20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 (Here’s how I scored.)

I ran across an article recently entitled 20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30. It was featured on a website called Rant Chic and has been bouncing around Facebook. And, since I am (cough) a little bit over 30, the title intrigued me. ‘Cause I’m quite the trend setter. (smoothing wrinkled Target pants with hole in knee) I’ve got this.

To read the original article, click here. To read my take on the original article, just scroll down. When you see :), it means I’m following the rules. When you see :(, well … Let’s just take a look at my fashion prowess, shall we?

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20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30

1. Leopard Print. :)

Not now nor ever will I wear leopard print. I don’t know what cat-nailed, smeary-lipsticked, chain-smoking old broad scared me away, but animal prints scream Zsa Zsa to me. Or Mrs. Roper. Or Peg Bundy.


Ooh! Or Endora.

2. Sparkly Pants. :)

There is no time period in my life that I would EVER wear these. My butt is the LAST part of my body I want to illuminate and bedazzle. I’d be a walking disco ball.

3. Oversized Sunglasses. :(

I proudly wore a pair of Jackie O’s well into my 30s. And I’d do it again. Since when is obstructing your aging face a bad thing? Speaking of which, does Old Navy carry burkas?

4. Non-matching socks. :)

Is this a thing or am I being punk’d?

5. Hoop earrings. :(

Wait … what??? Sure, I traded yesterday’s grapefruit-sized hoops for today’s plum-sized variety. But nobody can tell me I can’t wear my hoops. They make me … if you will … who I am.


I’m adjusting the rule. If you can fit your boobs through them, you shouldn’t be wearing them after 30.

6. Furry boots. :)

Only as house slippers.

7. Furry anything. :(

Aww, man. I have a fuzzy black vest I just bought a couple of years ago. And I love it. I thinks it adds a splash of Oh-No-You-Di’ent to any outfit.

8. Tube tops. :)

Always hated them. I need clothing that allows me to be confident that I’m not one yank from being naked.

9. Short dresses. :)

The conditions that ALL must be present for me to wear a short dress:

A. I must remain standing for the entire evening.

B. Eating and drinking are not an option.

C. I must wear heels high enough to alter the skeletal structure of my foot.

D. My ensemble must accommodate either black pantyhose or (better) black tights.


E. Victoria’s Secret and/or Sports Illustrated must have named me a Supermodel.

10. Mini skirts. :)

See #9.

11. Overalls. :(

Hold the phone. Women should only wear overalls before age 30?!!? Well, that doesn’t make any sense at all. Seriously, overalls are all the rage for new-mom, I-can’t-lose-the-freaking-baby-weight, drop-one-strap-for-easy-nursing-access fashion. This one’s got to be a typo.

12. Crop tops. :)

I wrote and deleted the blurb for this one three times. I just kept using words like slutty, loose and Kelly Kapowski. And I didn’t sound nice. Not at all.


Seriously, was Lisa Turtle the only one whose mama raised her right?

13. American Eagle. :)

The only thing I ever bought there was a green jacket that everyone said looked like the one George Costanza wore on Seinfeld. Needless to say, I chucked it immediately.

14. Booty shorts. :)

Not unless you’re an In Living Color fly girl. And it’s 1992.

15. Sneakers. :(

But I LIKE old and raggedy. I AM old and raggedy.

16. Cheap bras. :(

WhatEVer. Who has the money desire time to shop at Victoria’s Secret?

17. Glitter eyeshadow. :)

Not unless it’s Halloween, Mardi Gras or Vivien is at the wheel for my makeover.


Although, sadly, I must confess that it’s likely ability and not fashion sense that’s keeping me from replicating this awesome technique right this minute. How awesome would I look at carpool today?!!?

18. Platform flip-flops. :(

Hello? Are Volatile flips not THE most comfortable shoe in the world? Bite me, fashion list.

19. Abercrombie & Fitch. :)

I hate this store. HATE it. Always have. It’s dark. And loud. Two qualities that make it hard to read price tags and badger friends for their advice.

20. Scrunchies. :(

I probably have about ten of these in my house. They’re perfect for throwing your hair back for a quick face wash. Now, do I sometimes forget they’re in and venture out into public spaces? Well …

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I scored a 12/20. In other words, 60%. Meaning I failed. Guess the closet and I have a date with a hefty bag. What about you?

What’s YOUR score?

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About these ads

It’s the Great Parental Fail, Charlie Brown!


Picture it. The girl and I had just snuggled up together to watch a beloved holiday special for, presumably, the 12th year in a row when this happened.

