My Snarky 2020 Golden Globe Review

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again. The Golden Globe Awards! And this time I was actually ready! For whatever reason the last few years the awards have caught me off-guard or I’ve been out of town while they were, but last night I was ready.

Also it seems that the last few years people have been dressing really well and there wasn’t much to snark about. Well, the terrible stylists (and terrible dresses) are back, making yesterday’s red carpet watching a true delight! Thank you, my dearly beloved Hollywood elite for making my job so very easy this year.

I even got input from my writing group as the texts were flying in (ping, ping, ping!) during the ceremony. So, without further adieu, here is my 2020 Golden Globe snarky red carpet review…

Dakota Fanning

Marley: The only good thing about this dress is the color. Otherwise it’s absolutely horrible.

Me: I disagree. The whole thing is horrible. While the color is pretty, it washes her out completely. It looks like she found it at a thrift store in the 1978 prom section.

My friend Lexi: She took a wrong turn for her job at Disneyland.

Cate Blanchett

Marley: With those wack shoulder things she looks like she’s trying to fly away from this ugly dress.

Me: Marley is spot-on (and also hilarious!). The bodice looks like some sort of sparkly bondage top and that pleated yellow crepe is again looking very late-seventies. This dress is a hella-no!

Charlize Theron

Marley: This looks like they ran out of time when trying to dress her so they threw some fabric on her and let her go.

My friend Lexi: Charlize can pull off anything, but the color looks like she crashed into a highlighter.

Me: First, let’s all agree that Charlize looks stunning. Her hair and make-up is gorgeous. But this dress confuses me. I actually like the color, but it’s just. Weird.

Giuliana Rancic

Marley: Her dress looks like it doesn’t even fit her body and the clutch looks like she stole it from somebody whose dress actually matches it.

Me: I actually think the dress is very pretty, but her hair is horrific. The color does not match her skin tone at all. On the red carpet it looked like straw. And I am not into body shaming (because trust me, my body is about as far from perfect as they come), but that girl really needs to eat a sandwich.

Jennifer Lopez

Marley: Her dress looks like it was made out of left over tissue paper from Christmas.

Me: J-Lo, this is a J-No! Jennifer, be 50 & Fabulous, not 50 & I-don’t-even-know-what-this-is. But that necklace? OMG – I MUST have it!

Olivia Colman

Marley: What’s wrong with normal sleeves? Why did we decide to stop putting them in dresses?

Me: When it comes to acting Olivia Colman can do no wrong. She is the new (British) Meryl Streep. But when it comes to dressing she can seemingly do no right. (It’s okay, Olivia, Meryl is also a disaster most of the time when it comes to fashion.) Also, Marley is right, what’s was with the horrible sleeve trend last night?

Jodie Comer

Marley: Whose tablecloth did she steal?

Me: Again with the sleeves. Also, why??? It looks like a sad, satin sack.

Joey King

Marley: I want to like this dress, but everything in me is telling me I need to hate it. Who would choose that pattern, and why?

Me: I agree with Marley. I want to like this dress. It looks like a cool piece of modern art. But also, if I were one of the people that got seizures from strobe lights, I think this dress would put me in a similar state. I want to (want to) say yes, but for me, it’s a no.

Kaitlyn Dever

Marley: Didn’t we learn to leave couch patterns behind after Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala look?

Me: First I want to say that I think Kaitlyn looks adorable. (Also, if you have not seen Booksmart, you must. It is spectacular.) And again, I want to like this dress, but it looks like an adult coloring book with not enough colored pencil choices. And also. Again. Those sleeves.

Kerry Washington

Marley: It has potential, but it’s horrible. The idea is there but the execution looks like something from episode one of Project Runway where the designers still have no clue what they’re doing.

Me: It looks like she got confused and thought her belt was her shirt. I was feeling sort of old for hating this, because I know this is supposed to be edgy and provocative, but since Marley and my writing group hated the look as well (my friend Lexi: Where is Kerry Washington’s shirt?), I feel vindicated. I am not old, I am right. This look is not good.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Marley: This looks like she took inspiration from slave Leia but decided she needed to cover up more so she threw some tulle over it to make it more palatable. I bet we’ll see this on Goop in a few months for ten thousand dollars.

