Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Friday, January 20, 2006

An open letter to my fellow commuters

Dear People on the Subway:

You seem like nice people, for the most part; really, you do. Except for you folks who have your cell phone ringers set to "In Da Club," because that shit is unforgiveable. Anyway, you're good folks. That's why it upsets me so to see the clothes you wear every day. Witness:

Ugg boots. Those were in style for about 20 minutes, 2 years ago. First Pam Anderson wore them, and then Marlon Brando wore them. With a muumuu. In a wheelchair. Then they were declared officially over. Stop wearing them. They are ugg-ly.

  • Chain wallets. These do not make you a badass. If you're not a biker or a bouncer or working in a leather bar, there is no reason to wear one. A good pickpocket can take a tie from around your neck without you realizing, so I doubt a chain wallet is going to pose much of a challenge, Killer.
  • Camouflage outfits. A shirt or pants separately is one thing. But a whole outfit just makes you look like you're plotting a takedown. Save it for when you get drafted.
  • Multiple bags. Do you really need a backpack and a giant suitcase of a purse? Consolidate - it looks much tidier and you'll look a lot less "Cracker Factory"/OCD. Special dispensation given to people carrying a separate lunchbag; thriftiness has its rewards.
  • Sneakers with a suit. I'm courting danger here, because this is something Booby does (sorry, honey). Are men's shoes so uncomfortable that you need to wear sneakers? Last I checked, men's shoes are not the foot binders that women's high heels tend to be. And ladies, I understand your need to be comfortable on your commute. But there is a whole world of flats and low heels out there.There's even a line called Cloudwalkers. They're wonderful. Buy a pair in black; they'll go with everything.
  • Mid-length coats with mid-calf skirts. These make you look like a segmented bug, or perhaps a tapeworm. It's worse than white shoes after Labor Day. Choose the short coat that hits you at the hip, or choose the long coat that hits below the skirt. The mid-length coat has no place in this equation.
  • The puffy coat. Why? Do you need to look bigger than you are? Do you want to look like Missy Elliot in that "Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" video, which was long before she went on a diet and got all skinny and cute? I didn't think so. It's been a mild winter. Get a nice tailored coat that flatters you.
  • Yellow "Live Strong" rubber bracelets. Can these just be over, please? And all of the knockoffs that followed? I knew it was a bad, bad thing when I saw the middle-aged Asian man wearing a purple bracelet which bore the legend: Player. I get that they support a good cause and all, but why not cut out the middleman and donate directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (or other high-scoring cancer charity)? It's tax-deductible, unlike the money you spend on merchandise. Check out the Charity Navigator to see how Lance stacks up (hint: he's doing a better job than the folks at The Cancer Fund of America).
  • Brightly colored Wellington boots. Unless it's flooding, or you are gardening in a swamp, you don't need these. Consider, for a moment, why you have seen them on all the sales racks. I know, they're cute. But they're cute in that two-Pippi-Longstocking-braids-are-cute-even-if-you're-over-30 way. That is to say, embarrassingly so. Resist their pull.


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Mignon said...

Look at you and your GoFugYour-bad-self!
But am I supposed to not like those rubber boots? Because if they have kids sizes, Madeleine's getting a pair today. Now!

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

It's OK for kids! They're great for kids, really. Kids actually run around in mud puddles, and only look ridiculous when dressed as adults. Go for it! :)

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Arabella said...

Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyou, Mrs. Harridan, for this public service announcement!

My biggest gripe is the puffy coat, which takes up additional precious seats.

Also, women who wear impossibly high heels and then can't balance while standing and crash into you constantly. Cloudwalkers, baby!

At 1:09 PM, Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

You tell 'em!

And don't forget the oversize sunglasses. Just because Nicole Ritchie wears them doesn't mean it's fashionable, people.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Tink said...

"The puffy coat. Why? Do you need to look bigger than you are? Do you want to look like Missy Elliot in that "Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" video, which was long before she went on a diet and got all skinny and cute?"

Thank you. That's what I'm SCREAMING. They look like they're waiting for a flood. Which in Florida might be a good thing around Hurricane Season. I mean, they float right? Please say there is a purpose here.

At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Nancy said...

I actually don't mind the clothes things so much -- for me, the commuters I get frustrated with are the selfish ones. DON'T take up two seats when you are one skinny girl. Don't barge on the Metro before passengers have exited. Don't set your wet umbrella on the train seat. Do not listen to your iPod so loud that I can hear it 3 seats over.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

I love those boots...for my daughter. :)

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous TB said...

