Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Another Happy Customer

Subject: No intention of being rude….

But I can’t tell if your site is tongue in cheek or serious. Tongue in cheek, I get. If serious, you come across as terribly affected. 

As I browse style blogs I’ve noticed that you’ve adopted many of the writing turns of other bloggers as time has gone on. Is this intentional? 

Today’s entry, honestly puzzled me, again if you were serious. Getting your kids exercise is pretty basic. Parents who don’t, well, it’s negligent. 

And, as you appear to attempt affectations/intimations of the traditional NE lifestyle, really, outdoor activities have always been considered de riguer. I mean, surely you aren’t so young that the iconic images of Kennedy football games, sailing etc are too far from your grasp(?). 

Come on, get real or get off. Please. Or fess up to the satirical approach. 

Please, no offense intended. I just can’t, after reading for a while, figure your approach out. 



[ed: I love hearing from readers, it makes this all worthwhile. And he may have a point. I may have run my race. So, I’ll post only if I have something useful to say. Ciao for now.]

23 thoughts on “Another Happy Customer

  1. I always love it when a note starts with “no intentions of being rude,” it’s almost as good as “brutally honest.” With both of those, you know it’s going to be rude, and brutal.

    “Get real or get off?” Really, we have authenticity police for the internet now? And maybe if he or she has been reading your blog for as long as I have, they would have realized that where you live is more SE then NE, and last time I checked the obesity epidemic has not spared the NE, so perhaps outdoor activities are not as “de riguer” as they suggest? And I can’t wait to follow MT’s helpful contributions to all of the parenting sites, negligent indeed!

    There are thousands, perhaps millions, of websites and blogs that I don’t read. So perhaps rather then, oh I don’t know, not reading them, I should write all of them telling them to change to accomodate what I feel they should post? I am unsure how anyone could contemplate suggesting such a thing to any blogger without realizing that it was very, very rude.

    Keep up the good work, keep posting it your way.


  2. I enjoy all your posts. Always have. Even if I didn’t, don’t let anyone censor what you do. This is art. Keep painting the pictures you want to paint. I, for one, always enjoy looking at them as you hang them up.


  3. There are those of us who enjoy reading whatever you choose to share with us. Thank you for allowing us small glimpses of your daily life.

  4. The world needs more blogs like yours as a counterweight to the reigning paradigm of vulgar informality. keep up the good work, and nolite illegitimos conterere vos!

  5. Unfortunately, I’ve given up swearing (try and contain your shock) or else I would have quite a choice response to them. The world has always had, and will always have, haters. Unfortunately, the internet has given them a forum. Keep up the effort. We’ll keep reading.

  6. Chris,
    Don’t let one readers comments/opinion throw you. The point is whether serious or tongue in cheek doesn’t matter. Clearly this aspiration to an elegant lifestyle you enjoy and all of your readers do too. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be spending our time reading your blog. I know your father was in the military. Well, don’t be outflanked man! Regroup and counterattack! Bottoms up!

  7. Hello Chris,

    You always have something worthwhile to say and you know very well you are highly thought of by your loyal followers. So please, no self doubting or curling up in a phoetal position. Criticism is only useful when it’s valid. Your ‘chum’ should stick to posting anonymous insults on WASP 101.

    Onward and upward old man!!
    Ian from Downunder

  8. Dear Chris ,
    I am a fan, I can’t tell you how many times your blog has made my day, I have stated in the past that you have a gift and that gift needs to be shared with the world. You are a voice that stands for something in the world today, keep up the good work, do not be disheartened by some pretentious idiot. As far as MT is concerned, opinions are like you know what and if you are not bright enough to appreciate this blog don’t read it but don’t ruin this wonderful experience for the rest of us.

  9. I enjoy your blog very much. You take pleasure in certain things and you share those pleasures with others. I am always happy to read your blog. There is no need to concern oneself with other people’s categories and definitions.

  10. Dear Readers,
    Many thanks for the compliments. I didn’t post MT’s note to have him flamed. Go back and read the first posts I did, they were more informative and less navel-gazing-ative. He has a bit of a point. I’ll not quit anytime soon, just want to stay relevant to the topic.

    As for the rest, this really is how I live. Even Mrs.. E will tell you I’m a bit anachronistic!

    See you in a bit. We’ll all keep fighting the good fight, together.

  11. Perhaps the gentle writer doesn’t understand the easy and elegant life? I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog because you propose an easy approach to a more elegant and civilized life, and you discuss it in the framework of day to day happenings! I very much enjoy your writing style and the fact that you use your own life and family as a starting point to discuss whatever-clothing, entertaining, cocktails, fabrics, manners, cultural events, holidays, and yes, kids’ activities! I find all of this very pertinent to your blog. Elegance doesn’t begin when we walk out the door to attend a cocktail party or gala and end when we get in the car with the kids. It is pertinent to all of your readers in the small moments of life–which is why we take such pleasure in this great conversation! I agree with the comments above. I am most bothered that the writer judges parents who aren’t pushing exercise on their kids as “negligent.” Yikes! Glad he isn’t my neighbor, I would likely be in the clink! I grew up in an era where no one even used the word “exercise.” Nobody intentionally exercised–we played. We sat on the swingset. We dug in the dirt and made roads for Barbie cars. We sat at the pool with our friends and gossiped. We attended pep club, not volleyball practice. Only the football team “worked out,” and not very hard at that. Everyone made it home for dinner. After football games, we ate cheese frenchies and milkshakes. Yum!! We were not obese. It was all quite elegant and idyllic. I don’t recall feeling neglected or abused at all. : )

