Saturday, 20 July 2013

Big Mouth strikes again

It seems this dress is not to everyone's taste, it gets a very mixed reaction.

I don't know what the problem is - a bit of 1980s rara action never hurt anyone!

Cotton, a mad print, ruffles and angel sleeves- what's not to love?

Here's a question - do you ever speak out about something, because you feel strongly that you should, only to wish you'd kept your head down?

I went on a school trip on Monday which I thought was pretty dreadful, for various reasons.

After a bit of pondering, I decided to email the teachers in charge to express my concerns. Politely, reasonably, but clearly. I'm quite forthright.

I have had a formal letter in reply, refuting all my points, in a very defensive and angry tone, and I should obviously consider myself reprimanded. They are extremely disappointed that I contacted them to say what I felt.

I'm a parent, helping out as a volunteer.
I'm giving considered feedback
Shouldn't they be able to listen, without getting cross?
Or is that expecting too much?

What is your experience of telling professionals things they don't want to hear?

1980s dress - Ebay (99p)
Belt, sunglasses and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals - Ebay

Oh, my sense of justice and my big mouth get me into trouble sometimes.

Lalalala, I'll just shake my rara and pretend I'm not mad as hell.

I may be persona non grata in some areas of school, but the staff  I work with regularly as a volunteer gave me some lovely flowers to thank me for helping out.  

An interesting contrast.

So Eldest has now left primary school, which is something of a milestone.

And to mark the event, I took her to get her ears pierced...

and to a folk music festival. 

Guess which event she was most delighted about, and which, well, frankly, she could have done without?


Very low water level in the river Porter, we haven't had any rain for weeks.

Sheffield's music festival Tramlines is great, lots of free stuff, and a wide variety of music on offer in different venues in  the city.

After some street food, a quick listen to a band in the city centre, and queueing for ages in Claire's Accessories for the aforementioned ear piercing (held up by a family insisting the staff pierce the ears of their small and very agitated baby; to the staff's credit, they refused), Eldest and I headed to Endcliffe Park, the site of the Folk Forest stage.

We met up with Sally and Carol, who had been organised enough to bring chairs...

 ...listened to some great music, drank some wine (the grown ups, that is), browsed the stalls, and queued again, for the toilets.

 Just like a proper festival!

Look at the joy emanating from her every pore.

Well, I enjoyed it, which is all that matters.

1950s Hawaiian dress - flea market (£1.70)
Cardigan and bangles - charity shopped
Sandals - retail (sale)

I'm happy to put all the school hoo-ha behind me, to relax, and enjoy the next few weeks with no particular routine, lots of lovely lie-ins, and the occasional trip and treat.

Hope your weekend is suitably relaxing!

Linking to lovely Patti and the gals at Visible Monday.



Miss Piggy Bank said...

If they acted like that , they are clearly not ''professionals''. It sounds like it is their way or the highway !! Go one better and write to the Chair of Governors and then they will have to discuss it at the next meeting ;-)

Rose&Bird said...

Eldest must be about the same age as my niece - she left primary school yesterday. I think I can guess which event eldest preferred - the face says it all! You look great, loving the green dress - just right for the folk forest. You really rock a ra-ra and the mad print is wonderful - not sold on 80s myself, but you wear it well. As to the school - well they clearly can't deal with critisism very well. I wonder if any other parents complained? I absolutely think you shoul speak up if you're not happy, you'd just stew about it otherwise.
And the family trying to get a babies' ears pierced should frankly be slapped with a very large and smelly kipper - borders on child cruelty in my book.

Rose&Bird said...

What Miss Piggy Bank said!

lucy joy said...

80's rara getting a mixed reaction - what? I'll compose a STRONGLY worded email to anyone who doesn't think it's one of the most brilliant dresses you own!
Big mouth, I guess I don't have to tell you how often mine has got me into trouble. What matters is that you said what had to be said, and people had to think about what you said, the fact they were defensive just proves you touched a nerve - truth hurts .. Whatever it was which concerned you won't be happening again, you can bet your bottom dollar (whatever that means!)
They've got plenty of time to get over it, phew.

Goodness, those photos of your eldest don't half remind me of various snaps featuring a rather nonplussed moi. These images started at 12 and continued until I was 21. Joy indeed.

I'm so glad you had some lovely flowers, your contributions clearly don't go unnoticed. Your contribution via your blog and comments on other blogs mean such a lot to so many, strong and beautiful ladies only intimidate people who don't have the courage to be so themselves. It's great that you have children who will not end up being sheep-like and timid because they can't bear getting singled out.

Long live the big mouths!

