Yes to the Dress

“Weddings are so weird. This veil costs more than my couch.” – Liz Lemon, “SeinfeldVision,” 30 Rock.

In the very first episode of TLC’s hit wedding show Say Yes to the Dress, bride-to-be Kim describes trying on the dress she chose to be her wedding dress:

“I found the dress. It’s gorgeous, I don’t know what to say, I just had a great feeling in the dress. I think I had the moment where everyone says, you’ll know, you’ll know. That definitely happened for me. I felt like myself in my dress. I felt beautiful. I love it.”

I’ve heard that before–you’ll just know when you find the perfect dress. You’ll have that feeling. Well, the other day I had that feeling when I came across this dress on my Instagram feed:

dream wedding dress

I had that feeling you get when see an article of clothing and you know you just have to have it. This is the one. I will have it, somehow, in some form.

side chignonLooking at the picture, I could already imagine how beautiful I’d feel in the dress and at the same time how natural it would look on me. As if every morning I woke up destined to be covered head-to-toe in a strapless lace gown topped with a silver belt at the natural waist line, hair swept to one side in a messy chignon.

Something told me to save this information for later, so I took a few screenshots and did a little more research. The dress, by Romona Keveza Collection from the Fall 2013 bridal collection, is listed on Kleinfeld’s website as a strapless, sheath gown, made of lace with a silver belt around the natural waistline. Of course the price was no where to be found, but I can only imagine how far out of my price range it was.

I texted the screenshots to a few friends and one of my friends, who designs clothing, even told me she could make a pattern for me. Perfect. Wedding dress, check.

Wait. WHAT?!

Picking out a wedding dress before even remotely close to planning a wedding?Taking screenshots of said wedding dress and sharing them with friends? Bookmarking the designer’s website so I’d have this information for later?

Have I secretly been a single bridezilla all this time and I just didn’t know it until now? You know, one of those single women who has everything but the groom planned for her wedding?

Royal Wedding DressLooking back, maybe there were a few signs. I did watch the Royal Wedding about 20 times because I’m obsessed with Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.  I guess that’s a pretty clear sign. Can you really blame me? The Chantilly lace! The dressmakers washed their hands every 30 minutes to avoid dirtying the thing! Kate Middleton brought back long sleeves with that dress!

Okay, so maybe I love a nice fancy dress, but beyond that, I’m not one of those people who’s married to the idea of planning a wedding before they even have a fiance. I don’t even like planning detailed events like weddings. I’m not really the type of person who sends out invitations that match the chair coverings and the floral arrangements.  I certainly won’t be starting my own I’m-Single-But-Planning-My-Wedding Pintrest board any time soon.

Still, there was something about the wedding dress I saw online that I couldn’t let go of. What is it about wedding dresses that has me so captivated? It’s just an overpriced dress you can only get away with wearing on one day!

Or is it?!

Liz Lemon dressIn 30 Rock episode “SeinfeldVision,” newly-single Liz Lemon becomes enamored with a wedding dress when she accompanies her co-worker (whom she agreed to be a bridesmaid for) to the bridal store. The co-worker asks Liz to try on a dress for her as it looks too big. Liz loves the wedding dress and even gets jealous when she sees someone else trying it on a week later. The saleswoman, trying hard to make the sale, reminds Liz that “a lot of women buy their perfect dress when they see it and just trust the fact that their husband will come.”

Liz buys the wedding dress and takes it to work with her. Thinking no one will see her, she tries on the dress. Of course, everyone catches her in the dress and makes her the butt of the jokes, so Liz defends her actions by saying:

“I just bought a dress because I don’t need society’s permission to buy a white dress, I mean who says this is a wedding dress. Anyway in Korea, they wear white to funerals.”

To prove her point, she spends the rest of the work day in her wedding dress, giving a tour of the office to Jerry Seinfeld and eating greasy food.

