Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Me

My last post in February, before I disappeared for many months, involved Academy Award fashion. I want to incorporate my opinions on those fashions at some point soon. In all honesty though, and in my humble opinion, I remember being slightly uninspired. I hope upon further viewing I can form a better impression. At the moment, however, I am going to discuss something else...

In the past I have headed toward the question of what my personal style is and almost answered it, but then had to stop short. I think I feared the answer because it seems so real and final. I suppose many people would claim that personal style evolves and not to worry about getting stuck. However, it has to start somewhere. Right? Where my personal style starts is the issue...

Growing up my sense of style was influenced by what my peers thought was cool and what I saw on TV. Stephanie and DJ Tanner were my fashion icons, and one or two popular girls in my grade. That meant that I really felt very little freedom to dress as I wished. I just wanted to be "as good as" them. So if I went to class and noticed that I at least vaguely resembled the cool kids I was safe, and if I felt original I was deeply embarrassed. Obviously the teasing and catty behavior of peers in reaction to originality taught me this embarrassment. However, I know that if my originality had included many expensive things that it would have been a totally different story, at least in the yuppieville I grew up in. Therefore having a "fashion sense" meant to spend a lot on your appearance and look like everyone else, only better. Truly understanding one's self was not only not necessary but mostly a dangerous endeavor.

I think, as much as I eventually discovered otherwise, that my childhood indoctrination has permanently stifled any actual reflection. Well, that is, until now. I think I am finally ready to figure out who I am in more ways than one. As scary as it is, I am prepared to really listen to myself and act on what I learn. No more, "worrying if other people will like it" or if I will feel too "on display."

So on that train of thought, I now will try to dive in to what I really think....
First, I would like to discuss a few fashion icons I truly admire...

Grace Kelly

The first movie I ever saw with Grace Kelly was To Catch a Thief. I remember thinking that she was refreshingly and frighteningly beautiful as she floated glamorously around the Mediterranean with Cary Grant. She stood out to me as not as pushy or gratingly overconfident in her sexuality as many of the movie stars, models and other fashion icons of my youngest years. She didn't state the obvious. Her clothes weren't false advertisements for a promised allure that didn't exist beyond the threads, creams and powders... Her clothes didn't make her what she was, but they did work for her. They were her clothes from every wide-brimmed hat to flowing skirt...

I watched her movies and felt like I had discovered a very different world, where mind didn't negate beauty. It was a warm, regal and lovely world - full of sunshine and complexity where elegance was assumed and graciousness expected. The "dark side" of this 1950's oasis was of course a given, my parents were real hippies so I heard about many of the downsides, but it only added mystery and fascinating paradox for me.

Grace Kelly appeared to be a truly unembarrassed woman. She was elegant but by no means a shriveling violet.

The following observations are very brief and I plan to further analyze them for guidance... However, I think what I'm wondering at this point is whether the styles can be almost exactly replicated, given the popularity of vintage clothes, or if it will be less about the exact replication and more about the overall lines of her style.

~Everything about her esemble is AMAZING to me in this photo - the pearls, the dress, the hair... Honestly, the neckline and sleeves are so perfect.

~I have tried to copy this look a few times I think, but perhaps not with enough attention to the detail of the cut of the shorts and shirt. I believe I have found the best fitted blouses at J.Crew. But would a men's shirt be better??? I don't know, and I am still trying to figure out what it is about these seemingly khaki shorts that make them so much more than just the casual, and potentially frumpy or too short and sometimes tacky ones I seem to find everywhere I go. I will keep searching...

~HER HAIR!!!! OH my... I love her hair, and as with the ensemble above I am still trying to figure out how this look is done exactly.

~Where to start... Well, the blouse is lovely! However, I also am a fan of the green pencil skirt, and the wonderful use of pearls yet again.

~I've been trying to find sunglasses like these. It seems most of them are a bit clunkier than these. These accessories in general are so lovely...

~I adore the casual elegance of both of these ensembles. And once again, her sunglasses are remarkably chic. Not unlike the shorts above the pants and skirt in these photos also seem hard to replicate really...

