Things I’m Learning Along the Way With Carol Burnett: Part 2

MAGIC

When I was a very young child I knew about magic.  I don’t mean the Doug Henning kind, although, his TV specials were, in all seriousness, very special back in the day. No, I mean that things would quite often show up the way I thought they would. And when I thought they would! Like a lot of children, (most children?) I was very intuitive. My thoughts felt powerful and Creative with a capital ‘C’. I believed in my thoughts220px-Doug_Henning_1976

When I watched Carol Burnett from my red-carpeted den in Highland Indiana, I always felt like I knew her; that I would know her or at the very least that I SHOULD know her. And I was certain that I would grow up to be just like her.  I sang, I acted, I danced, I wore my own version of Bob Mackie.

But as I grew up, “stuff happened” and like most people, I lost what came so naturally as a little human animal.  All of that intuitive power and magnetic ability started to disappear and I no longer believed that I was creating anything in my life.  Life was simply happening to me.

By the time I was 30 I was so “far” from who I was born to be that the most important people in my life didn’t know that I sang or did voices. People that I lived with, my best friends, people I was in love with, didn’t have a clue. And they didn’t have a clue, because I didn’t even remember!

The list of odd jobs and career paths I was on to distract or ‘find myself’ (I’m not sure which) was staggering. Retail, restaurants, massage, admin help, design, psychology, production work, social work. You name it, I’ve done it.  Once I worked for two days building a concrete wall.

At the age of 32, things turned around and I started singing professionally. The moment I woke up from my ten year slumber and went back to music was the moment, and it was “a moment”, when I realized that no one in my family and none of my friends would love me any less if I never sang a note again. The only person whom it would be unbearable for was me. I then understand that living ‘that’ life was just not going to be an option. So I found my nerve again.

At 41, I started doing voiceovers professionally. Since I was very young, I ‘heard’ characters and practiced accents all the time. But I never ventured down that career path because, well, that was for ‘those other’ people who clearly had or knew something about voices that I didn’t. No, I couldn’t possibly have a career doing something that came so easily to me. That would be crazy!  But now at 41 I was getting a divorce. I had a nine-month old to support and had no family around to help with my son so I needed to figure out what I could do from home and I needed to figure it out fast! Voiceover work was the answer.

Even though I was only married for about 20 minutes, my divorce took about 20 years and it was one of the worst things I have ever gone through. But, and it’s a big one, if I was still married I would not have been forced to find that part of myself again. And I would have never ventured to put videos up on YouTube.

And . . . I would have never met Carol Burnett.

The other day my friend Harry saw this picture of me with Carol, Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett and all these wonderful entertainers from
The Mark Twain Prize, and wrote to me,  “there is magic in this world”.  My friend knows where I have been in my life and sees how wonderfully things have unfolded. The one thing that I can say I changed was that I started to believe in magic again, just like I did as a child in that red-carpeted den. I changed my adult mind about what I imagined was possible. And I let those new dreams I was picturing be as real in my thoughts as if they had already happened.

A month ago I held Carol Burnett’s hand right before she walked out onto the Kennedy Center Stage to receive an award for her contribution to American Humor. In that moment, time stood still and my dream was a reality and my reality was better than I had dreamed.  There is magic here. And I know that it is here for everyone!

CarolBurnett-MarkTwainPrize

Things I’m Learning Along the Way With Carol Burnett: Part 1

Carol Burnett with Family

 

On October 20, 2013, I had the chance to stand on stage at The Kennedy Center in Washington DC in front of about 2400 people and look up to the first tier of boxes to my left and see Carol Burnett looking back at me.

Sometimes when I replay the whole thing in my mind I put her in a sort of hovering position with gossamer wings in a mist of gold.  I’m only partially kidding, for she does feel like an angel to me, and the magic she has spread over my life feels ‘not of this world’.

My heart is so full of gratitude for the opportunities she has given me but equally so for the lessons I’m learning. The first is about

GRACE

I don’t think I have ever seen or met anyone exhibit more grace than Carol. And I have been around many, many graceful ballerinas, as well as royalty from the Netherlands.  But there was one moment, when I got nervous.

