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As I See It

Fashion Faux Pas Vs. Fabulous Friends
Posted by Jill Chapin on Aug 6, 2006 - 6:20:00 PM

If we keep our minds open, we can always learn new things about ourselves. The problem is, we tend to lean against that almost-open door to awareness because we are often apprehensive about what we might discover on the other side.

I recently had an amusing epiphany that seemed to tumble toward that almost-closed door. Luckily, it was forced open just far enough for me to get a glimpse of what was pushing so hard for recognition.

And what greeted me? Two things. First, I really, truly don't always have the best judgment when it comes to decorating, makeup, clothes and hairstyle. Luckily, the second revelation was so touching and sweet, I wondered why I resisted its acknowledgment for so long.

I really do have tactful and caring friends and relatives. So maybe that is why I just didn't get their subtle hints that perhaps a different carpet color, lipstick, shoes or hairdo would do wonders for my . . . what? I have been so happy with my dark green carpet, my light lipstick, my comfortable shoes and reliable hairstyle that it never occurred to me that any of the above needed to be improved upon.

I sometimes need to be hit with the proverbial sledgehammer with issues such as these because it isn't on my radar to change what I already like. But because the people in my life are patient, I actually allowed myself to see things from their point of view. And you know what? It wasn't all that pretty.

OK, I'm now thoroughly convinced that the green carpet has to go; I'm putting on slightly darker lip gloss; I'm looking around for some spiffier shoes and I'm playing around with my hair a bit. But best of all, these decisions were made quite painlessly because those friends and relatives who offered an opinion in response to my queries were so darn adorable in their delivery.

Instead of denigrating my selections, they practically embraced me with positive alternatives, delivered with a school girl charm that made us more like co-conspirators than adversaries. They could have said "This carpet color is so 1980's," but instead they opted to point out how delicious a neutral color would blend in better with my furnishings. And instead of commenting on my mousy brown hair, they regaled me with visions of how highlights would enhance my gorgeous eyes.

I went through a short period where it gradually dawned on me that they have been "co-conspiring" with me for quite a while, trying to nudge me in the direction of better style. When I began to see a pattern here, my kneejerk reaction was to wonder how they could stand to associate with such a schlemiel.

That's when I realized how little credit I accorded these special people in my life. They apparently accept me for reasons that go far deeper than superficial prettiness. I was the one who indulged in a momentary lapse of shallowness, figuring that they must be one step away from bailing out on such a fashion loser as myself. Hah. Far from it. These are people, just like me, in that they value a friend for such things as their reliability, loyalty, humor and compatibility. They are like me in basically every way but one and I have decided not to hold it against them.

They simply have better taste in carpet, lipstick, hairstyles and shoes.


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.