I’m sick of the right to bare arms

It’s the holiday season, so I thought it would be nice to have a new dress for Christmas and other holiday occasions. Fast forward several shopping hours later to find me frustrated, with about two suitable dresses from which to choose. Buying a nice dress should be easy right? This time of year every store, catalog and online shop have a plethora of dresses, with great prices and free shipping. The problem? The majority of the dressy dress choices are sleeveless. Sleeveless. For winter wear. When over half the country is covered in cold, wintry weather, and the warm locales are shivering in their air conditioning. Who started this nonsense? Of course, I blame Michelle Obama.

Media folks began noticing Mrs. Obama’s arms during the presidential campaign, but really took off following them after her husband, what’s his name, became

Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

president. Forget about important issues like healthcare, unemployment, and terrorism – what kind of sleeveless dress is Michelle wearing today that shows off her extremely toned arms?  Fashion and fashion icons followed in kind, and now we see just about everyone prominent in the media wearing sleeveless. Morning talk show hosts, the Weather Channel people, even local news folks sometimes, and of course, that annoying combo of Kathie Lee and Hoda. Granted, many of these sleeveless folks have lovely arms, almost as nice as Michelle’s. But, hey, it’s winter. I spend about 80% of my life being too cold, even in pleasant weather, and I’m not going to deliberately worsen this by wearing sleeveless dresses in winter. It’s time for we goose-bumpled women to speak up to the fashion industry. We want sleeves! No more sleeveless-only choices. Speak up America.

© 2013 Huffygirl

Related link: Michelle Obama’s Arms





Christmas shopping = bah humbug

Shopping mall

I’m slogging through the mall, dragging a shopping bag on the ground, and wondering when I turned into a one-hundred-year-old fuddy-duddy. I haven’t been to the mall in months, and I’m surprised to see that the mall has changed, and not for the better.

In my absence, my mall has been transformed into a theme park shopping palace, designed to delight any thirteen to twenty-two-year-old. And I’m clearly not one of them. The delighted ones. Stores I used to know and love I no longer recognize. Victoria’s Secret was once a store I could stroll into and buy an ordinary bra. No longer. Since my last trip to VS, the store has been enlarged into a superstore filled with scraps of lace formerly known as women’s undergarments. A stripper’s paradise. The Home Depot of lingerie. As I wander deeper and deeper into the stripper’s lair, a clearly bored, eighteen-year-old  clerk whips by saying, “Hi, how are you?” without even making eye contact, clearly not wanting to wait on someone as ancient as… her own mother.

Leaving that nightmare behind, I head to J.C. Penney, a store that formerly had clothes for people like me. But J.C. Penney has been transformed into JCP, a stylized combination of The Gap and Banana Republic, or in other words, any store that appeals to the thirteen to twenty-two-year-old demographic. But hope springs eternal, so I head to the men’s  jeans department, hoping to find jeans for Best Husband for Christmas. But this is not my momma’s jeans department, nor is it my husband’s either. The wall shelves of cubbies of sensible jeans has been replaced by an array of counters with every imaginable version of jeans spread out upon them, all of them with mysterious names, and most labeled “sits below waist.” A veritable cornucopia of jeans for skinny twenty-year-old guys. So  where were the jeans for ordinary men? What I wanted was something between the mom jeans that Obama wore in his first term, and the pre-worn-out, acid-washed, pre-wrinkled skinny low waists that populated the jeans counters. And what’s with the bar stools and counters anyway? “I’ll have a venti mom jean with a side of acid-washed boot cut please.”

I leave the jeans department shaken, but not stirred, and stop at the makeup counter on my way out. I just need a simple mascara, and maybe some eye

Bobbi Brown

shadow. I’m pretty sure they can’t have changed makeup enough that it no longer fits middle-aged women. But a rabid Christmas shopper with a fistful of coupons wriggles into my place in line. Turns out she wants to pay for a sweater, and circumvent the line in the clothing department. She makes the makeup counter clerk try each coupon until she finds the one with the best discount. By the time this transaction is completed, the makeup clerk and I have both clearly run out of patience.

Now, it’s back into the mall and back to my Sisyphean task of dragging my bag along the shiny tile floor. Word to the wise: if you’re short, don’t ever buy anything at a mall that requires a big bag, or you too will be forced to endure my fate, of dragging a bag along the floor while wondering when you became an anachronism.

