Rococo

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Dress: Anthropologie Esmeralda Dress - Size 6
Shrug: The Limited - Size M
Boots: Frye Paige Tall Riding Boots - Size 8.5

"They seem wild, but they are so tame. They’re moving towards you with their colors all the same." - Arcade Fire

The response to my last post got me thinking about honesty and substance. I try to be as honest about my thoughts and feelings on this blog as I possibly can, and I appreciate that the commenters are equally honest with me, even if they do compare me to a busted can of biscuits. Funny story about that: My oldest son overheard me talking to Jerry about that comment. He looked at me strangely and said, "Mama, why would someone say that? I don't get it." I said, "Well, your 10 now, the big double digits and all, so I'll show you and let you decided for yourself." I pulled up my blog on my phone and showed him the pictures from my last post. I asked him what he thought and like any good son he said, "You look good to me, mama." Then, I told him that some people were telling mama her tummy was too fat to wear that dress. He looked at the pictures again, inspecting them closely this time, and said, "Well, your tummy is a little fat...like, maybe an inch of too much fat or something." Oh no, brutal honesty straight from the mouth of babes! Damn, even the kid thinks I shouldn't wear the dress! Jerry tried to make me feel better by telling me that 10 year olds think all adults are fat, but I wasn't buying it. Oh well, you've got to appreciate the honesty.

The location for this photo shoot was a big mansion in the bad part of town that has a wall around it with some funky colored pink grout. Jerry said it reminded him of the Rococo movement in art. The only thing I knew about Rococo was the song by Arcade Fire, so I decided to look it up. Apparently, it was an art movement in the 18th century that was very garish and ornate. It is widely criticized because for all it's detail and style it lacked true substance. Hmm...I smell a metaphor coming. 

I was a late comer to the social networking aspect of the Internet, signing up for a Facebook account in 2010. For the longest time, I just didn't get the appeal, but once I signed on and began stalking friend's walls, I got it. It was a whole new world in which a person could paint themselves in whatever light they wished, and, naturally, most people chose to paint themselves in a positive light. My news feed was full of pictures of smiling, happy faces and statuses proclaiming how wonderful life was, and I happily joined right in with the masses. I decided to start a blog and for the first few months kept the topics light and fluffy. I soon came to realize that what I was putting out there was just a veneer of my life. It lacked substance and meaning. I decided to try something different. In addition to fashion, I started writing about my life, the good and the bad. In turn, I posted most of the comments, the good and the bad.

I don't think anybody can knock me for not being honest, but the downside of being so open about my life is I'm perceived as a train wreck. I can certainly understand why. Sometimes, I feel like an outsider in a beautiful, ornate world. The picture I'm painting here may not be pretty, but I do my best to put my heart and true feelings into every post. I hope that substance counts for something.

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”
― Vincent van Gogh (my favorite artist besides Jerry)


Arcade Fire - Rococo

CONVERSATION

53 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures and very insightful blog. Even though I haven't totally agreed with all of your personal choices, I can definitely appreciate the honesty of this blog and it is EXTREMELY refreshing to know that I'm not the only person with complicated and messy problems. I've wondered why it is that no one on facebook seems to have a fat day or bad hair day or even just a bad day. Facebook, in many respects, is the antithesis of honesty. And I think it's great that you've rejected that and offered a more real and raw perspective.

    Btw, I really enjoy pictures where you are wearing older anthro pieces! It's easy to fall in love with new anthro stuff, but I like seeing pictures where I think "I remember that dress! that was a good one..."

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  2. that's the cool thing about blogs... you can write whatever you want. and if people don't like it.. they don't have to read it.

    love your hair - the color is just gorgeous!

    Pieces of love

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  3. There is a very fine line between being honest and being a jackass.

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  4. I really like when you wear your bangs off to the side like this, it's a younger, fresher look. Have you ever thought about growing them out?

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  5. I like your blog. Who cares what people think anyway?

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  6. You know, I read something recently about how a large number of Facebook users are unhappy because they see other people's lives as so much better than their own. The article talked about this skewed sense of reality that they see for the very reasons you just pointed out. People on Facebook only post the best pictures of themselves, their families, for the most part write about happy things and generally just plump up their images. I think it can also be a medium for passive aggressiveness (as is the comment section of your blog because it is so easy for someone to attack another person from behind the computer screen). People say such awful things online that they'd never say in real life to a person's face.

    I think you've got to have a really well developed sense of self to weather some of the crap that gets directed your way here, Bonnie. It really comes down to that confidence issue that is so elusive to a lot of women.

    These are beautiful pictures! I like that you are pulling out older pieces from your closet too. Quick question for you re: sweatshirt dress. Mine arrived yesterday. I LOVE it! I noticed you belted yours. Did you take the string out? The string on mine is very long. I have to really smoosh that string under the belt to get it to not show through. Hmm.

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  7. A lot of the time, I think people would just rather focus on the positive things on facebook, rather than dwell in negativity. Posting photos of their kids, learning to do something new, celebrating the little things in life. This doesn't mean it's fake.

    On the other hand, I have friends on fb who is constantly all about drama. That is not keeping it real, but asking for attention. It goes both ways. I think that you can focus on the positive things in life and still keep to being authentic. Choosing to dwell in misery and constantly reliving negativity is not healthy, and should not be viewed as being more realistic or authentic.

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  8. I totally agree. I feel sadness coming from your posts that are undeserved. You don't deserve these personal attacks at all! Have you ever wondered if some of these posts may be written by people in your community? I don't think it's healthy for you at this time to continue this to go on. I really enjoy your blog, especially the pics and honesty. We all wear things that sometimes look better on us than others. We have good days and bad days. I have to ask, is there anyway you could just turn the comments off for all of this to settle down???? While some of the comments are constructive, many are full of horrible negativity. You really are being bullied. Seriously those of us that enjoy reading your blog will continue to do so without comments. Hopefully, those that just want to add fuel to the fire, would probably leave if they weren't able to . Keep writing, and expressing yourself through what makes you feel good! Don't give the negativity any more ATTENTION! I mean that in the kindest way. Peace.

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  9. I wish I had read this article about some Facebook users being unhappy. I actually deactivated my account 2 months ago for this same reason. Even though I know nobody has a perfect life, I mean we all have some sort of problems, I still would get down because "my life sucks". It's funny that before I deactivated my account I was emailing back and forth a friend who lives in another country, were complaining about things, sharing happy moments and she said that I should stop complaining because I have a "perfect life", I travel a lot, I have a nice loving family and all this jazz. Then I realized that she also perceived my life as being wonderful for the things I also posted on Facebook. Of course I will post happy pictures of a recent trip to Jamaica instead of taking pictures of my poor checking account once I came back from my trip lol

    Anyhow I was also thinking about how easier it is to keep in touch with friends and family through Facebook. Now that I don't use my account anymore I'm really learning who my true friends are, who actually reaches out to me. My true family and friends know how to reach me but it's sad to say that those people that I thought were my friends didn't even reach out to know how I am doing. I don't need to have virtual friends, while I was on Facebook, updating photos and statuses I was "popular". This world is getting too virtual and less human contact.
    It's strange but I now feel more free that I'm not on Facebook anymore, it feels liberating :]

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  10. I agree with everything you said here, and this is exactly what happened with me. From a fellow former facebooker :)

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  11. I agree. Bonnie - I enjoy your blog, I love the pictures, I admire your courage in opening up your life to the public. I find some of the comments to be so distracting. You are being bullied, and I really just can't sit by and watch it without chiming in. You don't deserve it. I hate that the bullies get to post whatever they want. Most of them would never do this stuff in real life, they get courage hiding behind the computer screen. I will keep reading your blog, comments or no comments :)

    BTW I love this dress. What a great combination of colors. I regret not buying it!