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HER: Why does Susan keep moving the football and messing up his kick?

ME: Who?

HER: (exasperated) SUSAN. Or whatever her name is.

ME: (surprised) You don’t know her name?

HER: I guess not.


HER: Oh. Sounds like Susie.

ME: Who???

HER: The little blonde girl who likes Linus.

ME: (dumbfounded) You mean Sally?

HER: That’s right. Sally … Susie. They both sound the same.

ME: You thought two of the characters’ names were SusAN and SusIE?

HER: What??? I know Linus and Charlie Brown … and Dirt Bag.

ME: (under my breath) Oh, my God. (flabbergasted) DIRT BAG?!!?

HER: Yeah. The dirty kid. What’s his name again?

ME: It’s Pig Pen. PIG! PEN! How do you not know this? (chastising myself) I feel like I’ve failed you as a mother.

HER: (laughing at me) It’s fine, Mom. As long as I know Snoopy … and Woodchuck.

Me: (face-palm)

* * * * * * * *


Is she just messing with me?



This post was written in response to MamaKat’s writing prompt asking us to share a favorite fall view.

Sure, I might have stretched it a little. And taken a few liberties. But, since we live in the Deep South where the changing of the leaves indicates more of a mold problem than a new season, I decided to discuss one of our favorite things to view this time of year.

Oh, whatever. It does SO work.

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A Fair to Remember (Nine of them actually …)

Fair Weekend. It’s always a fun time at our school. 2014 marks my ninth consecutive year working, playing, binge eating, drinking, and dancing at this fun-filled three days spent with some of my favorite people. It’s also my last year there as a card-carrying parent. My girl will be changing schools next year. I didn’t expect to cry at the event over this fact.


Last night, I looked like I was channeling Alice Cooper peeling onions while watching a Beaches/Old-Yeller/Dead-Poet’s-Society movie marathon littered with sappy Hallmark commercials. Pathetic. (Thanks, Melissa, for starting the water works.) I’m going to miss it. A lot. And I will certainly be back next year, but just as someone who lives in the neighborhood coming to support my children’s alma mater. Yes, Holly & Leslie, I will still work the beer booth. Yes, Jennifer, I will work the drinks booth. Yes, Karla, I will work the snack booth. Just let me know when I’m needed.

For now, in the interest of preventing another ugly display of emotion, I’m just going to keep it light here with a few observations and pictures from one of my favorite weekends of the year.

Things I’m not proud proud I ate:

  • fried cheese
  • fried pickles
  • fried shrimp
  • fried oysters
  • fried Oreos

Beers consumed – 5 (Not bad for three days. Thanks, Lauren.)

Mixed drinks – 2 … or was it 3? (Thanks, Melissa, Mignon and Leslie.)

Activities that kept me busy – selling crab balls with Ashley, slinging basketballs with Vanessa, helping kids in and out of sweaty sofa-cushion-unitards for the velcro wall with Joseph, peddling beer with Kirk, gambling/losing money with Tim, singing Neil Diamond like no one was watching with The Rockenbraughs, parenting electronically with Dave, overeating with everyone in attendance and other assorted acts of PG (and sometimes PG-13) rated tomfoolery.

Favorite text of the weekend – “Sorry, Mom. I accidentally won three goldfish.” – Vivien

Number of live goldfish won by daughter – 5 (Her personal best was 16 in 2009.)

Number of live goldfish won by daughter that actually made it home – 3

Number of children being raised by the two moms in charge of the event – TWELVE! (How can they manage this huge, time-consuming job when I can’t even get my legs shaved? – Thanks, Denise and Jennifer.)

Number of priests I saw perform with the live band – 2 (Which is two more than I’ve EVER seen before)

Number of times my daughter asked for money – 7? 8? I honestly lost count.

Number of times my son asked for money – 1 (He’s my favorite.)

Number of times my parents gave my kids money, brought someone elsewhere to a simultaneous ballgame, purchased someone food, shuttled someone to the fair or back, etc. – I actually have no idea. (Thanks, Mom and Dad. Not sure what we’d do without you.)

Number of times I should’ve been fired from my volunteer position for giving too much change – 3 (I think. It’s not like I can really count.) (Thanks, Kirk, for spotting me from then on.)

Biggest problem I’m having today – I can’t stop peeing. But I did have one beer, two Diet Cokes and about 17 bottles of water yesterday so I guess it’s not really a mystery.

Thanks, SCS, for a great nine years of fair weekends.

We’ll be back next year. As alumni!

(Please let us in.)


