Tag Archives: clothes

things i’ve been meaning to tell you: march 2017

14 Mar

One: Yesterday I turned 38. I don’t put much stock in numbers, and to be quite frank for the past few years I’ve had to stop and think when someone asks me my age because they all seem to blend together and I can never remember if I’m 36? 38? 34? 37? I’m somewhere in my 30s, right?

Anyway, so far 38 is treating me pretty well, and like when New Year’s rolls around, at my birthday I like to take a moment to reflect on the past year, and look forward to the year ahead. Set an intention, if you will. And this year’s intention?

To have more fun.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a crapton of fun on the daily. I can’t not, living with my Swede and Baby McSwedolish, and The Beasts. But why shouldn’t I have more fun? What’s stopping me?

Nothing. Nothing is stopping me, except maybe myself sometimes.

And that is just dumb.

I can’t predict what sort of shape this additional fun will take, because it could be anything. I think going grocery shopping is fun. I think writing in this little corner of the Interwebs is fun. Singing showtunes on a beach is fun. Whichever form of fun strikes me, I will throw myself into it wholeheartedly. Because life can really suck the life out of you sometimes, with worry, and bills, and not having a trust fund so you have actually be cognizant of income and work or make compromises. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun, while dealing with all of those things, and not let them suck the life out of me, amirite? Because none of us are getting out of this thing alive, and this isn’t a dress rehearsal.

So ratcheting up the Fun Factor sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

Two: I’ve developed a strange obsession with The Wheel. I’m not entirely sure when it started, but almost every night at 6:30 pm, Baby McSwedolish and I tune in to see if someone will actually solve the final puzzle, even after they are given RSTLNE. (Success level: sporadic.)

How is it that Pat and Vanna are unchanged after 30 years on the air? What does Vanna do to keep her arms toned now that the turning of letters has been eliminated, and they’re all touch screen? Has anyone ever actually won the $1 million? Or is that just a tactic they’re using to make it all the more exciting, since the whole “shopping the rooms with your winnings” is a thing of the truly distant past?

Three: Of all the things I make that are amazing*—pot roast, cupcakes, brownies, the list goes on—the one thing I haven’t yet mastered is soup.

I know, right? Soup, for God’s sake! How hard is soup?

Apparently quite tricky, if you really want something that is restaurant quality. For me, at least. I’ve gotten a better in my efforts recently—in part because I’ve actually tried following recipes and quantities and not just dumped in stuff that has a higher solids to liquid ration and then wonder why everything comes out more like a stew than a soup—but it’s never quite as good as you’d get at a restaurant or Mariano’s soup bar.

So the other day while I was at the grocery store, I bought a whole magazine about soup. I’m not kidding. There are at least 100 recipes in there, many several of which look incredibly tasty, and by God I will master the making of soup! Or at least one soup recipe! I’m not asking for much here, people. Just one go-to soup recipe!

Mark my words.

PS—I am having a wild love affair with cream of mushroom soup lately. And if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Four: For my Chicago readers: Do the female weekend anchors and weather women on NBC 5 have a uniform? I’ve been watching a lot of news lately (a lot) (thank you, nursing time), and I swear these women are all wearing similar dresses. Or perhaps they have three or four styles of dresses in certain colors that they’re supposed to wear. Or maybe I’m just imagining it. But am I on to something here?

And before you get up in arms about, “McPolish why are you focusing on their looks?”, I’m not trying to make their looks a Thing. I’m asking because they are stylish dresses and I want to know where they got them. Also, because if there is some sort of uniform style going on, if they Obama-d their wardrobes to decrease the number of silly decisions they have to make in their lives, then my hat is off to them, because that’s just plain smart, and Well Done, You, NBC Female Weekend Anchors.


*Yes. I said that. Yes I did.




15 Jul

Suitcase 1Behold! The wondrous packing stylings of This Girl, as she traveled to Chicago last weekend. For the first time in possibly ever I managed to pack all of my needs into this carry-on suitcase and a shoulder bag. In the past, even on short trips I’ve never been able to manage that, due to the fact that I pack suitcases like an asshole. (Because you just never know what you’ll need, okay?) I tried my best to be conscientious and realistic about what I’d need this time, reminding myself, “Hey, Self, you always end up wearing the same thing whenever you’re at home, so why would you pack 3 different outfits?” “You’re right, Self,” I responded, and took out the extra cocktail dress I’d thrown in the case. The only snafu came on my return trip, when I had to transport my newly arrived bridesmaid dress* in said carry-on. Don’t worry, Mare! Still needs to be altered! I’ll have them steam the wrinkles and crunched fabric from being rolled up and shoved in my suitcase right out! Ha Ha! Good times!

*And no, that brown swirly dress on top in the photo is not my bridesmaid dress. That is the dress that I wore to the bridal SHOWER. The actual bridesmaid dress is mostly solid chocolate brown and took up a shit of a lot more room.

Jury Duty

8 May

The jury summons said that we should wear “business casual” attire to the courthouse, which, taking a quick poll of those who showed up Tuesday morning at 8 am to perform our civic duty – at least for the DC Superior Court – was interpreted very, very loosely.

