bringin’ sexy back to nashville

I guess Justin Timberlake lives in Tennessee. Did people know this? I guess I’m not surprised I didn’t know this, as I rarely follow celebrity news, but thanks to The Tennessean, I now know. Justin and I are basically neighbors. That’s kind of cool, right?

People in Nashville like to talk a lot about how they see celebrities on a regular basis and treat them like any other person. They politely share/proudly brag about how down to earth everyone is around these parts, and how no one goes gaga for these big-name folks when they’re behind them in line for a cup of coffee or rub elbows as they walk by one another along the street.

I know very few famous people by face, and barely by name. I’m ashamed to say I have probably already seen some well-known people and I walked right past without batting an eye, and not because I’m just that cool. I went to a concert at 3rd and Lindsley because I was bored and curious one Sunday night. I guess everyone else was there to see LEAGUES with Sam Palladio (he stars in the show Nashville, and I had to just Google various word combinations to direct me towards finding his name so I could write it here). They’re a big deal, maybe? At the very least, Sam is? I probably ran into him after the show and asked him for his spare napkin without once considering it would have been smart to also request he autograph it for me.

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It makes me question if people in this city are actually more like me, where they treat famous people like regular people because they just don’t know the person they’re talking to is a movie star. I really have a feeling that, more often than not, that’s the case.

Where is this subject path headed? Nowhere near where I originally intended. So, in true Nashville fashion, I am going to turn the wheel abruptly, with very little notice, in order to steer this conversation in the right direction. I apologize if I cut anyone off or caused a five-car pile-up behind me, it’s just how we roll in Nashville. And it’s okay to be like this because I have a TN license and Davidson County plates that allow me to do so. I know the worst offenders of dangerous vehicular maneuvers are the legit Nashvillians. They are the ones who have lived here since birth – referred to as unicorns – because they drive like they probably always have, before the 85-a-day influx of newcomers hit their city. They’re in denial about the bazillion other cars that are now taking up space on the freeway and, in their unacceptance of their new reality, think that maybe if they drive their Dodge Rams like no one else is on the road, maybe the unwelcomed cars, and drivers in them, will be rammed off not only the road but the earth’s surface, forever forcing them to disappear from existence.

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Sorry, unicorns. I’m here to stay and I’m bringin’ sexy back, y’all, in my blue Chevy Spark.

FASHION

“Hello, hello. Miss Lady in Blue.” – Random old guy on the bridge over the Cumberland, as if I were Shelby Street Bridge royalty or something and this was my proper title.

Dresses are fancy. I have a blue dress, and its twin in green, that is airy, light, and looks a little more Banana Republic, a lot less Old Navy. Nice-casual. To me, it was a $20 keeps-me-cool-in-the-humidity purchase. To Nashville, it is the latest fashion statement that boldly declares to all around to check me out and, if compelled, comment.  When wearing that dress, I walked into an open mic night event where the door happened to be on the side of the stage. When I entered, all eyes were on me and followed me as I self-consciously made my way to the back of the dimly-lit bar to escape the attention I was unsolicited lay been given. I’ve worn it since, be it downtown for a walk or a new hipster joint for a gourmet burger, and have had that same feeling. Need more elaboration? It is a feeling akin to this scenario: you’re dressed as a slutty nurse (or mouse, for a forthcoming meme tie-in) for a Halloween party you learned, upon walking in the door, is actually the local Baptist church’s Harvest Festival celebration. Nashville is a jeans-and-an-old-tee-shirt city. Throw on a dress and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.Wearing my conservative, buttoned-to-my-neck blue dress led me to identify more than I ever thought possible (0% chance has changed to 1%) with Karen from Mean Girls. Now that the weather has cooled down, I will stick to the proper dress code and rock my 90% Gap wardrobe from here on.

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Sandals are only a sometimes shoe. I have learned this lesson, much like the blue dress lesson, the hard way. You see, in Nashville, it rains out of nowhere. I walked into Target one afternoon, drenched from sweat in the 95-degree weather, and walked out an hour later, drenched from the unexpected downpour. Pretty gold-toed strappy sandals that were once adorable and practical became slippery, barely-even-a-shoe pieces of crap that were more of a dangerous nuisance than anything. I was on my own personal Slip’N Slide in the middle of the parking lot. I considered going shoeless but would then risk stepping on the many razor blades and broken glass shards of glass on the ground. If I kept my shoes on, I risked of having celebrity run-in with Betty White, who would have undoubtedly judged me. I weighed my options and braved the possibility of the latter.

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Purses aren’t a thing here. I am the only person who carries a bag or purse in Nashville. I know this because there is no way that all business owners/operators would unanimously agree that bathroom stall purse hooks are unnecessary, a waste of money, and not worthy of installation in their establishments. If they were aware of how frustrating it is to not have a place to hang their belongings for a sec to do their business, I know that the first thing on the to-do list would be to put hooks on the backs of the restroom doors. Maybe the problem is there is an unawareness, or at least no real understanding, of this epidemic?

