Questions for a Queen: Kameron Micheals

 Kameron Michaels

Kameron Michaels

Drag and brunch. My two very favorite things. If you can combine the two, you must. That's what happens at Suzy Wong's House of Yum every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30-2pm. You eat incredible food (were talking Wasabi Deviled Eggs, Biscuit BLT Sliders and Katsu Chicken & Waffles people), drink mimosas or your favorite specialty cocktail all while drag queens perform during your meal making the experience one you won't soon forget. We're not talking any performance- we're talking up close and personal, dances around the room, interacts with you performance. Come ready to play! My personal favorite is Miss Kamron Michaels. She's my favorite for numerous reasons (her makeup game will make your jaw drop (the one you thought you were contouring right until you see her), her attire makes you rethink your latest purchases and she happens to be my hair stylist (so naturally she wins my heart). She answers a few questions about said brunch below!

How did Kameron get her name? Kameron Michaels got her name after a much needed revamp to my first drag name...it was Arianna St. Claire. HA! I laugh every time I remember it. It was just not me. I wanted an androgynous name and that is why I chose Kameron. I chose the last name Michaels because I thought it sounded strong and there were no other queens in Nashville at the time with that name. I didn't want to be connected or associated with another "family." I wanted to rise myself and be my own individual.

Who makes Kameron’s attire? If you do, how long does each outfit take and where does the inspiration come from? Kameron's attire comes from several outlets. Tory Cossintino Ford has made a lot of my bigger or more intricate pieces in the past. Most recently, my very best friends (literally, my 2 best friends) have followed their passion for costume design and started their own small business. They are making a lot of my new pieces. Outfits can take anywhere from several hours to several days...sometimes weeks if they're elaborate enough. Inspiration comes from EVERYWHERE: runways, celebrities, movies, television, other queens, a stroll through the club wear section of your local girl's boutique...haha EVERYWHERE!

Do you have a go-to song to perform in? If so, why is this your song of choice? I tend to do a lot of top 40's. That does not necessarily mean current top 40's. Let's be honest: You are performing at night in a nightclub. People are drinking, people are there to have fun. When people hear a current popular song they're living for at the moment or when they hear something nostalgic from their childhood...they get up and they move! That's my job as an entertainer...it's not about me, it's about them. I'm just the vessel delivering the good time. When someone is dancing around and singing back to me, I LIVE FOR THAT. Shorter answer? Ariana and Rihanna. Those are always my go-to's.

Kameron’s makeup is on point! How long does it take her to look that good? THANK YOU! That's subjective I suppose. There's always something I hate when I'm finished, but it's never going to be perfect...and that's why I always have room for improvement! If I take my time without having to rush, that is when I am most happy with the result. I like to allow myself a minimum of 2 hours to do everything. I can do it in an hour and a half or less, but I'll be taking shortcuts and that's never the product I want people to see.

You’re a bomb hairstylist- does this help you at all with Kameron’s locks? Oh gosh...I'm given a hard time for not doing more with my wigs. I've just recently started doing a little more with them given it's expected of me haha. I just do hair for most of the week and the last thing I wanna do when I come home at night is go to the gym and then come home and do more hair. I'm making excuses...but I'm getting better!

How did Drag Brunch start for you? Drag Brunch was offered to me when I was working in the DP House Party show which was a weekly show held on Sunday Nights at Play Dance Bar. Literally maybe 3 people will remember this, but I use to host my own talent night way back when at the old Cabaret Episode 2. I've been on a mic, I educate in hair styling talking in front of people...I knew I could handle it. Funny how I completely failed my final exam in speech class senior year because I was so mortified about being up in front of people talking. Now look at me: I put on little outfits and twirl around with a microphone and entertain a restaurant full of people. I LOVE IT.