Most were dressed casually, in jeans, button-down shirts, but a few showed up in flip flops, sweatpants, and the like, as if they simply didn’t have enough time from their exhausting sleeping schedule to put on real pants.

And then there were those at the opposite end.

One, actually.

She was dressed in a tight black skirt that ended six inches above her knees, a slit up the back that came just shy of showing us all whether or not she’d put on panties that morning. She wore a sunshine yellow top with a deep, ruffled neckline and a short, black jacket with a few metal details around the hem and trim. She carried a mustard yellow envelope clutch and her feet were clad in matching mustard yellow spike heels that had a cuff around the ankles. The area above her upper lip was pierced, and for today’s outing she’s donned what looked like a diamond pendant, the long pointed bar sticking through and hanging out in the open air like a diving board from her face, the diamond on the end of it the swimmer, maybe thinking of doing a swan dive into the woman’s cleavage. At best I would say she looked like she was going to a club later. At worst I would say she looked like a streetwalker who wandered into the wrong area of the courthouse.

I think the woman was called for a judge’s panel early in the day, because I didn’t see her again after those of us who weren’t called settled in for a viewing of the scintillating movie The Net starring Sandra Bullock and Mom Jeans.

Mom Jeans: also inappropriate for jury duty. And every other duty in life for that matter.


7 May

In February, I spent my day off to celebrate Our Nation’s Presidents by taking every item out of my closet, separating the items into piles, meticulously going through the piles, pulling out items I hadn’t worn since before I moved to Washington over three years ago, putting them in a pile to donate. I reorganized what was left, and carefully put them back in my closet, grouped together by pants, skirts, long sleeves, short sleeves, or whatever category they belonged in. The main result was a gloriously organized closet that I often stared at in wonder in my free moments.

The secondary result was an incredibly pared down wardrobe, which was just fine until I had to go to Houston, the land of Heat and Hot,  last week and realized that I now had only four tops that were appropriate to wear for work in warm weather.

Which means the tertiary result was me spending an afternoon last week wandering around the Queenstown outlets replenishing my spring/summer wardrobe.

I conveniently picked a day that promised coupons for shoppers, and was overjoyed to find out that in addition to the coupons, the stores I shopped were having enormous sales. This was exactly what outlet shopping was supposed to be. (Except for the JCrew outlet, which was incredibly overpriced, just like its regular store.)

Laden down with bags stuffed with short sleeved shirts, summer dresses, a pair of shoes, and the like, I made my way back to my car, confident in my purchases, satisfied that I would not have to go nude to work, and happy to discover that once again I was right, and the best time to go shopping is on a random Thursday afternoon because no one else is there and the stores are fully stocked in time for their weekend rush. And then I walked by a store called “Accents.”

Accents, it seems, is an all accessories, all the time, store. Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, purses, scarves, belts, everything. It’s all there. It’s all displayed on long tables covered in velvet, propped up on racks and stands, grouped by colors, from wall to wall, glittery, sparkly, matte, bold, demure, all of it.

On a good day, I can piece together an outfit that makes sense, that is coordinated and decently ironed. In my dreams I can accessorize said outfit.

I don’t know what it is about accessories, but I find them overwhelming. I very much want to understand them and use them properly, but I can’t seem to get it. After awhile, they all start to look the same to me, even though the accessories that I do own I’m told are very lovely and original looking. (Except for this one silver bracelet that I and every single one of the McIntire sisters own. When we all wear them together we look like we are starting our own new brand of superheroesses.) So I’ve got that going for me, but for the life of me, I can’t remember how I managed to pick out even those accessories.

I stood in Accents and decided I’d start with rings. I’ve been big into rings lately, and by that I mean I’ve been thinking about being into rings lately, chunky, bold rings that make a statement. Except that Accents only had a tray and a half of rings, none of which were very exciting, so I wandered around the tables, peering at the necklaces, the matching bracelets. None of it was very expensive, it was all costume-type jewelry, but even so I didn’t want to spend money on something I wasn’t sure was good or that I really liked. It was just so hard to tell.

And part of me very much wanted some Accents, to go along with all the new clothes I’d just purchased, to make them, as Stacey or Clinton would say, POP. But Christ almighty my head was spinning by this point, the saleswomen were eyeing me suspiciously as I walked around and around and around in circles reaching out a hand here or there to touch something or pick it up for inspection only to put it down quickly when a bag would slip out of my hands. I’m certain they thought I was some sort of shoplifter trying to be inconspicuous and not shifty as I dawdled about, when truthfully I just couldn’t think straight. It probably didn’t help matters when I said distractedly, out loud, to no one in particular, “I have to go. I’ll come back. It’s just…it’s just too much right now. My brain is foggy,” before wobbling out the door. Either that, or they probably thought I was drunk.

Next time, maybe I will make that the first store I stop into, rather than the last. I’m not saying that will help in my accessorizing, but at least the saleswomen will not give me the stink eye, wondering if I’m going to five-finger-discount my way to the beginnings of a chic new outfit.