Phoebe MonicaSimilarly, on Friends, in “The One With All the Wedding Dresses,” Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel find that going about your daily business in a wedding dress is much more fun than not wearing a wedding dress. After picking up her brother’s fiancee’s wedding dress from the drycleaner, Monica decides she just has to try it on. She finds she loves the feeling of being in a wedding dress and continues to do the dishes in the dress. Soon, a pregnant Phoebe comes knocking at the door also wearing a wedding dress she’d rented for the day. A gigglefest ensues between the two friends as they hang out in their wedding dresses and even partake in a bouquet toss.

Friends dressesLater on in the episode, a newly dumped Rachel appears feeling depressed over the end of her relationship. Phoebe and Monica look at one another and realize they know the one thing that will make Rachel feel better. Cut to the three women on the couch, all dressed in wedding dresses, sipping beer, and eating popcorn. All of Rachel’s boyfriend problems, solved!

As Liz Lemon and Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel all experienced, there is something about wearing formal wear that makes us all feel a little bit better. Wearing a beautifully designed and flattering dress gives an extra boost of confidence, even if you’re only wearing it in the comfort of your own home.

All-in-all, my love of wedding dresses does not make me a “single bridezilla.” I’m not going to end up like Miss Havisham, sitting around in the cobwebs of my home wearing a wedding dress until the end of days. It just means I truly appreciate and desire a well-constructed piece of formal wear.

It’s My TV Show and I’ll Cry If I Want To

Mindy ProjectI have a hard time getting into the weekly ritual of watching TV shows (with the exception of Downton Abbey), but recently I got into watching The Mindy Project. The show’s created and written by Mindy Kaling, who played Kelly on The Office (and actually started out there as a writer). I’ve always found her to be entertaining and it’s nice to see someone other than a white woman take the lead role of a show for a change. The show is funny and sustains my interest long enough for me to be interested in what might happen next week.

Do you really think this would have been your girlfriend in real life?Keep dreaming, Jerry.
Do you really think this would have been your girlfriend in real life?Keep dreaming, Jerry.

What really intrigues me about the show is that Mindy Kaling created the show,
wrote many of the episodes, stars in the show, and named the character she plays Mindy. Kind of how Jerry Seinfeld played Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld and Larry David is Larry in Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’m always intrigued when actors keep their own names in fictitious shows, as if they are playing out their fantasies in this fictional shows. Isn’t that the point, I suppose? That way, you can always make sure that you’re never without a hot date. Funny how these leading actors are never without good-looking people on their shows. Mindy’s boyfriend on the show is a darling and it seems that there is always a hottie just around the corner. Jerry Seinfeld was always taking out babes on Seinfeld and Larry David’s wife on Curb was a total babe. That’s the nice thing about having your own TV show, you can tweak your life in whatever way you want.

That sounds nice. Maybe I will start penning some scenes for The SJ Whipp Experience, starring me as Sonja. I think I have enough interesting stories to sustain a TV show, but what tweaks would I make to my life in my new TV show?

Maybe The SJ Whipp Experience would be a period drama wherein my character would wear crazy layers of petticoats and host scores of suitors in the drawing-room over tea! Or maybe my show could take place in a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail and I could hunt for buffalo with my rifle (or the space bar).

Take a look at my TV boyfriend. Isn't he *so* dreamy?
Take a look at my TV boyfriend. Isn’t he *so* dreamy?

No, I think I would keep much of my life the same. I’d keep the story in New York, with the same roommate, same friends, but I’d move to the Village. A move to the Village would mean a bigger bank account, which would mean I’d wear more fur-lined accessories, more pairs of shoes, a fireplace, and a small dog. My metro pass would never run out and from time-to-time, I’d have a driver pick me up. You know, so that I could sleep in on some mornings before going into The Studio. Of course I’d have a hunky boyfriend, but he wouldn’t really appear that much. Only in key moments, I wouldn’t want him to steal the spotlight. He’d totally wear glasses and he would have an amazing library. But other than that, I think I’d keep most of my life the same. Of course the show would end five minutes early so that you’d all be forced to listen to schmaltzy music while the credits rolled. You wouldn’t even notice though, you’d still be in stitches from the final scene.

