Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spray-on Tan and Glitter

For your viewing pleasure (probably not safe for work, without headphones)

Yep - many times, I've been a proud member of a huge group of girls. Most recently, here:

This night may or may not have included me encouraging everyone entering and exiting the bar to join us in what I dubbed a "Michael Jackson Dance Party" (we were by the door). I. Am. Awesome.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Big Primping

So there was a time in my life when I suffered from severely low self-esteem. It started during my college years. For several yearsI couldn't go anywhere without literally checking out every other girl in the room and comparing myself to her. Having low self-esteem, I always came up short. I was fatter, not as pretty or fun, my clothes were not as fashionable and I was sure they were smarter and happier than me. Seriously - not a good place to be. I should mention that I had wonderful friends who constantly tried to build me up and help me with my issues and looking back, I appreciate that so much.

Now I look at old pictures and wonder what the eff I was thinking. I was hot (and smart and reasonably fashionable)! I could have done whatever (and probably whoever) I wanted. But at the time, I was not able to see that.

Somewhere around my mid-20s my self-image start to improve. My wonderfully supportive and loving husband deserves a lot of credit for this. Plus, I think just aging, perspective and learning more about yourself (ok - maybe a little Prozac too) helps a lot in these matters. By the time I hit 30 last year, I was good with who I am - positives and negatives - and no longer playing sick mind games with myself.

Perspective, wisdom and a little bit of this helps too.

Until last night. An touch of those feelings came back and it was not fun for a few minutes there.
I was helping at an event - a local launch for an upscale skincare line. It attracted some of Des Moines society-types and whoa - did I feel like my 23-year-old self again.

Life in Iowa is pretty relaxed. You can get as dolled-up for things as you want, but it's certainly not expected in about 99% of social situations here - at least in my circles. When preparing for working this event, I pulled my hair into my semi-standard low ponytail, put my normal make-up on (for the SECOND time in one day) and put on a black suit with a plain gray top.

Oops. Granted, I was "the help" at this event so I didn't need to look glam but I was not expecting the beauty pageant I walked into. The ladies attending were perfectly styled, coiffed and confident. They're triceps were buff and size four dresses beautifully tailored. They greeted each other knowingly - they belonged. (Side note: all the ladies were very gracious and sweet. Any bad feelings were from my head.)

OK - not quite. But close. Source
 I felt frumpy and dowdy and....sad. Couldn't I have spent 15 more minutes getting ready? I should really start working on my appearance more. Should I get my lips done? And so went the pity party for just a little while.

I snapped out of it pretty quickly and faced my feelings. Could I probably spend a little more time with my hair and make-up? If/when I feel the need - sure. Do I need to? No. Most of the time it's just not something I want put much effort into. Could I afford to lose a few pounds and tone up? Sure, but that's something I'm already working on. If I had been better prepared for the audience, I would have cuted up my outfit, so no real issue there. But there's some element these ladies have that I just don't. It's a little bit of sexiness, a little bit of glamour and probably a little money. It's something I can't pull off.

I'm pretty and sweet and goofy and klutzy. I know how to have a good time and can hold my own. It all works for me. I'll never be able to pull of that sexy little edge. I thought about all of this quite a bit last night and a little bit today. And, I'm OK with not being able to look like those ladies. I'm also OK with wanting to look like them a little bit more. I know I'm great as I am and I'm living myself a pretty fantastic life.

Maybe if I end up running in high society circles someday, I'll have to work a little more on my glamminess (?). But in the meantime - maybe I'll just give my hair and make-up five more minutes of effort and see where that gets me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hello, World!

Well hello there! This site still exists and hasn't been hijacked by hacker pirates?
Oh wait, and it's not just here, I thought I'd start a tumblr, too? Well that was ambitious of me. Who did I think I was that day?
I have occassional days of inspiration and the urge to post something (that may or may not be worth reading) but there are just a few things that have been stopping me. 

1) What platform should I use? Do I need to switch? Obviously Blogger is not the hippest of all platforms and obviously I do strive to be hip. I have a techy husband and friends - I don't want them to laugh at me (in that how-cute-she-doesn't-know-any-better way that techy friends do). But I think I'm getting too old for tumblr (I don't really get it). Wordpress is acceptable but there's just too many choices for customization - I'll be torn between designing it and an unreasonable fear of breaking it. So I'll brave the derision  - Blogger wins for now.

