on hiring a valet

Wood valet stand with articles of clothing

Every woman needs a staff, including a chauffeur, a butler, a valet and Girl Friday. All of these servants are essential; however today we’re going to focus on the valet. What is a valet? What does he do for you? No, it’s not the person who takes your Ferrari or Honda Civic for a joy ride around the block after you give him the keys to your car on your way into an expensive restaurant, but it’s a person who helps you get dressed in the morning. You can also call the person a Lady’s Maid.

Having a valet (or Lady’s Maid) is essential to every woman. Getting dressed in the morning is the first thing you do, and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone do this menial task for you, so that you can focus on the important events of your upcoming day?

Imagine not having to answer all of the questions we have at 6:00 am. Which earrings? What are the appropriate shoes for today’s weather and occasion? The valet makes all these decisions for you, freeing your mind to daydream new ideas and inventions as you don your fresh socks.

Some of us do not have the budget to have a full staff at our house/mansion/apartment/double wide. If this is the case, do not hire a human valet. (Instead, save your money for a Butler. More on the butler later.) The alternative to hiring a flesh-and- blood, breathing human being to be your valet is to get one of these nifty valet stands. It’s the kind of thing that you can imagine being in Bertie Wooster’s bedroom — a place to hold tomorrow’s clothing. It’s usually made of wood, and is the stand where you can hang up your jacket, pants, socks, belt and necklace, and maybe even a little tray for your earrings, rings and bracelets.

You can buy expensive antique valet stands at an antique store, or a metal one at IKEA, or select from a variety of styles at your favorite online retailer. Mine I found in a thrift shop for five dollars. It’s where I prepare tomorrow’s clothing, knowing that in the morning I will not have the time or the brainpower to make little decisions such as which pants or earrings or blouse…

When you have your valet stand in your bedroom, fully loaded with tomorrow’s uniform and sundry accessories, you will sleep deeply with a little smile on your face, knowing that Jeeves, or Pennyworth, or Lyckspittle, will be at your bedside in the early morn to counsel you on the proper attire for your day.

My trusted valet stand is there when I wake up at 5:55 AM, loyally waiting for me, holding the day’s outfit. It does not bring me a cup of tea in bed in the morning, but it does fulfill its job duties by getting me dressed for the day, ready to conquer the day’s dragon.

On The I Love You Platter

Sometimes you are just not in the mood to eat. You are tired, or maybe feel a bit ill. You are generally Under the Weather and don’t feel like mosying to the kitchen to join your family at dinner, where there will be frivolous banter and generally lots of talking. Sometimes you want to stay in your bed, read your book or finish your homework and just skip a meal.

But the brain does need food in order to think, and the body needs fuel in order to function, so you do indeed need something to eat.

That’s where the “I Love You” Platter comes into play. This is a platter, prepared in your kitchen downstairs, by the one who loves you. On this platter is a variety of nourishing snacks. Crunchy carrots, with a dipping sauce. A reheated piece of pizza from yesterday. A tiny bowl of gazpacho. A warm mug of chai, with whipped cream on top. And of course a napkin.

I strongly encourage you to prepare an “I Love You” platter for someone near and dear to you, if you are willing to take a break from being idle this afternoon.

on shaking your beautiful mane

beautiful hair

Sometimes you are in line. It’s part of today’s day to day. If you want a cell phone, a roasted chicken, or a new driver’s license, you will probably at some point find yourself waiting in line.

There’s really no use fighting it, so you may well relax and wait patiently for the customers in front of you to finish their transactions. Sometimes it’s just one slow person, with lots of random requests that make the cashier want to pull her hair out. Or it may be a long line of very efficient persons, all with a quick transaction, paying quickly with a chip-enabled credit card (no signature required).  Nevertheless, you will just have to wait these things out, whether it be a pleasant place with friendly fellow wait-in-liners, or a hot and stuffy room with very bad piped-in music. It’s just part of the price you must pay for the convenience of shops that are stocked with the myriad of perfect products to make your life go more smoothly.

But sometimes there is an additional problem while you wait to pay for your soy sauce/shampoo/party supplies.  And that problem is the person directly behind you. Yes, that person who did not have the wisdom to read these humble lines on this humble page from this humble author, yours truly.

