Which is why you should just strive to be unhappy. There’s a reason “shooting the moon” is a winning hand. Duh. More wise (ahem) words from Lululemon below.
Dear Chip Wilson,
Can I call you Chipper? ‘Cause I really want to. It sounds so cute – reminds me of Chipmunks. And wood chippers. But not necessarily together because that would be as gross as that sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth on a bearskin rug. You remember that sculpture, Chipper? I mean, who could forget that? Some things you just can’t unsee. Anyhow, that was a few years ago – about the same time as I bought my first pair of Lululemon yoga pants. Which is cool since you’re the co-founder of that company and all.
I should probably admit first that I bought the pants second-hand in a thrift store because I can’t afford $90 lounge pants, even if they do make my butt look amazing (which they actually don’t, more on that later). And so I paid less attention to the logo and hence your company than I probably should have. Which, really, Chipper, was my mistake. Because you guys have the awesomest – may I add wackiest? – start-up story I’ve ever heard:
Stylin’ at the start line!
Ever had a super annoying running partner*? There’s The Perma-Injured – the person who always has something wrong with him/her, whether it be fallen arches or a sore knee or a blocked aura or whatever. New day, new injury. Then there’s The Whiner – the one who complains about the weather, his shoes, the TV programming, her husband and the chia seeds stuck in their teeth. Don’t forget The Competitor – the guy or girl who is always trying to stay two steps ahead of you, elbowing you off the sidewalk, telling you all their past race times or otherwise letting you know how much you suck at running. Oh and my personal favorite, The Hip Magnet – the fellow runner who apparently has a magnet in their hip that makes them run so close to you that if you were in a tampon ad you’d be holding hands and braiding daisy chains. No matter how many ninja moves you do to try and regain your personal space they will inexorably be drawn back to your side. If you’re lucky they’ll offer you a piggy back.
“Oh it’s not about the hamburger, buddy! Don’t you “just hamburger” me! That is just a hamburger like Elmo is just a furry toy with a stick up its butt! These things, they mean… other things! (And lead to lawsuits, in the case of Elmo.)” My breathing got faster as my hands tightened into fists. “That is just one more symbol of your misogynistic subconscious oppression of women! You might as well say you like your ladies dry aged like an angus and then served with a side of chips. Or maybe you’d just like us to be muppets too? So you can control our every move by sticking your hand… (ack, bad analogy detour! Rerouting…) We’re PEOPLE! With real human NEEDS! And I will certainly NEVER go on a date with you!!” I emphasized my point with a jab of my mascara wand… which hit the mirror in front of me. The black smudge brought me back to reality, a.k.a. the reality that I now had the extra chore of cleaning my mirror (they don’t call it waterproof for nothing!) and that the only person listening to my half-formed arguments was my cat. Who had been licking her butt for ten straight minutes. (Seriously how many hours a day do cats spend licking their butts? And then she wants to lip kiss me? I think not.)
Game night at our house always opens up some interesting conversation. (“Mommy? Why is there a candlestick in Clue? How do you kill someone with a candlestick?!) And tonight was no exception. We were playing “Whoonuu?” with some friends and in case you’ve never experienced the tiddlywink awesomeness of it all, the point of the game is to guess the other players’ favorite and least favorite things from a given list. The better you are at guessing your friends’ preferences, the more you win. So imagine my surprise when it came my turn and a friend gave me a card that said “working out”… for my least favorite thing.
“Wait, what?” I looked at the card wondering if I’d read it wrong. “I love working out! I do it almost every day!”
“Well, yeah, but you can do something every day and still hate it,” she explained.
“True, but kickboxing isn’t cleaning toilets. Exercise is my job, my entertainment, my passion!”
“But…” As I looked at her crestfallen face, I suddenly remembered that for some people exercise is exactly as fun as cleaning toilets. (And for those of you now wondering why I’m cleaning toilets every day: three boys, bad aim.)
Today I came across a picture in a magazine of a model wearing these pants:
All I could think was Holy Menstrual Explosion! Aren’t white pants with red splotches all over the crotch a woman’s worst nightmare? The funny part is that they were designed by fellow possessor-of-lady-bits Stella McCartney so we can’t chalk it up to a lack of understanding of female biology. (At the very least they could have made them blue – like the innocuous not-blood used in tampon commercials, right?) And yet while these bloody bloomers are one of the more egregious examples of bad fitness clothing they’re certainly not the only offender.
