Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take a Risk; Calculated or Not

It's always a pleasure to be invited to the Hamptons. Rather than spend the weekend holed up in their enormous house alone, someone has chosen you as their guest. Usually it's an unmitigated test of manners as you meet all sorts of new people. You are also usually forced to encounter and navigate your way through a litany of Hamptons-specific debacles. e.g. Suddenly there's not enough food. The drunken naked guy who no one knows very well got into the hot tub. You return from an evening out to discover someone else in your bed, etc. There are several ways to handle these situations but in order to be invited back (very important), you must maintain a certain level of respectability and cool. I am no stranger to abject failure at this delicate dance of propriety and have retaliated in ways that are the stuff of legend. However, I learned.

There are few instances in life that you can count as pivotal moments where events would have transpired completly differently had you exchanged a "yes" for a "no." There really is no way to foresee these moments but it has been my experience that a risk-taker's life makes for a much better read than that of a habitual naysayer. (And to think I almost declined that invitation to the Hamptons for Memorial Day weekend!)

Much has been made over the First Lady's style choices and I've heard just as much dissent as I have accolades. It came to a head when a friend's mother proclaimed her outright disgust at Mrs. Obama's personal style. I was shocked. This woman was chic; ( at least by Greenwich, CT's standards) her house laden with modern art and a degree from Parsons hanging somewhere on the premises. I bit my tongue and reflected. Of course! To a woman of her generation, wearing a simple black cardigan and pearls to meet HM Queen Elizabeth is just not done. But for my generation, seeing the president's wife in Junya Watanabe or Lanvin on any given day of the week places her firmly in the risk-taker category.