Where can everyone catch you performing? I don't have a regular schedule right now (that can always change)! I probably perform at least once or twice a month in town and I always try to post in advance to let everyone know. I got really busy with the salon and traveling/teaching for a product company that I had to take a break from working at the bar and make sure that had my full attention. I absolutely love drag, there's nothing else like it, but I love hair just as much. You can catch me twirling sometimes at Suzy Wong's for the amazing Drag'N Brunch and then next door at Play Dance Bar for a packed weekend night with some of the best entertainers in the country!

Favorite Kameron moment thus far? My favorite Kameron moment so far was probably the Nashville Pride Pageant I competed in this past spring. It was the most stressful, crazy, amazing experience ever. I've won another pageant in the past, but it was very last minute. This time I spent the better part of 2 months preparing for the event. Dance rehearsals, costumes, music mixing, it was a lot. And I was gone the last two weekends before the pageant! It all came together so beautifully. I placed 2nd and I can honestly say I was not upset at all. I was ecstatic for days afterwards at how well everything went. You feel like a rock star pulling it all off!

Any embarrassing drag stories? Oh gosh...do you remember when Madonna's cape pulled her off stage? When Beyonce tumbled down the stairs? The first, second, and third time GaGa took a tumble in her platforms? EVERYONE working on stage knows there is always a chance for an oopsie. An outfit falls apart, you slip, you fall...you handle it and you keep going! I'm the hair loser. I lose my hair on stage more than anything. It's happened twice. It's mortifying. You're a man in a dress in a room full of people with a spotlight on you...and your wig falls off. I mean can you imagine? I picked mine up and dusted the floor with it like a mop to the beat of the song last time. I mean, what else are you going to do? Toss it in the air, do the splits on it and get up and perform the hell out of the rest of your song. Shit happens.

Something everyone doesn't know about you? My parents. They were/are always supportive of me. My dad is no longer with us, but even he came once to see my show. They surprised me. He was cool with it but I never thought he would come and see it live in person. Your little boy...dressed up as a sexy girl dancing around stage and taking dollars from people. I can imagine not being a part of the LGBTQ community, seeing that for the first time...it's probably a little weird haha. We talked at the bar after one of my numbers. He looked me up and down and then chuckled a little bit and said, "Well, you're almost as tall as me now." He was referring to my height in heels. I was 5'10" without them. He was 6'6". My mom has always been my biggest fan. Out to my shows, going to gigs with me that I was hired to do outside of the bar...she's there whenever she can be. She's mom to some of my friends that don't have a supportive family. She's mom to a lot of kids at the local Oasis Youth Center where LGBTQ youth can go to feel safe and welcome. That's a fact I want everyone to know about Kameron. My family loves me. My parents loved me. I was never told I had to hide who I was. As long as I wasn't hurting anyone I could do anything I wanted in life. And I'm doing it. <3

You can get your hair game on with Dane (he's Dane by Day, Kameron by Night) by clicking here.

 

 

She's one hell of a Make-Up Artist too! Find some of my favorite work of hers below...

 

 

World STOP! Carry On...

   Photographer Joseph Northcutt

Photographer Joseph Northcutt

At least that's how it would feel if you came untaped in this bad boy. Fashion tape is your friend in deep plunging jumpsuits, let me assure you. Otherwise you're on your own sister and I salute you. I love the neutral color of this particular jumpsuit as you can sauce it up with faux fur (save the animals), make it edgy with a leather/pleather jacket (again depending on your animal stance) or just go solo in warmer weather. I do recommend a highly qualified bathroom buddy because you know, fashion isn't always easy to get in and out of. ;)

No New Friends

   Photographer:  joseph northcutt

Photographer: joseph northcutt

It's a new year. Brand spanking new. Thank God for that. 2016 started out so promising and then ended in an absolute shit storm taking several iconic legends with it. May they rest in peace and may we find some.

The common theme of the new year for many is reflection, redemption and for some regret. The what did I learn moments, the accomplishments achieved and goals for the upcoming year. The next time I'll do betters, the lessons learned. The could have, would have, should have moments of the year. Maybe you got your ass kicked this year by your job, your relationship or a friend or maybe you literally got your ass kicked to which I hope you're okay and shit. Maybe you got out of 2016 unscathed and you're all "Why was 2016 so bad?" If so what is your secret we're all dying to know?

