Friday, October 9, 2009

GRACE IS THE WORD

Welcome guest blogger Diane Vallere. Diane is a retail fashion veteran who sells fine apparel by day and plots murders by night. At any given moment she is working on a project involving shoes, clues, and clothes. Currently, she is seeking agent representation for her fashion-based mystery, JUST KIDDING. You can catch her weekly blog at www.myspace.com/dianevallere.


There are two kinds of women in this world. Those with a natural grace… and those like me. I'm a lot of things, and on a good day I'll sit you down and tell you all about them, but the one thing you won't hear me brag about is that I'm a graceful person. A few weeks ago, I fell down in the middle of the Hollywood Walk of Fame! But that's only because I put pretty shoes above practical shoes that night – and given the chance to do things differently, I wouldn't change a thing.

So, as far as skill sets and natural graces go, I'm okay with the hand I've been dealt. Yes, it gets hard to explain over and over how I trip over my own feet, actually slipped on a banana peel, and nearly punch people in the face while gesturing wildly (it is the best way to properly tell a story, BTW). And yes, I said over and over, because none of these are isolated incidents.

But grace, well, I seem to have gotten out of line when they were handing it out and instead got an extra dose of silly. Even the three graces seem to elude me. Unless, okay. Here's a crazy thought – those three graces are kind of like muses, right? Well, I'm a writer, so I must have encountered the three muses. Although…my three muses aren't exactly like the ones depicted in the movies. Mine act an awful lot like the three stooges.

Don't laugh. I'm being serious.

There's Moe-Grace: the idea generator. The grace that tells me that every idea I have is a good one. The grace that tells me to get out there and do something, and is enough of a schoolyard bully to my Id to make me get things done. Then there's Larry-Grace: the creative. He gets talked into things by Moe-Grace. He's the middleman. The negotiator, although his efforts are always wasted. He's a wild card, but he's somewhat predictable: he'll stand up to Larry-Grace, he'll get slapped down by Larry-Grace, and he'll get back up again. Lastly, there's Curly-Grace: the common-sense challenged buffoon. He might not know where he's going, but he'll make you laugh along the way. He goes for the joke, even if he is the joke, no matter what. He's the grace that keeps me funny. And everybody likes funny, right?

I know these three graceless graces. Like, I KNOW know them. But until now, I've never stopped to think about the fact that I've been living with three wise guys for all these years (don't tell my mom).

On my first trip to Italy as a shoe buyer (I know!) I was particularly conscious of my innate lack of grace, and the importance of keeping it in check. It wasn't until the final night that my true colors showed. I'd spent the evening packing before dinner so I'd be ready for my 4:00am shuttle the next morning. At the designated time, I headed to the lobby to meet up with the other buyers. We stood around chatting about the success of the trip, and I relaxed, knowing I'd kept my inner goof in check for the whole trip. But when we turned to leave the lobby, one of the buyers pointed to the floor and asked, "What's that?"

Mortified, I realized what they were staring at. Before I could reign in that inner trio of goofballs, I proclaimed, "Oh My God! That's my underwear!"

During the packing process a pair of my underwear had attached themselves to a metal stud on the bottom of my handbag, been couriered to the lobby, and dropped onto the floor! I don't need to tell you that graceful women don't accidentally carry their panties attached to their handbags. I swooped down in a deep knee bend, scooped up the panties, and threw them into my bag. Twitching lips and amused eyes followed my actions until we all burst out into laughter. To this day, it remains one of the best stories I've told about those glamorous buying trips – because it was uniquely me.

So, maybe I do slip on the occasional banana peel. I've got my own graces, and wherever they chose to take me, I'm merely along for the ride. It could be worse. At least I don't have their hairstyles.

14 comments:

Don said...

Back in the day, when we all worked in small boxes, a friend of mine hung a Three Stooges poster in his cubicle.

One day, as he was talking on the phone, the Plant Manager came by, saw the poster, and sat down in the visitor's chair.

When my friend hung up, The PM pointd to the poster and said, "I like that. We need more humor here." Then he got up and left.

Life is tough. We need more humor here.

Adrienne Miller said...

Welcome Diane. I loved your post. It got me thinking that if your muses are like the Three Stooges then mine are just like the Marx Brothers :-)

Sophie Littlefield said...

i adore you already, as a fellow klutz. at a conference last year i came out of the bathroom with my skirt tucked into the top of my tights. Oh yes I did. Tell ya what, you can be in my all-faux-pas-forgiven club....

Diane Vallere said...

Thanks for the welcome! Adrienne, I see you are living with a couple of goofballs, too. And Sophie, we should chat sometime. You're one of my kind!

VR Barkowski said...

Hysterical post, Diane, and I feel your pain. I once made the mistake of throwing on sweats straight out of the dryer. Walking across the grocery store parking lot I felt something crawl down my leg. Deathly afraid of spiders, I began to stomp to get the thing off me. To the delight of onlookers gathered to watch me dance, a pair of underwear fell from my pant leg. There is nothing graceful about static cling.

Diane Vallere said...

Too funny! When our mom's taught us the importance of always wearing "good underwear" I don't think this is what they had in mind!

Juliet Blackwell said...

Welcome to Pensfatales, Diane!
Here's my question about the panties: were they great, silky, clean underwear or were they utilitarian or...even worse...the kind you should have tossed weeks ago but you held on to because they were the only clean ones in the drawer...? If they were silky/lacey/sexy I guarantee you made the day of all the male witnesses!

Diane Vallere said...

Oh, they were the silky/lacey/sexy kind, but sadly my colleages were, how shall I say it, playing for the other team, so other than getting a godo laugh, they just didn't care!

Lisa Hughey said...

Diane--
Welcome to Pens Fatales! This cracked me up. I don't slip/fall but I do have an amazing propensity to get things caught...a zipper tab in a turnstile, my hair in the vacuum cleaner (the worst of this was it was on and I couldn't reach the off button so i was yelling for help and NO ONE could hear me) :)

Diane Vallere said...

Getting hair caught in a vacuum sounds less funny than scary! I hope it didn't require a special haircut afterwards!

Rachael Herron said...

I'm still gobsmacked about getting paid to buy shoes in Italy...

You have great muses. :)

Diane Vallere said...

And I'm reeling over the use of gobsmacked in a comment on my guest blog...!

Diane Vallere said...

Thank you to the Pens Fatales for inviting me to guest blog. You're a wonderful group and I'll be visiting your site often!

Good luck with each of your projects!

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