Me: To me this looks like she threw a sheer lingerie robe over a bathing suit. If sheer lingerie robes came with too many frills in puke brown.

Lucy Boynton

Marley: Was her inspiration Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz? I don’t understand that wack lace thing on her chest? I am so confused.

Me: Last year Lucy wore ugly gold lame to the Golden Globes. It was also horrible, but this tinfoil-space-meets-Little-House-on-the-Prairie creation is worse. And that makeup! Was is with all the black and silver shit all over her eyes?

Taylor Swift

Marley: I think the dress shape and overall construction is good, but that pattern is horrible.

Me: I agree. If this dress was black or red or any solid color, it would be gorgeous. But that pattern, while it would be cute on a sundress, makes it a big no.

My friend Lexi: OMG – who shot the sofa?

Alright, enough already. My eyes are starting to bleed. Believe it or not, there were some gorgeous, gorgeous looks last night. (Though they are not nearly as fun!) Here are some of them.

Nicole Kidman

Marley: It’s pretty, but nothing special

Me: Marley is wrong! I think this dress is stunning. Nicole is often on my worst dressed list, but she’s been upping her style game lately. An enthusiastic thumbs up.

Zoey Deutch

Marley: I mean… I guess? I feel like they can do better next time. I just hate these sleeves. Bring back normal sleeves.

Me: I love it! Even the yellow (which is a tricky color and this one is a tad on the mustard side, but I’ll let it pass). I love the plunge, which is deep, but still not too revealing, the shape and even the sleeves. And that necklace? Perfection.

Tiffany Haddish

Marley: This is a really simple dress, which is seemingly rare on this red carpet. I almost wish it had a little more but that would probably ruin it.

Me: Simply beautiful. I love the pink.

Saoirse Ronan

Marley: It’s simple, beautiful, and looks amazing on her and her body.

Me: Agree. Stunning. She wore a perfect dress last year and has done it again.

Kate McKinnon

Marley: Kate is perfect, therefore this is perfect. That’s all.

Me: What Marley said.

Helen Mirren

Marley: Not only is that a beautiful color, but it looks amazing on her and fits her great.

Me: I say it every year. I want to look (and dress) like Helen Mirren when I grow up. She is the epitome of beauty, class, and style.

Rachel Brosnahan

Me: One of my favorite looks of the night. Love the color and the cut and everything about it. Stunning.

Cynthia Erivo

Marley: It’s classy and it looks great on her.

Me: Agree. I love the style. It’s like a blingy tuxedo dress. and I love her hair. Win!

Laura Dern

Me: I love this flowy style. This pattern works for me and I think Laura looks gorgeous.

Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie

Marley: I know it’s the style, but it just looks like she’s wearing the shorts I used to have to wear under my skirt in lacrosse.

Me: While I agree that I don’t love the see-through with the short black skirt aspect of the dress, I think overall the dress is so pretty. I love the color and the style and the beading, so I’ll let it slide. Also, Leslie and Kit definitely win the cute couple award.

Okay, look. There are so many more that I don’t have time to get to. As always I should have done most of this last night. But I was tired and left the bulk of the work for the morning. And I have a job that I am already late to, so I don’t have time to talk about Reece Witherspoon’s okay dress and horrible hair or the awful color of Sandra Bullocks dress. But I will be nice and give you one piece of eye candy, as I know y’all look forward to at the end of this post.

Andrew Scott

Me: I dig the color of the gold color of the tie and jacket. Makes it look much less waiter-ish. Plus, if you have not seen Fleabag, drop everything immediately and binge it now. It is full of sad, messy, crazy people. The writing is brilliant and it is funny AF.

That is my review for the year. I hope it made you laugh. And remember, I am making fun of the clothing and style choices, not the people themselves (mostly).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we posted and what we missed.

Photos borrowed from here, here, here and here.

My Snarky 2019 Emmy Red Carpet Comments

Can I let you in on a secret? You might think that because I’ve been writing this red carpet (that was actually purple this year) post for the last 10ish years, that I not only wait for the Emmy’s (Oscar’s and Golden Globe’s) every year with baited breath, but actually know when they are going to occur.

No.

I’m not that organized. In fact I didn’t know the Emmy’s were happening tonight until my husband and I were reading the Sunday paper and noticed a story about the Emmy’s on the cover of Parade Magazine.

