskey Boxes That Plays Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra When You Open It To Get A Quick Snort

The northeast is positively crawling with Irish-Americans but I was 25 by the time I finally met somebody who came over from the other side. She was a nurse, one of many in the Manhattan hospital where I worked. They all knew each other, of course but they were socially divided over who came from the north and who came from the south. The north girls regarded the south girls as rubes and clods.

Anne, my co-worker, was a fascinating creature. It was agreed by all that her most outstanding features where her large green eyes and her habit of leaning towards you and speaking at a low volume. For me, her most fascinating mannerism was that she said em instead of um. This happened frequently and it was always as an introduction to a  sentence.

In the Irish-American community of NYC, it was a thing to be envied if you dated – or even personally  knew – a man who came over from the other side. The Irish-American secretary for the department we worked in had a brother who was in a relationship with Anne and somehow because of the secretary, I was at more than few parties and gatherings where  there were many genuine Irish people freshly arrived.   And so I can tell you with some authority that the men were heavy smokers and the very definition of chauvinism. They were much smaller that their Irish-American counterparts,  puny even.

This was the 70s so maybe they grow them bigger now.

The men were good looking and had better coloring than the women. Maybe it was just this set of people but the men had auburn hair and rosy cheeks but the women had hair that wasn’t quite pale brown and wasn’t quite pale red and their faces had no coloring at all.

Anyway, it all came to an end (for me) due to two major events. The first thing that happened was that Anne broke up with the Irish-American secretary’s brother. Right after he built a loft bed with a  built in desk and dresser for her.  I question the timing. (We all had studio apartments in those days and Anne’s was L-shaped so the loft bed contraption upped her social standing no end. That plus the fact that it was in Manhattan and not Queens. All the other actual Irish people lived in Queens.)  The breakup made awkward ripples among  the party guest list.

The second thing that happened was that at one of the parties, an Irish man came up to me to make awkward chit chat and then asked if he could call me. It was respectful and almost formal the way he did it. At the time, I didn’t notice the daggers that the Irish nurses were shooting at me. Frankly, I hardly gave it a second thought. He was a handsome but  puny rosy-cheeked moth flitting around my roaring Big American Blonde flame. But we did have coffee or something once – or maybe not I really don’t remember –  and then I was hospitalized with hepatitis shortly after.

He came to visit me in the hospital carrying a pot of golden chrysanthemums. I remember his tweed sports jacket and how thin his ankle was when he sat  down and rested his foot on his opposite knee. He was almost slumped sideways when he sadly told me he couldn’t bear hospitals or sickness and he wouldn’t be able to see me anymore. And that was the moment I realized that he was into me. I was kind of surprised.

Later I found out that all the Irish nurses hated me for siphoning off one of their better prospects and taking him out of circulation.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if he was attracted to my beauty, my poise, my Americaness. Or did he see me as unlovely and desperate enough to respond to his attention and repay it with marriage?  Was he really into me?  The thing was that all the Irish women in this set had very good jobs and all the men were un- or under-employed. Possibly/probably in the country without a visa and they counted on blending  into the Irish-American landscape of Queens until they were able gain a firm foothold here one way or the other.  Maybe that’s why he looked so sad and upset when he told me  he wouldn’t be seeing me – that my American robustness was not what he thought it would be. Perhaps I was not sturdy enough to provide the support he was looking for?

I can’t remember his name.

Anyway.  Too ra loo ra loo!