On Sunday the 20th, I was sitting in the green room with just one or two people watching Carol rehearse on a monitor. The audio wasn’t great but it was fun and surreal to be seeing her practice her speech in her rehearsal duds. And then something happened. There were many people on stage with her. A youngish woman, an assistant director maybe was trying to give “Ms. Burnett” some information about her cue. (I should point out that I had never seen or met Carol physically until that weekend!) I couldn’t hear the woman on the TV at all but I heard Carol.  She touched the woman’s forearms and began in a somewhat direct tone, “Dear, if we are going to continue you must…( and I braced myself thinking, oh please don’t be a behind-the-scenes-jerk!) call me ‘Carol’. Or you can call me Miss Jolie, Angelinnnnna Jolie” she joked with an accent.

Rosemary

And it is this down-to-earth friendliness and humility that comes so effortlessly to this legend putting everyone around her at ease. Not only did I hear her ask to be called by her first name but she is a master at remembering and calling other people by their first names. People she’ll never see again.  I overheard so many stars and ‘civilians’ at the Mark Twain show talk about Carol with such awe. One fellow said that before she gets to a set she knows everyone’s name. (In fact, she takes it all so seriously I actually saw her hail a taxi outside our hotel in Georgetown just so she could find out the cab driver’s name. “Goodbye Jamal” she yelled as he sped off confused.)

The same goes for her thoughtfulness about writing ‘thank you’ notes. I have sent her a few things over these past months and her response rate borders on freaky. You’re at the post office putting a stamp on the thing to go out and then turn around to get mail from your PO Box and there’s a return letter!

As I was writing this, in fact, a package had arrived outside my door. It was from Angelina Jolie, aka Carol. It was a beautiful gift and another beautifully handwritten note. (Her penmanship is incredible!) This one was complimenting me on my performance. Carol was thanking me for going to DC!  I mean, who does this? The woman just handed me the dream of a lifetime and she sends me a gift? Huh??

“Are you trying to kill me with kindness?” is my only question I would put to her.

But beyond all of this, what I really find myself wanting to emulate is the grace she shows by what she doesn’t say. Over the past few months there have been situations that have arisen in my life where I was challenged by a difficult person or sticky circumstance (and once even threatened by a wild boar on Catalina but I’ll leave that for the next blog).

In those tough moments I found myself asking, “What would Carol do?” particularly in business . . . and it wouldn’t take long before the answer was there.  Carol would keep her cool and she’d probably say very little and stay focused on something positive. Like her comedy, she doesn’t seem to join the fray. I never liked the word ‘classy’, kind of like how I hate the word baby-bump. I just don’t say it. But that’s the word for her. (Classy, not baby-bump.) Carol, the true star, stays above it all, just like how I remember it at The Kennedy Center.

Carol Burnett Called My Cell Phone and Then I Was Auditioning for SNL. No Really.

On Saturday June 2, 2012 at 3:44pm Carol Burnett called me. Let me rephrase that.

Thee C-A-R-O-L   B-U-R-N-E-T-T  called me, on the telephone.

I was driving along, five-year old in tow, and my cell phone rang. The number said, ‘BLOCKED’. I picked it up (admittedly without a headset on) thinking it was my son’s father and I’d quickly hand the phone to my boy in the back seat. It was not his dad. I put the phone on speaker and the familiar voice said, “Hello Rosemary? This is Carol Burnett.”

The world went into slow motion. (And this, children, is why you should never talk on your cell phone and drive!! Your idol might call you and you could freak out.)

But the weird part is, I knew why she was calling and, I was expecting it even though I was unprepared. A week or so earlier I had written a letter to Ms. Burnett at 2 am. I was unable to sleep that night and I started thinking about my life and how I had come to be doing mostly voiceovers for a living (albeit a rocky one).  I thought about my childhood and the years I spent mimicking Carol Burnett and her vast characters. By 4:00 in the morning my letter to the legendary comedienne was complete. Writing it felt so satisfying and moved me to tears often as I got to revisit the closeness and heart-aching sensation I felt towards her as a little girl. I was certain back then that we knew each other from some other time on some other plane, but somehow she just didn’t know it yet!