For the greater population I think 2016 like most years, started out with such high hopes and by December 31st we're worn out, disappointed and tired as fuck. Like so tired. Does anyone else feel like they need a caffeine IV? Just me? It's fine. But why? Why are we so tired?

Let's just review 2016 shall we? In March a bombing in Brussels, Belgium killed 32 and injured 300. In May, an unsupervised 3 year old declared he was going into the gorilla habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo leading to the fatal shooting of an innocent gorilla. 15 days later the deadliest mass shooting by a solo shooter, not to mention deadliest incident of violence against the LGBTQ community and terrorist attack since 9/11 happened in Orlando, Florida. One month after that, an alligator decided a 2 year old making a sandcastle would be his prey killing him at the Walt Disney World Hotel in Florida. Exactly one month to the day later, 86 people were killed in Nice, France and 434 were injured during a terrorist attack. Add to this so many civilians innocently killed in shootings some by error and some due to preconceived notions and vice versa for those in law enforcement. Sprinkle in the deaths of 140 celebrities and some of the most iconic figures of our time. 140 PEOPLE IS A LOT OF PEOPLE LOST. There's no point in doing a tribute to those lost at the Oscars, it would run the duration of the show or as long as Matthew McConaughey's 2014 acceptance speech. Which I could watch over and over and over. And 2016 ended with the election of Donald Trump. I am literally moving on from this paragraph because it's depressing...

Now 2016 wasn't all bad. Mostly, but not all. There were brief moments of humanity shining through the destruction. Like Daryl Davis, the African American man who convinced 200 members to leave the KKK just by befriending them. Then there was that time when Best Buy employees purchased a Wii for a teen who came in every single day just to play the demo. There's the woman who has adopted 35 children, 26 of which have special needs. Who could forget Dolly Parton donating $1000/month to families in need after the Gatlinburg forest fires? See not all bad. But like, that does not even make you feel that much better. Too much bad happened in 2016.

So where does that leave us in 2017? What's the take-away? Will there be disappointment? Yes. Will there be brief moments of redemption in the human race? Yes, I said brief, you will most likely be cut off and flicked off in traffic shortly after, but be thankful damn it. Life is short? Yes. So focus on who is still standing, who is still in the ring with you, who the fuck really gets it. Who has a secret stash of bail money on hand knowing full well this may just be the year you "GO FOR IT" which might also mean "LOSE IT" or find yourself in trouble with the law. Who still has your back, who tells you what you need to hear (not what you want to hear) and who is still loyal? Loyalty is a funny thing, often times we think people are truly loyal to us, but just as often they are loyal to the thought of us, the convenience of us or what they've gained in our presence. Big mistake, HUGE.

So in 2017, no new friends stands. Act like Drake didn't already know that. If the people surrounding you would stand in the line of fire for you, defend you in your absence or at the very least tell you about the lipstick on your teeth (why do people not tell other people this?) then really take the time this year to appreciate and reciprocate the loyalty. Appreciate. Reciprocate. Repeat. We're always trying to do more, expand what we have and fix what is not broken. If your circle of friends, no matter how big or small, old or new, young or old is a loyal, loving one then cherish it this year. You're going to want more this year, you're going to want better and you're going to want it all at times, but if you have solid people in your life that have your back you just might find you've got all that you need. 

But don't get it twisted, always look out for number one. And if you find yourself in the company of a snake in the grass...cut it's head off. Isn't that how you kill a snake? Cut right through the bullshit and walk on. Life is too short to share champagne with false friends, so be mindful of who you open the door for, but take peace in always knowing where the exit is so you can show a bitch to the door upon their dismissal. No new friends in 2017. I've got mine and they're damn good. I've never had to compromise my company and I'll be damned if I have to start.

