Monday, June 23, 2008

The Sophisticate

Our eldest daughter, The Sophisticate, is a woman of many talents. As we face the last semester at the University, she is honing the skills she learned at my knee...or on my hip...or in my car....or being dragged along on my wild, over-extended commitments. So,let's see how she's doing on some critical life skills.

CAJOLE: The hand on the hip says, "Get back over here and smile." She uses this hand on the hip and teasing smile when she is teaching second grade, and trying to round up everyone for a picture. Apparently her man, Cubbie is no stranger to cajoling. Future life skill - cajole children and their parents at school, church, home, vacation, clubs, outings, reunions - useful for teachers, room mothers, sunday school teachers, scout leaders, sorority presidents, any kind of semi-pro mother. This PARTICULAR day, the brothers didn't want any part of the picture, so cajoling was in order. But awesome tie on Cubbie. (THAT particular talent, Ruthless Shopping is not on the table today.)MAXIMIZE and HURRY "I'm just trying to get this done as quick as possible. It's bright and freezing." FALSE. She wanted to make sure we all saw her manicure, and it's hard to get that in the picture. Future life skill - maximize the manicure - useful for professional anybodies - especially useful for carpool lines, women's clubs, and avoiding cleaing up the kitchen...maximize the manicure. Always.
BE IN THE PICTURE: And here they are at last - LINED UP and SMILING - thanks in large part to her persuasive effort. And, she's making sure that she doesn't get left out of the shot. Future life skill - make sure you DOCUMENT everything. Don't do all the work and then not even BE THERE. Document, document, document. So it's documented - The Sophisticate was on the deck.SHOW UP and TIE BOWS: The Sophisticate can tie a bow like no one else in these parts, nay in the whole world. If there were a Bravo reality show on bow-tying, The Sophisticate would be the HOSTESS - the PADMA of TOP BOW. This particular day, 64 perfect bows on chairs in under 90 minutes. Future life skill - bow tying. No shortage of applications: gift wrap of all kinds and types, bows on wreaths, hair bows, tying string around a bunch of papers to recycle, tying bows on wedding programs, tying sashes on the backs of dresses. Second life skill - showing up to help her mother get the bows on the chairs. Excellent life skill - showing up to help. OK, so those are all related to mother skills. Good plan. DON'T GET TO A SIZE 60:That is a single pair of seersucker pants, waist size 60. Pretty Pretty Princess and The Sophisticate took one leg each. Two girls, one pair of pants. Striped pants, no less. And they are both smiling. Future life skill - make sure you are smaller than HALF the size of pants that big. Also, pick up stuff on the spur of the moment at the Thrift Store, because nothing beats a good costume box, which is where these pants are.WORK the PARTY: At a party, listen carefully, even if it means getting a kind of fixed yet distant stare that simulates your fascination with the other person.... and hold your wine glass gracefully. The Sophisticate can hold her own at a party. Behind her are all the bows she had tied 4 hours earlier. Future life skill - work the cocktail party. Laugh a lot. Things get tough; life can be dark and twisty sometimes. Everybody gets tired, and everyone doesn't always want to do it your way. The world is inherently unfair. Laughing works on most all of that. The Sophisticate uses her prodigious laughing skill to the fullest. I'm really, really grateful for that. It changes her world and it changes ours too.FIND THE SHADE. In these hot and muggy parts, the shade is your friend. And somehow, she has all those men looking right at her. PPP is NOT looking at her. The Sophisticate has these gentlemen right where she wants them, in the shade. Hug a lot. And hang on tight. Just saying.


ellen said...

boo i look ugly in all the pics. ill have to send you better ones. thanks for letting the world know that beth is NOT the true queen of your universe (just the princess).

Anonymous said...

ellen you look pretty in all of them. you should amke the one of you at whitney's party holding the wine glass your facey pic. love youuu