I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Michele … WHERE’S DEAN?!!?” Remember, he just turned 15 last Thursday. And can you show me one fifteen-year-old boy who wants to let his mom take his picture? Nope? I didn’t think so.

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Did I ever write about any of the other fairs? Well, of COURSE I did. Click the following links to read about past festivities in 2011 and 2012.

(What the heck was I doing in 2013, by the way?) 

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15 Reasons I Love My Son (on his 15th Birthday)


Dear Dean,

I want to tell you a secret. I know it’s your exam week and you probably hate that. But (I’m so sorry to admit this) I really kind of love it. I love that you get dismissed early each day after your exams are completed so you can come home to study for the next ones. I love the private time we get together and the opportunity we have to grab lunch and just talk without anyone else around.

Remember yesterday when that sweet, older lady saw your Jesuit shirt and came over to our table to ask about the school? I wanted to hug her and kick her all at the same time. (Don’t worry. I would never actually kick an old lady.) It was clear she was sad. It was clear she missed her grandson (a Jesuit grad) who was now halfway across the country. And it was clear she wanted me to ‘Carpe Diem’ my time with you. She needed a hug. Still, I wanted to shout at her …

“Thank you, well-meaning stranger. But you are KILLING me! I KNOW he’ll be gone in a just a few years. I KNOW it all goes by so fast. And I KNOW one day that he, too, might move across the country. So PLEASE LEAVE and let me enjoy these few minutes while I can!”

Of course, as you know, I just smiled and nodded. Because I could see the sadness in her face. And the tears in her eyes. Well, that and because I’m not the meanest person ever.

Anyway, I think I AM going to take this opportunity to ‘Carpe Diem’ and stop what I’m doing to appreciate you on your 15th birthday. (Seriously, you really need to stop growing.) I did it for Vivien on her 12th birthday. Now it’s your turn.

15 Reasons I Love My Son … on his 15th Birthday

  1. You have one of the most contagious laughs I’ve ever heard.
  2. When other people really need your help, you give it … without having to be asked.
  3. You’re close with your sister. She loves you more than you will ever know.
  4. You’re neat. Don’t think that inherited trait isn’t appreciated by me.
  5. You’re a much better student at this age than I was.
  6. You have an athletic ability that I’ve never had. I envy that.
  7. You’re curious. And you have been for as long as I can remember. You want to know why things happen, why they don’t or sometimes just why.
  8. People naturally like you. I’ve heard it all my life. Other parents roll their eyes when I talk about problems involving you as if to say, “Dean??? Please.”
  9. You repeatedly put up with my requests to help pick out a Halloween pumpkin, Christmas shop and watch movies with Vivien and me.
  10. You love your cat and genuinely want to help with his care.
  11. You really talk to me, your dad, your sister, your grandparents, etc. Never stop doing that, please.
  12. You remember things. Sure, this might not always be in my favor. But, ultimately, it’s what earned you one of your earliest nicknames (Rain Man) and it lets me know you’re paying attention.
  13. You like cooking and preparing food. We used to think you were going to grow up to be a chef. I like it because it’s something we can do together.
  14. You’re polite. Which makes me feel like I’m doing something right. Even though we both know I probably had nothing to do with it.
  15. You’re a constant reminder to me that I need to slow down. Thirty minutes to brush your teeth? Why not? (P.S. You’ve never had a cavity. Thanks for that.)

After I made my list, I realized I had actually come up with too many reasons and I had to cut it back. Now THAT’S a good kid.

IMG_8272.JPGHappy birthday, Dean.

I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll love you always.

Love, Mom

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An Update on My Arby’s Letter

Yesterday, at 1:55pm CST, I posted a letter to Arby’s Restaurants here at ODNT. Following that, I sent it to them electronically via their website, Twitter and Facebook. Only 26 minutes later at 2:21pm CST, I received the following tweet from Arby’s Guest Support:


“Wow,” I remember thinking to myself, impressed with their promptness and concern. “Hello … AMC? Nickelodeon?? Josh Hutcherson??? You people should take a lesson from Arby’s!” Naturally, I retweeted it. I love getting and sharing feedback from my letters. Especially when it’s positive. Immediately afterwards, I noticed that the account was following me and I received this additional tweet.


I responded, happy to comply but not jazzed about the phone number request as I prefer to communicate electronically. (Does that make me weird? Never mind. Ignore that question.) But I did it. I gave them my email address and my phone number.

