Nancy Roman

Searching For Middle Ground

It’s finally warm in Connecticut.

So I wanted to wear one of my favorite silk cardigans to work. I was looking for some pants that would match, and I came upon an old pair of crops in my closet.  They are a pretty taupe color, and would go great with my sweater.

I haven’t worn them in three years. Although they are loose-fitting in the legs (oops, not skinny jeans), they were tight in the waist. But with my new Zumba schedule, I’ve lost a couple of pounds and I figured I could wear them now.

I took them out and laid them on the ironing board to see how bad they might be after three years.

They looked like this:

They’ve been in my closet for THREE YEARS.  The crease is still where it belongs and there are no wrinkles. What the heck of these things made of?  They actually gave me the creeps.

On the other hand, last weekend we had company for Sunday dinner.  I had some nice new napkins still in the box, so we used them. And after dinner I threw them in the wash.

Here’s what they came out looking like:

Now I love organic cotton as much as the next person (in theory).

But come on!

Just a little of the extraterrestrial chemical that made my pants-crease indestructible could go a long way here.

I mean, just a little, please. I don’t want my guests wiping their mouths with poison, but a quick wipe with a mild poison couldn’t hurt, could it?

This got me to thinking about extremes, and the difficulty these days in finding that precious Middle Ground.

I’m on a constant quest to find that balance between aging gracefully and trying to be as young as possible.

I’m sixty-one. It’s a tricky age. I’m not old (I don’t think), but I’m can’t pretend to be young (unfortunately).

Shopping is hard.

At one end, I could go with the Grandma look:

Or at the other extreme, I could go with the hoochie look:

Both these looks are readily available. Extremes are plentiful.

What’s not so easy to find is something in between.

It takes effort. I have to search.

But it’s out there. The Middle Ground.

Finding the Middle Ground is HARD WORK.

But I do it.


So that I don’t look like an idiot.




  1. If the politicians would listen, our gov’t would be a far more productive, effective and user-friendly machine. I’m not sure any of them will ever have your fashion sense however…:-)


  2. I feel your pain about the napkins. I used cloth napkins once and now they are crammed inside some drawer in our hutch. Am I really supposed to iron napkins? I don’t iron clothes I wear out in public so the likelihood of that happening is 0 percent. I have to content myself with wiping my mouth on my sleeve.


    • Oh, I’ll iron the napkins. So they will look nice in the drawer I put them in, never to take them out again.


  3. At 64 now, I have experience finding that middle ground with clothing, attitude and life. Sometimes I get it right – one day at a time. Apparently I am attracted to “old lady prints” on modern garments..


  4. I nearly snorted coffee out my nose over your illustration of the “hoochie look.” I’d say your personal look nails the middle ground perfectly. I’d wear that. In fact, I DO wear that. I love your drawings – they always make me laugh.


  5. pharphelonus

    Amen on that last line, too.


  6. I can relate to the napkins. When that happens they go in the trash (and no a quick swipe with poison won’t kill anyone!) Your message on middle ground was on target. My male cat got so much nicer after he was neuter — a lot less aggression. So….doesn’t it make sense that if we do some people neutering maybe the ego crap won’t get in the way? (BTW my husband cringes when I discuss this!)


    • Neutering politicians… I’m liking the idea.


  7. bigsheepcommunications

    That middle ground certainly is elusive, in fashion and politics!


  8. Barneysday

    Politicians and looking like idiots, can’t be helped, it’s in the genes. And the harder they try, the more ridiculous they become. Happy mothers day!


  9. Here’s to the middle ground! Sadly, I’m only toasting with coffee. I should have waited to read this post…


  10. I am not quite old too–though I getting close to 60 I am neither a grandma nor a hoochie–I am so much younger than my mom at almost 60–but I am sure she felt the same inside as I do. Thanks for the thought-provoking and funny blog entry.


  11. You see you and I are simpatico! It is that compromise with grace that is a wonderful thing isn’t it!

    Wishing politicians would learn this is like hitting yourself with a rubber mallet and hoping they get a headache…..never happens.

    Happy Mothers Day!


  12. I LOL’ed at those napkins. I gave up on cloth napkins for that very reason. Ironing napkins? Uh, no. (I rarely iron clothes, and reluctantly at that).

    You, my dear, are navigating the middle ground fabulously. You put our politicians to shame. (Too bad they HAVE no shame).


  13. Middle ground? Middlle ground? There isn’t one. It’s GONE or I just can’t find it anymore.
    Mostly I use paper napkins; some are unbelievable but when using cloth ones, I do iron them.
    Great sketches as usual.


    • In one of my favorite movies, Holly Hunter yells at William Hurt: “You crossed the line!” And he responds, “It’s hard not to. They keep moving the little sucker.”


  14. We don’t need to neuter politician so much as elect more women. I agree it’s a delicate balance finding the right look (I’m 66). I saw an “older” women (my age-ish) at an art museum recently, in a black spaghetti strap cami and yoga pants. Way too much, shall we say, visible skin (read flab). Finally, USE the cloth napkins. Except for picnics and outdoors, we use them all the time, and no, I don’t iron them. Smooth them out when they come out of the dryer and over time they soften up. Also, cheap kerchiefs, often available at craft stores (try Hobby Lobby) for about $1 apiece, work fine and are less wrinkly. Get a different pattern for each family member so you can use them for a few meals (that was the purpose of napkin rings–each one different, and the napkin stayed on the table until it was dirty). Some of the old ways really are more environmentally friendly.


  15. “Hoochie Grandma” is an under-represented look. You could try that one if you get bored.

    I think the pants are made with fiber-glass. Sorry about the napkins. I can’t live in a world where I am expected to iron napkins.


  16. I like the ‘quick wipe with a mild poison’. My attitude precisely!


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