My taxi driver wore a large print houndstooth dinner jacket today. With a scarlet thread. His pants were pressed to such a degree a military man of high station would be in admiration. He used to work at a upscale tailor in Dubai before immigrating to Canada.
Now he drives me to work somedays. Always dressed in his finery. With a smile. His cheery contagious spirit.
He celebrates the ordinary days. Every day is worthy of his best.
Jimmy texts me from Tokyo. He’s one of the finest lawyers to grace the office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. He wrote, “I was complimented on my shoes and suit today and I thought about what you told me. You said ‘Life is too short to spend it not dressed well.’ ”
Life is too short for an ugly outfit folks. Ask the taxi driver. Ask Jimmy. Ask me.
I sent this picture to a few of my favourite people. I said, ” what I want my heart to look like”. I found it SO interesting that that was my first thought when I looked at that picture. So my next question was, “What is it that you see when you look at this picture?” So from what I can see, here it is…
nothing is for show. someone entered the kitchen and took a picture because the sun rays were beaming in. the moment of stillness caught on film in a fraction of time. the brita drink container in its useful ugliness wasn’t even put away for a better shot.
it’s not fancy. nobody has tried to capture the perfection of pinterest in this kitchen. the drawers are melamine. the fabric under the sink is from a discount booth at a Walmart. but, in my heart, no “perfectly put together” and Italian marble could capture the essence of this kitchen.
all the things I love and matter to me are in this kitchen. sun rays. warmth. love of nature. comfort. sustenance. humility. beauty. safety. functionality. ease. and most of all, AUTHENTICITY. there’s also a beautiful aged chandelier adding a touch of glamour to the room.
So Yes, I want my heart to look like this kitchen on a summers day. The window is thrown open. Cats bask on the window sill. There’s onions ripening for a family dinner on the counter top. The unpretentious brita jug is in plain view. There’s a touch of glamour in the chandelier adding a touch of celebration to its function. a little indescript clock is marking time.
There’s a chair waiting in the dining nook for you, my friend.
I used to resent special treatment. I can hold my own door, thank you. The other day I had a change of heart. Two gentlemen stood on either side of the elevator and held it while I got on. Wow. Was my heart ever a puddle of love and respect for them. I wanted to reciprocate. Did it ever start a conversation in my head for the rest of the day. I queried. I introspected. I wondered. I understand the women that don’t want this. I used to see it as pandering. Thinking to myself, “Oh yeah, now what? My number? My address?”
Instead these men just kindly continued to discuss a deal they’re working on. They just were humbly doing what they felt good doing. That was holding the elevator for a woman.
I’d say their mamas raised them right.
Thank You to the men who just want to Do Right in their place in society. They crave the peace that comes from Nobility. From Dignity. From Being True Gentlemen.
On the Other Hand, I will Do My Best to Be a Lady. Kind. Virtuous. Discreet.
Here’s to Chivalrous Men. Here’s to Ladylike Women.
Currently, I’m Listening to a Little Kenny G. Working His Magic on the Sax. I Close My Eyes. It Transports Me to a Darkened Lounge with Small Dining Room Table Lights in Boston, Mass . Crisp White Starched Napkins. Dark Suits. Pearls. Red Nail Polish. Snow Gently Falling. I Exhale Slowly. I Feel Rejuvenated. Refreshed.
My Belly is Stirred as the Next Song Emanates From My Computer. A Soulful Rendition of “I’m Falling For You”…A Summer Porch. A Glass of Lemonade. The Poplars Dancing their Shadows Across My Feet in a Hammock. The Sounds of Children Playing in the Lake. My Shoulders still Radiating the Sun from an Afternoon Boat Ride. Summer Romance. New Love. Old Love. Puppy Love. Tried and True Love.
“Sans Regrets” Starts to Play. In my Mind’s Eye, I’ve Cracked a Window in My Kitchen. The Warm Damp Air of Spring Wafts in. Bleach permeates the air. Saturday Morning Cleaning has Begun. I can Hear the First Lawnmower of the Year Start Up. Little Spring Buds are Forming on the Tree Outside my Window. Anticipation of Summer Fun is Felt in the Air.
So Grateful for DayDreams and the Power of Music to Take Us on Little Meanderings Through Life’s Gifts.
With Indignation. My Cheeks Redden. This is Not a Happy Post. But I am Compelled.
