I’m flummoxed.

Elegance eludes me.

Perhaps the most elegant solution is to explain that I have no admiration of elegance beyond the aesthetic of “Ooh, pretteh!”

Elegance is not my forte.
I recognize elegance and I’m tellin you, I ain’t got none. <– See? Seems like it takes a large dose of poise, which I was never allotted, and if you’ve ever spent time with an elegant person, then you know it takes a lot of time and energy to polish appearances and prepare for all the required decorum.

Elegance goes with a lot of terms that are lost on me: fancy, refined, ornate, opulent, proper, graceful, ladylike, delicate…

I am not a china person. I am not a careful person and the idea of owning china frightens me. For instance, I am quite fond of the Royal Albert Old Country Roses pattern. I wouldn’t own it. If I owned it, I would keep it in a box and never use it. I wouldn’t want to take it out of the box because I might break it. I wouldn’t want to take it to the kitchen, across my evil porcelain floors, which might as well announce to all fragile things, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” I’d need to carry it across that tile to wash it, and I wouldn’t want to wash it because I am a clumsy person who has a cast iron sink and arthritis, and soapy things are slippery.
Nope, not a china person.

I am not a crystal person, either. We received crystal on our wedding day, which I still find bizarre. My MIL has that piece of crystal. It looks beautiful in her china cabinet.
My grandmother left me a crystal sugar dish, with silver lid and spoon, and although it’s quite pretty, I cannot imagine a single situation in which I would use it. Beauty Queen has that crystal sugar dish. It looks beautiful in her china cabinet.
Nope, not a crystal person.


a great find from my friend alias 🙂

In place of elegance, I have practicality.

My china cabinet has extra pieces of sturdy Fiesta in it. And I use it when we have a lot of company.

My home is cozy. It is not not carefully curated. In a glance, it tells you I am all about comfort. If you spend five minutes in my home, you’ll come to realize that I have a penchant for old wood and a serious cotton fetish. In addition to the absence of china, crystal, and silver, you’d notice and that every single thing is personal and purposeful. I dwell with memories as my backdrop. Everything tells a story. Much of it tells a handmade story.

My coffee table looks like it’s been through four kids, my dining table looks like the one I grew up with, and my nightstand looks like the antique school desk my mother used as a girl, and for just those reasons.

My closet lacks elegance as well. Everything is merely vaguely feminine and comes only in black, gray, blue, white, or pink. It’s all essentially timeless and classic, or boring and basic, however you look at it. I wear very few patterns, and even less lace. It’s 99% cotton, and 99% wash n’ wear.

I own plenty of good jewelry and nice bags, but none are fancy. I don’t own any ball gowns or glass slippers, either.

Sometimes people tell me I make fancy food, like that’s even a thing! I make a lot of great dishes, and some are complex, but I love few things more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I garden with my gut. I’m fairly random. No one will be coming to photograph my inelegant garden.


I’m simple. I’m jeans, worn-out quilts, dog-eared books, boots and mud by the back door.

Just Jot it January is brought to you by LindaGHill

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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67 Responses to Elegance

  1. renxkyoko says:

    I’m becoming like my mother. I now look at pretty crystals, and beautiful china, like teapots. ” Look, Ma, isn’t that pretty ? “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy Martin says:

    I have some crystal glasses that I was given as a gift years ago, I have never used them! Like you, I do not touch things that are delicate as I will break them. My mum has that Royal Albert Old Country Roses tea service. I am not trusted to go anywhere near that. I think it is in a cupboard anyway now! Unlike you, I envy elegance. I want to be all poised and graceful, not clomping about like a carthorse knocking everything over, as I normally do!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m with you completely here. The crystal we received for our wedding is so dusty it’s probably decayed by now. And we never got china. Instead we got my grandmother’s old dishware. It’s not fancy, but it’s pretty, and I remember using it when I was a child. The memories associated with it are better than anything I could get that cost $100 a plate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mostly all true for me as well, which becomes painfully obvious when one moves to such an elegant country as Italy. It’s called down to earth, and I just hope we’re not a dying breed. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Benson says:

    I have known elegance at difference times in my life. I have even owned some elegant things in my time. I don’t have them anymore and I don’t really miss them. Maybe elegant things just need to be admired. Furthermore I think cotton clothes can be as elegant as silk. It depends on the attitude of the wearer. No matter,you certainly wrote an outstanding piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. baldjake70 says:

