Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Kilim Shoe Source—Books—Boys—Dances

I wish the Farquhar family lived in the States. But since they do their Kilim thing in the Cotswolds, I doubt that they wish to live here inside the Beltway. Who could blame them? If they were around the corner, I'd already be commissioning one of the above. My house is overrun with rugs and other textilian evidence of what I materially salvaged from my marriage. Shut up.
And it’s no secret that my Kilim chaise would be the only piece of furniture that I’d rescue if my house was on fire. The two of us have…let me just say…History...with a capital H. And of course my appetite for textile-esque shoes of dubious origin and questionable gender categorization is legend. Shut up.
Here's a photo of me in dreamland atop my Kilim chaise and interestingly, a Kilim pillow offers me some form of cardiac security. It was 1995 and I was adrift in many ways so a Kilim pillow was as good as any to gird and ground my nap. Roxanne Burgess. Five makes ten that I'm dreaming of her.
When you read about Nomad Ideas you’ll learn that theirs is a family affair. Three daughters help mom and dad with their Kilim strategy. And their turnout is great. I’d love to have a Kilim club chair or the ottoman with hidden storage. I’d be torn regarding what to secret away in it. Stationery and fountain pens come to mind…magazines…Velcro restraints...Astroglide and my Herve Villechaize costume…the options are endless.
And Nomad Ideas sells Kilim everything. 
But since I’m a bit far from the Cotswolds, I’ll continue to settle for the great Kilim slippers they offer. About $185.00 gets a pair from the Cotswolds to the States and the process is decidedly and frankly, enjoyably low-tech. Email Pammie-Jane and request a gander at the slippers in your size. But do your homework before emailing. Know what your size conversion is for European metrics. They aren’t a shoe store per se and you’ll want to minimize the tisk-tisking about size and color choices. I wear a 40 or 41 and requested to see what she had in said sizes. 
She’ll send a jpeg and you can take your pick. I’ve simply cropped the photo and sent back visual evidence of my choice along with a three-separate-email-sequenced conveyance of my MasterCard details. My second pair will be en route next week. So swing by and grab a pair. And tell ‘em I sent you. And as always, I’ve not accepted anything from Nomad Ideas in exchange for mentioning positively my experience with them.
Ok…on to books. LFG has a rather rigorous school-workload that includes regular book report projects. And if you’ve read my drivel you know that I love the book projects. But in addition to the regularly scheduled formal book projects, her school requires that they constantly read “something else for pleasure” and they have to complete one pleasure book every three weeks. At the end of three weeks they have to write up a very brief summary of their just completed book.
No worries, my baby loves to read. Always has.
Several Sundays ago LFG and I are seeking her next “something else for pleasure” book and she happened upon The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. “M.A. LOVED this book dad.” (This news didn’t surprise me. M.A., one of LFG’s loveliest friends, read Phantom Toll Booth one zillion times) “Well then let’s get it for your next read.”

“But daddy it’s three hundred and eighty four pages.” And that right there pretty much put an end to the first installment of Bosch being LFG’s next reading project book. Then I watched her thumb through other chapter books and soon noticed that her number-one measure for considering a book was page count. We weren’t even close to any level of drama or frustration yet. Actually, and yes I know it’s just around the corner, we don’t have much of that on any given day. But I could sense an emerging lack of joy in the process. Plus, it concerned me that page count was prevailing as the primary driver of choice. We’ve all had to read brief articles, White Papers and slender books wherein every paragraph was painful drudgery. And of course many of us have read lengthy books in one or two sittings. But how do you convey this to a sixth grader?

I’m not brilliant so let me just admit that I pulled the solution to this smoldering issue of “the book’s too long for me daddy” out of my … slippers. “How long was the book you just finished LFG?” She couldn’t remember so we tracked it down and snagged that metric within moments. It pagi-damn-nated out to about two hundred and sixty. So I took the Bosch book and dog-eared the lower corner of page two hundred sixty one. “Ok baby, here’s the deal…forget that the other pages exist. You now have a book the same length as the one you just finished.” “But what about the other pages dad?” “DO NOT worry about them. Read the first two-sixty and then let’s talk.”
I had no idea if my strategy of head-in-the-sand total-page-number-denial was gonna work. But I was determined to try and get LFG off of page-count-being-the-driver-of-liking-a-book-or-not trend. Plus, she had three weeks to get it done. My nightmare scenario worked out to be a situation where LFG might be crying, convulsing and hating the book and I’d be sitting beside her cajoling the child into consuming another gulp of three of four pages between sobs—with one day to go before the final two hundred pages had to be done. Kinda like forcing doses of scrivened Castor Oil I reckon. And I was willing to accommodate the nightmare scenario.
You gotta love it when a plan comes together. Wednesday afternoon…three days into the journey I called LFG and asked her what page she was on. “Dad! I’m on page one-thirty-seven and I LOVE this book! Can I please have the others in the series?” She was finished with the first book in one week and begging for the next one. So I Amazon One-Clicked the other books then and there. “Are they here yet?” was LFG’s daily call-out to me. When they arrived in a few days, I drove straight to Chevy Chase to hand them off to LFG. I’ve yet to see my child so excited about a book…or a series of them. Page count be damned. I can’t imagine my life without books and I’m gratified that my young’un is developing a passion for them as well. And by the way, you might ask why we didn’t check these out at the library. They literally cannot keep them on the shelf. And, after LFG finishes her paperbacks, we always donate them to the library.
Now on to a more traumatic issue at hand. Coming up is my LFG weekend and I’ve been instructed to pick her up after “the dance” on Friday night. The dance? My child is in middle school and where we live that means sixth-seventh-eight graders co-mingled. My baby is going to her first school dance. Chaperoned of course, out the a_s by a zillion parents, LFG’s mom included.  So no worries right? LFG went to Cotillion but this is different. DO NOT ask me to explain why. I can't. I’m just in denial.

