Category Archives: Life

I Hate my Shower Curtain…and the Store it Rode in On!

So I’m at the home décor store, staring at the massive amounts of shower curtains and liners along the wall on display and on rows and rows of shelves, when I wonder…why on earth would anyone pay $35 for a shower curtain liner when they have scads of them on sale for $9? And, I say to myself, determined to save some money at this “everything must go, store going out of business sale” that doesn’t seem like any real sale except for the $9 shower curtain liner, I say self, which is often what I say when talking to myself just to be in agreement with me that there are no extra voices at this point, but I digress…Self, I say, you can save money here. Hey it’s just a shower curtain liner. Men wouldn’t have a clue that there’s a difference between a shower curtain and a liner in the first place, right? Well gay men would…and men with the shopping gene, but not regular beer guzzlin’ guys, so why pay all that money?

I can still hear it ringing in my ears when I’m standing in my tub pulling the old liner out and thoroughly disgusted with myself that I wasted $9 on a liner that I will inevitably, in 4-5 weeks yank off the rings and replace with that $35 liner that I was trying not to buy in the first place. Why, you ask? Why must I go back to the “going out of business everything must go except we’re not going to discount the one thing you can use which is that stinkin’ $35 liner” store and buy the frakkin’ liner? Because there are household rules. And I didn’t adhere.

Yes, there are household rules when buying a shower curtain liner. And silly me, I forgot the rules. Rule One-Establish the non-negotiables. Little did I realize that I had long ago made one non-negotiable when it came to liners. There had to be weights at the bottom. If you have a bathroom that creates any breezy circulation while taking a shower, you know the disadvantages of a no weight bearing liner. You end up wearing the liner rather than the liner doing its job. The entire thing circles your legs and you get soap scummy legs rather than clean legs at the end of every shower. Water goes everywhere because the liner isn’t keeping the water inside the shower, but away from your body. It’s a lose-lose all the way around, thus the non-negotiable part.

Rule Two-Determine the tossability of the item
. If I pay $35 for a liner, it better last a really long time. I didn’t think liners needed to be durable, because I could just buy another cheapie later, but now that I need weights the price just went up, so I need something that resists the scrunginess. There goes another requirement for the liner list. Oh and since it has to be sturdy, metal grommets are necessary so it doesn’t tear at the rings/hooks.

Rule Three-Use the loved/hated it notes from the previous version of the item. My last liner was wonderful. It was thick and scum resistant, had weights and was extra wide and tall. Ooh, those are good for the list. The best perk of the last liner was that it had little suction cups on the sides so you could make it stick to the tile to ensure better protection against water leakage. Another thing for the list.

Rule Four-Review your list to see if the new price is really better than the cheap version.
Usually it is. Darn it if my mother wasn’t right-you get what you pay for. So now I have my rules for a shower curtain liner and I’m going to go back to that darn store and buy the $35 liner (it’s current value is now $44 to include the wasted $9) and I’ll be smiling. Why? Because I will have it long enough to forget these stupid rules and do it all over again next year.


There is no Fall …or Autumn as the case may be

Growing up in Orange County, I’ve never had the stresses of preparing for winter. I don’t have to buy super bulky overcoats or snow shoes or plan to plug in my car or buy a snow shovel. In fact, most of the time I don’t have to think about the weather at all. I just keep a light jacket in my trunk and if I feel cold, then I grab it. Mostly that’s when I venture into a movie theater but those places like to give you feel of the polar ice caps. So the idea of Fall…or Autumn if you’re an east coaster, is just that-an idea.

It was different a few decades ago. Fall was a big deal. The last warmth of summer and the family/friend beach days were counted and starred on the calendar with sadness, but the excitement of wearing those new school sweaters bought a month before loomed brightly. Fall stretched from the end of September through the beginning of December and there was no thought of icicles or snowflakes until after Thanksgiving. People brought out their cameras to photograph the few deciduous trees about (palm trees were ignored-my favorite part) and the colors of russet, brown and burnt umber got their once a year respect. People bought special wreaths with large, and often fake, maple leaves to recognize the event and colored corn cobs were nested on the dining room table with ma and pa pilgrim waiting for turkey day. But that time and planning is now only resident in our minds for just a moment, maybe on a day like….Veteran’s Day.

