Archive for November, 2009

Once you’re married, and you have a few kids…or even if you start the other way around…you start to feel invisible. At least that’s how I feel, and I’ve learned that’s how some of my girlfriends feel too.

The catcalls that probably “grossed you out” when you were 16 would be welcome no matter what he looks like. And unless you’re pushed up and out by a Victoria Secret miracle contraption, even your husband sees past you to SportsCenter instead of noticing that you need some attention.

So, once in a while, I’m inspired to be seen. Like I have to prove that I’m still here.

My latest inspiration was a really crappy 4-month postpartum picture of myself next to the waifish and beautiful Geena Davis at Virtua’s women’s symposium.

Holly and Geena


There I was, full-faced and pale from lack of sleep. Big, misshapen boobs that needed to be pumped or nursed. And the postpartum baby bump that celebri-moms never seem to have. So *not hot*.

This year, one YEAR and four months postpartum, I was feeling better about how I looked (sans big boobs and belly) but still gripped with “invisibility.”  I wanted to prove *to myself* that I could shed the feeling and be seen. BONUS: maybe I could look good in a pic next to Goldie Hawn at THIS year’s women’s symposium.

I had to work around the bland, blue, brand-emblazoned button down shirt…standard event uni. Here was my plan:

  • Black skirt, comfy but cute, NOT MATRONLY
  • Black tights
  • Black heels, not stilettos, but high enough to make my legs look good
  • Black belt, THICK, cinch the waist of the bland, blue shirt
  • Black beaded necklace (see a theme here)

I had everything, but the skirt.

I set out to Ann Taylor, my go-to for classic pieces. I didn’t even have a coupon (gasp), but I was driven by my mission.

I saw it immediately when I walked in. Black skirt (check). Ponte knit (comfy – check). Pleated, sheer kicker fanning across the back slit (not matronly – big check). I didn’t even blink as I paid full-price. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for, and it looked good on (SUPER check).

As I got dressed that morning and saw that my vision was actually working to plan, I felt pretty damn good. NOT invisible.

And while I would’ve loved to have been scoped out or catcalled by a handsome hottie, I was “seen” by the one person who thinks I’m beautiful in PJs or pumps.

My 8-year-old son Evan.

He took a big second-glance as I walked out. Jaw dropped. Head to toe once-over. And the best, “Whoa mom-cutie, you look BEAUTIFUL!”

In that moment, I still felt pretty good, but realized I was never invisible after all. At least not to the ones who matter most. 

This “perfect little black skirt” helped a desperate mom shed her shortsightedness.  

The marketing team and Goldie. I scooched right in there next to her.

But, in another town, on another woman, there was another plan for the SAME skirt being hatched.

To be continued…


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Fire in the veins

Midway through my root touch-up and deep into a chick mag, I was reading an article about a young American woman on vacation in Italy. The article was good, but the pull-quote stopped me in my tracks:

          “Fuoco nelle vene.”

In Italian it means fire in the veins, and it’s the phrase associated with a confident Italian woman who lives life with passion.

You can picture one immediately, I’m sure. For me, it’s Sophia Loren, with her big wavy hair, vixen cat eyes, and enviable bosom. She’s a buxom broad who ooooozes sexuality.

I think this gorgeous phrase stopped me for a few reasons.

I immediately thought of a few of my girlfriends. These *are not* girls, by any means. These are women who set the world on fire with humor, brilliance and perspective, and they do it in stilettos or sneakers, all the while maintaining their fabulosity (thank you Kimora).

Also, anything in Italian usually sounds pretty sexy and “fuoco nelle vene” may top all.

But, mostly, I just identified with it. Not because I’m some buxom beauty. I can’t even fill a b-cup since having babies. But simply because I know I will do something substantial with my life, and everyday I’m learning and working toward what that may be. “Fuoco nelle vene” is what sustains me on my journey.

What also sustains me is my curiosity and the humor I find in everyday moments – sitting in traffic, chatting with my girls, listening to the imaginative thoughts of my kids, or recounting ridiculous lines from my favorite movies.

This blog is for that stuff. The fun. The dreams. The perspective. The passion.

Ahhh….fuoco nelle vene.

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