Monday, March 12, 2012

Don't Let It Go To Your Head

Don't Let It Go To Your Head

It was one of those waiting rooms designed for women. The furniture, though cutting edge, still managed to retain a softer look - all rounded arms and muted colours. Scattered about, Vogues and Bazaars shot lip-sticked smiles in my direction. Not a Sports Illustrated to be seen. I had come to this spa for a massage, nudged along by a sore right shoulder brought about from too much late-night knitting. Tying my fluffy white robe a bit tighter round my waist, I sat sipping my cup of green tea, wondering how best to explain my shoulder to my masseuse without eliciting a giggle or two. A knitting injury? How many of those does she see in a week?

Fortunately for me, the dear lady didn’t giggle. She merely nodded sagely as I acted out my problem... “See, when I turn my head to the right, it really hurts”.

Then she cocked her head and gingerly asked, “Have you turned forty yet?

I choked a little on my tea.

Was she having me on?

I, um... well, I’m a little bit older than forty”, I mumbled.

She nodded at me as one does to a child and said in a conspiratorial whisper, “Well. I’M already forty-five and I can tell you, aches and pains begin to show up then. You just wait”.

Believe me, I don’t remember much about that massage. I only know that I left the spa with not just a much looser shoulder, but a high-flying self-esteem as well. She didn’t even think I was forty yet! That meant she still thought I was in my thirties. Wow! I began to rethink some things. Perhaps I shouldn’t be wearing my hemlines so long, after all. Maybe it wasn’t too late in the game to become a ballerina! Should I give those Twilight books a second look? And why not wear five inch leopard print stilettos and leather leggings? I bet I could pull that off, given my youthful appearance!

The euphoria of this delightful miscalculation of my age continued unabated until this week when a dear reader directed my attention to an article in London’s Daily Telegraph in which From The House Of Edward had been named one of the Top Ten Home and Property Blogs. An undeniable honour and one that sent my spirits soaring and my fingers quickly typing out the website to read it for myself.

Hurriedly glancing down the page I found the entry!

It began...

“From The House of Edward, written by a grandmother in the American South.....”

Whoa. Wait. What??

My heart stopped. Cold.

Written by a GRANDMOTHER? What? I read it again.

And again.

But with each reading, that word not only remained, but appeared to increase in size until it covered the entire page, blotting out any other complimentary description of my dear little blog that followed. My eyes shot to the profile photo at the top right side of my blog. Oh gee, do I look like a GRANDMOTHER? I do! I look like a GRANDMOTHER!

I stubbed my toe on a dog toy as I ran like a lunatic down the hall to the bathroom where the magnifying mirror sat waiting. Once in front of this oracle, I stared into it like the evil queen in Snow White.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against grandmothers. I know quite a few and they are, on the whole, a marvelous lot. And yes, technically, I guess I’m old enough to be one. Technically. (I mean while we’re at it, technically, Brad Pitt is old enough to be Kate Middleton’s father, which is certainly a rather appalling thought and not something he'd want pointed out in the Daily Telegraph, I just bet.) And anyway, actually Being a Grandmother is not the issue here. It’s having someone just assume you are one and broadcasting that fact to the world! To be fair, when I brought up the mistake in my thank you note to the kind gentleman who included me in this illustrious list, he apologized profusely saying there was something he’d read in one of my former posts that led him to believe I was, indeed, a grandmother. So perhaps his assumption wasn’t based entirely on my profile photo. But, still.

After a few depressing moments during which I sat on the side of my clawfoot tub with my forehead resting in the palm of my hand, I happened to look down into Edward’s worried face.

I could read his thoughts as clearly as if they were my own.....

“Well, you went and did it, didn’t you? The very thing you’re always telling other people not to do. You let someone else define you. Truth is, you’re not in your thirties. You’re not a grandmother, either. So what? Why let yourself get thrown off the track by either false assumption? And anyway, I happen to love you just like you are. So get up and let’s go for a walk”.

So, we did.

And I felt a bit better.

A bit.

Later when I felt strong enough to actually finish reading the Telegraph's Top Ten List I saw my blog described as “Curiously old-fashioned advice in a very modern package.”

I liked that very much.

But don’t worry, Edward. I won’t let it go to my head.


  1. Oh my...Edward has the best of not let others define you. These are fleeting, superfluous definitions..nothing to do with WHO you are. What is in a title, name, label? Grandmother, Grandamme? flick them off. YOU know who YOU are...

  2. I can envision you plopped aside the clawfoot tub as you say; and I know the feeling of running quickly for something and stubbing the made me chortle, as my mother used to say, as you tied it all together for a great story.

  3. I only know you from your photos and lovely writing, but in my opinion you are ageless and beautiful.

  4. Oh my, we do all have our triggers, don't we? A great story, and congrats on the being in the top 10 list!

  5. Of course you do not look grandmotherly! If I ask myself how old I feel in spirit, I am so much younger than my actual years...aren't you?

    How wonderful that you made the list!

  6. haha glad you had the spa day and glad you decline to be defined by age....'tis a number and not of importance....hope you will post the link?

  7. The fact of the matter is that we shouldn't let others' opinions on our appearance define us, but there comes a point when people regularly assume you are older than you actually are, usually based on our hair, or "character" lines, or our puffy little belly (no matter what you do!) I am 65 and just a few weeks ago an acquaintance assumed I was 70!

    Now that hurt! :)

  8. I like Edwards' words of advice. So true.
    And I love, love, love your blog.

  9. First of all Pamela, MEGA congratualtions for being included in the Daily T list, totally deserved but still wonderful!!
    The moral of your lovely tale seems to be that with a few well placed words we can make or break someone's day, it's easy to forget.
    Wishing you a happy weekend

  10. Hello Pamela:
    Rest assured that those who know the Daily Telegraph, and here we hasten to add that it is not a newspaper to which we subscribe, will be well informed that its fame rests upon inaccuracies, particularly where the age of those it reports on is concerned.

    But, setting all of that aside, how wonderful to have been included in such an 'A' list. Many, many congratulations.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Well, it could be worse, you could have been described as "a lady of a certain age" which annoys me intensely.

    We think you look as beautiful as you're writing, which is both graceful and inexorable. Congratulations on being a blog of note, very well deserved.

    With love from Grandma Val. x

    PS I deleted my previous comment because of a typo.

  13. Absolutely wonderful! And you don't look like a grandmother.

  14. Pamela congratulations at any rate, and I was going to suggest another massage with the same lady!

    Art by Karena

  15. PS I think you look great!

    Art by Karena

  16. Oh how I laughed at this Pamela. The truth is that one is as old as one feels - sometimes I feel ninety and other times I feel fifty - who cares? Only me, I suspect. I do agree on one thing though - your blog is certainly in the top ten.

  17. This post made me smile.
    How often do we go from 100 to 1 in one second, all because of something someone else said or did? I think you're lucky that Edward was there with that knowing look and sage, unspoken advice.
    I find myself at an age considered to be 'retirement' but with the energy to start new projects and take on new challenges. Mentally younger than I was at forty, I'm a grandmother who would like people like that editor to redefine their views of women over 40!

  18. Well Pamela,
    I'm 61, a grandmother and was told by my hairdresser the other day that I look in my 40's so, it's all in the mind and means nothing. Just enjoy being you .... and anyway, you look fantastic, so it's all immaterial !!
    Congrats on being in The Daily Telegraph's Top Ten. XXXX

  19. Pamela, I laughed so hard when I read this post. Yes, let's become ballerinas! I think we can all relate to this. When we feel so young inside, as you so obviously do, but the number of our age just doesn't remotely match how we feel, it can be disconcerting. Your positive attitude, zest for life, creativity, and sense of fun makes you younger than many 30 years olds. Love, love this post. We can't let others define us!

  20. i adore beautiful people who can laugh at themselves. and if they are talented writers... well... perfection!
    i agree with edward... "i happen to love you just the way you are."
    happy weekend!
    tammy j

  21. Ha! You are undefined by age! However a mention in the Telegraph is exciting and sweet Edward brings a smile to our faces when we come by. I've got a fun new house to show you. Come by and take a peak.

  22. Oh how I love your writing, Pamela. I am always right in there alongside you, feeling what you are feeling! You are so amazingly talented.
    First of all, Grandmother or not, what an odd thing for him to latch on to and to have put in the title to describe the blog... says a lot about him. It sits so strangely in my head. Secondly, I love the description he used for your blog. "Curiously old fashioned advice in a very modern world" is much more in sync!
    The power of perspective is huge. Once you are in the driver's seat of that, the world is literally your oyster - or dog biscuit... hehe.
    Love to you and Edward on this glorious day.
    xo isa

  23. Well...I am just loving this! They obviously have not met you as you are one hip hop happening lady...who looks all of her stylish..30ish years.

    I do recall marvelling at your skin and both of us chatting on our beauty regimen. I took note that I had a long way to go...backwards in time that is.

    More importantly...this mention! How could I have missed it?? I am obviously not keeping up with my reading. Congratulation...very well deserved!

    I just loved this post had me at the knitting injury and the thought of you and Edward in tutu's ( I came up with that one on my own). Leather leggings, leopard print stilettos.. I say, go for it girl! You rock!

    Jeanne xx

  24. A super post which put a smile on my face. I think he has speed read your 'about me' and mistaken 'gardener' for grandmother' no way do you look like a grandma, hugs Sally x

  25. Well I'm a grandmother but certainly don't feel like one - but of course am definitely old enough. I think anyone reading my post today would label me as an adventurous old gal..........and then as usual, tell me I don't look my age. I rarely ever feel my age, and wonder how it's possible to have been on this earth for so many years. It seems like just yesterday I was an adventurous girl and I'm just planning to go on this way for along as I can!

    Great post Pamela, congrats. on making such an auspicious list. Get that shoulder healed before you attempt ziplining like me!!!!

    Hugs - Mary

  26. Congrats-nonetheless! When one door closes another opens-or vice versa. pgt

  27. The cosmos has a great sense of humour.

    As long as you can laugh at yourself, you can remain unaffected. At least that's what I try to do.

  28. It is rare that I laugh right out loud but I sure did reading this. Hilarious. Particularly the Twilight reference. Oh, this was so great.

  29. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet."

  30. Ah, darling, life's little games...
    Always trying to mess with our heads.
    Don't worry, no matter how old we are getting, it's always the way we feel and the moment which counts.
    But I had to grin a little...
    I had similar miss-givings about my age! It's actually hilarious. You have the youthful looks, but certainly a wisdom beyond your years.... maybe this sounds better? No wait, you are just perfectly in the middle...
    Ahh, thank goodness we can laugh!


  31. Hello Pamela

    Congratulations on such a prestigious award. I love what you said about not letting others define us. (it can be so hurtful) You look beautiful - your massage thereapist did not lie

    Helen xx

  32. Hi, Pamela. Three take-aways here:
    1) We need to go to the spa more often; 2) don't believe anything you read in the newspaper; and 3) dogs are wise beings and we need to listen to their advice. And don't give up knitting!!

  33. Edward is wise beyond his years, as you are too. Probably they really just meant that you would make a lovely grandmother!

    Warmest congratulations, anyway. A well-deserved honor.

  34. What an awesome honour, this list! Congratulations, Pamela!

    And I so enjoyed this Edwardian story.

  35. Elegant grey hair often = automatic gradnmother assumption. My hair went totally grey in my mid 30s. Down here in Edinburgh it's very common to have children in your 30s and 40s, but where I come from in the North of Scotland it's the exception. When my daughter was about 7 and we were visiting up there I was asked if she was my granddaughter. So I know a bit of what you must have felt. And also how limited the people doing the assuming are. Shame on you, Daily Telegraph!

  36. LOL! You DO NOT look like a grandma. I wonder if the guy thought that when talking about Edward, he mistakenly assumed it was your grandchild?! One of my other blogger friends was featured in a magazine and she was referred to as a man! Her site, as well as all she writes about sounds very feminine yet someone (not doing their homework) had her listed as a man.
    Love your blog!

  37. Congratulations on making the list, well and truly deserved.

  38. Well, first of all, congratulations on your top ten, how wonderful!

    Wonderful post, gave me such a giggle. I have to say I would definitely put more stock in the person who is looking at me whilst guessing my age, than some random stranger who makes an assumption based on 'something' he read in another country!

    The word 'grandmother' would never have entered my head! I think we are all in agreement on that!

  39. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

    - Leroy (Satchel) Paige

  40. Pamela,

    I have just had the best laugh from this post. First let me say, congratulations on making the Telegraphs list. I have been reading your blog since the very beginning and it is magical, your award is o well deserved.

    Secondly, anyone who looked at your photo could see clearly that you are a young, vivacious, beautiful woman.

    I just turned 45 and frequently people think I am in college, in October I became a step grandmother.but frankly, I always feel as if I am 28.

    Have a wonderful night, Elizabeth.

    Thank you for you comment, The Spledid table was excellent and as I mentioned the map story was excellent, especially for food lovers.

  41. Congratulations! But I grandmom here. And I thought your hair was a beautiful platinum blond, not grey! And listen to the masseuse.....she had a much closer look!

    Your writing style is sophisticated, lyrical and far superior than one would expect from such a Spring Chick. That is the ONLY reason to suspect the assumption of years of experience. ;)

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  43. Now that I have picked myself from the floor,where I fell in hysterics of laughter, I want to say Congratulations on your mention in the Telegraph (on my way to read the article now), and that for the record, as I just saw you in the flesh in your smashing pistachio Fiat, you DO NOT look like a grandmother nor anywhere near your age.
    But, IF you were one, you'd be the hippest" MeeMaw "around!!

  44. From one grandmother to another..wink wink..just keep going..on your own Pamela way...your one of a kind my dear...Greets from The Hilltop..:))

  45. This is a wonderful and TIMELESS blog. As for age classifications, they are pointless. Women can be beautiful at any age or point in life. And congratulations on your award in the Telegraph!

    On your post below, we saw a bumper sticker that you would like: I Ride Inside, dogs against Romney

  46. Had a chuckle over this one. Four years ago at my older son's wedding, his future father-in-law told me someone asked him who was my younger son's date. He looked and it was me! (They had to be far far across the room.) What an ego boost that was. Now I am a grandmother and no moniker makes me happier. Every year I seem to look more and more like my mother - 'Granny'. HOWEVER, like you, I don't want to be put in some category labeled 'grandmother'. Unlike me, I think you could probably get away with the 5 inch stilettos and leather leggings.

  47. Congratulations!!!! Our pets have the ability to love us just as we are, and for that I am always eternally grateful :-)

  48. Pamela,

    It's an honor you deserve and should enjoy whether in plain, sensible shoes or Jimmy Choo stilettos. A wonderful post!

  49. At the beginning of the year, I had a mammogram. The technician asked if I had stopped getting my "cycle".
    That hurt...

    Ok, enough about me...

    When we first met in person, I wanted to touch your skin. It looks like silk or velvet... I've never seen such beautiful skin. Yes, you definitely look younger than 40.
    I'm jealous, in a good way. It's a good thing I adore you!



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