And at 3:50pm CST, precisely as I was pulling into the driveway from picking up my daughter at school, my phone rang. Seeing an unfamiliar long distance number, I just knew it was Arby’s. So I quickly gestured to my kids that they should fend for themselves for a few minutes while I took the call. The female representative on the other end of the line was friendly and got right to it. She reiterated the same point made in the initial tweet … that my experience was “unacceptable” … and offered her apologies. She then asked what she could do to “make it right.”

I wasn’t prepared for this question.

I hadn’t expected any form of recompense and, frankly, was just happy that I was being answered and taken seriously. Did I want reimbursement for my recent experience or gift cards for a future visit? I felt cheap asking for reimbursement and more like I should offer them a second chance by taking the gift cards. But I wasn’t sure. “I don’t know. You pick,” I offered up, like a total boob trying to choose between pepperoni or sausage at Pizza Hut.

Fortunately, my idiocy paid off when I heard her say, “Why don’t we just do both?” freeing me to reply simply, “Okay. Thanks!”

She then requested that I give them a little time to address the issues at the local Arby’s restaurant before returning for another visit. She also requested that if I ever had another problem with Arby’s that I contact them direct before smearing everything across all of my social media platforms.


Oh, well. I can respect her request. But this is what I do. I write letters and I share them. Because I want to make the world a better place for all of us. One gallon of milk, combustible toaster and freestanding, icy landmass at a time.

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An Open Letter to Arby’s Restaurants


After visiting one of your restaurants recently, I felt compelled … make that obligated to write your company and tell you about my negative experience at store #5274 (located at 3847 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie, Louisiana).

In truth, I have very little experience with your restaurant. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and I try (notice I said try) to avoid fast food chains for dinner. Or maybe it’s because I’m from New Orleans and sometimes we can be snotty about cuisine and food in general. But, when my daughter (suddenly stricken with a craving for a French dip sandwich) requested that we try Arby’s last weekend, I caved. Because what (honest) person doesn’t like a little fast food splurge from time to time? Plus Arby’s has non-fried sandwich options so I thought it was worth a shot.

Stupid me.

When we walked inside the restaurant (on 10/12/14 at 5:56pm), the place was completely empty. One other customer walked in behind us. Because it was peak dinner time, I was surprised to see it so quiet and uninhabited. I honestly thought it was closed until I confirmed that the door was unlocked.

The man at the register was friendly enough and offered to take our orders immediately. After all, he’d probably just been staring at the closed door waiting for someone to cross the threshold for God-knows-how-long. Being unfamiliar with the menu, I needed a minute to decide but made up my mind while my daughter ordered her French dip. I went with the Roast Turkey Ranch & Bacon Sandwich. When I asked about turkey sandwiches, the cashier said it was the most popular one so I went with it. He asked if we wanted meal deals and I said yes. From there, it all went downhill.

Following is a list of the infractions we experienced in chronological order:

1. My Beverage. I ordered a Diet Coke. I specifically said Diet COKE. Arby’s sells only Pepsi products. I guess if I were a regular Arby’s customer I would know that. But I’m not and I didn’t. Which is why I said Diet COKE. And I always appreciate when a restaurant employee takes the initiative to ask “Is Diet Pepsi okay?” Because it gives me a chance to say, “No, thanks. Let’s just make it water.” Your people gave no explanation. I found out on my own at the self-serve soda machine.

2. The Soda Machine. I wasn’t very excited about getting a Diet Pepsi but I’d already paid for it. So I decided to move on and just get the subpar cola. Except that the Diet Pepsi syrup in the machine was empty.  The spigot was running completely clear. I approached the counter again to alert a female employee who turned to mutter something unintelligibly to a co-worker then back to me to reach out her hand, presumably for my cup. I complied silently, blindly accepting the fact that we were going to communicate wordlessly. She took my cup and turned to the counter behind her where there was a half empty two-liter of Diet Pepsi. I would have assumed it belonged to an employee. She then filled my cup halfway with tepid, flat, possibly-someone-elses-personal-beverage Diet Pepsi. I looked at her, confused about what had just transpired and, assuming my expression was because my cup was only half full, she offered “Now you can put ice in it.” I went back to the machine and outstretched my arm so I could fill the remaining half of my cup with ice and avoid Diet Pepsi splashing all over me.

