The Naked Eye

In Mark Twain’s time they must have not had women comparable to the Kardashians.


Bear in mind, I am all for women feeling comfortable in their own skin.  I’ve not felt comfortable in mine since I was a teenager.  Most women can wear yoga pants to the gym without feeling self conscious, I on the other hand wear them with shorts over them.  Sure people might giggle, but I’m at the gym to work out, not to catch someone’s eye.

It is this uncomfortableness with my own body that has led me to this post.  That and the issue of regard for self-respect.  

At my second of three jobs, I generally work the photo equipment.  Invariably there is always a vacation pic of someone pretending to pick someone’s rear at a distance, people who are too tall to climb tiny sculptures, babies, babies, babies and naked pictures.

Unfortunately, if something is an Internet order, we can’t always catch the pictures to censor them. They slip by, with the purchaser hoping it goes unnoticed.  Here’s my thing, if you have to submit it over the internet because you can’t put it on the large screen in the store, then maybe you shouldn’t print it at all.  Our printers are out in the open where anyone can see them; two key groups, children and perverts.

Recently last week a woman apparently went to a professional studio to have naked pictures done of herself.  In terms of nudity, the pictures didn’t make sense. She was waist deep in a creek, wearing a blue jean shirt which she purposely pulled behind her so you could see her chest.  A fully made up older woman, with perfect make up and hair, waist deep in a creek. The last time I was in a creek or around any body of water I face planted and had snail shells stuck in my crack; definitely not sensual.

Last night was a doozie.  We had printed off a booklet of boudoir pictures.  No big deal. We usually print these off at Valentine’s for women sending them to their boyfriends who are in the service.  Usually the women are covered sensibly.  Last night, the woman was covered, but then by the time the 4th page printed out, it looked like maybe her butt was starving and ate her underwear.

I couldn’t take it.  I immediately posted my frustrations on Facebook saying, “Please, no more…”

Then as if to taunt me the machine then printed out two 8×10 pics of a woman who looked like a real estate agent in a company van flipping off the viewer.  I was definitely not happy.

In the past someone has been sneaky and printed pictures of him and his girlfriend doing inappropriate things, men have told me I can take off the inappropriate pictures on their order if I want (when they are trying to save all of the pictures on their phone), and women printing off pics and using the big screen then saying, “Oops” and looking at me.  

By all means I am not a prude, I have drawn many naked people.  There is a huge difference between art and pornography.  If you go to my Etsy page you will see tons of naked drawings, but none of them are nefarious. 


 If you are going to take pictures for your significant other, send it to them via text or e-mail, then quickly erase it from your phone so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing it who shouldn’t. If anything think of the photo booth ladies, spare our eyes.

What is something you have had to do in the name of public service that bothered you?

Stop the toots

Have you ever heard the expression, “Not to toot my own horn…”?  For whatever reason the other night I was thinking about this and how much it doesn’t really seem to make sense.  How did this start? Whose horn?  Why are they tooting?  Why is this positive?


I woke up from a deep slumber pondering this question.  The only thing that came to mind was a bunch of chambermaids in medieval times having a good laugh impersonating a boastful, flatulant queen.  

Why is the horn used to draw reference to oneself for a good deed or job well done?  What makes it more annoying is if the person is a trumpet  player because they can toot their own horn twice. This brings no satisfaction for the person whose ears were just singed with the sounds of a humble brag.  If the person was not a member of the brass section then there would be some relief they couldn’t complete the often used expression.  The  brass instrument sections almost always get too much satisfaction because they can make this true even if there isn’t anything worth telling everyone about.

So I did a little digging.  Where did this start?  According to the US Herald this is how it all began:

United States about 1776 (a “declaration of self-independence”?) in the “Warren-Adams Letters” as “I think modesty is highly overrated as a virtue — my motto is ‘Toot your own horn lest the same never

The truth is, if you have to toot your horn, chances are you can’t even play a reveille.  You’re drawing attention to yourself to make it look like you’re doing something.  Instead of tooting that you’re awesome, just be awesome instead.  Save your breath and your toots.  Get to doing and stop tooting.

Photo credit queenofyourownlife.com

If you’re going to toot, aim it in the other direction. Nobody likes a braggart.  

When someone has tooted their horn around you, what happened?

Snapchat Hypocrite

A few months ago you may recall a piece I wrote titled, “Obligatory Selfie” where I poked fun at people taking selfies as a part of an everyday mundane practice that has currently become socially acceptable.

I recant this piece.  Although I compare the obligatory selfie to yoga pants being accepted as full fledged pants, I have seen the worthiness of an appropriately timed selfie.