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  12. I suppose I wouldn't call a positive Facebook post/picture/page not authentic... maybe just less authentic? And perhaps I should have qualified my post by sharing that I am one of those Facebookers that only post happy, smiling, pictures/updates.

    For example, when I was job searching a few years ago, I updated my status when I found a new job .... yet never once mentioned anything about the interviews that didn't go well, or share exactly how many times I sent my CV without any reply. I kept to myself the constant self doubt I felt throughout the process. Yet, if you had been my Facebook friend, you wouldn't have any idea of any of this. All you would see is that I had found a great job after graduate school, and that it seemed to take absolutely no effort to get said job.

    I wouldn't say that my Facebook page is an honest portrayal of my life. In fact, it is very filtered. Ironically, I have to remind myself that the same can be said about most Facebook users.

    I'm not sure if you were referring to Bonnie's blog with the "choosing to dwell in misery and constantly reliving negativity.... " comment, but I feel she shows a pretty well rounded view of her life. She has a great boyfriend, yet struggles with her relationship with her dad. She loves being with her kids and hates being away from them. Sounds pretty real to me. At the very least, it's definitely more honest then my Facebook page.

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  13. Heh, I get papercuts daily from riding the line between between honest and jackass.

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  14. Here's the link to the article:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/01/feeling-sad-facebook-could-be-the-cause/

    Also, this is a very good blog post read about how we present ourselves to others, how we are perceived and being real:
    http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/19/telling-secrets-2/

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  15. LOL Don't we all. I've made the crossover to jackass 3 times this week alone...and it's only Tuesday!

    And Bonnie - I see train wrecks every single day of the week...you are not a train wreck. Seems to me you've done a pretty good job of making hard choices and avoiding the wreckage. Don't let anyone make you think otherwise.

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  16. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one :] Let's enjoy our freedom :D cheers!

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  17. Thanks Catherine! I will definitely read both articles.

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  18. I completely agree - it's bullying. I've thought many times that these negative comments aren't coming from your usual anonymous lurkers, but more likely people in your area who are friends with Jerry's ex, etc. They're too personal and too much like verbal assault, and they leave you with no legal recourse because they act under anonymity. Personally, I wouldn't give them the forum.

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  19. Love the dress, not the purple hair. Why not go with your natural color?

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  20. Here's another thing I read recently on sweetsaltykate's blog:

    "The whole tearing-people-to-bits / army of fire-breathers thing ... anyone who's going to tear anyone to bits on the internet is someone to feel sorry"-- Kate Inglis of www.sweetsalty.com

    The post was an interview sort of thing where the friend was asking her if she was scared every time she posted something on her blog for fear of being attacked, judged- that sort of thing. I thought that was very poignant what she said; that anyone who does that (cyber bullies or people that act like an asshole behind the protective anonymity of their computer screen) is someone to feel sorry for.

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  21. I can assure you we are not friends of Jerry's, just regular folks who are baffled and fascinated by the trainwreck and juvenile rantings that unfold from this blog. What started as a cute fashion blog became an attempt to justify some pretty terrible life decisions. And it's not bullying if this crazy chick continues to put her narcissistic ramblings out there and thumbs her nose at anyone who dares to disagree.

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  22. LOL! Why don't you tell me how you really feel?

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  23. Thanks, Aly! I had my bangs long most of my life, but I had to constantly put them behind my ear to get them out of my face. I like them this way because I can change them up more (bangs one day, brushed to the side the next, pulled back the next, etc.) and when I do have them brushed to the side, I don't have to tuck them behind my ear.

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  24. Right on, Renee! I'm so glad some people "get" what I'm trying to do here! Thanks!

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  25. I'm totally not knocking the people who choose to post only positive things. It just wasn't for me.

    I don't knock the drama queens either. If that's the stuff they want to post, more power to 'em. I'ts my choice whether I choose to read it or not.