3. The Drink Lids. When I finished filling my likely-privately-owned  Diet Pepsi with ice, I searched for my usual lid and straw combination to finish the job. Needless to say, there were no lids. So I went to the counter a THIRD time to ask for one. “There’s none out there?” she questioned. I fought the urge to be sarcastic and just said “No.” She reached under the counter, grabbed something and came out the employee door into the customer area. Before handing me my lid, she first felt it necessary to confirm that my accusation was true. Then, she walked over and handed me the lid with her bare hand and fingers clutching both sides of it. (Sidebar: Do you know that at Chick-Fil-A, when they refill your beverage  …with Diet Coke, by the way …  they ask you to remove and hold the lid yourself … so as to avoid any germy contamination?) I took the lid and put it on my cup, defeatedly. I figured it was only half full so it was unlikely to touch the contents inside. Contents I didn’t want to drink anyway.

4. The Ketchup Dispenser. As soon as the drink situation was under control, I did my usual fast food meal pre-prep of assembling napkins and ketchup for when the food was ready. And, while there were several large ketchup pumps available, they were … of course … bone dry. Which required a FOURTH trip to the counter to ask for some. Whereupon I was handed a half dozen sticky ketchup packets. I then turned to my daughter to find a table and wait for our order.

5. The Tables. Remember that there were exactly two customers in the restaurant at this time. So only one other table should have been taken. The rest should have been sparkling clean. Do I really need to go on here? Surprise. We passed three tables before finally settling on a fourth that was the least of all evils as I still needed to wipe it down myself before we were seated.

6. The French Dip. Once our order was called and I brought it back to the table, my daughter looked disappointed. “Aww. The sandwich in the picture came with a dip.” Her sandwich was a solo act. I turned around, confirmed her assessment on the picture menu and decided that I was going for it. So I approached the counter a FIFTH time to ask for the dip. The cashier rolled his eyes (I’m hoping at his own negligence), reached around behind himself and grabbed the errant dip from the counter. I said a silent prayer that it was, in fact, my daughter’s dip and not some other employee’s stash like my aforementioned second-hand beverage.

7. The Bacon. The bacon on my sandwich did not taste like bacon. It did not look like bacon. I’m not sure what part of the “pig” it came from, but I highly recommend you procure another bacon provider. I removed it from my sandwich and carried on with my meal, pretending it never happened. For my daughter’s sake.

8. The Fries. They were not even a little hot for the first ten seconds of my meal. I have no idea when they were prepared but I suspect it was sufficiently before we ever decided to enter your restaurant on that fateful day.

9. The Aftermath. My daughter went to bed with what my family lovingly calls “the vomit bucket” that night. Her stomach was churning, cramping and generally just making her miserable. Truth be told, I choked down a handful of Tums to fall asleep that night myself.

Why did I stay for all of that mess …  for one mistake after another … for the comedy of errors that was Arby’s Restaurant that evening? Because my daughter really wanted that stupid sandwich. And, as parents, we do many things we don’t actually want to do for our children. I didn’t complain at the restaurant because I didn’t want to rain all over the mother-daughter outing that she had requested. But I’m complaining now. Because that restaurant is giving your company a bad name. And I really thought you would want to know about it. Please tell me I’m right.


Michele Robert Poche



The proof of my infamous visit.

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Fat-Bottomed Curls, You Make the Rocking World Go Round

We open on a desperate, despondent, disheveled woman. Her hair is long … limp … and utterly lifeless. Her hair is so straight that it could be mistaken for uncooked spaghetti. Or serve as a carpenter’s level. Or used to draw blueprints of skyscrapers. (You get where I’m going with this, right?)

Desperate, despondent, disheveled woman: “Oh … why, why, WHY must I be cursed with this straight hair? Day in and day out, nothing but pin straight hair just dragging me down. I need some variety!”

Enter me, waving a new-fangled hair device in the woman’s face.

Me: “Hey, chin up, Marcia Brady. I’ve got the solution. Have you ever heard of the InstaWave curling iron by Kiss?”

DDDW: “The InstaWave curling iron by Kiss?”

Me: “Yes, the InstaWave curling iron by Kiss, the revolutionary, fully automatic hair tool that instantly creates beautiful, long-lasting curls with ease.”

DDDW: “What?!!? Aww, come on. Curls that are beautiful AND long-lasting? No way.”

Me: “Yes way! Check out this video.”

DDDW: “Wow. She looks awesome. But I bet she’s a professional hair stylist. What about ordinary schleps … like you and me?”

Me: (laughing condescendingly) “Funny you should ask. Because I’m not just an endorser of the InstaWave. I’m also a client.”


Want to win your own InstaWave curling iron? Well, of course you do. My friend Mel and I are giving one away to one of our lucky readers. And, with so many ways to score an entry, that lucky reader could easily be YOU!

Click HERE to enter!

Hurry! The contest closes on Tuesday, October 15, 2014.

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