An Open Letter to the J.Crew Dressing Rooms, Also, Amy's Got A Brand New Bag
I Just Kept Typing Until There Were A Lot Of Words

The Wednesday Advice Smackdown

Welcome to Wednesday, the best day of the week, because it is the day I get to tell you all what to do, but also get to be no help whatsoever. If this sounds like the kind of advice YOU need, please send your queries and PayPal monies to advice[at]amalah[dot]com.



The Purse! Okay, okay, I GET IT. Y'all want to see the damn purse. I misjudged you as good, socially-responsible people, for you are really a bunch of total expensive-shoe-and-purse WHORES.

And I love you for it, really.

So ta-daaaaa!!


The Purse. The limited-edition Coach Hamptons Houndstooth Satchel. Pink and grey wool trimmed with cranberry/wine leather, suede AND patent leather. Lined in a glorious and girly bright pink satin. Pockets galore. Silver hangtag. My knees shook when I saw it. Jason knew he'd get laid if he bought it for me.

(And I got the LAST ONE IN THE STORE. HAAAAAAA. Sorry, Georgetown suckahs.)

(Now I just need matching shoes and a keyfob and maybe a little houndstooth flower pin. But not the matching hat. That would just be too much. Wouldn't it?)



Dearest Q of E with the purdy shoes and all,

How come when . . .

But it isn't always . . .

Apologies your majesty, freezing up even typing to you.  Just recognize that your wonderful juggernaut of bloggedness has actually reached the over 40 crowd. And yes, even we wizened old baby-boomer generation types can actualy make use of your wise-beyond-your-years advice.

Oh yes, the question.  Now since maybe this recently happened to you, perhaps you could share your feelings on the matter.  I have two fine sons currently enrolled in college.  Is there some sort of official waiting period to suffer through before completely gutting their rooms and re-decorating?

You see, my wife, she's getting an itchy trigger finger .The local home improvement stores are starting to drool with anticipation.  Have we already waited too long?  Is it too late for us to do our part to
help the economy?  By the way - our kids are currently in their sophomore & junior years, and in spite of our best efforts, still insist on living with us during their summer breaks.  Something about free meals.

Sign me,
Rooms to Rent

Can I start off with a story about me, me, me that only sort of has some relevance to your problem? Yes? Good.

I went to a private high school 25 miles from my house. I hated it. It wasn't a GOOD private school either, with the lacrosse and the champion debate team and the cute jailbait uniforms. It was a tiny, rinky-dink operation where the tennis team practiced at a YMCA 15 miles away. There was no cafeteria and our science books were all published by Jerry Falwell or something.

I hated it. HATED IT.

By my junior year, my parents hated it too. But what to do? The local public high school, while not terrible, was huge and borderline rough and I didn't know anybody there. But! The next district over? In the neighborhood where my parents always said they'd like to buy a smaller place and move to? Was awesome. Blue ribbon and whatnot. Hell, this guy was a graduate. And I had TONS of friends there. I was dating the captain of the fucking football team. I was CONNECTED.

Anyway, I begged my parents to move 10 minutes down the road so I could cross district lines. We'd save on tuition. With all my katrillion brothers and sisters out of the house we didn't need so many bedrooms. Think of the vacuuming time we'd save!

They didn't move. I graduated from my stupid school, number nine out of the biggest class in the school's history. I think there were 60 of us.

I went to college. I came back after a semester when my dad got sick and attended the community college where my dad taught part-time for free. FREEEEEE. Glorious free. I lived rent-free at home, which drove me insane, which drove me to forsake my free tuition (FREE!) and transfer to Penn State.

This is when I got a call from my mom. They were selling the house and moving. GUESS WHERE THEY WERE MOVING?


So yes. They moved during my sophomore year into a little townhouse in the little neighborhood with the kickass schools. My room? Went bye-bye. That summer I lived in a tiny guest room.

