Ever wonder about the "odd" things you learn in school? You know, the things that aren't easily categorized into Maths, English, Economics, Accounting etc. Maybe it's just because I went to a girls school that taught "Deportment" too, that has my head full of these strange little factoids. For example, yesterday I bought myself some roses. A pretty little bouquet that was almost near it's sell by date and therefore marked down. I brought them home, selected a "vase" for them, and immediately began trimming the stems, at an angle, and arranged them in to a lovely loose arrangement. During the trimming, I could clearly hear an instructor in my head telling me, "It is important to cut the stems at an angle with sharp pruning shears, so that you don't crush them and thereby damage their means of getting water." This morning, after loading the dishwasher, another little factoid about my fresh flowers came to me. Flowers last longer if you give them fresh water almost every day and if you trim their stems again. You can also keep them looking great by adding either a aspirin or a splash of bleach. Or another interesting little fact: putting shredded lettuce on a tray of sandwiches helps to keep them fresh longer and adds decorative splash. Then there's all the hair care stuff (don't use a brush on wet hair - a large tooth comb is better; Always condition your hair and use pH balanced shampoos to prevent itching and drying of the scalp), nail care (soften cuticles by soaking them in warm soapy water; push back your cuticles regularly to prevent peeling; it's better to file your nails in one direction - never really understood that one; don't overload your brush when applying polish; cover the nail in three strokes starting from the center and working out). All those funny little things, that at the time, I thought were interesting but silly, yet I've used them over and over again. Some of them, daily. Who would have thought that copious "Morning Tea" functions would be the perfect training ground for entertaining later in life. Everything from place settings to arrangements to menu planning. As they say, God is in the details, and in my experience, it really is the littlest details that can make the biggest difference.
One of the many little bits that float around in my head is wardrobe planning. It really can save you lots of money and make you look ten pounds lighter if you apply the principles properly. Keeping a few key pieces that you can mix and match, dress up and down as the occasion demands.
What's really surprising is just how much of the information I retained! Then again, our first week of school was spent on these "Deportment" courses. From ninth through twelfth. I guess, if you didn't get it the first time round, you were bound to have something stick the third or fourth time around. At the time it seemed like such a drag, but looking back, I am really grateful for those little lectures. My age must be showing because I think I agree with my old Headmistress: everyone needs a little course in deportment.