    As far as being authentic goes, I think that's something each person has to decide for themselves. If focusing on positive things in life is what gets you through the day then I think that's great. I don't think "dwelling in misery and negativity" is healthy for anyone, but I don't think it hurts to acknowledge the negative things and learn from them. That's what I try to do here.

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  26. Usually if someone's reaction to a situation seems too intense for the given situation, there's probably more to it than meets the eye. Why would strangers react so angrily, to the point of bullying, to a blog on the internet? Either Bonnie's situation is hitting too close to home for some of you and you're projecting it all onto Bonnie, or you have some personal investment in the situation.

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  27. This is so very true. I have almost canceled my facebook many a time for the lack of honesty. And have been scared at times to admit 'I hate everyone today!' as my status.

    This is your blog, it's your place and you do what you want to with it. I recently had a facebook friend who was going to cancel her facebook account because there was too much negativity! You can never win - too much positive, too much negative. Oh well.

    I have a blog because it is a creative outlet for me. I like fashion, recipes, whatever. I don't ever let my blog get to be a chore for me. I always want it to come last in my most important priorities (family, friends, work, etc) but it is still very important to me.

    I like your blog - I'm sure 90% of us would all seem like major trainwrecks if we wrote about our lives as freely as you do. You just happen to make your story public. People always like to throw stones.

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  28. Yeah it's a hard choice to decide whether to break up a marriage or close your legs. SO BRAVE.

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  29. Ugh, Renee, you are one of THOSE people! LOL! ;-)

    Thanks for the support!

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  30. Yes, Laura, exactly! You don't see me going on the positive people's blogs and Facebook pages and saying, "Shut the fuck up already! I'm tired of hearing about your perfect life!" LOL! It's my choice to read it and if it pisses me off then I'll just vent to Jerry! :-)

    Thanks for the hair color love!

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  31. Pretty simple...Don't read it if you think she is a crazy chick with narcissistic ramblings. It baffles me that you keep coming back just to bash her. Speaks volumes as to what kind of person you are.

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  32. So true, Catherine! One of my friends sent me a similar article yesterday after I made this post.

    I took the string out of my dress. Only problem is, I can't find it now. Oops! LOL!

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  33. Aw, thanks for this! I really needed to hear that!

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  34. Thanks! I've cared what people thought about me my whole life, but I'm working on being like honey badger and not giving a shit! :-)

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  35. Thanks for the concern! It may sound crazy, but I think of the comments section of this blog as my exposure therapy. I've cared too much about what people think about me for far too long. I think the criticism is good for me. I've developed a much thicker skin over the past year and continue to do so. This doesn't mean I'm allowing the hater to harden my heart. I can just handle criticism better now, and I'm starting to realize that it doesn't really matter what other people think. It only matters what I think of myself.

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  36. LOL! Purple hair? It's Mahogony mixed with some Rocket Fire, dahling. My natural hair color is Boring mixed with Grey Skunk. This color is much more fun!

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  37. hahahahah I LOVE honey badger! He's our mascot at work. Honey badger thinks the haters are nasty!

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  38. Okay, dumb question but if I take the string out, how the heck will I get it back in?

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  39. Yeah, it was just that simple. SO SELF RIGHTEOUS should be your name.

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  40. Just take a clothes hanger, cut off the hook, and bend what's left of it straight. Tie the string to the clothes hanger, then push the clothes hanger through one hole, around the waist, and out the other hole. Whallah! The string's back in the dress! LOL!

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  41. I see the fallout from marriages that should have ended every single day. All relationships go through very expected stages, and some of those stages are tough! I fully encourage people to work through them and so many do - either as a couple or with the support of couples counseling. There are occasions where the best decision, for the health of the couple and of the family, is for the relationship to end...or to ideally transition to a supportive co-parenting situation (if there are children involved). So many people "stay together for the kids" and they just don't realize how destructive that can be if the marriage is unhealthy. The kids don't get any model for a healthy relationship, they learn that being married means being miserable (that's a direct quote!) and they carry the weight of their parents staying in a miserable marriage for them. It is such a difficult decision and has so very little to do with keeping your legs closed, but I can certainly understand the desire to simplify it that way.

