Monday, June 13, 2011

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding


When reality tv is done right, it can entertain you and introduce you to new worlds.  I think 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' does just that. Heck, I didn't even realize the gypsy lifestyle was real.  I thought it was a myth and I thought 'gypsies' were a tan colored people.  I had no idea they could be Irish. (I know to some people that will sound like an ignorant comment, but hey, I'm just telling you my thoughts.)  This show is crazy.  I'm only one episode in and I am hooked.

THE WEDDINGS!

They are OSTENTATIOUS.  In fact, I'm not sure that word is strong enough to describe how gaudy and outlandish these weddings are. To my Black American eye, they are Jersey-Shore-gone-too-far.  They wear huge bejeweled tiaras that are reminiscent of the crowns girls wear in rediculous beauty pagents.  On the bottom, their dresses look like something a Disney princess would wear.  On the top, they are boobs and jewels.  I mean they really look like something Ice-T's wife would wear.



Most of the clothes the girls wear are, for lack of a better term, hoochie momma-ish, which is odd for such an old-fashioned group.  Most of them are devout catholics and they believe steadfastly in family.  Couples are married in their teens, the women are housewives and the men take care of the families.

THE LIFE

The life is just so foreign to me in 2011.  It's not because they live in Europe and I live in the United States.  One girl featured on the show stopped going to school at the age of 11.  She admitted she can't read or write very well and said there was no need for it.  It stunned me when said everyting she needed to learn was in the house because there was no chance she would ever become a doctor or a lawyer.  That is an odd concept for someone who plans to raise her children to believe that anything is possible.

The women aren't really allowed to make independent decisions once they are married. One of the girls was only 16 when she got hitched and lamented about her loss of youth and independence. 

Courting for them is an even more bizarre matter.  They do something called "grabbing." It looked like the start of a rape.  The guys literally pick out a girl, drag her off and force a "kiss." Some of the boys admitted they don't think the girls actually like this ritual, but said it's part of their culture and no one should judge them.

The Money

No one really knows how much money these people have or how they make it.  They care called Irish Travelers for a reason---they travel a lot.  They don't appear to be wealthy, yet they can afford these over-the-top weddings.  While they may seem tacky to me, I know I couldn't afford the stuff they have.

The Mystery

I am just so intrigued by this culture.  I think it is amazing that they have managed to maintain so much of an "old" culture in this ever changing world. Needless to say, I'll be watching the entire season of this show to see how it will continue to entertain and educate me.  I don't think they are better or worse than me.  In some ways they are the same and in some ways they are different. *shoulder shrug*

Saturday, June 11, 2011

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Flat & Perfect

I think I have the flattest feat on earth. When I was a child, it didn't really matter. I wore tennis shoes...gym shoes--whatever it is you call them. They had support and they were comfortable. I scoffed at my mother's attempts to make me a lady. I let her buy me dress shoes and heels, but I put them in the back of the closet and slipped on something more comfortable. 

Of course as I matured, I wanted to look pretty. That meant the gym shoes had to go. The problem was that I absolutely could not walk in heels. They would only stay on my feet if they were too little or had a strap. Grrr!

Well by 2005, there was a solution for me--Mary Janes!! They were back in style with a vengeance and the options seemed limitless. Every shoe I purchased had a strap. It got to the point where people would ask if I owned gym shoes because they never saw me in them. What a change, huh? THIS WAS FANTASTIC...until the options began to decrease and only the REALLY expensive designers produced cute Mary Janes. 

Ugh...whatever. I continued seeking them out.  Well, then I moved to a big city.  My commute to work included a decent walk and standing on the train. My feet did not like the heels for this.  It just wasn't working.  I needed an alternative and felt forced to return to gym shoes. I had to wear my Converse all the time!  I felt like I'd regressed. 

I felt like flat shoes weren't an option for me, even though they are all the rage right now.  Without an incline, my feet look like sacks of potatoes. I remember taking a walk down the beach with my husband before we were married. It was so romantic, until I looked back at our footprints in the sand. His were perfectly arched imprints. Mine were so flat that they looked like they belonged to a duck. 

Soo I didn't want to break my heart by trying out FLAT shoes because my feet are my soft/sensitive spot.  Shoe shopping is exhilarating for me because I LOVE shoes, but trying them on can be quite depressing. The shoes I love the most, never look right on me. 

Anyway, I digress. My mother finally convinced me to give flat shoes a try. Now, I definitely can't wear them with capris..but (ding ding ding) they weren't the worst things ever. I COULD WEAR THEM! I don't have to wear converse low tops all of the time. Thank the Lord. 

My first pair of flats are these cute, black Taharis. I need flats with lots of rubber that hold onto my feet and I need padding for my walks. That means cheap ones won't work on these orthopedic nightmares that I call my feet. NOW I have my eyes set on every pair of Tory Burch flats you can think of, specifically every color of the Eddie Ballet Falts. Too bad I can't get them all at the moment. 

Oh well!  Once again I learned another lesson about trying new things. Unfortunately, I'm still pretty hesitant in life. It's probably why I never got a chance to work on the Oprah show.  I digress again. LOL!   I LOVE FLAT SHOES and my DUCK FEET. These feet always present me with challenges and always remind me about the beauty of imperfections:-)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I Am My Hair

I have become a slave to my hair. I have always been the dark girl with the long, thick hair. I hate to admit it, but i allowed that description to become part of my identity.

How I feel is not based on the clothes that I wear or the things that I accomplish. It is based on my hair. If I don't like my hair, nothing is right. I feel self-conscious, I have a bad attitude and I snap on my husband.  I am tired of this, but I don't know what to do. I want to take control. I want to take back my hair. 

I've been going to salons since I was five-years-old. My childhood hairstylist was like another aunt. I still consider her an important part of my family. As I got older and moved away, I always said I wanted to do my own hair. But, everyone told me I couldn't. They told me my hair was too thick and too difficult. The one time I tried it, things went horribly wrong. Sooo, I figured they were right. 

But at this point, I've hit rock bottom. I'm tired of paying people to do my hair and being dissatisfied. I'd rather waste money messing it up myself, than giving it to them. 

Each time I get the courage to do it myself, I psyche myself out. I don't like failure and I know the first six months will be a series of failures. Ugh! However, I think I've reached a breaking point. My hair is thinning around the hairline and I'm not feeling that at all. 

I feel like my new stylist is so limited that she can't help me with styles that will take me away from wrapping my hair. I've started to look online for alternatives and I think I've found some, but I'm scared.  

Most people don't realize that I don't do much to my hair in between my trips to the stylist. I just wrap it every night. I don't  have lots of hair accessories or shampoos and I don't play with my hair much.  I was taught to comb my hair in the morning and leave it alone. I was never the type to style all day long, unless I had a ponytail. I like my ponytails neat. If something gets out of place, I'm smoothing it down. It may be a Chicago thing. Lol!

At the age of 30, I have to give this an honest try. My first attempt will likely be with something called a braid-out. I'll go for the wavy look. I've learned that it failed before because I didn't have the proper products. I think i'm ready this time. 

I don't want to be a slave to my hair anymore. If my man wants to have some water fun, I don't want to say no just because I don't know how to deal with my hair. 

I'm taking back the power. PERIOD. I want my hair to last as long as my life, but I don't want to resent it. I want to love it.