Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dante's Inferno and Bathing Suit Shopping

After spending forty-five <insert your favorite melodramatic adjective here> minutes in the dressing room, I'm utterly convinced that in a modern-day version of Dante's Inferno, one of the circles of hell would be shopping for a swimsuit.  Never-you-mind that I will own up to the fact that I no longer have the body of a 16-year old teeny-bopper.  Disregard the fact that it seems the less fabric there is, the more the suit costs.  (For the record, I just glance at those, laugh uproariously, and move along!).  And, the pale pink glare of the hideous fluorescent dressing room lights notwithstanding.  Yes, you're feeling this, my sister.  I just know it.

And trying to find a suit that is modest though not frumpy, comfortable yet not muumuu- like, is about as futile as searching for the Fountain of Youth where apparently Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa, and Elvis gather for an annual charity event.  So. Not. Fun.

Look online, my friends say.  That's all fine and good.   But haven't we all learned that just because it looks good in the advertisement, doesn't necessarily mean it will look good on us?  I need to try these things on--but yet, I hate doing it.  "Hate" is such a lightweight word in this case. Dare I say loathe?  Despise?  Yup.  Both of 'em.

I'm stuck somewhere in the middle of wanting Mary Pat, Mary Frances, and Mary Katherine to bring me everything off the rack that might look good, whilst I sit in an overstuffed chair, in a luxuriously air conditioned (and might I note, properly lighted!) dressing parlor--a la Pretty Woman.  And, to keep the realism of chick movies in view, how about Cher's electronic closet in Clueless?  But alas, most of us dwell in the real world.  The garishly-lit, claustrophobically-tiny dressing rooms of the real world.

So, it comes down to this.  You just give up.  Or you watch this clip. Laugh until your sides hurt.  And, pack up the pool bag and head out.  Wearing the tried and true suit that may or may not be adorning the covers of Vogue this season.  But, you like it.  Voila.  

Friday, June 2, 2017

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

One of the occupational hazards of having spent four years of my pre-Mommy professional life in a robust University Career Center was discovering new and interesting vocational paths. As we counseled students and used various skills and interest inventories to help them choose a major or learn more about just what one can do with their chosen major, we were strongly encouraged to take those assessments ourselves--more street cred and such. And while my areas of interest, skill set, and the like were of no surprise to me, sometimes a new job title would pop into the river of ideas.  Guidance Counselor.  Kindergarten teacher. The helping professions--minus medical school.  Phew!

Thus, the standard line around our home became "here's career idea #426"--and out it would come. Wedding planner.  Cruise director--Julie McCoy, at your service.  Children's librarian.  Given my previously-documented penchant for children's books, the last title put forward made me nearly giddy, as I envisioned my idyllic world of children sitting enraptured at my feet, while I read to them from Jerry Pinkney's most recent illustrated work--or they asked me the blessed question, "What should I read next?"

Fast forward.  In a world of personalized everything--personal chefs, personal shoppers, personal assistants--I recently thought of how I could combine my wholehearted affection for great books, my desire to help others learn, and--truth be told--my inclination towards "suggesting" what folks might like to read.  And, thus a new term was birthed, possibly.  Literary Concierge.  Or perhaps a Biblio-something.  Personal Library Consultant.  In any case, it's someone who helps you choose what books to read, helps you develop a reading list, purchases the books for you (using the client's funds, of course), and delights in the whole process.  Like a kid at the candy counter.  Or like Belle in the animated version of Beauty and the Beast.  Ahh, that library.  Or someone akin to Prudencia Prim in The Awakening of the named Miss.  Just not as stuffy!

Recently, my sweet friend and fellow bibliophile--who just happens to be the fabulous Children's Librarian at a "cozy" local public library--flattered my little book-loving soul.  Years ago, when we first moved to the "rhinestone on the buckle of the Bible Belt", I volunteered at this library.  In the Children's area.  But, this was before her time.  He Who Is Now Taller Than His Dad (his new moniker having reached 6'1" and size 15 shoe--and is still growing, according to our pediatrician) remembers hanging out on a comfy red camp chair, reading books about ninjas and Green Berets, near the non-fiction section. Meanwhile, Mini-Hooper (who may also require a new alias by summer's end) would roam the area, looking for more Kipper the Dog books.  I happily shelved books and modified themed literary displays.  But, I digress.  Which I am prone to do.

Anyhoo, we were recently chatting talking about her summer work projects and she said that there is one particular project to which she would trust only me as her eager assistant--a book inventory!  I was a whee bit giddy!  Seriously.   Learning titles of fiction and non, counting, organizing. Yup, I am so in on that.  So, if you happen to see me in mid-July, blissed out over multiple copies of Anne of Green Gables or because I found yet another Elisa Kleven gem that I never knew existed, you'll know why.

Literary Concierge.  I like the sound of that.  Immensely.

★Actually, I'd like both! lol: