Friday, December 6, 2013
It appears I have ventured into some extremely controversial territory judging from yesterday's comments. Why is it that the nastiest comments are always, always anonymous?
Even my daughter said I was a "little harsh," and then when I explained to her what I was trying to say she said: "That's not the way I read it. Maybe you should explain."
So, please, let me explain. . . When I mentioned beneath the picture of the "mom" jeans that they looked like skinny jeans, I was not saying that people on my flight who were wearing said jeans were overweight, I was saying they were wearing jeans that were much larger than the ones in the picture. Their jeans were huge on them, falling off in some cases..
Also, I don't doubt for an instant that the woman in the sweat shorts was kind, intelligent and charming and I was not referring to her reputation. I was referring to the fact that when we travel, by the way we dress, by the way we act, by the way we interact as tourists we are ambassadors for our country. We become cliches. (Every nationality does.) Think about it. Some are good generalisations, others less so.
I have a thing for message T-shirts and sweatshirts. It's just me, you can agree or not and it's not an American phenomenon. I think it's rather silly to be a billboard after a certain age. There were a lot of them on the plane, I also see them in Paris.
I do not believe I mentioned Walmart, nor would I disparage hardworking people doing the best they can. I don't see the rapport between what I thought I was saying and a person's character. Nor did I say anything about how Americans should aspire to look like the French or outfitting themselves to some sartorial standard I may have set. I was simply saying, whatever happened to dressing nicely, making a bit of an effort? Isn't that one of life's little pleasures? It is not an economic argument.
If that's how some of you read yesterday's post, I apologize.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
I could not believe what the vast majority of the passengers were wearing and yes, I'm sorry to say, the worst offenders were women. Sometimes I wonder whether it's simply because women have waaaaay too many options to make bad decisions that they end up decked out in the most appalling outfits.
It seems that the overriding argument for air travel attire frumpery is "comfort first." Now, let me get this straight: Where is the contradiction between comfort and style? I've never been able to grasp that proposition.
Let me give you an example of a few get-ups I saw. First, my absolute favorite (I actually couldn't believe it):
|Trust me I couldn't make this up.|
Her husband was sporting a pair of pop jeans, I'm assuming that that is the correct description because they were basically mom jeans, but on a man, with an extra large yellow sweatshirt and dirty old running shoes. He chose to wear socks with his. He accessorized with a bulging fanny pack.
|Compared to what I was seeing, these would not be mom or pop jeans, they would be skinny jeans.|
|Puh-leese. . .|
Reputations are built and destroyed on facades. I'm sorry; it's true. That's just the way it is. First impressions count. Long before we can open our mouths to prove how incredibly charming we are we've already spoken.
My next post will be some en route travel dressing ideas which will prove the premise that comfort and chic are not mutually exclusive.
Monday, December 2, 2013
|The "Nadia" by Mauboussin.|
Friday afternoon while My-Reason-For-Living-In-France (MRFLIF) and I were out buying bread and vegetables and getting our flu shots, our house was completely ransacked, torn apart from top-to-bottom. The only piece of jewelry I have today is the simple, wide gold band inserted with flat rubies, sapphires and minuscule diamonds I was wearing. It was the first gift he gave me; we were not yet married.
Before heading out I considered slipping on my "everyday" jewellery which includes: Cartier tank watch and Trinity bracelet and an antique gold chain bracelet, once belonging to MRFLIF's mother. I always wear these pieces together.
When we walked through the front door it appeared furniture was missing, but a few seconds later we realized something was very wrong. Drawers had been ripped out of every table and chest, upended with the contents strewn and flung from wall-to-wall. We had to step over debris to get into the house. Two Louis XVI pieces of furniture were seriously damaged, one maybe irreparably.
Bread was thrown haphazardly, a sugar bowl emptied, and for whatever bizarre reason the thieves flung a bowl of fresh haricots verts I planned to cook for dinner, from the dining room, through the living room to the front door. Also next to the front door were pieces of Brie they had taken out of the refrigerator and ripped into two-inch pieces.
Probably one -- the gendarmes think there were two or three, plus a lookout -- broke Andrea's bedroom window in the back of the house for entry and then opened two doors to apparently let in their accomplices. They closed the doors when they left.
So, bottom line I have no jewellery except for the above mentioned ring. The gendarmes said professionals (and even the semi-pros) have metal detectors that can be set to the metal they are seeking. They are quite the time savers I imagine. In home burglaries, gold is the metal of choice. That's why they seemed to be infuriated by my considerable collection of turquoise, coral and quartz pieces and my bijoux de fantasie, which they dropped on the floor and even stepped on. Some things were crushed.
