Monday, July 4, 2011

Of Dressing Rooms and Fruit Desserts

I meant to mention this in an earlier post but let me just say right here how much I appreciate all of you who left comments on my post last week about the not-so-kind song reviewer. Twenty-seven of you (including my own wonderful mom) took the time to leave a comment and encourage me and I just didn’t want any more time to go by before taking a moment to thank you for that. I also got several sweet e-mails on the subject.

I feel so blessed to have people (most of whom I’ve never met) take the time to send virtual hugs and encouraging words my way.

While I’m on that subject, I happened to come across the following paragraph about the great hymn, Amazing Grace, which has been translated into at least 80 languages. I just had to laugh when I read those words in bold:

Although it had its roots in England, "Amazing Grace" became an integral part of the Christian tapestry in the United States. More than 60 of Newton and Cowper's hymns were republished in other British hymnals and magazines, but "Amazing Grace" was not, appearing only once in a 1780 hymnal sponsored by the Countess of Huntingdon. Scholar John Julian commented in his 1892 A Dictionary of Hymnology that outside of the United States, the song was unknown and it was "far from being a good example of Newton's finest work".

How ironic is that? I’d say that the song has done pretty well, despite it not being “Newton’s finest work.” Just goes to show that song reviewers don’t always have the final say.

Also on the subject of criticism, I ran across this article which closed with some excellent thoughts:

Holding onto criticism is one of the most exhausting things you can do. Regardless of who it is from. Regardless of what it’s about. Regardless of the reasons why you think you’ve still got to wrestle with it or fix it, it’s something you need to let go of.

Carrying a wound forever will forever leave you wounded.

Let it go. Put it down. Give it up. Learn from it if there was a lesson in the criticism, but leave it behind. Empty your hands and your heart of the attacks. Working on your dream is a hard enough experience without thinking you have to carry the weight of criticism with you along the way.


In Other News . . .

I spent most of Friday in Chesapeake, Virginia on my Mother of the Groom Dress Quest. I actually bought a couple dresses home for Steve and Sarah to see but I’m not sure that either one of them is The Dress. Since I’m off work today due to the holiday, I am planning on taking one more shopping trip to see what else I can find.

I must say that it’s actually rather exciting to shop in real stores for a change. I was in one particular gorgeous store in a huge mall and when I went into the dressing room, I just had to stop for a moment and gaze around in amazed wonderment. There were large, solid woods doors with real locks on them! And multiple hooks on the wall! And cushy chairs! And large mirrors! And cleanliness and soft lighting and loveliness galore!

I felt like I was on another planet because--as my fellows thrift store shoppers will understand--you never know quite what a dressing room might be like in a thrift store. I have stumbled through dimly lit storage rooms into small bathrooms where there’s no lock on the door. The only available mirror shows only the head and shoulders and the only place to put one’s hangers is on the side of a garbage can. (Although I am happy to say that those kinds of rooms are the exception.)

But still, I’m perfectly fine with all that because to me, “interesting” dressing rooms are just part of the charm of thrift store shopping. And since 90% of my clothes come from thrift and consignment stores, I do know what I’m talkin’ about!

On the rare occasions though, when I get to take a brief step outside my usual life and walk into a real dressing room in a real store, well, it’s just fabulously exciting for me.

On my Friday trip, while I was glancing through a particular rack of dresses, a saleslady asked me what the occasion was. I said, “Oh, my son is getting married soon” and then I almost started crying over the joy and the excitement of it all. I’m sure she thought I was a very strange customer, getting teary-eyed over wedding announcements and getting starry-eyed over dressing rooms.

I guess I’m just an interesting person!


Yum.

I just had to show you a few pictures of a dessert that was dropped off at our house late last week. I thought it was so lovely and colorful and I also figured that anything that is filled with much fruit has got to be calorie-free. Sort of.

Isn’t this utterly magnificent?

IMG_5101

IMG_5090

IMG_5095


And Lastly . . .

I have a few comments and questions to answer.

Carrie B said, “By the way, do you know what snafu stands for? I ask because I, in fact, just learned myself and thought ... oooohh, okay I won't be using THAT term anymore. Just sayin'” :)

Carrie, very interesting point!

I did look the word up and found that it means, “A badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation.”

I also found its origin (which you were referring to), and I must sat that I was a bit taken aback by it. However, one word site said that its origin is many times changed to, “Situation Normal: Still Fouled Up,” in place of the “ugly F” word that was originally used in place of “fouled.”

Since so many online dictionaries just give the straight definition and don't go into any background, I feel like its usage has been mainlined and that it’s just a “normal” word. But I would be curious to hear from any other readers as to whether or not you were aware of the word's origin and whether or not you ever use the word. Because there’s nothing I love any more than a scintillating conversation about words!

Sharon said, “Becky, the quilt is beautiful. Question about the bedspread: the picture with the stain actually looks like it's a cream color (without stain) but stain out pictures, it looks white. What color is the spread?”

Well, that’s a good question. After I read what you wrote I went and stared at the quilt for a long time and I kind of hovered between beige-y, cream-esque, and white-ish. Does that help? I guess, though, if I had to pick a color I’d go with cream.