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Steven Tyler eat your heart out!

Sure, at first I was smug.  Why would a 36-ish something like myself want to have a phone full of pictures of myself?  Who would want them?

Then came an evening spent with my in-laws and niece.  When my sister-in-law and husband stepped outside for a moment, my niece came back into the room with a blanket, we snuggled up together on a bench and she showed me this “new” thing called “Snapchat”.  She snapped a picture and showed me how you can transform yourself into a dog.  Once finding out she and my other nieces were using this app, I immediately signed up to stay in touch with them.

On the way home I was researching how to work snapchat, how to use filters and how in general to “Snapchat”.  Do I take 5 seconds in public by myself to pucker my lips and pose for the camera?  No.  However I do wait till’ I’m on lunch break at work or at home and snap a few selfies to catch up with my nieces, cousins, sister-in-laws and friends.  Only once has anyone been in the break room with me when this was going on, but he was completely aware of what was happening.  I didn’t leave my behaviors an unknown mystery to him like our customers have done in the past.

There is no joy greater than being able to send the ugliest selfie possible to those you love to receive one equally as horrible back.  In fact, there was a fun competition my niece and I had one night.  If you are ever down or feeling blue, this is the best thing ever.  Try to make the goofiest face possible and just hit send.  It is the greatest feeling not caring what you look like because the worse, the better.

Here is an example of one I sent, it’s like Steve Martin meets Frankenstein’s monster.

 

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Or the selfie aptly titled, “I woke up like this…”

 

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However, you want your family and friends to remember you in a good light.  Not to get too dark but one of my worst fears is something bad will happen and they will have to submit a photo to the news for a story. Ensuring it won’t be driver’s license photo, or worse an outdated glamour shot you occasionally have to send them one of you as a butterfly queen. This way the recipients remember you are a real person and won’t be shocked (or disappointed) you don’t have 3 mouths in your face the next time they see you.

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What is your favorite “Snapchat” lens or filter?  Why do you gravitate toward that one?

I toad you so…

The other day my husband and I were off from work when my dad came into the room and asked, “Okay, so who can get rid of a snake and a toad?”

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My husband and I looked at eachother and we leapt into action. While we were putting our shoes on I asked dad what his deal was with the toad. Ever since I was a kid he made it very clear he didn’t like snakes. The toad phobia however, was new to me.  I questioned him about it.

“Oh, it’s that old wives tale that toads give you warts.”

“You know that isn’t true dad, right?”

“Yeah, I know but I still can’t help it.”

The snake was in the garage, the toad was on the front door thus trapping my father inside keeping him from doing gardening.

My husband and I went into the garage to extricate the snake. Secretly while all of this was going on I was fulfilling a life long dream of becoming Ace Ventura. Armed  with a bucket, a stick to gently scoot it out of the way, gloves and tenacity we were able to coax it out. Then it would get scared and go back in the garage.

While our circus was going on my mom came out to get back to gardening.  We kept telling her to stay back (we knew we had irritated the snake) when she calmly said, “I know,” unfazed by the snake trying to figure out what she needed.

My dad was staying his distance behind us.

My husband’s patience wore out with the snake so he finally picked it up, it promptly bit him on the glove and he released it into the driveway. He created some new dance moves while trying to keep the snake from going back.

Mission completed. Next we had to get the toad. Since he handled the snake, I figured I could get the toad.

The toad had wedged itself in the crevice between the door and the frame. It looked bored.  So I spiced up it’s life by talking to it and gently trying to scoop it into my hands. It used to be so easy when I was 7, but in my older years, animals tend to be less receptive to me. Then again maybe that’s my perception giving way to the magic of childhood. The toad was stubborn. Like the snake, it too, had enough.

The toad performed a body slam to my nose, landing in the middle of my face with its crotch dangling  by my mouth. A guttural shout came from the bowels of the defiant part of myself that thinks it’s the animal whisperer.

I flung my face down and to the left where the toad splattered itself by the nearest flower pot. Though it was unharmed it still made a satisfying sound for a creature that had the audacity to attack me with it’s nether region.

Meanwhile my parents were working on the garden, laughing, while my husband gave a sympathetic look and said, “Go wash your face.”

Now I know the real reason dad didn’t want to catch the toad.

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     Has anything like this happened to you? What did you do?

 

Worst fear: Mold ingestion

At night when I get home from my second job around 11:00 pm, usually I’m too tired to do anything but put left overs from lunch in the fridge. This includes beverages. Apparently I was so tired I didn’t realize what my hands grabbed in the dark from my car’s cupholder.