~love the red lipstick...

(all photos provided by google images)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

As time passes by....

I haven't been on for a long while and there are of course reasons for that. I am sorry if I didn't respond to a comment you made, probably ages ago now... It meant a lot to me anyway. And I appreciate the warm and caring online community that I seem to have been lucky enough to find. Thank you. Your comments really did mean so much...

My relationship with my mother has greatly improved. As one reader surmised she was indeed just very, very worried about me. I've come to understand that.

On the other hand my life has turned yet another corner...

My boyfriend and I have inched our way toward what looks like something that might be forever... We have problems we deal with that are difficult and tiring, but I think and I hope that it will work out with time.

We do love each other an extraordinary amount I think... and we are both dedicated to making our lives intermingle and intertwine with unity and love. And I know they already do in some far off alternate place where everything is as it could be if we were our best selves and not the broken versions we now are.

I may have a ring in the near future. It's a sapphire I believe and I think I am falling in love with it already. I'll post pictures soon perhaps... ;)


A long while back I wrote about finding out information about my family heritage. this subject has emerged again.

A long while back I almost had things figured out but it all fell apart. Now, I am at it again and this time I want to talk about it with you.

You see it's a very complicated story involving people who didn't want a mistake to "ruin" people's lives.. That "mistake" may have been me... I have suspected something off about the way I fit into the fabric of my family for years and years. I don't look that much like anyone else. My personality isn't like any one's either. My interests are all very different from the rest too and that's just the tip of the iceberg. The thing is, they are some of the best people you could meet and for years I have semi disparaged myself for not being more like them.

During summer months I would sit at my grandmother's kitchen table and observe as they sat around and discussed things over coffee and sandwiches at lunch. I never knew what to say. It wasn't that I didn't find the conversation interesting or enjoyable. It was that my soul, my mind, my being felt like it didn't belong there
and yet... I was wanted. At least I think I was. My great aunt who dominated conversations when she visited would always slip me a few dollars at some point and tell me to go get something fun with it. They always hugged me.

They were decent, intelligent and good-hearted people. They were hard workers who were great neighbors, friends and Americans - there were many war heroes from World War II in the family. My great grandmother prayed daily for her sons, as did my grandmother and her sisters during the war. They stuck together wherever they were and no matter how far apart they were. They were kind Norwegian farmers. They were amazing people - rare people.

I just never seemed to belong there and it isn't for lack of wanting to...

Somehow I have always felt like an objective observer - someone sitting on the inside but coming from without. I have hated this. I remember one summer in particular, around age 19, I sat upstairs, in my grandmothers lovely old house, and mourned my lack of belonging.

Everyone else was sitting downstairs chatting. It was a sunny day in July and by all accounts was beyond perfect. The air was warm, but crisp and inviting. The smell of old books and the feel of the cool stucco walls should have been as nostalgia inducing, soothing and embracing as ever. But I had exhausted my efforts of trying to fit in by that summer and I didn't know what to do next.

I had tried to find a way into the world of this family - to become a real part of it and not just an admirer. One summer I spent hours digging through trunks filled with scrapbooks and letters from years past. I brought them around to people and tried to evoke their memories as a way to connect in the present. I was trying to find a way to feel a part of it all. They did share their memories and we had a few good, long conversations that were historically fascinating. I even wanted to write a story involving my grandmother. She had led such a fascinating life, I thought. However, I never escaped the feeling that I wasn't one of them, although I didn't even know that that was what I was feeling. I never knew until years later looking back that I entertained thoughts of truly not belonging. It wasn't a possibility that would have made any sense to me then. Everyone acted as though I was exactly who I was supposed to be. I have no reason to believe they ever thought otherwise either.

So I quietly excused myself to an upstairs bedroom and read a book on planning for your retirement. I know that sounds like an incredibly odd thing for a 19 year old to do to relax and comfort themselves... I think I felt like at least I could plan ahead and be a success in life that way, even if I couldn't win at living life in the moment because the present didn't intuitively make any emotional sense. How could such good people make me feel so alone? It couldn't be their fault. After all, they all seemed to fit in with one another. Was it my fault that I felt that way? I couldn't make it work in my head. Who was causing what? All I knew was that I didn't seem to belong downstairs and I desperately wanted to.

