Pink Wallpaper?!

When Mom and Dad and I moved into our first house in Wolfeboro, NH, Mom chose beautiful wallpaper for each room (except mine; my room was large and had paneling on the walls, which suited me fine). I’m not a fan of wallpaper; I prefer paint or wood. However, I did grow up with wallpaper.

When the Crankee Yankee and I moved into the house in Exeter, NH where he and his brother grew up, the first thing I noticed was the wallpaper. Each and every room had it, except for the bathroom.

At first I wanted to tear down all the wallpaper in the house, and paint the walls the colors I loved. I pictured the kitchen, office and hallway in a warm buttery yellow, the bathroom in lime, the bedroom in aqua (the one room that we did strip off the wallpaper and then paint!), and the living room in a coppery gold.

But after going through the incredibly time-consuming and messy business it was to remove the wallpaper in the bedroom, prepare the sheetrock and then paint it, I never wanted to do it again.

I tried to ignore the wallpaper; actually, in the kitchen it’s not bad at all. It’s that Williamsburg pineapple print so popular in the ’70s. (I still like it because it reminds me of Hawaii, and I do love all things Hawaiian!).

But the living room had been papered in a light pink with tiny flowers. Not my style at all. So I just tried to ignore it. Sometimes it worked, but mostly it didn’t. But as you know in life, things change.

So how exactly does a pink flowered living room change without a room demolition? Easier than you’d think. Pink things kept coming into my life, and wouldn’t you know it—all that pinkery worked in the living room! It was just as though the Universe was telling me to get used to pink as I was going to have a lot of it.

I came into possession of two lovely pink conch shells. Four pictures that I love have pink backgrounds. The beautiful Persian rug we inherited from the Crankee Yankee’s aunt has both rose and pink in it. And get this—since we now have most of Mom’s and Dad’s furniture in storage from the house in Wolfeboro—their couch and matching chair (which we will eventually move into our house) are covered in a brown, green, ivory and PINK print!

So with life along with wallpaper, just go with the flow. It’s funny how things happen and how some people are just meant for pink wallpaper—whether they know it or not. Who knew?

Beauty is a Many-Splendored Thing

How do you define beauty? By this I mean, what makes a person beautiful?

When I look at our two granddaughters, Ava and Juliette (whom we all call “Juju B”), this is what I see: Ava at five years old, strong and sturdy, with her own *fashion sense, her dad’s deep dimples and her mother’s amazing smile.

Juju B at six months old, wide eyed and gummy-grinned, is happy about life in general and is trying to skip the whole crawling thing; she wants to walk first. To the Crankee Yankee and me, they are breathtakingly gorgeous and perfect in every way.

But for non-family people, how do we define beauty? Oh, it’s easy enough to pick up the latest glossy fashion magazine and view all the gorgeous people in them wearing fabulous clothes and jewelry. But how about the rest of us?

What exactly makes someone beautiful? Is it perfectly symmetrical features, perfect hair, smooth skin, a “triple zero” figure, the “right” clothes? Looking back over the different decades, my own standards of fashion and beauty have changed.

Fashion changes quickly, as do makeup trends. Somewhere along the way, we find our own look; we find what works for us.

At my age, I have to laugh to see “new trends” evolve; often they are just a rehash of fashions past. I have lived through platform shoes, “granny” gowns and square tinted glasses, the Carnaby look popular during the “British invasion,” mini skirts and midi skirts, fishnet stockings and knee socks, active wear and yoga pants, heavy jewelry and minimalist jewelry, and so much more.

Let me say at this point that being this age is amazing  in that I no longer slavishly follow fashion trends the way I used to. I’ve mentioned this incredible woman before; Iris Apfel, 93 year old fashion maven. I love this quote of hers:

“When you don’t dress like everyone else you don’t have to think like everyone else.”

Image result for iris apfel

Fashion is one thing, and beauty is another. I love it that commercials now feature “normal” people; that is, small size whatever to large size whatever. What a beautiful mix we all are; different skin tones, different hair types, individual fashion trends, and so on.

At this stage of the game, we ought not to be so hard on ourselves for not being “perfect.” Beauty comes in many ‘flavors;’ there isn’t one standard of beauty any longer, which is great.

We are who we are, and it’s high time we were glad about it.

*For Ava, the more colors, the better. A typical outfit for her is flowered leggings turned up an inch at the bottom, a striped top with the same sort of colors, light-up sneakers, at least two headbands, and her unicorn purse. She adores anything pink and purple, but she is kindly to yellow, blue and green as well.