The Man Who Singlehandedly Saved American Idol.

I feel like I have done my state a disservice by not talking about American Idol this year.

After all, three of the TOP SEVEN finalists are from Alabama. They call themselves…Alabama Power. Okay that’s cheesy but my hometown music venue, WorkPlay, even got a shout-out last week!

But.

Although I’ve enjoyed the Alabama connections and I adore the city of Slapout (the name, not the actual place – just like everyone else in Alabama, I’ve never actually visited Slapout), that’s not what has really stuck out to me this season.

It’s Harry.

I’ve always been a huge American Idol fan. Since it started, which also happened to be the first year Chris and I were married, I’ve watched all but two seasons – the first was the year Fantasia won. I’m not sure what happened that year, but I just completely missed it.

And the second was last season.

I tried – really, I did – but Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were the most unsavory characters ever introduced to television (seriously – they beat the Kardashians and Jersey Shore and I thought only Satan in a string bikini could do that), creating fake cat fights and diva moments in a poor attempt to draw us all in through the drama.

It was painful and I couldn’t stomach it – especially since I have a guilty soft spot for Mariah’s husband, Nick Cannon – all I could do was feel sorrow for him and his choices. I sadly bemoaned that it appeared the reign of American Idol was over – the only redeeming character left was Ryan Seacrest, who will always have a corner of my heart, sweet southern boy that he is.

But this year, when I heard the judge’s lineup, I felt it was only right to give them one more chance to fix it.

And fix it they did.

Although J. Lo and Keith Urban make great complementary judges, Harry Connick Jr. is the clear show stealer.

He is so charming he actually takes away some of the charmlight from Ryan – something I wasn’t prepared for.

Harry’s list of positive characteristics are, in my mind,

~ He is nice YET honest, due obviously to his southern upbringing,
~ His gorgeous eyes,
~ He cares about these kid’s messages and images, and discouraged girls from projecting sluttishness,
~ His eyes,
~ He actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to music and gives the contestants extraordinarily useful advice in the areas of vocal technique so as to save their voices – something no judge has ever done before,
~ And did I mention his eyes?
~ (Also, he has nice lips.)

I was confused as to why I’d never found HCJ necessarily attractive in the past – especially since I’m a total sucker for Hope Floats. (I’m admitting all kinds of unpopular taste in this post, aren’t I?) And then, one night, it all became clear.

Harry seems to have had Pre-American-Idol Plastic Surgery.

For my entire life he had an awkwardly crooked chin and therefore smile, and all of a sudden now, that crookedness is completely gone.

Behold.

Before – the awkward, slightly-odd HCJ (except for the notated recent picture):

Harry Connick Jr Pre copy

After – the new and improved HCJ:

Harry Connick Jr American Idol copy

If you can’t tell in my tiny Google Images screenshots, go Google him yourself. You’ll see.

Obviously, I immediately googled “Has Harry Connick Jr had plastic surgery?” because I learned long ago to always ask The Google questions.

And oddly enough, there was nothing stating that this has occurred. I felt as if I’d decoded the Rosetta Stone, and I and I alone held this important piece of celebrity information.

How are people not talking about this?!

Have we as a society moved past talking about celebrity’s obvious facial changes?

Surely not.

The man has gone from always looking as if he’s smelling something putrid to a seriously charming gentleman and no one seems to have noticed – it’s as if we were all cast under his spell and are repeating, in a dreamlike state, “He’s always been this way…he’s always been this way.”

Not that I’m complaining about his choice of Plastic Surgery. If I had the time and resources, I have a large-sized post-it note filled with things I’d like to get fixed about myself.

This is simply about my amazement at the fact that no one is talking about this.

So let’s talk.

Guys.

Harry Connick Jr. has had a very recent plastic surgery.

Have ya noticed?

The Effect of Frozen on Marital Relationships.

I told you we had a problem.

This was a typical yet random text exchange between my husband and I yesterday. All because I answered a question with “Yeah”…

 

Frozen Text One

And then a few minutes later…

Frozen Text Two

Okay. “A problem” was an understatement.

Slightly Off Target.

