The Wednesday Advice Smackdown
September 22, 2004
Welcome to this week's Advicie Column Thing. Don't be alarmed, but I think I actually give out some real advice today. I know! Craziness.
I've been enjoying Wednesdays at your 'place' for quite awhile now, and I keep meaning to write you a question because getting a letter published on the Wednesday Advice Smackdown is quite literally, all I aspire to these days, partly because when you don't get questions, you're not happy, and an unhappy Amalah is an unhappy INTERNET. The problem is, I keep forgetting (blah blah busy life blah) and suddenly it's Wednesday again and DAG IT, how do I remember to send you my question? LOOK! IT HAPPENED AGAIN!
PS: Please don't buy that hat.
Well look! You didn’t even have to write a question to get published on the Wednesday Advice Smackdown! Your dreams and aspirations are now complete. You may die in peace, or think of some new dreams and aspirations.
But you raise an important point. Some weeks, I get a lot of questions. Like this week! Gah! Ack! And etc.! Other weeks? None. Or one. Or NONE. Everybody is trying to be all clever and think of something funny to ask and this is hard. Oh, so very hard.
So this week, and this week only, in addition to regular advice questions, I will accept boring old straightforward questions about ME. Anything you want to know about me, my dreams, my aspirations or my dog. I will answer them all, and I will be honest. Mostly.
(Martha can show you how it’s done.)
So ask away. The Advice Smackdown usually ends up being 99.9% about me anyway, so this isn’t really much of a stretch. You can all just drop the guise of asking a question about your own damn boring selves and we will skip right ahead to the me me me.
Send them all to advice[at]amalah[dot]com. Don't make me unhappy, Internet.
Dear Amalah, Queen of Everything including lurvly pink purses for us to covet,
I have thin, straight as all get-out, nasty-ass hair, with highlights grown out about 3 inches. And nothing stays in it! It's so slinky even hair claws (is that what those thingies are called?) can't hold on for more than 10 minutes. And Gawd forbid I should not wash it for ONE DAY. You could succesfully oil a squeaky hinge with all the grease that collects on my head in 24 hours. Did I mention my hair was brown? Dull nothing-girl brown.
You have beautiful flowy golden locks which I covet almost as much as The Purse. What is a girl like me, living on a lowly teachers salary, going to do with this genetic (thanks Dad) dysfunction???
Pathetic Excuse for a Girly-Girl
There is hope! Oh, how there is indeed hope for you, my child.
My hair? Is actually super-fine. (And by that I mean thin, not like snap-snap you is so FINE, baby.) Super-straight too, at least most of the time. And it used to be like yours: oily at the roots, dry and brittle at the ends. It wouldn’t stay in a ponytail and it had all the volume and bounce of overcooked spaghetti.
And now? Is beautiful. I love my hair. I want to scream from the mountaintops that I, Amy, for the first time in my life, love my hair. And you can too.
So first of all, you need to go old school on that shit. Buy some Infusium 23 and VO5 Hot Oil Treatments. (Two of the best drugstore brands out there, among the ranks of Cetaphil and Loreal mascara.)
Hot Oil once a week. Infusium several times a week. And get yo’self a quality volumizing shampoo and a deep conditioner. (And yes, you want to deep-condition oily hair.) Don’t shampoo your ends; don’t condition your roots.
(Shampoo/conditioner brands I recommend: Matrix, Pureology, Wella, and Halo.)
(Shampoo/conditioner brands I say run screaming away from: Biolage, John Frieda, Pantene, and for the love of God anything that’s a combo shampoo/conditioner. Those are of the devil.)
Forgo highlights if you have to, but please, spend a little money on your shampoo.
After a few weeks, your hair should be healthier and have a little sheen and be touchably soft and such. At this point, get a haircut and get rid of the ends that were past repair. Do not let them cut your hair bluntly, in a blunt little line. Get long layers. LONG layers, that cut “in” to the rest of your hair. Basically, your hairdresser should be pointing the scissors straight down the whole time. The ends will be a little wispy and your hair WILL look fuller. This is the cut I have.
