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.
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.