Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What to wear?

An article in this weekend's Wall Street Journal brought back a memory. It is an incident which will remain vivid as long as my husband, my sister-in-law or any of the people who attended her wedding in 1965 are alive. And I regret there are not too many.

I still have the invitation, but my attempts to look through photographs (I am still organizing) have not met with success. I didn't take any and I am sure the official photographer was told to keep me out of the photographs until it was certain that I was actually going to join the family.

I figured out that Iowa in June was going to be as hot as California and that I could wear my rather nice cream colored two piece linen dress. It looked good—I was a lot skinnier in those days. I hadn't been to many (any?) weddings in England, but I had the suspicion that hats were worn. (This was before the days of fascinators, you understand.) So I was lucky to find a cream linen, rather simple and elegant hat. Thought no more of it.

On the day of the wedding I caused a sensation. A hat! From that day on I was known not for my brains, or for my wit, or even for my origin—I was the woman in a hat. It made sense—I had to cover my head. This was the era when mantillas covered heads in church like never-ending lace curtains. Now when I meet an odd aunt or old friend, I hear, "You wore a hat to Mary Ann's wedding".

So what did I see? An article that hats are the new scarves, rather like orange is the new black. The best point that someone made is that if that is true, hats should come in varying sizes. I have tried on a hat or two in an attempt to keep my reputation going, but they tend to rest on the top of my head like a pin cushion.

My husband claims there is a photo of the side of my hat in a photo in his album in  the basement, but now it is simply a memory, kept alive by a relative or two—and the Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Well, not really. A friend wrote in her blog the other day that at the beginning of last year she had chosen a word, "a personal theme for the year and her role in it." While she remained true to her word, she kept the word secret until the end of the year when she made it public and analyzed how successfully she had achieved her goal.

It's the word part I am copying, but I am not keeping it to myself. I don't care who thinks I have succeeded. I will know.

The word is organizing. I have written about it many times before, but usually in terms of macro-organizing. My bar, which gets lower all the time, is inching even further toward the floor. I can't deal with the flood of decisions with which I seem to be faced. I will be happy if my organizing can take care of the relative dispositions of the two photographs I had in my hand three minutes ago, one of which seems to have disappeared for ever. One micro-organizing success a day—and I will be happy.

 I'll let you know when I find the other photograph.