Creating Elegant Disorder Out of Chaos


I will never be able to understand those casual, yet perfect people, who have mastered the art of messy chic. These are the people who instinctively know how to drape material over a curtain rod for a casually elegant look, who can literally throw a “throw” on the back of a chair or sofa and have it look like it was casually dropped by someone who had wandered off to do something noble and erudite, or to my great despair, those who have mastered the messy bun.

I am vexed by the ease at which some women can casually toss a band around their hair and have it look both casual and sophisticated.  I have witnessed women who have performed the mysterious twisting and turning of their hair with one hand, while driving through suburban traffic with the other. These are the women who understand the understated significance of the loose tendril.

I have been cursed with thick, wiry hair. My hair could be identified with Oppositional Defiant Disorder; no brush, flat iron or curler will keep it from doing exactly what it wants. This defiance seems to increase, like each strand itself, when it is humid outside and I am entering the season of “big hair.”

All I want is a casual upswept look that will disguise the unruly mane that I have inherited. I have tried different types of fasteners, different placement of bobby pins, and different levels of cleanliness – everything from squeaky clean to grungy. My last attempt at the messy bun was successful for about 30 seconds until all of the bobby pins I had meticulously placed in my hair shot across the room with the speed and force of a Chinese Throwing Star flung by a ninja.

I long for the life of the woman, with the messy bun, who leaves her bottled mineral water on the sunny and perfectly decorated patio, to answer the door of her impeccably clean house and welcome the impromptu gathering of her friends who have stopped by to discuss their understanding of the motivation behind the protagonist in the novel they have just read.

Instead, if I were to be honest (which I always am), I am sitting in my messy kitchen, at an island covered with the mail and debris that piles up because nobody knows what to do with it. It is 4:00 PM and I am wearing my pajamas. I have a cup of cold coffee sitting next to me and a half eaten bag of tortilla chips. I am currently at the opposite end of the spectrum from this ideal woman who taunts me like a school-yard bully in the disorganized chaos that goes on in my head. In my mind, the only thing keeping me from achieving this oft-dreamt of lifestyle is the ability to master the damn, messy bun.

So, I guess it is time for me to stop my rant, and begin my hair tutorial search by utilizing the hallowed source of all knowledge – You Tube, in order to discover why this messy bun arranging talent alludes me. If all goes well, you will find me casually strolling through my local vineyard, while perusing my iPad for the latest information about the most exquisite grapes used in wine-making, and planning my casual, yet perfectly arranged, weekend with my spouse.

If you can’t find me at the vineyard, look for the woman with the unruly hair trying to discretely run to the mailbox in her pajamas.  I’m sure she would invite you in for a cup of cold coffee and a bag of Doritos; but, watch out for flying bobby pins!



Contemplating a Career Change After Age 50 or How Does a Snarky Woman Decide What She Wants To Be When She Grows Up?


So, I recently left a high-stress position (school administrator) for another high-stress position (caregiver to my mother-in-law.)  I know, right?  Things are not going as well as I expected because I have a little known disorder called Norman Rockwell Syndrome. NRS is a very real disorder that causes me to wear aprons, try to bake cookies, make extravagant dinners and generally think that EVERYTHING must be perfect for my day to be considered a success.  My husband prefers to call it bossy, control-freak syndrome, but I am ignoring his input at the moment.

Because I tend to channel Martha Stewart when I spend a significant amount of time at home, I have decided that I need to get out of the house and be around normal adults again. Yes, my MIL is here; and yes, she qualifies as an adult but… I would like to have a conversation about more than  bunions, dietary fiber, or Family Feud.  What I really need is a part-time job!

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow-up. Who am I kidding?  The reality of the situation is that I  don’t want to grow up. I have had jobs in the restaurant industry and the retail industry. I worked as a preschool teacher, an elementary school teacher, a high school teacher, a director of religious education, and a district administrator. They were all jobs I enjoyed ( OK, I did not enjoy all of them); however,  I’m not sure that I want to go back to any of them.

I feel as if I need to pursue something I’ve always wanted to do, a lifelong dream, something major, a significant contribution to mankind. That’s where I get stuck…

My short list of careers, occupations, and future monetary pursuits is just that-short. I’d like to be a writer, a yoga instructor, a musician, or an artist. This blog is the extent of my writing, a only do yoga when I’m extremely stressed, I don’t currently play any instruments, and my artwork resembles the icons used when explaining how to construct Swedish furniture.

All of the websites give me useless advice: Dance Like No One is Watching, Dare to Dream, Be Who You Want to Be. None of the websites I have checked tell me what I need to know…How does a snarky women over 50 decide what to be when she grows up?

So, I send it out to all of you in the Internet Universe…any ideas?