Shit. Are those tonight?

Yup.

Because I really don’t have time for this. I just got back from an eight night one-third vacation, two-thirds business trip. I landed at LAX on Saturday at 8:30 AM (after waking up at 4:45 AM for a 7:00 AM flight from Indianapolis), got home around 10:00 AM and went to bed until noon.

Then instead of getting up and cleaning (because you know I came home to a dirty house), shopping (because you also know I came home to a house with no fresh food), and doing laundry (spoiler alert – there was plenty of that, that wasn’t mine too), I dragged my jet lagged ass to a country festival at the beach.

Of course I did.

Which is my very long-winded way of saying. I’m tired. Marley got home from work around 8:30 PM after a late Saturday night and a long shift Sunday and she’s tired.

Plus, WordPress has changed its format and I hate it and this post looks all wonky and I have given up caring. You get what you get and you don’t get upset, people. I do this for you (the five people who look forward to this post every year), but I can only do so much.

A special shout out and thank you to my friend Laurel and her daughter Lexi who texted me their comments last night. They were on point. (Marley and I might have to pass the torch to them soon.)

Okay. Enough of the blah blah blah. I present to you, my 2019 Emmy Red (Purple) Carpet Review.

Carice Van Houten
I hated this dress when I first saw it, but the more I look at it, I kind of think it looks like a piece of art. It’s original and I say yes.
Marley: It looks like someone who tried to make a modern art piece by following all the popular modern artists, but instead of getting into the Broad, they just got into their high school art show.
Laurel & Lexi: Hard No.
Chloe Bridges
Me: It’s pretty, but the leather texture of the bandeau and little flaps are just weird.
Marley: Honestly, I think it’s really pretty, but the things below the belt are a little weird. The look like gun holsters, but considering the gun laws in our country it makes sense. Very high school chic.

Dascha Polanco
She looks gorgeous, but that dress? Hard No.

Marley: Who made that dress and for what reason? It reminds me of an ugly white and pink bear some high school dude gives you for Valentine’s Day.

Laurel & Lexi: a one-year old’s birthday cake will be worn by the othrwise gorgeous Dascha Polanco. Pink is the new cake!
Robin Weigert
Me: Gorgeous. I love this dress.
Marley: I appreciate the style, but I think the pattern looks like it belongs in the pages of an adult coloring book for stressed out millennials.

Now how about some love (or some well deserved shade) for the awesome Game of Thrones ladies.

Gwendoline Christie
Me: Her hair and makeup look stunning, but is she confused? Did she think she was on set for the do-over last season of GOT?
Marley: She looks like a female pope.
Laurel and Lexi: Shame on you, Gucci!
Maisie Williams
Me: I love it.
Marley: Aw, she looks cute, but I hate that dress. Why is it uneven like that. Did her cat attack it?
Emilia Clarke
Me:Points for the pockets, but honestly the top of her dress looks like suspenders. Maybe she thought she was going to be on the cover of Playboy instead of going to an awards show.
Marley: It looks uncomfortable, like you can’t sit down or bend over because the top will just fall off.
Sophie Turner
Me: I think it’s pretty. I like the color and the details.
Marley: It’s pretty, but it looks like she can only waddle in it.
Laurel: It just looks ill-fitting to me.
Lena Heady
Me: I think it’s gorgeous. It’s the type of dress I would wear, actually.
Marley: Oh, why? It looks like wallpaper from the 40’s.

Julia Garner
Me: That is one ugly and unflattering dress. Hell to the no!
Marley: The sleeve is stupid and the cutout is weird. Who is this supposed to look good on?

And now, how about a shout out (or a shout at) to the ladies who wear pants.

Angela Bassett
Marley: I think it’s a terrible outfit. It’s prisoner orange and why does she have a lolipop purse? I don’t get it.
Me: Marley is wrong. This outfit is hot.
Laurel & Lexi: Outfit, yes! Clutch, not so much!
Kerry Washington
Marley: Is she a pirate or a waiter? That’s something you would wear to prom in the 80’s. Why?
Me: Once again, my darling daughter is wrong. Kerry looks fab.
Laurel & Lexi: Yes! Yes!

