Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Self-Aware Mandy

There is a certain strain of the Mandy population that is composed of women who are aware of their position and define themselves through minor rebellions and humor. These Mandys function by conforming to the standard role of womanhood, but and also by “breaking” those norms by doing something outrageous like buying a vibrator.

These Mandys like to unwind by drinking cosmopolitans like they do in Sex and the City, reading adult Judy Blume novels, or shopping. It is very important to these Mandys to have girl friends to share secrets and have a good time with. The ultimate example of self-aware Mandys is The Red Hat Society, whose main goal is to laugh, but “underneath the frivolity, [they] share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes [them] next.”


There are various forms of self-aware Mandy clubs. This one, for example, is called The Fat Old Moms:

"This is a group of women that I gathered together to share a special bonding time at our church camp. We laughed, got tattoos, had our pictures taken (thanks to Don Wooden!!), enjoyed fine food, chick flicks, shopping and some relaxing spa time. We hiked, went on a hay rack ride and just treated ourselves to some ME time. They all want to do it again next year, so I guess it was a hit!"


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How to Spot a Mandy: Wine

Although Tammys and Mandys are both known to drink wine, Mandy is more likely because they do it in Europe, it’s classy, and often doesn’t count as real alcohol. Mandys are just as capable of alcoholism as Tammys; it’s the motivation that is different. Tammys drink because things are hopeless; Mandy drinks because she is not living up to standards she knows she is capable of. Just like any spectrum of alcohol consumption, Mandy’s relationship with wine can range from “just a glass with some secret telling” to “Aunt Linda can’t get off the couch” to “it’s time to confront the cheating husband in front of the neighbors”. But she never gets topless like Tammy would.

Mandys with their wine:

There is a specific, complex type of Tammy that drinks wine. Here is just the tip of the intriguing iceberg:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Earth and Heaven: Tammy and Mandy

Although the yin yang sign has been universally avoided since the end of 7th grade, it can’t be denied that its Wikipedia definition is essentially describing Tammy and Mandy.

"The concept of yin and yang (or earth and heaven) describes two opposing and, at the same time, complementary (completing) aspects of any one phenomenon (object or process) or comparison of any two phenomena. They are universal standards of quality at the basis of the systems of correspondence seen in most branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy."

  • Yin [Tammy] [earth] qualities are characterized as passive, dark, negative, downward-seeking, consuming and corresponds to the night.
  • Yang [Mandy] [heaven] qualities are characterized as active, light, positive, upward-seeking, producing and corresponds to the daytime.

Furthermore, Tammy and Mandy represent the last remaining groups that enjoy the yin yang sign. Tammy likes it because it’s something you can easily have permanently tattooed on your body in so many different forms that they will need to be catalogued at a later date. Some examples:

And Mandy likes it because you can do stuff like this with it:

Tammy Profession: The Crossing Guard

Before doing research on the school crossing guard, I assumed I would find a good portion of them to be Mandys, being that Mandys enjoy children and go to great lengths to protect them, especially their own.
It turns out that assuming all female crossing guards look like this:

is like assuming that all female construction workers look like this:

It seems to be that Tammys have a stranglehold over the crossing guard profession:

Editorial Correction: White Man With Palm

On April 24th, I asserted that this man is a Tammy based solely on the muscle shirt and mustache, ignoring the obvious clues that this man is in fact a Mandy [I have since then removed the picture from the post]. I now know how some married women feel when their husbands come out of the closet. All the signs were there; I just didn't want to see them.

My sister successfully argues the case:

"i'm a little bit concerned that the man holding an enormous palm frond has been classified as a "tammy." the course guidelines established early on in this endeavor make it clear that tammys MAY in fact become attached to inanimate objects (this includes plants, which live but do not move) that they cannot fuck, drink, or destroy. however, the nature of a tammy's attachment to an inanimate object is always practical, not sentimental. this guy obviously loves that palm frond. he wants to caretake it--tuck it up into his mandy-ish vagina. i'm wondering if you could clarify your thinking for me in classifying said dude as a tammy. is there a feature of the photograph i'm missing? do you think it's important to adhere to set guidelines in identifying tammy and mandy, or is it more appropriate to allow ourselves flexibility and, perhaps, gut instinct?"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Featured Mandy Website: Elizabeth Lee Designs For Breastfeeding Moms

Elizabeth Lee is a mother of six who started a site for mothers who have an actual interest in sewing their own clothes, as described in her greeting:

Welcome to where you will find a wealth of information that will help you as you embark on the grand adventure of motherhood. A little over twenty years ago, I began this business as young mom with just one baby. I designed nursing clothing and created the patterns you see on our website. As I had 5 additional children, I wove the business in and about my family as I worked to provide the very best in nursing wear designs.

Here are some of the featured design patterns for moms:

So Close, So Far Away

Friday, April 25, 2008

How to Spot a Tammy: Smoking

Now that it’s not 1965 anymore, it’s hard to find an American middle aged woman smoker who isn’t a Tammy. Few Mandys can withstand the health hazards, judgment and pressure to quit smoking; and if they do, they are probably no longer Mandys. Cigarettes are so critical to the Tammy/Mandy dichotomy that they can actually nudge a Mandy into being a Tammy. But remember, a smoker may always be a Tammy but a Tammy might not always be a smoker, as demonstrated in this inspirational story.

Tammy smokers [click to enlarge]:

Mandys do get a good laugh pretending to smoke, though. The supposed entertainment lies in the fact that she would never actually smoke.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tammy versus Mandy: White Men

Although I would rather sit in a locked car than delve into an interaction with white men like those in the above picture, I thought I would provide some examples of Tammy and Mandy that consider themselves men. But even though they likely have penises, they are not a huge leap away from the deemed originals.

I. Standard man Tammys are really easy to spot. They are exactly what you thought they would be because they are interchangeable with an original Tammy.

II. And some Mandy men are obvious:

And others look like this. These are summer/winter versions of the same Mandy, even though they are not literally the same person.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Closeted Tammys

It's important to click to enlarge

In some circles of Mandy friends, there is a closeted Tammy. This Tammy usually spends some self-hating time trying to fit in and be a Mandy by eating Dove chocolate at work and caring what her son has to say. Eventually this Tammy will come to terms with herself and come out to her friends through an email forward that is unconventionally inappropriate, such as:

Several years ago, Great Britain funded a study to determine why the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft. The study took two years and cost over $180,000. The results concluded that the reason the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft is to provide the man with more pleasure during sex. After the results were published, the French declared that the British were wrong and decided to conduct their own study of the same subject. After three years of research and a cost in excess of $250,000, they concluded that the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft to provide the woman with more sexual pleasure. When the results of the French study were released, Newfoundland decided to conduct its own study. So, after nearly three weeks of intensive research and a cost of around $75, the Newfie's study was complete. They came to the conclusion that the reason the head of a man's penis is larger than the shaft is to prevent his hand from flying off and hitting him in the forehead.

To Tammy’s surprise, her Mandy friends will find her mild lack of email forward boundaries exotic and appealing and they will remain friends. It is the Tammy equivalent of what happened to Ellen Degeneres with her sexuality, which is interesting because the closeted Tammy is the only one who doesn't watch the Ellen show.

Tammy and Mandy Overlap: Horses

Both Tammy and Mandy can really get into horses. For Tammy, a horse is like a motorcycle that is alive; and for Mandy, horses are somehow irrevocably related to being a princess. Mandys also like to do things like this website.


Another thing to happily agree upon is where one's jeans should sit on the body while riding.

Tammys [Click on image to enlarge]

Mandys [Click on image to enlarge]