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August 18, 2010
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Kiss & Tell


Hula Hoops, Go-Go Boots, and A Bikinitini


When we start to feel uncertain, we reach for our confidence builders. Linus had his blue blanket, Wonder Woman had her bullet-repelling bracelets and invisible plane, and Carrie Bradshaw had her Manolo Blahniks.

I was having drinks with girlfriends of the young, smart and hot category who both complained that their usual guy-you-better-watch-out-because-I've-got-my-major-groove-on-mojo was strangely absent. Unusual behavior such as insecure texting and 'Do I look fat in it?' queries infiltrated their usual 'I am woman, hear me roar' repertoire. Discussions about new business plans and adventure trips to foreign lands were replaced by hushed tones of sharing homeopathic anti-anxiety remedies. What was going on?

As I sat one evening contemplating this shift and obsessively reading tarot cards, I looked up and noticed a picture of myself that suddenly caught my attention. A very talented photographer, Lisa Marie Mazzucco, had taken a number of shots for my website and this particular one was a silhouette from behind. Yet something in the sway of the hip, unruliness of the hair and subtle smile in profile revealed an inner self-confidence and firmly rooted sense of play. I hardly recognized the girl in the picture as myself.

Like a favorite piece of jewelry that went missing or an old love letter shoved away in a box, I wanted to hunt to find that hidden inner gem.

It was time to pull out the blue blanket.

As I looked around I noticed anew a few of my favorite items, which were gathering dust. My custom-made hula hoop, my vintage go-go boots, and my bikinitini.

The hula hoop was a gift from my friend Cheryl who started hosting a class in her back yard with an instructor who showed us that this childhood toy reinvented was not only fun it was great for PMS. There's a feeling that comes when you master the hip swing (and actually it is more of a front back than side to side motion) and that hoop is sent seemingly effortlessly in motion that you can't help but feel on top of the gravitational pull of the earth. Cheryl became quite adept at hula hooping, and I actually witnessed a man propose marriage after one of her demonstrations.

The white vinyl vintage 1970s go-go boots came from my friend Lisa when we were living together in Los Angeles. The instructions were clear. When I was feeling down or depressed I was to put them on and do "the pony" in public. At first the gal who worked at the Coffee Bean looked at me oddly as I added a little dance to my latte order but once I explained the instructions she always greeted me with compassion when she saw the two stepping white vinyl enter the door and would ask why I was down that particular day.

The bikinitini could only be the brainchild of the fabulously creative Nancy Atlas who not only has her way with words and song, she also is an amazing seamstress. The string bikini bottom tied with cocktail stirrers and a plastic martini glass was sewn onto each triangle of the top. I have to go on record that you simply haven't lived until your handsome boyfriend sips a Cosmo off your chest. I tried to get a sip myself, but short of a long sippy straw I just didn't have the flexibility. The bikinitini was her gift to me on a birthday I wished to avoid, and while it is not an everyday swimsuit for the beach, when I put it on I can never feel old.

I wish I had a gift of my own to give to my girlfriends who had lost their groove. But besides the Bach Flower Remedies, I could give them a hidden gem, which is that it's not about how the outsideWhen we start to feel uncertain, we reach for our confidence builders. Linus had his blue blanket, Wonder Woman had her bullet-repelling bracelets and invisible plane, and Carrie Bradshaw had her Manolo Blahniks.

I was having drinks with girlfriends of the young, smart and hot category who both complained that their usual guy-you-better-watch-out-because-I've-got-my-major-groove-on-mojo was strangely absent. Unusual behavior such as insecure texting and 'Do I look fat in it?' queries infiltrated their usual 'I am woman, hear me roar' repertoire. Discussions about new business plans and adventure trips to foreign lands were replaced by hushed tones of sharing homeopathic anti-anxiety remedies. What was going on?

As I sat one evening contemplating this shift and obsessively reading tarot cards, I looked up and noticed a picture of myself that suddenly caught my attention. A very talented photographer, Lisa Marie Mazzucco, had taken a number of shots for my website and this particular one was a silhouette from behind. Yet something in the sway of the hip, unruliness of the hair and subtle smile in profile revealed an inner self-confidence and firmly rooted sense of play. I hardly recognized the girl in the picture as myself.

Like a favorite piece of jewelry that went missing or an old love letter shoved away in a box, I wanted to hunt to find that hidden inner gem.

It was time to pull out the blue blanket.

As I looked around I noticed anew a few of my favorite items, which were gathering dust. My custom-made hula hoop, my vintage go-go boots, and my bikinitini.

The hula hoop was a gift from my friend Cheryl who started hosting a class in her back yard with an instructor who showed us that this childhood toy reinvented was not only fun it was great for PMS. There's a feeling that comes when you master the hip swing (and actually it is more of a front back than side to side motion) and that hoop is sent seemingly effortlessly in motion that you can't help but feel on top of the gravitational pull of the earth. Cheryl became quite adept at hula hooping, and I actually witnessed a man propose marriage after one of her demonstrations.

The white vinyl vintage 1970s go-go boots came from my friend Lisa when we were living together in Los Angeles. The instructions were clear. When I was feeling down or depressed I was to put them on and do "the pony" in public. At first the gal who worked at the Coffee Bean looked at me oddly as I added a little dance to my latte order but once I explained the instructions she always greeted me with compassion when she saw the two stepping white vinyl enter the door and would ask why I was down that particular day.

The bikinitini could only be the brainchild of the fabulously creative Nancy Atlas who not only has her way with words and song, she also is an amazing seamstress. The string bikini bottom tied with cocktail stirrers and a plastic martini glass was sewn onto each triangle of the top. I have to go on record that you simply haven't lived until your handsome boyfriend sips a Cosmo off your chest. I tried to get a sip myself, but short of a long sippy straw I just didn't have the flexibility. The bikinitini was her gift to me on a birthday I wished to avoid, and while it is not an everyday swimsuit for the beach, when I put it on I can never feel old.

I wish I had a gift of my own to give to my girlfriends who had lost their groove. But besides the Bach Flower Remedies, I could give them a hidden gem, which is that it's not about how the outside world views you but how you view yourself. And nobody can take away that blue blanket.

You can find more of my writing at HipHamptons.com or drop me a note at kissandtellhb@hotmail.com.

world views you but how you view yourself. And nobody can take away that blue blanket.

You can find more of my writing at HipHamptons.com or drop me a note at kissandtellhb@hotmail.com.

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