I asked her in the letter if she would be interested in producing a variety-type show with me, and/or if she would mentor me.  I told her about my website, and how profoundly grateful I was for the light that she gave the world and to me specifically. She changed my life in ways that she had no way of knowing and I wanted to tell her! Little did I know she was about to change my life again in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of.

The conversation went well. She spoke in English and I challenged her with my native gibberish sprinkled with muffled sobs, squeals and laughter.

 

She graciously pretended that I wasn’t acting like a moron and said, “I got your letter, and I just went to your website.”  I began trying to suck air from the atmosphere.  I told her I needed to pull-over. She felt badly….”Oh, you’re driving”. “No it’s okay.” I pulled into the strip mall. She continued to talk about my videos and singing and I think she said the words “you’re” and “amazing” or “terrific” together? I don’t quite remember but let’s just say adjectives were used and they sounded pretty good.

I choked out some words about my son being in the back seat and she immediately and tenderly asked me how old he was. I said five and a half. She said it was a great age and that she had a grandchild that age.  Was Carol Burnett trying to have a conversation with me on the phone? What planet did I just land on? Should I ask her about her family? I didn’t know!

She asked me if I had an agent. “No”. Well, why didn’t I? she wondered aloud. Part of me was dying to say, ‘Because my life has been waiting for this moment, right now, with you”. Part of me wanted to pitifully wax on about ‘the business’ and how ridiculously hard it is to get people to look at your work, including family and friends with good connections! Part of me wanted to tell her about the bad career choices that I was responsible for. But all I kept thinking was that I didn’t want to take up her time!

I mumbled out a story quickly about a very recent rejection I had gotten from the owner of one of the top VO agencies in Hollywood. My friend Al said I could use his name as a reference. It didn’t matter. The owner clearly didn’t even bother with my stuff and even if I am wrong, his response was that he had enough voiceover actresses like me. (Specifically he wrote: there really isn’t any room to expand right now given your abilities and POV. Never did quite understand what he meant by my point of view? Was this a political statement?)  Anyway, upon hearing this, Ms. Burnett said…“But you’re not just a voiceover artist. You just need to be in-front of the camera”. She then went on to say that she didn’t know Lorne Michaels personally but that she would contact him on my behalf.

Ok, I think with that statement my body was now hovering somewhere about 200 feet above the Jimbo’s market? I can’t be sure. All I know is that I was living the moment I had been visualizing without ceasing for months. (I was also hyper aware that my hungry child in the back had NEVER been so quiet or still as he was during that phone call. And I would give anything now to have a video of him watching me react so oddly to the nice sounding woman on the phone.) Ms. Burnett said more words in English while I switched to Pig Latin.  She then ended our conversation with an incredibly sweet goodbye.  The call lasted 5 minutes and 11 seconds.

As time passed that day, my elation turned into self-loathing. I was certain she understood that the REASON I didn’t have an agent was because I was a complete nut job who couldn’t communicate in full sentences.

Later that night, as I got into bed I bought her memoir on my Kindle. I only had enough energy to read one chapter. It was the only one I needed to read and the one I was meant to read.  In it she told about the spiritual-like connection she felt as a child with her idol Jimmy Stewart. Later when she met him for the first time on a set, she made, what she thought, was a total fool of herself. Years later the two would become good friends which was all she needed to conclude the chapter with the words ‘dreams can come true’.

As  fate would have it, Ms. Burnett did contact Lorne Michaels and it “just happened to be” right at the time when they were auditioning people for the new Saturday Night Live season starting tomorrow night. I was flown to NYC in July and did the standard SNL five-minute audition in front of LM and the other producers and writers. (If you’re wondering, you go on the stage, perform and get off. No chit chat. No introductions, no hellos.) For the first time in my life, I actually enjoyed doing an audition. I am a terrible auditioner, which is why I love voiceovers. But there’s something about having someone like Carol Burnett tell you you’re ‘okay’ that boosts a fella’s confidence.   And I must have done okay because a few weeks later I got an email asking me to come out, not to perform, but just get to know some of the producers better.  I did, and we had some wonderful meetings. The ‘vibe’ of the people on that show is truly something amazing. There is a very genuine air about the place and I know that comes from Lorne Michaels even though I haven’t spoken to him personally. I came back to California and felt pretty good about things until one night I woke up thinking, ‘I’m gonna have to go audition again.’ I checked my phone and there was a text asking me to come back in five days with some more “Hillary” as well as other new stuff. I was a bit surprised and feeling less confident now, but they assured me it was ‘normal’.  And at every step on this journey I would email Ms. Burnett and her sweet assistant to tell them the latest development. They were both so encouraging.  It would be my fourth trip actually back to the East Coast in 45 days.