Clea DuVall
Me: Classic. I love it.
Marley: Simple. She looks nice. I don’t know what else to say about it.
Samantha Bee
Me: I’m neutral on this outfit, but those shoes? Oh how I wish I could wear shoes like that. I want them. If only to stare at them in my closet every day.
Marley: Every year someone wears a white tux and every year it’s still ugly.
Melanie Liburd
Charlene & Marley: Wedding dress on top. Tuxedo on bottom.
Marley: It’s 2019. If you can’t find a partner just marry yourself and wear that.

Pink and red – who wore it best?

Taraji P. Henson
Me: I’m 50-50 on this one. But I’ll tell you what, she looks gorgeous!
Marley: Why? It’s so ugly. She looks so pretty, but why would she want to be wearing that? It’s kind of a cape and the red is too orange to go with the pink.
Susan Kelechi Watson
Marley: My biggest problem with all these dresses are the sleeves. Calm down with the sleeves. It’s like designers don’t know how to make a dress different, so they just go crazy and make stupid sleeves.
Me: Marley is right. Take away those sleeves and that’s one gorgeous dress.
Zoe Kazan
Me: Did Gucci think they could do with a canopy bed cover what Scarlett O’Hara did with her drapes?
Marley: Deep sigh. Do I even need to say anything? Do I really need to? I think the terribleness of it just speaks for itself.
Laurel & Lexi: Hollywood royalty should not wear this. Again, shame on you, Gucci!
Me: No one should wear this, Laurel. No one should wear this.
Marisa Tomei
Marley: That’s so ugly. It looks like curtains.
Me: Wrong! This is how you red and pink!
Mandy Moore
The answer to the question above is Mandy. Marisa, you look gorgeous, but Mandy Moore wore it best.

And then there’s this…

Vera Farmiga
Marley: I think it’s really pretty. I don’t love the puffy sleeves, but I like the pattern.
Me: I am actually shocked Marley likes this. Even pink could not have saved this sad 1970’s wedding dress meets Little House on the Prairie in red.

And now the good…

Sandra Oh
Marley: Sandra looks gorgeous. She look amazing.
Me: Same
Laurel & Lexi: Sadra Oh looks gorgeous – it’s the right shade of pink for her.
Julia Louis Dreyfus
Me: Stunning
Marley: Classic. Beautiful. She always wears good dresses.
Jameela Jamil
Me: Beautiful. Love the color and the dress.
Marley: It’s not the worst. I don’t really like the color on her, but it’s simple and I like that.
Laurel & Lexi: Stunning. Surprised how much we love this color!
MJ Rodriguez
Me: Pretty in pink. I love it!
Marley: She looks great. The black bows make her waist look tiny.
Gwyneth Paltrow & Brad Falchuk
Me: Can I be honest? I am not a Gwyneth Paltrow fan. Goop is pretentious hipster poop. But I am big enough to admit that I love this dress and she looks absolutely gorgeous.
Marley: Other than the sleeves, which are dragging all over the floor and getting dirty, I like this dress. She looks really pretty.
Laurel & Lexi: The Paltrows look gorgeous. Black & white for the win!
Jodie Comer
Me: Beautiful
Marley. I love it. I like how the slits line up.
Laurel: She looks super sexy. I dream of her cleavage.

The bad…

Indya Moore
Me: She is beautiful, but everything about this dress is a hard no for me.
Marley: Nope. She’s actually brave to wear that, I feel like she’s going to be giving a show.
Laurel & Lexi: More fabric, less Star Trek next time. Such a gorgeous girl.
Laverne Cox
Me: Is that a sombrero sewn onto the shoulder of that dress?
Marley: She looks like a feather duster.
Laurel: Laverne Cox looks gorgeous!
Lexi: That dress is horrible, but she looks incredible.
So, I think we are all in agreeance – Laverne, you are one hot, gorgeous creature, but that dress is a hard no!
Kristen Bell
Me: She looks like a pharaoh. But also, I don’t hate it.
Marley: I hate it. I hate it so much. I like the creativity and think it had good intentions, but it doesn’t work for me.
Amy Poehler
Me: Oh, Amy. I love you so much, but seriously, girl. Just, no. This looks like a bad 1970’s disco reject. (Even that weird scarf is 1970’s.) I’m going to say it again – NO!
Marley: It’s so ugly. It’s trashy gold. And what is with that weird black scarf/untied neck tie?
Kendall Jenner
Sadly Marley missed this number, because I bet she would have had a lot to say about it. A whole lot.
I will just say this: As Kendall was walking down that long red (purple) carpet I bet she was wishing her dress didn’t have the pleather bondage turtle neck attached. Me too, Kendall. Me too.
Laurel & Lexi:

