The two things I really spend money on are clothes and make up. Everything else, I will buy generic. My hair products, my food, my jewelry; even my bed cost 80 bucks at Ikea.
But there’s one object in my life I’ve always wanted to be nice but could never afford: towels.
One day, I was at my friend’s house for a bridal shower and and the guest of honor opens up her gift of expensive fluffy towels. I exclaim: “Wow. I want an expensive pair of towels.”
Well, my lovely friend’s mom overhears me and, that year for graduation, she buys me a nice, big, fluffy bath towel. I could not have been more pleased.
But isn’t there more to life than a towel that dries you off without leaving fur all over your skin? Yes. There are also hand towels and wash cloths.
Today, I got my very own set of big, fluffy, 100% Organic Cotton towels. How, you ask? As you are poor and have no money. From my bank’s reward program.
That’s right, kids. I’m a big girl now.
What do you have expensive tastes for?
I love going to concerts, really because I have a strong passion for music. However, I am always the girl in the back, swaying side to side, enjoying the music from a distance. And honestly, it’s because I’m scared of those crazy people that launch themselves on top of a crowd. What are they thinking? What if they get dropped? What happens when you get to the front of the crowd? What happens to the poor people that they kick in the head from their stupidity?
Well, dear SmartFem readers. I did it. I mean, I didn’t crowd surf – hell to the no – but I did partake in the Mosh Pit. Now, it wasn’t like a Gwar or Metallica Mosh Pit. It was Panic! at the Disco. You would think their fans wouldn’t be that crazy, right?
Panic! at the Disco fans are insane! And the number one reason is because most of them are preteen girls. Or the kind of guys that like them enough to go to their concert AND be in their Mosh Pit. Ehem. Crazy.
And those preteen girls I do not understand. I mean, I was in the Mosh Pit, so I was going to have fun and enjoy the crap out of that Mosh Pit. But the girls that were in front of us, who had the big black cannot-drink X on their hands, were not enjoying it. We eventually made our way in front of them and they got so angry at us. It’s a Mosh Pit ladies, go with the flow.
My feeling of “let’s rock this!” didn’t last for very long, I’m saddened to say. During the second opening band, the crowd was already swaying hard enough to where I thought I was going to fall over twice. And my friend who made me go to the front forced me to stay there. Thankfully.
Because it was one of the funnest experiences. Ever. I got to be one of those people who carried the crowd surfer to the front (which, by the way, the bouncer helps them down and then escorts them to the side of the crowd to get back into that Mosh Pit). I got to be the friend of the girl who almost got into a fight because some douche bag moved past the term “thrashing” into the term “abusing.” I got to be one of those who was one person away from touching the sexiest lead singer that the world has ever seen. I got to be that girl who danced her heart out with 200 other fans.
Sometimes I forget what it’s like to actually experience things. I am more of the stand-back-and-observe-and-write-about-it girl. Last night I got to be the one who lived through all of the good and bad things about truly experiencing a rock concert. I mean, you have to do everything at least once.
Once was enough for me.
The one thing better than experimenting with your make up personality is shopping for make up. When you walk in, there’s the smell of perfume and the multiple colors of eye shadow lined up in rainbow order. The consultants walk up and ask if you’d like a free makeover. There are hair dyes and body lotions and face powders and blush brushes of every shape and size. There are tons of stores out there designed solely for the make up lovers delight. Whether they’re online, your neighbor, or a car ride away, make up stores allow expert advice and a variety of face-designing options.
Sephora – Urban Decay and Too Faced and M|A|C, oh my! This is my personal favorite make up store. While it is very easy to drop $100 over three 5-ounce eyes shadows and a thing of blush, they have a reward-points card. Even on just a $60 dollar purchase, they throw in a medium sized, deliciously flavored body wash. What more can a girl ask for than awesome products and free rewards?!
Ulta – While they do carry your quality and not-so-expensive brands, Ulta also has a bigger variety of products that the pharmacies. If there’s a hair product you need to keep your hair curly throughout the entire day but you can only afford $10, they will have that Garnier or Aussie product.
Sally’s Beauty Supply – I’ve always thought of Sally’s as the “cool punk girl that you want to be but don’t have the guts to” of beauty supply stores. There are crazy hair color dyes and flat irons with chic designs. It’s a great place to go when you’re looking for an offbeat make up brand and style.
Mary Kay – When in need of a natural and cultured look, head to your nearest Mary Kay beauty consultant. They keep most of their make up and other products classy and sophisticated, yet affordable with good quality. Not only that, but I have had friends as beauty consultants and it’s a great company to work for. Support your local entrepreneurs.
