Swipe up.

Swipe right.

You’re good-looking.

Swipe left. 

You’re not good-looking.

The terms swipe right and swipe left are terms from the dating app, Tinder.

I am married. I have two daughters, two dogs, a cat, a beautiful home, and my iPhone stores my credit card number for me.

I swipe up. 

I swipe up on Instagram stories. I swipe up all the time. I swipe up when Scott’s asleep next to me. I swipe up in front of his face as he’s talking to me. School car line? Swipe up. Grocery store line? Swipe up! Sitting in the parking lot of the gym? Fling! 

If you’re wondering, “Julie, what the hell are you talking about.”

I’ll tell you what I’m talking about. THE FASHION BLOGGERS ARE RUINING MY LIFE. Ok, my life isn’t ruined. I have a lovely life. But now I’m buying their life and damn, I am rocking this casually draped jacket over my shoulders on this humid 85-degree day.

Cody’s probably going to kill me for posting this but it’s really highlighting my susceptible tendencies, not hers.

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I swipe up.

I can’t stop watching fashion bloggers’ Instagram accounts. It’s like a fashion magazine come to life. I get excited when I see their perfect faces pop up in my feed because it’s like turning a new page. The babies never cry. The toddlers never have meltdowns. The husbands are silent props. The inside of their houses are white. White, you guys. Who has white interior? Fashion bloggers living in a fantasy world. It’s a world where I’m an outsider, looking in. My face is pressed against the window and staring.

Do I want a perfect life? Yes, who wouldn’t. I swipe up for sweaters. Pants. Shoes. Rugs. New restaurants I need to try out. Makeup. Even fresh flowers sitting in my kitchen sink for no reason. Did you know certain nail polish colors trend? They do and I have them.

And do you know what else happens when I swipe up?

I’ll tell you what happens – Scott finds out.

Scott: Hey! What’s this charge? Did you buy something for $89?

Me: What? Oh. What did I buy? It might be the joggers I accidentally bought. Such a good deal for under $50.

Scott: Wait, what did you buy?

Me: $89. I don’t really remember. That might be a rug runner too.

Scott: Ok, well I was just making sure our credit card wasn’t stolen.

Me: Scott, I’m buying Becky’s life. I need help, I think.

Scott: What? Who’s Becky?

Me: Me. I’m Becky. My whole outfit – Becky. Our house decor – Becky. She’s like my own stylist or something. Here, look. She’s a fashion blogger. Her blog’s name is Cella Jane but her real name is Becky. And actually, she lives in Kansas City. Look, she has these swipe ups on her Instagram stories and this is how I shop now.

Scott: Tell Becky Swipe Up that she’s draining our bank account.

Me: I don’t know her personally. But…

Scott: What did you do?

Me: Nothing. I did nothing. It’s just…she works out at Fusion and I haven’t seen her yet. I just want to see her look like crap after a workout. No one escapes Fusion without looking like a drowned rat. I need to see the perfection fall a little bit.

Scott: You are out of control.

Me: Sometimes I see her chipped nail polish in her stories. It makes me feel normal.

Do I know, deep down, every fashion blogger rips ass under the sheets at night? Of course I do.

Being a social influencer is a job. It is a full-time job to appear magazine-perfect through special cameras and photo editing. Ripping ass and waving the sheets towards their husbands’ faces is the behind-the-scenes we’ll never see. Their babies cry. Their toddlers have meltdowns. All couples argue, even on date nights. No one is perfect. I know that.

Do I think Becky Swipe Up will read these words? I’d say the chances are high. Our town is big but not that big. I’m ok with being the woman that looks like a drowned rat and rips ass under the sheets. That’s who I am.

I am a humor writer, not a lifestyle blogger.

But it doesn’t stop me from swiping up. And the rug wasn’t an accident.

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Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Bikini shopping.

“I will divorce you if you get a one-piece swimsuit.”

— Scott’s final last words before we pulled into the mall parking lot.

I needed a new swimsuit. Scott needed some new ones too. We dumped the kids with my parents – well, wait a second here, first we went to the gym to get a final workout in then we dumped the kids.

I started to pull bikinis off the racks. I made my way to the one-pieces and tankinis. They’re so cute. So supportive. So covered up. I’m a mom! And I’m 31! Who cares what Scott thinks. Tankinis are the rage with moms. Unless I am swimming, I am always wearing a coverup. I’ve never been comfortable in a bikini, even when I was Miss 18-year-old Perky Boobs.