Instead of the cliche "THIS IS MY YEAR" hype, I'm more about give me what I've already got and just supersize it. More late nights, more random chaos (a personal favorite of mine) and more interesting conversations with the best people. No need to act like 2017 is going to be a game changer. Maybe it will be, but maybe it won't. If it could just be calmer than 2016's hateful ass, I'm game. Every day will only happen once so as long as my people are along for the ride, start the engine and let's do this 2017. 

Appreciate. Reciprocate. Repeat.

And show assholes the door....

Don't be a Drag

When you're attending 3 drag shows in 3 days and you realize your entire wardrobe is always ready for this moment...

Tips to ensure you're not a "drag" when attending these shows:

Step 1: Sparkle.

Step 2: The over-use of animal print is always invited.

Step 3: Your best accessory is your George Washingtons.

Step 4: If you are not acquainted with the terms "YASSS," "WERK" AND "GET IT" you might want to practice screaming these terms now at the top of your lungs. Then repeat.

Step 5: Always support, never judge. That should be a life rule, but I digress...

Step 6: Come ready for a show, don't be the show.

See Ya Summer...

As of September 22, 2016 it is officially fall. Sure you can still wear shorts and you will inevitably sweat walking to the mailbox, but eventually you can wear a shirt with a sleeve. Eventually. Here's hoping you spent some of your summer (if not all) on the water. The Harpeth never disappoints, unless of course you crash into the concrete wall or canoe into a tree full of snakes, but all fun comes with a little risk..

Red, White and Food

 Photo Courtesy of Inside Bru Crew Life

Photo Courtesy of Inside Bru Crew Life

PIZZA DIP

Ingredients

5 oz bag mini pepperonis (I used Hormel)

¼ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried oregano

1 cup pizza sauce

1 loaf sourdough bread cup into pieces for dipping

½ cup cheddar cheese

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Mix the basil, oregano, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and ¾ cup mozzarella cheese.

-Spread the cream cheese mixture into a pie pan or casserole dish. Top with the pizza sauce.

-Sprinkle the remaining cheeses (mozzarella and parmesan) on top of the pizza sauce and

 then add the pepperoni on top.

-Bake 25 minutes or until cheese has browned.

-Serve with sourdough bread pieces.

 

 Photo Courtesy of A healthy life for me

Photo Courtesy of A healthy life for me

Watermelon, Feta and Blackberry Skewers

Ingredients

Blackberries

Watermelon, cut into 1” cubes

Block of feta cheese

Small wooden or plastic skewers

Instructions

-Pre-cut your watermelon into 1” cubes and cut your block of feta cheese into coordinating slices to top    your watermelon.

-Place your watermelon cubes in dish that skewers will be served on. Repeat with feta placing on top of watermelon cubes.

-Slide the blackberries through skewer and then place on top of feta and watermelon to top off and complete skewers.

Recipes courtesy of Pinterest

 

Champagne Puppy

No new friends, but yes to new threads. Reserve a little humor for your afternoon walks with your pooch. When I stumbled across this little gem on Etsy, I clearly couldn't pass it up.  People either get the joke or they think your dog (or you) has a drinking problem. There's already a Champagne Papi, but now you can have a Champagne Puppy. Purchase yours here.

Let's get Nasty....

When the opportunity presents itself to road trip and shop, one must do such things. There is no sale more worth the drive than Nasty Gal's warehouse sale. Thousands of items discounted up to 90% off. I repeat, 90% off. 5 days of shopping with new items added daily.  I'm pretty sure this is what Heaven on Earth feels like. We're talking $25 faux fur coats, $30 Jeffrey Campbell shoes and $5 accessories.  I'll happily drive to Kentucky in 20 degree weather any day for this. Give yourself plenty of time- there are aisles of shoes, rows of bins and more racks than you can count to go through. This is one sale you don't want to miss....

Normal is boring.

