Aunt Kel’s guide to happy life

Celebrating the birth of her new niece, Kelly offers some advice for our younger readers

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist,

As I write this article, I am LITERALLY, anxiously awaiting the birth of my niece. She is my second niece by blood and fourth by marriage. (Editor’s note: she was born some three hours after this was written. Mom and baby are doing well, Kelly reports).

I, myself, have two sons and I also have eight nephews!

No, we are not Amish, in case you are wondering….

The point is, I have many young impressionable minds to mold and fashion senses to hone before it’s too late. Since my goal is to create a more beautiful place in which to live (beginning right here in the Unionville/Kennett Square area), I have some work to do.

If the spirit of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten” is considered a guide for global leadership, let my “All I Really Need to Know about Fashion I learned from Aunt Kel” be a guide for global chic:

Coordinate colors. No, green shorts do not “go” with a black and red striped shirt.

Revealing undergarments = never appropriate. Boys, pull up your pants and girls make sure that skirts never show anything more than a knee-cap.

A baseball hat is not to be used in lieu of combing ones hair.

Odd piercings will only lead to very strange and unsightly holes in your face when you are old. Not good.

Tattoos may seem like fun but are most likely permanent reminders of a night filled with too much partying. This will be especially troublesome when that really cool belly button ring of flowers is stretched into an unrecognizable blob when you are 32, happily married and 9 months pregnant.

Showering every day is a way to insure that other people (particularly the opposite sex) will want to be around you.

The aforementioned rule applies for twice daily tooth-brushing, as well.

You may not wear the Cinderella costume EVERY day (even when you are not on a play date or it’s not Halloween) because it needs to be laundered just like anything else.

Make-up shall be applied sparingly and only when you are at least thirteen.

Wearing a winter coat is not UN-fashionable when it is twenty degrees below zero.  And, please, do not tell me that middle school locker sizes have changed since I was a girl. That is a bold faced lie. A “hoodie” is not a jacket replacement in a blizzard.

AXE smells like a revolting mixture of bug spray and lighter fluid. I don’t care if it’s called “Midnight Essence”… it will not guarantee you a date to the school dance. Trust me. Try Ivory soap….works like a charm.

While I delight in the aggressive roughhousing of all of the boys in my life, I must admit to the thrill of having some little girls to round out the bunch.

I can’t wait to paint their fingernails (although, not at a salon…that is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine…having a mani/pedi next to a five year old is not at all adorable, it’s annoying) and braid their hair.

I have a closet full of beautiful shoes and handbags that my two boys certainly don’t give a rip about!
So, this article is dedicated to you, my little Josephine (but, let’s not neglect : Jade, Julia and Teresa, Jared, Wyatt, Seth, Alan, AJ, Ian, Tyler, Julian, Tristan and Nate).

Aunt Kel will always be there for all of you…with a hug, a smile and (for the little gals) some lip gloss.



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