Keep Your Yanni out of my Yoni: Sort of a review of Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth

As Matlida or I may have mentioned before, I will be popping  a lil human out of my vagina in a few months now. I’m sorry, was that an indelicate way to phrase it? Should I have said “I’m going to bring forth life from my sacred womb”? Well, don’t hold your breath, because I don’t fucking talk like that.

Some shameful background admissions: I grew up in Northern California. I was a pot smoking, Birkenstock wearing, Phish listening teenager. I wore jewelry with my zodiac sign on it. I bought books about Wicca. Hell, I even believed that astral projection was possible.

Yes, I thought this was a thing. Stop laughing.

But I still drew the line somewhere. I could never bring myself to completely drink the koolaid. I never went for dreadlocks, for instance. As soon as my armpit hair started growing, I started shaving it. There was a boundary I could not cross when it came to New-age trends and beliefs.  I think the line was most tangibly drawn by the language used by so many of my peers. Or maybe it was the abundant paranoia. Or the stink of B.O. that permeated whole groups of people. Or the constant repetition of unsubstantiated claims being purported by obscure authors who went by exotic sounding monosyllabic names. But I digress.

When I went to college I had the reverse experience that many people have. I became less “open-minded”.  What I actually mean is I learned that I should use rational thought to determine the legitimacy of claims and to only put stock in those that had some semblance of supportive evidence. I learned to remember that I had inherent biases and that the inadvertent confusion of correlation and causation led to a ton of false beliefs. I had an epiphany: Humans can be kind of  morons and we need to take precautions not to completely misjudge the world around us. Believing in auras and telepathy and magic might seem awesome and make the world more like our fantasies, but it doesn’t make those things any more real. Actually, it takes away our focus and attention from the awesome things that are verifiable and beautiful. (Disclaimer: This is not to say I don’t think people are entitled to have unverifiable beliefs if they bring them comfort. But if you have to choose between acceptance of science and your spiritual beliefs, and you choose your spiritual beliefs, then we probably won’t get along.)

Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked. What I wanted to talk about was my experience reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Though I have fully embraced the practice of conventional medicine, it seems there is a trend in U.S. medicine in particular to embrace an over-willingness to intervene when it’s just not necessary. I may be a skeptic, and an agnostic, but I can still appreciate the spiritual and emotional elements of child labor. There is something profoundly beautiful, awe-inspiring, and just frigging amazing about the whole thing. I mean, there is a baby inside me! I’m getting kicked and tickled from the inside right now as I write this!  Childbirth is something I want to experience with a touch of sensitivity, a bit of setting, a smidgeon of solemnity. I get it, ok! Some of it, anyway.

The book itself is very helpful in describing the whole birthing process, from water bursting to final thrusts. It shares a number of women’s birthing experiences and shares their advice on managing and overcoming the pain using mental techniques. Helpful, and yet I was cringing during much of the book. not from the graphic descriptions of the birthing process. Instead, it was from the use of terms like “yoni”,  “plane”, or “spirit guide” (I’m pretty sure that third one was in there somewhere).  One woman shared her method of imagining your vagina is a cave near a ravenous ocean, and the ebb and flow of the torrential tides correspond to the contractions. I think she meant her vagina, anyway. She called it a yoni.

This is a yoni. I don’t have one. I have a fucking vagina.

Is this supposed to be an empowering word? It’s vagina in another language. Or did she mean one of the other definitions of yoni? Like “sacred temple”? How about “stable”? Is my baby a pony? Language like this immediately puts me off. Can’t I use the English words without selling out to the man? Does my desire to give birth in a hospital diminish the spiritual import of my child’s birth? No, damn it. It doesn’t. It’s up to each of us to marry our spiritual side with our clinical or rational side. Ina May has assisted thousands of births. She seems to be  a reliable source for information on the birthing process. But hers is not the only way.