Scott caught me browsing one-pieces. He rolled his eyes.

Scott: You know you look best in bikinis. But wear whatever you want.

Me: Do you really hate one-pieces that much? Is this really grounds for divorce?

Scott: Wear whatever you want. Not going to say anything.

Me: I’ll just try one on. Just to see.

Scott: Actually, this one is kinda cute.

Me: Ok! I’ll try that! (It’s a black strappy one-piece. It shows skin on the sides.)

A store employee walked up to us.

Ok. I’m just going to say from experience, this swimsuit looks best on super skinny, stick-thin, girls.

My head whipped around.

Me: Oh. What?

Employee: But you should be ok. It’s just low cut in the butt. And it’s tighter on the hips. I haven’t really seen anyone pull this swimsuit off yet. I’m just warning you.

I’m going to rock this thing. I’ve never worked out so hard at the gym in my life.

I ripped off my clothes in the changing room and pulled on the black one-piece.

Never swimsuit shopping again.

The swimsuit talked to me. — “you may work out at the gym, but here’s that big sandwich you had for lunch. And here’s that glass of wine you drank while watching the K-State game last night and oh yes – real sneaky, Julie – I know you pigged out on that oreo pie when you brought your empty wine glass downstairs to the kitchen. Leave me to the photoshopped models in the catalog.”

Scott: Let me see it, Bug. I know which one you tried on first.

Me: Damnit.

I opened the door. I laughed. I wanted to cry. I pulled Scott inside the changing room before the sales lady could see that I could not pull this off.

The thing was squeezing my hips down to the bone. Circulation was cut off. Muffin top spilled over the exposed sides. Who needs a lifejacket in the Keys when I have built-in cushions on the side holding me up?

Scott: Ugh! It makes your butt look super flat. Turn around. No. This does not look good on you.

Me: Geez, it’s made for a skeleton! Get me the next size up. I don’t care about the size. I’m going to make this look good.

Scott brought me the next size up. There was no difference on the bottom. My thighs were on the verge of turning bright red from the black one-piece tourniquet. It was the most unflattering swimsuit I have ever put on in my life.

A one-piece. 

I cracked open the changing room door and threw the thing at Scott’s chest. Dramatic? Yes. But it’s to be expected when swimsuit shopping with a woman.

Scott didn’t utter a single word when I ended up purchasing two bikinis and a coverup. His eyes smiled at my purchases. He knew if he said one “I told you so,” he would have to hold me back from trying on every one-piece in the store.

And that is how a one-piece swimsuit kept our marriage together. We’re held together by a bikini string, just how Scott likes it.

Whitey Tighties.

I’m on a job search. This automatically throws my closet upside down.

Goodwill – I’m coming your way with my old sweatshirts, stained t-shirts and maybe even a pair of mom jeans.

I don’t own any suits. All my casual dresses are way above-the-knee. My “nicer” shirts are kinda Vegas-with-friends-iffy. Honestly, most of my clothes are out of style. I have clothes from college that I still try to pull off as hip. My favorite color to wear is anything neutral, mostly grays. Fashion has never been a strength of mine. That being said, I would absolutely rock the pants off the workout apparel world.

Once upon a time, before kids, I worked full time. Those clothes are long gone. You want to know what I did with those clothes? I gave most of them away to friends and family.

Oh, but there was this one time I introduced 2 year-old Emma to the appropriate way to wear a white button-up shirt. With whitey tighties, of course.

MOTHER OF THE YEAR.

I don’t know what to say. I’m not crazy like Tom Cruise. I’ve never actually seen the movie Risky Business. The one famous scene was enough for me. Dance parties are my favorite activity to do with kids. Everyone should let loose. I don’t know if I’m glad I actually filmed this or embarrassed. Nah, clearly I’m not that embarrassed since I hit the “publish” button on this post. The original video actually went out to family almost 5 years ago.

A small, small clip from it. Small:

Uh, yeah. I’m going to need that shirt back to work in now.

Mom jeans.

Sometimes I feel like I have to apologize to the public for my outfits. I have a warped sense of style when I get dressed in the mornings…or afternoons. This week, one of my outfits consisted of: ankle length capri jeans with side zippers at ankle. A tank top with opened sweater layered on top. An oversized belt. Oh, and flip flops.

I was trying to be hip. You know, pulled together like I just easily woke up and whipped up the outfit in a carefree way.

I really have no clue what I’m doing.

I walk out of the closet and see Scott staring at me from grooming himself in the mirror.

