• Jeni Kelsch

Fancy is as Fancy does



I hated high school. I know you are supposed to say that at my age and if you refer to your high school years as your glory years, well, we probably aren’t friends. One of my least favorite things about high school was that everyone in the room was the same age as me. It just seemed to me that, in a room full of people with more or less the exact same level of social and practical knowledge as I had at the time, it could very easily be a room full of idiots.


One of my favorite things about adulthood is that I get to spend my time with people who are nothing like me. I have never met anyone who writes a blog, or teaches art and homeschools, or has goats, or…the list could probably be a lot more profound, but that is one of the things I learned about myself when I left the collective, I’m pretty simple. Getting older has taught me simplicity is not a bad thing, usually. But in my world of people not like me, I have been invited to a wedding, I think it is going to be fancy, and I am ill-equipped. The last wedding I went to was my son’s. His wife kicked off her dainty heels on the alter because they were so dang uncomfortable. She got married barefoot in a fancy church. I love her.


The last time I went someplace I was expected to wear shoes the whole time, it didn’t go well. I accompanied my husband to a five-star hotel to meet the powers that be in fancy hotels. We had a breakfast meeting with the Most Important Person. We were introduced, I didn’t spit on him or say my name wrong, so far so good. We sat down, ordered our breakfast, I know what all the words describing the food mean. That was the high point. We got our coffee, I immediately spilled it across the table. I then try and stop the flow of coffee to the floor with my napkin. My tablemates are horrified, the wait staff is shocked and embarrassed. Thirty people pour out from all corners of the room to remove the tablecloth, replace the setting, replace my coffee cup and in all ways make it look like this horrible calamity never happened. My dirty, dripping napkin is disdainfully removed like the cheap dishcloth it has become. The breakfast continues but I might as well have kicked off my shoes, the charade was over. I just am not fancy people.


So now we have a wedding to go to. It is going to be a joyful and beautiful event, I am sure. But there is going to be a dinner, and I just have a feeling there is going to be more than one fork at my place setting and I bet the napkins are going to be cloth. My children weren’t invited, that means I can’t use them for cover. I will be fully exposed as the simpleton I am. If I just get lucky enough to pick the right fork for the right food, get my naturally coordinated husband to cut my meat so none of it leaves the plate unexpectedly, and manage to drink my wine without requiring a Chinese fire drill, I will count the evening as a success. But no matter what people think of me, once the meal is over, I am kicking off my shoes to dance. It’s very likely they have chicken poo on them somewhere anyway.

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