    I grew up in a home that was filled with pretty. For as long as I can recall there was a china cabinet filled with things that almost never came out. It was filled with things that I was not allowed to carry to the table or wash until I was an adult. If my defective memory serves me correctly my dad purchased them in Vietnam.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jan says:

    Anyone who can spell the word “flummoxed” is definitely more elegant than she thinks!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. dalecooper57 says:

    A table should show the scars of its life, there’s nothing like the patina of life on a well loved, well used table to give a room character.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Abandon all hope…your evil porcelain floor. I’m dying here. ☺☺ Your post reminds me of something Erma Bombeck said at the end of her life…that she wished she had burned the fancy rose candle, and used the good dishes, the special guest towels. Life is too short to not use the pretty things. If I make an elegant meal..(.and yes, I think food can be elegant), I always opt for the good dishes. Don’t care if they chip. 💖 A sweet, honest post here, Joey.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Luanne says:

    And you’re a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Funny as usual! “Pretteh” – love it. I wouldn’t consider myself elegant either. I think we would get along in real life. Although I do have a thing for fashion – not an obsessive thing requiring all the latest trends and expensive brands – but I enjoy putting together an outfit. I used to think that was shallow but I have come to realize it’s another creative outlet for me – gives me enjoyment and makes me feel good (better) about myself when I walk out the door. And I equally realize not everyone cares about that and that’s cool too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ally Bean says:

    I grew up in a world of elegance light. That is nice things all around me, but not obsessed over. Some of it has worn off on me, but I find that I’m too practical for many things fancy. Except for crystal wine glasses and fancy watches and upscale purses. So maybe it’s rubbed off on me more than I think it has. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful post, Joey! I agree with your points. While elegance is nice, it’s terribly tiring and uncomfortable. Practicality is so much more relaxed, comfortable, inviting, and….real. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan Antion says:

    I like this. It all makes sense. We didn’t have many nice things lying around or tucked away anywhere special when I was growing up. My mom had to hide that stuff cuz two boys and a husband who was just a bigger boy, well, it wasn’t normally a good place for pretty things. Life is too short to not go through it happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LindaGHill says:

    I have a china cabinet… I never open it. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dvaal says:

    I love fiesta dishes. But, I love fine China as well. Two sides of me just don’t blend -I don’t know how I survive.
    This is a great post -and screams out -I am perfection in cotton and jeans. So true to yourself, it makes your words fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Anxious Mom says:

    When my grandmother encouraged me to register for a china set, my response was “but why??!” I’ve broken Corelle dishes, so keep me away from anything more than a buck a dish!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. thatssojacob says:

    Like the lyrics of Hello, Dolly! “We’ve…got…elegance…we were born…with…elegance…”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Prajakta says:

    I like being “elegant” – that said I don’t go by the standard definition of it which came up about a hundred years ago. So in my head, the fact that my hair doesn’t resemble a nest, that my jeans fits well and that a dress feels pretty equals elegant. I don’t need chandeliers and china and dainty bags to feel elegant as long as it is clean, pleasant and comforting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. prior2001 says:

    I like you more all the time – and could relate to some of this – I tried to be extra poised many moons ago – but it was so hard not being me- I prefer casual but some elegance at times – but I have overly elegant fiends (from years ago) and that is just who they are – anyhow glad I was able to catch your fun writing twice recently – lucky for me – and wishing you a nice rest of the week

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pistachios says:

    I knew there was a reason I liked you 😉 Wash & wear clothing, PB&J sandwiches, furniture that has stood the test of time… I’m a very practical person too. Do not like ornamental things that serve no purpose other than collecting dust (unless there’s some great sentimental value attached to it, then it’s a whole other matter)


  22. April says:

    Same way here. We use the same dishes I’ve had since pre-marriage….even when company comes. No dry cleaning, but I do have a thing for handbags and shoes/boots.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. We think alike – I’m just older. 🙂 Elegance is for the rich folks who pay people to do their hair, apply their makeup, pick out their clothes, plan their meals, and coach their fitness regime. Those of us who do all their own stuff realize jeans last longer, are more comfortable and go in and out of the wash without the need of an iron. I also require comfortable shoes. I did many years of corporate attire – been there and so done with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I know plenty of women without means who always appear elegant, but even then, there’s a certain luxe quality to them.
      I have to laugh though, because your description allows those ‘effortless’ people to truly be ‘effortless.’ I can’t imagine.

      Liked by 1 person

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