Dear Target,

I love you. I really do. I adore your wide aisles, your children’s clothes and shoes, your lack of Walmartian bedlam, your maternity camisoles that actually go over a pregnant belly unlike Motherhood Maternity’s which don’t make it past a gestating ribcage, your pleasingly geometric notebooks and bedspreads and various other pretty things, your Starbucks in every store, and your selection of chocolate.

However.

Even though all those rumors of you being a French company are false, it seems that you don’t understand the English Language. Or at least with the same breadth and detail as us consumers.

Clearance. What does the word mean to you? To us, and by us I mean all humans, we hear “clear” which means that you’re trying to get rid of an item – perhaps seasonal, perhaps not popular, perhaps discontinued.

Clearing out unwanted inventory is something we like being a part of. But only when properly motivated.

And so, “clearance” better mean “50% off or more.”

Target Clearance{Image by Dan Studnicky}

That’s right, Target. 15% off is NEVER clearance. It’s barely enough to make me consider getting something I do need, let alone something I don’t.

You need to take a moment to recognize that Publix routinely marks regular products down to “Buy One Get One Free”, or effectively 50% off, and doesn’t even make a big deal about it.

Every. Single. Day.

I know, right? I bet you need a diaper just thinking about it.

Too bad for you they’re not *really* on sale.

{Image by Queen Bee Coupons}

Publix has opened Oz’s curtain for us – we now know that you big retailers are capable of charging us half as much and still making money.

And you need to quit lying to us.

So. For you and for all of your retail friends, here is a helpful glossary.

Good Deal: You have my permission to use this term when your regular price beats over half of your competitor’s prices. I appreciate you letting me know about your good deals and I will reward you accordingly. However, you need to know that this term alerts me to the fact that you may never have this item on sale, so I might watch for it in your competitor’s sale papers.
Other acceptable terms: Everyday low price, everyday values.

Reduced: You may use this term when you’ve lowered your prices by ten cents or more. Don’t use it on a penny – we’ll see that and Instagram your ridiculousness in a hot second. And just so you know, 15% off definitely falls under the “Reduced” category – so invest in more Reduced signs and less Clearance signs.
Other acceptable terms: markdown, price reduction.

Coupon: DO NOT print me a coupon at the register for 25¢ off six cans of dog food. First of all I don’t have a dog and second of all if I did I wouldn’t, couldn’t, would rather die before keeping up with a piece of paper for two weeks that will save me 4.17 cents off of each item. I could pick up that much money in the parking lot if I needed it.

Here’s the coupon guideline. If it’s under a dollar, I won’t ever use it. And really if I’m being honest, if it’s under five dollars, I’ll probably forget I have it. Okay – if you really want me to use your stupid coupon it better be fifty dollars off a product that costs ten.

Sale: To be officially recognized as a sale, the item in question must be at least 25% off. NO EXCEPTIONS. 24% off is simply a markdown – don’t try to fleece us. Sale also inherently implies that it will be off-sale at some point in the future, so if that is not the case, you may call it a Permanent Markdown – just because the price is permanent does not a clearance make.

Clearance: Using the term “Clearance” for less than 50% off is like calling a bumblebee honey – it’s WRONG, and I get really upset if I accidentally bite. Half off is the absolute MINIMUM, guys. When you find yourselves starting to falter on this issue, just remember Publix. BOGO every day.

Speaking of,

BOGO: BOGO stands for “Buy one, get one free.” It does NOT stand for “Buy one, get one half off” or “Buy one, get one 25% off” or “Buy One Get this other random piece of crap for free.” If you break this sacred rule, then I will never be your friend.

Blowout: A blowout must be 75% off or more (unless we’re talking about the hair process, in which case it’s a stupid name.) Blowout implies “this is the best deal you’ll ever find on this product.” And, as I’m a good deal finder, you better work for it. 90% off is preferred.

Event: Ain’t nobody got time for events, unless you’re giving away free stuff. And it better be an entire cart of free stuff. So if you’re gonna have a Tampon Event and I read your fine print that tampons are 20% off and THAT’S what you’re calling an event, I’m gonna sic all my Event Planner friends on your PR people. And Event Planners are a group of humans that are not fun when they’re indignant – take my word for it.

There. That’s not too hard to follow, is it?

THEN WHY AM I STILL SEEING 15% OFF CLEARANCE IN ALL THE STORES?!

I’ll be practicing my calm breathing until you fix it.