  12. Being no American I just cannot understand why any comment of yours …on exercise!… should be taken so seriously. As far as I know, your words should call for opinions, nothing more than that. You’re not a guru, are you? Then, why should you give lessons? Since when easy and elegant life should become a wikipedia of sorts, or a boy scouts manual?
    I do not expect your blog to become an oracle, nor do I believe that every entry should cover anything in particular. You can be serious and light, for, after all, entertaining is not the opposite of serious, but of boring.
    Please do write more. My days are happier when I get an entry of yours, even if it only contains a pic of Barrymore and a cryptic sentence.
    Other people looking for the meaning of life can always check the online version of the Readers’ Digest.
    Ah, and please do excuse my English.
    (Sorry, I posted this somewhere else but it belongs here)

  13. And, by the way. This week the wonderful Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska died. she got the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996. I believe a poem of hers explain what you are aiming at with your blog:

    Under One Small Star

    My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
    My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all.
    Please, don’t be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
    May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
    My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
    My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
    Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
    Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
    I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
    I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
    Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
    Pardon me, deserts, that I don’t rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
    And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
    your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
    forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
    My apologies to the felled tree for the table’s four legs.
    My apologies to great questions for small answers.
    Truth, please don’t pay me much attention.
    Dignity, please be magnanimous.
    Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
    Soul, don’t take offense that I’ve only got you now and then.
    My apologies to everything that I can’t be everywhere at once.
    My apologies to everyone that I can’t be each woman and each man.
    I know I won’t be justified as long as I live,
    since I myself stand in my own way.
    Don’t bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
    then labor heavily so that they may seem light.
    (Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh)

    Remember, even if you cannot claim to always write the best entries, your readers know we get the best bargain.

  14. Chris, I look forward to seeing your email each evening and to reading your very informative blog. Thanks to you and Will (A Suitable Wardrobe) my eyes have been opened to whole new sartorial vistas. I am a simple man who excels by copying the masters, and so, I dress a lot like you, I must admit. I teach at a large junior college, and am constantly told by my students that I am the best dressed instructor they have ever seen. I am not a dandy, just impeccable…thanks to you.

    The other day I was at the Nordstrom Rack (someplace where they know me by my first name) and while browsing, one of the floor people came up to me and told me they needed some help with a customer. I was kind of shocked, but when I went in the dressing room, here was a mother and son, neither of which I had ever seen before, who had specifically mentioned to the tailor that I was someone who exemplified the style that they wanted to emulate. Since all the employees knew me, they quickly dispatched someone to bring me over so that I could give advice. WOW, that happened because I read your blog. I felt quite honored, I must say. Of course, Canali, Armani and Versace suits have helped my look immensely, but they would be useless without the knowledge of how to wear them. By the way, I don’t wear any clothing today without having them tailored to fit. I even have my shirts altered to look just right…again thanks to you.

    Chris, I would be heartbroken to no longer see your emails and to have the opportunity to better myself through reading your blog. Where I work, I have won awards for my teaching, and yet, every so often, I have a student who decides to hate me. So what. I am going to continue teaching, and you need to continue blogging. Besides, who else can I look to for training in the elegant lifestyle? Carry on my friend, carry on.

  15. Not only are you a wonderful guide, but on many occasions I have opened a bottle of pinot grigio with several girlfriends and swooned over how adorable you in your “How to tie a bowtie” video. :o)

  16. Must we have all or nothing thinking?

    I read and enjoy your blog with some regularity, and I will likely continue to do so as long as you keep at it.

    However, MT does make a point.

  17. Easy E,
    I’m a little late, but I want to chime in.
    Two things:
    1)Whether we, or you, or the commentor, are right or wrong, or even rude, this remains a blog. A public blog.
    By posting personal things for public consumption we are inviting the public to have a voice or better yet, an opinion. Therefore we should expect and welcome repsonses good or bad. the commentor is more than valid in this sense.
    2)He doesn’t get it, so explain it to him. That is a big part of your site here is the education it provides. If there is a lesson worth taking away from his comment beyond his freedom to opinion, it may be that he is only looking at the clothing and reading some clips of prose. He hasn’e gotten your lifestyle philosophy and where the clothing fits into that. He is skeptical.
    I get that. I’ve been there.
    I didn’t write a snarky question, I sent you an email and was rewarded with lunch and the opportunity to get to know you.

    I learned that you are worth reading and paying attention too, if you werent he wouldnt have bothered to comment.

  18. Ice cream parlors have different flavors, and TVs have many channels. I like this one, and consistently, too. If another’s tast is along different lines, I take no offense, but neither do I expect to be censured for what I enjoy. Put MT’s comment on one side of the scale, and all the above comments on the other, and know that the reading is fair and inclusive, quite soundly on your side.

  19. Oh please!! I love your blog- it’s elegance with a shot of real life. Like bumping into a well-dressed gentleman on the street for a bit of small talk. Brightens one’s day. Let your critic go off and be original.

  20. Love Polly’s comment, “like bumping into a well-dressed gentleman on the street for a bit of small talk.” Describes your blog perfectly!

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