the better to see you with

Author: angiem, 04 03rd, 2013

Yesterday I took my daughter in for her yearly check-up. As she had her vision tested I remembered when I had mine at her age, but not because it was mandatory, but because I was a naughty little girl. Two of my closest friends in my first grade class were wearing glasses. I wanted to be just like them. I wanted glasses too. My friends said that they had headaches from all the squinting they had done. They said their eyes hurt. They said their eyes turned red.

I went home and cried to my dad that my head was killing me, and that my eyes hurt so terribly, I was afraid they’d fall out of the eye sockets. I rubbed and rubbed at them, and my eyes became red and inflamed from all the rubbing I did. I walked around the house squinting and rubbing at my eyes. My parents were worried. Bad eyesight was a common occurrence in my dad’s family. Three of the seven siblings were wearing bifocals.

So my dad took me to see the eye doctor.

The doctor’s sitting room was filled with kids who, no doubt, had the same idea I did. There they all were in their blue and white school uniforms rubbing at their eyes and squinting. And there were the parents slapping the kids hands away from their eyes, looking worried.

I was sure I would come home with a pair of glasses. I was sure I could fool the doctor just as I had fooled my parents. I was sure that all I had to do was just squint and rub at my eyes. No one told me I had to make mistakes reading the eye chart. I was a first grader and proud to be reading already. I wanted the doctor to see how smart I was, and what a good reader I was, and that I was sure to receive a certificate from my teacher claiming that I was the smartest little girl in all of the first grade.

The doctor was impressed. Not with my reading as much as with my vision. My vision was perfect, he said. And (almost) perfect it remains to this day.

My daughter is happy she doesn’t need glasses. They’d only get in the way of soccer and ballet, she says. Sunglasses, on the other hand, she can’t have enough.

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when in doubt, wear black

Author: angiem, 11 15th, 2011

This is my recipe for dressing well and looking good. With the holidays coming and parties galore, I’m often tempted to go shopping for things to wear. However, I do have a smallish problem: I have very little fashion sense. But there are some things I’ve learned through the years from my super stylish friends, and from the mistakes I’ve made. I hope this post saves at least one of us, from looking like we belong in the wrong decade, or looking a decade older.

Ingredients:

1.)   Know the weaknesses and strengths of your body and work to emphasize or de-emphasize as needed. Be honest with yourself about this. Have the discipline to say ‘NO’ to the wrong skirt, pant, shirt, sweater, shoe.

2.)   Buy the best shoes and handbag you can afford. If they are made well, they will last for years and years.

3.)   Avoid trends. I read somewhere that trends are like fast food. So true. And if you’re like me and you wear what you have until it goes to pieces, remember this: nothing will date a look faster (or bring attention to a sagging bottom) than the velour sweatpants with ’sexy’ written on the backside.

4.)   Ditto cheap, synthetic fabrics.

5.)   Bulky pants or skirts do not go with bulky tops, unless you’re super tall and super slim.

6.)   Smile. Blind everyone with your pearly whites and they won’t notice what you’re wearing. Haha.

7.)   Stand up straight. Look people in the eye. And if you don’t know what to do with your hands, grab a drink, or put them in your pockets where they should stay without clenching and unclenching.

8.)   Be well groomed. Hello…

9.)   Develop your own style: classic, cutting edge, bohemian, glamorous, the list goes on.

10.) Boring=safe. And safe does not equal fashion disaster. So when in doubt, wear black.

11.) No scratching, no chewing gum, no yawning with your mouth wide open. Because if you’re already a fashion disaster, why bring more attention to yourself?

Since this is a recipe which takes kindly to adjustments and the addition of other ingredients, what do you all recommend?

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uninspired

Author: angiem, 06 07th, 2011

There is no point to this post. I feel uninspired and blah. And it’s been longer than a week since I’ve last posted. I guess I must write something or I’ll feel even more uninspired and blah.

Last night I had a crazy dream. My dreams have been getting wackier and wackier the last several nights. Probably due to lack of restful sleep. So anyway, I was at a wedding on a beach and everyone was walking around naked. The bride was looking for the groom and he was somewhere in the basement of this enormous train station. Rats were running all over the place and they were as huge as dogs and the groom was trying to get them all in these cages, but they kept barring their teeth at him and escaping. Then I started singing and my voice was so horrible that it either hypnotized the rats or killed them. All I know is that they toppled over. And everyone (still unclothed) thanked me and threw flowers at me for saving the kingdom. And the bride and the groom got married under this waterfall that just happened to be on this beach, and left for their honeymoon by walking into the ocean and crossing a bridge that materialized out of nowhere but led into Nordstrom’s.

As to what happened yesterday: I went shopping at Nordtrom’s for underwear, wanted to try on bathing suits but couldn’t find one that I liked, spoke with a friend who just got engaged and is planning her wedding, had a chat with another friend who had lived in New York during 9/11, and who still shudders at how monstrous the rats were in the subway, and listened to Adele over and over, and tried to sing along, but my daughter shushed me every time, telling me I was ruining the song.

Well, if at least nothing exciting happens in my daily life, my dreams are full of adventure.

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purse love

Author: angiem, 04 10th, 2011

My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade.  Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse on the shoulder of a little girl my age.  Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it.  For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.

Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes.  Imagine my joy!  I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere.  I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember.  Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it.  They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated.  And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves.  Yet, I can’t bear to part with them.  The memories they hold are many and precious.  Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood.  Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.