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Not into boring? I second that. Spice things up a bit with this Nasty Gal sweater paired here with the Rockett by Citizens of Humanity and the Giana from Akila Boutique. Score these shoes here. Akila Boutique launched this year and recently added a killer selection of handbags that just hit their site in time for the holidays. Normal will always be boring so put on your camo, lace up your pumps and carry your thoughts on your clutch.

The Politest of Polite.

Listen. If your manners are ever questioned, this is the shirt for you. Clearly, you're letting anyone questioning you know that manners you've got covered. So many manners. Also good for anyone with RBF. (Politely, Resting Bitch Face). Buy this and other straightforward amazingness at http://www.buymebrunch.com/collections/womens. Photo Credit: www.snappylifestyle.com.

The Dirtiest of 30's...

30. It comes once. So make it count. Hell, I did. It couldn't have been done without my broads. Also loving referred to as my woes, my squad, my confidants, my accomplices and my loves. We're no stranger to a girl's trip (just ask my bank account) and we certainly don't miss a birthday, but milestone birthdays are a whole other monster. Naturally we needed a pool, even if only 10 hotels in Manhattan accommodate this. And a hint of luxury. And spunk, I need lots of spunk (Drake blaring in the lobby had me sold). Tall order for some hotels, but not for the Dream Hotel Downtown. And. What. A. Dream. It. Was. Do make sure you get to the pool promptly at 8 am or you will not only pass up a lounge chair, but you'll miss the fireworks when everyone else comes down at 8:15 am and rages because they don't have one. Rages, like loses their I-paid-for-a-room-here shit. Everyone knows the early bird gets the worm (and poolside relaxation apparently). After poolside entertainment and shopping (lots of shopping) we found ourselves at some of the best restaurants in NYC. You can't get glow sticks and friendship bracelets with just any drink, but you can at The Clocktower if you order the Gap Year. Speaking of glow sticks, have you ever had an unassuming brunch with your girls only to have a server stop you halfway through the meal and bring you glow sticks and turn off the lights all while the DJ spins? Just visit Beauty and Essex. Brunch like you've never experienced before. It'll also make more sense why you've seen more bodycons before you finish your first glass of champagne. Not to mention the grilled cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings just might change your life. If that doesn't change your life however, wearing a penis hat as the birthday song plays at Employees Only will... My friends got jokes. 

As if traveling to the city that never sleeps wasn't enough, round 2 resumed in the form of a house party complete with Drake balloons and blueberry vodka jello shots. My friends just get me. That's why you need your girls. There's this small time frame in life where you have the life of an adult, but the freedom of an early twenty-something. In that time frame, find your people. Live your life with these people before the next chapters unfold and the time has lapsed for penis hats and brunches that turn into raves. I am so thankful for these experiences, but mostly for my woes.

Homemade Shower

The traditional thought of "No Boys Allowed" at bridal showers has been thrown out the window. In preparation for a friend's (your beauty contributor) fast approaching wedding in September, we couldn't help but have our favorite guys. Also, venue schmenue. Have it at a friend's beautifully decorated, extremely comfortable, you-have-to-see-this home. Intimacy. Shower's lack intimacy, And also, depth, they lack depth. Listen, I know what you're thinking, how intimate does she need a shower to be? I just think you should never go into any experience and know the outcome before you step your foot in the door. You would never have expected Iggy Azalea to be blaring as you enter, now would you? The typical scenario is tired: arrive + give gift +awkward shower game = that's all folks. C'mon we can do better than that. So we did. You have a few men you love and want invited? Done. Home-cooked (partially) appetizers?  You got it. A personally named theme drink that might have caused a few (or multiple) slurs in the afternoon hours of a Sunday? It's all yours (pour at your own risk). You could gather at a restaurant, get your gifts and send out your thank-yous like everyone else or you could do it yourself and live a little. Do watch out for the "Blushing Bride" drink or you'll end up the "Hungover Misses." 

Recipe: Blushing Bride Punch

1 Serving: 3 oz Bison Grass Vodka/ 3 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice/ 1/2 oz Black Pepper Simple Syrup/ Ice, add lots of ice...