2) It's so hard to blog. You need to link to things, have pictures, have a point. Maybe even actually remember to TAKE pictures for the purpose of a blog post. Riiiiight. I originally started this thinking I could do some fun DIY projects, talk about cutesy things going on in my life, etc. But I'm not really doing much worth someone wasting minutes of their lives reading about. Let alone, ME taking the time to actually construct something semi-informative on a regular basis. I'm busy but boring and generally discouraged from attempting DIYing anything that I could buy already complete.

3) It's been so long. I feel like I have to write an apology post every time there's a lapse so then that means TWO posts I have to write. And then someone (hopefully) has to read. We're too busy for this right? 

4) What if nobody likes it? Let me be honest. About 90% of the time the reason I don't try something is because I'm afraid I won't be successful at it. And...with the amazing following some bloggers out there have, there's a high bar for success - or even mediocrity. So what if no one wants to read it? What if I "fail" at blogging? 

So, let's make a deal - I'm going to stop acknowledging when the usual long lapses in posting happens and having to write a post about what a shitty blogger I am. It's annoying, right? And maybe, I'll let go of the guilt that wracks me and freezes me up everytime I think about a quick post and actually write a few in the next year.

Also, I'm going to quit trying to make a point or have a purpose unless I'm trying to make a point or have a purpose. Your end? Add me to your google reader or RSS feeds or whatnot. Then you'll just have a little surprise on the occassion that Practicing Classy shows up as Practicing Classy (1) in your list of reads. And even if it's just my mom and a few friends who check-in on occasion, that's going to be alright. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Get Your Boobs Out of My Face!

It's November! Sorry Susan G. Komen. I'm sure you're sad to see October go but I am not. I'm tired of talking about boobs. And having everything turn pink. And acting like saving the ta-tas will save the world.

Don't get me wrong, breast cancer is an awful disease and I have no doubt that it an horrible, devastating experience for women and their familes. One that I hope I never have to go through. And there is breast cancer in my family like every other woman's family. My aunt lost one of her funbags to the disease. My grandmother overcame it only to have the cancer come back in her bones.
But there are a lot of awful things in the world. Diseases, hunger, genocide, snakes. Shouldn't there be a month dedicated to hungry children? Why can't someone convince the NFL to wear purple accents to raise awareness about Alzheimers (or whatever color you wear for head injury awareness for that matter!). When I worked for the National MS Society - which has ONE WEEK for awareness - they were happy when the Today Show panned across a group wearing orange MS shirts for awareness. Seriously.
My theory for the breast cancer craze is twofold. 1) Everybody loves tits. Ladies want to have great ones; guys want to see them, touch them and well, let's be honest - they wish they had great ones too. So we all want to keep them around and breast cancer works against that. 2) There are survivors. And a lot more of them then there used to be. Which is great. But ladies, you've done your job. You pushed research forward. You not only raised awareness about early detection you made it clear that every woman is responsible for it(probably the most important part of the whole campaign). You made pink synonomous with your cause. Your efforts have saved lives.
I know you tireless, spirited survivors won't stop until all the sweater puppies are safe from this monster. But could you back off just a little bit? Maybe find another cause worthy of your work and push forward to help bring the beginning of the end to another disease. There are plenty of people suffering and dying from other things. Don't you think they deserve a day or two of their own?
And, take a look around - maybe at one of those walks you all like to go to - there are a lot of survivors now. You all deserve to be proud of yourself but please - quit thinking the world owes you a big pink cookie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Animal House

This was the scene in my front entryway when I came home from work on Sunday. You may not be able to pick them all out but there are six dogs swarming at my feet. Besides the two pups of our own and one that we are currently fostering; we are responsible for Reyse, Kramer and Jax while our friends are on their honeymoon this week.
Our house is currently MTV's "Real World" for dogs this week I'm not sure which dog is the gay one - they all like to hump each other. Reyse is the only girl, so I guess that makes her the crazy skank of the group.
 The first night was pretty rough. No one wanted to settle in for the evening. Fortunately, Sparky had the next day off so he was able to most of the wrangling.
Now we're settled in for the week but I'm not sure what they're saying about each other in the confessional room. As long as no one gets too drunk or smacks anyone; we should all make it to Saturday.