Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mujeres Elegantes

While looking up various images and articles for this blog, I found a serious of four drawings by Mr. Carlos N. Molina entitled "Mujeres Elegantes" or Elegant Women. I absolutely fell in love with these pictures and felt the need to share them. Hopefully I can get some feedback from the artist as to his inspiration behind them and what message he wanted to convey through them. In the meantime, here are the drawings that will soon grace the halls of my elegant home (when I am so fortunate to get it).

The Vanity
The Mirror

The Garden

The Ballroom

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quote of The Week

"We must never confuse elegance with snobbery."- Yves Saint Laurent

I really like this quote and felt that it was an appropriate choice for my first little QOTW. I think one thing that keeps some people from pursuing a higher level of sophistication and elegance instead of sticking with the norm is the idea that to do so would require not only working to do better, but becoming someone who looks down her nose at others. And of course this notion is no doubt caused by the images we've seen and interactions we've had with those deemed "elegant." This is why I've made the distinction of saying that even though I want to become a more refined young lady, I don't want to be one to alienate my friends or become off-putting to others. I want to retain my approachability and (somewhat) down-to-earth nature.

Has anyone else had experiences that made you feel like sophistication and snobbery went hand in hand?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Modern Woman's Guide to Elegance

Found this link while gathering ideas for this blog. I don't believe this woman is supposed to be an expert on all things urbane, but I liked a lot of her tips and comments. They sound like things I would have said... if I had thought of them first. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Starting Point

Since every journey has a starting point, I figured I should try to assess where I am right now. How elegant am I now?

Of course, I need to know what exactly I'm asking, which begins by knowing what elegance is. When I look it up, this is what I find:

  • a. Refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners.
  • b. Tasteful opulence in form, decoration, or presentation
  • c. Restraint and grace of style.
  • d. Scientific exactness and precision
  • e. A refined quality of gracefulness and good taste
  • f. beauty as resulting from choice qualities and the complete absence of what deforms or impresses unpleasantly
So... D doesn't really fit what I'm trying to do here, but the others pretty much highlight where this is going. As of right now, I think that I possess most of these characteristics to some extent. I try to make the best choices as far as things I do, say, wear, take interest in, etc., although admittedly there are times when I could care less about that. I try to stay graceful and restrained in most situations, but there are plenty of times when I am course, crass, and an all around horrid person. I'm seeking to change that. I'm not quite starting at square one, since I know some rules of decorum and how to behave as a proper woman should, but there are many improvements to be made.
And of course I have plenty of questions that have to be answered along the way, like
  1. Are the ideas and ideals of elegance universal?
  2. What does it mean to be an elegant black woman?
  3. is it possible to embrace the traditional ideas of elegance and without losing my own identity? (no Stepford wives here!)
Maybe someone somewhere will have some answers for me :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


This blog is inspired by a book I bought on a whim and turned out to really like, The Little Pink Book of Elegance: The Modern Girl's Guide to Living with Style by Jodi Kahn. I've always been the type of person who enjoys self improvement because I know that we can all be a little better than we are now. Since I recently graduated from college and entered "the real world" I feel the need to enhance certain aspects about myself to become a little more urbane, sophisticated and overall a true Finer Woman.

So here is my goal: I want to become a refined young woman, but at the same time
  • Stay true to who I am and my background
  • Not alienate friends, family and loved ones who may not be on the same page
  • Be able to fit in well in any environment or situation

Anything I encounter along the way that may give some insight into this (books, links, people, personal experiences & thoughts) will be right here. Hopefully within a year, some visible growth can and will be seen. Here's hoping.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My 11th Hour Political Post

Current mood: excited
Category: News and Politics

Leave it to me to wait until the very last minute on this historic election eve to post something about it. but the anticipation and excitement is so palpable that I can't go without saying something about it.

What An Obama Win Will Mean for "Us"

In the last two years, Barack Obama has become more than just a political candidate. He has become our leader for the new century. Not since Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have we as Black people had such a positive, forward-thinking, charismatic figurehead. (I mean really, who counts Jesse or Al as true leaders of the Black community?) He now represents all of the positive traits that we knew we possessed all along, but that were marginalized in mainstream media. Our children now have a new role model to whom they can look up. A Black man has captured the nation's attention and for once he is not grabbing a ball, gripping a mike, or going to court. A win for Obama could be just the spark that so many of our people need, the boost to show America and the world that we have never been second class, that we are indeed intelligent, talented, and powerful beyond measure. This may just be the revolution that so many people have feared. I, for one, am happy to see it come about.

If Obama Loses

Not a possibility I want to dwell on, but:
1. Some will deepen their conspiracy theories about corruption in our government. I may be one of them.
2. Many will feel that all-to-common helplessness and let themselves finally think the thought they refused to all this time: "ultimately it was bound to happen."
3. There will be blood. Okay maybe not really, but still possible. Definitely a lot of hostility though. Actually this will probably be true regardless of who wins.
4. Canada and other countries will eventually tighten their requirements for citizenship.

The Return of the Real White Folks

This campaign season has brought out some of the worst in people. It has been a while since white folks have acted a fool en masse as they have in the last several months of this political campaign. They have hung efficacies of Barack from trees, depicted him as a monkey, spread lies about him being a terrorist ("because its in his blood," as one old bat from Ohio put it), dragged his name through the mud in whatever way they could. And somehow they are of the opinion that this is okay. So many of them feel a sense of entitlement to this position that they cannot stand to see someone who is not "one of them" take the helm of this great country, when just a few years ago he wouldn't even be allowed to sit next to them. And I'm sure some of them are thinking that not that long ago he would have been their property. Yes, a lot of people who would have been ashamed to publicly display the twisted, bigoted actions and ideas expressed in private, but fear and hatred have emboldened them. At least the mask comes off, but what we see is still ugly.