Lucy x

Max said...

It is a bit of a public service i think, complaining about stuff. Most people cant bring themselves to do it, lest they get a response like yours, but things slide, like good service, quality etc if we don't. I'm constitutionally not designed for complaining (im a people pleaser) but i do it on principal most times unless its just a piddling little thing or there is risk of aggression where organisations are concerned. Complaing makes the world a better place. Your daughter should write to the human rights commission to complain. Folk.teenager? Poor sod !!!
Lovin' that ra ra frock, its got the mist fantastic shape x

mispapelicos said...

I love the 80s, and 80s falir, so that dress is sooooooooooooo perfect. You look glorious in the sun, my dear friens.

Veshoevius said...

I for one love your Ra-Ra dress! Love the gorgeous print on it. One of my favourite items I had as a teen was a three frilled denim and chambray ra-ra skirt I sewed myself so big love for frilly skirts (maybe that's why I became a flamenco dancer!?)
Sounds like the teachers were being unreasonable - as a parent you should have a say in your daughter's education, and if you were polite there is no reason they should have got so defensive!

Sheila said...

That is a fabulous 80s dress - love it!

The defensive reaction, must agree, means you hit a nerve. They'll not easily forget your feedback!

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Love the ra ra skir ton the dress from someone who wore them first time around.
And as for the feedback - good for you. Defensive is the default position for all members of the SLT I have found!!

Pam in Texas said...

I agree so much with Lucy Joy's comments. Particularly regarding contributions on your blog and your comments on other blogs. They certainly mean a great deal to me and I am sure to others also. You are not afraid to speak up and say what needs to be said. That shows great character and strength and is a wonderful example to your children and all who know you.
We love you Curtise!
Pam in TX.xx

Connie said...

Congratulations to Eldest. That is a Very Big Deal. And pierced ears. Also a Very Big Deal. I remember taking my Phoebe to Claire's to get her ears pierced. I was more nervous than she was. She has since continued piercing her ears all along the top. Sigh..the good old days, when I had control. sigh...You look especially gorgeous in those dresses and your hair is so pretty. You are inspiring me to clean up my act. My sartorial act that is. I was very shy as a child so to make up for lost time, I constantly speak my mind. And, yes, it does sometimes get me into trouble. But I believe that silence is often the enemy. So Rah Rah to You Ms. Curtise!

Fiona said...

I've got several teachers in my family and they always know best. You are a mere parent, know your place girl! Did you ask permission to speak up? Now I've managed to alienate all teachers out there I'll piss off quick. Seriously, there are obviously some who value your contributions greatly. Lovely print on your 80's frockage and the festival looks fab. x

Miss Simmonds Says said...

I got my ears pierced when I got my 12 plus results, I must admit I would've loved the folk festival too. I still would, looks like a great day out. I LOVE the ra-ra dress, it's amazing. Such a perfect fit and delicious colours.
hmm, I've had a similar experience at work, people hate being told they could improve on something. Fuck them all, I say. Maybe that's because I'm not filled with light and love....
Also love that Hawaiian dress! it makes you look 12ft high! xxxxx

Louise Mc said...

I love both dresses, and I can really see the vibrant red in your hair now, which is gorgeous. Such a bummer that the school took that attitude, especially given you were volunteering your time. Some people can't be told, because they are always right... of course. Xx

Anonymous said...

Both dresses are just wonderful, and the first one - well, what's not to like? It looks amazing with your hair!

I think the reaction you got to your criticism sounds very childish. Grown-ups should be able to listen to differing opinions and helpful criticism and take it as constructive. Unfortunately, there's probably nothing you can do now that will make things better. You have to bend like the willow...

Rachel said...

Ouchie, the ear-piercing gun. Did it hurt? I hate those things. Although, I am just bitter because it was done lopsided when I was 16 with an EP gun and I had to have one re-done.

I really like the ruffles and movement on your dress! What is it about anti-80's? Your hair colour is looking marvellous in the sunlight too.

Sounds like you ruffled a few feathers. But if you made you points clearly and respectfully, then they should have replied back in the same way. You are entitled to your opinion, if they ask you to volunteer... Xxx

Becky said...

I LOVE the 80s rara dress!!! You got schooled lolzzzz They are so used to dishing out the reprimands, but they obviously can't handle it themselves.
The eldest does look underwhelmed-- but, really it's all about you :)

Melanie said...

