Tag Archives: Ornament

She’s a Lady…

Part of the art of being a woman...

There is a moment on a roller coaster, just before you begin the descent when you feel weightless.  Free.  If you had your eyes closed, if you had never seen the ride, in that moment you’d have no idea that moments later you’d be falling.

Christmas, 2005.  Emily was three months old.  We’d not yet decided that we’d not be opening the restaurant back up.   And what had been a tumultuous marriage even during its ascent was smack dab in the midst of that beautiful moment where everything is weightless. I was home full time with Emily.  And happier than I had ever been, blissfully unaware of what lay ahead.  And wholly unconcerned with the past that had brought me to that moment.

Christmas of 2005 was my last moment before free falling.  I had a house full for Christmas.  Jeremy ran out to get a few last minute gifts (read: do all of his shopping, he is famous for last minute shopping.)  From a local antique store he purchased this ornament.

I love it.  I loved it then.  And I love it now.  But I have never understood nor asked why he bought it for me.  It is a small bell, filled with something that I imagine once held a stronger smell.  There is a ribbon with a quote.  A quote I have researched but for which I  have never found the origin. 

...is knowing when not to be too much of a lady.

Part of the art of being a woman is knowing when not to be too much of a lady.

We came out the other side of marriage with an amazing daughter to show for it and a friendship that has withstood more than  a few tests.  I am not without fault.  In our ten plus years together I can say that on more than a few occasions when the fault behind an altercation could be pinned on me it was because of what one could call less than lady-like behavior on my behalf.   My tendency to take out my frustration in a passive-aggressive manner often manifested itself in behavior best classified as such.

And now this.  An ornament. Bearing a statement that all but sums up my philosophy.  A philosophy I’d always suspected he all but completely rejected.

“I love it,” I said.  And I hung it on the tree.   From time to time since then I have wondered what he was thinking when he saw it.  It is undeniably me.  But not a me I ever really thought he appreciated.  Maybe the colored (and I am just going with colored, because they were certainly not rosy) glasses that had distorted the way I had looked at our marriage and at my life for all those years also skewed the way I imagined he looked at me.  Maybe  not.

More than likely he saw it and thought as the last minute shopper does, “She’ll like this” and that was all.

That is the story I tend to come back to time and again when I roll it around in  my head.  “She’ll like this.”

This ornament has tremendous weight.  For it is the moment our coaster went over the edge, when I felt the weightlessness leaving me and the descent beginning that I realized I’d not survive the landing if I didn’t abandon all hope of being a lady.

A lady is polite.  And keeps her gloves on.  And her mouth shut.

There would be nothing ladylike about the months that would pass between that Christmas and the Christmas of two years later when Em and I were in an apartment 200 miles from home, a divorce attorney’s business card the only thing on my refrigerator.

A lady would never have had the strength to fight through all that ugly to get to the Beauty that is today.  And I suppose that is the art of being a woman.  The strength, the wisdom to keep going until you find Beauty.

Merry Christmas, to the Ladies.  And the not so Ladylike among us.


Once I set my mind to something I am committed.  Whether it is my favorite article of clothing (overalls,) my favorite food (cheese) or my favorite man (Snoopy) there is no changing my mind.

I got my first pair of overalls sometime in preschool.  I can remember ordering bowls of grated cheese as my meal at Anita’s Mexican restaurant as a little kid.

And Snoopy and I have been in love for as long as I can recall.

I left my first Snoopy in the Smithsonian Museum cafeteria circa 1981 and my mom promptly replaced him.  The “new” Snoopy was de-stuffed and washed multiple times before he was satisfactory. There is a certain neck flop that I demand from my Snoopy.  She very kindly obliged.

By the time I went away to college there was no questioning whether or not Snoopy would be tagging along.  At that point Snoopy 2.0 was coming up on 15 years of age.  He’d had a near total removal of his neck over the years, sewing up one hole at a time.  Until his head sits right atop his body.  But the crucial parts are still in full effect.

I started sleeping on my side when I was 8 or 9.  A broken arm introduced me to the joy of side sleeping with a pillow.  What began as a propped up cast developed in to a life long love of side sleeping and spooning a spare pillow. And my Snoopy.  The right side of his face is softer than the left.  His right ear even softer than that.  Years and years of my thumb smoothing his hair down has made his ear in to a Snoopy shaped worry stone.

I didn’t set out to do it.  When we decorated our bedroom.  It was my first adult bedroom with all new furniture and bedding, chosen by myself and my husband. Thirty four years old.  I got MQD a wedding picture on canvas for above our bed.  We opted to keep things very clean and simple.  Black.  And White.  And Grey.  He’s not crazy about the throw pillow I picked out for the center of our bed.

But who am I kidding?  It’s Snoopy that sits center stage.  He’s coming up on 31 years of service, I think.  He can sit wherever he wants.


This is another all time favorite.  It reminds me of a few of my favorite things.

Becoming a mother.  Nurturing my relationship with Emily through nursing, and our journey as a breastfeeding dyad.  Getting to know a handful of truly amazing women that supported me and encouraged me to get involved with La Leche League.  And Boobs!

I could use today’s post about my boob ornament as a platform for discussing breastfeeding.  The impact that it had on me as a mother, on my parenting choices or  the impact I believe it had on Emily.   But I suspect that in the coming year I will talk more about my boobs and the magic that they share with this new baby than any of you care to read about.

I am not really very good at making friends with women.  And groups of women I find even more intimidating than happening upon them one at a time.  I’d not been attending La Leche League meetings long when the Ornament Making party was scheduled.  All in attendance at the meetings were invited, but me being me, I just couldn’t quite wrap my mind around actually going.   It wasn’t really a meeting.  And they had to invite everyone to be nice, right?  So maybe I shouldn’t go…   And I chickened out.

Later in the holiday season imagine my delight when I saw the La Leche League tree at Hotline‘s Festival of Trees. It was a tree covered in golden glittering boobs.  I had found my people.

So many years later I am delighted all over again when I take them out of their cocoon.  There are only a handful of ornaments that get carefully wrapped in paper towels.   And my boobs?  I take very careful care of my boobs.

Merry Christmas, Boobs.  Big, small, lactating, push up brassiered, sports bra bound, hot dog nippled, bartending money makers, middle school distractions, you have meant so much to me and so many others through the years.  I’ll raise a glass to you again soon enough.