48F7B34C-F794-49A0-B5F6-7350F087479A“Oh my God!” Linda shouted from the bathroom.

Eric, who was sitting in the living room, heard his wife cry out and ran to the bathroom to see what was going on. “Linda, are you okay!”

“Does it look like I’m okay?” she screamed, tears streaming down from her eyes. “My skin is on fire. I think I’m having some sort of chemical reaction to this new makeup.”

“Wash you face,” Eric suggested. “Give it a good scrub.”

Linda washed her face and then looked at her reflection in the mirror. “I quit,” she said. “I wanted to look so good for your birthday party tonight, Eric. But my skin looks like I’ve spent the day in a deep freeze in Antarctica, for crissake. Now I’m going to have to wear a bag over my head tonight.”

“Wait a second,” Eric said. He reached into the medicine cabinet and pulled out a tube of ointment and squeezed some onto his fingers. “This stuff is like magic. Whenever I get razor burn from shaving, I rub a generous amount of this on my skin and it soothes it. It’s great stuff.”

Eric very gently and tenderly rubbed a thick coating of the ointment onto Linda’s skin, massaging it in as he covered her chin, cheeks, nose, and forehead. “That feels almost cold on my skin,” she said.

“Let it stay on for a minute and then rinse it off,” he instructed.

After a minute, Linda rinsed the ointment off her face. She looked in the mirror, smiled, and then turned to Eric. “Well?”

“Well,” Eric said, hugging her. “You, my beautiful wife, look absolutely glamorous,” he whispered in her ear.

Written for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (chemical), Your Daily Word Prompt (quit), Ragtag Daily Prompt (birthday), Word of the Day Challenge (freeze), Scotts Daily Prompt (bag), and Weekly Prompt (glamorous).

100WW — Frame Up

601776C1-8CC2-4451-8EAC-2BAD6CCC8554“Randy,” his mother said, “turn the phone on its side. If you take the picture in landscape mode, you can fit more into the frame.”

“Ma, this is my phone and I want to take the picture my way,” Randy said. “I know that you’re a professional photographer, but I just want to take a snapshot that I can post on Instagram, not to create a work of art.”

“But don’t you want to impress your friends back home with all the photocomposition skills that I taught you?” Randy’s mother asked.

“Ma, don’t you know my friends by now?”

(100 words)

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt. Photo credit: Sebastien Gabriel.

Size Matters

I just read this post from Floridaborne over at Two on a Rant. The post was titled “When size no longer matters.” It reminded me of something I posted on my old blog about five years ago. That post was triggered by this meme that I saw on the internet.3270C4F6-08E9-4055-BB01-EEF1BB7232F4Size 0? Wait. Zero means nothing, naught, zip, zilch. Zero gravity means no gravity, weightlessness. So does size zero mean no size, sizelessness? How how can any article of clothing be size 0?

So I did what I do whenever I come across something that doesn’t make any sense to me. I Googled it. And I found a Wikipedia article, which explained that:

“Size zero, or 0, is a women’s clothing size in the US catalog sizes system. Sizes 0 and 00 were invented due to the changing of clothing sizes over time, which has caused the adoption of lower numbers. Size zero often refers to extremely thin women and adolescent girls, or trends associated with them.”

Seriously, there is a women’s clothing size 00? Is that twice as small as size 0?

Easy peasy

Men’s clothing sizes are straightforward. When a man buys a shirt, the size is based upon neck size and arm length. Size 16/34 means a 16″ neck and 34″ sleeve. It’s understandable, logical, and consistent. A 16/34 shirt is the same size no matter what brand of shirt it is. I find that comforting.

The same logical approach applies for men’s pants. A 36″ waist and a 32″ inseam is reasonably called size 36/32. If a man wears a size 40 suit, that simply means he measures 40″ around the chest (as measured under the arms). What could be more simple and straightforward?

Contrast that with how women’s clothing is sized. What exactly is a size 6? Is a size 12 dress twice as large as a size 6 dress?

As I understand it, a size 6 in one brand might fit like a size 4 or a size 8 in another brand, thus requiring the need for women to try things on before buying. I hate that.

And why are women’s clothing sizes expressed only in even numbers. That’s odd.

Which brings me back to size 0. In my extensive research for this post, I learned that even among women there is a misunderstanding of what size 0 is.

Due to the current hype about super-slim actresses and models and a public awareness of eating disorders, it’s often incorrectly assumed that size 0 was invented to fit a new class of excessively thin women.

But that’s not really the case. Size 0 is actually what is known as “vanity sizing,” which is the practice of labeling clothes with a lower size than their measurements would traditionally indicate in order to appeal to a woman’s vanity.

In another Wikipedia article about how women’s clothing is sized, I found this:

“US standard clothing sizes were developed from statistical data in the 1940s-1950s. However, as a result of various cultural pressures, most notably vanity sizing, North American clothing sizes have drifted substantially away from this standard over time, and now have very little connection to it.

“Instead, they now follow the more loosely defined standards known as US catalog sizes. These are on average 6 sizes smaller than the original standard. So, for example, a size 12 on the old standard would today be described as a size 6, while a size 6 on the old scale would be what is today known as size zero.”

So the size labels for women’s clothing not only have no logical, real-world measurement basis, they’ve changed over time, while still maintaining their relative meaninglessness.

And just as I thought I was beginning to get the hang of it, another wrinkle appeared. Women’s clothing comes in different categories of sizes, such as “misses,” “petites,” “juniors” and “women’s.” Thus, the same size designation in one category may be different from the that same size in another category. Whoa!

I think that women simply don’t want men to know what size they are, so they have a secret language that men will not understand for coming up with virtually meaningless, indecipherable, and, to me, highly confusing size designations.

The good news, though, is that this gives me a great excuse for never buying clothes for a woman.

P.S. Why do women’s shirts have their buttons on the left side, while men’s shirts have their buttons on the right side? Is there a purpose?

Fandango’s Provocative Question #1

Thoughtful Emoji

So how about this? I’m thinking about starting something new and maybe different. Something that may get your creative juices flowing.

Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question. Now by provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

My first provocative question is this:

“If you could be the opposite sex for one day, what would you do?”

Whether or not there will be a second provocative question challenge will depend upon how you all respond to this one. You can also tell me in the comments if you think this idea is a good one or if it sucks.

If you do decide to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.