I am going to give birth in a hospital. I realize incense won’t be allowed and there won’t be a drum circle outside the door (I’m not knocking it, that would be pretty awesome). But, the compromise is all the technology, sterility, and know-how that will be there. I’m going to resist unnecessary interventions and have my people know my wishes in case I can’t communicate them.  I completely admire women who opt to have home births. They are braver than I. If they want to chant, have a naked midwife, and blast Enya through cockle shaped speakers during labor, good on them! I just hope they get their children vaccinated or else we’ll have a serious fucking problem.So take from the book what works for you and, if you’re like me, try not to dwell on the shudder-inducing hippy talk.

I hope this doesn’t sound too angry. I’m really a happy, sympathetic person. Just keep the Yanni out of my yoni. (And vaccinate your kids.)

This is a Yanni. I don’t have one. I have a fucking vagina.

 

 

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Filed under Family Life, Humor, Misc

UPDATE- Blinc Mascara Review: I Have to Buy “Primer” too?!!?!!!????a

A few weeks ago, I wrote about coming to terms with the aging process. Or more specifically, coming to terms with my new “I must wear eye makeup” stage of the lifecycle, somewhere between the “I’m eating THREE Otis Spunkmeyer cookies a day without consequences” stage and the “I’ve gotten a haircut like the attractive newscaster on channel five!” stage. It’s all part of the process. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Is this what the public school board pictured when they created “nutrition break”?

To celebrate this transition, I splurged on a really expensive mascara with seemingly space-age technology. (Wait, we’re already in the space age right?) As you’ll see when you read the review in full, Blinc mascara, the product in question, offers a lot of advantages over regular mascaras. These tubes don’t come off, until you want them to! Of course, every time I do pull them off I have a mini-panic – “Did I just pull out all of my eyelashes?”, but that’s crazy talk because pulling out your own eyelashes would hurt like hell (I assume), and this is only a tugging sensation.

So far I’ve tested Blinc mascara in the following conditions:
• In a pool at the local YMCA with a 10-month old
• On a treadmill workout at the unventilated aforementioned YMCA
While crying about my husband’s vasectomy
• On a 3 mile walk to pick up my vehicle from the auto body shop in 80+ degree weather with that 10-month old strapped to my chest and pushing a double stroller loaded with 2 preschoolers, a CSA box, and assorted child-related debris

And in all of these scenarios………NO SMUDGING or FLAKING. Ever. At all.

If only Blinc created more volume, it would be a miracle product. But by itself, the effect is long, dark, and sparse. As if some clear-cutting just went down in your forest of lashes. For $20, that’s a pretty serious drawback. So how does Blinc remedy the issue? Sell an additional $20 product to help volumize your lashes! And guess what? Suckers like me will buy it!

The product is the Blinc Lash Primer, which is supposed to condition lashes and add volume when applied before the mascara. Here’s a step-by-step of the process.

Somebody get me some coffee.

The Lash Primer goes on white, and while the promotional copy suggest that you can wear it without mascara to soften lashes, I think that it feels unpleasantly sticky. In addition, I don’t always go for the white “old lady” lashes look. That’s pretty much precisely what I’m trying to avoid by wearing eye makeup.

I am the Snow Queen of Narnia!

When the mascara is applied on top of the primer, my lashes do seem a bit thicker. They also look and feel clumpier, and are hard to separate. For now, I’m wearing the Primer but I can’t say that the effect is worth the extra expense.

The missing Kardashian.

Wait a minute, I just thought of something! What if Blinc tried to make their existing mascara even better instead of creating a totally separate product that doubles the price?
Unfortunately, things like this will happen the day I’m able to eat my daily dose of 3 consequence-free Otis Spunkmeyer cookies again. Overall, Blinc mascara is a great option for daily wear, but if you want fuller, lusher lashes once in a while, I suggest skipping the Blinc primer/mascara combination and opting for an $8 tube from your local drugstore. Your wallet will be grateful.

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Chopped: Judgment Day

I was inspired by Matilda’s “Next Food Network Star” post, so I decided to do my own review on the cooking show I happen to watch on an almost nightly basis. I blame my husband for getting me started, but by now we’ve both found ourselves sucked into the “love to hate it” vortex that is the Food Network’s “Chopped”. If you are not familiar with the show, the gist is as follows:

Ted Allen. This shit is serious.

