Wednesday’s Child Is Full Of Woe

Does anyone remember the nursery rhyme that starts “Monday’s child is full of face?” Well, until just a couple of years ago (and I’m 31), my mom had always told me that I was born on a Tuesday. In this poem, Tuesday’s child was full of grace, which I loved. I long to have the grace of someone like Jackie Kennedy (my granny’s grace role model) or Duchess Catherine. I was always so proud of being a Tuesday’s child, especially since my brother decided to be born on Sunday, which, according to the poem, is the best day of all. Being a United Methodist, we are all about grace. So, it was a double whammy.

I’m here to tell you that 21 hours apparently does some funny things to your brain. My mom went into labor on Tuesday. I, however, did not make an appearance until Wednesday. Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Sigh. (At least I’m keeping with my day).

Here’s the version of the poem I remember from my nursey rhyme books:

Monday’s child is fair of face. Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Thursday’s child has far to go. Friday’s child is loving and giving. Saturday’s child works hard for a living. But the child who is born on the Sabbath day is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

Like many things, though, the definition of woe has gotten a little changed over the years. Woe, in addition to sadness, referred to having empathy for others. My husband would say that part does fit me. Here’s what else I found interesting!

{There was considerable variation and debate about the exact attributes of each day and even over the days. Halliwell had ‘Christmas Day’ instead of the Sabbath.[1][not in citation given] Despite modern versions in which “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” an early incarnation of this rhyme appeared in a multi-part fictional story in a chapter appearing in Harper’s Weekly on September 17, 1887, in which “Friday’s child is full of woe”, perhaps reflecting traditional superstitions associated with bad luck on Friday – as many Christians associated Friday with the Crucifixion. In addition to Wednesday’s and Friday’s children’s role reversal, the fates of Thursday’s and Saturday’s children were also exchanged and Sunday’s child is “happy and wise” instead of “blithe and good”.[4]   }

I’d also be pretty happy being “loving and giving” with the role reversal shown here. However, I will say, that, as a United Methodist, one of the holiest services, in strictly my opinion, is that of Ash Wednesday. This poem, which I randomly thought of, reminds me of that Wednesday and the preparation of our hearts. I think I’m okay being a Wednesday’s child after all.

Thank you for reading! I think nursery rhymes, which are so simple on the surface, are filled with tradition, and I’m excited to get to go over a few in the next couple of weeks! Which ones are your favorites?

Why I Dress My Best….And Expect The Same From My Kids

You may remember this post where I talked about wearing clothes that were still casual (think cotton) but were just a little nicer than shorts. I was surprised that others took notice. At work, I tend to wear dresses. To me, they’re actually more comfortable than pants are (I’m hippy), but they truly do take things up a notch.

The past several times that I’ve gone to WalMart, I’ve done so right after work. I’m there in my mid-high heels and my dress. Nothing super special. For about five times in a row now I’ve been complimented by strangers on looking nice. Usually by the end of the day, my makeup is a blur, and my hair isn’t the way I had it in the morning. They’re not necessarily inferring “pretty.” They were simply saying the appreciated that I wasn’t there with wet hair and shorts with “juicy” written across.

Our culture has become increasingly casual – to the point where someone in a simple cotton dress is noticed. Can I tell you my secret? I have about seven dresses. That’s all I wear to work. It keeps my closet cleaner. I prefer a minimalistic approach to living. I have two pair of earrings that I wear regularly. I also have a necklace that goes with about four of my dresses. I’m no Kate Middleton. I just do what works for me, but I truly do not think stepping up how we dress is any extra effort at all. As I explained in the first post where I talked about attire, putting on a skirt is really no extra effort than shorts. I’m not turning cartwheels, so I’m not worried about anything in that arena. My top is still a cotton top. It’s still very simple.

I do feel, though, right or wrong, we make an impression on others by how we look. I try to dress my best and for what’s appropriate, and I expect the same for my family. I want my kids to understand that taking a little time on our appearance isn’t vain. It is actually showing respect for ourselves and respect for others.

Thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Why I Blog on More Than Etiquette

I’ve head some recent emails actually thanking me for blogging on topics other than etiquette. They said they had liked my blog but were hesitant to visit at first because they were afraid it wouldn’t apply to their life.