This is snarkaliciously funny and I am proud to say I am not a victim to any of these fashion don'ts. Thank you for making the world a better place.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

The selfish people on the subway are a post unto themselves. It might be too upsetting for me to undertake that one; there are too many transgressions in that arena! But I totally hear you, Nancy.

Nicole Richie scares me. Her thighs are the same circumference as other people's necks. {shiver}

Do you guys like the rubber boots? I can strike them from the list ...

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Mignon said...

No, don't take them off. I would totally mock an adult wearing them. But would give us the link? I want to see if they have teeny sizes.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Ack! The ones I pictured have been discontinued (at least on the site I stole the photo from). I think they were women's sizes anyway. Try this:

or (definitely for kids):

Happy shopping!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger MisterBaggins said...

Regarding the puffy coat. I think it's an animal instinct to look more threatening to others so they don't screw with you. But I agree. It just looks stupid.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

When I had to take the Tube in London, I could have added a few to your list I'm sure.

How about, dedorant...give it a try. At LEAST in the summer.

At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Jess said...

Hey! What's with all the hate?

I'm right there with you on much of the above, and I especially hate the calf length skirt, regardless of what jacket it's paired with. That length does no one any favors.

But, as someone who lives in cold and snowy New England, let me defend the Ugg. I know they are so three years ago . . .but I sometimes wear them during my commute. Also, I have a chocolate brown, mid-thigh down coat, and it rocks. It does. It's warm AND close fitting, so I don't think I'm taking up too much valuable subway space. And I don't have any of those colorful wellies, but I would love a pair to wear on those rainy day commutes. This doesn't make me a fashion victim. Does it?

*slinks off to change into her velour jumpsuit that says "juicy" on the butt and then read the latest Lucky*

At 8:27 PM, Blogger wordgirl said...

Did you see all of these lame-o people in one day? Have mercy!

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Why, why, why would you want to carry around 3 oversized bags? Unless, you cannot pay rent.

The boots are not okay for anyone over the age of 10.

I second Arabella's note on the sunglasses, they were ugly 20 years ago and Paris Hilton did nothing to make them look better this go around.

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Katherine said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Brooke regarding commuters in London failing to use deoderant - or bathe - what's up with that?! Thanks for a great laugh to start the day - loved your list!

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mignon said...

I'm sorry. After reading the post and all the comments and nodding enthusiastically, I just have to fess up. I LOVE puffy coats. Of course it's below 0 here, which necessitates down, but my god, have you ever tried one on?? It's like being hugged by a million baby animals. Without the smell of urine!
Plus, exceptionally warm and not heavy.
There, I said it. I'm not proud, but I love the puff.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

OK, I may have to rethink my position on the puff coats. BUT, ladies who love the puff, I note that you are in climes that REALLY warrant the puffy coat. Mignon, I almost peed my pants upon reading your description.

Most of the puff I see here, where it is 60 DEGREES in JANUARY (global warming, anyone?), is the huge, silver or neon yellow variety that takes up 2 seats. However, I will confess that I see a girl on the bus who has a very understated puffy coat in a spring green color (my favorite). It actually shows that she has a shape, and I weakened in the face of cute puff. My steely exterior is melting!

But I still don't like the Wellies. Unless they're not patterned with red and pink bubbles. ;)

Re: BO in the Tube, I never noticed! Or perhaps I blocked it out entirely ...

At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Nancy said...

I must also admit, on the heels of Jess' and Mignon's brave admissions, that I love the puffy coat. It looks not so flattering, but is very, very warm. I wear it here only on the coldest of days or when engaging in snowplay (sounds kinky?) with my kids, but it is a necessity for those days.

However, I admit to being a puffy-coat hater when I see them on people and it's 65+ degrees out. It just looks damn silly then.

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

I'm glad you brought up the braids.

Should not be worn by anyone over the age of twelve unless you are working at Oktoberfest.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

I'm glad to see that I am safe from your fashion don'ts. But I just blogged about one of my own this morning. Funny. Must be one of those "Great Minds" type of things....

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous JenfromBoston said...

never been an UGG fan. Yeah, and the plastic yellow bracelets? this is to be AVANTE GARDE FASHION. We get it, we get it. Check your balls, guys, and be done with it.

Great post, Mrs. H.


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