I came up with completely new, untested characters for the second audition and was working on them up to the last minute. It was gutsy but I felt like I would do okay taking those risks. Physically, however, I was at the point of exhaustion on the day of the audition. Not because of the creative process but because of the travelling, the time changes, the stress and chronic bouts of insomnia that have hovered around me for eleven years.

I was near throwing up because of the fatigue. All I could think of the entire day, was not about the fun of getting a second chance to perform on the SNL stage!! but the relief I would get by going  to bed immediately after the audition. I left NY the next day not quite in the happy place I had been in.   As the season start date neared I would check ‘SNL news’ on the internet until one day this week I read about the young people they had hired from Chicago. I passed the info on to the Burnett camp just in case they didn’t know.  And in truly awe-inspiring fashion, Carol Burnett called me again on my cell phone yesterday. This time when the word BLOCKED came up I knew it was her. She told me how sorry she was that I wasn’t selected. We continued to chat. And this time I spoke English.  She told me about her upcoming trip to New York to do some TV appearances as her beloved variety show is coming out in a newly packaged DVD via Time-Life. She wished my son well and sent her love.

While getting a life-changing job like SNL would have been great for my bank account, I’m lucky enough to have a child to keep me grounded in the certainty that life is about love. The love I felt from my girlfriends who helped me with the logistics of having a small child and flying across the country on a moment’s notice is beyond words. The love I have felt from friends and family so hoping for my good fortune has been priceless and the love I have felt from THEE! Carol Burnett is truly a perfect way to end this chapter. Nothing bittersweet about it. Dreams do come true.

SNL Dressing RoomSNL Hallway bag of wigs
30Rock

Cocktail Server Uses Facebook to Save A** and Face

April 29, 2013
Ass. Press –
An area cocktail server admitted Friday she’s been posting more pictures than usual of her boyfriend on Facebook just to “make sure a certain someone knows I’m not available”. Stonebridge’s own Taylor Lansing, 23, has been serving up Jack and Coke’s at Ignition Bar and Grill for over a year now and says that while the job is working out with her class schedule, she’s tired of some of the attention local clients have been giving her. For the somewhat attractive server, Facebook has been her salvation.

“I mean without it, I dunno what I’d do. It’s not like I’m gonna be honest and tell people I’m with someone, ya know? For a server that’s death. But this way people can take a hint without losing face.” When asked to name names Lansing remained mum, mumbling, “mo mook ah my macemoo mage.” A cursory look at her Facebook page revealed Chaz E. Martinez as the probable source of Lansing’s photo pasting frenzy. Martinez, an employee at Michael’s and “interested in women”, liked and/or commented on nearly everything Lansing posted over the past two months.

For Lansing, it’s been rather annoying. “Look, I can’t afford to lose tips and I don’t want to unfriend people just because they have some weirdo obsession with me or whatever. But I also don’t want to have to customize another friend list. Who has the time for that bull$_!#, ya know?”

Martinez was online and did accept our Friend Request, however,  he would not reply to our Instant Message for comment.

Meanwhile, Lansing is hopeful that her latest Facebook cover photo will send a strong but friendly message to her 945 friends.  At the time of this posting, 25 had given a thumbs up to the photo. Martinez was not one of them.

Taylor Lansing and her boyfriend in Cabo 2013

Taylor Lansing and her boyfriend in Cabo 2013

Horse Meat & Bed Sheets…A Singer Sits In

Tonight I’m sitting in at a local restaurant…well, local if you live in La Jolla…and ‘sitting-in’ in the musical sense, not the political sense. If you aren’t sure what I mean, to ‘sit-in’ with a band means you are performing with a group you haven’t necessarily rehearsed with and for which you probably aren’t getting paid.  Inherent in the meaning is also the idea no one can complain about your performance because, “hey…I’m just sitting-in!” So in that sense, the “sit-in” does allow the performer a certain freedom.