It’s a Memory Stirring My Heart. A Few Years Back I Nannied a Sweet Little Sheik Boy. His Dad a True Gentleman. A Pediatric Oncologist. His Precious Innocent Little Wife was a Radiologist.
She was taking Swimming Lessons for the First Time at 35. He Surprised her with a Speedo Bathing Suit. That Kind of Innocence. That Kind of Dream Marriage. That Kind of “Thank You for Blessing Our Country.” Kind of Perfection.
One Day the Lovely Woman Pulled me Aside. Tears Brimming Her Beautiful Soulful Brown Eyes.
“Jeannine, do I smell…?”…..Oh My Heart Breaks as I type this…
“No Darling, why do you ask?”
A Tear Spills Over…..”Because a lady at work says I smell…and that we should cook our curry in our garage so our clothes don’t smell….”
I Think she Felt my Heart Breaking. My Heart Broke. How can People Be so Unkind? How can we not be Gentle with each other? Do they not See Her? Little Mrs. First Time Swimming Lesson Innocence? Mrs. Silently Cry when she Leaves Her Precious Baby Every Day? Mrs. Tender Hearted Perfection?
Well if They Can’t, I Sure Will. Today and Everyday, No One is Mistreated By Me. Not On Purpose Anyway. No One Should Have to Bear My Moods. My Prejudices. My Unkind UnEvolved Soul.
It Started in the Heart and Mind. Think Peaceful Happy Thoughts. Kind Loving Thoughts. Then we won’t Need To Monitor Our Mouths.
The Dreaded Question. My Name is Long. Convoluted. Some would Say Pretty. I’ve Come to Terms with It. It is French, After All. I Adore All Things French.
So the Spelling…Jeannine….is Tricky for Even the Brilliant.
Starbucks can be Tricky.
“Can I have your name please?” …”Sure…it’s Jeannine..”…
The Barista stares without comprehending for a moment at the screen trying to imagine the spelling. The inevitable question becomes, “Can you spell that?”. “okay, so J….”…”G?”…”No, J…”. And So It Begins.
Sometimes I just say “Janine.” That seems easier.
Today I had an Epiphany.
I, on a whim, decided to say “Susan.” It was Brilliant. No Questions Asked. No Spelling Needed. Win! I Felt a Giggle well up in my tummy. Humour on Monday Morning. Win! A Chance to Practice My Memory Skills by having to Actively Listen for “Susan” and responding in kind instead of Just Crickets as the barista stares and motions with the drink. You know, the “two pump” I call it. The double nod and the double fist pump as they try to entice you out of your reverie and forward to grab the drink you ordered. WIN!!
So today, it’s Susan. Tomorrow it’ll be Chris. If they ask me if its a C or a K…that’s still easier than…”there’s two n’s in the middle?”…”oh so like Jean-nine…!!”…
Yep, thanks Parents…love you so much, but honestly the name is a pain in the pahoukie (behind in Hawaiian)
Walking through the atrium to work yesterday, a Beautifully Dressed Man Broadly Smiled at Me. Touched To My Core by Its Genuine, I Smiled Back. Walking a Few Steps Away, I heard him start to Cheerfully Whistle a Contemporary Hymn. It Reverberated off the Granite Walls of the Atrium. My Eyes Filled with Happy Tears as My Steps Slowed. My Heart Melted.
The Hymn my Children used to Sing when they were Little at Assemblies …
“Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul…Oh My Soul, Worship His Holy Name…Sing Like Never Before, Oh My Soul, Worship His Holy Name…
I Stayed with my Back to Him, My Footsteps had Stopped. There was a Moment of Stillness in that Atrium. I will Remember That Moment til My Last Breath. I Don’t Know Who He is, But He Has My Honour. My Respect. My Gratitude.
I Felt Touched By an Angel…in a Beautifully Tailored Suit and a Broad Grin.
I slept Like a Log last Night. Unable to Shower, I Decided to Distract Unfortunate Passersby from my Bed Head with a Loud Skirt. Long. Puffy. Color Blocked.
The Cabbie Liked It. A Gentleman with a Cane as I Hurried My Just Sprung Out of Bed Behind into Banker’s Hall Liked it. Beautifully Tailored Suited Men Liked It. A little Girl in a Red Jacket Liked it. My Boss was Speechless Over It.
Let’s Just Say it Was a Hit.
So Lesson Learned. Big Bold Fashion Statements when the Hair is More Than Usual Disheveled and the Sleep is Still Being Wiped From Your Eyes.
Love Y’all. You’re One More Fashion Tip Overloaded.