Then treat yourself to a few nice products. Yes, they are expensive, but they will last because people with thin hair should only use the tiniest amount of them each day. For you? I recommend the following:
Bed Head Ego Boost Leave-In Conditioner & Split End Mender. Self-explanatory.
Pureology Root Lift Spray Mousse. Yes, a mousse, I know. But this one rocks. You spray it right at your roots and it coats extremely lightly and won’t weigh your hair down and will give you volume and blah blah blah. (If you ever see me with my straight-ass hair all wavy? It’s because I felt kicky and sprayed all my hair with this stuff and scrunched scrunched scrunched.)
Bed Head Small Talk. A miracle product. Thickifier and stylizer and basically anything else you want it to do, like Dishwasher Loadifier. Put a wee drop in your hand and emulsify and then lightly work through your ends. Thick! Texture! Shine! Camera! Action!
Bed Head Hard to Get Texturizing Paste. (I get NO MONEY from the Bed Head people. NO MONEY OR FREE PRODUCTS WHICH I WOULD ALSO ACCEPT.) Use this stuff only after you see an improvement in your hair and get a good haircut. Tiny tiny bit and use to pinch your ends together in that trendy chunky look. Is more lightweight than pomade or wax but holds nicely.
Can’t find any of these products? Let me know, for I have the hookup. And by that I mean a salon half a block from my house that sells them all.
(Holy shit. I like, really answered a question. That was hard. I’m totally tired now.)
I'm a silent reader, who thinks your site is quite frankly, the dog's bollocks.
I know your going through some tough shit at the moment and I sincerely hope things pick up soon.
I didn't post in your guestbook because I'm a shy English girl and we are far to reserved for that don't you know! I hope emailing is ok with you.
I have a question I'm hoping you can help me with. In 5 weeks I'm coming over to the US for the first time and like any sane girl I will need to shop.
From you photos, I can see you are a chic and stylish dresser, not to mention that new bag, which kicks ass by the way. The problem I have is I don't know which shops to visit whilst I'm over. I'm all geared up to shop like a mad woman, but at a loss where to start.
Could you possibly give me names of some shops that are worthy of my cash? I would be eternally grateful.
Take care of yourself.
Thank you so much,
Oh my god, I love this letter. I have never before been called the dog’s bollocks. I would like to be called this on a daily basis.
I hope you don’t mind me posting your email, dear Jilly, but it was just too good to keep to myself.
DOG’S BOLLOCKS DOG’S BOLLOCKS DOG’S BOLLOCKS
Anyway. Stores! Oh! This is turning into the most girly column ever. Can I paint y’alls’ toenails next? Yes? Okay good. Here are all the stores that I cannot live without and you must visit and love as much as I.
Ann Taylor (for like, work shit)
Filene’s Basement (for bargain hunting and scrounging)
Okay, I have to stop, because I totally want to go shopping now. Wah.
DOG’S BOLLOCKS DOG’S BOLLOCKS DOG’S BOLLOCKS
Dearest, most wise and beautious Amalah, could you spare a moment and douse some advice on me?
My parents are being kind enough to pay for my wedding. I have told them I'd rather have the money they're blowing on the wedding go to my law school fees and The Boy and I pay for the wedding ourselves. However, my mom knows my propensity to be cheap and has deemed that a gajillion dollars will be spent on one day of my life.
What's the problem? My parents want to limit the number of friends we can invite to 20. A sane amount until you realize that 200 people are being invited to the wedding. About 100 are first cousins and aunts and uncles. Which leaves room for 100 more.
I will probably slowly just work my mother down to agreeing with me, using blackmail or some such ("Grandma, Grandpa! Mom and Dad lived together BEFORE they were married!"), but I'd love to hear what you'd advise. Because you are smart AND funny at the same time. And really, for what's available on the internet, that makes you the best deal there is.