Race, Gender, Religion and the Emotional Connection to this Election

Anyone who says this campaign has had nothing to do with either of these things is seriously delusional. Of course they should not be the main factor in choosing candidates or political parties, but lets be real, it does play a part. As far as race is concerned, I am estatic that I will not only be voting for the best man for the job, but that I will be voting a Black man for the job. And as far as those who claim people are voting for him just because he's black, I would hope they take that same stance against those who won't vote for him for the same reason. I won't hold my breath though. For the gender issue… It is bittersweet, because we finally have a woman who is running for one of the highest positions in the land, but she is such a disappointment. What a sad note in our history that she is the first woman to make it this far in our political process… I don't want to discuss her because I get irritated thinking about it. I like to compare this to the episode of Futurama where Leela becomes the first female blurnsball (sp?) player, but she absolutely sucks at it. Although she was completely horrible, she inspired those who were actually good to get in there and show what a woman could truly do. Hopefully this is the case here too. Religion… I don't have to say much on that. We've seen people attack Obama because "He's a Muslim." Now it has been stated over and over again that Obama and his family are Christians, but I pose this thought: So what if he wasn't? If he was a Muslim, that doesn't automatically mean he's a terrorist. It doesn't mean he's anti-American. It doesn't mean he's a bad person. There are millions of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. living in this country living the same as those who claim Christianity. Personal religious beliefs aside, his choice of religion should have no bearing on the election. Hello, those that "founded" America came here to escape religious persecution. How are we perpetrating the same thing centuries later? Another thing about religion: if I was not already a Christian, seeing the attitudes of these so-called "Christians" who say all these hateful things about Obama ("the Blacks would take over," "I can't see myself voting for a president with the name Obama," "he's a terrorist," "kill him!") would not persuade me. I will stop there because that really pisses me off to an extent that needs its own post.
With all of that said, of course this is an emotional election for many. I have gotten teary-eyed several times over the thought of casting my vote. (I will try not to cry tomorrow at the polls, but we will see!) I'm even emotional now, so I guess that's my cure to put this on ice until tomorrow…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CLOSURE (or the lack thereof....) :-/

Current mood: depressed
Category: Romance and Relationships

How do you know when you are truly over someone? Is it when you no longer wake up thinking about them? Or when you can stand to hear their name without cringing or bursting into tears? Could it be that you're only over it when you're no longer hurting?

But what if it never stops hurting? You can't wallow in it, but somehow ignoring it completely doesn't work either. Eventually you have to move on and find happiness somewhere else.

That brings up the big question: Is it possible to truly love and be in love with someone when you're still not over someone else? And not in the sense of still being in love with the other person, but still being emotionally devastated because of them…

I heard from Shaun. On the 9th, not that long after the following incident, I received a one-word email from him. "Sorry." It pissed me off more than anything because I didn't know what angle he was coming from. I was sure he was trying to get back in my good graces, striving to be endearing so that my hostility would melt away. I wasn't sure if I should reply or not, but the next day he received my cold, one-word answer: "Ok." I thought this would be the last I would hear from him.

But on Tuesday I got another email from him. More than one word this time. "I've needed to get something off my chest for the past several months," he begins. He goes on to say that he really did love me and wanted to marry me but at the same time couldn't come to grips with the fact that his previous marriage had failed. He also apologized for everything that happened between us and wished me luck, happiness, all that good stuff.

For two days I debated on whether or not I should respond. There were so many questions about the pros and cons of answering him versus ignoring him. And then if I answer, what to say? Should I lash out like some petulant child throwing a tantrum because things didn't go my way, or take the "high road" and act like all is forgiven? I wanted to do both and neither at the same time. But the thing is, if I did the former, he would know he still gets to me. If he did the latter, he thinks I'm still under his spell. So I was content in just not saying anything else to him. But for some reason it kept nagging at me, so I decided to say something. I did what he himself was guilty of throughout the relationship and what he accused me of after it was over. I lied. I told him that I was no longer affected by it. I said I was indifferent to him and to the situation as a whole. I tried to kinda cut him by saying I was sorry about us from beginning to end. But to balance it out, I did acknowledge that I learned a lot from the mess that we made and wished him well with his family (I assume they're back together since she lives at his new house). It was a succinct, detached memo that hopefully didn't give itself away as being a complete farce.

But did it do any good? I dunno. I said I would go on and say something just to have closure. But in the words of an e-acquaintance when discussing the situation, "Closure is overrated." I mean, it's kinda like "now what?" I've said that I'm indifferent to it but I'm still hurt. I still cried when I read the email, cried last night when I heard a song that reminded me of him, cried when I replied, crying while writing this… Obviously I'm not as callous as I wish I were. But if it still hurts and if I still think about that sometimes, is that a problem? I know I'm in a good relationship now with a great person, but every now and then I'll see something or go somewhere that triggers a good memory and it's like "Man, what happened to that?" But that doesn't lessen what I feel now, right?

Ugh, I don't even feel like writing about it anymore. I feel so Carl Thomas right now: I wish I never met him at all…