i dig ’em

In ALL, PREENING by Stephanie Klein51 Comments

If I wanted to feel like shit, I would have gone shopping at Scoop and let anorexic saleswomen apologize that they don’t carry anything larger than a size 28 jeans.  I certainly didn’t need to hear, “Well, don’t you look nice for a change.”  Though, I will admit, I regularly arrive to work in clothing I’d actually be mortified in if I ran into anyone I knew.  The people at work expect it.  I’m a “creative” in advertising, so the fact that I’m mismatched and still wearing the clothes I slept in is part of the sell. 

“Yes, well for a change, I thought I’d wear a skirt.”  Truth: nothing else fit.  My housekeeper had laundered my jeans dryer style.  I wasn’t ready to confront the scale.  None of it was a good time.  An A-line skirt might as well be Zoloft. 

I was in a status meeting, the kind that involves “minutes,” white board markers, and an overhead projector. Swivel chairs and L.A. Café catering. Samantha, an assertive new hire with bug eyes and hair that always looked as if it were between cuts, started in with the small talk. "Great shoes!" In turn, the other six people in the conference room leaned to get a glimpse of my stems. It was my third time wearing my newly purchased Stuart Weitzman shoes. I looked down, too, as if I had no recollection of how I’d dressed myself that morning. "Oh, thanks." Good purchase. Definitely.  I wondered if I should say more.  Got them on sale?

I didn’t know if it was a dig compliment.  There are compliment mores, you know.  There’s your milquetoast, “My don’t you look nice today,” accolade.  No one expects anything in return.  It’s just a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Love thy neighbor.  Give and you shall eventually receive.  Karma.  Loverly transaction.  And then there are the compliments that fall beyond the perimeter of selfless nibbly bits of flattery into the dig category.

I’m never quite sure, when someone extends a compliment, if they’re digging for more information.  I know if I go out of my way, for example, to compliment her floral print spaghetti strap top, I sometimes want to know the deisgner or where she purchased it.  If it’s a stranger, I’ll rarely ask because it’s breaking girl code.  That’s hers.  She found it, got that shite herself, made it her own.  She shouldn’t have to share that it’s Foley and Corinna and she purchased it at their boutique on Stanton.  Especially to some stranger who’s going to run out and buy one for herself and all her friends, rendering all that effort spent on “unique” useless.  “I need one for myself” is hardly masked behind, “great bag, where’d you get it?” 

You can compliment dig with friends, only if you promise to give her dibs.  “I’ll never wear it when we go out together.”  Believe me.  I’ve done it with everything from perfume to Diors.  The Stuart Weitzman’s were mine, without having to fawn upon a sole.

After the meeting, David restated the compliment in a slightly different tone, morphing the compliment dig into another kind of dig. "Yeah, nice shoes. How much do you get paid to wear them?" He meant how much do they cost, clearly. "No, I mean how much do they pay you to wear those stripper shoes you got on?" Excuse me but I assure you Stuart Weitzman does not cater to strippers, my friend. "Hey Darlin’ they’ve got clear heels, so if the shoe fits, keep wearin’ em. But, don’t be a tease about it."

The shoes remain in a sleeve on my closet door. There’s always Halloween, the one holiday where women can dress like whores without being called whores, even if the shoe does indeed fit.  Still, you can call me Stephanie Klein.


  1. Honestly, why does everyone think yer hot? Yer blog posts ain't funny or interesting, and as a red head I think you're ruining our reputation with your blog. Red heads are cool and intersting. Perhaps at 29 you are not a dyed in the wool red head, just some Clairol brand. Get off your high horse darlin' and smell the stinky compost!

  2. just one of the thousands that read the Ny times. i live in sf.
    this is the first blog i have read.
    to be honest words that you exchanged with your co-worker recently have no interest to me, or with some idiot in a bar.
    do you have any personal exchanges out of the sight of the public?
    so you fall for a worthy man.
    your career is immediately down the drain. are you going to describe for the world how you gave him a blowjob in a cab (everyone in nyc is in a cab)on the way to dinner. all the sensationalistic stuff will disappear.
    so i guess you are single and horney for the rest of your life. things could be worse; you could be poor.
    good luck,

  3. I like this post because I know exactly how you feel. I also dress in an interesting way to work, and whenever I have a "fat day" I enjoy the freedom of skirts. Also, when people compliment me, I never tell them where I got it.

  4. Stephanie, Stephanie, Stephanie…

    Jealousy is UGLY, I say again! Listen, it's like a person driving a high end Mercedes or some luxury vehicle. People will either say, "Oh wow! Nice car!" Or jealous and angry people with no lives will say, "Psh-whatever, her mommy & daddy probably paid for it–b****!"

    Let them stew. I remember my sister let me drive her Mercedes once. I drove it to my place of work, and let me tell you—I got snarls and stares that literally could kill me. People were outraged that I was driving a Mercedes. I had to get out of the car and scream, "It's not mine!"

    What you want to do with your private life as far as displaying it publically, is YOUR business, and—-our entertainment.

    You're beautiful, your hair color is perfect–and your writing is awesome!

    Thanks for being real!


  5. On Halloween the girls dress like strippers, and the strippers get fined 200 bucks if they turn up for work looking like strippers and not like, well, girls in Halloween costume.

    Clear plastic heels? Classy. My choice of glass slipper anyday. Permanently associated with dollars and perverted old men. Kind of like Manolos, if you think about it.

    Just buy the Balenciaga and wheel it out on any bad clothes day. People will just keep looking at that, believe me, it works like an extra pair of breasts.

    Ask Joe about Bar 6 and too many Red Bulls. I thought you may appreciate the ammunition in return for the vomit article…

  6. Why is Stephanie Klein profiled in the New York Times and not me? Oh I am so distressed.

  7. Well, let me put it this way. Just by that comment you come across as a bit of prick, which could be the answer to your question, or was it rhetorical?

  8. Deb,

    Some people prefer a '62 Lincoln Continental (with suicide doors, of course) to a "high end Mercedes or some luxury vehicle."

  9. Are co-workers allowed to make those type of comments? Totally addicted to your blog. Should be studying for my final but no Im reading about Stephanie's shoes :).

  10. Wow, you really do get some nasty comments here! It's kind of sad that these people have nothing better to do. Anyway, I read about you in the Times too. That sucks about this David character, could that not be classed as sexual harrasment if you work together?

    Cheers :)

  11. Congrats on your brand name shoes. How much money have you donated to Planned Parenthood, since you exploit your abortion so much?

  12. Stephanie, I can't understand why people have to be so hateful. It seems simple to me…read someone's blog if you like them and enjoy their site and if you don't…DON'T. How hard is that?

    But noo, people have to take it one step further and spread the hate. These kinds of people suck and are the very reason the world is in a downward spiral into a dark abyss.

    On a lighter note, on my site I have a link to a story entitled 'Farmer killed by falling cow'. You can't make this stuff up!

  13. What?? Who would give someone a blowjob in a TAXI and on the way to dinner, of all places? That is disgusting and so un-classy. It's too bad you're parents never taught you how to be a lady. It's not shocking that you are single.

  14. I totally wholeheartedly disagree with you that women can dress like whores on Halloween. Because when women dress like whores on Halloween it makes people think that they've been wanting to dress like whores all year round but aren't comfortable being labeled as a whore, but now that they can do it without getting in trouble, why not dress like a whore!

    And they do, and everyone knows that deep down they want to be a whore.

    I say dress up as Linus from the Peanuts or Kirstie Alley and let people see you for what you really are inside!

  15. First it was USENET, then listserves, then digests of lists, then "collabrative media sites".
    Now it's blogs. The behaviour of participants throughout the evolution of these "online communities"
    has changed little. You put yourself out there and should always expect no matter what you say, some
    people will find something to complain/bitch/flame about it.Some will be just downright mean.
    It's not always a nice world. If you don't like it, don't read it, ignore it, or fight back.

    Now on the subject of sk's shoes. She should be able to wear any damn thing she pleases.
    And like "online communities" expect some will find fault. If they don't like it, shut up about it.


  16. Here's an idea-If he isn't too much of a sleeze, you might have replied(since he really did start the whole thang anyhow)- "I dunno-how much ya got?" And let his jaw hit the floor like a zepplin, and go about your day.

    Hayzeus, there are a lot of mean spirited s–theads here today. Realperson-that's pretty cheap, dontcha think? What an assgasket! Sounds like you are a real something…..

    PS-This is becoming a must-read every day, which is a good thing. I didn't put off studying to read this blog, but I did hit it up right after I got done. Keep up the good work ma belle oiseau!

  17. Believe it or not, the one I hate is "Have you lost weight?" If I'd lost weight every time I was asked I'd actually be thin. Or dead.

    All it means is that they thought I had weight to lose to begin with, and since I haven't lost any I must be fat.

  18. Hi Stephy,

    Your blog is going to be famous here in Italy too. I've found a news about you and your blog on "Repubblica", a really very famous italian newspaper… That's incredible, isn't it? ;)
    Reading your post… I think everybody has problem on dressing "right" at work… especially with these "Warmth Days". I always ask to myself: why girls can dress short skirt and men can't use a pair of "Bermuda" (a kind of short pants)? Ok, ok… we don't have legs at the heigh of young girls… :))) But it's hot, really hot, somedays.

    Kisses, Gloutch

    PS-I'm sorry for my rusty english!

  19. stephanie –

    i find it funny how many people feel the need to write mean comments simply because their own writing sucks. that and they only have a reader base of… two. people like "bachelor" should come here to post, but shouldn't leave their url – your fans and supporters tend to end up with the final laugh.


  20. I'm an italian boy (from naples) and this is the first time that I read your words. I'll surely come again (even if I don't understand everything you write… my english isn't so good). kiss.