To “sit-in” in the other sense of the word means “a form of direct action that involves one or more people nonviolently occupying an area for a protest, often to promote political, social, or economic change.” (from Wikipedia)

I suppose in a perfect world I could sit-in AND sit-in. That would be something special and a more effective use of my time, no-doubt. But for tonight I can’t really think of a good political reason to sit-in at Eddie V’s. Oh sure this whole IKEA horse-meat food mislabeling thing has me miffed…but then again, the whole dead cow/dead pig thing doesn’t really float my boat either and I don’t know why everyone this side of France gets up on their high-horse over horse meat?

Frankly, I think if I was gonna do a sit-in regarding the products at IKEA it would be about the sheets that I just bought.  Although it’s not necessarily their fault that I’m a sucker. I don’t know what I was thinking buying a 300- thread count…but the color absolutely lured me in.  Just like a Hoover vacuum had hold of my neck, I couldn’t resist. They had a sheen about them and so I thought maybe it had some of that magic micro fabric mixed in.

IMG_0921

Well, they don’t. They’re just as you would expect a 300-thread count to feel. Terrible. And I know because I’ve slept on them and I can’t take them back.But the color is gorgeous isn’t it? Not some mealy baby blue, not hospital green…but a perfect happy shade of turquoise. To be honest, when I buy sheets I think it’s important that they not only look good on the bed but also provide a good backdrop for my skin tone if say, just say, someday there was an on-looker. Which there isn’t. But I’m prepared.

Sadly, my last boyfriend was killed at a sit-in.  He was seated when he should have been standing and was trampled.

I think tonight, I’ll probably stand and sing, in protest of the sit-in. I bought a new pair of shoes the other day  at DSW, which was next door to the IKEA.  They are incredibly high making them the ideal shoe to get on a horse with. To be honest I bought two pairs and one doesn’t fit as I thought it would once my feet de-swelled from walking around IKEA. I don’t know what I was thinking buying an enclosed size 7!  In a stroke of sheer luck, however, there’s a DSW on the way to my gig tonight and you can bet your Swede ass that I’m taking them back! See you there. I start at 7pm.

 

Changes to Hillary’s policies

Some Policy Changes!

 

At some point today, between cleaning my toilet and standing at the kitchen island eating some stale corn chips, I remembered something incredible.  I remembered that several months ago I started a blog called HillarysImpersonator2012.com.   And I know you’re probably thinking, “How could you forget something as ingenious as that!? What kind of idiot are you anyway?”

Suffice it to say, and I suffice it probably more than most, that I AM a genius-idiot of sorts. Or an idiot-genius? I dunno. I’ll leave it to you. Point is, I really need to get back on track with this whole thing and you all need to get in front of me!! (I would have said ‘behind me’ but that leads to trouble on all sorts of levels and I’d prefer to have some human shields anyway once I start campaigning fully. Especially with Ann and Michelle on the trail.)

Look, you and I both know that Robot Romney doesn’t have a chance in Mormon Hell of winning this thing, (apparently, there are a few levels, but I’m no expert) and the cyborg currently in office isn’t exactly the Rock-em Sock-em robot we want or need. Hillary’s our only hope. And of course the real Mrs. Clinton is counting the seconds before her plane lands on American soil and she can head off to get a good blow dry in NYC.

Which really only leaves you with one choice. Me. Hillary’s official impersonator.  That is unless you would prefer to sit through what will inevitably be an incredible hate-fest between two parties who are owned by the same corporations? Yawn.

People, we need to join hands and raise them and raise our voices…and our glasses all at the same time. We need to be on the same page. My blog page. We need to be getting me on the ballot and into a new Armani pantsuit that’s appropriate for Leno, Kimmel, Letterman, Ellen et al. (i.e., Colbert and Stewart)

Now before…back when I got this idea of running for president…I had every intention of staying true to the real Hillary’s platforms. After all, I don’t get paid to come up with policies. I do voices and dress up in wigs and do hand gestures on occasion, per my contract.