How does one measure the value of such a loss? Monetarily speaking, it's somewhat considerable. But then what?
|Elsa Peretti's diamonds by the yard. I had already given this necklace to Andrea.|
|"Just don't call me a 'police dog' and I'm not a guard dog either, don't make me have to wag my tail."|
Translation: ". . . a Germand shepherd was present, but it (she) is not a guard dog."
We didn't think Charlotte was a guard dog, but now we have proof of our suspicions. The gendarmes told us we were lucky that she is not. They might have hurt her if she had tried to protect pretty, useless things. That would have been a tragedy.
The rest is just "stuff" and where are memories but in our heads and hearts after all?
Monday, November 25, 2013
|Digest this: "Moules/Frites as accessories by the Belgian designer, Marcel Broodhaers for Ligia Dias.|
Well, of course: Moules/Frites s'il vous plait. I'm not certain whether mussels and French fries are considered a national culinary art form, but I am relatively sure they are a cultural food staple. And, when they're good, they are really, really good.
An aside: Often I ask My-Reason-For-Living-In-France if he likes some food or other and he always -- always -- says, "If it's good." Whereupon I tell him, with a little tone in my voice if you know what I mean, that I'm not asking him whether he likes something that is mediocre. Clearly I'm asking him if he likes something when it's good for heaven's sake.
OK then, back to moules/frites. . . What is the last thing you would probably think about when the subject comes up? Chances are it would be wearing them around your neck or wrist for example.
Am I right?
Well, think again.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
|Covetable Verdura cuffs.|
I have a thing about jewelry. I tend to be fickle with the exception of earrings. With earrings I am unfailingly loyal. It's all the rest. For a few years or months it might be bangles, then necklaces, a string or two of pearls, sometimes I pull out my charm bracelet, occasionally a big brooch, but these days as in about one month, it's all about cuff bracelets. They seem to make my predominantly black and sometimes navy ensembles look polished, dressed up, elegant.
|Lapis on "gold wash" cuff by Evelyn Knight, $115.|
|From Splenderosa, $45.|
|Splenderosa again, $75.|
|Evelyn Knight's malachite embellished cuff, $115.|
|If the above baubles are too reasonably priced for you, let's not forget the beautiful, liquid lines of an Elsa Peretti cuff. This one, from her "Bone" collection, rings in at $14,950 from Tiffany, of course.|
|Kenneth Jay Lane, $59 if you go here.|
More tomorrow. Remember, My-Reason-For-Living-In-France says I'm an "excessive.
Monday, November 18, 2013
|Look at this. . . color on the streets of Paris.|
Until then. . .
|My lovely pharmacist, Christine.|
Even though I could open a small scarf boutique with what I have in my closet, looking at all these scarves makes me want to add something new to my collection.
Friday, November 15, 2013
|It doesn't really matter if we have heard this many times. Repetition for emphasis. . .|
In my experience nothing is farther from the truth.
I also have a friend, one of the most successful men ever in one of the most competitive, often vicious businesses in the world. When one talks about him, the word "nice" is often among the adjectives used to describe him. He is considerably more than that of course and he is pleased that his peers and employees -- past and present -- think of him as "nice" because he feels that means he has been fair and kind.
I heard that compliment among others applied to my dear friend yesterday when John G. W. McCord, the executive director of the Chicago Alliance Francaise, and I were reminiscing about people we coincidentally both knew.
Where am I going with this stream of consciousness you may be wondering? My point is that I have been showered with kindness by truly nice people people I know well and love; those I have met relatively recently and are now friends; others I know through blogging and are friends (though we have never met in the real world); and the sweetness of strangers in regard to my book.
When I talk to My-Reason-For-Living-In-France by telephone, which I do twice each day, he says he can't hear the happiness in my voice. I tell him I am in the midst of an out of body experience -- which doesn't really translate so I have to expound -- and it is difficult for me to absorb what's happening and at times I feel as if I'm looking in at the impossibility of my life. In other words the joy, the disbelief, the pure thrill of it all has me in some sort of shock state.
The luncheon at the Alliance Francaise yesterday was so much fun with stunningly elegant women who were kind enough to come to the luncheon.
Here's what I'm hoping, but I must work it out with MRFLIF: that I come back in January for a month or two and maybe meet more of you. Perhaps there will be a possibility for a little book tour. Perhaps. In today's publishing world to have a good, old-fashioned "meet-and-greet" one must be a rock star.
We shall see.
|You truly are the gift that keeps on giving. . . and giving.|
You'll see what I mean about kindness (and superb writing by Grace Ali), if you click here.