And the best of the best…

Zendaya
Me: Beyond stunning.
Marley: I think she looks really great. The dress looks like it was made for her. It makes her body look amazing.
Laurel & Lexi: Love it or leave it, Zendaya looks stunning tonight.
Regina King
Regina King can do no wrong. Stunning. Fabulous. Drop Dead Gorgeous. I love it, Love it, LOVE it!
Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Me: Hands down, favorite dress of the night.
Marley: At first I didn’t like it, but the more I look at it, I think it’s pretty. I really like the rose gold.

And now for the men…

Lin Manuel Miranda
Me: So handsome. Yes, please.
Marley: He’s wearing a suit. What about it. He looks like every boy at prom.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Me: that jacket is ugly. But also Jamie Lanister is one of my hot fantasy boyfriends, so I don’t care.
Marley: Is he an Emmy?
Mahershala Ali
Me: He looks great.
Marley: I like the color. I think it looks good.
Ru Paul
Marley: You know, it’s terrible, but it’s Ru Paul, so he’s allowed.
Me: What Marley said.
Laurel & Lexi: Ru is pulling this off. How does he do it?
Justin Hartley
Me: Oh yeah!
Marley: He looks good. It’s nice to see a tux that isn’t black. That’s a great shade of blue.
Steven Canals
Me: Sigh…
Marley: Again, with the sleeves.
Billy Porter
Me: If you’re going to be fabulous, then I say be fabulous. Billy – you are fabulous!
Marley: Hey, instead of bad sleeves, they changed it for stupid long pants. It looks like a kid who went into his parents’ closet and tried on one of their pants. I’m not even going to comment on the hat.
Lexi & Laurel: Oh my!

And as always, unedited and likely with tons of mistakes (I mean in the way of grammar and typos – my opinions are spot on), that my friends, is a wrap.

Pictures lifted from here. (Thank you.)

My 2015 Snarky Oscar Comments (Because I’m so Qualified to Give Them)

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to enjoy the Oscars  a lot more when I used to actually see movies. Out of the eight movies nominated for Best Picture I saw exactly one, The Grand Budapest Hotel. And  I loved it dearly so of course I was rooting for it (even though I knew it wouldn’t win).

But oh, how I do adore the red carpet. Because I’m pretty sure that when people think of me the first think they think of is  what a fashion icon I am. Seriously, no one can rock off-the-rack (from Target) like I can.

The Red Carpet

Dakota Johnson looked fabulous, but what happened to her mother’s face? (One too many trips under the knife – that’s what.) I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the mother-daughter bickering on the red carpet between the two about Melanie’s refusal to see Dakota’s soft porn performance in FSOG (even though she was “so proud” of her).

Dakota-Johnson-Melanie-Griffith-Oscars-2015
Is it me or is Melanie Griffith starting to look like Joan Rivers?

And speaking of soft porn, John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen looked gorgeous, but I kept expecting to see Chrissy give a Lindsay-Lohan-getting-out-of-a-limo-type red carpet peep show with the slit in that dress.

2015-oscar-Chrissy-Teigen-John-Legend-Academy-Awards

Julianne  Moore looked stunning. I loved her dress (which does not look great against this background, but trust me, it’s gorgeous), just adored her side-swept chignon, and those earrings (that you cannot see in this picture)? I must have them!

2015-oscars-julianne-moore
Gorgeous!

I thought Jennifer Lopez’s dress was beautiful (I’m a sucker for a ballgown), but whoever did her make-up needs to be fired. Immediately. You can’t really tell from the photos, but her pink lipstick was hideous and her pink eye shadow was a mess. (If you saw her red carpet interview, you know what I’m talking about.)

2015-oscar-jennifer-lopez
Those pink lips have to go!

Rosamund Pike’s red dress paired with understated hair and jewelry was stunning. Stunning! (I know I just used that word to describe Julianne Moore, but if you can think of a better one please let me know.) I think her dress was my favorite.