Scott: What you wearing?

Me: Well, it’s hard to pick something when we have such big temperature changes in the day. Does this sweater look ok with capris?

Scott: No. Take that off right now.

Me: Oh, well maybe just a tank top? I have to go to the grocery store and I’ll be freezing. I should just take the sweater just in case.

Scott: It’s the pants. You look like a mom.

Me: I am a mom!

Scott: No, like mom mom. Like mom jeans.

Me: Are capris not in style? Why didn’t you tell me when I bought these then? These were really expensive!

Scott: It’s your legs. You’re too tall or something. They look like high water jeans that are too short. Put on leggings, at least. Change your shoes. Might as well cut your hair short.

Me: Ok, I’ll try leggings…(I walk back out with leggings and boots) Ahh! Scott this is just very uncomfortable. There’s like camel toe action going on.

Scott: No one stares at your crotch. Keep the sweater closed.

Me: I’m uncomfortable. One wind gust and I can hear people think “Whoa! Camel toe! Whoo-hoo!”

Scott: Fine, wear what you want.

(I change back to my capris. And flip flops.)

I wore that outfit all day. Ok, I’m lying. I changed right before I picked up Emma from school. I freaked. My capris felt like they were neon green at that point. I hate it when Scott puts an image in my head, knowing he is probably right.

This is not the first time I got a fashion lecture from Scott.

I wrote this a couple years ago:

Today, I had to go to a baby shower and decided to put on a dressier-than-what-I-normally-wear shirt. I browsed my selection of winter shoes. I stared at my Doc Martins from high school. They are still in good shape and broken in, comfortable. I put my hand on them and try to think if I’ve seen anyone wear Doc Martins lately…I start to draw a blank. So I text my go-to person (youngest sister Jenna, who is almost 22).

Me: So are the kids these days wearing Doc Martins still?
Jenna: BAAAHAHAHAHA!!! NO!!
Jenna: Why?
Me: I’m going to a baby shower and about to put them on. Ok thanks.

I later tell Scott this and he just stares at me. Looks at my feet– I ended up wearing what I refer to as “hooker boots”, tall leather boots with a heel and pointed toe. I just got those as a Christmas present from my other sister two years ago. I hope those are still in style at least.

Scott (very seriously): Please, get rid of the Doc Martins. Why do you still have those? The last person to wear those was in 1998.

Oops. Good bye Doc Martins…you will have the fate of sitting on a shelf at Goodwill.

I will never hear the end of the Doc Martin story. Now it’s the ankle-length capri jeans with side zippers – yeah, that are sorta high-waterish. But high-waters are in style now, are they not?

It just hit me today as I did my laundry … what the heck was I wearing???? MOM JEANS?????

Sorry, world. Scott tried to save me from the public display of mom jeans but I didn’t listen. I’m just not hip. I get fashion advice from my husband.

Carrie Bradshaw, I am not.

Scott made it clear that I hit a “mommy fashion wall” awhile ago.

In turn, I stalk women at clothing stores.

The women without kids. It is YOU, lovely 20-somethings, that I stalk.

I got it. I’m rocking some new and fashionable outfit…then BAM!

I go to grab shoes out of my closet…then FAIL!

 

  • Oh, somewhere in the teens, cheap Old Navy flip flops. Every color imaginable.
  • Couple special occasion/fancy heels. Like exactly 2. One from my wedding. One from my sister’s wedding.
  • Gym shoes.
  • Fancier, but still cheap, flip flops. Upgraded to Gap.
  • Two pairs of boots to pull over jeans. One Scott insisted I buy last year because I still wear very outdated boots.
  • A handful of worn-in heels I took from my mom.
  • One pair of flats. They hurt my feet.
  • A pair of sandals Scott calls my “Jesus shoes”…which will probably have the same fate as the Doc Martins in the trash can.

Shoes are my enemy. I’m picky. Not in the designer sense or even fashionable sense. What shoes must pass before I buy them:

1. Comfortable. Comfort is number one priority for me. I have been known to walk the Strip in Vegas barefoot b/c my shoes were bothering me. (I was pregnant too, so cut me some slack before you judge).
2. Low heel. Any heel that is over 2 inches puts me taller than Scott. He hates that. I hate that. I’m already awkwardly taller than most people.
3. Hide toes, if possible. My feet are ugly so I don’t like drawing attention to them with cute open toe shoes. I hate when people compliment my shoes when my toes are showing. My instinct is to curl my toes in.
4. Large size. My feet are also roughly size 9 or 10. Pushing mostly 10s since having Kate.
5. No big names, please. I feel guilty for wearing something expensive on my huge ugly feet.