Ted Allen, the food fashionista first made known by Queer Eye, hosts this hour long competition where four chefs vie to be the Chopped Champion and take home the glory and ten thousand smackaroos.  There are three rounds, appetizers, entrees, and desserts,  and one person is eliminated after every round. There is a panel of three judges, usually successful chefs (I guess) who I’ve never seen or heard of before Chopped (except for Aaron Sanchez, whom I’ve seen in commercials for queso fresco. I know it’s him because the way he says “QUE-so Frrrrrrrrrresco” is so unforgettable). They rate the dishes based on presentation, taste, and creativity.  The clincher in Chopped is the basket. The Chopped basket holds the secret ingredients which each contestant must use successfully each round, and will contain anything from gummy worms to goat brains.

So that’s it essentially. They give four chefs some absurd ingredients and 20 mins to dazzle them with flavors. The parts that are so comically delicious about “Chopped” to my husband and I are the editing and the stereotypes. The “Chopped” producers seem to want to get across each chef’s unique culinary vision as well, as long as it can be neatly expressed in one or two sentences and repeated ad nauseum throughout the episode and at completely random times. Whether it’s “I studied in France” or “I used to be a drug addict” or “I’m a lesbian whose cousin has breast cancer”, you will hear nothing from the contestant that does not relate directly to this their relevant feature or their dish. It will come up when they are running out of time. “I waited to cook my fish til the very last minute, but I’m a recovering gambling addict so I love to take risks.” Ok, I made that up, but you get the idea, right? The best is during the judging panel.

If you can’t take the heat…wear shorts like the guy on the end.

Inevitably one or more of the judges will find fault with a chef’s dish. Either the execution was lacking or they didn’t adequately incorporate the jawbreakers and squid ink into the appetizer. The scene will often play out as follows:

Judge: “I found your use of citrus to be very overwhelming in this dish.”

Chef: “Well, after my grandmother was bludgeoned to death by a baby, excessive sourness seemed somehow appropriate.”

Judges: “…..”

When it comes to reality shows, I tend to blame the producers for making the contestants seem totally unhinged and disassociated from what is going on around them. I imagine the heavy editing cut out the part where men in black suits encircled the contestant, shining maglites in her face and demanding to know why there’s sadness in her eyes. On the other hand, some of the chefs seem to embrace the “wear your life story like it’s going out of style” party line.  The chefs that irk us the most are probably those from New Orleans, excuse me, NAH LINS. AND DON’T EVER SAY IT OTHERWISE, YANKEE SCUM!

I get it, they are from a beautiful, diverse, and culturally vibrant city that has experienced a great deal of hardship and obscurity. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in the place you are from and wanting to represent it. But it can make for shitty TV! It’s just so predictable. Stirring mascarpone into some almond butter? Please talk about how Katrina displaced your son’s family. It is sad, it was a terrible tragedy, but the way it is just hammered at you while the chefs are braising venison butt makes it feel more exploitative than poignant.”Chopped” would make for a sensational drinking game.  Determine each contestant’s “identity” during the introduction section then drink every time they make reference to it. Heavy drinkers, keep your eye on the lesbians and former drug addicts.

The final word.

And then there are the judges. Look, these folks obviously know what they are talking about. They know when meats are properly cooked, they know how to prepare all sorts of exotic fruits and grains, most of which I’ve never heard of, much less tasted. So, I must rely heavily on what the judges say about each meal to get a sense of what the chefs created. They usually seem pretty spot on, though they can differ wildly in their expectations and preferred treatments. One day, it’s a sign of the chef’s laziness to put an ingredient on the plate in its natural form. The next, it’s a sign of having confidence in the ingredient. If I were ever to compete on this show, I would be paralyzed by indecision, knowing too well it could go either direction. (Then again, I can barely make palatable food using mainstream ingredients, so who the hell would put me on “Chopped”?) Though, I would know to steer clear of lentils, because everybody fucks those up.

