I had a rather strange and upsetting weekend, which I am not going to talk about except to say that my role as School Council/ Parent Association Chair is priming me for a career in diplomatic relations. Or perhaps, given my experiences of this weekend, I can now apply for a job as a very, very low-stakes hostage negotiator. In any event, I had moments of maybe I should quit this ridiculous job, which was echoed by my husband's view of when are you going to quit this ridiculous job? My zen state was severely tested, although I think the situation has now, happily, been resolved, even though the process made me feel simultaneously wrung out and irritated that something so unimportant could take so much time and energy. OM SHANTI.
My zen state was also severely tested by all the swearing in my house this weekend. Football, you know. Saturday was fine but the Sunday games left a blue cloud in the living room: Seattle "shit the bed" and the officiating in the Patriots/Texans game was "fucking moronic". However, the Pats came out on top, which made my husband happy; I was less so when I realized that we were watching the Patriots' "Fifth Quarter" when I could have been watching the Golden Globes. Instead of looking at all the fashion, I was wondering how heavy Vince Wilfork's Mr. T-style chains were, and if I put them on would I tip over, and also what's with the hat? In any case, at some point my husband took pity on me and changed the channel.
I'm no Tom and Lorenzo, but I do enjoy fashion, which is the only reason, save entertaining hosts, (shout-out, Tina and Amy!) that I watch awards shows. Frankly, I couldn't care less who wins or loses or what their speeches are like. I'm into it for the dresses! And the Botox-spotting, which is always kind of fun in a disturbing, schadenfrude-ish sort of way.
A few years ago I wrote about Sophia Loren and her terrible, terrible plastic surgery, and in response one of my girlfriends said that reruns must be hell for actresses: the constant reminder of what one used to look like. That comment stuck with me. If my face was my fortune - which it most emphatically is not - it would be very difficult to see the ravages of time on it. As it is, I have a hard enough time looking at this recent picture of myself:
Forehead wrinkles and undereye circles! Granted, this picture was taken mere days after my bout with Norwalk, and a number of sleepless nights due to my children's bouts with Norwalk, but still. It's hard for me to look at, and I'm not exactly a world-renowned beauty.
These days, most actresses are beautiful. There isn't much room for "character" actresses anymore; there is so much pressure to be beautiful and physically perfect. I can understand, then, the impetus for surgical options; I don't condone it, and I think that such unnatural interventions just look...unnatural and strange at best, but I can understand why an actress would start reviewing her options in her mid-to-late thirties. Roles start to dry up with the drying up of the reproductive years. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if one's career and livelihood depends on looking younger, thinner, sexier, more gorgeous than the competition, well, then, one must do what one must do. It's a sad testament to our appearance-obsessed culture, but it's a reality.
I came across this old picture of me, circa 1995, getting ready (i.e., drunk) to go out dancing with girlfriends:
Hoo boy! I had a rack back then. Even though I appear to be wearing very high waisted jeans, my perkiness is still pretty obvious. If a perky rack and smooth, youthful skin was my livelihood, you can bet that I would be pretty depressed looking into the mirror these days, what with my deflated bosum and my grey roots and the horizontal lines permanently etched into my forehead, not to mention the network of fine lines around my eyes. However, it's not, and I'm not, but that's not to say I don't understand the angst that must drive women - and men too; I'm talking to YOU, Kenny Rogers and Sylvester Stallone - to the surgeon's office. It's sad, is all I'm saying.
Speaking of perky racks, I noticed a definite trend last night; that of the deeply plunging neckline. Can we all agree that this is just not a good look? I also recognize that it's important to MAKE A STATEMENT, but if that statement is "I have lots of double-sided tape and also I better not sneeze", then I'm not sure that's the one you want to make. For example:
This would be such a cute look and dress, were it not for the neckline. The neckline brings it down from glamorous and classy to kind of trashy and slutty. See also: Sally Field.
Sally, I love you, and I think this dress is gorgeous - EXCEPT FOR THE NECKLINE. As my grandma would say, "I think you need a pin, dear. Or maybe a nice brooch."
Now, Jennifer Lopez is beautiful, and she has a va-va-voom figure, but I really dislike these kinds of dresses, the "nude without being nude" genre. They remind me a) of figure skating outfits, and b) nylon nighties of the type found in the Sears catalogue.
I don't think I'm a prude - after all, on the beach I wear tiny little bikinis that, borrowing a phrase from Laurie in Little Women, "reveals a whole new Nicole", but I think two of the loveliest dresses of the evening were those worn by Adele and by Julianne Moore:
Stunning, am I right? And no double-sided tape required! No fear of a wardrobe malfunction, just plain loveliness.