The Fashion Magpie Saloni Ruth Dress

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 75: On Listening.

My Latest Snag: The Saloni Ruth Dress.

I couldn’t help but snag Saloni’s Ruth dress, shown above, earlier this week when its price dropped to $140 (!!!).  I bought it in the red.  Va va voom!  I’ll be wearing mine to my eight year (!) anniversary this upcoming Tuesday, but I’m also considering it for a rehearsal dinner in a few weeks.  (More great wedding guest dress picks here.)

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Gingham Jumpsuit.

The most popular items on Le Blog this week:

+A darling gingham jumpsuit.

+The dress I CANNOT stop wearing.  I now own this in two colorways and wear them at least once a week.

+My favorite bath towels.

+A chic, affordable, boxy sweatshirt — perfect for running Saturday morning errands.

+The cutest (monogrammable!) sneaks for your mini.  My daughter owns a pair in white and I adore them!

+I would love to own this ring.

+These have made my bedside table so much easier to navigate in the middle of the night — remotes, hair elastics, hand lotions, pens are all so readily available 🙂

+Super cute sweater for fall.

+I’m in love with these Aquazzuras.

#Turbothot: On Listening.

One of my mother’s many beautiful strengths is her ability to listen.  She will solution with me and comfort me and occasionally tell me to get a grip (in far more elegant, gentle words) when I need to hear that, too — but mainly, she listens.  Sometimes she listens so well that I pause, breathless — “Mom?  Are you there?”

“Yes, yes — keep going.  What happened next?”

I can just imagine her sitting on the settee of her well-appointed sitting room, iPhone to her ear, gears turning, heart open–but mouth closed.  What a gift.  Often, all I really need is an empathetic ear, someone to vent to; I’m not looking for Pollyanna or Ms. Fix-It.  I simply need to get everything off my chest so that I can see how I feel about it, so that I can assess its shape in front of me as I simultaneously imagine what my mother might be thinking about it and therefore hold myself to a higher level of accountability. When I’m mulling things over internally, I can easily and invisibly suppress the voices of reason and opposition to which I should probably attend.  But when I say something out loud, in front of the audience of my mother, I am forced to determine how level-headed I am being.  And more often than not, halfway through my tirade, I’ll find myself shifting perspectives or recognizing that this is actually not such a big deal or realizing, all at once, my foolhardiness or blindness or wrongdoing.  By listening, she gives me space to sort through all of that on my own.

After I’ve run out of steam, she’ll support me (“yes, you are doing the right thing, honey”), console me (“tsk tsk, I’m so sorry”), gently suggest an alternative, or — and this is when I know I’ve crossed a threshold into overly intense and probably unwarranted emotion or, worse, misjudged a situation — she’ll ask: “Do you want to hear my opinion?”

She is deeply solicitous in this, too, framing her reaction as an opinion rather than a truth and offering me an opportunity to decline her perspective if I don’t want to listen to it–something, incidentally, that I’ve never done, since she’s almost always right, even when it’s not something I want to hear.

I have been trying to model her unbelievable empathy in the conversations I’ve been having with friends and loved ones more recently–friends going through surrogacy, challenging workplace changes, IVF, illness, momentous professional decisions–and have discovered the tremendous restraint and focus it requires.  If I’m not mindful, I am liable to shift into solutioning mode, or to heap apologies or condolences on them, or to play Pollyanna, and I know from experience that they are more likely to appreciate a good vent session with a benevolent, non-judgmental, open hearted listener than anything else.  Though I often lean on a couple of the elegant turns of phrase I have picked up over the course of my thirty four years when facing a situation in which I don’t know what to say, I have been striving, to the best of my ability, to zip my lips and just listen, present but silent.

Are you a good listener? How do you do it?!

#Shopaholic: The Embroidered Blouse.

+Love the colors in this embroidered blouse for fall!

+OMG EXTRA 40% OFF RT SALE.  I finally bought this.  I’m debating whether I also need this!

+Have been hearing great stuff about Julep’s undereye concealer.  I’m now a diehard Cle de Peau gal but…

+Intrigued by this cult classic hair oil, a pre-shampoo treatment for dry hair.

+Such a great oversized bow!

+Donsje just launched a bunch of new-for-fall kiddo booties — mini had a pair last year, and I might need this set for this year!

+What’s not to love about a striped shirtdress?  Yes pls.

+RESTOCKED!

6 Comments

  1. I love your mom’s thoughtful, circumspect (yes, I’m trying to use that word more now lol) approach to giving her “opinion.” I will also remember it. I do try my best to listen before I speak, but at times, I inevitably provide my take or also go into solution-mode.

    I also love the Saloni dress (out of my size, tho! sad face) and may consider the rain jacket – I am finally in NC and it will not stop raining! I also may try the hair oil as my hair has been feeling particularly dry and lifeless lately. Any other suggestions welcome!

    I miss CT/NYC already! But all is well in the South so far 🙂 I do feel your pain on moving, though – it is taking almost two weeks for my things to arrive! Moving is just never a very pleasant experience…

    1. Moving is Le Pits. I’m so glad you’re already “on the other side” of the move — I know things are still haywire, but you’ve got the bulk of it behind you! You can do it!

      Circumspect!!! Excellent 🙂

  2. I strive to be a good listener — my own mother is a wonderful listener and has provided good behavior for me to model — but I love your mom’s careful way of voicing her opinion in stickier situations. Will definitely try to remember that! I think being a good listener is one of the very most admirable qualities a person can have.

    That Saloni dress is still calling my name …

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