crazy / Pop Culture / Where I Live



Sometimes, there are those people who just need an extra eye. They may need a serious “varnishing.” In other words, everything they’ve got on, everything they’ve done to themselves, well, it’s just…wrong, so they’re desperately in need of an opinion and some shine (although they may not realize, let alone appreciate, any of it).

Listen, I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination. My fashion sensibilities start on Sunday with a pair of loose-fitting jeans (I hate how skinny jeans feel on, like circulation-suction happening all around my legs), plain tee, and sneakers, and then end the workweek with some cheapo dress I got on the clearance’s extra-clearance rack at some JC Penney/Kohl’s knockoff.

I could also change some other things about my fashion sense. I mean, I could use some “varnishing” here and there. My worst habit is biting my nails, so a manicurist would be awfully stumped as to how she/he could possibly (and actually) varnish what’s left of my nails…Cuticles and roots, really. I remember once, when I was performing in a play, the makeup lady — she of the most gorgeously fancified nails and sour toad-pout — gasped when she saw my nails and grabbed my hands to give the stubby, gnawed bits a serious once-over. She then gave me that sort of disapproving look that only grandmothers really perfect well and said, “What man’s gonna want you with nails like that?”

To which I replied, “If some guy’s looking at my nails before anything else, he’s probably not a man I’d be interested in in the first place.”


So anyway, yeah, I could use a little varnishing myself, but the overall picture, while plain, isn’t bad enough to warrant a grimace…at least I don’t think.

Going back to the topic of discussion though, there still are some people around who evoke a bit of a grimace, and of course, I wish I didn’t have that judgy-judgy bitch in me, but c’mon, eyesores…I mean, EYESORES. It’s time for a SERIOUS varnishing.

Take, for example, the dark-haired beauty a friend of mine and I saw at the sushi bar the other evening. The woman, probably in her late 40’s-early 50’s, had glowing, Mediterranean skin and lush locks that had been stylishly pulled back in a loose ponytail. She exuded local rich-woman confidence with her easy stride into the restaurant (her high, buckled, black motorcycle boots only added to that effect). There was just one, glaring error that gave me pain in my side. Really. I had a pain in my side just looking at her. She, like all the richie-rich fashionistas in town, had fallen prey to youth culture trendsetters (I blame the twits of the Real Housewives on Bravo for bringing out the worst of that sort).


This woman had made an awful choice in ultra-short, cowl-necked sweater dress-over-black-tights ensemble (though I was digging her boots). She just didn’t fit in the dress, something that had been so obviously designed with teenage and college-aged girls in mind. It was slim-fitting, but it had been stretched to the point of surrender because the woman just didn’t have the slight build the sweater dress was specifically designed to hold. Her figure, a comfortable pear-shape, just didn’t suit whatsoever.

Well…I suppose she wore the hell out of it like she owned it (and it was more than evident she did), so I guess who am I to say she needed varnishing? What do I know, what with my stubby nails?


That’s not to say the younger crowd, in all of their trendsetting, isn’t in need of a serious varnishing. The saggy jeans-over-boxers bunch are everywhere on my campus.  Shiny gold grills, too (got a girl right now in my early class who can’t even enunciate around hers).

Speaking of Grill Girl’s class, there’s a woman about my age who sits in the front, a pleasant, jittery type (I think she’s over-caffeinated with her Trenta iced coffees, but she’s a self-diagnoser who insists ADHD) who, probably because she sits in the front where I can see her clearly, seems in desperate need of varnishing. On Thursday, she’d painted on her usual dark-lipliner/lighter-lipstick combo. She wore a huge, shapeless grey sweater with a giant, sparkling, silver-studded cross on the front. Her boyfriend jeans had been rolled and cuffed carefully all the way up past her knees, Huckleberry Finn-style. To complete the odd ensemble, she had on black nylon socks pulled up over her shins and black slouchy booties to top them off. I fought the urge to voice my opinion that I’d hoped her writing was just as unique as her costume (it was a costume, right?)…


Varnishing. Needed. End of.

 (Thanks to the fantastic bloggers at Not Behind You and their hilarious response to the first episode of The Real Housewives of NYC for the inspiration here.)






Daily Post Topic Du Jour: Morphing.

11 thoughts on “Varnishing

  1. A guy who wears trucker hats and Clash tee-shirts aren’t gonna be throwing fashion advice at anybody but I also see people at times and wonder what exactly they were thinking before they left the house that morning. Some people don’t need a varnishing so much as a brain transplant. It’s always sad to see somebody wearing an outfit or something clearly meant for somebody about twenty years younger or two or three kids ago. And plain? Not you. Not in that vicinity, kiddo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YOU CRACK ME UP! It’s so true, though… I hate to let my superficial snarky shine, but get ye to a mirror, PEOPLE! Sadly, I must admit, I, too, am a fellow nail biter and was also told in my youth, “No man will want you with those nails.” Well, watch me cry into my Clearly Canadian. I give not two shits about a dude who can’t look past a hangnail. Additionally, I often move into a space my, um, partner(?), co-parenter(?), other half of the person I’m uncoupling with(?) calls “writer mode.” This is when I’m ferociously working on something or other and am too deep in thought to bother showering, changing clothes, or grooming myself to a point where I’d actually leave the house. Compared to my “writer mode” look, rich socialite would likely win best dressed at her country club. Not the best analogy -she *might* win it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

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