© Huffygirl 2012

Old favorites

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday. Today I’m taking the day off from blogging to clean up at home after a great week with family here. So if you’re looking for a blog to read today, try some of my old favorites. 

Feeling like you need to work off some of the Thanksgiving calories? Check out my series on how to exercise at home. (Category: exercise and fitness)

Wondering if you ate too much of the wrong foods? Check out my blogs on America’s love affair with food.(Category: Health and Wellness)

Wishing you hadn’t overindulged? Maybe you need Fencester.  (Category: Satire Friday – Invisible Fence)

Of just feeling like you need a good laugh? Check out the Satire Friday category.

Christmas shopping? How about a heart rate monitor? (Category: HuffyHow – How to buy a heart rate monitor)

Spent too much time in the kitchen? Try Kitchen nirvana (Category: Satire Friday)

Happy reading and look for  new posts this coming week. 

© The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Making the world a better place for women


If you could invent anything, what would it be?

I’ve been waiting for this forever, and I’m pretty sure that no one is ever going to invent it. My invention is a universal clothing sizer for women. Anyone who manufactures clothing to be sold in the USA would be required to use the universal sizer. The sizer is a combination size chart and templates that would be used to create clothing in each size. So if a manufacturer was making women’s pants, size 10, they would get out the size 10 template to cut and sew the garments. The result would be that size 10 pants all have the same length, waist and hip whether they were sold by Ann Taylor or Wal-Mart. This would put an end to each company having it’s silly sizing and fit system (“Oh, you need the Mercer fit, or the Judy fit…”)

Why do I think no one will ever invent this? High end clothiers would no longer be able to attract customers by making them think they are smaller than they are, by making their sizes oversized. Low end clothiers would no longer be able to save money by making every size a little smaller and shorter than their competitors. And the clothing industry would no longer be able to jerk women around by making them try everything on in every store because everyone’s sizes are different. Essentially, universal sizing would make the women’s clothing industry like…men’s. Yes, we women could finally say to our sweetie, “Hey would you pick me up a size 10 dress while you’re at the mall?” and “Cathy” would no longer have to agonize over buying a swimsuit every year!

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The assignment: If you could invent anything, what would it be?

© The author and Huffygirl’s Blog, 2010 to 3010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and Huffygirl’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Search for a Warm Coat

Cover of "Nanook of the North (Criterion ...

Cover via Amazon

It happens every year about this time. We get a spate of cool weather, I find myself caught outside unprepared, and this spurs my annual quest – the search for a warm coat. Now before you think, “How silly, there’s a gazillion warm coats to choose from out there,” you have to know what is warm for most people is not warm enough for me. I’m the person that everyone in the office hates, because I sneak the thermostat up when no one else is looking. I gave up on buying electric blankets years ago, because none of them had a setting that was one click under “electrocute.” I bring two sweaters to work every day. I wear gloves if it’s less than 60 degrees. Yes, I’m THAT person, and I’m trying to find a coat warm enough for me. To complicate the matter, I’m short so I have to find a coat among the limited selection that’s available in petite sizes, but that’s a pet peeve to discuss at another time. 

So, I head for Macy’s. Don’t know why – I know from experience that there is no sense looking for a stylish-looking coat. The coat that is almost warm enough for me is never stylish – always utilitarian, bulky and unattractive. The nearly warm enough coat makes one look like a cross between the Michelin man and Nanook of the north. But, hope springs eternal, so I head to the coat department. There are all sorts of coats in the usual brands – DKNY, Calvin Klein, London Fog, etc. I try on and reject coat after coat – none of them are petite sizes, so the sleeves are too long, and the collars come up over my ears. My arms aren’t long enough to reach the pockets, and the zippers end up in an awkward spot.  There is no way I can wear any of these coats. So I head for the petite department, where there is exactly…one coat. Really, one coat to choose from. It’s an off brand; the fabric is cheap, the zipper is a struggle to zip, so it’s a no go.

So now I’ll begin the online search for a coat, always a pain which involves ordering and returning at least half a dozen coats. The lady at the post office knows me by name. “Sending back another one” she always says.” Yes, I singlehandedly keep the post office in business.

Coming up: the online search begins.