Walgreen’s – Don’t be fooled by this neighborhood – er – national pharmacy. Just because they have the less expensive brands, doesn’t mean their beauty consultants don’t know what they’re talking about. You know that person who is standing in front of all the perfume; they were hired for that job. If you have a question on whether Maybelline or Cover Girl has the better mascara, chances are they have that answer for you.
I’ve been in the serving industry for six years now and have witnessed rudeness you thought was only in the movies, and I haven’t even worked in fine dining. I’m not sure customers always realize how awful they are until their friend gives the server the “I’m so sorry” look, if they ever realize at all. There are many things that should be illegal for customers to do, like stiff their waiter or snap their fingers for attention. Here is a list that people who have never worked in the service industry should know.
- Servers literally make nothing. The only income they receive is your tips. So, if you leave $4 on a $45 bill, after they already were running around like a chicken with their head cut off for an entire hour for you, you just took away their rent.
- Back in the day [10 years ago] it was customary to leave 12-15% tip. Well, dear readers, inflation occurred. Which mean the new standard for great service is a minimum 20%. Unless it was poor service, then it is 15%.
- Please keep in mind that you are not the only customer. A server has at least 5 other tables just as needy as you are. And if a restaurant is packed, you are still required to tip that 20%.
-Don’t make your server suffer because there was a problem in the kitchen. If your lunch order is messed up, it is 8 times out of 10 the kitchen’s fault. Don’t take it out on the server.
- Servers/hosts/bartenders/bussers. We are all people. We have families and friends and kids and bills to pay and [believe it or not] lives outside of work. Don’t treat us like we’re below you. Look us in the eye. When we ask you how your day is, don’t reply with “Ice tea, sugar on the side.” I’m pretty sure that’s not a feeling.
- If you have children: THE WAIT STAFF ARE NOT BABYSITTERS. Don’t expect us to know where your children are nor be able to control them. That is your job. When your children are running around the restaurant interrupting our customers nice time or knocking over chairs or eating other people’s food [oh yes, this happens more often than you would think] it is going to be your fault when hot soup is poured all over the child because it was too busy being out of control to see the food runner carrying ten plates on one tray. Please, keep your kids in their chair and keep them under control.
- Most importantly, if you cannot afford to go out to eat AND tip your server, DON’T GO OUT TO EAT. That server has to tip out hosts, bussers and bartenders. If you don’t have enough money to ensure that your amazing waiter can do that and have enough for themselves, get creative in the kitchen because you are not welcome at a restaurant. Oh, and verbal tips to do not pay the bills.
Once upon a time there was a girl waiting in line for the bathroom. She overheard two women talking about a young lady they had recently hired who had a tattoo on her ankle [insert gasp of horror]. This tattoo had been covered up by a pantsuit during the interview and had they known that the young lady possessed one, she would have never been hired.
That was the day the young girl knew she would grow up to get tattoos and prove they were perfectly acceptable for jobs.
Maybe it’s my generation but I don’t understand the fuss over tattoos. They don’t harm anyone. They don’t tell you to jump off of a cliff. They don’t have weapon capabilities. While some individuals don tattoos in order to fit in with the new crowds, [the butterfly tramp stamp of 2000, anyone?] there are the majority who get inked in order to express their memories, experiences and passions with the rest of the world. Tattoos are also incredible ways to share artwork in a new form. Those who get the tattoos for their girl or boyfriends, well, they are the exception.
There should be no need to get in a tizzy over tattoos in the workplace. Unless the F word is splattered all over the arm in yellow ink, it is unnecessary to have a dress code manual that is pages long expressing how to cover up body art. Other than the Corporate America, most industries are relaxing their views. I see more and more companies in the service and fashion industry who are embracing this generation’s passionate trend. Now, it just needs to catch on to journalism…
My mother always tells me to imagine what the men with sleeve tattoos will look like when they are older. Well, I have seen old men with sleeve tattoos, and every time I think, “I bet they were so hot back in the day.”
Spring and summer are the best time of the year for shoes. Whether it’s sandals, flats, espadrilles or pumps, they are far easier to slip into than the dreary-weather boots. Want to walk in style? We compiled a list that Fashion Week announced were all the hits of the season:
[yellow is a hit color for spring]
*All shoes and those like it can be found on Amazon! Don’t deny your shopoholism.
I feel as though Internet dating has become the topic of conversation more and more. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting to that age where my friends find it “acceptable” or it appears to be getting “safer.”