2015 Oscar-Rosamund Pike

I love Scarlet Johansson’s dress. I’m not sure how I feel about that necklace. And I have to ask, what the hell did she do to her hair?

2015-Oscar-Scarlet-Johansson
When did Scarlet Johansson start going to Miley Cyrus’s hairdresser?

And Gywneth Paltrow, whose website Goop loves to tell us how much better our lives could be if we partook in V steams and purchased $350 cut-off shorts might want to make her own life better by hiring a different stylist. Because this dress? NO! That hair? Yuck! But I will say, those earrings are FAB!

2015-Oscars-Gwyneth-Paltrow

I really like Naomi Watts, but I do not like her dress at all. Except for the length it looks more like something you’d wear out clubbing.

2015-oscars-naomi-watts
That bandeau is not working for me.

The Awards

Okay, okay, enough of this red carpet business and onto a quick Academy Awards recap.

Opening number by Neil Patrick Harris, Anna Kendrick and Jack Black? -Fantastic!

I just loved JK Simmons  thank you speech. What a lovely tribute to his wife. If my husband ever wins any kind of award that requires a speech he should just copy that speech.

In fact after watching that speech, I realized what it is I love so much about the awards and why I continue to watch them even when I don’t see the movies – it’s the acceptance speeches. I know this sounds corny, but watching people be filled with so much gratitude really does make me teary eyed and just, well, happy.

Speaking of acceptance speeches if you missed this one by Pawel Pawlikowski, the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film, you must watch it here. I had never heard of him before last night, but I am now madly in love with him and have decided he must be mine!

Michael Keaton really needs to learn how to chew gum in a more gentlemanly manner.

Ironically during the bit about seat fillers, I noticed the seat next to Jared Leto was empty. I really need to figure out a way to be a seat filler next year. I would take the job much more seriously. In fact I’d take it so seriously that if I was sitting next to Jared Leto I wouldn’t even get up when the person who was supposed be sitting there came back from the bathroom. Though he might ask me to leave because I don’t think I’d be able to stop myself from giving him some well-needed fashion advice.

The Everything is Awesome musical number was #AWESOME. I need to call my sister and tell her to have her Lego-loving twins to make me a Lego Oscar statue. (It would make an excellent birthday present. Hint, hint!)

I wanted to snark on Patricia Arquette for looking like she rolled out of bed, put her hair in a messy ponytail and threw on a dress she found at Macy’s but I loved her heartfelt and impassioned speech so much that I’ve decided not to mention it.

2015-oscars -patricia-arquette
To you, Patricia Arquette, I say, “Go, Girl!”

The night really was full of tear-inducing speeches. Another one that you just have to watch is Graham Moore’s, the writer of The Imitation Game. And show your kids. Because it’s important. Even if they aren’t weird.

And OMG – who knew Lady Gaga could sing like that? Not me! Her tribute to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music truly wowed me.

Eddie Redmayne’s speech was adorable and Julianne Moore’s speech was touching and fabulous. I’m over the red carpet, it really was all about the speeches for me.

2015-oscars-awards-julianne-moore
Happy Lady, you are fabulous!

And to my boyfriend Bradley Cooper, I’m so sorry you didn’t win (again). But like I told you last year, if you need someone to comfort you, you know where to find me.

2015-oscars-bradley-cooper-academy-awards
Swoon!

My So-Called Fabulous (Yet Unlived) Life

Throwback Thursday – This post was originally published on March 21, 2011 on skirt.com.

The other day as I looked at my pretty friend on the computer screen – tan and fit with her long blonde hair flowing down her back, I began to wonder about her life…and about mine.  Somewhere between high school and Facebook she moved from Los Angeles to Miami.  We were really only acquaintances in high school – I was better friends with her brother a year older than us – and now we are acquaintances through the world’s largest social network.  I see photos of her fabulous single life and she sees photos of my rather suburban one (if she even bothers to look).

In her photos she sits courtside at a Miami Heat game, drinks umbrella drinks on the beach, and wraps her arms around equally tan and fit singletons at bars and barbeques.  In my photos I’m trying my best to look cool mom funky rather than suburban mom frumpy.

