Thursday, February 4, 2010

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

I am not great at presentation. Not great at setting a table to entertain, not great at arranging the fireplace mantle, not great at decorating the house for Christmas, and not great at putting together an outfit to go out on the town.

I still remember Don telling me we were to meet his boss for dinner at the country club that night. Not only did I dread going, knowing his boss and his wife didn't really like each other that much, but I had no clue what to wear, and there truly was nothing in my closet that was an appropriate choice. I was hesitant because I had  never been inside a country club. I remember I wore a red angora sweater with a black wool skirt, and was hot and itchy all night. My skirt was too narrow and too short so it kept inching up my legs all night long. My overall memory of the evening is a combination of being hot and itchy, flashing people, and trying to have conversation with two people who obviously did not like being together. It was a blast.

That was about 13 years ago and since then I've chipped away at figuring things out - the things that I'm not naturally good at.

So I can now set a table pretty well (I have a cheat sheet in the silverware drawer for where to put all the dishes and silverware), I cut photos out of magazines for ideas to decorate the house. One of my best resources for entertaining and decorating comes from Sandy at Reluctant Entertainer. Go meet her - you'll love her and not only that she'll equip you so that within a short time you could / should be having people over and feeling bit more confident about the whole thing.

I buy books like "How to Not Look Old' and watch funny shows on TV because they truly are tremendously helpful.  I have a few outfits that work for more formal occasions. They're at the back of my closet but I can grab one with short notice. None of them cost a fortune; in fact some of them are from consignment stores in our area. I'm all for letting someone else pay too much, wear it a few times, then sell it to me for half or less. That works very well for me.

So keeping in that train of thought - look what I found - shoe perfection!

Clinton and Stacey would say so, I do believe, and at $24.99  I'm pretty darned please. Thank you Payless Shoes. They are just a tish too long, but the sales lady introduced me to something called Heel Grips (For $1.79 a pair) that sticks to the inside of your shoe and takes up that extra space.  These pointy, black shoes will be perfect with jeans or a nice pair of slacks.

It's about more than the shoes - it's about evolving, a process I think should never stop.

You can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks. I'm living proof of that. What could you use a little help with? Cooking, cleaning, organizing, raising children without losing your mind - the list is endless but the resources are too.


Linda said...

I know I need to update my wardrobe. The problem is I just hate shopping these days. When I do go, I just stand there in a muddle of confusion. I can't shop on-line (house rules) so I'm stuck having to actually go to a store. sigh.... I also just stand in my closet in a muddle of confusion because ...well just because.
But I'm proud of you Bev. And I really do like those shoes.

cheri said...

There is so much more I need to learn. I was asked last night to think about directing a handbell choir. I've directed a vocal choir, but not bells. Haven't even played bells.

But I think I need to stretch myself and try new things.

Thanks for the reminder!

Cute shoes, too. Stacy and Clinton would have a field day with me.

Kelli H. said...

What could I use help with? Raising teenagers--uggh! I love your blog Bev, there is something so comforting about it. You are so real and I really appreciate that. I love to see your great relationships with your grown children--it gives me so much hope and so much to look forward to!

The shoes are perfect by the way. I've really struggled with shoes this winter as the "in" look seems to be the flats with no socks--that just doesn't work here in the pacific northwest!


AnnG said...

I would love to learn how to decorate in a way that is kid (more bouncy little boy) friendly as well as acceptable to my designer/architect husband! I also want to learn how to make a quilt and scrapbook all these pictures! So many things, so little time!

Gretchen said...

OH, I see you found my Payless nirvana. :)