Bringing Your Best

© istock/johanna goodyear

I remember going to the grocery store one afternoon to pick up the usual supply of frozen blueberries, diet protein powder, green tea and potato chips, and noticing a woman who was wearing a grubby track suit with her hair in curlers. I very discreetly stared at her, with my basket of diet and junk food, and thought to myself, “Lady, who are you saving the good stuff for, if not us?”

I’ve thought about that question a lot lately. Lady, who are you saving the good stuff for?

I have in my closet several lovely outfits: sharp, tailored, stylish and flattering. They are suitable for many occasions, including business meetings and dinners out. However, as I’m mostly self-employed, I tend to do most of my writing while wearing t-shirts and jeans or acting while wearing costumes suited to whatever character I’m currently playing. So most of those fabulous outfits hang neglected in the dark, waiting for the right occasion, and some of them, for the fashion trend in which they were conceived to come around again.

While dressing the other day, I asked myself, “Lady, who are you saving the good stuff for?”

Which is how I came to wear my little black dress and dangerously high heels to run errands.

The clothes, though, are the tip of the proverbial ice burg. The best is that which resides within me, within ourselves. Our best behaviour, our best imagination, our best selves.

Trying to bring the best to everything we do, though, is an overwhelming proposition. Sometimes, it’s even more difficult to determine what the best we can do is. Perhaps it starts with using the “good dishes” for everyday family dinners. It begins with cleaning the house for company even though none is expected. It happens when we work towards a promotion, whether we are the boss or the lackey. All this, though, is still very superficial. This is the way of madness. This is the way of Martha Stewart or Bree Van De Kamp. This is not my way.

My very good friend, who has endured a long and uncomfortable pregnancy, finally gave birth to a gorgeous, perfect little girl at 4:25 this morning after a labour that should put all other labour horror stories to shame. It was my privilege and honour to be present for the entire process. I watched and supported this amazing woman as she worked to bring this baby into the world. I saw her dig deep for strength and courage, and I saw her great determination to do what was best for her child and not what was convenient for herself. I was witness to what it means to bring one’s best to the table, and let me tell you, I was humbled.

I was also lucky enough to be one of the first people to hold this precious new life in my arms and gaze at the infinite potential. The wee lassie has the whole world ahead of her, and was born in the midst of people who only want the best for her. They are determined not to save the good stuff.

May we all be so wise, and may we always bring our best to the table.

And Miss Madeline, welcome to the world.

Madame Fabulous–otherwise known as MadFab (more fab than mad)–has been a professional writer, actor, director, producer, occasional photographer and painter for most of her adult life. Her mother would argue that she’s been a drama queen from the get-go, however. She is a mother to three: Alexa, Theo and Ethan who she blames for the eternal house messiness, the ongoing pantry emptiness, the perpetual head-shaking oddness and the lifelong happiness. She was very recently married to the man who, for the record, she totally pegged as “That Guy” from the start.

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