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LJ Idol Week 11: Haute

As a child, I often sat in front of my mother's vanity, legs tucked underneath me upon the blue and white cushion as I played with her perfume. The bottles were of cut glass, and to my young eyes they were the loveliest things I ever laid eyes on. Surely this is what it meant to be a lady, I thought, taking the small glass stopper from the bottle and using some of my mother's perfume. I dabbed it on my wrist as my mother taught me and waved my hands in the air like a conductor to take in the scent of my mother's elegance. At some point, I would snap out of my reverie and realize that I had done it again: I used my mother's perfume when I was not supposed to. To remedy this, I did what any five-year-old might find acceptable: I filled the perfume bottle back up with water, truly believing my mother would never know. In this way, I made my first attempt at becoming the lady she was, and still is.

Yet my admiration for the class and elegance my mother displays as easily as breathing did not end with her perfume bottles (although I did learn that my water trick was fooling no one). No, I began to realize growing up that my mother possessed something I rarely see these days, and that is good taste. My mother has impeccable taste for interior design, her clothing, and food. She can transform a modest house into a cozy cottage, a shirt into an outfit, a holiday dinner into an event. Her Thanksgiving dinner? Renowned. Martha would put her spatula down out of sheer respect. Her flair for picking something as simple as a faucet has contractors shaking their heads because they can't believe that the room they thought would never come together is actually way more beautiful than they ever realized it could be. Most people see something for what it is, but my mother sees it for what it can be.

I often watch in awe because I am as far from elegant as it gets. I say this not to be self-deprecating, but simply because it's true. I live in sweats and a ponytail. It took me days to notice that I managed to take off part of my toenail, leaving one of my toes looking haggard. Make-up? What is that? I wear the same ratty shoes everywhere, and I have been carrying a brown purse with black clothing for several weeks now. Style? Not so much. Haute? I had to look that one up in the dictionary.

Yet the thing that makes my mother the most classy, elegant, and respectable woman I know has nothing to do with how she cooks, dresses, or designs a kitchen. It's the fact that she takes care of her family no matter what personal sacrifice she has to make. The fact that she is respected by all that know her. Her generosity even when selfishness would be acceptable. How she roots for the underdog and asks for people to buy a chicken for the underprivileged for her birthday instead of giving gifts. The level of class and generosity she shows the world on any given day makes me proud to be her daughter, and in this way, I hope I can be even close to how elegant she is.

This is my entry for therealljidol. If you enjoyed it, please remember to vote for me when the polls open on Saturday! As always, thanks for reading.



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
I love this. :) Both your mother and you are elegant in your own way.
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much. :)
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
I really liked this. People pay too much attention to what makes a person beautiful or classy on the outside. Not nearly enough attention is paid to inner beauty.
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
I agree! :) And thank you.
Jan. 29th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
Your mother sounds incredible. I had a pretty amazing one too. Although she barely did the whole makeup thing either. I think that's why I rarely use it myself :)
Jan. 29th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
She truly is an incredible woman...I am so proud to be her daughter. :) Thanks for reading this. And go us for not wearing makeup! Personally, I can't justify all the time it takes to use it.
Jan. 29th, 2011 03:30 am (UTC)
I can't justify it either. But then, I like my face how it is naturally :)
Jan. 29th, 2011 09:27 am (UTC)
A beautiful tribute to you mom. Written with love. Well done.
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. :)
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
Fantastic tribute to her. I hope you share it with her. I really liked this entry. The water trick is just too funny. I do the black bag with all my clothing and it's a back pack even. I fail, but no need to discuss it here, I wrote about it in my own entry. lol. It'd be great if we could all be like your mom.
Jan. 29th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will definitely be sharing it with her. This would truly be a better place to live in if more people were like my mom.
Jan. 30th, 2011 07:04 am (UTC)
Very sweet!
Jan. 30th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
What a lovely tribute to your mom!

I agree - what makes a person classy is about the things on the inside - how one cares for others.
Jan. 30th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
How lovely for a daughter to appreciate her mom so much. I enjoyed this.
Jan. 31st, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
You have rendered me speechless, which as we both know is a feat as rare as the full eclipse of the sun.
Reading this was an emotional journey.
How sweet and wonderful it is to have the opportunity to see myself in your eyes. I must admit, I would never use the word elegant to describe myself. I, the woman praying for the red light so I can throw on a coat of mascara. I, the person who showed up at the last possible moment, running with her "hair on fire" for a family portrait with one blue and one black shoe - a moment which has become family lore.
I wear make up because I need it. You have flawless skin and fabulous, exotic features. You need nothing!
This was such a touching and wonderful essay, my girl. I am the luckiest mom in the world. Life with you has been filled with sweet moments. Thank you my love.
And, just one more thing: seriously? Brown purse with black clothes???
Jan. 31st, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
What a lovely entry about her!
Jan. 31st, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
What a gorgeous tribute to your mom. Sadly, though, I think her kind is drifting away little by little.
Jan. 31st, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Your mother sounds like an amazing person. I've been privileged to meet one or two like her - they just have special something that shines in everything they do. :)

ETA: your mother's response brought tears to my eyes - what a beautiful relationship you have. :)

Edited at 2011-01-31 08:51 pm (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
She sounds like an incredibly lovely person.
Feb. 1st, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. :) I liked this a lot!
Feb. 1st, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
True beauty, of course, has nothing to do with how refined or cultured a person is, but expresses itself in action. Nicely conveyed!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )