Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Guest Blogger: Cyndy Salzmann

Meet my friend, Cyndy Salzmann! Cyndy is a Nebraska wife, mother, speaker and multi-published author. Her latest project is a lighthearted mystery series published by Simon & Schuster. She recently joined my RWA chapter and presented a program on office organization. I know you'll enjoy hearing what she has to say:

My teenagers call me a fashion emergency. Actually, that's not quite true. They used to call me a fashion emergency. These days, no words are necessary. I can tell they disapprove of my wardrobe as soon as I walk in the room.

My 17-year-old daughter raises her eyebrows and gives the look to my 14-year-old daughter who is chewing her lip across the room. My 19-year-old son knows something is up – but he's learned from his dad that it's much easier to keep his mouth shut.
He usually looks out the window.

"What's the problem?" I'll ask – in an effort to spare further humiliation.
"It's just those shoes..." says my eldest daughter, "and I mean that skirt is so last century."
Last century! Does she mean 1999?
"And Mom, what were you thinking when you put on that shirt," says my youngest. "It's like ten sizes too big."

Actually, she could be right because just like a department store, I should have those little size rings in my closet – "8, 10, 12, none of your business." Without my reading glasses – I'm never sure what size I end up with.

For many years, I ignored their rolling eyes – chalking it up to too many American Eagle commercials. But recently, while preparing to attend a professional conference, I was feeling a little "frumpy" - and decided to ask my daughters to help me update my look. Little did I know the experience was going to resemble an episode of the "What Not to Wear" reality television show.

We began in the tiny walk-in closet I "share" with my husband. (Actually, he has only 30% of the space but I am the one who never has anything to wear.) In less than 15 minutes, the girls had informed me of the myriad fashion mistakes I was making and outlined a set of rules.

1. Don't pull your pants and skirts up too high on your waist. (I tried to explain that after giving birth to three children, it was impossible to accurately locate my waist.)

2. Forget pastels. These colors are only appropriate for the under five set. Not size five… age five.

3. Never, ever, let your socks peek out of your tennis shoes.

4. One word. Stillettos. (To which I added two words. Broken ankle.)

5. Stop thinking everything has to be "comfortable."

This last "rule" is what brought me to my senses – and to count my blessings. My teenagers may be up on the latest excruciating fashion trends – with nary a worry about future bunions – but I've already paid my fashion dues. Several decades ago with slippery Danskin wrap-around skirts, polyester pantsuits and platform shoes to rival those still worn by Elton John. I've earned the right to wear comfy "arch supporting" clogs, long denim skirts – even knee socks if I have the urge. Fashion emergency or not – I will enjoy the next dinner with an elastic waist --- and a grateful heart.

The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. Proverbs 20:29 (New Living Bible)

Crime & Clutter
Simon & Schuster 4/06
ISBN: 978-1582296449
A storage unit, a 1963 Volkswagen minibus, and tattered letters...reveal shattering secrets from the '60s.


  1. What a great blog! I feel so much better about myself Cyndy. :-) I have a beautiful lavender dress, (okay it's a tent-like thing), that I wear around the house. My daughter was visiting this weekend and I got the eye-roll thing when I came out of the bedroom with it on. She's also into the current fashion trends when I absolutely crave comfort. Thanks for a bright start to my workday.

  2. Loved your story! I can really relate. I was 20 pounds heavier and miserable after my third child. That's when my friend said, "You can wear that size but nobody is fooled. It's not like you're going to squeeze yourself into a size 10 and everybody will say, 'wow, she's so THIN!'" They're gonna know.

  3. What a wonderful picture, Betsy, thanks for the laugh!

    One thing I did eliminate from my wardrobe completely was the evil sweatpants. They might be comfy, but they aren't attractive and my family deserves better *G* (also the reason I wear make-up, but that's another story).

    With a sedentary job like writing, it is TOO easy to fill out those sweatpants without noticing! I discovered that early in my career and I won't do it again. Lounging around in my jammies is one thing, but when I get dressed for the day, it's jeans that I don't plan to grow out of.

  4. Loved your blog! It had be cracking up here at work I am sure they are wondering what I am doing. I am glad I am no the only one who have children that do the eye rolling. I did give up the sweatpants to hubby said no way they make you look really fat and that did it for me. So I found some lounge pants I can wear at home only but they are comfy.

  5. Great post! I don't have kids myself, but I can only imagine what they'll have to say about my wardrobe when I do have them. My sister used to be my fashion critic...especially growing up. But she seems to have stopped...guess she realized I wasn't going to listen...Jeans and a t-shirt are fine for me...LOL.