Loave and hugs,
Bah. Let me tell you something. I hate weddings. I think they are stupid. I think they are extravagant. I think they are a symbol of what’s wrong with our materialistic and selfish culture.
(Thus sayeth the girl with a $350 purse and seventy pairs of shoes. Shut up, self.)
Anyway. My point? Weddings are no longer about family and friends getting together for a big party, which is exactly what they are. A big-ass party. And yet this big-ass party costs a bazillion dollars simply because it has the word “wedding” attached to it so all the vendors can charge a 400% mark-up and families feel the need to show off to a bunch of strangers and prove that they can afford a cake that costs as much as six months’ of car payments.
And it seems to be, less and less, about what the actual bride and groom want. This is a shame.
All weddings get hijacked by the parents at some point. There were a helluva lot of people at my wedding that I’d never even met before. And we paid for a helluva lot of things ourselves.
But you aren’t, so unfortunately, you aren’t going to get a lot of say in anything. Sad but true, and it will get more pronounced as the big day approaches. Save yourself the grief and let your mom do whatever the hell she wants. If any of your friends don’t make the guest list, throw a little party at your house later for them. If your mom invites 500 people? Whatever, take their gifts and smile pretty at them during the reception. It’s already more about your mom than you at this point, so let her have it, since you seem to be a rational and sane person who understands that a wedding is one day, but student loans are forever.
Either that, or totally do the blackmail thing.
(Oh, by the way, there’s a special Britney Spears Wedding Edition of Snarkywood up now.)
Dearest Queen of Everything, Keeper of the Cutest Little Dog Ever, She of the Classy Purse,
I find myself in great need of your wisdom. You see, I am 29 and have lived alone for the better part of thirteen years now (except for my dog, and a six month period where I had a female roommate). I have recently become rather smitten with a man who lives in another state. We've been visiting each other quite frequently, but can no longer stand to be so far apart. After much discussion, we have decided to bridge the distance. In a few weeks he is planning on moving to my state and cohabitating with me.
While I am thrilled to have him near, I am also Freaking The Fuck Out. To have someone live with me? And, at that, a MAN? Whoa, this is a rather large jump from my many years of bachelorettehood. Does this mean that I might actually have to cook? To make room in the stuffed closets? To box up some of my shoes? *shudders*
He's wonderful, and I am quite sure he is worth it all. But I am nervous, and a tiny bit scared...
Any tips/advice that you can give me on how to make a smooth(er) transition into living-with-a-guyhood would be more than appreciated. Or even just some comfort.
Thank you so much.
Forever a Faithful Reader,
Bah! Boys! Who needs them! (There certainly can’t be any boys still reading this column, that’s for sure.)
Living with a boy is hard. But also fun. But also hard.
But since you’re Freaking The Fuck Out, I don’t need to tell you about the hard stuff. You take that as it comes. You lay down the law about clearing his own goddamn dishes from the table, and also reserve your right to make him clear YOUR own damn dishes from the table if you feel like it.
But no! Since this is the Wednesday Advice Smackdown Sleepover Girls-Night-Out Spectacular today, let’s focus on the good things.
You will now have someone to kill crunchy bugs for you. You will now have someone to do heavy lifting for you. You will now have someone to get things off high shelves for you while you ogle his ass. And while I’m sure you were 100% totally capable of doing all these things when you lived alone, he doesn’t have to know that. Except for the part about ogling his ass. Boys like hearing that you think they’re hot.
Boys also don’t care about closet space. Clear him out a drawer and then let him live out of plastic storage bins you keep under the bed. Or make him hang shelves or build you a new closet. After all, that’s what he’s there for.
(Well, that and the sex.)