Enough about me, what about you? If you were the star of your own TV show, what tweaks would you make to your life?!

I Can’t Live If Living is Without You, Downton Abbey

When it comes to Downton Abbey, you’re either in love with it or you have no idea what it is. I fall into the former category. I cannot get enough of Downton Abbey. I love watching the show, I love chatting about the show with friends, and I love convincing people that they, too, should jump on the Downton Abbey watching train.

Downton Abbey came into my life on a lazy Sunday. I had no intention of leaving my bed and was therefore looking for something enthralling to watch on Netflix. Netflix suggested that I watch Season 1 of Downton Abbey. I had remembered seeing a lot of buzz about the show on Twitter (in part because I  wondered why so people were misspelling the word “downtown”) and was in the mood for a good British costume drama.

From the moment I saw the beautiful opening titles with the beautiful music and shots of Highclere Castle, I was hooked. Then, the show’s story lines began unravelling and I became obsessed. I can’t believe the heirs to Downton Abbey went down in the Titanic. Poor Mr. Pamuk. Why won’t Anna and Bates get together already? Why is Thomas made of pure evil? What is a weekend? How could Edith expose her sister Mary’s secret? Why do I have such a crush on Matthew Crawley? Will Matthew and Mary end up together? Between the scandals, the romance, the plotting, the costumes, and the scenery, I ended up watching the entire first season in one sitting.

Now that Season 2 has come and gone, I don’t know how I’m going to get my Downton Abbey fix. There are only so many times a person can re-watch the seasons. Already I’ve re-watched Matthew’s proposal to Mary a good 15 times or so. I could always print off the Downton Abbey paper dolls and come up with my own story lines, but I’m not 12. There’s always Vanity Fair‘s Downton Abbey trading cards. They might bring some Downtonian joy into my life. I even taught myself how to play the theme song on the piano, so a little more practice couldn’t hurt. But let’s face it, nothing short of watching Season 3 will satisfy my Downton Abbey cravings and Season 3 doesn’t air until January. Why do you make us wait so long, PBS? WHY?!

I guess I’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that Downton Abbey won’t be back on my television for another 11 months. Instead of focusing on the giant void the show’s absence has left, I’ll instead focus on the joy the show brought into my life. I’m thankful for the time we shared and look forward to another season. In the mean time, I’ll just have to get some new hobbies.

Don’t Mess With the Duchess of Cambridge

Ever since the debut of her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress, Kate Middleton has made fashion headlines. Her fashion choices crash designers’ websites. Most of the clothes she owns are on back order for years. As is the case with most mega-celebrities, the Duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton is now the subject of scrutiny for her fashion choices. God forbid we actually leave a well-dressed, friendly celebrity alone. Here’s what the Duchess of Cambridge has been criticized for in the fashion department:

1) Re-wearing her clothes. The Duchess made headlines when she appeared at her husband’s cousin’s wedding in a green dress that she had worn a few weeks ago while rubbing elbows with American celebs. In a recent interview on Jay Leno, Kelly Osbourne criticized Kate for re-wearing clothes, citing the fact that in Britain that is a huge fashion faux pas.

2) Her make-up choices. Designer Vivienne Westwood has a problem with Kate’s eye makeup. Westwood recently criticized the Duchess for the sharp lines around her eyes created by her eyeliner. Shortly after the royal wedding (for which Kate did her own make-up), critics thought Kate applied too much blush and eyeliner.

3) Dressing too conservatively. Vivienne Westwood also thinks that Kate’s style choices are boring. She said Kate’s image is “ordinary woman.” A post a few weeks ago on The Frisky further illustrated this point by saying that Kate should not be considered a fashion icon and her clothes are way too conservative. Uninspired. It looks like she buys her clothes from Talbots.


