Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tempting Top Ten: Elegant things

My "A" post was top ten Actors/Actresses, B was breakfasts, C was chocolate, and D was drama. Yes, it's a strange brew, with a loose theme of "tempting." Elegant things also tempt me, but I'm on a tight budget, and I don't like extravagant spending anyway. So here's a list of 10 elegant things you don't have to feel guilty about being tempted into:

10. Ballroom dancing
I've always thought ballroom dancing was the epitome of elegance - the beautiful clothes, the beautiful music, the graceful movement. Bonus: ballroom dancing lessons aren't that expensive!

9. Scarves.
I'm not thinking of the winter type of scarf (though a man in a nice coat with a wool scarf can be quite eye-catching) - I'm thinking of gauzy, silky, brilliant things for women that can be paired with just about any outfit.

8. Museums.
I may be really off-base here, but I think museums are elegant. Old things, historical things - well, maybe not medieval torture devices! I know museums are meant to be more informative than elegant, but I still think historical knowledge and artifacts are classy.

7. Wine glasses.
Even if you aren't having wine. Any beverage in a wine glass will do. (Well, maybe not milk).

6. Hammocks.
These not only add a touch of elegance to your backyard, but they are wonderfully relaxing to swing in, too. Unless you get dumped out of one.

5.  Candles and lanterns.
A flickering light has a sort of elegant and mesmerizing magic to it. 

4.  Maps and globes.
This may reflect my bias (I'm a geographer and lover of maps), but I think a nice globe or framed map adds an elegant touch to any room. Also, maps tell stories. At least, good ones do.

3. Afternoon tea.
Not to be mistaken for high tea (which is actually more of a dinner). This lovely English tradition makes me think of delicate china and delicious finger foods. By the way, it's perfectly acceptable to also serve coffee at an afternoon tea.

2. Yachts.
Okay, so I had to include one thing that blows my affordable criteria away.

1.Gracious manners. The wonderful thing is you don't have to own or acquire anything to achieve elegance. I'm not talking stuffy "proper" manners here, the kind that leave you feeling as if you don't quite measure up. What I'm talking about is when you meet that rare soul that genuinely seems pleased to meet you, asks questions that engage you, and leaves you feeling a little brighter, a little happier. Now that's true elegance.

What's your favorite elegant thing?

Oddly enough for this book-a-holic, books didn't make my list of elegant things, though many books are crafted elegantly - both physically and in word-crafting. But I tend to label my books as "adventurous" or "romantic" or "riveting" rather than elegant. I highly recommend East, by Edith Pattou, for an adventurous version of Beauty and the Beast, or Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card,  for a riveting science fiction twist.

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