Ah yes, just as well to put the school hoo-ha behind you, where it belongs, under the arsal-area. Three cheers for Big Mouths with respectful tones. What an idiot reaction they had. And three cheers for the NICE teachers who recognize your UNPAID contributions. Hurrah!
For a second there I thought Eldest had her ears pierced by little people in the folk forest. What a super-cool festival. Love that photo of you two together, oozing love.
AND, your dress is every kind of gorgeousness with your incredibly dazzling hair - you get more beauteous every day. Have a great weekend.

Unknown said...

That 80's number is awesome -the sleeves, the crazy bright print, and oh my oh my those ra ra layers! And it looks soooo good with the new hair colour. Whats up with "professionals" and being unable to take constructive criticism? I believe it can only help to improve and surely we all want to improve. I say fight the fight and keep the big mouth going!XXX

Patti said...

I don't know how there could be any controversy about that 80's dress - it's simply fabulous and shows off your sexy stems. I am known to be the big mouth of our family and often get "shushed" for my efforts, but I do try to stay polite and on-topic when I speak up. So hooray for you and don't stop big-mouthing : >

Helga said...

I love ear piercing to be treated as a rite of passage, congratulations to the newly pierced miss! It's only fair, however, that you get to enjoy a folk festival on the heels of it. One for her, one for Mummy...
Now, I'm quite appalled your email was received so badly-unprofessionally, in fact!! Bloody hell! Sure, criticism is tough to take, but it must always be asked of oneself-is it valid?! Fools! There's a lot to be learnt from criticism, painful as it can be.
Anyway, that frock is SO mad it's amazing! I love the shaky ra ra bits! It's a great print too, and your legs look hot in it! I always love that islandy frock, nothing says Summer more than a bit of Hawaiian madness!!!
Loving YOU!

freckleface said...

Curtise, I'm mystified. That is such an easy dress to love, especially on you, looking like you could have been in that George Michael supermodel video, with your legs going on forever and your gorgeous red bob. Surely they are just being difficult?

Talking of difficult, I'm quite shocked at the school's reaction. The 'professional' thing to do would have been to graciously acknowledge your feedback and say that they would look to address your various points in future. You are a parent and therefore a customer. They are paid to provide a service and if that service isn't good enough, then they need to know so they can do something about it. Their reaction was rude and unprofessional and that kind of thing makes me ANGRY! I've done a lot of fighting and complaining to professionals over the last few years, because people who don't do their job properly have made it necessary. Ooh you've got me started early on a Sunday!!! To summarise, you intelligent and reasonable, them immature.

Stop in the name of the Law! Is that The Look I see? What, not enjoying a folk festival aged 12? Who'd a thunk it? xxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Shake you ra ra and shakes your head at the powers to be at school. What twats to respond in such a way, but it's to be expected by stuffy nosed superior types. You did the right thing in speaking up. Just keep shaking your ra ra to distract from the insanity of it all.

Indigo Violet said...

Oh dear, I thought teachers had moved on from the days of yore when they were always right. I remember being scarred for years when a teacher told me at the age of about 12 that my (rather creative) interpretation of a short story was wrong! For goodness' sake, let's keep on questioning authority.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

You must write back in a very kind tone and say that you are extremely disappointed that they are disappointed and that you had hoped suggestions would be more eagerly listened too and what a shame it is to recieve such an angry letter when you give so much time to the school and what a shame that they make open communication so difficult.
But don't set your heart on getting a teachers assistant job. ;)

Everything looks great with that new hair do! xxxx

thorne garnet said...

good for you for speaking out.

both dresses are sweet.

I got my ears pierced when I was 28!!! Yes, at Claire's.

Unknown said...

I love that shorter dress on you. Very pretty.

Ivy Black said...

I work with teachers...don't get me started!
I love a bit of folk as you know, I'd have come along with you and your lass. I love her expressions!
It's always a pleasure to see your Hawaiian frock and I do like your
ra-ra number. Very shakeable.

Anonymous said...

The first dress is FANTASTIC in my book!!
I think you struck a nerve at the school. You told them what they probably "knew" but didn't want to hear!!

Congrats to the Eldest on leaving primary school!! She definitely has that long-suffering pre-teen look down pat--LOLOLOL

The Hawaiian dress is fabulous!!!
Have fun on school holiday!

Vix said...

Eldest is a lucky girl - a festival and pierced ears and the coolest mum on the block!
They sound like a right bunch of tossers, good for you for getting arsey with them and making your feelings known, I'm rubbish at being as proactive like you, I need lessons in being hardcore.
Love that Hawaiian maxi more each time and you look so beautiful with Eldest in the sunshine.
Anyone who doesn't appreciate that ra-ra fabulousness has plums for eyes and the brain the size of a pea, it's fabularse!
Love you! xxxxx

The Style Crone said...