MN Mom said, “Hard to believe Nathan's wedding day will soon be here. Savor the moments! Will you and Steve be part of the ceremony?”

Happily, our only involvement in the wedding will be to sit in our assigned pews and take it all in. (Well, of course, Meagan’s dad will have a certain special assignment of walking the beautiful bride down the aisle.)

Since all four of the Hawley/Smith parents have Rev. before our names, we could certainly be involved on several levels. And yet on this particular occasion, I for one, am thankful for the chance to lay aside titles and usual duties and just get the chance to sit quietly and drink in the sweet experience of being Mother Of The Groom.

18 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

The Pennington Point said...

When I read this I thought, "I wonder if I weighed in on the song review." So I went over to look and I didn't leave a comment. Funny, I thought about it a lot after I read it. I have had so much criticism in the past couple of years especially, that I so understood what you were feeling. I guess if we are going to put ourselves out there we have to be ready to take the good with the bad. But the bad is SO BAD. :)

I don't do thrift stores, so I appreciated your thoughts on the dressing rooms. Makes me glad I don't shop in them. It's not a "Lovey, I don't DO thrift stores" thing. It's just that being a plus sized gal means there's not much there for me and it always turns out to be a waste of my time.

Thanks for the post....now I have to go buy a pile of fruit for today's dessert. Those pictures put me in the mood. Lisa~

Love Being A Nonny said...

Laughed out loud of your description of the Thrift Store dressing rooms!!! Funny! love it!

Sue G said...

What??? No photos of the two dresses??? You seriously aren't going to leave us out of the voting, are you????

And, as long as I'm already being bossy, please get the recipe for the fruit dessert. You know it's only a matter of minutes before everyone is begging you for it!

Okay, my work here is done.

For now.

Anonymous said...

I probably spend way too much money on clothes because I don't do thrift/consinement stores. have a tough time spending the time it takes to find the bargains. I go shopping twice a year and yes, at a mall. at the end of the winter season, i buy off the sale racks and do the same at the end of the summer season. Works quite well. I have found that if I buy good quality, the clothes tend to last several years and I don't have to shop as often! Still wearing clothes I bought 20 years ago! Classic styles stay in fashion. this won't work for those who enjoy shopping, but it certainly works for those like me who consider shopping a chore!

Margie said...

I have a similar recipe that was featured at Publix last week.it was so good I made it twice.
2 (5.3)containers nonfat Greek yogurt with honey
3 cups fresh mixed berries
1 prepared shortbread (used graham cracker second time)pie crust
1 big tablespoon confex sugar

Stir yogurt to blend honey, spread 1 container over crust
place 1/2 berries over yogurt
repeat
top with confex sugar

Anonymous said...

I'm going to pass on some advice for mothers-of-the-grooms that came to me from my mother-in-law, who I think is the best m-i-l ever, and who was an excellent m-o-t-g at our wedding. She had three boys, so was m-o-t-g three times. She described her role as being "to wear beige and smile". She actually looks terrible in beige, so I think she wore black and white, but you get the idea! Congrats on Nathan's upcoming wedding. It's trite but true, they do grow up so fast.

Ericka said...

Snafu has just become a word, to me, rather than an acronym. Much like "laser," "radar" or "scuba." So I am fine using it!

Denise said...

When I was younger, my Mum (who was in the Navy) told me that 'snafu' originated in the Marines. Was that true? I don't know. I do think that as you said, the word has evolved to something more socially acceptable than the sum of its letters. :)

For the nasty review, I didn't have a chance to leave a comment, but I totally empathize. I once heard that there are good critics, bad critics and MEAN critics...people who use their position to bully other artists because they can. At any rate, it's easy to tell someone to shake off unkind words, but it's harder to do it in practice.

As a writer, this is one page I visit now and again. It has a collection of famous rejection letters. Reading them makes me remember that a critic is only one person, and that their opinion isn't the end-all.

http://www.examiner.com/book-in-national/30-famous-authors-whose-works-were-rejected-repeatedly-and-sometimes-rudely-by-publishers

Lisa Burt said...

Hello - I've only ever known Snafu as being in its crudest sense, but still used occasionally in desperation. What ***really*** gets me annoyed is when people use another F word but it's clear what they really mean. I've noticed this happens a lot in pop songs and comedy programs 'freaking' and 'fricking' are the most used. For some reason I find this just as offensive as the word they would actually would like t to say. Right...rant over. Oh...what part is Snowy playing in the wedding celebrations, I'm sure he must have an official capacity. Love and prayers.Lisa

Sue ~ Toledo said...

Becky, when our son got married 3 years ago, I too wanted to plan some special things for the Rehearsal Dinner. During the "gift giving" part of the evening, I brought out a pretty apron I had purchased and read a poem I'd written about our son and his growing-up years. Holding up a large pair of scissors, I pretended I was going to "cut the apron strings", but at the last minute, I put the scissors down and gave the whole dingdang apron to my "daughter- to-be"! Not a dry eye in the house! God be with you all these next few weeks! One of our favorite pictures was taken the morning of the wedding, while he was still sleeping....

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