Thursday, October 1, 2009

i'm not pregnant

but if i was, i would wear this. so cute at old navy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Will I Miss the Miss when I'm a Mrs.?

Turning an important corner.

So as a 32-year-old Miss soon to be Mrs. I needed to document my mindset at this point, in these last 40 days of 'the Stutts.'

My given surname has provided me angst and enjoyment. From the improper spellings and pronunciations ("no, Miss Slutts is not here, she's out working her corner!") to the incessant phonetic spelling for customer service reps ("It's S as in Sam, T as in Tom, U, T as in Tom, T as in Tom, S as in Sam"), there are parts of me that relish the notion of increasing my alphabetical altitude (N from S, as it were), and for the ease of saying "Now as in Now, ling."

Then I become circumspect and recall that I've built a fabulous life and reputation with this German moniker, which I will soon replace with an Irish one. Although both voracious beer consuming countries, so probably no harm, no foul, wink wink. In these 32 years, with this name, I was born to two of the greatest people I'll ever know, graduated in the top of my high school class with honors, was the first Stutts in history to graduate college, opened up an advertising agency, dodged a breast cancer scare, and then, met the man whom I can't wait to marry.

When I was 16, I made certain assumptions about how my life would play out, never imagining for one red hot second that I'd find someone so completely perfect for me. Before you bust out the Betty Crocker apron and good flatware, what I mean is that he is perfect for me because he found me as I am, loved me as I am, and wants to spend a lifetime not changing me. The fact that I choose to change my name might seem ironic after all these years, but then again, irony isn't lost on me that I am so fortunate to have found someone worthy of changing something as monumental as this. Kind reader, remind me of this gushy interlude when I'm standing waist deep at the DMV to change my license, or sitting on hold for 4o minutes while my bank works out the details of my new identity!

In the end, and in the beginning of this path I'm walking with my fella, it turns out that names, like countries, know no boundaries. 'Stutts' will travel with me until the day I die, or at least as long as Facebook is still around!

Paint me nostalgic, but I do mourn it a bit - not the single life being gone - rather the name that got me through it all. But yes, I'm excited for what new corners I'll turn under 'Nowling.'

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When 'No' Means 'Yes'

Ok. If the title of this entry leads you to somehow think that Lifetime network has gotten its smarmy clutches on our dear Vive Helen blog, I assure you, no. This is a story - nay - a tribute to making tough decisions in life, and about one lovely friend in particular who, I feel, found a victory in saying 'no' to something she really wanted.

I'll keep details brisk, save this: she is a tremendously talented and energetic woman. I admire her greatly. And, despite the usual negative demeanor of the word 'no,' this is how a negative can become a positive.

We Gen X'er (or what have you) women are fortunate to have been raised in a time when we could say yes or no to anything. We were empowered to think and feel without guilt. But, there still remains a light patina of our mother's upbringing that washes over us at times - that little 'impropriety' bug, the thing that makes us question our choices, or feel inadequate if we "can't accomplish it all."

This lovely friend of mine found her way through that old-fashioned guilt and the trappings of all that to make a very tough choice to walk away from an opportunity that she really wanted - and indeed was granted. Her reasons are just, if heartbreaking, but through the lines of text in her disclosure of said decision, I felt an incredible amount of pride for her. She has long identified her desire/reputation to be all things to all people, even at her own sacrifice. And while some may venture that her turning down this opportunity qualifies as "her own sacrifice," I would challenge with "she weighed her options, and by saying no here, she was saying yes to herself - her health, her family, her quality of life."

I hope the pride gush here is obvious, because I've been thinking about this since she told me yesterday, and can find nothing but admiration for her choice. She knows who she is, and I wanted to take this oh-so-appropriate forum to let her know how I felt. XOXO

Friday, March 27, 2009


It's been over a month now since I've been relegated to driving a nondescript, American made rental car in lieu of my small, zippy car.

And what a rough month it's been on the psyche!

There's nothing quite so aging as being stuck in a silver "sedan" that says practical as loud as its horn says "MOVE, I'm a woman hellbent on getting to the grocery store... it's double coupon day!"

Encased in the rental, I've felt as nondescript and sluggish as I've always imagined middle age would feel. When the automatic door locks engage, I don't feel safe but burdened by anonymity, not to mention the creeping cost of fueling this gas-guzzler. It doesn't help that the radio stations seem to pick up smooth jazz, NPR, and oldies with not a bit of static, while the signals from more "hip" stations grow increasingly weak.

(Did I just use the word "hip"?)

Putting the pedal to the metal in this car? Not without practical shoes on, lady! It requires the strength of the entire foot to zip from zero to 60 in 6 minutes... combine that with my heels getting caught in the auto carpeting (is that what it's called?) and before long I began sporting that nice pair of loafers I bought for my mom after she broke seven bones in her foot. She somehow managed to leave them in my closet before she left my home.

(Too old looking for her?)

Initially, the gold buckles tried desperately to twinkle, event though they were surrounded by heavy brown leather; now, they gives off a dull gleam that's barely visible when I glance down at them. It's sad, really. All that's lacking is a nice pair of gold toe socks.

(The shoe salesman told me that these shoes can last for a decade if treated with leather protector. Of course, the gold toe socks would have to be replaced every five years or so.)

Behind the wheel of the sedan, I've not heard a single "woo woo" yelled at me from other people desperate for a little attention from the opposite sex. Whatsa matter, boys? Afraid I'm on my way to play bridge with your mothers?

(Or is it that I just can't hear the hollah's cuz the muzak's turned up too loud?)

Last night, I watched a documentary on plastic surgery, the options, the costs, and the risks. A month ago, I'd have skimmed past it on my way to Bravo's cotton candy content rather than stay up till midnight to learn the differences between botox, fat injections, lasers, tucks, recovery times and the dangers of sun damage on newly nipped skin tissue.

(I could get fat-injections in my feet to make them more perky, even in these damn loafers!)

Each day, I hear it's just one more day from the repair man. I should be back in my car by April. Finally.
Just in time to pay taxes and feel truly grounded by adulthood... at least, until I roll the windows down & zip onto the freeway, engaging the gas pedal with just the slightest pressure on feet encased in colorful, and gloriously spiked heels.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We have a pulse...!

For context purposes, I've attached below the "SOS" e-mail I sent out to the lovely lady squad. Props to Mala for answering so quickly! Those former flight attendants can not only get your seat in the upright and vertical position, they write a mean blog post. :)

Hey ladies!

Our saucy blog, Vive Helen, is in need of some fresh traffic and meaty topics. I’ve been attempting to keep “her” breathing with some tidbits, but it’s starting to feel a bit, well, “dear diary’ish.” Help!

For those of you I’ve included in this e-mail and you’re like “huh???” my lovely friend Miss Marcy Wacker and I created this blog to serve as a posting place for us fabulous ladies – a virtual community where we can swap stories, advice, anecdotes and just general whatever’s. Check it out!

Please visit when you can and register to contribute a line or two (or more) – it’s super easy to do! Hope to see some infamous mox and witticisms on there soon!
Miss C

CPR it is!

So when I received the ‘Dear Helen needs CPR’ email, I had to act immediately (well, not as promptly as it sounds I guess). Apparently the subject line had woken up the flight attendant in me. No, I’m not a flight attendant anymore and as everything else there are several reasons for that.

1. I didn’t enjoy being farty (note this is #1 on my list!)
2. I hated checking my waistline all the time
3. I don’t appreciate the cubic space assigned to the toilets
4. I was scared I would strangle someone if I had to say ‘tea or coffee?’ one more time
5. Applying makeup at 4am might make you look like Count Dracula
6. I slept for three whole days in Rome
7. Ever other male crew was named Ali
8. And many many many more reasons that even Helen will shudder at.

Okay. So where was I? Ah! The CPR email. As a flight attendant I am bound to have CPR training. Thankfully I’ve never had to use any of my talent ever. But the time has come for me to come to the rescue. Rise Helen!

Friday, January 9, 2009

What does 2009 hold for the Vive Helen broads? Much, indeed. Crystal ball, schmistal ball nothing - the quintessential Vive Helen chick makes her fate, not succumbs to it. Among our immediate group of lovely ladies, there are weddings afoot, seeing kiddos off to school for the first time, grad school dreams - and it couldn't be more exciting or more in line with what and why we're friends: we take charge and we take care of each other's hearts and minds through it all.

As the Times Square ball descended, I was surrounded by my family and handsome fella - but I was also very aware of the thoughts of my girlfriends - that we made it through another year together, with style, with some angst, with a lot of laughter, and above all, with each other.

Over the years, the wheat and chaff have met their respective corners when it comes to friends - and I'm pleased to say, that there's nothing speculative about the future when I've got my 'wheaties' around. Love you ladies, you know who you are, and if there is only one resolution for 2009, it is this: Start writing! This space is crying out to be shared - else I risk a mighty case of self-indulgence. :)