Signed, 

FMOTS

Hot Mess? As if hunty....

 

I sat down with one of my very favorite people, who also happens to be one of my favorite Drag Queens to discuss the founding and continued success of HotMess Sports. Check out all that is HotMess here: http://hotmesssports.com/

1. For the small population living in Nashville that don’t know, can you explain what HotMess Sports are and how long have they been around? HotMess Sports is a local Gay/Gay Friendly Adult Sports League that was established in Fall 2012.

2. How many people did HotMess start with and how many people are currently participating? We started Season 1 with 120 members now after Season 6 we have over 400 members.

3. You do an annual drag show every year, what does this support? From Season 1 we have done a Charity Drag show every season.  We donate ALL money from the door/cover charge to local and national charities. We've donated to Nashville Cares, HRC, and OutCentral. Donate to these charities here: https://secure.sitemason.com/site/fEhQGc/donatehttp://www.hrc.org/https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/OutCentral.

4. In 3 words describe the Hot Mess Drag show… Hot, Hilarious, and HOT MESS.

5. The theme is the 90's, what song will you be performing? Well the Fugees of course. Ready or Not.

6. They call you Milania, how did you come up with the name? Back in 2010 while living in DC I dressed up for a drag kickball game. Everyone said I looked like Teresa Giudice's daughter. Milania was born.

7. If Milania was a cocktail what would she be? Patron XO cause its dark, spicy, and has a punch.

8. Milania is stranded on an island, she can take 3 people. List these 3 and for what skill set (be it entertainment) they will provide? Beyonce, so we can do each other's hair and make up dances together. Tom Ford, so he can create island outfits for Beyonce and I. Bear Grylls, cause someone has to take care of us and he's hot.

9. Sequins or glitter? Both, just depends where we're going...

10. Milania’s best quality and her worst? Best is a tie between her Legs and her Lips, and let's be honest that's all you need. Worst would be her flat chest, but they keep her in sample sizes.

11. Future goals for HotMess? HotMess continues to grow.  We now not only offer Kickball, but Dodgeball and Volleyball as well.  We as a league attend 2 tournaments a year. One in DC and one in Vegas. We've done a calendar and we've raised over $15000 for charities. The future is endless.

12. Can anyone play in HotMess sports? Yes, HotMess Sports welcomes all people. Gay, Straight, Jock, Nerd, Girl, Boy. ALL!

13. The most important question of all, why wasn’t La Bouche included in this year's line up? Unfortunately, La Bouche wouldn't release their song catalog to us for the Drag Show. I hear they aren't the best to work with...

14. What one reality TV star is Milania dying to give a hair makeover to? Milania is way too busy to watch reality tv, but she hears Kandi Burgess has a mess on her head down in the ATL.

Signed,

FMOTS

Love Me Tinder...

DISCLAIMER: this has nothing to do with the 1956 Elvis Presley hit which became a gold record before it was even released, and everything to do with dating from your freaking phone.

Let's fast forward 56 years later to when an appearance and location based app was created. Tinder. It seems harmless and easy enough. With our schedules being so hectic, having the ability to scroll through pictures and a quick fact or two seems like the way to go right?

Let's fast forward two more years to the Fall of 2014 when 1.2 billion Tinder profiles exist and 15 million matches are made a day. 15 million matches a day. Well shit, I've never won the lottery but the odds seem to be in my favor here, right? That sounds like a bucket of damn chum got dumped in the ocean and you're a shark. WRONG. Now sure, this can be a comforting reminder that other "eligible" singles exist within your radius, but don't we already know that? And do we really need to be judged AND rejected any further in today's society just based on our appearance? Haven't I, as a woman, dealt with enough of this bullshit every single day of my life? But I'm guilty of it too and if I swiped right, YOU'RE WELCOME because this girl's in the club and she choos-ay (club going up). We're all a bit social media obsessed as is and I'm literally exhausted just thinking about it, and even more exhausted thinking about all the DICKS I SWIPE PAST. That's your lead-in? That's your "Hello?" BOY BYE.

