Based on my observations Saturday evening at the opera, most people don’t know what the hell is the dress code. Either that or they don’t care. Let me just say this straight away, the opera is not a sporting event. You absolutely should not show up in jeans and a tshirt looking like you walked in by accident off the streets. Jeans are only vaguely acceptable for a Sunday matinee if ladies add heels and men a sports jacket (although I still do not condone this look), but jeans are never appropriate for a Saturday evening performance. The opera is an age old instutition; kings and queens attend the opera. Show some respect! That said, a ball gown is not necessary unless you are attending opening night at Lincoln Center. However, a ball gown is certainly an excellent choice, as is cocktail attire. In a city like Miami, women can also get away with leather or dressy pants and a nice top and jacket. Men, if your woman dressed up, please do not embarrass her and try and make some effort. So what did I wear? I opted for a black lace cocktail dress and black cape with tights and slingback heels.
Are fashion influencers getting too spoiled? The major influencers are courted by big brands and gifted thousands of dollars in merchandise, none of which I’m sure they bother reporting to the government. They borrow clothes for events and attend the most exclusive shows. But there are murmurs many of them have developed attitude problems and a sense of entitlement. Others just seem ungrateful and jaded. At the most recent Dior Haute Couture Show, certain influencers were overheard complaining they weren’t sitting in the front row. This really angered me, especially since I was invited to the show but had to cancel and it was my dream to attend, even if I had to sit on the flipping roof. Charlotte Groeneveld, aka TheFashionGuitar, made a point of saying in her instagram stories how she was grateful just for the invite to Dior Haute Couture and she was thrilled to be in the third row. This is precisely why I unfollowed the “mega influencers” and instead began following up and coming unfluencers like TheFashionGuitar and Leonie Hanne, who still appreciate the opportunties Instagram has afforded them. I recently unfollowed SongofStyle after she posted a YouTube video showing off her handbag collection. I was horrified how she treated the many bags gifted to her by the likes of Dior, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. She threw them around and crumpled them up and shoved them into corners like they were garbage. For someone who claims she was dirt poor for years, she couldn’t have come off more spoiled. In another example, I’ve heard from multiple sources that Camila Coelho has gotten super demanding and has an attitude at events. She should remember that before she was “instafamous,” she worked at a makeup counter. Of course, there is nothing wrong with working at a makeup counter, but my point is she needs to remember where she came from and show some humility and appreciation. Does gifting influencers and flying them to events even translate to actual sales for the fashion houses? Until there is definitive proof, these girls need to check themselves.
“I Blew 18 Grand on Pads and Tampons and All I Got Was This Lousy Period”
I never understood why some women politely refer to their period as “their friend.” That thing ain’t no friend. Let me tell you, it’s your worst fucking enemy. Through the course of your menstruating years, your “friend” will torture and humiliate you. It will destroy hundreds of pairs of perfectly good underwear, and despite the ads by the tampon companies, you won’t want to go swimming and prancing in a dewy fucking meadow. Instead, you will want to crawl into bed with a box of chocolates because your vagina is staging a Civil War reenactment once a month.
My period is so heavy that I need like industrial strength, do-not-operate-heavy-machinery tampons. And then on top of that, I need to wear a pad just in case. Pads rarely stay in place–I think Post Its have stronger adhesive–but wearing pads in conjunction with tampons is like purchasing insurance for your vagina. You calculate your known losses ahead of time: I know I’m going to look and feel like I am wearing an adult diaper, but at least I won’t leak. Otherwise, Its like the Battle of Gettysburg down there and the stained sheets and furniture are the war casualties. And if you don’t insert your tampon just so, then forget it. You will feel that thing every move you make…Every breath you take. Every bond you break. Every step you take.
If you think about it and really do the math, your period makes you miserable two weeks out of the month. That’s 14 days a month, 168 days a year. The average age of menopause for a woman is 51, and girls first get their periods around 12. That’s 39 menstruating years, or 6,552 days of misery in a woman’s lifetime. That’s a fuck ton of misery. The only relief is getting pregnant which I hear is no picnic either.
