Subourbon Mom


Stop Hiding Me Behind My Clothes
December 8, 2022, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor, Posts, shopping | Tags: , , , , , ,

Aaahhh..the holidays are here! Mariah Carey is screeching away in every store and the taste of panic-buying is in the air. You know what that means – sales.  Every day my inbox is flooded with exclamation points and percentages. Are the deals great?  Absolutely. They’ve even enticed me to crack open my dusty wallet. This year I decided it is time to buy some new clothes that don’t scream “I WORK FROM HOME AND JOGGERS ARE MY WAY OF LIFE.”

For those of you who know me personally, you know I’m not a big shopper. In fact, I frequently buy clothing sets off store mannequins because I suck at putting outfits together. I’ve been known to walk into a store, touch one item and run out because I’m so overwhelmed. So, when I decide to shop for clothes, this is not a decision I make lightly.

And here is where the first-world problems rant begins.  

When did retail clothing stores start ignoring the middle-aged woman demographic?

I’m a pretty regular size, and I used to be able to get cute clothes from stores that cater to the younger (30’s) set as well as the older (50s+) set. They were trendy, fit well and even had the right shape.

Maybe my expectations are off base, but I can’t seem to find any stores that cater to the middle-class, middle-size, middle-trendy woman anymore. It’s all either too young (for women whose boobs are still somewhere near where they’re supposed to be and the menopausal muffin top is still non-existent) or they are for the older female crowd that just wants to hide everything under a square shirt that hangs to the knees or beneath long sweaters called dusters. 

Side note: If you’re a store mannequin dresser (is there a real job title for that?), please stop pulling the backs of the shirts together with a clip so it looks like the mannequins have a waist.  If you have to do that, stop ordering square shirts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried one on after seeing it there and walked out of the dressing room in a small tent.

I used to love Target, but don’t get me started on Target’s recent stylistic choices. I don’t want to live on the set of Little House on the Prairie or look like I sew my own clothes.

At the mall by my house, since the stores catering to younger women are now out of the question, I’m left trying to decide if I want to go classic square shirt and duster from J.Jill,  blingy square shirt and duster from Chico’s, or “I’m in my late 60’s and have a shit ton of money to spend” in Soft Surroundings.

The only store that still works for me is Loft. Does everything fit me? No. Is some of it too young? Yes. But I can still find work and casual clothes there that don’t break the bank, and that last longer than H&M’s one season wonders.

Since vitamin/supplement companies are finally realizing menopausal women are a real demographic (watch any middle-aged woman’s TikTok feed and see how many Provitalize ads come up), maybe clothing retailers should, too. Just because we need a better bra these days and jeans with that extra inch, retailers need to know that middle-aged women haven’t given up. We’re still trying to impress our partners, and, honestly, other women – but more importantly, we’re not hiding ourselves away from the world.  In fact, many of us are feeling more like our true selves than ever before.

Maybe, if clothes could be designed around what we look like now, not the past or the future, we wouldn’t spend so much on supplements and retailers could take advantage of that revenue.

So, there you have it – the gauntlet has been thrown – someone needs to design clothes for middle-of-the-road, middle-aged women that reflect who we are now, that don’t make us look like we’re trying to hard or that we’ve given up, and that don’t break the bank.  

And by the way, if you’re a woman who loves the stores I’ve just crapped all over, please keep patronizing them. We all have to shop where we are comfortable. I just haven’t found more than one place that meets my shopping needs and I’m grumpy.



Bathing Suit Ads I’d Like to See
February 13, 2022, 11:36 am
Filed under: Middle Age, shopping, Spring Break, Travel | Tags: , , , ,

Apparently bathing suit shopping season is here. I know that because all over my social media feeds are ads for bathing suits featuring svelte and often malnourished models posing in ways you will never see on the beach.

I want to see real moms and middle-aged folks wearing real suits with REAL evaluations. How about a picture of a mom dragging her toddler down the beach because he’s refusing to leave?

Here’s a few I’d like to see….

 


Our beach track suit provides the support you need up top and the grip you need on the bottom while you run. 

Review: 3 stars
Unless you’re wearing an actual track suit, nothing will cover and lift all the things. But I like the irony of wearing a Frozen t-shirt at the beach.


Forgot your razor at the beach? Or maybe you gave a half-hearted try at landscaping after doing nothing winter and your body rebelled by displaying red bumps of displeasure.  Either way, we have two solutions:

Option 1:

This gorgeous suit comes with a pelvis flap that you can tuck in or leave out depending on how neglectful you’ve been.

Review: 5 Stars
Sexy and for all body types.


Option 2:

The Tighty Rightey bathing suit bottom made for women. Comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Review: 1 Star
Appreciate the idea, but having your leg cut off at the upper thigh with a white stripe doesn’t look good on anyone. Also it looks like you went to the first-aid tent.


