Wanted: Ukrainian or Russian Fashion Blog

Ok, I know there are a few readers on here from Kyiv and there has been the occasional visitor from Moscow. This query is for you all.I don’t know if you are men or women, but do you know of any Ukrainian or Russian fashion blogs? Or any Ukrainian or Russian fashion magazine sites? Thinking about the devushka style this morning made me really want to see websites that are either aspirational of Russian and/or Ukrainian style or reflective of the street style.

Please, if you know of any, leave their URLs in the comments section below! 🙂

Spaceba!  (did I spell that right? I don’t have a cyrillic keyboard on my computer — yet)

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Ladies Only

Ladies Only!

Ladies Only!

Anyone who follows my Facebook status updates knows the problems I have getting on and off BART at the 24th St. stop. Some of the men there do not behave so gentlemanly. More than once, I have dreamt of ladies-only cars, or at least entrances/exits.

A friend of mine just returned from a trip to Japan. Apparently there, the trains do have such “ladies only” train cars as some men are known not to keep their hands to themselves. I commented on her picture on Facebook saying I wish we had these, the follow-ups were as follows:

Former college calculus tutor:  Apparently this was tried on the Hudson & Manhattan Trains (now PATH) back in 1909. The public ridiculed the idea and it didn’t last.

Me:  Yeah, I don’t imagine it going over so well in ultra liberal SF, but I so wish it would.

College friend:  And I imagine that a good number of San Franciscans would welcome a single-sex BART car!

Me:  Hahahh…yeah! 🙂 That is true. But then wouldn’t we need a “gender-optional” car too?

I just feel that Ladies of *any* sexual-orientation wouldn’t be so grope-y or stalky.

The Ukrainian has suggested, in a very un-Russian way (he is, after all, a huge fan of the devushka look), that maybe I should start dressing dowdy to avoid attracting attention. But I don’t think that would work. Dowdy dress leads to dowdy feelings and my resulting depression would probably invite some creep to “cheer” me by touching or leering at me. Some men are just creeps. There is nothing to be done. Except, maybe, do as the Japanese do and have some “Ladies Only” cars.

Russian men bring you flowers

From 2005 – 2006, I lived in the Netherlands and had a fairly serious Dutch boyfriend. One night, in February 2006 just before Valentine’s Day, my boss invited me and my boyfriend over for a weeknight dinner, prepared by his lovely wife girlfriend-of-18-years. Midway through the meal, the conversation migrated from American vs. Dutch traditions of Valentine’s Day presents to American vs. Dutch traditions of romantic presents for your beloved in general. I made the observation that Dutch men do not seem to bother with flowers and jewelry for their wives and girlfriends.

“That is true,” said the boss’s wife. “If you want flowers, you have to buy your own.”

“That’s boring,” I replied. “Where’s the charm?! The chivalry?! The romance?!”

“Dutch men are just never going to give you romance, ” the wife girlfriend declared. “In 18 years that we have been together, I have never once received flowers or jewelry from him.” These final few words were delivered with a very pointed look at my boss.

“I gave you flowers once,” my then-boyfriend interjected, looking smug, as if he had won some sort of Dutch-I’m-so-chivalrous contest.

“Yeah, once. For Christmas. That’s it, so it doesn’t really count,” I replied. He wasn’t going to get off so easily for being lazy in the romance department.

Hei, ja! I gave you earrings once! Those red ones!” my boss exclaimed in victory, looking at his wife girlfriend as he leaned back in his chair with his hands behind his head, smug as well. He could be redeemed!!

“Earrings? Earrings?” the wife turned my boss.  “No, those were red pimples for my ears! Tiny red pimples! They were the most divorce-worthy present you could give me!”

Not being able to bear a lifetime without flowers, chivalry and romance, I left the Dutchman a mere 7 weeks later (ok, maybe there were a few other reasons too — but they would’ve been more bearable with a little romance to take the edge off). Barely a year passed before I met the Ukrainian. A man with exquisite taste in jewelry, and a regular deliverer of flowers to our kitchen table. He always does it at a moment when I’m not looking, so that even though the flowers are a regular appearance, they are always a surprising appearance, thus keeping the romance alive!

Last Saturday, after the exquisitely painful experience at the vet where we agonized over just how many unnecessary tests and procedures could we deprive our dogs of, we went to Trader Joe’s on 9th and Bryant. We did our shopping, came to the checkout line, and suddenly I remember that I had forgotten to buy the dogs their weekly treats of SoftAndChewyPeanutButterYumYumTreatsForDogs. I stepped just 7 feet away from the cart, turned around, and studied the shelves until I found the box I was looking for. I turned back around, spied out cart, and saw the gorgeous pink flowers filling the cart’s child seat.

It was romance-at-the-grocery-store. Proof that being good towards your wife can be the smallest gesture of love in the most mundane moment. No special occasion needed.