No mixed reviews here. I think the dress shines on you and plays beautifully with your hair. You have a thumbs up from me!

Eldest has truly transitioned and having her ears pierced is a lovely way to celebrate. Sorry to hear about the angry letter that you received from the school, but nice to know that you received support from the staff. Contrast indeed.

Tamera Beardsley said...

My dear... us opinionated folk.. are sometimes very much under appreciated...

You look fabulous as always.... your honest candor and personal sense of style... always an inspiration for me.

Señora Allnut said...

love your 'mixed reactions' dress, so fabulous print and sleeves, who should not like something so colorful and funny!!??, and so glad that you've received some flowers (never mind of that impertinent people that refused to deal with your opinions, there's always charming people whatever you go!)
Lovely folk festival and another lovely dress indeed!, fabulous print and pretty colors!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Good for you for speaking your mind, in a considerate way. I have found that usually the people in the front lines support each other, but the ones in charge do NOT like criticism and respond badly (at least in my personal experience, being a fellow big mouth).

I love the RaRA dress - the colours look marvy with your fab fiery hair, and the ruffles are so much fun! We had our folk festival here in my town this weekend, with lots of us "middle-aged" folks lounging on the grass, enjoying the music. Yes, Eldest looks like she's suffering greatly ;) Congrats to her on her graduation and ear-piercing. I didn't get mine done til I moved away from home at 18!

Flora Cruft said...

The world needs more people like you who are willing to speak their mind to try to change things - how ridiculous that the teachers were too defensive to take your words as the constructive criticism they were. How exciting that eldest has finished primary school, a whole new adventure ahead of her...

As for your rarr rarr dress, how fabulous are you! It looks great and oh so delightfully summery (hellooooo Curtise's lovely legs, nice to meet you!)

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I am sorry to hear they were defensive- it's their loss- making improvements is good and feedback- polite and clear make improvments possible. You look so great in that dress- can't believe a soul could dislike it- I love how you are gentle yet fierce. Perhaps that shows best in your versatile and expressive way of dressing. Keep expressing!

Megan said...

I love that dress! What's not to love? Bright colour? Check! Ruffles? Check! Flowy arms? CHECK! That dress is a triple threat.

two squirrels said...

Oh good on you Curtise.....they may have been pissy back to you but at least you let them know that there are intelligent and assertive people like you who will say something. Keep doing it.
Oh oh I love your festival dress. Your hair looks amazing......I love the colour and cut.
Love V

Trees said...

I love both these frocks - I can't see what anyone would think was wrong with the ra-ra dress:D Sorry to hear you've had a rough time with some folks at school. I would think parents comments/concerns should be taken on board!

Unknown said...

Never a dull week at your end of the world, is there Our Curtise?! What is the deal with defensive school petty bureaucrats? We have them here too, although it's been decades since I had to cut one down to size or slice one into shreds. It sounds like your gentle suggestion must have hit a nerve, and when they snap like this, you may well have made some change for the good. You might not see it, but I'm betting that's what happened. Good for you, whatever it was.
Your rara dress (had to look THAT up!) is lovely. Ignore negatives ... they must be color blind and constipated not to see its beauty.
Awww, hope Eldest has perked up. Did the piercing hurt? I hope not. Oh, well, there was wine, as you say. That makes it alright.
You have Claire's shops there! Who knew? Lots of girls go to ours here to get the first piercing.

And congrats to you all over across the Big Pond ... Love from the old colonies and so happy your young Prince arrived safely. I was hoping for a girl.
Have a better, summery week, please!

Unknown said...

...Sorry! Forgot to say your hair looks devine!

bonsaimum said...

Hubby always gets letters like that.He is not, I repeat not to have an opinion different to management. Great photo's and I love the 80's dress.

Kitty Greene said...

You have legs !!!

Unknown said...

Oh, you devious dirty rotten troublemaking witch, thinking that you are entitled to both Have and Voice opinions, especially regarding the organisations who are educating your children...

Like you, I am ALWAYS getting in trouble for Having and Voicing Opinions.

I think Tim Minchin knows how we feel when he says: "Fuck the motherfuckers, fuck the motherfuckers, fuck the motherfuckers, fucking fuck the motherfuckers"

And Holy Jayzus and All the Bastard Saints, you look AMAZING in both frocks. I love the rara 80s numbers and the incredible Hawaiian maxi.

LOVE eldest's nonplussed expression and CONGRATS to her on finishing primary school and getting her ears pierced. I'm super late to the party I know, but please give her a lovely big cuddly hug from me.

Love your opinions, frocks, wit and tits.

Sarah xxx