But at this point, to heck with the old Clinton platforms. I mean what do I have to lose? My bread and butter is leaving political life. When the real Hillary walks out that door, I got nothing. I got a ‘Diane Sawyer’ impersonation, a ‘Bart Simpson’ that’s going nowhere as long as Nancy Cartwright’s voice holds up, and a ‘James Carville’ that nobody wants in a woman.

And so I ask you to grab a pencil and get ready to take notes.  For in a moment, after I type this sentence, and formulate my thoughts for the first time, I shall offer the NEW policies that I will be espousing while looking and sounding like Hillary Clinton. I think you will agree it is the best of both worlds.

THE ISSUES

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS :  We’re done with this. Thing of the past. Over.

JURY DUTY: Only senior citizens will be allowed on a jury. (Hello! They’ve been around and have the most experience, plus they’ve got nothing to do!). And no juror shall be called twice, unless they want to be. So obvious.

SCHOOL HOURS: No kid goes to school before 8:30am (mine especially).

HEALTH BENEFITS: WAL-MART, McDonalds, and all monsterous retailers (not sure of correct word) who employ hundreds of millions of people…your part-time employees get benefits. DUH! Or you pay higher taxes.

TEACHERS: Must score 100% on any and all standardized tests they administer each year. They shall pay no income tax or get free wall-to-wall carpeting or get massive raises. Something!

DEPT. of PEACE: We have one for war which does an excellent job of creating jobs and war so why not have one for peace. More jobs, more peace!

DAY OF REST: (This is where I get the environmental and religious votes.) Let’s take a break people!  Sunday shall become, once again, the national chillax day. Nobody needs to buy anymore crap that we can’t get on the other six days.

GAY MARRIAGE: Sure, we’ll make it illegal but out of fairness, everyone who has ever been divorced has to remarry their first spouse.

HILLARY’S IMPERSONATOR 2012!

Take a chance on a real phony.

An Open-ish Letter to Mr. Z on the ity of Retraction

Two years ago I wrote a piece on ballet flats and my intense dislike of them when used as anything, say, other than a device to be jammed under a door with loose hinges.

The story was published (well all right, I put it on the last page of this site) and I forgot all about it. That is, until three disturbing days ago when some ‘ballet flat-ophile,’ I’ve never met had the gall to first read the piece, and then….write to me asking for a retraction! Me! Retract!

Good Lord, I’d first have to re-read the thing and apparently when I wrote it I was on some sort of high-heeled high.  It has to be way over 250 words! Secondly, any man who writes to insult me and can’t muster the energy to capitalize his opening sentence, or even include a salutation for heaven’s sake, clearly is not one whose aesthetic sense I am much concerned with.  Here…see for yourself.

 Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2012 11:14 PM
To: rosemary@rosemarywatson.com
Subject: ballet flats

i found your post on ballet flats ignorant and ill-informed. Ballet flats  are possibly the most aesthetically pleasing shoe perhaps ever created. The line and shape of the shoe are rivaled only by the Parthenon in Athens or a 1976 corvette. I have purchased ballet flats not to wear, but only to place on my shelf as a sculpture (I’m a man).  The way a woman’s arch peaks from  the inner side of the flat has been described by some as a religious experience.  Please reconsider your post and/or write a retraction. Your reputation depends upon it. AND toe cleavage is not a problem-it’s a blessing.

sincerely yours, “a.z.”

See!

Needless to say (and I have said this to him via email) Mr. Z will have plenty of time to brush off his HushPuppies (the brand of shoe I can only imagine he would wear) before I retract the Truth on THAT subject if it were even possible. ‘Toe cleavage a blessing’…pishaw.  What madness I must endure on a Tuesday in February.  I ask you Mr. Z, can one retract the word ‘stupid’ from ‘stupidity’?  Of course not. Unless you want to be left with ‘ity’ and there is NOTHING you can do with ‘ity’.

But the part that really burns me up is why me? Why now? For six hundred days no one, and I mean no one has viewed that page.  Does this mean that I am going to have to go in and remove ever possible meta tag on my site to prevent peeping Toms from peering over the HTML curtain into my personal albeit public webpage?  What next, are people actually going to listen to my sound samples?!  I haven’t redone my demos in years!! I can’t possibly be held responsible for what’s on those things. (found on voiceover page and singing page)

And what about the millions who have really boring blogs about their families? Have we come to the point in our society where there are no boundaries? I ask you Mr. Z, are you going ask Betty Morgan for a retraction for claiming to make the world’s greatest bundt cake? Where does it end?? I don’t go into your front yard and start putting up notices to “Retract that wall you just built” or “Take down your Christmas decorations, it’s February already.”

