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Liz Farrell is the editor of Lowcountry Current. She is a native Bostonian and a graduate of Gettysburg College. She is excellent at wasting time, loves to drink coffee and read, and has made Google-Image-stalking Tom Selleck a real pastime.
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I was giving a tour of the area to some family members from up North the other day — filled with such interesting tidbits as “Spanish moss is, like, a thing that looks like beards” and “Over there is a building that I think had something to do with ships” and “No, the plaque says it has something to do with ‘Jingle Bells’ ” — when it occurred to me that I am a Lowcountry fraud. I am a Southerner wannabe. I am like the kid who got her mom to puffy-paint “Megadeath rules” on the back of her Guess jean jacket from Bloomingdale’s, failing to take into account, of course, that “Megadeth” is spelled without the second “A” and that “rules” should probably be “rulz” in this instance.
Blame it on all those years of playing with Barbies for 12 hours at a time, but I don’t want to see Kim Kardashian’s or any other model’s cellulite on the cover of a magazine.
Like all good, willfully deluded consumers, I want to be fooled by the magic of Photoshop so I can pretend for just one second that there’s such a thing as attainable perfection — and that articles like “5 Ways To Be The Thinnest, Richest Thing In Town” are my only hope of ever reaching it.
I have finally found the one thing that we, as a diverse group of Americans, can all agree on. Well, two things really. The first is that “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” was the most underrated film of 1986 (nobody cleans up like Nick Nolte), and the second is that Nadya Suleman — the single mom of six who recently gave birth to in-vitro octuplets (despite not having a job or a non-foreclosed-on home to live in) — is a brand-new kind of crazy.
And we, as a nation of bored fools, can’t seem to get enough of it.
As the economy continues to circle the bowl, I’m doing all I can to not lose my mind to the ghosts of Great Depressions Past, while still trying to become one of these New Frugalista-types I keep reading about.
My progress so far? Not so good.
As has been the case with every trend that’s come up in the last 30 years, I find myself on the outside looking in, misfiring in my attempt to look cool and resenting the fact that I’m even trying to fit in (like the time I fashioned my knee-hi into a “Desperately Seeking Susan” headband and then denied it was ever a sock, or the time I got a Supercuts interpretation of “the Rachel” that made me look more like the super-proud owner of a ladies-only bar called “Mullets on the Half-Shell” than like one of the famous “Friends”).
We all have moments in life that we allow to happen just because we think, “Only a limited number of people will ever know I did this.”
Or, I should say, we used to have those moments. We don’t anymore. Every day our behavior is on display — recorded in blogs, on Facebook or on someone’s phone and uploaded to YouTube.
The task of conducting ourselves in a becoming way is now a full-time job, day and night, in the house and out of the house. (Sometimes I worry that the webcam on my laptop will accidentally turn on and record me drinking out of the wine bottle while Googling “weird bumps on tongue.” I assure you, not a pretty freeze-frame.)
Back in 1998, I learned this profound lesson about mob mentality and personal humiliation while on a flight from Philly to Boston: If you’re going to annoy a plane full of weary Christmas travelers by doing Jim Carrey impressions instead of bringing us our drinks, Mr. Flight Steward, then we will allow you to go the entire flight with your fly down. Nice snowflake boxers.
Far be it from me to make fun of the flabby, but this economy's got me in a bad mood and I need to take it out on someone rich and blonde: Behold, Jessica Simpson and her unsightly backfat. To which I say, HA and HA.
The Great Debate in TV media right now is, of course, not whether President Obama's stimulus plan is just a bunch of garbage-y pork, but whether Jessica Simpson is fat and, if so, is it OK to (insert apologetic face and embarrassed shrug here) talk about her apparent 4 pound weight gain. After answering a CNN.com quick poll on the subject, I'm here to tell you I'm in the minority when I say, "Why, yes it is."
Here's a little something I found under all the coal in my Christmas stocking: Apparently, happiness is contagious. And just like other communicable diseases, it can be spread within three degrees of separation from the originator - so be very careful about who you associate with.
Scientists recently found that we have the potential to infect others with our happiness - families, friends, grumpy co-workers and possibly even unwitting strangers at the disco. (If it starts to burn when you smile, you'll know you've caught it.)
Well, my gosh-darn goodness, who knew it cost so much to put lipstick on a pitbull! Or that mavericks like to shop at Bloomie's? Or that makeup artists can make $22,000 for just two weeks' of stylist work?? Seriously, pass me some rouge and eyeliner already.
In an act of what can only be described as major fashion suicide, the GOP went and spent $150,000 (a little less than Joe Six-Pack's beer money) on clothing, makeup and hairstyle consultations for Sarah Palin and her family. But don't worry. They plan to donate the clothes to charity after the election, so it's OK. And truly, I can't think of a better way to say, "I love you, real Americans, and p.s. this isn't an FEC violation" than to offer the foreclosed-on working poor a chance to dress in a variety of size 2 boucle wool suits, accessorized with nifty elephant pins and earrings in the shape of Alaska. It's like an "I'm right there with you" wink - if an "I'm right there with you" wink were the prelude to a world-destructing evil spell by this year's Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.]
*Full disclosure: This is about to get nerd nasty.
I used to be a Republican.
1. I like money.
2. I'm disgusted by most people (particularly those who need things).
3. I work hard. Emphasis on "I."
4. Ted Kennedy showed me his Chappaquiddick at a clam bake and demanded I vote for Dukakis. I know. I was like, "C'mon, mister. I'm only 12 ... "
These days, I am a free agent, seriously thinking about a dabble with the Democrats (I met them on Craigslist ... they seem like nice people. They say they like to cuddle and pay for other people's health care).