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Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Fancy

Posted July 22, 2012

As I plan my mother's memorial service in Pennsylvania, I am keenly aware of who she was.

My mother was what a child might call "fancy." She always looked impeccable - clothing, makeup, hair always perfectly coiffed. She kept her environment the same way - tasteful, elegant and organized - her home and her office. As for entertaining, don't even get me started. She was Martha Stewart on steroids (without the cooking part - she was great at ordering gourmet food). Every table was impeccably set and guests always left with a little gift from her.

The lovely part about my mother was that her fanciness never made anyone feel lesser or unimportant. She always made sure everyone felt welcome at her table in jeans or an evening gown. She accepted everyone without judgment, and even made everyone feel a little bit fancier.

I am not naturally fancy, more at home in flip-flops and a T-shirt, I've never once considered if my purse matches my outfit or if my throw pillows are getting a little tired. But as her muse, my mother made me fancy at times. She bought me pretty dresses, helped me decorate my house (even when I didn't exactly ask for her help), and always helped me throw the most beautiful and festive holiday parties (no paper plates allowed). So, now, who am I without her?

I've pondered this question for several days now as I plan a reception for her memorial service that will tastefully honor her grace and style, but will also reflect who I am, the hostess, her un-fancy, no-nonsense daughter.

It's funny for all that my mother and I had in common, our quirky sense of humor for example, our voracious appetite for reading, this was one area where we parted ways. I often wondered what she thought of her practical, jean shorts wearing hippie daughter. I wondered if she thought, how did this happen? How did I get her instead of a "fancy" daughter? But in my heart, I know, my mother never thought that way. She showed me through her actions that she loved me despite our differences, that fanciness and being a hippie could co-exist.

I know that moving forward, I will continue to be who I have always been, but in homage to my mother, I may be a little bit fancy every now and then.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • Iwasthinkin Jul 24, 2012

    Amanda, you mother saw you not just with her eyes...but also with her heart.....
    There are also varied kinds of "Fancy" Just celebrate HER.

  • jcastaldi Jul 23, 2012

    The one thing you need to know is that you loved fancy. With all your heart and talent you are the only one who could do what you did for Madeline! And I call that FANCY!
    Love Jeanie Castaldi (chester county hospital, PA)

  • timtooltime777 Jul 23, 2012

    Wow ! You had a great mother ! You are so very lucky to have had her ! May you and yours find peace and love always !

  • pdeloatch Jul 23, 2012

    Amanda, I'm so sorry about your mom. It sounds like you two (usually) appreciated your differences, and always loved each other both because and in spite of them. Sending you virtual hugs!

  • mbsheisey2 Jul 23, 2012

    Bless your heart, Amanda. I am so sorry for your loss. I have kind of the same situation - my mother really likes to dress when she didn't have to go to work (she was a nurse when they had to wear white uniforms and caps) and I usually could not care less what I was wearing. During my teenage years, my daddy threatened more than once to throw us both out of the house because she and I had *differences of opinion* about what I was wearing.

    I am sure you will plan a beautiful memorial service for your mother. You, being the intelligent woman that you are, can do no less. (I love your books!)