That was a miserable experience. After reading several chapters in my well written but emotionally unsatisfying book about the advantage of saving for retirement as soon as possible I cried. I felt so alone. I later attempted to talk with my mother about how "rejected" I felt by our family, but she never could comment on it. She would and has always just said, "I don't know what that's all about. I know they all love you."

Anyhow, this week I am finally finding an answer. I am going to be doing a DNA test. That might sound drastic, but I feel that it is necessary. I don't know how my mother finally agreed to to do it. I think she can tell that it's been gnawing at me for years and disrupting my thoughts on a deep level. I doubt she knows anything if anything indeed is amiss, because she insists it will come out that I am her daughter. If she is right then I guess it will be back to the drawing board on all those summers spent feeling like an outsider. If the tests prove that my suspicions are accurate I don't know what I will do... Suddenly things might make sense but then comes the hard part of actually dealing with them. As long as I am in limbo nothing can be truly processed, because it isn't necessarily real. What will I do if I find that I am not me? Or will I finally really be me for the first time in my life?

I am relieved though, I think.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This weekend I will be excitedly watching the Academy Awards. There was an abundance of brilliance this season and I can hardly wait to see who will be awarded an Oscar.

I thought Natalie Portman was beyond amazing in her leading role in Black Swan and should be duly awarded for that performance. Equally, Colin Firth demonstrated his talent in his role as a king with a challenging stutter. I hope he also wins.

I'm afraid I don't have too many other strong opinions however... For instance, it would be hard for me to pick a best picture.

But, in any case, there are two peach, possibly pale pink, dresses that have caught my attention this season. One was at the Golden Globes, worn by Scarlett Johannson, and the other was worn by Taylor Swift at the People's Choice Awards. I was however, a tiny bit disappointed by Natalie Portman's choice at the Golden Globes and I'm hoping she stuns us with a fabulous piece this time when she walks up on stage...

Natalie Portman is a an amazing actress. I watched her performance in Black Swan and concluded that some part of the non-ill Nina must have resembled Ms Portman. Her acting was seamless. Then I re-watched Garden State and realized how different those two roles are and yet how shockingly convincing she is in both of them. Natalie Portman is brilliant. I'm definitely a new fan... I hope she wins! :) (Taylor Swift) (Scarlett Johannson) (Natalie Portman) (Natalie Portman)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blue Daisies

My boyfriend bought me a bouquet of blue daisies after we got into a fight the other night. Right now they're sitting next to the window in our living room... in an empty, pale green champagne bottle.

It's been a rough last couple of weeks.

However, Valentine's Day was marvelous. I've never had a better Valentine's Day. Really... Ever.

But lately, in general, it's been hell and high water and thankfully we're still alive and swimming... Misery and melting snow.

We've been toying back and forth with the idea of moving because I utterly loathe where we currently live. Our neighborhood and apartment are fine, but I have many too many horrid memories from growing up around here. When we go outside they overwhelm me and fill me with sadness, grief or shock.

I am still in shock from events that happened years and years ago. Still in shock... How odd is that really, I wonder? I mean it seems like the shock should have worn off by now right? But it hasn't. And at times it occurs to me that I'm not alone in that feeling... I read a story here and there or hear an account of someone who says that they have never quite "gotten over" what happened to them.

Perhaps it has something do to with what I lost... Whatever that was. I had a rather tumultuous childhood but it still bore at least some sort of suburban, monotonous but safe order. Then slowly but painfully it started to fall apart, until it just kind of died.

I might as well tell you, my mother's husband was abusive. It got worse until we left one crazy day when I was a freshman in college home on summer break. I lived the next six months of my life hiding in a battered women's shelter in a ghetto with my mom. As I may have shared before, I grew up in a wealthy, sheltered neighborhood in the late 1990's, although we were decidely not among the elite or near elite of our community. In any case, my old neighborhood took all inhabitants captive and permanently affected them or altered the tilt of a person's soul if one was young enough. Money, perversely, was a powerful, fickle, cruel god. A ghetto was quite the contrast. I felt like I was in a strange, perversely exciting exile...

