We once thought shoulder pads looked good, too

I recently stumbled upon this collection of crazy 1970s fashions. It’s hard to believe that these clothes actually existed.  Or that people actually wore them.  All of this got me thinking about what is considered fashionable now and what will look ridiculous 40 years from now (or perhaps much sooner). Here are my predictions:

Scarves. Don’t get me wrong—I love them. I’m wearing one right now, in fact. They’ve had a good run, lasting much longer on the finicky fashion scene than most other trends. But I can’t help but think the clock is ticking and that 40 years from now, we’ll see a photo of a woman wearing an infinity scarf (probably one with a chevron pattern—see below), and think she looks kind of silly.

Items with a chevron pattern. I’m not sure when or how this got to be a thing, but it was like one day I woke up and women and girls all around me were wearing dresses, shirts, and scarves (especially scarves) decked out with a chevron pattern. I also see it in catalogs and magazines on rugs, lampshades, and curtains. Mark my works: Chevron is the paisley print of our time.

Matilda Jane clothing. Okay, I know I’m going to catch some grief for saying this, but I am not a fan of this frilly, intentionally mis-matched clothing line. I know some of you find it totally adorable and feel like I must not have any sense of style (or perhaps a soul). But I find it just a little too cutesy for my taste, even for a little girl. But here’s the thing—it’s not just for little girls. I’ll never forget the day I saw a grown woman getting out of a car at my son’s school and noticed that the bottoms of her pants were festooned with about 18 inches of ruffles. Just…no.

Shorts and socks and sandals. Unless you are a 75-year-old man at your winter condo in Florida, you have no reason to wear these items together. So why is that boys have co-opted this look?

Uggs.  If you want a look that says, “I’m going to go muck a stall!” look no further.

Jeggings. The scary love child of acid wash jeans and stirrup pants.

What current fashion trends do you think we’ll be laughing at in the future?

Lent!: The Musical!

Okay, not really.  But it’s hard to make Lent sound interesting, and it’s a proven scientific fact that if you put “The Musical!” after anything, it makes it 127% more exciting.

Here’s where things are with my alcohol-free Lenten party (boy, that sounds like the worst party ever, doesn’t it?):  The first three days—especially the third day—were hard.  My husband would be enjoying a beer and I’d look longingly at it (and I’m not much of a beer drinker).  It was Friday night and it seemed wrong not to unwind at the end of the week with a glass of wine.  But I pushed through and went eight days without drinking, which took me up to my first designated “cheat” day (more on that in a minute).

A few things happened during those eight days.  First, I apparently lost 10 pounds.  I’m certain this isn’t the case and that my scale is screwed up, but numbers don’t lie, right?  Also, I felt more clear-headed and less cranky.  Although that may be due to the lack of snow days recently.  My skin remained just as flaky and scaly as ever, dammit.

The way I think about drinking kind of changed, too.  It had become very much a habit, like something on my to-do list:  Pick up kids from school, check e-mail, pour glass of wine, start making dinner, have second glass of wine…  As a friend of mine once said, “My stove doesn’t work properly if I don’t have a drink in my hand.”  Well, my stove really doesn’t work properly, but it works just as crappily has it has been whether or not I’m drinking.  Once I broke the habit, it got easier.  One thing that helped, I think, is that instead of telling myself, “You can’t have a drink,” I told myself, “You can’t have a drink now, but you can have one soon.”  Maybe it’s just human nature, but if something is presented as forbidden fruit, it just seems that much more tempting.  Knowing that I could have it eventually made it less desirable somehow.  Or maybe it was more that I was delaying gratification, because when I did arrive at my first cheat day, I enjoyed the hell out of it.

My best friend was in town last Friday, and we consumed a large portion of red wine, and it was great.  The next two days were alcohol-free, but I allowed myself two pints of stout on St. Patrick’s Day (I mean, come on!  It’s St. Patrick’s Day!).  The night before last, I had two margaritas when the husband and I went out for Mexican food.  Those are probably more cheats than I should have allowed myself, but I don’t feel guilty about it, and I don’t have any plans for drinking in the near future.  Although my kids’ Spring Break is coming up, and an entire week of quality time with them will probably prove to be my biggest test yet.

How about you?  How are you doing with Lent?

I hope the wagon has a seat belt

Although I’m not Catholic (or religious at all, actually), I’ve decided to give up alcohol for Lent.  I’m sure many of you had to re-read that sentence, and are either laughing hysterically right now or worried that I’ve finally completely lost my mind.  But, yep, I’m giving up booze for 40 days.  I’ve given it up before for much longer stretches of time–because I’ve been pregnant twice–so this isn’t totally unheard of.

So why am I doing this if I don’t have to?  Aside from those times when drinking would have seriously impacted my children’s development and well-being, alcohol has been an almost daily part of my life for more than 20 years.  During that time, I’ve gained weight, developed psoriasis, and seen my depression and anxiety worsen.  Is it the alcohol?  I don’t know.  As a 44-year-old woman, my metabolism has certainly naturally slowed down, and I have a genetic predisposition for my skin condition and my mental issues.  But I think the alcohol has contributed to the extent to which I deal with those things.  So I’m giving it up to see if anything improves on those fronts.

You would think that someone who is perhaps on the cusp of clear skin, a smaller pant size, and sanity would be pretty excited, but I’ve got to admit, I’m a little scared and sad.  I’m not entirely sure I can do this, and that’s partly why I’m blogging about it.  I’m hoping you, dear readers, will help hold me accountable.

I have built in some cheats, however, which my Catholic friends tell me is okay to do.  Apparently, Sundays are sort of Lenten loophole on which you get a pass.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to go on a bender every Sunday, but it does mean that I can have a cocktail if my husband and I go out to dinner for a date night or that I can enjoy some wine with friends on occasion.  The daily glass of wine (or three) is out, though.  For the vast majority of those 40 days, I’ll be on the wagon.

How about you?  Are you giving up something for Lent?  If so, what?  Have you given up alcohol for an extended period of time?  What was it like?