Thursday, July 23, 2009
As a bright, but very tall and skinny, shy child with ADHD in the 1960's, like Tatum Bass, I was unfairly and relentlessly picked on, badgered and bullied at an exclusive private Episcopalian girl's school for no other reason than our family did not fit the mold.
We were Yankee transplants into a unique Southern society of First Families of Virginia, known locally as the FFV's. These families traced their lineages back as much as 13 generations, from the 7 Presidents of Virginia to King Carter and Mary Randolph. One basically has to be born into this society to truly fit the mold.
My grades went from straight A's in Primer to straight D's by 5th Grade, when my parents wisely pulled me out. I had stopped talking, and was the most mortally unhappy ten year old child. By the grace of God, I eventually thrived at another girl's High School and women's College. Single and professionally successful, spent the bulk of my 20's and 30's trying to fit back into the social mold in which I perceived I had failed.
It was not until I was married at 41 that I figured out life on the fringe, rather than inside the fishbowl, is so much more fulfilling, interesting and fun for me.
If one's family fits the mold, I am sure it is lovely to grow up with all that structure, security and social connections from the "1/2 of the 1 percent," but the pinnacle of perfection Miss Porter's pushes does not guarantee success, happiness or respect in life.
Hopefully, Miss Bass and her family will eventually accept her experience at Miss Porter's as a lucky lesson , learn from it, and move on.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Turns out, Chase has read the entire book. While driving him to summer camp last week, he stated a few pointers he would not be using until he turns 21, but he had found the majority of the book useful. Yes, he is in a gifted school and reads at a 10th grade level, but he's only 13. It is definitely a different thirteen than way back when.
Chase then commented on one pointer from the book. He said when young men go to parties and receive "Hello Air Kisses" from young women on the cheek, they should not wipe off the lipstick (possibly insulting the "Air Kiss" giver) but wear it as a badge of honor (of sorts). Then, other young women will notice it and wipe it off, thus, gaining double attention.
If I do say so myself, I am so proud of my brilliant, diplomatic, cleaver Nephew although he does need to work on his table manners even if he is a "lefty."
Do the producers listen to their anchors? Do people even listen to themselves? What about the screen writers? Commercials. If the media personalities do not stop writing scripts and talking like this, in this age of automatic technology and instant messages, how are we ever going to stop it? Are our brains on automatic pilot also?
Trends come and go. Habits die hard. Unfortunately, Valley Girls live on.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
One can behave with the proper manners and know all the rules of etiquette, and still not fit the mold. Fitting the mold is unspoken and unwritten, just like the part in one's hair.
Mannerisms, habits, aura, body language, any childhood lessons and training, sidebar comments, off the cuff conversation, family history and upbringing all add up to complete the whole person.
So, when you interview for a job, join a club, or begin dating someone seriously, you are being perceived and judged. First impressions will get your foot in the door if your impression is favorable, but what about your staying power. Longevity and upward mobility within the organization you join is when the "parting of the hair" counts. Some people say perception is everything. But what about intent? The way one is perceived is not always the way one intended to be perceived.
Corporations, private clubs, community organizations, relationships, marriage. Life is full of change. With change comes new circumstances, new relationships, new perceptions by others.
When you interview for a job, start a new relationship or school, join a new club or organization, be sure you like the entity you are joining. Yes, they must like you and perceive you as fitting into their mold to accept you, but you also must like them. Know for yourself when you are a good fit. Hopefully, you will have the confidence and self knowledge too know you will be a good fit, just as you know you part your hair the way they do.
Friday, July 17, 2009
- When in a hurry preparing dinner, before placing the potatoes in the water, cut them lengthwise instead of across. They will be ready in less time. Also, boiling potatoes is inexpensive. Extra potato leftovers can be smashed and shaped into fried potato pancakes for weekend breakfast.
- Try sweeping wooden stairs with a soft, medium sized paintbrush. It will get into the corners and in between the rails easily. Hopefully, you will notice a big difference.
- To quickly and easily pare young potatoes and carrots, soak them in cold water for 15 minutes then brush heartily with a stiff scrubbing brush. This method removes the skin and prevents one's hands from becoming stained.
- To remove paint stains from window-panes, rub with the edge of a pencil eraser or penny.
- My mother has always cleaned her windows with a window cleaner and a soft cloth, polished with newspaper. This method helps the windows retain their luster for a long while.
- To clean the interior of a burnt aluminium saucepan or pot, fill the pot with water, add an onion and bring to a boil. The burnt matter will rise to the top leaving your pot clean and bright once again.
- To make fresh summer mint sauce, pick off mint leaves and wash, then sprinkle sugar over the mint before chopping and crushing. Enjoy!
- To clean cut glass or crystal bowls or decanters, clean with small pieces of peeled potato and equal parts of water and vinegar. Shake or stir for a few minutes.
- Keep garden flowers fresh in a vase with salt added to lukewarm water.
- A teaspoon of lemon juice will often relieve a headache. My Great-grandmother also drank a cup of a mixture of lemon juice added to hot water every morning. It is allegedly good for one's complexion.
Save your money and time and enjoy the summer!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It was pointed out to me by a very dear friend from College on Facebook, I forgot to mention the men and their jewelry needs from my Blog entitled: "One Only Needs 10 Pieces of Jewelry" dated June 20, 2009. Well, I do not know Men's Haberdashery as well as women's fashion, so more comments are welcome, please!
Men only need 4-6 Pieces of Jewelry
- A thin dress watch with a leather or gross grain strap.
- A Rolex
- A gold family crest ring worn on the right pinkie finger.
- A sterling St. Christopher medal necklace worn with a thin sterling link chain.
- Dog Tags if Military.
- A thin gold or platinum wedding ring with Jeffersonian beading if married or civilly joined together.
Remember, simpler is always better. Coco Chanel was right when she stated: Take 1 accessory off before leaving the house."
Friday, July 3, 2009
June 25, 1922
I received your letter yesterday. Was glad to hear from you and that you are well. We are all well here, but it seems like we are so tired all the time. We have been getting up at 4:30am for a long time and that is hard on anyone.
People are rushing the men for coal now as threshing will commence this coming week. I think our wheat is pretty good, but the oats are poor. We will put it in the barn for feed.
Father says if you want to go to the Teacher's College this summer, he will send you $100 of your money right away and will try to pay you the money your Grandmother Hannah owes you in the Fall. You must be very careful, though, to not spend it for anything you don't have to buy, for when it is gone, you will be out of money. Will it cover your tuition cost and your expenses? Maybe you need it worse right now than you will later?
You ought not let your Grandma Poague wash for you if she is not able. I am afraid she will over do herself.
Dr. Gray's folks went on a trip out that way and Mrs. Gray sad they intended going to Greeley. Did you see them?
It is awful hot and dry here now. We are needing rain. We are short of water here at the house. Only some in the drinking water well. I am frying chicken for dinner. I wish you were here to eat some.
Mr. Jones of Kansas City, left his bird dog here for us to keep. There has been a party of K.C. people down at the place, but they are gone now.
I am glad you have so many nice places to go there in Greeley, and can go. We sure don't see much here. I would like to see something of interest sometimes. I wish we could make enough money to do some other way. Maybe we can yet. Write as soon as you get this letter.
Well, I will send the money to the Clinton Bank.
p.s. I am glad that you were not tempted to give up your schooling now in order to make money. You were just right in that decision.
Love always, Mama