Is your skin the exact same color as the sand because you work in an office all year? Or has your dermatologist canceled all your appointments because you refuse to listen and now you know there’s like 10 moles that are pretty scary looking and you should probably cover up after all these years? Our whole-body suit comes in dozens of shades and includes footies, so no one will ever know.  Just a add a little blending makeup to your face and you’ll look like you’ve been on the beach all summer.

Review: 3 Stars
5 stars for sun protection and keeping the dermatologist happy. 1 star because if you swim, the sand gets stuck inside the suit, and the suit doesn’t breathe well. If you’re a woman you’ll have a yeasty after one wear.


Afraid to bend over and shake out your towel or pass out at water’s edge because you might get a wedgie?  Our “cocktail” suit is made to look like you’re just stepped away from a party. The material moves with you as you struggle to clean up your beach stuff after 2 bottles of prosecco or if you actually pass out. No more jokes about your hiney eating your suit – just a sophisticated outfit that says, “Yeah, I‘ve had kids and I like wine – fuck off.”

Review: 5 Stars



Y’all, I’ve Become a Christmas Meme
November 16, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , ,

After watching a Hallmark holiday movie complete with fake snow and a friendly, small town with one bitter man who needs saving, I stealthily crept up into the attic yesterday when Hubby wasn’t home. I was only up there to count how many of those cracker things we have that you put on the table (you know, they look like a wrapped toilet paper tube, and you pull the thingy in the middle and it pops?).  While I was up there I couldn’t help touching all the Christmas boxes, peeking into a few like a chocolate addict who just wants to smell what’s in the bag, but who’s not ready to commit to eating the entire bag until Yellowstone comes on.

It made me happy…and it made me start looking forward to Thanksgiving being over, which is insane because that’s also an awesome holiday for pure gluttony and wallowing in family drama.   

Then I went down an online rabbit hole looking for Bourbon advent calendars (they exist but OMG they’re expensive).  I almost bought more garland, but I realized I have no plan for decorating, and dammit, this year our house is not going to look like I get all my stuff from Goodwill.

Y’all, I’ve become a Christmas meme.   

But I’m not the only one thinking about decorating early. One of my friends decorates her modern-style home with a different theme each year. This year, she was really thinking ahead and decided she would use a lot of amaryllis flowers, and through a delivery fluke ended up with 80 bulbs. For those of you wo aren’t familiar with the amaryllis, they start as a large bulb about 2-5 inches wide. The stalks grow to about 3 feet tall, and they produce one or two beautiful, huge, Easter lily-looking flowers.

SHE HAS 80 OF THEM.

So, she artfully planted them around the house in every container that would work, including a sieve that rests on the sink.  In a few weeks they will be stunning – definitely a statement piece.

Right now, though, they look like containers full of green Shrek penises.  And the best part is that when we do video calls, they are sitting in a pot right next to her. A garden of penises that, once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  I laugh every time I see them because I’m 12 and super immature. 

I don’t have the balls…or bulbs…to make a statement like that.

I did have a Santa face toilet seat cover for a couple of years (thanks Deborah T!) that was a statement piece of sorts, albeit a disturbing one.

Bottom line – I try to remember it’s about who you spend the holidays with, not how the house looks. But if how your house looks brings you happiness, then by all means, do your thing. God bless those of you who can pull it off. I know I will never have an immaculate house with all-white furniture and decorations that will appear on Instagram. I love the tacky, miscellaneous ornaments and decorations we’ve collected over generations, including Hubby’s Romulan bird-of-prey that lights up.  

In light of all this pressure, I think I’ll stick with my theme of “I buy shit I like, fantasize about what it would look like in my fictional home that has no clutter or pets and all white furniture, then take it home and realize I live in a normal house and I’m not a theme person.”



Fuckitol – May Cause Leakage and a Third Eyeball
October 21, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all heard about how big data algorithms use everything you do to determine what ads you’ll see, from the kind of toothpaste you use to the kind of toothpaste your friends use. The purpose is to drive how you shop, travel and communicate. And yes, I turned off the tracker stuff on my phone.

So, if big data can target so specifically, can someone please explain to me why I have to sit through so many commercials for prescription drugs that don’t apply to me? How have mass communications platforms not embraced these algorithms? I don’t have psoriasis, I don’t have diabetes type 1 or 2, or any kind of cancer (knock on wood).  

But here are my real issues with these commercials:

First, they’re depressing and anxiety-inducing, reminding me of all the shitty diseases that I could get, while also preparing me for an amazing list of side effects that I could get from taking these drugs.  