At 45-years-old she still looks amazing in a bikini.  Of course that’s probably a lot easier to do when you are blessed with the combination of being born with good genes, never experiencing the wondrous body-changing magic of childbirth, and have nothing but time on your hands to go to the gym before heading out to the local pub to meet your latest conquest on Match.com face to face.

I wonder sometimes as I stare at her beautiful face smiling at me if she is as happy as she looks.  I consider myself happy in this life I’ve chosen for myself, but there are days when I trip over my husband’s shoes in the bedroom or get an aching back from doing eight loads of laundry on a Sunday that I wonder if I would be even happier if I had never married, if I had never had kids, if I had never given up my career to stay home with my children.  If I only had to be accountable to me…what would my life be like?

A few years ago, when my husband unwillingly went from the security of fulltime employment to get-it-when-you-can-find-it contract work, I took a job at an elementary school as an aide in special education so that I could give my family the extravagant gift of health insurance.  As an instructional assistant I have been bit, hit, kicked, pinched, spit at, peed on, and had my life threatened.  And sometimes I even get to clean up poop!  As an added bonus the pay is terrible.  Of course I do get summers off and every December and June parents shower me with Starbucks gift cards to thank me for my patience with their little darlings.

But if I didn’t have kids, where would 15 years in the career world have taken me?  I picture myself dressed in designer clothing checking my Blackberry as I tap my pedicured toes encased in $300 boots waiting for the valet to come with my Mercedes that only seats two so I can hurry from my business lunch to a very important meeting.  My “what if” wardrobe seems a bit more stylish than my usual attire of jeans and tone-up sneakers sadly worn for function rather than fashion so my heels don’t sink into the grass as I attend my kids’ soccer games or so I won’t trip as I race around town running errand after monotonous errand.

Speaking of monotonous, my husband and I have been married for seventeen years.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but all in all we have a happy marriage.  He is a good partner and a good friend; we are very compatible and I feel like I’ve chosen well.  Even during our toughest times the thought of divorce has never crossed my mind.

But what if we had never met?  If I had never walked down the aisle, would the rush of experiencing first date jitters be greater than the joy experienced from the comfort of a long marriage? Would I choose to experience firsthand the phenomenon of online dating instead of only experiencing it vicariously through my friends?  I am rather curious to know how many text exchanges with a man you’ve never met face to face it takes to get a photo of his penis in your inbox.  And like many of my still-single or again single friends, would I also have a nice, incurable dose of HPV?

I look at my suburban tract home in a neighborhood known for its good schools.  In my “what if” life I envision myself in my two bedroom condo in a much more urban part of town decorated Pottery Barn chic – no roses to dead head, no lawn to water or mow.  There are no socks on the floor, no Lego’s to be stepped on, no princess toothpaste smeared on the bathroom counter.  If the song “I Still Want You” were to play on the 80’s station of my satellite radio as I was cleaning my condo on a Saturday afternoon I’d probably think to myself, “Whatever happened to The Del Fuegos?” having no idea that front man Dan Zanes went on to be a Grammy Award winning children’s artist.

If I’d never had kids I would probably still think that Lindsey Lohan’s drug addiction and downward spiral is a terrible tragedy, but the true tragedy would be missing both her and Jamie Lee Curtis’ fantastic comedic performances in “Freaky Friday” because what kind of designer-boot-wearing, two-seat-Mercedes-driving, online-dating-still-hot-in-a-bikini-after-the-age-of-forty single girl sees a movie like that?

If I were single I wouldn’t have to share the covers in my bed, give up half my closet space, or watch NASCAR.  If I were childless I wouldn’t have to make sure there was always milk in the fridge, referee ridiculous arguments, or worry about how the hell I’m going to pay for college. (Shit. How the hell are we going to pay for college?)

I look at my friend’s pretty face one last time before clicking off my computer and joining my family for popcorn –crumbs of which I will inevitably have to vacuum off the floor tomorrow- and the latest episode of The Simpsons.  I snuggle with my daughter under the Snuggie she and her brother gave me for Mother’s Day last year and laugh a deep belly laugh as Bart tortures Homer.

If only my two lives were a Gwyneth Paltrow movie and I could watch them in parallel to see which path was better.  But the truth is I really don’t have to wonder.  I already know.

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