Life is Lovelier with Lace. . . And the Charm School Challenge


“I beat her this time!” she announced to her older sister upon entering their pink ruffly bedroom. (“Decor, not by me!” the young Ludvigson Lace Lady  would adamantly point out. ) Her sister, Sheryl – 15 months older – was responsible.

“We did everything together. Or we used to, anyway.  Sheryl had gotten so…feminine.”

The Ludvigson Lace Lady was 11 years old at this time. And quite a fighter at the tether ball court.

Her family had moved to this tetherball house (tetherball court included in the purchase) just at the beginning of her sixth grade year.  No one else in the family seemed interested. So she easily claimed the court as her own.


“And I needed it,” so she claimed. For in the neighboring household there just happened to be a tetherball rival. Same age. Same school.

“But not the same class, thankfully!” 

When not playing for blood at home, they were playing for blood at school. “Recess. Twice a day.”

But back to Sheryl. She couldn’t care less. She was in a different world. Surrounded by teen magazines, she was cutting out pictures of dainty models in trendy clothing.

“She didn’t even hear me enter the room. So engrossed.”

What this young tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady really meant was, “so gross.” Because, “well, it just was!”


While Sheryl spent more and more of her time with, “prissy stuff,” the tomboy separated herself from her sister to do quite the contrary. If it wasn’t tetherball, it was baseball.

There was a neighborhood baseball field just beyond the wooded area behind their house. This is where the tomboy and her three younger brothers would hang out.

“If enough kids would come around, we could play a game!” 


Baseball gloves were part of a good game. And there were plenty of gloves around. For most of the players.

“But not for lefthanders,” tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady recalled, with severe recollection. “So I asked my dad!”

And Dad came through for her. What she did not realize is that while Dad was buying a baseball glove, Mom was diametrically purchasing something else…

But this was unbeknownst to the tomboy – daughter.

Her thoughts were flowing with confidence. The lefthanded baseball glove equipped her to conquer. All was well on the baseball field.

Unless she must assist in an outfield disagreement.


Then there might be a fight. Or…well, just a wrestling match. With Scott xxxx. But I could easily get him down. It only happened because there was no umpire,” she quickly points out. “Or they were bullying my little brothers.” 

Yes, this was the Ludvigson Lace Lady speaking!

With this backdrop, let’s reenter the conversation with sister Sheryl in the dainty bedroom:

Sheryl: “Mom signed us up for Charm School next week. It’s once a week for four weeks. And at the end, we will be modeling in a style show! Complete with a runway!”

Tomboy: “What!”


Sheryl: “Yes! I just heard her telling xxxx about it on the phone! It’s the very one I had asked about!”

Tomboy: “Well, not me! Maybe you, but not me! And anyway, what in the world is a runway!”

Sheryl filled her sister in as to what a runway was. She also gave her all the unwanted details as to what would be expected of each participant. Including the tomboy.

And Mom soon confirmed every jot and tittle of what Sheryl had said,

“In the Brookdale Mall, Conference Center. Hosted by Dayton’s.” 

And now the tomboy Ludvigson Lace Lady was cornered. No way out. Because, as we all know, ‘what Mama says, we do!’


A Moment for Psychological Insight: When an individual is paralyzed with fear, they tend to erase the details. And this is just what happened to the Ludvigson Lace Lady tomboy! She did not recall any of the instruction! Or was it rebellion…

Either way, it was not a figment of her imagination.  Because there was one portion of the Charm School course that the Ludvigson Lace Lady tomboy vividly remembers: THE RUNWAY!

“Or rather, the run – away!” 

Dazed as usual through the lectures, the runway tutorial came and went without comprehension. And the next thing she heard was,


Charm School Instructor: “So we will meet behind the curtain, to your left. Please arrive fifteen minutes before the program starts. You will line up, taking your turn – one at a time – down the runway. At the end of the runway,  do your charming pivot, and make your way back to the starting point. Then the next in line will take her turn.

When all are done, please return to the classroom area, and you will receive your certificate of completion. Congratulations!”

“Oh boy,” thought the tomboy, “Now what did she say? Go down the runway. Pivot. Go back. Certificate. Done.”

This was good. And this was bad. The good was that it is almost over. “Done.” The bad is the lonely trip down the runway.

And, pivot? Did I miss something?”


Thank goodness for Sheryl. By her, a Pivot Review was believed essential for the flunky and gladly offered. And even though the tomboy felt confident at the moment of execution, there still was trouble – at the end of the runway.

Her mind went in circles. As did her feet. Circles ruled! Around. And around she went. Where was the front? Where was the back? Finally, her feet circled just to desperately locate her exit!

“That weren’t no pivot.” The Ludvigson Lace Lady flushed with embassassment. And the next class member was on her way.

No one had laughed. No one had even snickered.


“Polite bunch.”

“Embarrassing!” She vouched to never do it again. “But only one thing matters now, according to the Charm School instructor: I’m done!”

Life is Lovelier with Lace…

What can I say?

▪Tomboys like lace?

▪Crochet needles are essential tomboy items?

▪Is it possible to be a Tomboy Hooker?

Possibly deep within the old Ludvigson Lace Lady is still a tomboy!  I certainly had been. More incriminating evidence could be laid out to assure you that I was a bonifide young tomboy. But now, age has a way of concealing!



“Can’t wrestle like I used to – even with the grandchildren. Tetherball is quite a reach. And my baseball mit – lost.”

Wrestling my tethered hook simultaneously wondering where my mit has gone,

~Debbie Ludvigson 

The Ludvigson Lace Lady 


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