Overall, it’s a fun show that appeals both to the culinarily minded (my husband) and the not so much (me). He likes to watch to see what surprising food combinations will be concocted, and I like to watch to see what disgusting health violations contestants will make. (My favorite was the Israeli soldier who cut himself and was bleeding profusely but who continued to make tuna rolls without gloves.) We both like to watch to make fun of the absurd use of stereotypes.

Can’t contain this dish.

 

Are you a fan? Do you disagree with my assessment? Any other observations I left out? Leave a comment! PLEASE! LEAVE A COMMENT! I’M NOT DESPERATE!

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A Culinary Point of View™: My Next Food Network Star Application

We all want to be this “Guy”


Has anyone else been watching the Next Food Network Star and thought, “hell, I could do that”! Oh, everyone? Ok. Well that’s because the Next Food Network Star is a culinary competition in which culinary prowess, knowledge, or experience are not required. What do you need to win? A Culinary Point of View™ and some guidance from one of the Food Network’s top-notch mentors, Iron Chef and probable adulterer Bobby Flay, rumored nymphomaniac and real-life bobble-head Giada De Laurentiis , and my favorite crabapple, Alton Brown.

The esteemed culinary mentors

But as we’ve seen from season after season of the show, finding your own Culinary Point of View™ isn’t that easy. Because your Culinary Point of View™ has to simultaneously reflect your “true voice” and be “responsive to criticism” from Bob and the Sooze. And what Bob and the Sooze want depends on the week, the season, and possibly whatever chemicals are laced in their self-tanner.

For example, while Bob and the Sooze loved Ippy’s authentic Hawaiian style at the beginning of the season, now they’ve decided that he’s too “laid-back”. Isn’t that like accusing someone from Minnesota as being too nice? That’s what Hawaii is about, guys. That’s called Hawaiian style. Oh, you want him to be his authentic self, but in a more frenetic way? That’s helpful, thanks.

Ippy’s got too much Aloha

Or how about when they eliminated previous favorite Emily for having a mediocre week and kept Giada’s “fiery hot Latina” Martita? The same Martita who finished her promo 30 seconds early and instead of trying to fill the time smiled wide-eyed at the judges for 30 Seconds. Of. Dead. Air. Oh, you didn’t want them to even try to do the challenge this week, Bob and the Sooze? I’m sure if you had told Emily what you wanted she could stand in awkward and confused silence for even longer than 30 seconds!

Martita, pretending like nobody can see her. And it worked!

The rampant discrepancies and conspiracy-like eliminations are almost making me think that winners and losers are decided by a complicated calculus of Network need, focus groups, demographic pull, and the aforementioned toxic self-tanner, instead of the actual challenges themselves. There, I’ve said it. The Next Food Network Star may be rigged.

This isn’t going to stop me from applying for next season. As some of you already know, I like to cook. I make salad dressing from scratch! And bread! And I soak my own beans! In Food Network parlance, I’m not a occasionally better than average home cook- I’m self-taught with a unique Culinary Point of View™. And the fact that I can’t tell you the difference between a hollandaise and béarnaise doesn’t matter. Because my ignorance is relatable! Who wants to learn how to cook from someone who knows interesting information about food when I can add a pouch of powdered ranch dressing to a casserole and tell stories about my Nan? That’s right, nobody.

The following are real questions from the Next Food Network Star application. I can’t make this stuff up.

Complete this sentence: If I were an ingredient, I would be…….

How can I answer this without it becoming a sexual innuendo? Um, salt? Because it’s in everything? Damn it, that doesn’t work. Okay, how about tomatoes? Because of the way their taut skin bursts in your mouth? Never mind. Breadcrumbs? Because they are getting old? They make everything crunchy when submerged in hot oil? Ugh, I give up.

Is there a non-perverted way to answer this question? People aren’t food, after all.

Unless……if I were an ingredient I would be Soylent Green. Because Soylent Green IS PEOPLE! IT’S PEOPLE! And there’s nothing sexy about that.

What is your unique Culinary Point of View™?

