When I said that I savored spending time with my cousin in Seattle who likes the opera too, I meant that she is a quality person. I miss her and the rest of my family out there everyday.

Some of my aunts and uncles and cousins nearby have been easy to be close to over the years and some have been more challenging, unfortunately. I’d like to think we all value each other and our family here in the Midwest, but there are some people who I’ve just had a hard time being close to on and off over the years and they may feel the same (not for political or religious reasons necessarily but more personality…). But I felt like I could enjoy almost everyone in Seattle pretty easily. Thanksgiving was always lovely and so was Synttende Mai.

…But…truly, out in Seattle I never felt like I was being shunned for being myself. Or misunderstood as much. Nobody ever told me I was “too uptight” or “too intense” (comments I’ve heard over the span of 35 years-some recent and some in childhood.). I think some family here have always seen me as being…too “nerdy” maybe. They’re the Meghan Draper type of people in terms of being chic and modern. I’m too Betty (or even Peggy) at times for them, I think. But again, I’d like to think we all value each other….

That being said, the family out West wasn’t sure perfume was a legitimate thing to be so fascinated by, because they’re on the West Coast and part of the upper-classes and perfume was slightly taboo then among folks of that ilk (I say then because things can change). But they were open-minded to seeing me for who I am and accepting me in a loving way. I appreciated that. And I mean, they didn’t always say things I wanted to hear either. They corrected me at times even or more or less provided guidance. I wasn’t coddled. But I know they cared…

Attending the opera is standard among our family there though. As easy and pleasant as going for a walk in a park. And honestly they’re some of the most sophisticated people I’ve ever met in general (and I’m not just saying that because they got along with us)…aside from a few professors over the years who were…amazing.

One professor named Jeanne had such an upper-crust background in many ways and she was the head of the Honors Program I was in at the University I first attended (my father’s alma mater), but she wore a full length leather coat (in the winter) from the 1970’s in the 2000’s. And denim. She loved denim. And she was wildly relaxed and yet sublimely brilliant and knowing. I adored her! One of my best memories ever is of sitting in a beautiful Park Avenue condo (from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s) with her and other students analyzing the state of the world. She let you voice your thoughts and never made you feel stupid all while providing critical insight or useful confirmation.

Also, when I said “public” yesterday in reference to being under high levels of scrutiny, I meant public in a loose way. I only had 6,000 followers but it was enough to be a target. But I think even a manager of 150 or more people might qualify as public enough to garner scrutiny. There’s lots of ways to be somewhat public. …Still, I cannot imagine having your world invaded the way Calloway’s was. I’ve experienced weird things but I’ve never had a poisonous article with my actual name in it published.

Anyway, painting the armoire well is proving challenging. Ha!

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