Back in the suburbs of my childhood the kids at school would waste excessively and brag even more so... They learned it from their parents. Nothing seemed out of reach and it felt like the world had decided let us take it all at our leisure. And we would, with our infinite wisdom and advancements, do our best to handle the situation with humane, sophisticated American know-how. We meant well I believe...

But, who am I to make such judgments about the world... And I suppose my personal story might sound melodramtic to some. There's probably some person reading this somewhere who thinks I sound pretentious and ignorant in my historical pronouncements... But I am just making a sad observation from my childhood...

When I lost the small amount of security possessed in my childhood I also experienced the sensation that time was speeding up and would never slow down again. But, oddly, at the same time the air became more vivid and real and the rain became sort of soothing balm- a friend even. It always smells the same, feels the same... It never really changes and everyone can feel it, not just me... The rain, especially in the spring time, expressed for me what I couldn't find the words for- feelings that seemed to be permanently lodged in some spot of my heart. In those days it all got wet. Drenched, in fact.

In any case, I get stuck in my memories when I walk out of the front door in the morning. And I want to run away to a far place where nothing can steal more from me... That's why I wanted to run away to Wales. But for better or worse I am here in the thick of it. It may be an opportunity to grow and recover or I may be right in my insinct to get as far away from this as possible...

As far away in one, whole, safe piece.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mommy Dearest

I've never been one of those people who have perpetual issues with their mother. I mean no disrespect for those who do, but I just rarely have had problems getting along with my mom.

We used to be best friends.

We would take walks and talk for hours about what I wanted to do when I grew up, my friendships and romances and basically anything that struck our fancy. When I went to college we would chat on the phone for long periods of time, occasionally hours, comparing stories and catching up. I relied on her wisdom. She gave me great amounts of her time, affection and love. I tried to praise her bravery in becoming an independent single woman when she left her husband after over twenty-five years of marriage. She needed to leave him and I attempted to encourage her...

Lately my life has turned into a remake of Terms of Endearment without the pathetic husband/boyfriend and/or cancer. However, at times, I must confess, I wish Shirley Maclaine was my mother.

I moved in with my boyfriend after he came back from England.

I am deeply in love with him and he is deeply in love with me. We want to spend the rest of our lives together. I want to marry him and have his babies. There is nothing wrong with this.

However, my mother has literally taken to the streets to demonstrate her utter disdain for my life decisions at this time. Yesterday I got off the bus and was walking towards our apartment when she approached me on the sidewalk and confronted me about why I hadn't returned her calls in the last five days. It's true. I hadn't returned her calls... In the last FIVE DAYS... but there are explanations for this.

First of all I have been busy working and trying to figure out how to pay my bills, including huge college loans... Loans she resents co-signing with passionate terror and criticism. So she has reason to talk with me, but not to treat me like shit.


Another reason I haven't called her in FIVE days... is because my boyfriend and I went out of town last weekend for our one year anniversary. We have a had a good deal of ups and downs in our year together, but, as I said, we are deeply in love and wanted to celebrate this. So we rented a lovely room, went antiquing, ate a carmel sunday and won $152.00! It was lovely.

I've had very few weekends that were better.

However, I couldn't tell her this because she doesn't want to believe that we are having sex. She would not be a happy lady if she thought we went on a trip together and shared the same bed... much less the same hot-tub... without swimsuits.

I don't mean to tear her apart. I just have absolutely no idea what to do in response to her... I am a christian and believe in good and evil, but I happen to have slightly different views than my mom. I am a liberal and I know some christians would say I am going to hell for that alone whether I sleep with my boyfriend, who I love, or not... Thankfully, she is not one of those people. But she comes close, God bless her.

I am open to her views and want to hear her concerns in a loving, respectful way... but she simply yells at me and then ends the conversation. And this happens almost every time she talks to me...