4) Wearing pantyhose. The Duchess of Cambridge wears pantyhose all the time and it was especially apparent during her North American visit. Wearing pantyhose in summer (or ever) hasn’t really been a fashion trend since the 1980s and Kate’s pantyhose habit has some fashionistas considering her old-fashioned.

These criticisms of Kate’s fashion are simply ridiculous. How can people be so critical of someone so chic, so stylish, so poised, and so demure? Here’s what I think about these crass judgments:

1) Re-wearing your old clothes? Really? That’s a problem? Because you know, that’s what the rest of us have been doing for centuries. With a tight economy and constantly changing styles, we should all be re-wearing our clothes. Just because you’re a wealthy celebrity and can afford to always buy new clothes doesn’t mean that you should. Thanks, Kate, for making me feel better about the fact that I’m re-wearing a Banana Republic jersey dress that I bought four years ago.

2) Kate is a duchess who owns half of Prince William’s worldly goods and she still does her own makeup. I applaud her for that. She doesn’t need ladies in waiting, she has her own two hands and a vanity. Not only does she do her own make-up, but her work is viewed by billions of people. Kudos, Kate. Kudos.

3) What’s wrong with dressing conservatively? Less is more. I’m so sick of people who barely put on clothes and then run around as if they invented style. Or what about those people who “dress different” to “make a statement”? I’m sorry, but leg warmers do not mittens make. What’s wrong with dressing like a distinguished woman? I salute your fashion choices, Kate. I would love to get my hands on that tan Reiss dress.

4) Only Kate Middleton has the fashion clout to rock sheer pantyhose. Before, I used to hate them, now I love them. Sheer pantyhose make your legs look shiny, covering up any dry or unshaved patches. Way to bring back an old trend, Kate. Well played.

To all those Kate Middleton critics out there, all I have to say is, don’t mess with the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s cool, she’s hot, she’s everything you’re not. You wish you could have her style and class. Or maybe just her husband.

Saturday Night Live is Hiring. Pick Me.

Saturday Night Live is hiring. Upon further investigation, I have found that I am qualified for none of their open positions, but I went ahead and wrote a cover letter in case something opens up. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for Saturday Night Live. (Best job ever?) Here’s what I came up with:

Dear Mr. Lorne Michaels:

I wish to be considered for the position of [insert position] for Saturday Night Live. My previous work experiences and my personality make me an excellent candidate for this position.

I have previously worked in live television, so I am no stranger to the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of live television. I delivered the news to the hard of hearing on air by projecting the day’s top stories at the top of my lungs. Following that, I translated the local headlines into opera songs and performed them on air. I also have on-air sales experience. I had a brief television stint selling Super Bass-o-matic ’76. Working as a [insert position] for Saturday Night Live is the next logical step in my career path, as I am not quite ready for prime time.

As your future [insert position], you will come to know my personality very quickly. A little bit about my personality–I recently quit smoking so now, I’m depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I’m nauseous, I’m constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleeding, my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I’m cranky and I have gas. I come from France and yet I’ve always had a deep love for Pat Sajak. In my youth, I was very energetic, some might even say hyperactive–one time, my mom gave a Snickers bar and a can of coke and I towed the car home. When I’m not answering my front door for clever sharks, you’ll find me chopping broccoli or rocking out to the hits of Buckwheat. Because when Buckwheat sings, it is eternal. (And I hate to admit, I am always wookin pa nub in all the wrong places.)

I would make an excellent receptionist because I’m 50 years old and I like to kick! And stretch! And kick! Despite recent grapples with depression due to cessation of smoking, I maintain a positive outlook in the work place that will boost staff morale. For instance, if a co-worker named Rich is Xeroxing something, I’ll cheer him on: “It’s the Rich-meister, makin’ copies!” Aside from my previous work experience and my personality, you’ll also find that I’m a team player. In fact, to prove how I always take one for the team, I have enclosed a check for $3000 made out to the Beatles.

