Lounging in bed this morning, I avoided writing a poem that won’t quite pull itself together, about crows de-roosting at dawn. While not thinking about it, two things occurred to me. First, I really wanted a cup of coffee.

Curled under my duvet, fists balled under the pillow, head wrapped in a turban of duvetness with only my face exposed, my nose was cold. This morning it was -14 Celsius and swaddled in an amniotic sac, I dawdled getting out of bed. My husband had left earlier for a long-distance cross-country ski so there was no chance he’d intuit my longing.

“I should go to Starbucks” was my second thought. Pull on my Sorel boots, tuck in my plaid flannel pj’s, slide into my purple down coat that makes me look like a stuffed eggplant, and go. But then – and here’s the thought – I didn’t because Starbucks has standards. One does not go to Starbucks in a state of just-out-of bedness, still smelling like warm sheets and morning musk. One does not appear with hair sticking straight up like a Common Merganser. If only Starbucks was in Wal-Mart, then I could go because….

Common merganser – photo credit:

I learned a new word this week. “Aposiopesis” is a rhetorical trick used by a speaker when she suddenly stops mid-sentence as though she can’t bear to proceed. If I were sharing a cup of coffee with you, chattering about this profound thought, that “because” would hang there, pointing out without actually saying it “because I’d fit in with all the other sloppy pj’d shoppers wearing baseball caps backwards, covering rumpled hair.”


Dearly beloved and I are planning a getaway, our first alone in 21 years. I’m excited but also feeling guilty about leaving behind the children. I’m over-planning food for them (who aren’t really children anymore), and emergency preparedness for the two sleeps we’re away, making a long list of “Don’t forget to’s….”

Wardrobe planning is required for this mini-adventure even though we’re not going far, just down the road to a bed and breakfast in a 19th century gabled brick house with a claw-foot bathtub and a four-poster bed. The anticipation of sleeping in – though not too late because we don’t want to miss the breakfast – of spooning my husband’s warm back, him spooning mine, waking me with a nudge and a wink – drove me to an intimate apparel store. Which lead me to a parallel universe where youth and beauty don’t intersect with 58 year old women.

Standing in the store in the previously mentioned Sorel boots and knee-length down coat, admiring the images of smooth young women with skin gleaming like olives, fingering the frilly filmy panties and appraising the strength of bra cups that could strain tea leaves but not hold me up, I felt like a queen-sized pillow. Maybe I’ll go home and bedazzle my sports bra, I thought. At least I won’t bubble over the seams like meatloaf.

Speaking of bedazzling, while at the hairdresser last Sunday flipping through the reading material, I came across an article on spa treatments for lower lady parts – explicitly, the adorning of your labia majora and mons pubis with glitter. This innovative treatment conveniently allows me to use another word I learned this week – clinquant – which also delightfully sounds like a word invented to describe a jeweled vagina, don’t you think?

Some spas also offer something called “vaginal rejuvenation”, more commonly known as the “labial puff”, which involves dermal filler injections. For those just wanting to buff their Brazilians, however, and avoid pesky ingrown hairs that result from excessive wax removal of pubic hair, you can opt for a steaming. Just picture it or Google if you must.  As I was reading, Beyonce’s Single Ladies with the line “…if you liked it you shoulda put a ring on it” came to mind and I thought there’s probably a spa treatment for that, too.

All this comes full circle back to standards and that today I’m glad I’m old – mature, well-seasoned, whatever – and lean more towards Starbucks than Wal-Mart.

PS: Feel free to post your best composed sentence in the comments below using the word “clinquant”.





36 thoughts on “Standards

  1. dawnkinster January 23, 2016 / 11:16 am

    I had to look up clinquant, origin Dutch, “decked with garish finery.” I’m glad I’m old too. have a wonderful time away with your husband. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care about the frilly underwear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne January 23, 2016 / 12:34 pm

      It’s kind of a funny word, eh? Sounds a little cheap, like too many clinquant bracelets wrapped around a skinny wrist. As for the weekend, I think we’ll go for a natural approach.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. joey January 23, 2016 / 11:46 am

    I’m no stranger to waxing, but when the woman at the spa showed me the dye and bedazzle kit, I truly could not even. The label actually read “It’s a Party!” No, thanks. I’m a big proponent of doing what makes you feel good, but that’s surely different for everyone, and a ‘party’ in my panties does not make my list.
    I’d like to think some places do have standards, but I recently saw a lot of women in pajama pants at Target, many in boots and puffy coats.


    • Susanne January 23, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      I have waxed, too, but it has waned in recent years since I don’t wear a bathing suit and don’t really care anymore. The article I was reading mentioned the Brazilian thing became a thing as a result of Sex and the City but I have to wonder if the underlying thing is because of the porn industry and that’s a whole other conversation. I honestly am fatigued by all the “maintenance” foisted upon women and which women seem to fall into. How I long for the good ol’ days when the joy of sex was simply the joy of sex without the bling. But then, I’m old.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Julie Ethan January 23, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Her eyes were drawn to the clinquant gold but her plump frame protested, and she bought the sensible black dress.
    (semi-true story :))

    Liked by 2 people

    • Susanne January 23, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      I did the same thing yesterday! A beautiful knee length sweater, mostly cream coloured but with threads of black and clinquant silver. I hung it up and left the store and of course now I can’t stop thinking about it.


