Ask Susie

Ask Susie By: Susie

Q: Dear Susie,

My husband and I have been happily married for almost 10 years. I’m generally not a suspicious woman, but my Kevin seems different lately. He’s usually as punctual as the BlueBell bus; however, lately he’s been coming home from work later and later, always telling me he stopped for a drink at the Rammer Jammer. And this is from a guy who’s never been much of a drinker! I saw him chatting with Bethany Tattersall at the Pancake Breakfast the other day, and my jealousy got the better of me. Kevin and I have six kids together and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t take care of my looks the way I used to. What can I do to make sure his eyes stay on me and only me?

Sincerely,

Nervous Nellie

 

A: Dear Nervous Nellie,

I have a lot of tips if you’re looking to spice up your look. A new hairstyle is always a great way to change things up. Perhaps add some layers or experiment with highlights? As for your clothes, maybe introduce some new colors to your wardrobe. Black is making a bit of a comeback in town due to our New York influence. Plus, it’s very slimming!

But if you do choose to change your look, Nellie, make sure you’re doing it for YOU, and not Kevin. Nothing is less flattering than desperation, and changing yourself to please your man is only a temporary fix anyway. But if you spice up your look in ways that makes YOU happy, then your new confidence will shine through and your husband will find you irresistible! I promise you.

And if that doesn’t work, then I say give him a piece of your mind and tell him you’ll slap him silly if he ever looks at another woman. You’ve had six kids, I think you’re long past subtlety.

Yours truly,

Susie

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Q: Dear Susie,

Since I have three older brothers, I spent most of my childhood tagging along with them while they hunted, fished, and played football. These activities might be unusual for most girls but I loved it! However, now that I’m a freshman in high school I’m starting to see things differently. For example, I have a crush on a boy in my Algebra class, and he only looks at me like I’m his buddy. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the hand me down baggy jeans and oversized flannel shirts that I wear because I see him making googly eyes at Sara Lynn, the girliest girl I know. She actually wears lipstick to class! How do I get his attention and wear more feminine clothes without completely losing my tomboy identity? Help me, Susie!

Sincerely,

Troubled Tomboy

 

A: Dear Troubled Tomboy,

I think it’s great you want to hold on to your identity. Good for you! You should never change for anyone else! Though, at the same time we all go through different phases in life where we want to try different looks, which I think is just fabulous. So, to feminize your tomboy look let’s start with buying fitted jeans for girls instead of wearing those ratty boy jeans that I can only imagine are quite baggy and shapeless on a girl. You’ll be surprised at what a difference that will make. You’ll look more feminine without having to buy a skirt or a dress (which I recommend you eventually do when you’re feeling more comfortable in your new look). Also, try and experiment with brighter colors like pinks and oranges instead of the drab washed out colors of flannel. Lastly, and only if your mother allows you to, get some clear lip gloss. It will add a little sparkle to the new you without having to over feminize yourself with an actual colored lipstick. Soon your crush won’t be able to focus on algebra with his eyes locked on you!

Yours Truly,

Susie

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Q: Dear Susie,

This is a big week. And I’m not talking about the Founder’s Day parade or the upcoming gumbo cook off. No, I have a more pressing concern. I’m going on my first blind date this weekend! Obviously, this isn’t something I normally do. I like to think I don’t need to, but I don’t think it’s any secret that we are in the midst of a crisis in BlueBell: an absolute drought of eligible bachelors. Is it so much to ask that a man be an attractive, churchgoing, family-minded, romantic, gainfully employed, clean-cut homeowner with enthusiasm for wine tasting and antiques? Apparently so. There are certainly none of these gentlemen hanging around at the Rammer Jammer. Trust me, I’ve looked.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand: I have no idea what to wear! It’s a lot of pressure — I want to seem fun and effortless, but not sloppy or — um — easy. My date lives in Mobile and we’ll be going out there, so I’m also looking for something suitably cosmopolitan. What is the absolute perfect ensemble?

Sincerely,
Love is Blind (Not Really)

A: Dear Love is Blind,

You have probably heard this before, but it bears repeating: Just be yourself, especially if yourself is a fine young lady from BlueBell, Alabama. Chances are he’s probably just as nervous as you! Of course, it’s not inappropriate to dress up just a bit – after all, it’s nice to show you’re taking this evening, and this man, somewhat seriously. How about a nice dress (nothing too tight — you don’t want to turn down dessert after a perfectly delightful dinner because you can’t breathe, do you?), a cardigan in case the evening gets chilly, and a pair of simple flats for any after-dinner strolling and chatting? Don’t forget a dash of perfume — everybody likes somebody who smells good! A nice manicure in a neutral shade complements any outfit and does wonders for confidence. Also, a little peachy lip gloss and a touch of blush never hurt anybody (neither did a coat of mascara, plus it really makes the eyes pop!). Maybe drop by Mane Street for a blowout the day of to really put your best foot forward. Just remember that in the end, it’s what inside that counts! Good luck!

Yours Truly,
Susie

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Q: Dear Susie,

I’m a local shrimper guy who’s been single ever since my high school sweetheart dumped me for the cashier at Nate’s Hardware. I spend most days alone out on the Gulf. I still enjoy it, but I’m getting close to 30 and I’d love to have someone to come home and make shrimp chowder for. The other day, I met a nice girl at a pool party. Shrimping keeps me in shape, so I don’t have a problem talking to women with my shirt off. However, with my shirt on, well that’s another story. My closet is pretty basic: white t-shirts and jeans that have a salt stain or two. I feel like clothes shouldn’t matter, but after talking to the ladies in my office, they forced me to write you. I’m taking this new girl out to Fancie’s this weekend. Is it okay to dress as my normal, basic self? I think she should like me for me, but I suppose I’m willing to make a change or two if it helps me find my shrimpette.