My phone call with LFG the other day… “Are you gonna dance with an eighth grade boy? (LFG giggle on the other end) “No daddy.” “Are you gonna dance with a seventh grade boy? (LFG giggle on the other end) “No daddy.” “Are you gonna dance with a sixth grade boy? (LFG giggle on the other end) “No daddy.” “Oh…so you and your girl besties are all gonna dance together!” Yes daddy! Whew. It’s amazing how I can craft-wrought-contrive my desired realities.
But I did let LFG know that I thought it would be great if she danced with any boy who was nice enough to ask her. I told her on the phone and then backed it up in a letter to her. I can’t let my neuroses become hers.
Onward. Wearing kilim slippers. Reading books. And watching my little girl grow up.



Scot Meacham Wood said...


OMG. Totally loving the Kilim shoes. I'm seeing a pair added to my own footwear wardrobe VERY soon.


ADG said...

Scottieboy...get yourself a pair. Dirt cheap when you put 'em up against Belgians, Cleverley, Stubbs and all my other high dollar addictions.

LPC said...

The middle school stuff, except for the couple chosen by their peers to model boyfriend-girlfriend behavior, is largely practice. If I recall. My son was chosen in 6th grade to have the girlfriend. It didn't take, as you can imagine.

ADG said...

Prunella..."practice" ... God I hope so.

ilovelimegreen said...

After I read the second half of this fun post, I managed to forget all my questions for you about kilim slippers. Don't let LFG know that I played hooky (just once) to read books that were not required reading.

Suburban Princess said...

Awww yer a good daddy! Never forget...roots and wings :O)

I have problem with this 3 week marker for reading books. There are so many great stories the children will miss out on for the exact reason LFG was intimidated by page count. Most wouldn't have read Harry Potter if only given 3 weeks to finish it.

Anonymous said...

Feelin' your pain ADG. Boys, dances, wrist corsages.....girls, dances, boutineers.
Except it does make it better when you see for yourself and hear LFG talk about how much fun she is having....and all the fun in store.

Of course plenty of circlin'-n-sniffin' goes on at these middle school parties, but really more of just girls happily huddled together and sweaty palmed boys (who are only brave/bold when traveling in a posse of at least 5) on the opposite side of the dance floor.

Middle school years are indeed "practice".
Ali (from WI)

Anonymous said...

Hugely relieved to read your penultimate thoughts/scribbles re LFG and dancing with boys. Appreciate how much consideration, wisdom and, I guess, selflessness it took. Well done, keep going - you're doing it right.

Rug Repair NY said...

This is a great blog. I love kilims and I repair these kilims all the time. Kilims are one of the most beautiful woven arts in the world. I would like to follow your blog.

Reggie Darling said...

Want. Must have. NEED!

JKG said...

You're good, man. At least, you try hard. They say in parenting that that puts you in the top 10%.

Vickie H. said...

I weep at the father you are to this darling girl child! Me, at my advanced age, still grieving the daddy who couldn't be bothered. I love your blog! Thank you...really.

GP said...

Great post. Sure, stream-of-unconsciousness or whatever as it flows from one thing to the next... but that gives it such life and fun. Love the way you admit to how things are, not always how they should be... and creatively approach reading. Super.

ADG said...

Thanks everyone. Like I've said before...I'm not looking for gold medals for fathering. I'm just trying not to eff it up.

Young Fogey said...

"Trying not to eff it up"? Well, lessee here. Her father minces about in fruity footwear that Liberace would reject as too femmy; he wears shirts that put pimps to shame, and rather than idealize the clothes that Flusser writes about, he idealizes the clothes that Flusser actually wears.

What could possibly go wrong?


(But seriously, I'm taking notes for when my kids get to LFG's age.)

ADG said...

Fogey...I knew you had a mean streak but man.

Young Fogey said...

You told me not to apologize for making fun of your clothing, so I won't. However...

I wouldn't make all the same sartorial choices you do, but you have style out the wazoo, and I respect that. You are comfortable in what you wear, and that's even more important. You make it look good; most of us would look like tools in the same stuff. That's an amazing talent.

You're a good father to your daughter, and I'm paying attention to what you share with us so that I can emulate you in my own adventures in fatherhood.

Zat better?

ADG said...

Much better. Thanks. And therefore, I'm gonna send you a care package for Christmas.

Summer is a Verb said...

And, nary a mention of the under the gun help you received in choosing your kilim slips. Mmmmmhmmmmm...XXOO

ADG said...

Sorry AllieVonGreenWitch...I'll make it up to you and MisterDoctor in three weeks when I'm up there.

Anonymous said...

You may want to chaperone one of the middle school dances to put yourself and your neuroses at ease. You'll find that is is just another step for LFG to becoming a great young woman. Plus, it's fun to meet or see the kids she talks about. I always enjoy meeting my 20-somthings kid's friends.


Preppy 101 {Preppy Grammy} said...

You are just the best ever. Watching them grow up is the happiest and saddest I've ever been - a never-ending experience.

How wonderful the reading experience has turned out. Congratulations to you and a thank you on behalf of all of her teachers . . .


CBK said...


I'm so glad that LFG stuck with the Bosch series, it is loved here at our house as well. If I may, here are two other selections that are good ones The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott. He uses folk stories with history and sets it in present day. A fast read as well. The second is The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!