Unsuitable office attire –>
C is for color in clothing. When I was an executive with my old company, I looked in my closet one day and everything I owned seemed to be a shade of grey. I had been hired into management in an age when women were just beginning to crack the management ranks for the second time. The first time they cracked the management ranks was in the nineteenth century.
As I was unaware of that exciting period in women’s history, I had no guide. Fortunately, several authors had published books designed to help women like me. You know the kind of book: Dress for Success and its ilk. In my life before the corporation, I had always worn dresses, but I left them behind and began to wear suits. The early women’s suits were all shades of grey and black. The fashion industry was so far behind the times in those days, they simply took the same fabric used in men’s dull suits and dressed women to assume a position in the “long grey line.”
I don’t think they thought women would be around for long. Perhaps they were right. In recent years, women have lost more jobs than men as the recession hit the ranks of FIRE employees where women are heavily concentrated. (FIRE=Finance, Insurance, Real Estate in the GDP)
C is for color in the garden. I seem to have been a bit pale in my color selections of late. I have many perennials with white blossoms in my various beds, AKA, but my annuals in pots are overwhelmingly pink or will be.
The white rose to the left (photo from my garden)may not be very impressive but I love her dearly. She is the Blanc Double de Courbet and she was beloved of Josephine who planted her in the famous garden of Malmaison.
Malmaison was so famous that during the Napoleonic wars the British let any rose destined for Josephine’s garden pass through the naval blockade they set up around France. The Blanc Double was one of those roses. Well, it makes a good story, and I can see how the French would have loved her and the British too. It is true, however, that the British let flowers destined for Malmaison pass through the blockade.
Blanc Double is a Rugosa or rugged rose, a hedge rose and one of the oldest China rosas. Loaded with thorns, I think she must be the rose that pricked Rose White’s thumb (or was that Rose Red?). She is extremely fragrant. Here is what Fine Gardening says about her:
The white of this rose has a purity of color that is without equal. It produces semi-double, very fragrant flowers from spring to fall, which are sometimes followed by orange hips. It grows to 6 feet high and wide.
Rugosa roses have thorny branches and attractive, distinctively wrinkled leaves. (The species takes its name from the Latin word rugosus, meaning “full of wrinkles”). They grow well in mixed borders, hedges, and as specimens, and are tolerant of harsh conditions, including salt spray, wind, and poor soil.
The downside of the Blanc Double according to FG is that some insects like her very much. I haven’t noticed much insect damage, but I suspect this is because I always have Wrens and Chickadees nesting nearby, and they like insects.
Is the Double Blanc named for Mt. Blanc in France?
I visited there and found it very cold and white.
C is for cuff as in Rotator Cuff. David saw his orthopedic surgeon yesterday. Actually, he saw my guy. Seems the practice we use is composed of specialists. David’s guy has replaced a hip and knee-joint and given him many shots over the past few years. My guy works on shoulders and knees and does arthroscopic work. I know he is ‘my guy’ because when I saw the fellow who does backs, he sent copies of the records from my back exam to both my primary physician and my orthopedic surgeon.
David saw Dr. McConnell yesterday and the doc gave him a prescription for physical therapy. He says before they do surgery they will try this approach. This was David’s third visit to see a member of the practice in three weeks and will be his 4th set of PT sessions. So far, he’s been to PT for shoulder, hip and knee. When he walks into reception, the gal at the desk says, “Why are you here?” She goes through the whole litany before she comes to the correct body part.
All this shows that:
1/ if one part of your body goes, they all start to go;
2/ you have to be a medical genius to keep up with your own body;
3/ Why Medicare is going broke;
4/ all of the above.
As I filled in the PT schedule on our calendar, I told David I needn’t have wondered what I would do after I finished my degree in two weeks. I can see it now…my calender stretches out into the future filled with appointments for both of us for eyes, ears, joints, and internal organs. Oh yes, I might manage to arrange a visit to a local rose garden too.
Note: for the hats, simply click on Amazon and type in Hats-women. Then search until you find what you have in mind. The hats I chose are under the cloche selection. That’s ‘bell’ in French.
Now this always provokes the same response, “Doesn’t my hair always look nice?” which I immediately uttered. I hadn’t had my coffee yet, but ever alert for husband angst, I could sense he was beginning to back pedal. To help him out, I mentioned that I hadn’t done anything with my hair but comb it. ” I wore a hat yesterday, maybe that smoothed it a bit?”
“Well, sometimes it looks a bit unruly.
I said, “Well at least I have hair” gave him a look, poured my coffee and went in the living room.
Time was, a comment like that would have led to an incident. But not these days.
I am in the generation of women who ruined the ozone with our aerosols. We mussed and fussed and combed and teased and with our hair lacquered into place went out to meet the world. We were the generation best represented by radicals and earth mothers, according to the press, in denial about our potential as “suits.”
Although I spent my youth broiling in the sun, trying to look like a Hollywood Princess, when I became liberated I spent my days in the stacks searching for the right book. Then, I entered the male workplace and they didn’t know what to do with me. My new company had lost a huge lawsuit that resulted in them being ordered by the Federal government to admit women to the managerial ranks. So, we were admitted, now what? Neither men nor other women were ready for female bosses and our arrival created quite a stir. We had pain, we had fun, we had trial and error on both sides for a long while. Some men opened doors, others attempting to treat us as equals let them slam in your face. I told them no one should be afraid to hold a door for anyone else.
Regarding our appearance, we tried dressing like guys with suits and ties, although most of the men continued to treat us like girls. By the time I left the private sector in the late 1980s, many women were returning to traditional female dresses. They were tired of wearing grey suits reminiscent Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (Hollywood propaganda beloved by women who came after the Sigourney Weaver first wave of women managers fought the good fight). Where I had ruined one pair of high heels after another falling through street grates, these wise girls wore white sneakers. Where I wore too many pearls, they wore slim gold chains around their ankles. One of my subordinates had about 10 pairs of running shoes in her cubicle (she finished the NYC marathon). Where we had worn our hair like helmets, they let their hair fly free and sweated like bricklayers.
Unfortunately, for David, he retired from the private sector in the mid 1980s, and by the time the government girls had caught up with the private sector girls fashionwise, he had retired from the government. So, he doesn’t understand that women my age can have unruly hair. We learned a lot from those young girls.