Love me Tinder? It's not looking great. I'm all for meeting new people and trying anything once (unless it's a  new cocktail then sign me up for 3), but must we have the same redundant conversation multiple times with multiple strangers. There should be a questionnaire you can just copy and paste. Let's be more efficient shall we? Mama's impatient. Having the same conversation at the same time with multiple people is mind numbi- OH SWEET ANOTHER DICK PIC. And then you meet the handful that don't offend your eyes, bore you to death or sexually assault you before dinner (I don't condone assault after dinner either but let's act like chivalry isn't dead shall we?) I like to call these dates interviews because I interview people as a crucial part of my career and I'm usually about one question short of asking these guys "What brings you here today?" Luckily, I have a filter, kind of. Sort of. That last part might be a lie, but I digress.

You meet, you interview, you hire or you don't. Few dates here, few dates there. Gain a little momentum so you don't get your ass back to swiping, but there's always this fact that you could be one bad date away from it all starting again. Tired yet? It's so easy and yet so hard.

You both know when either one of you gets bored it will take a few swipes to start over with someone new and you don't get that time back. But isn't this what you signed up for? You agreed to these terms of service.

Let's just be clear. You're mad because....? You're shocked it didn't work because...? You're astonished that you keep meeting men that want to take you home on date one because...? We swiped this into existence. We were only sitting across from this person in a private, yet social setting sizing them up because we picked them out of all the others. We both agreed "pre-meet" that we were physically attracted to each other. And had a few sentences of conversation. And you wonder why he's trying to order you for dessert. How incredibly depressing. I'm just trying to be reminded that there are singles out there that I find attractive and stimulating later in the game and he's thinking I'm aware it's the straight version of Grindr (no shade).  Neither one of us is wrong, but we both need to be corrected. Remember what you signed up for. Looks can be deceiving. That total babe who seems like he's so interested you wonder why you ever questioned the dating scene in the first place. The one who introduced you to mom after literal weeks? He could also be the one who smokes an ounce of pot every two weeks and broke up with you in a text because he's "too damaged."  #ITHAPPENEDTOME.

Anyone can sign up. It's free and there are a lot of guys out there more willing to show you their anatomy then their hearts. I saw more anatomy in 3 months on that site than in my entire life. Why you gotta be so cocky?  Pun intended. Tinder serves it's purpose (especially if you're cocky) so stop bitching about it. It puts you in contact with singles in your area that you've personally decided are your type. It doesn't do background checks, it doesn't call the ex for all the dirt and it sure as hell doesn't promise manners. You're bored and you want to meet new people? Have at it. You're new to town and want to meet new people? Go for it. Your career keeps you from getting out? Sign your ass up. You're fresh off a breakup and you need to be reminded that there are plenty of fish in the sea? Do it, because there are (just remember that you're the shark).  Remember though, whenever the options are limitless, you're limiting yourself. Love me Tinder? LEFT SWIPE.

Signed,

FMOTS

 

From Motor City to Music City

So there has to be some catalyst that makes one create a blog, right? Some sort of marker for where you are and how you got there, if you will. Well for me, I fell madly in love. Not with a man, but a woman. RELAX. This isn't that kind of blog. I'm referencing my career and one specific designer: Betsey Johnson. THE Betsey Johnson. The red lipstick wearing, champagne drinking, breast cancer surviving and cartwheel producing New York fashion designer. Iconic, eclectic, and the merge between Old New York and 30 plus years in the ever-changing fashion industry. Where punk meets girly in a love affair of frills and skulls. THE Betsey Johnson. You know, the one you convince your roommate and sorority sister (and now fellow blog contributor- I see you Karen Schnell) to do your senior merchandising window on. And honey we did not disappoint. Cheetah, check. Betsey shoes borrowed (maybe stolen) from another sorority sister, check. The loudest window in the hall (possibly ever), check. The week I graduated college I received the call that I'd be interviewing with the company and I hadn't but hung up the phone before I was screaming with excitement. Rookie Move. This particular detail my superiors still remember. That enthusiasm for the company never left me. Not once.