I’m not sure what to put here. I’m guessing that my real Culinary Point of View™, food that your kids won’t want to eat isn’t going to fly with the Food Network. And shows about Healthy! Delicious! Organic! Foods! That your kids WILL eat! are often a joke. (Case in point, when Nikki served a “kid-friendly Kale smoothie” to a group of gagging 10 year olds.) Kids are crazy. Some things they like, some things they don’t. Sure they are often more picky than many adults, but their list of likes and dislikes are impossible to generalize. My son loves Kale chips and hates pizza. My daughter could eat Fettuccini Alfredo for every single meal of her life but will not drink a glass of chocolate milk. She likes cashews, he likes almonds. See what I mean? It’s a boring show idea, because there is no “kid food” and that’s why these contestants never win.

Bob and the Sooze: The Orange Masterminds

Okay, here’s another idea for a Culinary Point of View™. How about The Boozy Chef? I’ll focus exclusively on recipes requiring the hard stuff and drink the leftovers as I cook. How about Grand Marnier French Toast, or Hooch strawberry salad dressing? Or what about potatoes two ways? I’ll just put some potatoes in the oven to roast and drink some vodka. I have a feeling the Sooze is going to love this one.

Unfortunately, I drank so much prepping my recipes that I can’t pull it together to fill out all ELEVEN pages of the application. So nobody will ever know what kind of role I generally play in groups, what topics are off limits to me at a dinner party, or other highly relevant food-related information. Maybe I’ll work on finding my adaptable authentic voice in the meantime.

What’s your unique Culinary Point of View™?

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Filed under Culinary, Humor, TV shows

How to (Not) Support Your Partner Upon His Vasectomy: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, he’s going to get the big V! You’ve debated about it for hours, days, or years and finally decided that his swimmers are getting kicked out of the pool for good. For my husband and I, it was less a rational discussion and more of a battle cry oft repeated through a complicated third pregnancy. L’Shana Haba’ah Vasectomy! Although our dedication to sterility waned a bit immediately after our beautiful baby was born, a few months later we looked again at our three children under five, our inability to save or find me a job to cover the cost of daycare, and our seemingly unending future of sleep deprivation torture, and decided to do the snip.

The Vasectomy: This time it’s HIS turn

Assuming that your partner has been like mine, a true mensch and a source of support and (most of the time) assistance through long pregnant days and sleepless newborn nights, you’ll want to extend the same courtesy to him for what is a psychologically daunting procedure. Men do seem to care a great deal about their balls. I don’t understand it, but I can be there for him. That’s why I’ve created this simple step-by-step guide- your partner will be so thankful.

1. Act Casual

It’s not a big deal, this whole thing, right? In fact, you should be like me and model such excellent nonchalance that he’ll think that you actually forgot about it. And that you didn’t schedule a babysitter or actively plan to be at his side. Okay, maybe you did do that, but you did make some last minute calls when he asked why you didn’t plan to come to his (minor!!!) surgical procedure. That counts!

2. Express Support and Concern

When he does seem like he wants to discuss the upcoming procedure, be there to hear his concerns. And voice your own, of course. About his health, and about the fact that you won’t be able to have any more babies any more ever, and doesn’t he think that the timing is a little crazy and that this decision is a little rash, after all? Why make it permanent? Sure, you don’t plan on having more children- but what’s wrong with condoms for the next 12-15 years that you remain fertile? They don’t bother you!

3. Document the Process

Even though he might be feeling apprehensive and a little irritable, make sure to take pictures of the process to document it for your blog. He’ll thank you later, I promise.

This is not annoying at all

4. Encourage Recovery

After the procedure, go ahead and leave him and the three kids at home while you rush to the pharmacy to pick up his Vicodin prescription. If there happens to be a long line, feel free to sit and wait in the lobby area. If there are a few new US Weekly magazines to peruse while you wait, no problem. He and the kids will be fine.

5. Maintain Comforting Routines

After a traumatic incident, it’s often best to keep up with your normal routines. If he regularly wakes up at dawn with the kids on Saturday while you sleep in, why change that now? That icepack he was up changing all night long was sure to keep down the swelling.