Second, these are PRESCRIPTION drugs – who is the target audience?  If it is consumers so they can go to their doctor and say, “Hey, ugh, I was watching football last night and saw a commercial for Fuckitol – should I be taking that?” Um…if doctors didn’t originally prescribe these meds, but then are prescribing them because their patients are asking for them,  based on a commercial they saw, that is a very large ethical problem. Patients are now marketing to doctors on behalf of the drug industry. 

fuckitol

Also, if I was a doctor and doctors are in fact the target audience, I’d be pissed, seeing that stuff on my TV at night. There’s nothing I would want less than to come home from treating people and then be bombarded by commercials telling my patients to ask me about a drug I didn’t prescribe for them on purpose because it isn’t the right fit.

Third, these commercials contain a lot of Doctor-Speak and acronyms like “if your PGFD546 Cells are less than 40,” and other phrases that don’t mean anything to me because I haven’t recently been to an oncologist for that very specific, rare throat cancer they’re talking about. I suppose if you are the target audience you know what these mean, but for the rest of us it’s like being left out of a conversation, and now we have to go back to WebMD to do some research and lose an hour that we’ll never get back.    

And finally, who was dumb enough to take a prescription drug they know they are allergic to, so these commercials have to say OUT LOUD, “Do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to Fuckitol or its ingredients?” These people are the reason we need to stop labeling paint cans with “Do Not Eat.”

Now my fingers are tired, I’m anxious and annoyed.  I’m think I’m going to ask my doctor for that Fuckitol prescription I just saw.



Meerkat Shopping
September 18, 2021, 7:00 am
Filed under: shopping | Tags: , ,

Fall not only brings Pumpkin Spice Everything and Coffee Cooters; it also brings school shopping days. I miss those days of throwing pencils, pens, protractors, markers and binders into the cart like bread and milk when a snowstorm is coming. I also miss those days of trailing along behind Daughters 1 & 2 as they paraded through the mall, frowning and rolling their eyes at everything I pulled off the rack. One thing I learned from those excursions, though, is that there are three kinds of shoppers, and they’re all based on fear.

The Buckshot Shopper.  Daughter #1 spends hours browsing through each and every rack, touching, pinching and holding up every piece of clothing in the store. Buckshot Shoppers must see each opportunity for fashion excellence available and understand what that will look or feel like after purchase. When the time comes to select an item of clothing, there is much agonizing over which to choose: What if I buy the wrong one?  What if I missed something that would have been perfect? What if the other store has a better color?

Combo

Buckshot Shoppers cover all the bases by looking at and touching everything. Although this type of shopping may generally come from a place of FOMO (fear of missing out), there are advantages to being a Buckshot Shopper. These intrepid explorers find new styles they might not see online or by zeroing in on only one particular style or item. They find sales that others don’t see form the front of the store and have time to down their pumpkin spice Starbucks potions in a leisurely manner as they browse.

The Surgical Shopper. Daughter #2 begins her shopping journey knowing what she needs, knows it when she sees it, goes into the store or online to order it, and that’s that. The Surgical Shopper touches as few items as possible, most likely because they are either overwhelmed by the selection available or they lack the confidence to sift through all the options: What if I do all this and I still can’t find anything?  What if I can’t afford the thing I want?

surgical shopping

This fear is often couched as “I don’t have time for this crap,” or “I just know what I like.” There are advantages to being a Surgical Shopper, though. A lot of money is saved when you only buy what you know you need and when you don’t drink as many Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. The time a Surgical Shopper saves can be spent elsewhere.

Meerkat Shoppers can usually be found lingering outside store windows or even cupping their hands around their eyes as they browse from outside the store. Online they hit the same 5 -10 stores they know and like, but rarely venture outside that comfort zone. They also can be found silently watching other shoppers, judging their choices as they come out of the dressing room, weighing whether this or that would fit or look good on them, without having to touch anything. Meerkat Shoppers don’t require as much tactile feedback as Buckshot Shoppers, but they also don’t want to miss any obvious wins. Nor do they keep their focus as narrow as Surgical Shoppers, so they have a better chance of finding something new and out of their comfort zone.

meerkat

Meerkat Shoppers have a combination of the other Shoppers’ fears. They are afraid of missing out, so they watch Buckshot Shoppers as they go through the process (online, Meerkat Shoppers accomplish this by filtering by “Most Popular”). They lack the confidence of Buckshot Shoppers, and so are more Surgical when they finally do swoop in to make their purchases. On the plus side, Meerkat Shoppers often generate a sense of gratification from not making impulse buys and manage to stay somewhat current.

No matter what type of shopper you are, or what combination of these you might be, don’t shop from a place of fear.  Buy the things that make you happy, that you can afford, and that what won’t get you arrested.  You can always find me for more deep thoughts – I’ll be the one surreptitiously looking in the store window.




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