I’m a woman who always expected, and wanted, to have a career, not stay at home with kids. I don’t like cooking. Housekeeping is not my forte. I prefer high heels to sneakers (OK, low heels – stilettos HURT!), and always have. I refused to wear pants until third grade and sweatpants until sometime in my late teens. (This may have just shown good style sense in avoiding bell bottoms.) I’ve always loved fashion and fashion history. I started sewing by the time I learned to tie my shoes. And I truly love stylish hats.
Naturally, I ended up a stay at home mom. My last office job ended a few months after the Twin Towers collapsed. As a stay at home mom in Los Angeles, I ended up wearing shorts, sneakers, and flip flops most of the time. I stopped wearing my beloved hats. As so often happens, as my kids grew up, I realized that my style was gone, I had gained (too much) weight, and I wasn’t reading, watching, or listening too things I genuinely enjoyed anymore.
About two years ago, I got sick and tired of all the clutter in my house. Unlike a TV show, I couldn’t get rid of it all in a day. I keep going through things, getting rid of a big bunch at first, then smaller amounts as time goes on, continually reducing the clutter. When I looked at my clothing, I realized that much of it was outdated, ill-fitting, not my style, needed repairs, or just plain didn’t suit. I tossed half the clothing in my closet but that didn’t mean I loved the rest, because I didn’t. Around this time, Hancock Fabrics went out of business and I bought tons of fabric and patterns on sale. I started sewing simple outfits for myself. As I became more confident, my new outfits became more interesting and I developed a new style for myself.
My style relies a fair amount on 1950’s and 1960’s style, but updated to be comfortable. The truth is that swing coats, sheath dresses, and quite a few of the styles can be really comfortable if you chose the right fabric and keep the fit loose enough to not need a girdle, or even Spanx.
More recently, I developed a very nasty garlic allergy. I can’t even have a tiny amount of garlic powder without reacting. In practice, this means I can’t eat out easily or eat most pre-packaged foods. So now I’m cooking most of our meals from scratch. For a woman who had to ask for instructions on making tuna salad multiple times, this has been a fairly wrenching change.
All in all, through no fault of my own, I’ve ended up very much like an updated 1950s housewife (but no waiting at the door with a cigar and slippers for my husband!), but with writing and blogging as my hobbies. This is not a place I ever imagined I would end up but it is a good life and I love my husband and kids. I know I’m not the only woman out there who expected a career and ended up with a life instead, and that’s why I have decided to expand my blogging beyond politics.
Why Chrome Plated Life
We all know a good url is hard to find. I had HistoricalConstitution.com but then decided I wanted to write about more than history so I moved it to TheModerateMom.com. Now, “moderate” has gotten a bad rap so I am moving on from that url. At the same time, I started a blog that was supposed to be with my husband (WiseFathers.com), but he’s gotten busy and isn’t doing much with it.
After pondering the matter, I decided that I wanted to combine all the things I have written for those two blogs and add more about daily life. Specifically, more about the sewing, cooking, and trying to make my house more Martha Stewart and less Erma Bombeck. (Spoiler: I will never be Martha Stewart. I will always be more Erma Bombeck in my housekeeping.) Since my style owes a lot to the 50s, I went in search of a 50s slang term that might work. That’s where I found the term chrome plated life, which basically meant to get dressed up and looking good. Since dressing better (but still comfortably) and making my house look good (but still be comfortable), it felt like the right fit. And here I am! Starting a new blog with a ton of old content.