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I accept a new mission for myself: I will be a purse evangelist for this city. Once people discover how great it is to have one bag to store your basic day-to-day belongings, they’re gonna fall in love, go buy themselves at least one or two, need to eventually use a restroom one day that’s not at their home, and so will begin the movement for stall hooks. Toilet seat covers are also not present in stalls but that topic falls a little outside of the fashion-centric angle I’m going for right now, and a self-constructed generic Angel Soft ring is both an manageable workaround as well as an artistic activity as if you don’t lay the perforated square chain just right, it will fall off or in. It adds a challenge to the boring hygienic restroom experience and elevates it to a new level of creative accomplishment. This, of course, can occur only if you first confirm your stall is stocked with proper crafting supplies.

 

PHYSIQUE

“My, my. Would you just look at them legs on you. Them’s some legs! *chuckle* Them’s some big legs.” -Granny at Kroger, giving me the up-n-down eyes as she walked into the store.

What was this granny’s deal? Was she being complimentary? Was she insulting me? Should I not be wearing these shorts? I think it was the first time she’d ever seen a thick-thighed girl in her life. I was a spectacle. She couldn’t not react like that, she was so taken aback. If I didn’t know any better, I would go out right now and begin my life as a carny. The Giganticest Thighs in the World would be the name of my exhibit. If my current profession doesn’t work out, at least I know I have a backup.

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“Those are some nice legs. Yeah, you’re looking real good.” Disgustoid Creepo at the Kroger, as he shouted from his pickup as he drove by me.

In case my mom ever comes across this blog, and in case Jesus is reading right now, I will not type out here what I shouted (my volume level was at a 3 out of 10, drowned out by the sound of his muffler, so it was more like a whisper registering at a -1) to that guy, and what immediately invoked a quick “I’m real sorry, Jesus, but seriously, you already heard me thinking those words and I know you’re not okay with the words that just left his mouth.” prayer, but I am sure you can imagine what was said. I stood – completely perplexed – and imagined 47 different scenarios of my response to him. What my dad would have done to him. What Stanley would’ve said to him.

And I also wondered if these shorts were cursed as they were the same pair I had on when granny saw me. With my incredible tree-trunk legs, at least ten of my take-matters-into-my-own-hands-and-legs scenarios involved using my leg strength to kick this guy in every possible place while simultaneously punching him in the face. I mean, that’s why I CrossFit, right? Functional fitness for everyday activity. It’s unfortunate that this day, of all the days, I needed my limbs to more than just to get me in and out of the grocery store.

“How often to you work out? You look really fit.” – Dudes who don’t work out, when I tell them I work out.

I think these guys are hitting on me. When I quickly graze over the whole fitness topic – I don’t want to bring the “When you meet a vegan who does CrossFit, what do they talk about first?” joke they’d inevitably encountered on Instagram to life – the fellas keep bringing it back. Stop! I’d much rather talk about how much I love the nature in Nashville, or how sad it is that mozzarella sticks are only an appetizer, never a main entree, and there are never enough of them.

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RADIANCE

My skin is terrible here. I feel for those who have dry skin, oily t-zones, rough patches, excema, other skin things. I have been fortunately, and unawaredly blessed, with normal skin. My whole life, I have had very few epidermal flare-ups and have never once considered skincare beyond the normal wash. I have lived in the desert and by the ocean, two very different climates, and my skin has been agreeable with its surroundings. Well, until I moved me and my skin to Nashville.

I’m living in a real-life Aveeno (or similar product) commercial. You know, the one that shows like a cracking desert, and then the camera backs off from the close-up to reveal that the landscape – unexpected plot twist! – is actually your nasty skin. MY nasty skin. Why is this happening? And with this dry skin comes that oily t-zone that I’ve only heard about in skin commercials. I need me some Aveeno. At the very least, a face mask. I’m just scared that when I give this advanced skincare thing a try, in my inexperience, I will have a Cachet Raynor situation on my hands.

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After a good investigation (a lengthy conversation with my mom), I have narrowed things down to find the source of the problem: the water. After having a sip from the faucet, one of the first things I added to my Amazon cart after moving in was a Brita water filter AND pitcher. Not just one or the other would do. Is there a Brita water filter shower head*? Because that’s what I need, though I am not sure I can afford one now that I need to buy 47 different skincare products to balance my once-fine flesh back in order to restore it to its normal, healthy state. *Side note update: Brita does make a shower filter! Buy now with 1-Click®? Done.

Added skin regimen aside, I’m quite the looker in Nashville! And I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong. It isn’t my apparel or stems. No, it’s my face. Not just my face, but in particular, the freckles that adorn my already-perfect face. I think this because I’ve been told this. Always believe what you hear from strangers off the street. Creepy Uber DPK guy, the old lady at the deli, the drunk guy at the sports bar…all made sure I knew just how great my freckles are. I don’t love having this little starry collection of spots heavily spread across my nose and cheeks (the freckle shaker lid fell off when the angels were supposed to only give me a light sprinkling), wondering when people look at me for longer than a second  if they’re trying to construct constellation outlines. That said, I’d rather keep the focus on my freckles than on my stems, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction.

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BRILLIANCE

I’ve got the looks and the brains to go with it. Unfortunately, the only evidentiary support I can seem to supply is sourced from my own head. Yup, a self-endorsement is all I got. I’m awesome. I’m smart. I will ignore the idiots. I will hydrate my skin. I will live my life and not care about what the unsolicited commentators/onlookers have to share with/think of me. This is what’s sexy, Nashville! I’m 100% sure my neighbor Reese Witherspoon (I think she lives here? Maybe just her parents?) would agree.

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