Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm Baaaaaack.

Wow, that was a long break. Sorry about that. Basically, it was just the same old, same old, times twenty--work, deadlines, family craziness, and a nasty bout with a virus that had me huddling under two quilts in 90-degree weather. All is well again, and I'm relatively on top of things, so I'm back for the moment.

Today, I'd like to ramble about something that arrived in my mailbox this afternoon. Something so horrendous, so insidious, so terrifying, I could barely contain myself while I ran it into the garage and hurled it into the recycle bin, piling several empty milk cartons, cans, and newspapers on top so it would never, ever come out again.

That something is the Frumps R Us catalog.

Of course, there isn't REALLY a catalog called Frumps R Us, but I'm tempted to write to this company and strongly recommend that it change its name. WHAT is it about turning 35 that makes the catalogs target you with sack-like jackets, shirts made out of Navajo blankets, and boxy sweaters with giant barns slapped on the front?

I blame the J. Jill catalog.

Now, I like J. Jill. I've liked them since before I entered their target demographic. Their clothes are pretty, they're sometimes made from eco-fabrics like hemp or organic cotton (which I support, because every non-organic T-shirt adds one-third of a pound of toxic pesticides to our atmosphere), they're fashionable yet timeless (meaning I won't have to stop wearing them after a few months), and they're usually flattering (except for their unfortunate propensity for putting side-seam pockets on all pants, creating a stunning saddlebag effect on anyone who actually has hips--why hasn't some woman in their offices pointed this out to them yet?).

But J. Jill markets their clothes as "for women 35 and up," which, leads me to the conclusion that they're the ones selling my name to Frumps R Us and their ilk. What are these non-J. Jill companies trying to say? Am I just supposed to give up now and buy a rainbow assortment of floor-length, no-waisted jumper dresses to get me into my golden years? Must I drown my figure (and I do still have one, thankyouverymuch) in entire suits made of inch-thick performance fleece? Am I now obligated to wear boxy flood-pants-and-shirt ensembles in thick corduroy? Did these people not see the episode of What Not to Wear where Clinton and Stacy point out that blocky jackets that cut you off mid-torso eliminate your waist and make you look like a slab of beef, and a little judicious tapering can easily "create the illusion of a waist" even if we don't have one?

Curse you, Frumps R Us, and your nasty, unflattering clothes that make the mannequins you put them on look like refrigerators. You and your star-spangled sweaters and your floor-length hobo skirts and your moose-print pajamas make women feel like they should hide their 35-and-older bodies and give up on ever looking pretty again, opting instead to frump around in a blaze of box-pleated glory. (OK, the moose-print pajamas were kind of cute, but ONLY as pajamas.) We can be pretty after 35, even if we're not stick insects.

I say no! I will not go gently into that saggy night. I will wear my Lucky Jeans (made in the US in one factory in L.A.) and my tapered jackets and my flattering skirts well past 35, and I will not succumb to the impulse to give up. No matter how full-figured I get, I will not allow you to brainwash me into hiding under my clothes! No matter how wrinkly or gray-haired I get, I will not give in to your insidious urge to wear a sweater with a giant barn on it to distract people from my face. The siren song of the Navajo-blanket-as-clothes will NEVER be heard by me!

Just had to get that off my chest. Thank you.


The Queen-a Athena said...

You're back! Yay!

Of course, now I'm dying to know what catalog sent you over the edge. Considering I just dropped &$# dollars (actual number deleted in case the husband read this) on soft, lovely, but shapeless ponchos and caftans to cover the bod at National. So, um ... maybe you could dig out that catalog and send it to moi?

Peter said...

Back with a bang. Perhaps you can sponsor a national campaign to burn all cute-sy sweaters...starting with the Christmas ones.

Tracy Montoya said...

Chris, you always look fab--this particular catalog just looked SO old lady, I had to riff on it. To be honest, there were a few really cute things in there.

And if you ever wear a sweater with a giant barn on it, I will follow you around and moo until you take it off.

Tracy Montoya said...

Well, hey, Peter! Cutesy sweaters must die! (Unless you're a grade school teacher, because the students are all over them, and studies show busy, bright clothes keep their attention better.)

Mariann said...

It's funny you should mention frumpy styles... whenever I get the Lane Bryant catalog, I'm always surprised, and a little distressed, to see how shapeless and unfashionable the items are compared to the stuff that's in the stores. Just because I'm full figured doesn't mean I want to look like my mother on a Sunday afternoon!

Sharron said...

OMG-I about PEED myself laughing. You are SO FUNNY!

Tracy Montoya said...

Exactly, Mariann! There's a store for curvier women in Tyson's Corner that always had the CUTEST stuff in the window. Why can't more catalogs be like that?

Tracy Montoya said...

Hey, Sharron! Thanks for stopping by.

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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