This Mother’s Day, I reflected on the many things I have learned in the last 40 years from my mother. There are so many. Here are 5 I’m sharing with all the mothers out there who support my business, are friends to me and whose children are friends with my children. I hope we pass on the same types of wisdom to our children!
1. Half of success is showing up on time and looking good. Mom taught me that if you just look presentable and are there on time, you are already a step ahead of many people. This has come in handy in many situations from college job interviews, to arriving at a busy restaurant, to on-going school kindergarten tours.
2. A corollary to this one is – better to be over dressed than underdressed. This goes for everyday as well as that dinner party with the “festive” or “country chic” slightly unclear dress code on the invitation, where you aren’t sure whether to dress cocktail or casual. My mother always looked good. I took this for granted, but now that I am older I realize that looking good in a casual way – as a mom, in New York - is actually more difficult than it looks. (The look in between LuluLemon and dressed for a Central Park Conservancy lunch). My mom did that really well - she could always meet a friend for tea last minute at the Carlyle, because she was appropriate for the city. (In fact, this is sort of funny, but I’m meeting my mom for dinner tonight and she literally just texted me as I write this newsletter: “Just let me know where and when and I’ll meet you… I’m in nice sneakers but look good :-)” LOL.)
3. Always leave at the height of a party. This one has stuck with me since the Gold and Silver Dances in high school. You never want to be shutting the place down. Right when things are still buzzing, lots of people around, you want to time your exit for that cusp. Of course, at your husbands 50th you can be the last one on the tables, but this is a general rule I have followed and it’s served me well.
4. Always look on the bright side! Although this piece of her advice has bothered me over the years, it is true. My mother always sees the best in everyone and in every situation. She is far less cynical than I am, despite having many more reasons to be so. She has always treated everyone kindly – and she is proof that good things come to good people in the end. In fact, her constant optimism is apparent in her deciding to start a new chapter in this stage of her life – she is getting married this Saturday! I can’t think of a better celebration for Mother’s Day.
5. OH, and always always under all circumstances send a handwritten note. Naturally!