That’s just the physical and mental anguish that comes with menstruating. But what about the other costs? Let’s assume for argument’s sake that a woman with an average flow uses one box of tampons and one package of pads per cycle. A box of Tampax Pearl will currently set you back $6.99 at Target and a pack of Always Ultra Thin Maxi Pads with Wings costs $5.49. That comes to $12.48 plus tax per month, which is $149.76 per year, and over the course of 39 menstruating years that comes to $5,840.64. Figuring conservatively, at an average annual inflation rate of 3.2%…that’s over $18,000 spent on pads and tampons! That’s basically a Honda Civic or a nice deposit on a less shitty car.
About ten years ago, my mom took me to Atlantic City for the day to check out the luxury shops at Caesar’s Palace. We took one of those bus tours that give you a gambling voucher as a rebate and I knew the trip would be interesting when I immediately won $80 at the slots. We went to Judith Ripka and fell in love with earrings and a heart-shaped pendant. The price of the jewelry was, however, less enchanting. We were about to leave empty-handed when the saleswoman informed us they had a coupon in the current issue of InStyle Magazine for a savings of $1000. I’m not even kidding, the coupon was literally for $1000 off your purchase! I immediately got that crazed look in my eye and pulsating vein on my brow that only emerges from the prospect of the most obsene shopping deals and turns me into some sort of feral creature. We made a beeline to the hotel newstand to get our hands on InStyle only to find that the coupons were already ripped out. I about lost my shit when the woman at the register told me she had a few extra copies in the back. We bought two magazines and rushed back to the store with our coupons to purchase the jewelry. In reality, I know Judith Ripka likely hiked up the price of the jewelry by $1000 before they released the coupons, but the thrill and excitement of “the deal” was the best part of our trip. Atlantic City is honestly pretty sad and gross. Judith Ripka no longer has any retail locations that I am aware of and has been involved in some rather interesting lawsuits. We sold our Ripka pieces years ago, but “coupongate” lives on in our memories.
Washington University in Saint Louis is a fine institution of higher learning with a beautiful campus and world renowned reputation for excellence. But I went there for its proximity to good shopping. Just ten minutes from campus lies Plaza Frontenac, a large brick building that resembles a historic plantation from the outside. Inside, is a glorious high end shopping mall complete with an independant movie theatre, luxury salon and day spa, and delicious gourmet restaurants. Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue each occupy their own end of the mall, with smaller high end clothing, jewelry, and furniture stores in between. Ok, so maybe the other stores aren’t all that thrilling, but my nineteen year old self was pretty darn impressed. The bathrooms alone were exquisite and designed like old hotel powder rooms with plenty of lounge space. I have fond memories of booking appointments at the spa and getting my hair done. There’s also some not so fond memory of being told by the esthetician waxing my legs that it wouldn’t hurt as much “if I was thinner.” Meanwhile, I wasn’t even overweight at the time, but I guess I was by the standards of the Long Island girls at Wash U who trotted around campus in tight black pants and nylon Kate Spade purses. But I digress, Frontenac was also home to my favorite local restaurant, Cardwells. I would go as often as possible for their chicken drummies and mouth watering hamburgers. I actually drooled on my computer thinking about them just now. No joke. I think I may have permanently damaged the “e” on my keyboard. And every time I had a bad day or was feeling overwhelmed I’d scoot down to Saks and check out the latest in Nanette Lepore and Jill Stuart. That was my first stop after taking the LSATs- straight to Saks and Neimans for some post test treats. I wore the red Miu Miu platform sandals I bought at Neimans that day for years. And each time my mom would fly to St Louis to visit, she’d bring her Saks returns, despite living fairly close to the Chevy Chase store. Plaza Frontenac certainly played a critical role in helping me survive four years of college and graduate from an amateur to professional shopping addict.