Please help,

Simple Shrimper

A: Dear Simple Shrimper

If only you could go on all your dates with your shirt off. Then, you’d be sure to secure a shrimp sweetheart. But, my simple shrimper, we ladies enjoy events other than jet skiing and gigging. We like to go to concerts, nice dinners, fancy parties, and we generally appreciate a man that wears more than his skivvies. That’s not to say that we’re trying to change you (though we might improve you a little), we just like to see that you’re trying. A man that wears a t-shirt and stained jeans to a nice dinner seems like a man that isn’t going to put much effort into our relationship. And that’s what you want, right – to find your shrimp cocktail of love? (okay, I’ll stop now).

Here’s what you do: go to those ladies in your office who so dutifully made you write to me; tell them that you desperately need their opinion if you’re ever to secure a mate. Head to the mall in Mobile and make sure they don’t let you leave until you secure a pair of khakis, a pair of brown shoes, and a button down shirt. Make sure you buy a fitted shirt and pants with NO pleats (the lack of pleats is of paramount importance here, you don’t want to look like a saggy balloon all night). Oh, and get a belt. A belt is key. Some men forget about this ever-important accessory. Not only does a belt keep your pants up but it also flatters your shape (and from how you described yourself with no shirt on, I’m guessing you have a nice shape – show it off!). If you do all this, I am certain your date will appreciate the effort you put in, and it’ll greatly improve your chances at that late night bowl of chowder.

Yours truly,

Susie

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Q: Dear Susie,

I am a single, Southern woman with a lot to offer. I recently broke up with my boyfriend after five (what I thought were) amazing years. During those years you could say that I kind of lost touch with the fashion world, or as my ex boyfriend put it, “got all frumpy.” So, now that I’ve mended my wounds and am ready to get back into the dating scene I need to sass myself up a bit to attract a new mate. Help me, Susie!

Sincerely,

Fashionably Challenged

A: Dear Fashionably Challenged,

Susie always says that it’s not just the outer beauty that attracts men (although it sure does help some), but it’s actually the inner beauty that will trap your new guy and make you forget all about that no good for nothin’ cowboy who broke your heart.

With that said, the inner beauty can only do so much without the outer beauty meeting you half way. So, I suggest if you want to meet a new beau you should consider wearing a bright colored sundress while the weather is still hot. To show of those legs of yours, although not too much leg… you don’t want to go attracting the wrong kind of man. Colors that melt a man’s heart are Sea Green and Daisy Yellow. Try wearing those color schemes to your local harvest festival or the Country Square-dance coming up. Because if you do, there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be handing out numbers left and right to all the men waiting to ask you out! Honey, you deserve it!

Yours truly,

Susie

Q: Dear Susie,

I attend Bluebell Community Church every Sunday (which is more than I can say for some, ahem, younger citizens of this town), and like every other self-respecting, churchgoing lady, I wear my Sunday best. Sometimes, however, it’s nearly impossible to see Reverend Mayfair over the bigger hats of other congregants! I don’t want to name names, but really – what is the appropriate size for a hat in church, and what is one to do about the offending chapeaus?

Respectfully,

Hat Chat

A: Dear Hat Chat,

First of all, let me commend you on your commitment to fellowship. Everyone should take a few hours out of their busy lives for quiet contemplation with family, friends and neighbors. It’s also just plain fun to see people looking their best, and let’s face it – many Sunday outfits just aren’t complete without a hat. But we mustn’t forget that church isn’t all about the fashion, and we must choose our accessories with courtesy in mind. Brim width should not extend past the shoulders, and decorative elements should not supplement one’s natural height by more than an inch or two. Though, in the spirit of community, I hope you can forgive those hat-wearing transgressors and remember that it is the Reverend’s words that are most important, anyway.

Yours truly,

Susie

Q: Dear Susie,

Like any proper lady, I wear stockings every day. I try to be careful, but they always get runs and holes no matter what I do! It’s a most unseemly situation, but buying new hose constantly is getting expensive. Is there some way to fix the stockings I already have?

Sincerely,

Running Up A Bill

A: Dear Running,

Rest assured, you are not the first reader to write in with this question. If you’re buying new stockings every time, the cost can indeed add up fast. But with just a dab of clear nail polish, you can save the ones you already own! First of all, act fast while the hole is still small, because nylon can unravel faster than a Founder’s Day parade. Stop the run in its tracks by dabbing the nail polish around the edges of the hole to seal any loose ends, and wipe away any excess before it dries and voila – problem solved. Just don’t glue them to your leg! Good luck!

Yours truly,

Susie

Q: Dear Susie,

I just hosted my annual famous tea in October, where I brew the world’s most delicious sweet tea recipe handed down from my great Gran. Now, everyone knows when you attend one of my teas you must be dressed in proper formal attire. Everyone also should know that you should know that you should not wear white after Labor Day. Well… a couple of women, who I shall not name, showed up in their Sunday whites. I was utterly appalled! But then I thought maybe I was just being old fashioned and traditional (not that there’s anything wrong with that). So, I thought I’d leave it up to the expert. Is wearing white allowed after Labor Day? (Please say no.)

Best Wishes,

Fight About White

A: Dear Fight About White,

I cannot tell you how many times this question is in hot debate around here. As a traditional, Southern lady I do hold to not wearing white after Labor Day. Even though down in Alabama it doesn’t get too chilly come fall or winter, I still believe that wearing white should remain only in the spring and summer seasons. However, if you are just itching for some white in your wardrobe, try accessorizing. Accent your outfit with some white jewelry or white lace in your Sunday Church hat or a white bag or even a white belt. Because sugar, why not have the best of both worlds?

Yours truly,

Susie