Snapping a hole in the butt of my capris with a jump rope. Triumphantly pressing a heavy bar overhead, only to have my bra go north with it. Accidentally kicking my shoe across the room during a kickboxing class. Doing a headstand in a loose t-shirt only to be blinded and then hog-tied by said shirt as I thrashed around trying get out, cover up and not land on any passerby – in that order. I think we can all agree I’ve had more than my fair share of gym wardrobe malfunctions. (We won’t even talk about all the torn shirts, peekaboo bras, rogue nipples, inadvertent moonings and split crotch seams I’ve witnessed – I think I’ve embarrassed all my gym buddies enough for one lifetime.) And I think we can also all agree that the majority of them were definitely my fault. But there are some – like the sports bra incident – which were caused by ill-fitting or poorly designed clothes.
If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s pretty awesome.
Eyes! EYES! Nose! NOSE! Ears! EARS!
The roar of teenage girls filled the small room at my church last night as we ended our seminar on self-defense. I wish I could say that their roar was defiant, strong, a unified cacophony of empowered (pre) women. But that’s a lot to expect from young girls who’ve just had a lesson on a very uncomfortable subject that skirted all the uncomfortable parts. There was a lot of giggling, play fighting, teasing, bluster and, to my chagrin, very little questioning.
The teacher, a 4th degree black belt from a local martial arts studio, did a great job in the limited amount of time he had. One hour is a pitifully small amount of time to cover something with the implications to be so life changing. (But one hour is better than nothing, yes?) He was better than most I’ve seen. He was smart, funny, and gave some great tips for physically defending oneself. But as I stood back and watched – my eyes less on the teacher and more on the faces of the girls watching, scanning them for any sign of panic or shutting down (there’s usually one set of eyes in every group that looks a little too cynical or a little too wise) – I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It was your standard self-defense for women class. And that’s a shame.
From the oddly choreographed Dawn of the Industrial Age dance number (as interpreted by mimes) to the Spice Girls reunion, complete with Posh robot (why on earth is she still singing? Stick with designing absolutely adorable dresses!) and all the leaps, be-grilled Lochtes, butt smacks, Gold-Medal Gabbys, Usain Bolt hilarity and scandals in between (you did hear about them playing the Borat version of the Kazakh nation anthem, yes? Real life, better than movies!), this year I was glued to the Olympics. Gymnastics has always enthralled me but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gained an appreciation for swimming (Phelps helped, not gonna lie), soccer, pole vaulting and the 4×100 relay. But the one sport I still can’t get into? Beach volleyball. And it isn’t because I don’t appreciate the amazing athleticism and sisterhood of Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh. I’m just tired of hearing about their bodies, that’s all.
It’s tourist season at the gym! And let me be the first to say that I love a lot of things about the first of the year New Resolution-ers. So much energy! So much enthusiasm! So much more laughter about the bizarre rules the Gym Buddies and I use to play basketball! (Laughing with us or at us? Considering we made Gym Buddy Allison do a personalized cheer that spelled out each of our names with her body when she lost, let’s go with both.) Truly I’m happy that more people are at the gym and working out. But. But like any good thing there are growing pains and sometimes it’s just better to get it off your chest, right?
A first for me at the gym: I actually got off my treadmill and moved to another one because of the person next to me.
“Sport in school is the worst thing you can possibly inflict on children, particularly girls who are going through puberty and are necessarily self-conscious, often in pain and often vulnerable. Rather than being promoted as life-enhancing, health-giving and a fun way of giving you a fantastic body, sport is turned by school, and the frankly pervy gym mistresses who police it with really loud whistles, into an assault course to be avoided at all costs.”
So says the ever-controversial (pervy gym mistresses? You went there? Really??) Liz Jones in the Daily Mail. (In an article criticizing a British sports star for being “too sinewy” with “breasts like slabs in a sea of testosterone”, no less.)
The thing is, for a long time I would have heartily agreed with her. Man I hated gym class.
Every society has its own coming-of-age challenge that adolescents of that culture must pass before being accepted as adults. Some African societies force feed adolescent girls to fatten them up for marriage. To progress to manhood in the Amazon’s Satere Mawé tribe you have to wear gloves filled with stinging ants – ants whose sting is 30 times more painful than a wasp’s – for 20 minutes. American children have Middle School.
On Monday a farmer in Northern Ireland, upon meeting the international pop star Rihanna, did what I imagine very few red-blooded men would: he publicly admitted to not knowing who Rihanna is. Okay, that’s true, but my great uncles would probably all say the same. No, his real shocker was kicking Rihanna out of his grain field where she was filming a music video. Her crime? Looking too sexy. Alderman* Alan Graham explained that when he saw the singer strip down to a red bikini top and jeans he “felt things were getting inappropriate.” He added, “I had my conversation with Rihanna and I hope she understands where I’m coming from. We shook hands.” And the hand shake makes three things most men would never do if they met Rihanna.