Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Downton Abbey in America

Season 4 just ended, and as always, I'm left in a dreamy state.  There's something so attractive about Downton Abbey.  You can't help but wish to be a part of the British aristocracy and feel pity and admiration for the working class that run the estate.  So appreciate PBS's attention to historical detail, capturing the drama that occurred as the world changed its course in the early 1900s. 

In Season 4, Episode 5, the Countess of Grantham says to her maid Baxter that she was attending a charity function.  When asked what she would like to wear, the Countess said she does not want to make anyone feel bad.

The scene, though minor, caught my attention. It shone light on what we knew but hadn't brought to the forefront of our minds: Image is so important to the aristocracy.  What you wear, who you marry, how you talk, what words you say.  The package that you present to the social public is important. You have the choice, even if you are of a higher status than the rest, to be thoughtful about what you wear.  It was a business decision to make sure that you carry yourself a certain way.  It was a way of life.


This sounds shallow to us with a 21st Century American middle class mindset.  We value freedom, individuality, being able to be who we want to be.

But the reality is that mindset still exists with us today.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fading: Our Journey with Alzheimer's

I grew up thinking my grandparents would live forever.  I have been privileged to know all four of them, seeing them on a regular basis.  They look the same year-to-year, so it never seemed like they were aging as a child.

Then my grandpa starting forgetting people's names.

It's the story of Alzheimer's you usually hear.  It was just different to experience it first hand.

My grandpa has always been a very slow, deliberate person.  He takes time to think before he talks, while his wife and kids zoom ahead in the conversation.  So, at first, his memory loss was hard to detect because it fit in with his personality.

As things progressed, it became more apparent when he couldn't remember his granddaughters' names or when he got frustrated when the day's schedule varied.

Our family began to ask, "What can we do to help?"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day vs. S.A.D.

It's that time of year again.  Be prepared for the onslaught of social media posts!

One half of them would bat their eyelashes if they could, dripping with the sappy and overly intimate details of what couples did to celebrate the Day of Love.  Complete with emoticon hearts and kisses.

The other half will be so chock full of cynicism and bitterness that you get choked by it when you innocently walk by.  Then shove a murdered cupid in your face.

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit.  But you get the picture.

Let's just say there are many extreme emotions being expressed around this time of year!

What's the deal?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I Hate Make Up

I posted a photo of myself with make-up on and in the caption made the comment that I hated make-up.

Quite a few girls commented.

"But you look so good!"

I tried to explain in a few words but couldn't quite get them to understand: I have a love hate relationship with make-up.

The reasons why I like it are pretty obvious; it makes you look good.  Here is why I hate it: