There’s No Crying in the Break Room

Madam Ori and I woke up at the crack of dawn Thursday morning to watch the royal nuptials, and we both watched entranced as HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (we are on HRH formalities here) got in her fancy car and went to Westminster Abbey to get hitched.

Now this, by Royal standards, was a small family wedding, only a couple thousand of their nearest and dearest, and oh yeah, the TV cameras. This got me thinking a lot about the public versus the private. There is something very Mad Men-esq about keeping the private things in our lives, just that, private.  As we move toward a more and more reality driven culture, (and believe me the idea of ‘reality’ is pretty subjective.)  Often wonder (SATC-like) when do you keep the private private?

Personally, I believe in separation of church and state in all matters of life. I don’t bring my personal problems to work, and I don’t involve people who are just acquaintances in my home life in any significant way. Madam Ori and I, both being the product of Jamaican mothering, seem to live by the dictum; don’t put your business in the street. This means no crying in baseball, this means no falling down drunk in public places and generally keeping a smile on your face even if their isn’t a bounce in your step.  On one of my favorite Mad Men episodes Peggy is sobbing in the break room and Joan tells her quite sternly ““This is why I don’t allow crying in the break room. It erodes morale. There’s a place to do that, like you’re apartment.”

Yup, your apartment, or the bathroom, in a locked stall. As women we are often taken less seriously in the public sphere, and while some may say that a little emotion is what keeps us feminine it’s also what can make us susceptible to the kind of criticism that results from the profluence of emotion.

I am not advocating ice queendom, but a little more pause, in who we tell what. I believe that there is a time and a place for everything, and much of that should take place not out in the great wide world, but at home. Like a lady.


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Fashion: Day 22 of 30

I’m in the homestretch ladies! I can’t wait to share all the awesome things I learned about myself from this challenge:

pearl jewelry, white button down, lace skirt, t-strap heels (red tie added for flair)

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Motherhood: Wise Decision Making

This really isn’t specific to motherhood but wise decision-making became all the more important to me once I found out there was a budding life in me. In my early 20s, I made hasty decisions never thinking about how my actions affected those around me. If I wanted it, I had it. If I no longer wanted it, I discarded it without so much to a care in the world and never thinking of how it would affect me or others in the long run. This was evident in my shotgun wedding and then divorce, changes in jobs, and, well, the list can go on. But the point is, a very important aspect to the art of being a woman is wise decision making.

I would say that I wish that someone had told me this earlier on but I’m sure that one of my mentors did and because of my own maturity level, I couldn’t receive it. That and I have my own path in life that I have to walk. BUT if I can help some others develop a way to do a quick cost-benefit analysis on decision making and avoid heartbreak, failures, etc., I would love that as well.

I have degrees in psychology and business so that’s how I think about things. Pretty streamlined. That is when I decide to think them through. Here’s a quick decision-making guide that I’ve since developed for myself that has been working for me since implemented:

  1. Decide on your desired outcome. This will actually determine everything else.
  2. Quickly take inventory on who will be affected by said decision and how they will. The old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, make a marriage, make a person is true. We aren’t a city, town, villa of one and our decisions are bound to affect someone. I’m a firm believer in never burning bridges because you don’t know when you’ll need to cross them again.
  3. Take inventory of the benefits of the decision. Benefits aka the good things.
  4. Take inventory of the costs of the decision. Also known as the bad/unhealthy things.
  5. Compare the two. If the benefits make the cost worth it then develop a plan of action to get to your desired outcome. If they don’t, that may not be the best decision for you.
Depending on how big the decision will determine how long this process will take you. If you have a history of bad decision making, you may want to flush this out with someone.
So why has this post made it to TAOW? When I look at the woman in my life and that I look up to, good decision making is a character trait that they all have. A woman who makes good decisions for herself will ultimately make them for her family as well leaving less families in duress. As I’ve grown into my idea of a woman, this was crucial.
So ladies, what are some of your wise decision-making best practices?

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Monday Maven: Uma Thurman (or rather, The Bride)

This woman is so fierce, I’m not even sure where to begin. Most commonly known for her role as The Bride in the Kill Bill series, Uma brought Hollywood a modern female warrior–not a cheesy video game character or a overly rehashed comic book hero. (Not that I don’t LOVE Ororo Munroe.)

The character she played was an assassin, a Western-styled samurai, but most of all, a distraught mother. Here’s to a woman who made us want to play with swords.

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Fashion: Day 21 of 30

Monday sexy.


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Fashion: Day 19 of 30

Saturday active attire. 😉

~ Madame Ori

red t-shirt, dark jeans, t-strap heels, cameo jewelry (red scarf added as a belt)

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Etiquette: Appropriate Dress Styles

She is dressed for a formal shindig (I bet she has gloves on)

I am always throwing functions at my home –lovingly called The Queen –and I constantly find myself agonizing over the appropriate dress requirements to put on my invitations. Despite my house being under construction, I try to create an ambiance that will encourage my guests to feel glamorous, special, and to be outside of our normal everyday experience. One of the ways I do this is by sending out formal paper invitations. I think that receiving a paper invitation in the mail creates a certain feeling of excitement — here, they think, is a serious party, one to prepare for and expect a little magic. (I’ll talk about invitations and hostess-ing at a later date.) I always print the encouraged attire on the invite, sticking to the old school dress conventions. Dressing appropriately is a sign of proper manners. However, I’ve realized that many people do not understand what these conventions mean. So here’s a primer for all my ladies in waiting:

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