I am not an elegant lady. I am a Converse and smart-aleck tee shirt sort of gal. I like my clothes to allow
I just can't stay interested in things like hair, makeup, clothes and fingernails. There's a lot of other, more interesting things out there.
Mostly, I'm comfortable with this. It's who I am.
But I admire elegance in others, and sometimes I wish I knew how to be elegant.
Some women just seem to have an automatic elegance. Especially women of my grandmother's generation. Women who are now in their 80s, if we're still fortunate enough to have them. They knew a kind of style that I just don't get. How does one even get hair to do that? How do you walk in shoes like that and make it look like something other than a weird balancing exercise?
Is it something in the bones? If I had aristocratic cheekbones and a super long neck, would that turn me from a cute and fuzzy duck into a swan?
Is it money? Elegance often seems expensive. Pearl earrings and flowing gowns are hard to come by on a schoolteacher's salary. As are occasions on which one might wear such things.
Is it something more physical? A way of holding yourself? A grace of movement and gesture? If so, I don't think there's any hope for me. I am clumsy and charmingly awkward at best.
My grandmother would have said it was poise. She also claimed that could be learned, even though she herself couldn't define it for me well. When she tried, she talked about self-respect and a unruffled, serene demeanor. But she agreed that it wasn't cold or distant from others. We both knew elegance when we saw it, but can't explain it.
At times, I have tried to put on elegance, but it doesn't fit me well. I feel and look like I'm trying. My unease and discomfort shows. I pull at the clothes and pick at my nails. Elegant people never seem to be trying. It just happens, as simply and naturally as growing taller or having a certain color of eyes.
I'll just have to hope that not being easy in my own skin serves me well on the page. Maybe I can write someone elegant instead of trying to be someone elegant.
This post is part of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge.