Can we talk about the Olympics for a sec? Please?
Something’s been bugging me all week and I need to get it off my chest. First, you should know that I always look forward to the Olympics. No, not because I’m some fab athlete—if you know me you know I sometimes (read: frequently, and often while as sober as a Duggar) trip when I walk. Over my own feet. I really don’t know what it feels like to fly through the air on skis or flawlessly execute a double axel (or even badly execute it, for that matter). And I’m okay with that— because I’m pretty sure attempting either of these would lead to my untimely demise. Usually a basic mastery of walking is a prerequisite to the aforementioned activities.
I don’t know what I could do (nothing responsible, anyway) or what it would be like to inspire a crowd to erupt. I can’t imagine having the entire nation pulling for me. (Although that? I think I could handle. “Muffintopmommy in da houseeeeee.” Yeah, I know. Ridonkulous.) I can’t help but well up when an American wins gold–glorious gold– and they play our anthem as the athlete stands tall on the center podium. And I’ve shed many a tear watching someone give it their all, yet fail spectacularly. (If you’re gonna fail, do it going for the gold. Seriously. “Going for the gold” has become a cliché, but damn, it means something when you see someone skate or ski their heart out and they crash and BOOM—just like that, it’s over. How do you not respect the effort and yet, feel the pain?) It’s hard not to be moved hearing about the personal sacrifices many athletes and their families have made all around the world just to get one shot at one medal. Sure, much of it’s about natural ability and skill, but like anything in life, so much about it is perseverance, mental fortitude and work ethic. In any nation, in any language, that translates.
But dayum. Something else is making me cry at these Olympics. And never mind cry, the something “else” is downright distracting.
I’m just gonna say it. Some of these Olympic fashions are flat out crazy.
They’re just….bad. No. BAD. Teh-ree-bley. Honest to God, I try to steer clear of sounding off about fashion. Who am I, a desperate hausfrau from the burbs of New Hampshire, to comment? A gal who readily admits to rocking the muffin top and outfitting herself in duds purchased in a red plastic cart with generic Tostitos? Who am I to dispense fashion commentary or gasp (!) advice? At any minute, Stacey and Clinton could be knocking on MY door. (One can only hope. Feel free to nominate me. I dare you. No, beg you. Seriously. How many hints, in how many posts, do I have to drop to get you to hear my cries for help? Are you gonna help a sister out or not?)
In the past week, I’ve seen snowboarders in grungy looking jeans (eeehhh) with holes (Shut up. I do not sound like my mother.) and bad plaid coats. How is that comfy? Are those jeans waterproof? Are they warm enough? Do they have enough padding if they, God forbid, fall?
But..are they going right from the mountain to the bars? (If so, I’m all in with the outfit strategy because that’s just smart planning. See. I’m not my mother. Yet.) What up with the ginormous gold prep school gone wrong crest on the bad plaid coat? Yo, I’m a fan of plaid but I’m just not feeling it with the grungo jeans.
But Seth Westcott rocked the gold in it, and since I don’t know squat about squat, I’m gonna totally drop the snowboarding thing. Except to say…I’m relatively certain one of the women snowboarders had on my son’s Power Ranger mask yesterday.
The skiers all look like I’d expect. Bode Miller? In his spandex number? Spandex=speed. It’s all good. And if, in the process, we catch a glimpse of “BB” (Bode butt), that’s no crime. Lindsey Vonn? She looked a-dorably, All American stylish in her cream Olympic hat after clinching gold with her bum shin in her boy skis! YEAH! The Canadians have been all about the style with fun maple leaf mittens and quilted red coats.
But wow, I’ve seen more than a few figure skaters who’ve lost the good fight with bedazzlers and puff sleeves this week. Feathery, flowy materials and glitzy garb reigned supreme. But really, there’s nothing new about that. I’ll grant that figure skating is about style and substance and you need some drama and flair. It is, at times, theatric. A little bedazzlin’ never hurt the likes of Big Papi from the Sox and it’s certainly not going to take down a figure skater. You can’t be showing up to light up the ice in jeans. You just can’t. Or…can you?
And Johnny Weir? He had an interesting number on the other night. He takes some, ah, chances with fashion. But the dude can skate! He’s got the ‘tude to match the skating to match the duds to match the drama. He could bedazzle himself from head to toe and you’d have to just shut it. Cuz he’s got the goods. He had nude hose on his chest? Pfft. Whatever. Hot pink zig zags whatever they were? He works it. He owns it. It’s him. It’s just Johnny being Johnny–and honestly? I love a person who’s true to himself.
Drama? Flair? It’s all good—that’s what it’s about. But what about the Ukranian couple decked in blue tin foil? I’m envisioning a really badly decorated function hall right now—blue foil, streamers, platters of beef jerky and Cheez-Whiz—you feeling it? Either that or the blue foilers were gonna get beamed up–whatever, bad party, outer space—it presented a tremendous distraction. Whoever told them to wear that shit should be rightly beaten with a Ukranian stick, straight up to Sunday.
Seriously. And dude, if you’re gonna dress like that you better BRING IT. You want people to remember your skating, not your duds, no? I recall nothing of their routine, because all I remember is royal blue Reynolds Wrap. And for the mom or dad who schlepped them to an ice rink at the crack in the Ukraine somewhere, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, who probably scrimped and saved for ice time and lessons and coaches, I feel for you that your son or daughter, your biggest investment, your pride and joy, had to step out as a metallic Smurf on the world stage. Wrong. So wrong.
Other pressing questions for which I want answers? When did the whole Italian dirty country bumpkin/stock car mechanic look come into play? Just…..what? You’re talking about a guy from a country that produces some of the best tailors, organized crime figures (who we know are, if ethically dubious, impeccably dressed) and the Pope, dude, THE POPE (if you pray to the Holy Father or not you gotta give it up to his stylist—never a hair, thread or crucifix out of place). And this guy glides out looking all redneck Dukes of Hazzard meets Jiffy Lube. What what? Vito Corleone could not have approved to speak nothing of the Situation and Snooki down at the Jersey Shore. (Here is where I insert an apology to my Italian husband, but even he can’t deny the truth!)
The Russians brought blonde mullet boy out of retirement and he worked the crowd in Mr. T- esque bad gold bling. His whole person was a clash of 80’s culture right there. I have nothing else to say on that. You be the judge!
Belgium put up a dude clad in a skeleton costume who looked like he should be holding a toddler’s hand on Halloween in suburbia gunning for a Snickers, not a Gold.
Trick? Rock on. Can you hold my treat bag? Okay…lemme show you my triple axel-lutz-twist-fast-spinny-skate-routine-program-Olympic-thing! I’m a champion! Didn’t you hear? Bel-gium! Bel-gium! We’re not just about the chocolates.
Some scary ass German clowns totally haunted me and ruined my sleep the other night. I’m not being disparaging—they really were dressed as freaky ass clowns, complete with shiny black triangle eyebrows. I swear when I was a kid, a rumor circulated bad clowns in windowless vans would try to snatch up innocent kids with the promise of free candy. In my mid thirties, I’ve now visualized what I vaguely imagined they’d look like as a kid. I think I was shaking during their routine. Which, incidently, I’m pretty sure kicked some clown butt. The guy might have fallen one time…maybe? But see, see, the duds were so bad I forget now!
I know when you get to the pinnacle of your sport, when you’re one of the best in the world, the world (!), all that matters is the “way you play the game”. I know that. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t distracted by all the fashion bad.
And? I’d be lying even more if I didn’t say I loved to hate it!
See you in 2014 beatches! I can hardly wait!