And I survived. It actually drove me to marry young so I could get my own damn place without curfews and decent closet space. Free meals? Bah. I stayed in the house long enough to microwave some Easy Mac and then I was back out the door with my punk-ass friends. In short, it was probably responsible for my wise-beyond-my-years-advice-giving-skills that I now possess.

So. Should you redecorate their rooms? Why the hell not? You don't want them coming home anymore, because then you might end up being those Parents With The Burnout Kids Who Never Leave. Make them cook their own food, pay rent, take away their closet space and start demanding phone calls if they're out past 10 p.m. Wait up for them. Pretty soon they'll have steady summer jobs and their own apartments.

And if all else fails, paint their rooms pink.


Dearest Queen of Pretty New Purses,

I recently became engaged. Complete with pretty, shiny ring. Vvvvery pretttty ring. The thing is? I think that the ring is taking over. I became suspicious of the ring when I found myself showing it to the dog over and over again, because no one else was around. But when I was in the grocery store yesterday and the checker told me how very pretty is was and reached for it, I recoiled and shrieked "My Preschioussssss".

So, my question to you is what is the statute of limitations on bragging about my ring and forcing others to go "oooh, ahhhh"? (go, "oooh, ahhh" dammit. But do. Not. Touch.) Also, how long before my hair falls out and I become completely gray and hunchbacked with the crawling on all fours and stuff. Because ew. But as long as I can wear the ring? It's okay, right? Right?

Nola Pice

I'm not sure I can properly answer this question until I've seen the ring in person. Mail it to me. Let me wear it for a few days and then I will give you the month and day that you must stop demanding the ooohing and ahhhing over it.

Or, use the following guidelines to find out When You've Become An Old Boring Engaged Person With A Ring Nobody Cares About, Not Even You:

You no longer clean the ring every day, not even a little brush with your toothbrush in the morning to polish it up.

You notice it has spun around backwards and have no idea how long it's been like that.

Someone else you know gets engaged.

Spit = clean enough.

You lose the pretty velvet box it came in and just start tossing it places when you need to take it off.

You find that there are times that you do need to take it off, and you don't care, because really.

You leave it on the kitchen counter after scrubbing pots and forget to put it back on the next day.

You get married.

Four words: Three. Stone. Anniversary. Ring.


Dear Amalah,

Before the question - here's hoping things are going better and that you are feeling well - it at least sounds like you're on the uptick - wishing the best.

Ok, several questions that I have come to trust that only you can answer being the seer of seers and the knower of all that is good and wise.  What kind of car should I buy or should I continue to turn the radio up as loud as it will go so that I can't hear that terrible noise that comes from under the hood?  Secondly, can the long distance relationship really work?  And if so, what's the etiquette for "relations" on public  ransportation?

Thank you, queen, for your royal insight.
A confused consumer.

Before the advice - thank you. Yes and no, better and then not, fucking useless non-working drugs, whine, bitch, etc.

But! That's not what Wednesdays are about! Wednesdays are about your problems! So!

You should buy a new car. And then you should tell my one friend to buy a new car. Because I keep telling him to buy a new car and he won't listen to me, which pisses me off. But you'll listen to me, right? Don't piss me off.

My friend's car is old, old, old. You have to PUSH DOWN the door locks before you get out. There is no clicker thing or even a button thing. You have to CRANK the windows down with that handle thing. There is rust. There are dents. There are awful, awful noises coming from under the hood. There is an odor. I am SCARED OF THIS CAR.

(I am also scared of my friend, or at least I will be after he sees me bashing his beloved car on the Internet.)

Anyway. Buy a new car. I recommend the Subaru WRX, because it is bitchin' fast and yet AWD and roomy with trunk space and such. It's a turbo and goes 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds. It is also available in a very pretty blue color. Like mine! And don't you want to be just like me?