The person directly behind you is inevitably In A Hurry, is of Very Important Standing, or both. This person does not see the wisdom of waiting in line patiently, daydreaming and staring off into the middle distance. This person will attempt to make the line go more quickly by crowding you, pushing his or her shopping basket into the back of your ankles, or evacuating heavy sighs and mumbled complaints. In this instance, your Zen state of mind, while you deliberately wait patiently to check out, will be dented, interrupted or even destroyed.

But I will ask you to be wise and patient once again, because there is one gesture, so natural and easy going, that will solve this problem for you, and instantly give you the space you need in order to go back to patiently waiting in line. This gesture (you will most likely chuckle to yourself when you read it, it’s so elegantly simple) is the simple gesture of putting both of your hands through your hair, and enjoy the feeling of your beautiful mane, with a gentle shake at the end, as if you were auditioning for a shampoo commercial.  Yes, even if your hair is in need of a wash, or even if it’s tangled from this afternoon’s ride in a convertible, set all of that aside and enjoy your moment and your hair.

Since all humans are programmed to be afraid of lice, of dandruff, and of Other People’s Hair flying at them, they will immediately back up, and give you the space you need to go back to your gentle dreaming. Problem solved. You are welcome.

on clean thighs…

on guard mist

Being a lady means that one is female. Being female means that one needs to (usually) sit on a toilet seat. When one does sit on a toilet seat, one does not (usually) think of how many other thighs have rested there previously, but the number could be astonishing.

Happily for us ladies, there is no thigh-counter, telling you exactly how many tushes have rested there before us. But sometimes there is an indication that someone has been there previously. It’s the unfathomable: it’s the surprising (not the good surprising like a sunny day in November, or a chilled salad fork at a restaurant) feeling of liquid matter on you thighs. Yes, the woman (not a lady) before you has inconsiderately decided not to sit on the seat, and to let nature take its messy, disgusting course. There’s really only one thing to do in this situation, and that is to retrieve your hand-cleaning product, henceforth known as thigh-cleaning product, and lather it onto the affected areas.

Or you could try doTerra’s option: OnGuard mist.  http://bit.ly/2ToPhPZ

on time travel

Scene from the Bayeux tapestry

Of course we’ve all daydreamed about having a time machine. Where would we go? How would we come back? Will this time machine ever be invented?

Well, I’m here to tell you that time travel is indeed possible. If you use my special method, you won’t get trapped in time, you will not upset the time-space continuum, and you do not have to invest in expensive equipment. I have a way for you to travel back to the past, to your favorite time period, risk-free.

It starts with grabbing a history book about your favorite century or period of history. The gay 90’s? The roaring 20s? Ancient Rome? Mesopotamia? My favorite is medieval times, and I’ve read dozens of history books about the middle ages. Armed with the knowledge of what things were like back then, I’m able to do time travel from my the comfort of hammock.

Yes, all you need to do, once you have the knowledge in your brain about this period in history, you can go there. Find a place where you can be, well, idle. A hammock, the couch, a grassy mead. Now close your eyes, and you’re there.

Scene from the Bayeux tapestry

on the color of your thumb

a thumbnail painted green and a thumbnail painted black

on the color of your thumb…

Do you have a green thumb, where every plant, succulent, cactus, bush and tree — deciduous or not — thrives at the mere sight of you?  Or do you kill every plant that you have ever come in contact with, including that “guaranteed to grow ” plant you bought at the supermarket last month?

Well I’m here to tell you there is no such thing as a green thumb, or black thumb for that matter.   I have known people with an apparent gift with all plants, who secretly have an entire outdoor shed dedicated to those plastic nursery pots — empty pots that once held a healthy plant and that were subsequently killed by said “Green Thumb Gary”.

I have also known people despair with their bad gardening luck, only to find that eventually they do find something they can grow successfully. So, Black Thumb Betty, there is hope for you. Just find your sweet spot, a plant that you understand, and that understands you. Branch out of typical roses and tomatoes and dahlias. Experiment with succulents, exotic banana trees, terrariums and water gardens. You will find it, if you keep trying. And remember, nurseries take back your empty plant pots, evidence of your plant failures, so you need not be visually reminded of your mistakes. 

a thumbnail painted green and a thumbnail painted black