Nowadays Fall doesn’t even make a blip on the radar. We have a single Fall/Winter catalog and the season isn’t even spoken of by name, but referred to as the Holiday Season as if we can’t mention the actual holidays were seasonally focusing on. Santa is already blown up on the neighbor’s yard and that super large department store is awash in white and red, nary an umber to be seen. I wanted to buy an Autumn colored tablecloth at my church boutique, but the seller only had snow white and sleigh red.

In Southern California we don’t get a big weather change for Fall, but we can at least try to connect to the rest of our country by marking the three month season rather than extending Winter, because today, when the temperature is 90 degrees and the hot winds are blowing, I just can’t start the generator to fluff the snowflakes in Santa’s globe.

She with the Painful Shoe Wins

I’ve often found women’s relationship to shoes to be an exercise in examining the hilarity of society. Men did not have such an irrational relationship, right? I turns out they did when they wore frilly shirts…and they’re starting to have it again. But men and women still see shoes differently. Or are seen differently because of their shoes.

Now I’m open to the changes in fashion trends…all right, the pants hanging off boy’s backsides isn’t fashion-I’m saying that right now, but other trends I find interesting; however, the moment a guy’s shoes become bigger than his head, he’s umm..thinking with his arse! I’m not sure I can trust the fate of the world to a guy who can’t learn to tie his own laces!

I make fun of men and their shoes only because I have my own obsession. I’m anti-shoe. There, I’ve admitted it just like an alcoholic going off the sauce HI I’m DRIVER and I’m anti-shoe. No I’m not a nature nut or trying to save the “born for their hide” animals in 3rd world countries. I’m anti-shoe because I’m not a fan of my feet.

Feet are an industrious and wondrous invention. We should really thank our Lord that we are bipeds and have this pair of flexible flippers to march us from here to there. I don’t object to them for that reason. My objection to feet is this: women and men are not even remotely equal when it comes to shoes. Women and men can wear the same kinds of suits, pants, glasses, watches, bracelets, necklaces and even earrings and nary an observer would chasten them for doing so, but put a woman in a comfy loafer and all of a sudden our sex, sexuality and overall girliness is called into question. What was I thinking trying to save my back or my bunions (kidding, I don’t have bunions..really) or my toes? I was thinking we could all just get a little practical, but noooooooo practicality is for the weak. And women must be strong or stylish as the case may be.

For the first ten years of my working career, I almost always wore skirts and high heels. Yes, I crammed my toes in those svelte pointy-toed monstrosities every day and limped home every night, soaked my digits in a nice hot bath and begged for extra peppermint foot balm in my Christmas stocking. Who was I trying to please? Not myself, because I was in pain. My toes were in serious trouble. Then the magic happened. I dropped out of the working life and went back to college. This would seemingly have no effect on the shoe issue other than the fact that classes are a bit more casual, right? Wrong-O! Why? Because the university of choice for me was Hills and Stairs University (name has been changed to protect the semi-innocent). There wasn’t a chance I’d survive a day having to cover over 800 stairs-not including the two flights to my dorm room.

Hills and Stairs U stepped me into a new way of life. Shoes were irrelevant. Really, people were barefoot, flip-flopped, sneakered or booted de la hiking store and one pair got a person through for the year. Yes, the year. Hiking boots and dresses were common and nobody cared. Of course, women with hairy legs were common too, but I just got the shivers around them. HSU was a true change of lifestyle. Men didn’t evaluate women on the whole package, the just did it on the package from the knees up. That way everyone could survive the two mile walk when they had to find a place to park their car at 4am. How did this change me? My feet recovered from their pains and I actually liked to walk! I had gotten so used to several pains, I didn’t even think they were shoe related, just signs I was getting older. Limping was now only done in reaction to a sprained ankle and shoes with heels were thrown into the corner and buried under the empty pizza box experiment with the roommate during senior year.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve lugged around books for educational purposes, but I stuck with the comfy shoes for a good long while. And that’s how I noticed the difference between men and women and their shoes. Why can’t we (women) all just revolt and wear the same grungy pair of Vans? Oh that’s right, Vans are now expensive and cool. Funny, when I was a kid, they were the poor kid’s shoe…and I was the poor kid. So what kind of show could be a universal equalizer for men and women? I surely hope it’s not the UGG!