Friday, May 10, 2019

Changing Things Around

A change is as good as a vacation, they say, and I thought I would try it. They were right. After re-covering the furniture, it feels as though I've been transported to a guest house. Now to get the maid and butler to show up.

This is a house full of our Grandmother's furniture and everyone else's grandmother's furniture, and that is why I am always looking for new and interesting covers for it.

One of my readers gave me the fringed blanket which covers Grandma's chair, as you see, on the left. Another dear reader and friend gave me the cotton quilted bedspread and two pillow covers. I call this color "blush" pink and I'm liking it very much.

One of the covers makes a nice decorative cushion for the middle of the couch, and the other cover looks great as a runner on the mantel.

The cute rose shaped rug on the floor there is a bath mat from Walmart, washable, and although I had eyed it early in the year, it was just too high priced. The rugs were recently reduced to $7.00 and there was only one left. It is just the right shade to go with the blush accessories in my living room change over.

I do have some things on the sewing machine to show you soon,  for a little "hour-trip" we are taking. We aren't doing day-trips as much, since we have so many obligations at home, but  hour-trips are  just as refreshing and not as tiring or expensive.

painting by Albert Lynch

Conversation Courtesy
Today I have been thinking about the problem of being courteous to others when in a group, whether it is the family, church members, or others.

One thing that has stood out to me is the habit some have of monopolizing conversation, and the other thing is going into the minutest  details and holding others hostage with long, boring descriptions of things that really don't matter, that you aren't dying to know, and that you don't want to remember.
Top that off with monotone syrup and you've got a recipe for clenched teeth and brain trauma!

I sometimes think this comes from the days when you had to learn to read in a group, and some of the fast readers had to sit and listen to others taking their turn reading something ten times slower, and without even a hint of inflection in their voices. In the meantime, some of the more energetic students grew bored and got into trouble because they just could no longer sit still and wait for the sentencing to end.

We are supposed to learn about polite conversation in childhood, but we forget. I think in church groups, ladies ought to be especially mindful of other people's physical limitations (hearing loss, health, attention span, time constraints) and make sure that what is said can be heard and digested quickly and not keep anyone standing unbearably too long, while we make them hear us out.

Too often, and not just among the young, someone thinks their subject is going to make everyone stand at astonished attention, while they recite their  electrifying struggle with some financial challenge or a technical problem.

Occasionally a very clever individual can make you laugh with ridiculous descriptions of said calamities,  but most of the time it is agony to listen to the story, or so I have been informed, and people are too polite to walk away when someone is engaged in a long, tedious talk about the tiniest details of something or other.

I do not recall the name of an old novel where someone referred to "the talking aunts",  but possibly it was Mr. Knightly in the Miramax production of Jane Austen's "Emma."

Not only should our speech be edifying, it should build one another up, leave them happier and inspired, and feeling their creative best.

The opposite is true when someone launches into a deadening description of how something works or how it didn't work. It leaves the hearer in emotional paralysis,  particularly when the hearer did not express any curiosity about the subject.  I have heard tell, that ladies have to rest practically comatose in front of a soothing movie just to recover from the mind flogging they've been through when a lady decides to go into a long, insignificant description of something of non-interest. Please note the ending of this post where I leave a quote of someone doing this.

Let us be careful that what we say is uplifting and  encouraging, and helping others succeed in life, not about how bad everything is, how nothing is good, all is lost, there is no hope, etc.  It is a terrible way to raise children, and creates a very depressing atmosphere for teens, who, at that age, need to enjoy learning about life.

I could say more about it, but I'm sure you all have your own stories to tell about how someone kept you captive, perhaps even blocking the exit, while they told a very unadventurous story of something that didn't  matter to you.

In the 1980's, in response to the sad slipping of societal manners, there were books such as "Finishing Touches" by Anne Oliver, and "Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior" by Judith Martin,  and "Miss Manners Basic Training: The Right Thing to Say", also by Judith Martin.  These also helped the more shocked segment of society deal with the awful things people say, including the talker who holds her victim at the door to listen to a detailed description of how she tried to find a book in a pile of old books.  There was also a book by Emily Hunter called "Christian Charm Course" for young girls, which had a few conversational pointers and some reminders about delaying people by talking too long.

 These manners books made us all a little more self-conscious about the way we talk, what we talk about, and how our audience responds.  I haven't seen a manners book in decades, but maybe I'm missing something.

I remember seeing an old, old movie called "Auntie Mame", and although I don't think everything in it was "nice" or appropriate,  I do remember a young woman telling a very detailed story when others in the company were relating dramatic life-changing happenings. When no one commented or laughed after her description of what she thought was horrific, she said, "Well, it was ghastly. Just ghastly."

Here is the quote:

Gloria Upson Bunny Bixler and I were in the semi-finals - the very semi-finals, mind you - of the ping-pong tournament at the club and this ghastly thing happened.

 We were both playing way over our heads and the score was 29-28.

 And we had this really terrific volley and I stepped back to get this really terrific shot.

 And I stepped on the ping-pong ball! 

I just squashed it to bits.

 And then Bunny and I ran to the closet of the game room to get another ping-pong ball and the closet was locked! Imagine? We had to call the whole thing off....(astonished silence on the part of the listeners)

 Well, it was ghastly. Well, it was just ghastly.

 Of course the descriptions in this blog post can be equally as boring to some people, but at least there are pictures, and if you prefer neither, you can easily escape.


lynn maust said...

You have set up a lovely area there....and I like the idea of an 'hour trip'....I think I will do that too.

Feminine Belle said...

It would seem, in allot of ways as you have clean out areas, you have made room for perfectly lovely item to inhabit your life's work. How wonderful as a first time guest in your home.

You seem more keen on finding that perfect item you were looking for. So many of us get ghastly impatience in waiting for the right item to come along, but sometimes it is the *wait* was all we had to do as a flowering opening.

Loving the comment as others can "easily escape".

Like to see more post like this one ending in a perfectly sculpted smiling point. ~still laughing~