Monday, May 17, 2010

For You

Everything I needed to know about being a lady, I learned from Nanny.

I, being her one and only female heir, was to be graceful, refined and educated. I, being her one and only female heir, would be charming and polite and never, ever curse...

Because ladies don't do that.

Ladies play the piano:

Ladies appreciate a good shoe when they see one:

Ladies walk into a room with grace and ease:

And a lady must always cover her yawn (it would be best not to yawn at all, in the presence of others. But if one must do so, one must cover):

And a lady knows where to look for angels atop the Christmas tree:

So much to learn about being a lady, so little time.

Nanny died from cervical cancer when I was nineteen, just barely out in the world to practice all the things she'd taught me my entire life (which, at the time, seemed painfully long and boring). Little did I know...

When I think of her eighteen years later (a veritable lifetime) I can remember everything about her. Her smile. Her smell. Her laugh. The way she would hold her flatware, her champagne flute, her coffee mug...

Nineteen years is not enough time for a girl to become the lady her grandmother dreamed she would be. It simply is not enough. But I'm trying Nanny, I really, really am.

I'm trying to be a lady.

Awhile back, I had the opportunity to help coordinate an event for local Seattle Mom Bloggers at Grey Gallery and Lounge. Usually when a proposal such as this one pops up in my inbox, I roll my eyes and hit "delete" because really, who wants to get involved in something to promote the latest juice box or band aids for preschoolers? Not me.

(No offense Band Aid because you know I'm stuck on Band Aid brand 'cause Band Aid is stuck on me)

This email was different.

And I'm so glad I didn't ignore it.

It came from the lovely Tracy, who is involved with the even lovelier singer, song writer and cervical cancer survivor, Christine Baze, who founded a little non-profit called The Yellow Umbrella (you can access their site by clicking on it, right back there, yes...there). They were coming to Seattle with celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki to promote the first ever Cervical Cancer Awareness Week in Seattle - which ran from May 9th - 15th. And they wanted to throw a little soiree, if you will, for local women bloggers to spread The Yellow Umbrellas message that cervical cancer IS preventable. And we can SAVE THE HOOCH!

(I love saying, "SAVE THE HOOCH," my grandmother would probably faint knowing that.)

Tracy and Christine Baze

Needless to say, after a ton of emailing and conference calling, the event was a go. I was so excited and nervous and excited. Somehow, I was able to talk the most awesome of awesome photographers and my longtime facebook friend and bloggy BFF, Sarah Alston, into photographing the event - and I couldn't have been happier that she came. Not only because she is a truly talented photographer, but because she is a truly incredible person. Plus, she and I have the same shoes, so, there's that.

Sarah with the googly eyes, and me with the mega phone

Did I mention there was also hummus? And cocktails? And YELLOW cupcakes?

Thank you Heather, Mona, Carrie, Chelsea, Donata, Giyen, Angie, Astacia, Drew, Abbie, Sarah and Jesse (if I forgot anyone please accept my's been a long week) and more for coming and sharing the evening with us. For hearing Christine's music, her story and her voice. For inspiring one another. For uplifting our community. For being a good friend, wife, mom, daughter and sister.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you Christine for being a warrior on behalf of all women, everywhere - in the battle against cervical cancer. Thank you for your voice, your story and your passion. And thank you Debra for doing eye makeovers on us, for being the rockstar makeup artist that you are. For telling us all about what perfect skin Cyndi Lauper has and not laughing at the do-it-yourself job I did on my eyebrows the morning of the party.

After the night was over and Donata and I were driving home, I was still on cloud 9. And even though I felt like a gigantic dork with a capitol "D," I think there may have been a few moments there that I might have made Nanny proud.

Not just because I was helping spread the message of the very disease that took her from me much too soon.

But because, once or twice, I remembered to walk like a lady and resist yawning in public.

Oh, and I wore some good shoes that I really, really love.

And I didn't even need help putting them on.

Because they were mules...but you didn't really need to know that, did you?


The End.

*All photo credits (except the ones from the 1970's - those are from my mom's photo album, thanks mom!) are Sarah Alston Photography


Anonymous said...

Lovely. We so miss your Nanny, and yes, SHE was a perfect example of a lady for you!


christine said...

THANK YOU for your support and helping me spread the word about PREVENTING cervical cancer with the THREE TOOLS:

HPV TEST with PAP for women 30+
PAP for women 21-29
HPV VACCINE for girls and women 9-26

it's as easy as that!
rock on and on!

Kendra said...

What a wonderful event. It looks like it was great fun, and any chance to shout "save the hooch!" is a good time. Plus I imagine that your Nanny would have been very proud. Is there anything better than having a good time, acting like a true lady, and helping to save the lives of women around the world at the same time?