I look forward to discussing this position with you further. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow. Buh bye.

Sincerely,

Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute

If Snooki Can Write and Publish a Novel, Then We All Can. No, Seriously.

Now that she is a published author, Snooki would prefer you call her by her real name, Nicole Polizzi.  Wait a minute.  Snooki is a published author? Excuse me, I meant to say Nicole Polizzi is a published author? Published?!

That’s it!

If Snooki can write and publish a novel, then there is absolutely no excuse for the rest of us not to write that one good novel that we all have burning inside of us.  I said it before when reality TV star Lauren Conrad wrote and published a novel series and now I will say it again. If Snooki can write a novel and get it published, then we all can.

For those of you who have never heard of Snooki, I commend you. That means that you use your time wisely and don’t get sucked into watching reality TV or reading celebrity gossip magazines.  Snooki made her fame (or I should say infamy) as a star on MTV’s Jersey Shore. There, she became a household name with her shenanigans, her tan, her love of pickles, and most importantly, her pouf.

Maybe the news of the Snooki’s first book is the swift kick in the rear that I need as a writer.  It has always been a goal of mine to have a novel (or several) published and if Snooki can do it, why I can’t I?  Sure, I haven’t made international (tabloid) headlines with my role on a hit reality TV show and I haven’t been arrested for public drunkenness, but I like to think I can write well enough to craft a novel that at least a few people would want to read.  I have been an active writer since I was four.  I won several scary story contests in the local paper when I was in elementary school.  I even studied Creative Writing in college. Doesn’t any of that count for something?!

With the news of more and more celebrities publishing novels, I have come to realize that writing skill does not necessarily translate in to publication. It seems that to be published, you just need to know the right people.  If you know the right people you can get published without being a good writer. If you’re famous enough, the right people will even contact you and ask you to write your novel.  So if I want to get published as a writer, maybe I should focus my energies on making a viral YouTube video instead?  Then maybe publishers will come knocking on my door, begging me to write a novel.  No, I suppose if I want to get my work published, I’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way: hard work, dedication, and the ability to deal gracefully with rejection letters.

Bridalplasty: Worst Show Ever?

I had the misfortune of watching the inaugural episode of Bridalplasty on E!. As part of my Sunday evening-let’s-pretend-we-don’t-have-to-work-tomorrow-or-ever routine, I like to lie flat on the couch and indulge in bad reality TV (my favorites are a tie between the Teen Mom marathons and the Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathons). After the Kardashians marathon ended, Bridalplasty aired.  I had seen promos for the show and had been appalled by them. Twelve women competing for their dream wedding and dream plastic surgery procedure? No, thank you. Bridezillas are bad enough as it is without an elimination competition.

However, as is the case when a person witnesses a terrible accident, I just couldn’t turn away. I wanted to see what motivated these women to want to be on such a terrible-sounding television show.  It was almost sad how desperate these women were to get their ” dream” weddings and dream plastic surgery procedures. As if getting a tummy tuck is the only way to secure wedded bliss. These women were so shallow that they were crying hysterically at the prospect of being eliminated.  I can’t imagine anyone that would actually want to marry someone who is so concerned with getting the “perfect” wedding and “perfect” body.  A wedding is only one day of a (hopefully) very long married life.  These women should be focusing on their marriages and not their wedding days.  Even worse is the fact that the majority of these women are actually pretty skinny and don’t appear to need any cosmetic surgery.  They just don’t seem comfortable in their own skin.

What I want to know is, whatever happened to good old-fashioned diet and exercise? Remember when that was an effective way to lose weight and get the body you always wanted? If you’re a size 10 and looking to fit in a size 4 wedding dress, you’re going to need to hit the gym hard and lay off the buckets of fried chicken.  Plastic surgery is not the way to go.

I probably won’t watch any more episodes of Bridalplasty for the simple fact that watching the previews for the rest of the season made me want to throw my television out the window. I’d like to keep my television in tact.