      • Julie Ethan January 23, 2016 / 6:15 pm

        I actually saw my gold shimmery piece yesterday, too! Didn’t buy a black dress or anything, but your writing reminded me of it. Love the duck, by the way. Poster child for bed hair.


      • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 9:52 am

        Mergansers are the most delightful water birds. The first time I saw one was on a camping trip and we were canoeing and this crazy bird was puddling alongside us carrying about 8 babies on her back. Talk about a metaphor for motherhood!


  4. Bruce Goodman January 23, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    I think I’d have an aposiopesis before I clinquanted. Enjoy your time away after 21 years!


      • Bruce Goodman January 23, 2016 / 2:14 pm

        That’s why I would need to aposiopesisicate!


  5. Cynthia Jobin January 23, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    “Clinquant” is a very difficult word to pronounce, and this is my best composed sentence.


    • Susanne January 23, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      The word makes me think of Colonel Klinck from the old TV show Hogan’s Heroes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cynthia Jobin January 23, 2016 / 4:27 pm

        Yes! I really enjoyed that show! …and there’s the word “clink” meaning “jail”, and the word “clinker” the unfired coals I remember seeing grandparents remove with tongs and discard from a roaring coal furnace….It does sound cheap, as you mentioned above, like something tossed and banging against the inside of a tin bucket…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 9:57 am

        Oh for crying out loud. I never made that connection between Klinck and clink. So obvious now that you mention it.


  6. Lisa @ cheergerm January 23, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    I don’t mind a bit of subdued sparkle in my clothes for a more glamorous nighttime outing but not sure if I would enjoy a clinquant hoo-ha. (And that includes the process of being ‘clinquanted’ by a stranger and wearing sharp jewels in such a tender spot.)


    • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 9:55 am

      Well there’s the thing, eh Lisa? I always found the process of having my bikini line waxed took a considerable amount of loin girding to make the appointment and then get in there and have a stranger insert those waxy paper things under my panties and wedge them this way and that trying to get every last unsightly hair. And then plucking the rogues that refused to be waxed. Lord! I can’t even imagine anything more revealing! Oh. Wow. Anyway, thanks for dropping in!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Andrea Stephenson January 23, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    Hope you enjoy your long-awaited trip. Wearing PJs and onesies in public seems to be a new trend but then you don’t get many clinquant ensembles where I live….


    • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 9:50 am

      I watched a wonderful documentary the other night called “Iris” which is about a 90 year old New York style-maker, Iris Apfel, and her 100 year old husband and their clinquant Park Avenue home. Iris never leaves home without many clinquant layers of baubles and bracelets. If clinquant was a sound, Iris made it. Anyway, I was so inspired that last night when my 63 year old spouse and I went out for dinner I channeled my inner-Iris and went all-clinquant over my plain shirt. I felt very stylish. So all this blather is to say you could make your part of the world clinquant all by yourself!


  8. wolfberryknits January 24, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    Hilarious! 😀 I wondered if there was a male equivalent, do they dip their bits in glitter too? A new meaning to the term ‘disco ball’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 5:16 pm

      Well my dear, I looked it up and there is a male equivalent. It’s called pedazzle. So now you know.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. hilarycustancegreen January 24, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes and… don’t let’s even go there… she will be clinquant wherever she goes. have great break.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne January 24, 2016 / 5:17 pm

      You win the best sentence award! I shall send you some lovely clinquant bangles to adorn yourself with!


  10. exiledprospero January 25, 2016 / 9:14 am

    Is this a chapter in the destined-to-be-hugely-succesful non-fiction book on how to raise daughters and survive the cumulative impact on the environment of a small mountain of feminine hygiene products, while planning at long last a tryst with hubby at some forlorn bed and breakfast, and having to deal with the owner, a petulant sexagenarian, dressed in a clinquant chemise dress better suited to a woman half her age?


    • Susanne January 25, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      You are SUCH a super-achiever in the construction of clinquant sentences! You get to be the runner up. Watch your mail for a pair of silver sandals. Please post a picture when you get them.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. diahannreyes January 25, 2016 / 3:56 pm

    I enjoyed getting to read multiple vignettes in one post. You captured the coldness of the day with the images you painted and was not expecting the vagina glitter info. I have yet to try glitter nail polish let alone glitter vagina – and don’t enjoy injections on my arm so can’t imagine liking them any more down under, which is way more sensitive! 🙂


    • Susanne January 25, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      Oh the places our minds wander on a frosty morning! I like the current nail fashion trend of glittering one finger nail while keeping the rest a respectable and sedate monotone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne January 25, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      As I read the article on all the ways it is possible to plump and primp parts I thought were okay to leave as nature intended I too laughed me head off. Craziness.


  12. J.B. Whitmore January 29, 2016 / 12:39 am

    From now on, I will say its aposiopesis, not a senior moment.


  13. D. Wallace Peach January 29, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Funny 🙂 Where I live, no one gets “clinquanted” for anything. I don’t miss it at all, along with all the fuss that goes with it. Have a great vacation!


    • Susanne February 1, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      As long as those who want to add a little bling aren’t held back! Vive la clinquant!

      Liked by 1 person

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