6. Help Transition Back to Normalcy

Although taking narcotics post-procedure is helpful, your partner might need you to suggest backing off of the heavy-duty stuff or transitioning to Ibuprofen instead. Even if he had what his urologist called “a bleeder,” for safety purposes he should ease off the Vicodin. Because he’s got to save some for you! (Note: I’m just kidding!)

Houston, we have a bleeder

7. Harness His Other Sources of Support

Make sure that others can also support him by letting all of them know. Is he walking a tad funny? Point it out in a loud and clear voice so that they don’t have to worry. Does his bulge seemingly protrude? Assure everyone that’s it is just an icepack from his recent vasectomy! No cause for alarm!

8. Be Authentic to Your Own Emotions

As carefully as you’ve handled his concerns and fears, you must find the space to share your own to preserve the balance in your relationship. So if he forwards you a birth announcement from an acquaintance four days after the procedure, feel free to let those tears flow. You’ll never have another newborn, after all. At least not with him.

Estimated Cost of Family Planning/Creation Procedures:
You- $78,000 (3 births)
Him- 35 bucks

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Hey Buffalo Breath

Do you have one of those things from your early childhood that has remained firmly planted in your psyche, but no one else seems to have held onto? I sure as shit do. It’s called “Out of This World”. Come on! You remember Evie, and her charismatic mother, Donna? Please, tell me you remember this show!

A show permanently etched into my subconscious.

“Out of This World” was on the air from 1987 until 1991, according to the IMDB page. A four year run isn’t that bad for a show, particularly from that period, right? I’m also guessing the show had syndicated reruns. The show stars Maureen Flanigan as Evie, a half-human, half-alien adolescent just trying to live as a normal teenager and get through pubescence with some dignity intact. Also, she has some pretty awesome powers like the ability to freeze time, and teleport. She can also “gleep” things into existence with some strenuous blinking. The show always presented bizarre and comical scenarios, quirky over-the-top characters, and totally gnarly 80’s style. The hair-do’s alone are worth checking it out for.   So why, you might ask, would a silly sitcom from my early childhood still remain so well integrated into my mind? I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! But it is. At least once a day I find myself singing “Hey Buffalo Breath, is that what they call you?”  Watch the following clip if you’d like to know to what this refers:

I rarely meet anyone who remembers “Out of This World”. The most I’ve ever gotten is tame acknowledgment and mild confirmation. “Oh, yeaaaah….” This show somehow shaped my childhood and no one else seems to give two shits?! Matilda humors me, but does not seem to ever have been truly moved by the show. Maybe it’s a generational thing, or perhaps I’m just now discovering the oddity that is memory.

I’m not saying by any means that there was something spectacular or unique about “Out of This World”, but it was cute and for whatever reason it was highly entertaining for a 4 year girl. What I really don’t understand is why this show, more than any other from that period in my life,  has taken precedence in my powers of recollection. Sure, I remember Fraggle Rock, but only vaguely. I couldn’t sing the theme for you or remember any specific plots. I remember SOOOO MUCH from “Out of This World”. I remember multiple plot points from episodes and even dialogue. And that fucking buffalo breath song!!! What else could explain my lifelong and pervasive love for all things Burt Reynolds, besides the fact that he’s the voice of the alien absentee father, Troy Garland, who was always channeled through the odd sugar cube pyramid thing?

Donna, Evie, and Burt, errr, I mean Troy.

I can’t explain why “Out of This World” has stuck with me so strongly for so long, but I’ve come to accept that it’s something I have to appreciate by myself and remember it as I saw it as that tiny girl. Watching clips on YouTube does not bring that back. Instead, I find myself cringing and the creeping feeling that what I’m watching is, actually, pretty shitty entertainment. But, oh, how I remember it! Magical! Whimsical! Hilarious! The colors! The zany characters! The anticipation every time Evie brought her forefingers together… Hilarious mayhem was about to ensue!! This show is something I can’t experience again, and it’s not something I will really be able to share with my children. Any attempts would be a sad display of sitting them down in front of a screen for scratchy, blurred clips from a lost generation. I can already picture it. “Their hair looks like french fries.” and “This is the dumbest thing ever.” No! It was wonderful! Damn you, sands of time!