    Maybe when I am not single, I'll care more...or maybe that is why I am single...LOL

  6. Thanks for all your comments, ladies! It's so nice to know I'm not alone.

    So I have to tell you... I just bought the most amazingly comfortable outfit that both my daughters have repeatedly told me looks REALLY good. So I went out and bought two more in different colors. I'm thinking this will be my cold weather "uniform." : )

    It's that cozy velour stuff -- sweatpants (elastic waist with drawstring) and a matching jacket. I feel like I'm wearing PJs at the grocoery store. In fact, I even forgot and wore my house slippers to the mall. PLEASE don't tell my girls. I'll never hear the end of it...

  7. Hi Cyndy, I really enjoyed your story. As a para in school, I have loads of critics but I, too, most of the time, opt for comfort. I have enjoyed your books and met you in Norfolk.

  8. Your blog was great, Cyndy! I have two kids but they're young enough that they don't care what I wear. I'll start preparing myself for the inevitable eye rolling that's sure to come because I have never been much of a fashionista. Those genes went straight from my mother to my daughter!

  9. Hi Cyndy It's me {{waving}} at you!
    It's true- it's not what you know, it's who you know.
    I read CSJ for 10 yrs, gave her book to my local bookseller, he asked her to sign books and I meet a FAVORITE author who invited me to blog and met new friends!
    A close friend's daughter had Cyndy speak at a MOPS group, I heard her & arranged for Cyndy to speak 4 times and had her sign at same bookstore. She met Cheryl at another independent bookstore and the rest is history; a meeting of like minds!!
    I now have all of Cyndy's books (fiction & non-fiction) and only missing a couple of Cheryl's (bagged 2 more lately.)
    My good fortunate just keeps rolling along!

  10. Cyndy, LOVE your sense of humor and bright smile! Gals, she is the same in person-genuine, caring, fun, enthusiastic.

    You KNOW it's bad when your SON tells his father you have no fashion sense. But I am a T-shirt & jeans gal (para at pre-school 3 yrs) & wear sweats for warmth and walking the dog. I clean up good, even known for wearing hats, but dress for comfort. Try to give away clothes that don't fit; realistic that I'm not likely to lose weight before they go out of style.
    Cyndy, I want specifics on brand name outfit-forgot to ask when I saw you last.

    My heart's desire is to win Cyndy's 2 days of house organization or earn the money to pay for it!!-check out her site. Paperwork is my bugaboo and I was hiding behind the door when God handed out the housekeeping gene!! ROFL Both sisters suffer from the same lack- I blame it on the wiring in my brain as author Mindy Starns Clark says!

  11. Hi Cyndy,
    Met you several years ago at the "Bloom Conference" and have even used what I learned. (So all that work wasn't in vain.) Excited to see you've branched into other genres of books. Looking forward to getting and reading them.
    Be good to my buddy Cheryl at critique group. :-)
    PS--Leave the 'fashion' to the young. I'm with you--sensible shoes, no heels and comfort clothes all the way.

  12. Oh, gosh, what a hoot, and we've all so been there! (See, I'm even talking like "they" do, and my kids are in their 30s!)

    I love the idea of the velour outfits.

    If your books are as good as your blog, I can't wait.

  13. WOW! What an encouraging bunch you are! And I even get to connect with some old friends (waving to Connie, Lou and Robyn). Anytime you need a guest blogger, Cheryl, just shout my way. : )

    BTW -- the brand of my cozy velour outfits is called Ac-tiv-ology and I bought them at Dillards. (I have the black one on now -- andam packing the brown one for my trip to St. Louis in the morning.)

  14. Thanks, Cyndy for the brand.

    Working at a high school, I see many fashions so asked for source of fingerless gloves & stopped at Claire's: got 2 pair, plus matching knit hat & skarf set, wall hanging jewelry keeper & 4 piece pen, pencil, eraser, pencil case. Your blog cost me 50 bucks to update my image! But I'm worth it!!
    Neat thing about the gloves is they have flap that folds onto the back of your hand as a decoration, then flips over to give protection of mitten coverage. Hope you can visualize that! My sister got 2 pair for our boys several years ago; of course in heavy-duty, masculine black.

  15. LOL Great post, Cyndy.
    Absolutely could have happened at my house except I know better than to ask my kids for help.
    I'm sure you do too, but we all have weak moments. :)