I personally have never done Internet dating. I hope to never have to do Internet dating. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling here, but I feel as though I am far too young to have to settle to the Internet to meet someone.
And I understand all of the arguments. It’s just another avenue to meet someone. There have so many success stories. It’s a way to get to know what kind of man you want to marry, and perhaps along the way, you’ll meet him. Blah blah blah.
When I give my side of why I will never use Internet dating, I claim that it’s because of the dangers. You have no other connection than a few e-mails and some pictures with background details. Maybe they used someone else’s photo. Maybe they’re like that serial killer who was really handsome and then he ended up murdering something like 30 women. If he had the Internet in his day, who knows how many that would have been! However, that’s not the whole reason.
If I were to succumb to dating via OkCupid or Match or EHarmony, perhaps I would find my One True Love. But then when my grandnieces and nephews ask how my husband and I met, I would have the lamest story ever. My seven-year-old self is still hoping that I can meet my Prince Charming in a romantic situation just like I saw in all of the Disney movies growing up.
What about the past centuries of people falling in love without a computer? They did it, and beautifully. William Shakespeare and Jane Austin believed in it so much, their stories have been retold a thousand times over. Case and point: a close friend of mine jumped on the e-dating bandwagon. She went on a couple of dates with multiple men. But the two guys that she decided to pursue longer than the first date, she met through the real world through her friends and social situations.
If you’re already using Internet dating sites and find it enjoyable, please, by all means, rock it out! Just don’t let this stop you from walking outside of your house to meet that man of your dreams.
Anthropologie released their bridal line on February 14 and it’s been the talk
of the fashion blogs. With their classic and vintage styles, a bride can choose
her bridesmaid dresses along with her entire outfit. Here is a peak at B H L D N
[pronounced beholden]. Find the entire line at www.bhldn.com.
The music nation should be looking forward to the big-name headliners
performing in the top festivals of the country. Coachella [Indio, CA] is only two
months away. Bannaroo’s [Manchester, TN] extensive line-up was recently
announced and has been the talk of the community. And Lollapalooza’s [Chicago, IL]
anticipated list will be announced this spring.
Bonnaroo:[June 9-12] Eminem, Arcade Fire, Robert Plant & Band of Joy,
Mumford & Sons, The Strokes, Ray Lamontagne, Girl Talk, My Morning Jacket,
Florence + the Machine, Gogol Bordello, Matt & Kim, Deer Tick.
Tickets are $249.50 plus a $23.10 application fee. The ticket gives you access
to all four days of the festival and all four stages, as well as the camping and parking.
You may also rent out tents and RVs from their website. www.bonnaroo.com
Coachella [April 15-17]: Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Flogging Molly, Jimmy Eat
World, Cee Lo Green, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Bright Eyes, Mumford & Sons, The Strokes,
fun., Broken Social Scene, The Swell Season, Jack’s Mannequin, Trampled by Turtles.
You’re going to have to win these babies, because there are no passes
available. So, listen to your local rock radio station! www.coachella.com
Lollapalooza [August 5-7]: This festival was first created by Jane’s Addiction
in honor of Perry Farrell’s final tour. Rumor has it that Jane’s Addiction will be
playing. While the lineup hasn’t yet been listed, there has been talk that Muse, G.
Love, Eminem, The Foo Fighters and Girl Talk are on their way to being on that list.
If none of those reasons are good enough for you, consider this. 2011 marks
the 20th anniversary of the festival. www.lollapaloza.com
Honorable Mention: Dave Matthews Band will be hosting their own 4-day
music festival in honor of THEIR 20th anniversary as a band…and will be playing in it.
Which one are you saving up to go to?
There are two sure things in life: death and taxes. As I grow older, I’m sadly learning that the statement is a valid one, to say the least.
This past week, the world lost an amazing person: my coworker and friend. I’ve known several people to die, but I either barely knew them or they had lived a full life. I know that everybody says this, but I wish that I could have seen his star shine bright for longer.
When he walked into the room, any worries or sadness you were thinking vanished with his energy and excitement for life. We would dance to an entire song, even with no one looking. It would be just us, having fun. He was confident and proud of who he was.
I still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. I may have not gotten to know him outside of work, but we made each other laugh and I truly consider him my friend.
I can only hope that I will love the rest of my life, whether it is a week or 50 more years, with as much exuberance and flair as he did. Please remember that we get only one chance in this world. His life was cut far too short.
You will be forever missed, my Firework. Rest in peace.
We are taking donations to send to his family to support them in these economically and emotionally troubling times. Please email email@example.com to learn how to participate.