I get it. I truly do. I was hesitant to even start a blog, but I’m so thankful I did. I had “started” blogs on and off for years. I never had much follow through. Just ideas. I didn’t know how to make etiquette applicable to a large group of people. I still don’t feel like I’m there, but I try each day to remember that etiquette IS about more than forks and knives. It’s about kindness. It’s about respect for others. It’s also about respect for oneself, which is why I’m working on a mini series on dressing well. 🙂 We are allowed to respect ourselves.

Because, to me, tradition and etiquette go together, I love writing about traditions in my blog. Etiquette is so regional that traditions play a big part in why etiquette in one area may not be the etiquette for another.

I am very grateful to you, the readers, for being so willing to read on more than just etiquette. There are plenty of etiquette blogs out there that tell you what to do. Many, though, fail on the why. So if you weren’t raised with etiquette or with a certain protocol, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain – neither of which feeling makes you feel comfortable actually using the etiquette the sites describe. This is the area I try to differ on. I want people to know why white after Labor Day is considered a fashion faux pas. I want people to understand how they portray themselves to others will make or break them in the business world. This is important to me. Thank you for letting me be different from the rest.

What Etiquette Is Not

There are so many sites out there that tell us what etiquette is or should be – good manners, politeness, etc. They tell us when to send invitations, thank yous, and more. However, there is so much that etiquette is not. None of these things alone are bad or against etiquette. I simply don’t want people to miss the forrest for the trees.

Etiquette is not perfect hair all of the time. Etiquette is not perfectly manicured hands. Etiquette isn’t wearing only tailored suits. Etiquette isn’t using only crystal wine glasses. Etiquette isn’t Italian monogrammed stationary. Etiquette isn’t writing thank you notes immediately every time you receive something. Etiquette isn’t an immaculate house. Etiquette isn’t a perfect schedule.

If anything on that list suits you and your season of life, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, that’s wonderful, too. I do believe that etiquette promotes us being our best us. I have kids, and I’m not going to buy dry clean only items that I wear on a daily basis. I’m just not. I will wear clean clothes to work. Again, happy medium, just like I’ve talked about recently. Let your kids eat watermelon on the back porch. Slow down in life enough to enjoy growing your own food or sewing or whatever it is that interests you. Adding etiquette doesn’t diminish the realness of life. It enhances it by adding that extra touch we often long for today. Etiquette doesn’t prevent you from you YOU. It helps you be a better you

I’m a Type A person, and I often long for perfection. I’m seeing the beauty in imperfection, too. There will be cook outs where I serve food on paper plates. But you can bet your bottom dollar that my bathrooms will be clean, and I will thank each person for coming, looking them in the eye while I do. 🙂 Etiquette does not equal perfectly formal. I think the more we’ve distanced ourselves from etiquette, the more the true defintion has gotten muddled. Maybe it’s so people can fool themselves into thinking etiquette isn’t applicable today. I’m not sure. I guess the best way I can sum it up is, you don’t have to be formal to follow etiquette. Invite your friends over for an informal dinner or play date with the kids. Just don’t stay on your phone the whole time they’re there. 😉

Events You Should Never Miss

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

I find the above quote to be true, but the romantic in me would add something else – weddings. 🙂 Yes, I know that 12383034853% (or something like that) of weddings end in divorce. In my mind, though, they are one-time events in regards to how special they are.

My pastor has always talked about non-recurring events. These are the events in peoples’ lives you shouldn’t miss. I’m taking this from an etiquette approach today, and I fully agree with his statement.

Regardless of how important you are or how busy your day is, the two events you should never miss are weddings and funerals. Seriously. If someone thinks enough of you to want you there when they are making a sacred vow to someone they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with, please take that to heart. Little Johnny’s soccer game dims in comparison. And it should. Recognizing the importance of other events, and, in part, recognizing the insignificance of some of our own events, such as a soccer game, is very healthy for us. It’s a needed dose of reality.

When someone you or your family knew passes away, honoring their life is important. Even if you have to take your lunch break in order to do so.

More important than which fork to use is respect of others. Pausing in our fast-paced world for a moment of honor for them. They’re not a burden on us but a blessing we can be a part of.

I would encourage all of you (and myself, of course) to make time for these non-recurring events. Thank you for reading!