(But don't buy an SUV. Please. There is nothing on earth I despise more than big honkin' gas guzzlin' SUVs. Sorry, SUV owners, but unless you have six children, four dogs, live off a dirt road and/or have a job-related need to haul things, you have NO NEED for a car that big and inefficient and such.)

(Rant over, off soapbox, whew.)

Oh, and you had other questions. Let me scroll back up.

No. And not ever, please, ew.


Notified Readers drive a lowrider.


Andrea Budd

to nola pica,

as one about to marry.. i think that wears off when you start planning the wedding and begin to understand about mother in laws...


Oh my gawd! I LOVE this purse! And it may make me a dork, but I also love the hat. Especially with a totally cute blazer from the Gap! Sorry, my dorkiness really is showing.

Anyway, my hubby got me a Coach bag while he was on a business trip in Chicago. Can I just tell you how awesome Coach bags are? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this COACH SOHO LEATHER SMALL HOBO. So cute and only room for my wallet.


I love love love the purse.

And SUV's? NOt all bad. I have the honda Element and it gets the same gas mileage as my little convertible did. ANd its super super handy. And no carpet, thank you GAWD!

But you are the queen, and if you say that SUV's are bad, then I guess they would have to be.


I was feeling all warm and fuzzy that you had shared the purse with me, me, me, but I am glad that you showed the goodness to all of the people. They deserved to see it, because it is glorious. And totally cuter than my Coach bag.

suzanna danna

mmmmm coooaaaachhh.....
I was supposed to be in the San Antonio area in the near future. Yanno what is in San Marcos, TX? A Coach Outlet you say?


The purse? I covet. Even though I am more of a shoe type of gal.


Hey the question from "Rooms to Rent" reminded me that my dad used to charge rent when I was in college. And we're meeting for dinner tonight. And now I ain't payin' for shit. Thanks!


I was in my second semester when my room was redecorated... MY room-- the one I have been in since before birth. MINE. Gone. Thanks for bringing it up again...


eeeeeeee! I love that bag! and I know /exactly/ how much it cost because I'm obsessed with looking at pretty things that I'll never buy because I have a guilty conscience.

holy run on sentence.

whatever you do, do NOT buy the fedora though. do-not. that would be lame. (plus it's 120 and sooo not worth it)


OK - love the smackdown - but HOPE TO GOD I never truly need help bad enough to rely on this ;) What a riot!!!


I think the purse is yummy and would probably match some really delicious ice cream. Where can I find a guy who will buy me a purse? I mean, I love my guy and all, but buying me a purse? would not cross his sweet little mind.

I'm sorry. Please save that question for the next advice smackdown.

Anne A.

Love bag. Lurve notify.


Amalah, dare I say - I like the hat better than the purse? (The crowd hisses and boos.) OK, maybe it's just - I never wear bright pink with burgundy. Wait - I don't wear burgundy. But I DO wear pink - muchly, and I think that hat would match at least three of my fave ensembles. Now I suppose if I HAD the hat, THEN I could make the handbag work. But if offered the bag or the money, I'd take the three-fiddy and buy a decadent day at the spa, complete with Sven-massage and bikini lasering. That would definitely get the boytoy laid as well, no?


FFS sake I just adjusted my monitor settings and the freaking puse is nowhere NEAR burgundy now. MEDIC!


boo hiss ;)


Why do you taunt me with pictures of pretty purses, pretty Amalah? It does not matter that I have a closet full of pretty purses that I never use anymore, now I want THAT pretty purse. *sob*

Fraulein N

Where are you all finding these men who buy you frigging bags? And Coach bags, to boot. And hell, maybe some boots too. Maybe if I dropped a lot of hints...


My parents moved into a two bedroom house three months BEFORE I LEFT for college. I had to spend the summer before my freshman year sharing a room with my 14 year old brother. Who was a football player. Teenage boys? Who play sports? They SMELL. That my friends is motivation. I had no fear when it came to moving six hours away and living with total strangers.


LOVE the purse.

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