I've tried to tell her that I love her and respect her, but that she needs to let me make my own decisions. At times I try to be intellectually honest and at least consider her point of view... But her anger, arrogance and inability to treat me like an adult or even really listen to me forces me to to treat her like a child. I have to decipher what the hell she means calmly, objectively and then try not to be offended and actually consider it, while she stands there looking at me like I just ran over a toddler with my car under the influence.

I worry that she won't want to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. My real father is dead. Her husband and I don't talk. So who does that leave? The only uncles I really speak to are her brother and brother in law...

Should I ask the bartender, Hal, from a date we had a hotel bar, where we went to watch Mad Men and drink gimlets and rusty nails, to walk me down the aisle someday... ? He is a kindly older man who has always told us we should get married... Actually, once he tried to get my boyfriend to propose on the spur of the moment. It was romantic. Hal is a classy man. He honestly is..

But how sad is that though... ?

She said, "You're making a very bad decision..." and then kissed me, turned around and marched off in a huff. I was left, in the freezing cold, staring at her as she moved farther away from me.

I hope the distance doesn't become permanent.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Pain...

My boyfriend is in England. Far... far away England. I love England. I truly do. However today I hate it. It makes absolutely no sense, I know. However I don't think I can talk myself into any other position at this moment. I apologize to any person from that beautiful country. Don't take it personally. I just wish to God above that your very great nation wasn't so far from here... Matter of fact I like that thought in general really. I really do like the UK... So it would work out nicely. I wonder if I went out, dug a really big hole and started pushing eastward if anything good would magically happen?

I fell asleep holding his shirt last night. It comforted me but made me feel worse when I woke up and realized that he was very much gone and will be for the next three weeks. Three weeks have never felt so horridly long in my entire life. Even when I was a child and I could hardly wait to get out of school for break I never felt this anxious for three weeks to end. My heart is in pain. I feel as though it is being pulled at constantly... And these 24 hours since his departure are the worst it will be because it is the most distant from him I will be. Each moment that goes by feels like a relief; like a pain that is slowly fading. It is brutally slow in it's fading though...

I am glad for Christmas. But I do believe time would pass by faster if it was warmer outside... Summer days always go by more quickly. This is the only part of winter that is fast... Thank goodness for that mercy.

My new job is going well. Thanksgiving was a blessing. His family is great. All of them. The cookies were terrible at first glance, in my opinion. I ran out of butter, had to substitute olive oil and did who knows what else wrong... They were, shall we say, extra crispy. However, they turned out to be fairly popular. I was more than shocked. People actually really liked them. My boyfriend's diabetic grandfather even ate a few against his better judgement and apparently he didn't regret it.

Today during my training session I saw a man who looked like my dear one walking nearby... For a second I thought it was him. Then I realized that that thought was ludicrous and it was a terrible moment. I don't know what's worse... smelling him on his clothes left behind or being far away from his anything. One makes me cry the other breaks me up inside. I've never been like this before. Really. It's not that long and yet... My rational mind is lost on this point...

I may need to eat a lot. Thank goodness again that it's the holidays. I will, no doubt, drop pounds if I don't eat more than usual.

I need suggestions of ways I can somehow assuage this feeling of longing. Perhaps I can make him something? Write him something... But it would have to be long. Otherwise I will finish it in a day. A short novel? But either way I must get lost in some activity involving him... I beg for suggestions my dear, lovely readers. No doubt you are an intelligent and creative people. Please. Help. Me.

And now I feel guilty. All those people who really do need help are out there and here I am begging for your time and thought... on the holidays. But please forgive me and if you are bored... well...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Over The River And Through The Woods

I'm extremely excited to go home for Thanksgiving with my boyfriend to meet his family, including grandparents. He seems to just get better with time. Each day I find myself a little more amazed. He has many layers. I often wonder at why this is so, because very often each layer is better than the one before.

After we return from Thanksgiving he's going to be leaving for London for three weeks... I will miss him dearly. In the meantime I will be working at a department store in housewares. I am actually mildly excited.

I've decided to make chocolate chip cookies for his family... I hope they turn out. The recipe can be found at:

(These photos were taken this summer at a family farm)