I work with eeediots. Eeeediots with PhDs. Eeeediots who feel it is beneath them to put a piece of paper in the trash. I am constantly cleaning up after slobbish f-tard eeediots. When I try to ask the f-tards to PLEASE FOR ONCE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR GODDAMN SELVES they get offended and complain to my boss about the bitchy bad-ass lady in the mailroom. How do I keep my sanity? How do I get the FUCKING FUCKTARDS to show me some respect and to clean up after themselves? And, how do I find out which FUCKTARDS complained and what sort of NASTY BAD BADASS revenge can I enact upon them?
Thank you Amalah. You are Pretty.
HAD IT UP TO FUCKING HERE WITH THE FUCKING ASSHOLE FUCK FUCK FUCKTARDS
Finally! Some cursing! Some machismo!
And I’m at a loss. I’ve gotten myself worked up into such a girly state that I’m actually clutching a hankie to my heart and saying “My heavens!” at your language.
I may have to lie down now. In the meantime, I would start farting in the mailroom a lot so they all stay the blooming fuck away from you.
Notified Readers' Farts Smell Like Flowers.
Oh dear sweet jesus, I miss shopping in DC. Because here in Santa Barbara? I have no H&M, no Miss Sixty, and I have to drive an HOUR to even find a Sephora. It is unfair, and I am sad.
Posted by: Heather | September 22, 2004 at 04:37 PM
squee! *dies happy*
Posted by: lizardek | September 22, 2004 at 05:05 PM
2 things -
1) Amalah, love you!
2) Sabine, you so have my pity. 2 years ago I got married and had to start (ick!) living with a boy. There is no amount of advice that can really help you. So just be prepared to accept that you are going to be severely pissed off at about a hundred of the things he does that you will grow to believe he does just to drive you crazy! And try to smile a lot and move on. And set limits on those things that will lead to homicidal behavior. Best of luck!
Posted by: Rachel | September 22, 2004 at 05:13 PM
What an awesome Wednesday entry! I learned a lot too - I didn't know you were not supposed to shampoo the ends of your hair. You are so wise! And the products, I totally agree with the choices, especially Infusium 23 (I also love their shampoo and conditioner), and anything by Bed Head...
Thanks so much for the great advice! (and also thanks to Rachel). I totally hadn't thought about the crushing bugs/reaching for high up stuff/heavy lifting/ass ogling opportunity aspect of this! Something to look forward to! (Although I had thought of and was excited about the sex part! Hehe)
You are such a class act.
Posted by: Sabine | September 22, 2004 at 05:51 PM
Mailroom lady is better than me I would probably be one of the people that she has to clean up after... but the farting would definately make me find another mailroom or at least use Kinkos.
Great post though and since I am only a Princess I will bow to the Queen and her awesome purse too!
I miss H&M too. Now Im all sad! Must go to the mall for retail therapy!
Posted by: Princess | September 22, 2004 at 05:55 PM
That was great, and very educational. Now I must go shopping.
Posted by: Fraulein N | September 23, 2004 at 08:16 AM
amalah, thank you for your Holy Word unto Those of Us Cursed With Oily Hair From Satan. I will be hair product shopping TODAY. This was pure genius Wednesday Advice Smackdown, and I am thankful for it!
also? love the new design stuff!
Posted by: samantha | September 23, 2004 at 10:46 AM
Yay! I was feeling blue and I came, I read, I laughed.
for being you (and so damn funny)
Posted by: Angel | September 23, 2004 at 12:52 PM
Thank you thank you thank you. i never even thought of trying Bed Head stuff on my pathetic hair. yay, there's hope!
Posted by: jc | September 23, 2004 at 01:22 PM
You are the bestest Queen ever! Thank you so much for my gift. Also? I love the new colors, etc! Viva La Revolucion, indeed.
Posted by: GranolaSpice | September 23, 2004 at 01:45 PM
Alas you were wrong, I and a couple of my co-workers (all male) read your column religiously. Your great insight into the girly-girly mind is a wonderful asset. You would not believe how far a line like "Is that bag, Coach?" will get you.
Keep up the good work
Posted by: John | September 23, 2004 at 02:37 PM