When men with strong convictions about ballet flats and corvettes (which incidentally everyone knows the ’67 was far superior to the ’76) are freely roaming the web, sneaking around on the nearly hidden pages of people’s personal blogs, demanding retractions, we are on a slippery slope.  And I don’t know about you, but the last thing I’d want underneath me is a pair of lousy, good for nothing, ‘ity’ bitty ballet slippers.  Don your rubbers men! ( a regional term no doubt), and let’s give this whole business the boot.

I’m Running…and this time, NOT scared!

Click here to leave this site and check out my 'other' site, featuring that 'other' woman.

Click here to leave this site and check out my ‘other’ site, featuring that ‘other’ woman.

Hillary’s Impersonator 2012 dot com is no longer up and running…This is purely for historical purposes that I leave this up.
The LINK. (Disclaimer: I am warning you now…once, you click this link, you will leave this site and be re-directed to another site called www.hillarysimpersonator2012.com . You may not be able to figure out how to get back here. I don’t know. How adept are you at working a computer and figuring out the internet?  These are things you need to answer for yourself. I’m just warning you.  Good luck and God Speed. (I never really knew what that meant but always liked the way it sounded.  It seems to work in this case. Or at least I hope and pray it does.))   P.S. Maybe you should check out this site first and THEN get going to the ‘other’ site?  Again, this is not a directive but a suggestion.  Personally, if I were you, I’d get a cup of coffee, or maybe a Tablespoon of cod liver oil since you are looking a little wishy washy, pull up a real comfy chair and start ‘enjoying’.  Admittedly, THAT, is somewhat of a command…ENJOY!!

Just Say “No, no thank you” to Ballet Flats

Just Say “No Thank You” to Ballet Flats!

I need to talk about a popular and disturbing fashion trend – the ballet shoe. If you are not familiar with this ‘shoe’ – if one could call it that – allow me to enlighten you. Ballet ‘flats’, ‘skimmers’ or ‘slippers’ as they are sometimes called depending on what part of the country you are from and how delicate you wish to appear, are all the rage and would seem to be what women over the age of 10 want. And they want them ‘badly’ as these shoes line, nay ‘litter’ the aisles of shoe stores everywhere. The styling of this oh-so-innocuous looking shoe is ultimately intended to make one’s foot look as round and fat as possible, while simultaneously giving the illusion that one is actually much shorter than one really is. This phenomenon is particularly true for the wearer looking down at her own feet.

“Ah! But what about comfort,” say you, my vast, but invisible readers. Now, while it is true that women are generally more comfortable in low-heeled shoes, the ballet flat provides the support of a piece of bacon. The sole of the soul-less ballet flat is typically made out of leather (although now that I think about it that might have actually been a piece of bacon I saw) or some sort of plasticy substance obtained from recycled gummie bears, probably. The upper piece (of any shoe, and also known as the vamp), is intended to hold the shoe in place and sometimes offer protection and hopefully, a modicum of aesthetic appeal. In the ballet flat, modicum is the key word as the stingy shoe offers up a shred of covering so narrow it might be likened to the ‘width’ of a piece of bacon. As a result, the shoe fails miserably to house and/or control the foot with any conviction. Good God! Even a flip flop knows what it is better than this incomplete fashion faux-paw. What is more, the exposure of toe cleavage, while not necessarily always part of the ‘feature’, does occur in about 3 out of 5 ballet shoes. No doubt this is an alarming, if not all together nauseating statistic. Equally disturbing is the oft-appearance of a large ‘buckle’ or design element fixed atop the bacon-esque wrapper with the intention of drawing the eye toward the foot with even greater vigor. There is not time enough to explain the error in this.

“Oh but you’re just jealous” you say, thinking (for I can see your invisible wheels turning) that the problem is not with this fashion slip-up but rather must lie within my foot’s own genetic shortcomings. You imagine that it must be my foot’s inability to ‘pancake’ into these boats with no sides that has my panties in a bunch, my thong in a knot.

