Earlier this year I ran into one of Sarasota’s elite … It’s no joke that there are certain names in Sarasota that everyone knows, and not for some vague reason. Some of them are high-profile socialites; others are important business leaders, politicians, restaurateurs, or donors and patrons to our many local charities and art institutions. Mr. Matt Orr is known for many reasons, some which are listed above … he has not gone political yet, but some might argue that he should be in the running along with Obama and Romney.
Mr. Orr and I have met multiple times through cocktails and events. During one meeting in particular, apart from a friendly “Hello, how are you?” he enticed me with an interesting proposition.
“How would you like to be part of TWIS?” he asked. At the time I was not aware of the meaning of TWIS. Nowadays I drop the acronym like it is my job — and as of earlier this year, it is. We finalized the details of my column after a couple of random encounters and multiple emails (god, it sounds like a steamy affair) in which Mr. Orr and I discussed my involvement at This Week In Sarasota. And that, my dear, is how I started my first-ever writing gig!
PREEN & CHIC is born, and I could not be happier with the support from friends and family, but most importantly the support from our community. Since the column launched, many people around town have been asking me about my new venture. I get to add "Writer" to my resume, which has taken a while to sink in.
When talking of my exciting new venture, the first question to arise is, “What's the name of it?” As the three words explode out of my mouth with excitement in my eyes, I often notice a huge question mark on the face in front of me. Some do not ask and pretend to know; others smile and nod, saying “great name;” and the few brave enough to confront humiliation actually ask ... “What does 'preen' mean?” So once and for all, let's investigate the roots of the word itself. Because let me tell you ... I LOVE TO PREEN!
Google the word, and birds, a designer fashion label and a garden weed killer come rolling down the screen. Word of advice: Google is a great tool, but sometimes it does not understand your query. Especially if you're looking looking for a remedy --- Doctor Google will say you'll die in 24 hours and there is no cure for your rash or slight cough. Let's ask the dictionary instead! The word "preen," according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, means:
1. (of a bird) To straighten and clean feathers with the beak: "Robins preened at the pool's edge;" "The pigeon preened her feathers."
2. (of a person) To devote effort to making oneself look attractive and then admire one's appearance.
Just a man (not yet a pigeon), I and many of you fall under the number two category of preen. It sounds lavish and obscene, but we all do it. Taking a bath, combing your hair and brushing your teeth are examples of preen. Standing blow-dry appointments three times per week, bathing in Evian water and having a personal makeup artist are also more intense options to preen. Either way, we all preen and some of us are more or less obsessed over the process. Some choose to preen alone; others enjoy the company and suggestions fellow preen addicts may have. My goal is to be interactive and have you as the readers ask away your sartorial questions, engage in virtual conversation with each other and make all of us have the most PREEN & CHIC time we can have.
Happy to have put to rest the meaning of the first word to the title of my column, now I want you to read more about "What is Chic?" This very entertaining investigation from Style.com (aka my bible) will put you up-to-date with the commonly used word. Tell me how you preen and share your own take on the word! Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Make use of this public forum in any way you please. So go and keep on preening! I sure will not stop.