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  42. Guess what! I'm back, just like I said I would be.

    First off: I LOVED the gray sweaterdress. I thought it looked fabulous on your figure. I love it when clothes show that extra curve of the stomach, which is a LEGITIMATE curve. I loved even more the "Go Well" and "Warmth and Respite" posts. I feel like you're doing a really good job showcasing your personal style recently.

    Now, since I'm back, I'm going to indulge in some long thoughts. Ha! Stop me if you're bored.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your critique of Facebook. Modern life has taught us that we have the "right" to remake ourselves in whatever image we choose - we don't have to listen to limits placed on us by nature, circumstances, etc. The internet is the ultimate place where we can live out that fantasy. However, it backfires because it's empty. I often think I should delete my Facebook account because I recognize this tendency in myself, both to shellac my life as it is and to be jealous of others' shellacked versions. However, I've chosen to just go on. Facebook isn't meant to be deep and that's okay. I just have to keep posting things that are appropriate there. I resist posting anything that shows much about my life either way, happy or sad, for this and other reasons.

    I appreciate your ongoing effort to be honest. I came back to your blog because I enjoy learning about the life of someone who thinks and feels so differently than I do. Reading your thoughts has really helped me to understand a way of life that is not mine. It's helped me to see how the kinds of things I might judge from the outside have real, human causes that all stem out of our desire to be loved. This doesn't mean that I agree with everything you write, but I think that it has helped me understand a whole new type of person from the inside out, which I hope you'll take as a high compliment.

    However, I also want to say that I think the idea that surfaces are fake and substance is the only thing that matters is also a false dichotomy. I even hate those labels. "Surfaces" aren't always just lies - sometimes we show less than 100% of our content to people because they don't need to carry all our problems, like a child/parent relationship, or any other position of authority. Sometimes it's also true that showing certain aspects of ourselves to people is a kind of gift, an intimacy that is more special when reserved for a few. Sometimes it's better to save certain insights for people who can appreciate and help us, especially if they're things we're vulnerable about - oversharing isn't always beneficial to either the listener or the hearer. Does that mean that our outer surfaces are lies, though? I don't think so. Not laying everything out isn't the same as lying.

    I think the REAL problem here is the idea that our lives are "products" at all - irrespsective of whether they are judged to be or are "fake" or "authentic". There are no brownie points either for holding back or for spilling your guts. It's never that simple either way. There are times when both are appropriate, and wisdom is knowing which is when.

    ...Now I rambled and you're probably no longer glad I'm back. Haha!

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  43. I think it's also possible people are disgusted with the behavior -that's another possibility.

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  44. your hair does look purple

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  45. I can understand not agreeing with her choices, but the level of anger is a sign there is something else going on. I read stuff all the time that I don't agree with...and then I move on. I don't stay around to post repeated negative comments to the point of bullying. I think there's more to it. Just a guess.

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  46. It's funny cause it's true.

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  47. SluttymcsluttersonFebruary 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Slut shaming at its finest. Sobrave, YOU are obviously a jackass.

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  48. Um, aren't YOU calling Bonnie a slut here? lol

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  49. eh... you could say the same about comments. just don't read them if they upset you, dear. Bonnie reads and chooses to post all these comments. she must get quite something out of them. reaffirmation of victimhood, people like you coming to her defense, a little bump to her blood pressure, who knows? must be something she finds beneficial or she'd stop.

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  50. I don't think she was slut shaming. I think she was homewrecker shaming. Splitting hairs, I suppose.

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  51. The thing is, a home is almost always already wrecked before an affair happens. If it were solid and intact, you could huff and you could puff, but that thing wouldn't be coming down.

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