Thursday, October 27, 2011

trippe it like a lady in the finest fashion

Every woman can take on a new beauty, a new charm, if she will practice lightness on her feet, will wear her clothes rightly, and will carry her accessories as well as her arms and head in a graceful and smart manner.  As for me, I am practicing, and one of these days I am going to hear someone say, to my back, or course, "Isn't she charming?  She has the carriage of royalty, the poise of a princess...Truly charming, truly charming."

--Marilyn Madison, Inspiration, October 1925
(found in Vintage Notions, p 182, during my tuesday detox 
of wandering through the library shelves)

women whose innate poise i envy:

now a word on my posture.  it is getting worse and worse.  a short history:
1998-2000: in ballet, my teacher made us hold cans of beans or corn or soup out to our side at the barre to strengthen our posture.

2002: i remember once in high school, sitting on a church pew four children down from my mother, and she looked over at me and started laughing because she said my posture was so bad.  (apparently when not in ballet class i really let myself go.)

2004: then i came to college and dated a guy two inches shorter than me.  (man how i loved him.)  i think i lost 3/4 of an inch of all that lovely ballerina posture trying to shrink to his height.  it was subconscious of course, but when you spend every second next to someone inches shorter than you, you kinda start to shrink to be closer to where they are.  (*sigh* romantic, no?)

2007: then there was the ogio backpack that i got for my internship in samoa.  that thing ruined any semblance of hope for regaining that 3/4 inch.  and i'm sure studying english (read: at least three books with you at all times) didn't do much to rectify said posture either.

this week, 2011: every time i sit down to read, write, or type, i find myself moving into what i will call the turtle posture.  it looks something like me with my shoulders pulled up to my ears, spine in a perfect C curve, head poking out like a chicken.  in other words, no wonder i haven't gotten a library date in a while. (jk i've never gotten a date from the library.  alas.)

so we staged an intervention.  following the instructions of Marilyn Madison (quoted above), we four girls (the lovely three i live with) stood in a circle, feet 4-6 inches apart, and whispered lovely words for 5 solid minutes.  words like "boulevard" and "delightful" and "fountain" and "mellifluous."  (yes, this was part of the instructions: "heels 4 to 6 inches apart...hands in front of you...stand still five minutes.  remember, no shifting or wiggling.  what to do for the five minutes.  think beautiful thoughts.")

now, i can't say it's gotten my posture to the "charming" point yet, but i have been eavesdropping on the people walking behind me, in the off chance one of them notices the 3/4 inch i'm reclaiming.

(title of this post brought to you by Stephen Gosson's 16th century instruction on reading.  thank you english master's program.)


  1. carolyn.
    let's make this our visiting teacher-teachee goal.
    because my posture sucks BIG TIME.

    you are so cute.

  2. I like the music video for Bittersweet symphony. It helps remind me that when I walk around, what I've got going on is more important than everyone else. That way, I walk with my head held high, feet in front of me, and I look people in the eyes. It does a lot for your ego - and posture.

  3. Lauren, agreed! I'll work on mine if you work on yours. We will be the loveliest ladies of them all. Nathan: you win all the Gryffindor points left for the comments you make. They always are way better than anything I could say. Someday I will pay you to write my thoughts for me.