7 x 7 Link Award

My pal over at Celluloid Zombie passed along this award, which led me to revisit some old blog posts.

The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple:

  1. Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.
  2. Link to a post I think fits the following categories: Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride Worthy Piece.
  3. Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers.

And we’re off.

Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows

If not one person knew some deep, dark secret of mine, I can’t imagine why I’d suddenly tell everyone. But here’s the thing…I’m a pretty open person. I’d offer up even the most cringe-inducing confession if I thought someone else would benefit by it. So there you go. Not nearly as exciting as the bodies under the floorboards over at Celluloid Zombie, I know.

1. Most Beautiful Piece

Without hesitation, my most beautiful piece—One Two Three Kick—is about the person responsible for so many happy moments in my childhood (even if I do shudder when re-reading the paragraphs detailing the excessive snacking. What did we know? It was the 70s.)

2. Most Helpful Piece

Felix the Cat and MacGyver inspired this post that I hope encouraged you to consider how the simplest things and a bit of imagination can take life from mundane to memorable. Check out Felix the Cat and MacGyver Picnic on a Purple Sarong.

3. Most Popular Piece

Reading Old Journals…Yikes! struck a chord with many readers. It is my leader in Comments and what great comments they are.

4. Most Controversial Piece

Controverisal? Moi? Well, if you’re planning on hiring me sometime in the future, please don’t read Denim, the evil fabric until we’ve finalized all the contracts.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful Piece

Who could have guessed that my family recipe for Migliaccio (Italian Farina Custard) would top my Most Viewed chart? When did farina, eggs, and sugar become so popular? It just goes to prove that the whole, bubbling concoction is greater than the sum of its parts. With Easter right around the corner, you don’t want to miss this one.

6. Most Underrated Piece

Apparently, readers don’t want to hear about one of the more embarrassing moments in my life or the possibility that Child Protective Services has a file on me for subjecting a minor to naked aliens. If that sort of thing doesn’t interest you either, then don’t read Signs.

7. Most Pride Worthy Piece

My post Travel: Gaeta, Italy in October is the one I’m most proud of. It was a labor of love to condense two of the best weeks of my life into a CliffsNotes travelogue. I’m so hopeful that someone out there will make this very trip and then tell me all about their experience. I love reminiscing about this vacation and I often return to this post to immerse myself in a sea of memories.

My 7 Nominees

I know people are busy, so don’t feel obligated to participate. However, you are the ones that entertain me the most and it would be fun to read some of your posts I may have missed.

Altared Spaces

Finding the Humor

Girlboxing

Huffygirl’s Blog

Mostly Bright Ideas

The Fordeville Diaries

The Glowing Edge

Denim, the evil fabric

Beware the Evil Denim

I often find myself in a daydream, pondering the absurdities of life. The power of curse words is a favorite. The banning of books another. Today I’m thinking about denim and why it has long been considered an evil fabric capable of ruining sales, toppling corporations, and bringing economic collapse to a nation.

First, a disclaimer. I love denim. Love it. It can be dressed up, down, all around. It comes in different colors and cuts. It’s comfortable. You put on a pair of jeans and forget about it. There’s no fussing and fixing and adjusting. It’s easy and leaves you free to concentrate on the important stuff in life.

Unfortunately, someone long ago decided denim was not an acceptable fabric for the workplace. The suit would be the standard business attire. Pin stripes, single breasted, double breasted…the styles have changed, but the suit remains in wool, silk, and blends. Men would be taken seriously only if they wore a strip of material from their necks that flapped in the wind and smacked them in the face or dipped into their soup at power lunches. Don’t tell me the inventor of the tie wasn’t a man with a hang-up about his extreme “outie” belly button that showed through a thin dress shirt and needed covering up.

One of my early employers was an oddball on many levels, but the height of his eccentricity was his insistence on a stringent dress code at work. On my first day, I was handed the book “Dress for Success” by my immediate supervisor who rolled her eyes and nodded in the direction of the head honcho’s office. Never mind that it was 1990 and the copyright date of that edition was 1977. I flipped through it and felt a shiver crawl up my spine. Skirted suits that fell below the knee with front kick pleats and polyester shirts with long strands of fabric at the neck to be tied in foofy bows. Sensible pumps. Calgon, take me away.

At least my supervisor was in her 50s and probably had some of that stuff in the back of her closet. But I was 12 in 1977. For me, it would require a trip to a vintage store. When I arrived home that first day, I immediately called Mom, who is a conjurer of department store finds and she set me up with a bunch of ugly stuff my grandmother wouldn’t wear but would please the wretched retro police.

Future jobs were similar in their insistence on no denim, but at least allowed you to wear suits that were fashionable at the time. I could never understand the tunnel vision on this issue. It seemed to be oddly focused on fabric and not about the resulting image. So you ended up many times with employees who wore suits but looked like hell. Like the guy in the suit that fit him 50 pounds ago, the pants worn low-rise by necessity, right around his groin, with a barrel of a belly tumbling over. Yellow rings around his collar and splashes of something, yesterday’s lunch maybe, on his greying white shirt. Buttons popped and not replaced. Is someone dressed in crisp, clean denim worse than this guy?

I understand the need for restrictions in work attire, even if just for the mental health of the people in the vicinity of the offending employee. I once worked for a company that had a summer casual dress policy until one of the guys went and ruined it for the rest of us. He was reprimanded for the shortness of his shorts. I’ll admit it was scary. I think it was just such an occasion that the expression “waiting for the ball to drop” was invented. Productivity decreased as employees took to gambling on the outcome. Cards with L or R were cast and bets were taken. At around the same time, there was a squirrel infestation at the office. They’d scurry around his feet waiting for…Yeah, I know, ewwwww. But it’s a true story. Well, except for the squirrels…and the gambling.

Some companies have begun to relax, especially as denim has become more sophisticated in dark washes and trouser cuts. But there are still some that forbid the evil fabric. Just another one of life’s absurdities.

[Special thanks to Carl D’Agostino for providing the following cartoon. You can check out his other work at I Know I Made You Smile.]