  21. "Mimi" you are such a blogwhore. Applause! Are you commenting on here to try and get some more traffic to your site? Because, this is what you said about Stephanie on your own blog: "I've found many things in life vomit-inducing recently. Stephanie Klein's repulsively onanistic blog, which has just been sold for a six figure sum…"

  22. Good morning Stephanie,

    it's almost 9 A.M. here in Germany and today I am wearing a tight blue jeans à la boot cut (28/32) combined with kick ass pointy brown boots, a nice blue shirt with little white squares on it (and a cool collar), and a jeans jacket with a little button that has a kitten on it. Is that so bad?


  23. fuck David…. wear the shoes anyway! If you love em and they make your day (especially when you're having and "ick" day) screw stupid boys and their stupid opinions. Besides, you payed for them why not enjoy them?

  24. Yep Topcat, I've already had that one pointed out to me by Stephanie. Mind your own business. But I will say I love the writing on this site, and I love some of the stories, but what makes me most want to vomit are the photos and the clothes, because I'm madly jealous that 1) I'm fucking anonymous and it sucks – ie no photos, bar of my orange ass 2) I have shit clothes and no fashion sense.

    and no I'm not commenting trying to get traffic to my site – comments on average only generate around 10-12 hits per day even if you comment on a blog with a lot of traffic like this one. I'm commenting because I have a big mouth, I enjoy this site, and I feel pretty mean that I left a nasty drunken comment on Stephanie's blog once. The other comment – well, I think I make myself want to vomit quite frequently. It's not necessarily a criticism.

    Sorry for the third comment of the day S. Late night article deadline means I'm a cyber-slut at the moment. I feel for you re. the assholes throwing shit your way. Don't respond to any of them, they get a kick like that. Oh, irony.

  25. Hmmm, didn't read the Times, but someone else linked you. Looks like a fun read! I hate it when I buy something special and someone just pisses on it. (Not literally, although that would suck!) Congrats on all the good things going on – hope your blog stays around now that I've found it!

  26. wear the shoes! live life! your writing is real, topical and fun. you remind me of my daily experiences and i wish i had the courage to confront things as you do. i'll keep reading as long as you keep writing. c'mon, wear the shoes again.

  27. Hi Stephanie:
    I am really enjoying your blog and have become somewhat of a regular. I find you hysterical, insightful and entertaining. I can't help but wonder if your scum ex-husband has read your blog and if he's feeling really dumb right now about cheating on you. You seem fabulous and certainly look like a stunner. If you really have personality to match you must be some package.
    Good luck to you!!

  28. what the fuck is up with italians and your blog? u start writing this just to get famous? it seems like one big commercial…

  29. Yeah, strippers did sort of start a trend with clear heels … but you shouldn't limit your fashion based on other people's narrow-minded notions of what is proper – especially a man's. You're better than that. It's not the clothes that make the woman but the woman that makes the clothes, and you *own* them. Don't take no guff.

  30. I am so impressed with the Italians that are sharing their love! The rusty English is soooo charming! Siete gente adorabile!

  31. Wow. Why are people so mean? Well, everyone's a critic but even at my most cricital moments, I still try to find the good in everyone and what they do. Bravo to you Stephanie, if you have haters that means you truly have made it in some sense. Anyway, usually people hate who they are jealous of.

  32. What is wrong with the people commenting on this blog? Holey moley I've never seen so much nastiness in one place in my life! If you're so incensed by what she's writing then by all means don't read it. But you might want to find another outlet for all this vitriol, for Pete's sake. Sheesh!

  33. Hey Stephanie

    I wish you had posted a photo of this pair of shoes!

    Have a great week!

  34. My friend M. totally rocks the clear heels – and she actually bought them at the stripper store. But everyone fawns all over them every time she wears them out.

    She says they are the most comfortable heels ever.

    Your co-worker dude sounds like a total dick.

  35. Hey SK, I was browsing through some Plath and found your epitaph (ew, sorry).

    Out of the ash
    I rise with my red hair
    And I eat men like air.

    –Sylvia Plath "Lady Lazarus"

  36. Clear heels are fine, as long as you don't smell like some sort of Strawberry or flavor of Bubble Yum. That's the giveaway.

  37. For the record, you look amazing in those jeans. Like take you out dancing amazing.

  38. I like the way Tom Wolfe described false compliments in "I Am Charlotte Simmons." He had them rated at different levels: Sarc 1, Sarc 2, etc. I dislike those who employ such a device. It's dishonest, condescending and mean spirited.

  39. enjoy the shoes, enjoy the cab ride, enjoy your populairty,and enjoy making all these jealous people misrable

  40. I didn't know it was against code to ask a stranger where they got something! In fact, i think it's incredibly flattering when some random compliments me. I always divulge details. When you think about how catty and competitive girls can be, for someone to go out of their way is really something.

  41. That's just it Maria—-women can be 'catty' and very competitive. Why should we sacrifice on wearing good quality clothing, or driving a nice luxury car just because other people may make rude remarks due to their jealousy or whatever the reason may be.

    It's sad people can't be happy for one another.

  42. "How much do you get paid to wear them?"
    "More than you've ever seen."

    Anyway, this post has made me decide to dress as a whore for Halloween.

  43. I am experiencing a problem with viewing your page correctlly with the latest version of Opera. Looks fine in IE6 and Firefox however.Hope you have a great day.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.