I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that?  I’m too busy enjoying and loving.

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my hat

Author: angiem, 03 30th, 2011

Isn’t it fabulous? And magical? And extraordinary? It arrived on the dreariest, rainiest afternoon, a burst of color in an otherwise grey world. I took so many photos wearing my new hat, I bored my darlings to tears. They wanted to touch it or, in my daughter’s case, try it on, and not just watch me take picture after picture. Somehow my expression just didn’t seem right, though, the hat commands elegance. I’m thinking this expression is most fitting.

Once again, thank you so very much for this generous giveaway, Anya of Couture Millinery. I love it! And I can’t wait to wear it!

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i think the weather’s broken

Author: angiem, 03 10th, 2011

That’s what my daughter said after a crazy wind rattled the windows of the house, only for the sun to come out minutes later and the few clouds there were, to start shedding big, fat tears. She may have a point. Yesterday it had rained all day, the day before barely a drop. Last night I fell asleep with the window open, the soft drizzle of the rain lulling me into dreamland. Around three I awoke to the sound of a storm trying to force its way in, and I lay in my cozy bed and wondered if the basement would flood. I tossed and turned with that worry, but I was too lazy to go check. What could I do anyway? Start shoveling out the water?

I am sorry, guys. I have been a lazy blogger lately. I blame it on spending too much of my free time eating pastries, drinking coffee and reading. Also, of course, I have nothing interesting to say. I’ve been thinking that maybe I should start one of those pretty photography blogs everyone seems to have. A picture is worth a thousand words. Right? But to be honest, unless the photo is of me, a member of my family, or a friend, I’m really just not interested. Isn’t that horrible? So.

In other news, I am the winner of a fabulous hat. I am so excited and cannot wait until it gets here. I shall have to think of the perfect place to wear, as Portland is really NOT a fancy hat place. But I still love dressing up, even if I have no place to go, haha. Check the next several posts to see a photo of me wearing the hat.

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my little fashionista!

Author: angiem, 10 22nd, 2009

My mom says than when I was a young girl, my favorite thing to do when going into town, was to point out the shoes and outfits of the women passing by.  When her girlfriends came by and she’d serve them her delectable pastries and coffee, I’d take a seat at the table and study their dress and manner in detail.  After they left, I’d bore her with my observations.

My darling daughter is a chip off the old block.  I often watch her out of the corner of my eye studying my clothing in detail, or if out and about, the attention she gives to the clothing of the other females in the vicinity is astounding.

As evidenced in the photo above, she was barely able to walk, yet she knew what she liked.  I wasn’t home when this photo was taken, but my hubby says that she found the shoes in her closet, had him put them on her tiny feet, and ran into our bathroom to check herself out in the big mirror.  I adore that expression on her face!

In all honesty, she doesn’t take just after me.  In my approach to fashion there’s a hint of wariness.  I’m not the person who sees an image in a magazine and goes in search of identical garb.  I prefer quality over quantity, yet I am not brand crazy.  And I consider any article of clothing with the logo front and center on it, tacky.  There’s something to be said for good taste.  Well aware of my body’s strengths and weaknesses, I aim to dress in what I know looks the best on me.  Trial and error.  Plenty of it.

There’s none of that hesitancy with my daughter.  She is fearless!  Although she may only be three, I cannot get away with buying clothes for her without her being present.  She knows what she likes and she demands to wear it.  And that she takes from her dad. He has a style all his own. Timeless and classic, and just a bit on edge.

Not long ago the two of us stopped in at Target to get some essentials.  While I was searching for parking she asked if we were there to get ‘fashions.’  I explained that we weren’t, we had to get gift wrap and a few other necessities for home.  We were in a hurry and we had to get to a birthday party.  ”But really quick mommy, can we look at fashions?  Please, please, please!”  It didn’t take much prodding and I gave in.  We ended up buying colorful tights, and another ballerina skirt.  As I buckled her in, she thanked me saying, “You’re the best mommy in the whole wide world!  Wasn’t Target fun?”

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for the love of purses

Author: angiem, 09 23rd, 2009

My love affair with purses started the summer before first grade.  Upon one of our Sunday afternoon outings in the city center, I was struck dumb by one of the most beautiful sights my young eyes had seen thus far: a red patent leather purse.  Round in shape (this was the seventies) and with an outside pocket containing a little doll, I just had to have one exactly like it.  For the following weeks, I was an obsessed child imploring my parents nicely, and sometimes not so nicely, about my need to get one.

Eventually my wish came true, and with my red patent leather purse I also received a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes.  Imagine my joy!  I wanted to wear the shoes and the purse everywhere.  I suppose that was the origination of my showing off, although it’s hard to tell as I’ve been a show off as long as I remember.  Yet my mom wouldn’t allow it.  They were only for church and visits to friends and family, where they could be properly appreciated.  And because we lived in a communist country and things were difficult to come by, her reasoning made sense.

Over the years I’ve accumulated a variety of purses that have been objects of intense love at one time or another, but which have lately been gathering dust on the shelves.  Yet, I can’t bear to part with them.  The memories they hold are many and precious.  Girlhood, womanhood, motherhood.  Specific moments and specific contents within, are ingrained in my mind.

I suppose there’s plenty of psychological explanations for my love and need of a beautiful purse, yet who cares about all that?  I’m too busy enjoying and loving.

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