Archives for January 2014

Fashion Statement

I did not take this photo. I restrained myself from whipping out the phone and clicking. That’s because I was sure Google Images would have a collection of significance. And sure enough.

I’m in the Weidler Post Office again (weekly) and see that sagging drawers are still a statement after 25 years. I hesitate to call sagging a fashion statement. I’m sure my kids and their friends from many backgrounds were not stating anything more than “Let’s see if Mom will say something about this?

Mom said nothing, but easily won the footraces I challenged them to. Won’t be winning foot races in this year, but enjoyed saying nothing back then. I’m fast, but not naturally faster than my children, especially the ones with fast-twitch muscles

Their own britches lost those races for them. Hitching wastes time. The bow-legged hustle may keep the pants up, but doesn’t improve athletic prowess.

At the same time, I began to consider the statement each of us makes with our own clothes. Soon after the races, I went through my wardrobe and saw the statement made with my Levi-Strauss knock offs. “I’m as down home and easy to talk to as the governor of Oregon (Kitzhaber).

And on the days I don my dress blacks, I’ve no doubt I was stating that “This Queen Bee Breaks the Glass Ceiling”.

I’m certain what statement I make at our tree farm. In the woods I wear my anti-blackberry chaps, my tightly woven Filson shirt and my muddy combat boots. I’m telling the Himalayan blackberries and the invasive Scotch Broom “Beware. I own a machete and I know how to use it.”

And the young man in line at the Weidler Street Station? Is he saying, “I do because I can and you can lump it?” Back in 2010, a judge in New York City confirmed that he can.butt out

Aren’t we all entitled to our free speech clothing?

When to Admit I Need Help

I finally admitted I can’t do it all. Not doing all is good for friendships.drowning man photo

Lots of times, I’ve realized I need to get help, but I’ve gone plowing on, trying to do the things I almost know how to do. It’s time I stop and get realistic. Here’s what I did to force realism on myself.

1) I listed the things I want done that I can do

2) I listed the things I want done that I need to learn how to do

3) I listed a timeline for when I want these things done

4) Checked my timeline, against my calendar

5) Made adjustments to expectations.

For instance, I can tile the bathroom wall and want it done for Christmas. It will take me a day to prepare the wall. It will take me two days to tile the part I want covered. Between now and Christmas, in my calendar, I don’t have three days.

Either I change my goal of being done by Christmas, or I jettison something from my calendar so I can meet my goal.

OR, I call in others in the family who also know how to tile, and we do it together.

OR I pay to have it done, which may mean that I still have to wait until January.

This is an easy call. No one in the family, including myself, wants to spend any of December tiling (and then, of course, painting). I put off my desired date and do the tiling in January.

But what about the rest of my list, or yours?

Let’s look at my list of things I could do if I learned how.

This list includes learning how to prune my roses. My friend, Sarah, who knows, says it would take an hour to learn and in my garden that would get all the roses pruned this year. An agreeable hour with a friend? I put rose pruning into my February calendar (Sarah says that’s the month for pruning roses).

Next on my list: Learning how to format my finished novel for Kindle, Nook and other possible e-books? I have a friend who could teach me this. Her book products look very professional, so I know I could learn to do this well. What will it take? She says, “A few hours?”

Maybe this would work, but would it work for our friendship? Might both she and I benefit if I hired her to do this job and also advertised her work to my friends. Might this be better for me? For our friendship? for my friend?

Clearly, a price is part of this decision, but so is the friendship. Can I help her by asking her to help me? We can work this out together. What a good feeling it is to admit I need help.

I’m relieved already.