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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Grade (So Far): Refinement

refinement: fineness or elegance of feelings, taste, manners, language, etc.

Among the things giving me pause prior to grading myself for refinement is that pesky "etc." from the dictionary definition. Seems to me elegance of feelings, taste, manners and language is quite enough to think about, thank you. Anyway, what grade would you give yourself (so far) for refinement?

This attribute strikes me as the first one in this series that has a whiff of class. Being raised by working class parents in Irvington NJ, once a suburb of Newark though that word always struck me as more fitting for upscale towns like Westfield or Millburn, elegance and refinement weren't often on my family radar. My parents emphasized good manners. But aside from Easter Sunday, spent at the home of relatives in Caldwell (definitely more elegant than Irvington), those manners didn't get enough out of the home practice to get very fine. With fingers to spare, I can count on one hand the number of times my family ate out during my childhood. OK- cue the violins.

Fineness of feelings? Taste? Language? Even without the Oliver Twist sob story accompanying the manners piece, when I consider those three additional criteria and throw in the "etc.", I have to go with a "C" (so far) for Pat for refinement. 

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