So naturally, three years later when you're offered your own store in a city in which you've never visited you just do it. No questions asked. Sure you're leaving the only state you've ever lived in. Sure you were in a good relationship at the time. Sure you had all the love and support from family and friends at your fingertips. There may have been more reasons to stay than go, but sometimes one reason is all the reason you need. I couldn't love that company or my store more. It wasn't possible. From the clients that became family, to New York Fashion Week, to the incredible people I worked with, there was just no topping it. So this is what your prime feels like? 25 and madly in love with my career. We started as a top 20 store and after one year we were a top ten store within the company. It was knowing you were working for someone historic and that you were making history all at the same time. Betsey was iconic in her vision, creative in her presentation and had a heart of gold. She was one bad bitch. Hell she ran around with Warhol in the 60's and was still ending every fashion show with a cartwheel and splits and she was a senior citizen. I'm not sure I can still do the splits. Note to self: verify that. If you were famous, we dressed you. If you were celebrating a life event, we dressed you. If you weren't a basic broad and you craved edgy, yet girly designs, we dressed you. We celebrated life with you. There were over 70 stores and roughly 350 of us "Pink Ladies and Gents."   We were a cult. One I was happy to adhere my name to. So that's what made what comes next both a shock and devastation. History was made again April 26, 2012 when Betsey Johnson LLC  files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In plain English: a nightmare of hellish proportion. Liquidation would follow. Loss of every job and store would follow. Insensitive questions of "When is this dress going to be 70% off?" would follow. OH I'M SORRY LET ME VERIFY WHEN THAT WILL BE DISCOUNTED FURTHER AS I LOSE ALL THAT I LOVE AND HAVE WORKED FOR. Worrying about that staff that has become your family would follow. That tiny piece of pink heaven and everything it stood for would diminish.

One hour before the news went public all managers were put on a conference call in which Betsey got on the call and I'll never forget what she said in the moment when we were just told the fate of our company: "Fuck." There really was no better way to put it. We all knew what we'd be losing so why hide behind courtesies. She apologized for the fate of the company, not her mouth. Again, she's a bad bitch. She encouraged us to go get champagne and party with our clients and staff through the end. So we did. We celebrated what it had been, what it was and what it would always be: timeless. So that's what brought this Yankee to the South; her heart. What triggered a blog? It's everything that comes after the "Fuck." All the many moments after the fact that keep an impatient, sassy, fast-speaking Yankee in the South. These mouthy memoirs are nothing more than commentary after the "Fuck" wears off and you just have to pour yourself a glass of champagne and toast the outcome of what you never thought would be.

Signed,

FMOTS

An Open Letter to 2015

Dear 2015,

Bring it. No really, bring it. Give me your best shot. Give me all you got. Challenges, triumphs and everything in between are welcomed. Bring on the fun, the laughter and all the excitement you can muster. Bring on the trials that make you stronger, the lessons we have to learn and the moments that test our character. Bring it. This marks year 5 in Nashville and it keeps getting better. So I expect nothing less from you this year. Go ahead, pull out all the stops. Make it rain. You can go ahead and turn away worry, disappointment and all assholes. You know the ones. The ones the world needs less of. Also, people who don't use their blinkers, I'd like to see less of them this year. Bring it. Let's make it interesting shall we? I invite a few curve balls mixed in with the expected. Make this the year one we all anticipate it to be. The one we're sad to see go and hard to top. BRING IT. Every year is supposed to be "THE YEAR," so why not come through for us this year? Make it one for the books. Keep us healthy, make us wealthy and teach us something worth learning. Cheers to you 2015! You've got big shoes to fill...

Sincerely,

FMOTS