You are wrong. Again. For starters my distaste goes deeper than looks and comfort. Culturally, this shoe sets a bad example. We are already a lazy bunch and nothing proves this better than the ballet flat. It is as if the designer got a phone call mid-design, came back 20 minutes later (he stopped off at the kitchenette first to get a bagel and schmear) and just said…”ahhh it’s done enough!” Finish the shoe, man!

Human beings have been making shoes for quite a while now. You would think that after thousands of years, we would be further along. The earliest sandal (found in Oregon in the 1930s) dates back between 8000 – 7000 BCE (or 6000 if you are a creationist). If early man had created the ballet slipper, we wouldn’t have survived. In short, this shoe is a menace to society and a threat to our very civilization.

Secondly, I don’t want to wear those shoes. Round and fat, are generally not the qualities I ‘go for’ in foot apparel. But like a good consumer I keep ‘trying’ to like them, to see their merit, to seek out that pair which will allow me to take one step and then another, as if on a cloud, of butter, without having to look back to see where the other shoe went. I end up investing my time, pausing from my busy day while out looking for sausage or those tubs of spreadable port wine cheddar, wondering if maybe ‘that’ pair…or no, maybe ‘those ugly ones’ will offer me the pedal comfort I deserve. I struggle, week after week, store after store, juggling my piping hot beverage and sticky Cinnabon in one hand while clumsily trying to locate the box (it’s always at the bottom!) that potentially holds the first ballet slipper I will wear since the age of six.

I then bend over, clenching the sticky bun with only my mouth, praying it will keep itself coiled in this unnatural position, and proceed to undo the laces of my Converse high-tops. (What happened to the chairs in shoe stores? Or the little benches the salesman would sit on? What happened to the salesmen?) During this time, (it takes a while as I’ve double knotted them really good!) I envision myself in the black patent leather flats before me, casually floating like Audrey Hepburn out into the mall with a smile as wide as the shoes themselves.  Elegantly I make my way to Tiffany’s, or Icing or the ceramic flat-iron kiosk or where ever it is I’m going next. (Actually, I just remembered, it is Sbarro’s.) But alas this fantasy doesn’t happen and it never happens. And this not-happening fantasy keeps happening every time I’m faced with a shoe store, which is often as I need sausage and port-wine cheddar somewhat regularly.

Now obviously, men, maybe even pig farmers themselves?? are behind this shoe. Whoever it is they are making them by the truckloads. And women are purchasing millions of them. Millions of little flat shoes with no support and only a wisp of covering to protect/hide the toes, and sometimes only the toe nails.

Amazingly, I had a revelation yesterday as I left Payless on my way to Panera. Ladies, I’m not convinced you like these shoes any more than I do. I think you might be brain-washed? I can’t say for certain. But something ‘funny’ is going on when millions of people are buying a product that does not serve them in any way, shape or form, and in fact may ultimately harm them. I think Benjamin Franklin, co-designer of the first stiletto and outspoken critic of the unattractive slipper said it best when he wrote…’We are witnessing a ‘shoe-tacular crime against our sisters and some of their brothers. Meeting adjourned.”

And so, to my fellow ladies, if I can offer a word of encouragement…if I can be the voice of reason in this century, then let me urge you to stand up (but remember, don’t look down) and shout, “hogwash”. We deserve better. We deserve a shoe we can call a shoe. (If I wanted a ‘slipper’ I would buy some proper moccasins circa the Founding Fathers, or the big fluffy pink kind in the shape of pigs sold at mall kiosks everywhere!)

We will not be lured by the scent of bacon in hopes of living out yet another quashed childhood fantasy of becoming “pretty ballerinas”. Our feet, in fact, were too flat. We are beyond that. We have grown up and we all know Karen Warton got the lead every year in the Nutcracker even though she did not deserve it and we were better. But so what!

We must move on and claim our rights as women. We women, you and I, and her and her, we can bring home the bacon, but we don’t need to be wearing it! Or supporting a style that doesn’t support us! Please join me in just saying ‘No Thank You’ to ballet flats.