Friday, April 25, 2008

Oprah coined it first: Shlumpadinka

Shlumpadinka – Per Oprah, “A woman who dresses like she has completely given up.”

I think I must be the last person on the planet to discover this word. Oprah has evidently been using the term for years. If you don the same threadbare black shirt every day before shopping, if you discover you haven’t washed your face midway through the grocery store, only to discover that you’re sporting raccoon eyes, voila! You’re having a shlumpadinka day.

We all have our shlumpadinka moments. In my case, I actually have shlumpadinka cars. When I’m not driving in to my day job, and I’m just dropping my daughter off to school before heading right back to my laptop in the dining room, you’ll find me wearing ancient sweats, a holy t-shirt (not in a blessed way), and—yes—even traces of yesterday’s makeup that didn’t completely wash off the night before. That’s mondo shlumpadinka mode. When I’m in that frame of mind and dress, I drive my ancient Infiniti J30, which looks like it’s been through a fender-ding machine.

But when I’m pulled together, hair blown dry, outfit killer (or my closest proximity to it), made up to the moon, I wouldn’t be caught dead in the dent-mobile. I roar out of the driveway in my snazzy little Z4, happy to be stared out by guys half my age (even though they’re probably really looking at the car).

Oprah coined the term shlumpadinka; but as a writer, I feel compelled to come up with an antonym. What would be the opposite of shlumpadinka? Snazzarazz? Okay, so when I’m in snazzarazz mode, it’s Z4 and minis. Shlumpadinka means drugstore underwear and clothes that scare the crows off our roof.

What about you? Do you have a favorite shlumpadinka outfit? And what’s its snazzarazz opposite, for you?


Terri Thayer said...

I never heard this. I LOVE it! I'm a first class Shlumpadinka. In fact, one of the bad things about having a book signing in my local Starbucks was losing my anonymity. I want to be able to write there with slightly greasy (really, really slightly) and baggy sweats. Oh well, such is the cost of fame. Little tiny bit of fame.

Great post, Kathyrn.

Am I the only one not at Malice? Sniff, sniff.

Monica Ferris said...

I, too, had never heard of a shlumpadinka, though I could serve as an ad for the look. Actually, my best shlumpakinka outfit is old, illfitting pajamas under a huge dead-dog-gray flannel bathrobe and slippers made of blackened moose hide. Uncombed hair, of course. It's my favorite work outfit. The opposite snazzarazz outfit is a white wool suit, yellow-green silk shell, silver shoes and purse, green hat with a "brush" and buckle set with brilliants on one side, and a long green, gray, and pale green fringed scarf draped around my shoulders. A "killer" outfit that won a prize in the hat contest at Malice Domestic one year.

kennisa said...

Well, you are not the last person who knows what shlumpadinka is. Yesterday I watch some episodes of Oprah in Indonesian TV channel, and I just discover what that means. And I realized, sometimes I'm in the shlumpadinka moments, and that's quite often.
Nice blog, you have!