In a few days when rushing to work I grabbed the tea I had previously put in the fridge. On my way to work I barely took a few sips. Once clocked in I started chugging to hydrate and caffeinate. Instead when I chugged something weird slid down my throat. Meanwhile I was trying to listen to my boss and co-worker when suddenly the texture was too much. Luckily he thought I was laughing at his joke and thought it was funny enough that I almost did what’s known in the comedy world as a spit-take.

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While he continued what he was saying I did everything I could to be polite, hang on until I could get a paper towel. When he finished, I bolted to the front register as we had just run out of some at mine.

My new co-worker at the front thought I ran up to barf in her trash can so I wouldn’t have to clean it up. When I wiped away the weird earthy texture from my mouth she was relieved all I needed were her paper towels.

Once I got back to my department, since no one was around, I took a better look at the contents of the bottle.  You could barely see it, but it was concealed in the dark depths of the black tea.  When I promptly threw away the bottle (don’t ever do that, always recycle if you can) a little bit of the mold had splashed up into the clear plastic.

“I’m never buying this tea again,” I thought.

I’m not sure if I found a cure for something by accidentally ingesting the tea. Considering good things come out of mold; like…penicillin and…cheese, I’m not too worried at the moment.

     What is something you accidentally ate one time?  Do you still purchase or make this food to be consumed or do you avoid it altogether?

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Degrees of Deodorant Willingness

At my second job I was putting up sale tags and wound up in the deodorant aisle.  As the tags went up as quick as my fingers could put them there, I noticed a trend.  Almost all of the men’s deodorants have something to do with movement, and generally being active.  I think the Degree company is assuming too much of your average American male.

I’m not saying we’re an under-active country as a whole, but if you look at us, most of us work desk jobs, sit in traffic, and come home to a T.V. dinner while we watch Netflix. (Again, I say most of us.)

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As I kept putting the tags up I started wondering how well their marketing tactics worked.  If said person is sitting at a desk wiling away their hours in front of a computer screen, if they happen to quickly stretch and flap their arms, will their deodorant make them think of being on Mt. Everest?  Will they honestly feel like they are having an Adventure?

Since when did we start looking at antiperspirants as a means of escape from everyday life?  If it were me, I would name one, “couch potato”, something that relates to everyone.  (Let’s be honest, we’ve all been one at one point, and if you haven’t you’re about to be.)  The other one would be named, “mothballs” for the person reading comic books and stuck living in their grandma’s basement.

As I started writing this and doing research, the Axe brand also has some curious names, names like; “Twist”, “Apollo”, “Phoenix”, “Anarchy”.  I couldn’t figure out if Axe was marketing to the X-men, Greek gods or 90‘s drug dealers who still use pagers.  At least Old Spice isn’t taking themselves too seriously…

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I started noticing the women’s versions were all named after flowers, fruit or a state of mind, like “Peace”.  Since when has a woman ever been truly at peace?  Even if she says she is, she’s always thinking or worried about something.  There is even a deodorant named “Daisy”.  Just being honest here, I burn through deodorants like a rapper burns through money.  I can assure you by the end of the 8 hour guarantee promised on the label of a favorite deodorant, through one day of work, working out (boxing), cleaning etc. I will not be as fresh as a “Daisy”.

 

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     If you could make a deodorant what would you name it?  Why?

This is bananas…

This is just a quick thought on my lunch break.

The other day I was filling in as 8th grade history teacher while the teacher I work for/with was testing other students. We were talking about things happening in history “again”. That’s when I quietly sang the first few bars of Brittany Spears’s song, “Oops I did it again.” Not even a smile was cracked. I looked up from the book and said, “You know the song, by Brittany Spears…”

The student in the back asked, “Who’s Brittany Spears?”

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It didn’t quite settle in yet what was happening until l worked my second job the next day. I was working the checkout next to the magazines. The only recognizable faces on the glossy covers were mainly because of students educating me. I recognized Drew Barrymore and Megyn Kelly; and thats about it.

It didn’t hit me until halfway through a Redbook magazine that most publications see my generation as no longer marketable.

I’m officially old, and it feels good.

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I love not being pandered to. No longer do magazines think I can easily be pursuaded into something I dont need. Now the magazines for my generation and older feature color, designs and garden patterns you can do yourself. It seems the main focus for Generation X and early Millenials is self reliance.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still envious of other generations.

The babyboomers.

The babyboomers still have the best music, and their magazines have now changed into those trendy coloring books you see everywhere.

If they don’t like something in a magazine they can become a kid again and make the colors up as they go!

What have you noticed visibly about your generation in marketing? What appeals to you about it?

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