Clearly, I’m missing a part of the female gene.

 

Football, football, football…

Whew! Ok, so I’m getting tailgated out.  I feel like every weekend I’m sitting in a stadium wearing red or purple.  My voice is raspy.  I’m chugging water all the time.  I can’t even remember the last weekend I just hung out with the girls and Scott with nothing to do.

I mean, really, instead of pictures of Emma and Kate on my phone, it’s this:

I have to say…the college students I’ve seen lately, particularly, the female students.
What is going on with all this 80s stuff coming back?  I have seen multiple fanny pack style purses.  Knee highs.  Hair pulled up on the side.  Those silly bands, that look strangely familiar to snap bracelets. Big huge hoop earrings. Baggy, off the shoulder shirts.  And those awful square, brightly colored sunglasses.

I must be old.  I will NOT follow that little trend going on.  I’m not a fan of 80s fashion, hairstyles, music.  I think of how ridiculous everyone looked in photographs of my childhood.  Uh…no, thank you.

To all of you 18-22 year old girls: You look ridiculous.  Call me out of style.  Call me old.  I don’t care.

I’m taking a break from all the tailgating and football games in the next few weeks.  I’ll be drinking root beer with Emma and Kate in our PJs.   We’ll be cheering on the Chiefs and Cats from the comfort of home.  Until the KSU homecoming game anyway…

My fashion sense is shot.

So it’s that time of year when I can officially put away all the summer clothes and bring out the winter stuff. I got Emma and Kate’s closets all ready for winter. I got out our space heater for the basement. It will be our first full winter with a finished basement. I’m really tempted to start the Christmas music and get out Christmas decorations…but I’m holding back. (I keep telling myself, we haven’t been to the pumpkin patch yet, don’t start the Christmas music. Don’t start the Christmas music.)
I even turned my own closet upside down and made piles to give away to charity or sisters or cousins. I still have stuff from high school. Which I still fit into but it’s really out of date. I realized that I have no idea what exactly is in style now. Are short shorts still in style? Or has everyone gone to the bermuda-style shorts? And if short shorts will still be in style next summer, am I too old to be wearing them? I know I’m only 27, but I have two kids and that makes me feel old.
What should I be wearing this winter? I have tons of sweatshirts and long sleeved tees. That’s about it. I rarely shop for myself anymore because 1. I think shopping for the girls is so much more entertaining. 2. For two out of five winters (since getting married/graduating), I have only bought maternity. And 3. I have no idea where to go. I get tired of the plain stuff at Old Navy/Gap/Target. Those little clothing stores in the mall are made for flat chested 13 year olds. If I go to a department store, do I go to Juniors or Women’s? I feel so in between.

And I would like to confess I have no idea what Uggs are. OK, I know what they are…but how do you wear them? Over your pants/under them? Are they ok for snow? Are they meant for just around the house like a slipper? That is how out of the loop I am right now. No idea. Way over my head. Today, I had to go to a baby shower and decided to put on a dressier than what I normally wear shirt. I looked at my selection of winter shoes and I stared at my Doc Martins from high school. They are still in good shape and broken in, comfortable. I put my hand on them and think if I’ve seen anyone wear Doc Martins lately…I start to draw a blank. So I text my go-to person (youngest sister Jenna, who is almost 22).

me: So are the kids these days wearing Doc Martins still?
Jenna: BAAAHAHAHAHA!!! NO!!
Jenna: Why?
me: I’m going to a baby shower and about to put them on. Ok thanks.

I later tell Scott this and he just stares at me. Looks at my feet– I ended up wearing what I refer to as “hooker boots”, tall leather boots with a heel and pointed toe. I just got those as a Christmas present from my other sister two years ago. I hope those are still in style at least. Scott says (very seriously), “Please, get rid of the Doc Martins. Why do you still have those? The last person to wear those was in 1998.” Oops.

Good bye Doc Martins 😦

I really did used to have a good fashion sense. I really did. But staying at home for 3, almost 4 years now put an end to that quickly.

Would Scott kill me if I hired a stylist? haha. Or maybe I’ll just be living in Chiefs/KSU sweatshirts and some Nikes all winter. I can look and act the part of the extremely sleep-deprived mom…but at least I’ll be warm and comfortable.