If you have a similar cross to bear, I’d like to hear about it. What cultural anomaly had a notable impact on you, but has faded with the likes of acid-wash jeans and hair kinks?  If only I were Evie, I would gleep those things back for you, and we could have a marathon in our Winnie the Pooh pajamas sitting on the shag carpet!

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Filed under Fridays, Random, TV shows

Eshakti.com review update: The dresses are here! The dresses are here!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my first order with Eshakti.com , an online women’s clothing retailer. You should read it in full, but just in case, here’s the recap:

1. Eshakti.com sells customizable dresses
2. Many of them come in… statement colors. Take this one:

I call this “Old Highlighter From the Bottom of my Backpack” yellow

3. Others have lovely vintage-like patterns and styles
4. The sizing may be a little wack. I took a gamble and ordered a smaller size. Um, no, the decision wasn’t based on vanity. How DARE you insinuate such a thing?
5. I thought I ordered two, but wasn’t sure because…
6. I didn’t hear from Eshakti.com for several days
7. I finally received a customer email that appeared to be written by a cross between Charles Dickens and Emily Bronte
8. The gist of the email was that since my shipment was late, I would receive an unspecified discount
9. Questions remained- Will the dresses ever arrive? Were they made at the Wonka factory? What will happen next?

Eshakti, is that you?

Well, folks, the dresses did arrive. But not before being held up in international customs in Chennai, India, and brief sojourns in Bangalore, Leipzig, Cincinnati, and San Francisco.

Finally, a little less than a month after I originally placed my order- a joyful noise on my doorstep! Hark, hark, the dispatched package has come hence!

Let’s start with the “Birds who gossip dress”, which retails for $69.95. (I got it for less. Read the original post.) The dress is polyester but does not have the cheap and shiny look of a….cheap polyester dress. It is well constructed and surprisingly soft and comfortable. The seams are evenly finished and strong. Most importantly, there are pockets! Unadvertised pockets! Talk about a delightful surprise! It could have also come with a unicorn and I would have been more excited about the pockets.

Yes, that’s a Buzz Lightyear sticker by my foot

The size six fits well, although it is mere millimeters from being too tight around my ribs. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I’ve recently stopped running. Although I had customized the length to fit my height (5’7”), the length is a little longer than the described knee length. I guess we could always give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that I’m shrinking. My least favorite thing about the dress is the neckline, a deep v-cut. What looks nice and feminine on the flat-chested non-human dress-form pictured on the website is A LOT OF BOOB in real life. It doesn’t look like it in the picture, but trust me, the buffet is on display, as my breastfeeding infant might say. I decided to keep it because it’s something different than every other dress in my closet, and a tank-top and a cardigan will make it work appropriate.

Another view of my heaving bosom

Finally, for the “Ranunculus” dress. (Not to be confused with the Redonkulous dress.) This was one was a hit, at $69.95 retail. It’s 100% cotton, with lovely embroidery and quality fabric, although it is not as soft as the polyester. It fits looser than the first dress, as this one has room for a few extra Pretzel M&Ms, and is a good inch plus longer than knee length. (I’m 5’7” darn it!) To quote my mother, it is not as “Booby Ruby” as the “Birds who gossip” dress. AND THERE ARE POCKETS!

Bonus points if you spot the baby in the background!

A few days after my shipment arrived, I received an email with a $10 gift certificate towards my next order, plus a receipt for $5 taken off of this order due to the slow shipping. In general, I’m impressed. Sorry for making fun of your emails, Eshakti.com! I was just joshing ya! I’ve spent way more at other retailers and never received unrequested delay discounts, even from places whose shipping takes forever (I’m looking at you, J Crew). These dresses are also conversation starters in a way that something from the Gap or J Crew will never be. I may order again, if I ever give up on that whole “I’m never going to shop online again because my clothes are full of holes” thing.

What do you think? Cute or scary? Pockets!

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