Random Thoughts: The Valentine’s Day Edition

I know today is polarizing. I hated it for many years, and wore black.

Okay, so I wore black a lot anyway. I just made sure to make a point that I was wearing black on Valentine’s Day.

And then Dan took the sting out of the day for me a little bit.

Much like Halloween, a holiday I am not fond of celebrating as an adult, I now enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day again, especially with my family. And we celebrate simply, mind you, not extravagantly.

If Dan wants to give me diamond earrings, he knows when my birthday is. Ahem.

Valentine’s Day falls at a weird time for us, which is another reason for the simplicity. We have November, December, and January birthdays (two of those last, ahem), plus Christmas is thrown in there, and then Dan’s birthday is in another month.

This morning, my kids opened cards and little gifts wrapped in red paper (lip gloss and socks with heart patterns for the girls, board books for the boy). In their classrooms, they gave out little gift bags with teeny toys and a candy treat. My girls bought Dan an Angry Birds t-shirt and bought me… a pair of shoes.

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Yeah, so, my children bought me shoes. These shoes, only in hot pink. Because when we were shopping in Target, we walked past them, and I exclaimed over them.

I mean, they’re hot, right?

Of course, now I need a dress and some accessories to go with them. I hope my husband’s buying me a shopping spree.

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Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day, or wear black? What the heck am I going to wear with those shoes?

What a Mom Looks Like

The other day, Dan made a crack about the outfit I was wearing. He didn’t mean to be mean, but it made me cranky.

I’m a little self conscious sometimes about what I wear. It’s a combination of a lot of things:

1. Dressing for comfort: While there is nothing wrong with dressing for comfort, it doesn’t necessarily mean dressing well. On the weekends, I can rock the jeans and a hoodie, but it’s very easy to get in a rut. I find myself Saturday after Saturday in the same damn outfit (unless I’m going out socially, not just running to Target with the passel of children I’ve produced). For the record, it’s usually a Steelers hoodie with jeans and a white tee shirt. Ballet flats if it’s dry; wellies if it’s not.

I don’t like ruts.

2. Buying clothes. I’ve talked about it before: I don’t shop often, and I often don’t shop well. I’m trying to get better. I’m trying not to just buy things that are “close enough” to fitting me. Because those clothes look the absolute worst on me once I’ve got them home. Especially pants. The crack Dan made was about a new pair of black pants I had bought. When I combine them with my black boots, they end up looking like jodhpurs. All I need is a horse. It’s awful.

Now that I think about it, these pants look terrible with almost everything I’ve paired them with. Why did I buy these again? Oh, right, needed new black pants. They weren’t expensive, and they were “close enough”. See where that gets me?

3. Dressing for comfort at work. My workplace is business casual; Fridays are jeans day. Some days I just don’t feel like putting in an effort, so I end up in comfortable clothing that fits business casual, but doesn’t really look all that good or fashionable. For example, I have a very pretty sweater in pastel colors (and, no, I’m generally not a pastel kind of girl, but it was a gift). The cut is wrong for me, though, much too boxy. I threw it on one morning with my white denim pants. It was a perfectly acceptable outfit, and I got many a compliment on the sweater.

However, I did not like the outfit. It *felt* good — i.e. it was comfortable — but I seriously did not like my image in the mirror.

I looked like a mom.

Now, before moms go nuclear on me: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LOOKING LIKE A MOM. I *am* a mom (something Dan pointed out to me when I took him to task for his crack about going riding the other day), but that doesn’t mean I want to fit the image of a mom all the time.

Maybe I’ve watched too much What Not to Wear.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to look like a MILF (er, MSWLF where SW = “someone would”?) or shop in the junior department. (Dad, please, *please* do not google MILF). But I also don’t want to be looked at and dismissed as a mom because of my clothes. (If I am looked at and dismissed as a mom because I’m wrangling my children in public, that’s more understandable.) I want to look well-dressed and put together, not like I’m either coming straight from the runway or I’ve escaped from my house by the skin of my teeth (even if the latter sometimes feels true). I also truly believe that you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort or vice versa. But it takes work to find the balance.

This is one of my favorite new comfortable, stylish (I think) outfits. I better go find some more like it, otherwise, I’m just going to wear this all the time. I seriously love it. I look good and I feel comfortable — and I feel that I look good. That’s the best part.

How do you dress? What’s more important, style or comfort? Are they mutually exclusive, or do I just have to do more legwork? So to speak.

Random Thoughts: Scatterbrain

I had a couple of hours to myself on Sunday, and stopped by my Department Store of Choice to pick up a couple of things for fall.

Apparently color is out for women this season. Almost everything was black, white, or gray, or, alternatively, brown, khaki, and tan. Ugh. I managed to find a couple of pieces I liked, and the prices were good.

Dear Women’s Fashion People: Please bring back color. (Argyle sweaters notwithstanding.) Thank you. Love, RPM

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Warning: Political Content Ahead

If one thing has been infuriating me lately, it’s all the brou-ha-ha about President Obama’s address to school children today.

He is our President, people. You don’t tell your children that they don’t have to listen to and/or respect their President. You don’t react out of fear and call it protecting your kids from indoctrination. It’s ignorance, plain and simple. What are you teaching your children?

Rational political discussion in this country has flown out the window. Please bring back reasoned discourse. Please bring back critical thinking. Understand that changing your mind isn’t a weakness — it’s a sign that you’ve done the work to be educated.

I know if you’re reading this, I’m probably just preaching to the choir. So forward it; or link to it; or link to some of the other links I have here. It’s time that we stood up to the niche voices (right and left) and said, “Be reasonable. Stop the hate. Stop the doubt. Get educated.”

Here is of my favorite place to get balanced information about politics: Politifact.com. They bring much-needed humor, clarity, and balance to the debate on both sides. For information about the health insurance reform debate, I’ve been checking out Slate’s page of links. I like to know what the REAL arguments against reform are. All-in-all, I still think we need a major change, but I can see the reasonableness of many conservative debates here.

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Finally, on a lighter note, ‘Burgh bloggers were asked by Podcamp Pittsburgh to talk about a local business using social media effectively. I point you to Uncle Crappy who talked about Chris Dilla of Bocktown Beer and Grill, one of my favorite local places to have a microbrew and fries. I will let his words speak for me, too.

Because I’m lazy busy.