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Pronoia: Everything Happens For You

Published March 14, 2019 by Maryanne

Katy Perry Shoes with Spools

When the universe works in your favor, by way of a cute pair of Katy Perry shoes! 

There’s a term called “pronoia.” It’s the opposite of paranoia. The gist is, instead of being paranoid that the world is against you, believe that the world is for you. Anything that happens in your life, even what seems to be seemingly “bad” is in your favor. It’s a big step up from the belief of everything happening for a reason.

Life has proven it time and time again.

How many people have been dumped only to meet the love of their life shortly afterwards? I know I have!

How many people have lost a job or a client, then the very next one that comes along not only pays much more, but is something you really love, like perhaps a dream job? Me too!

Were you ever on line for an event, and someone pushed in front of you, then YOU were the winner of a door prize? Yes, it happened to me too!

Now, while those are all great things that can happen for you, sometimes it can happen with little things too. Like a pair of shoes. See those shoes pictured above? They are in my collection. About a year and a half ago I started collecting Katy Perry shoes and boots. I just love her line because not only are her shoes different, they are comfy!

I recently decided to treat myself to another pair. Something practical this time. Winter in NJ is coming to an end, but I could use a new pair of ankle booties. At least until it gets warm enough to go without socks and transition to open-toe heels and ballerina flats.

Today was the day my cute new ankle booties were to arrive.

They never came.

I checked the order status and it said “canceled.”

WHAT?!

Instead of getting pissed, I took a deep breath and calmly called their Customer Service. And I asked, “Why?”

Turns out, the booties I wanted were OUT OF STOCK.

Out of stock. And then, instead of being mad and disappointed, I asked myself, Where is the pronoia here? How is the universe working in my favor? 

I simply went back on the website to look for another pair of black booties. And guess what? I found a pair that was even cuter than the first! I mean, these boots really spoke to me! How did I not see them the first time around?! I ordered them immediately.

If that’s not the universe working in my favor, I don’t know what is! And, hey, I just checked my order, and it’s in progress. I think that means they are packing them as we speak!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She is available for public speaking engagements. Contact her for availability and rates at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

 

UjENA Swimwear, Now and Then

Published August 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0869Age 52

Several months ago I won a $100 gift certificate from UjENA: https://m.ujena.com/

I don’t know how this company slipped off my radar over the years, because their swimsuits are truly the best! I should know, I’ve been buying them since I was in my early 20s. And now, just 11 days short of 53-years-old, I’m still a fan!

The suit is comfortable, classy, and age-appropriate. Today at the beach my husband couldn’t keep his eyes off me. He kept saying, “That’s a great suit!”

You too can be the belle of the beach with UjENA! You deserve it! ❤

And now for a little retro action, here I am in 1986, age 22, wearing my UjENA suimsuit!

SAM_5900Age 22

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

My first fiction book, “Love Cats” will be published in May!

Published April 18, 2015 by Maryanne

Love Cats Cover 5

Hey Gang!

I’m thrilled to share that my first work of fiction, “Love Cats” is now with the publisher and will be available on Amazon (and Kindle!) in May!

SYNOPSIS:

Janey Peyton is filthy rich, but also a down-to-earth goth chick. She lives in suburban New Jersey during the 1980s. Janey has it all, including an Italian live-in housekeeper (who sometimes drives her batty with overbearing dated love advice).

Since Janey’s status symbol-driven parents are absent in her life love-starved Janey desperately seeks a soul mate as she cruises the new wave nightclubs.

Enter Beck Stewart, also a workaholic, but for all the right reasons. The working class hero wants to make a better life for himself. Beck falls hard for Janey and turns a blind eye to the immediate red flags: she’s a snoop and obviously hates his beloved old cat, Morticia.

When Janey discovers Beck can’t resist overtime hours, she mistakes his job loyalty for neglect. For “revenge” she takes on other lovers and is careless when it comes to hiding her conquests. What happens when Beck feels enough is enough and the couple who had their ups and downs finally hit an all time low? And what happens when a stray kitten shows up on cat hater Janey’s doorstep?

If you love the’80s, alternative wave, sexy chick lit, and of course CATS, this book is for you!

Endorsements

“Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta draws you in from the very first page. This book will make you find yourself yelling at the characters. I laughed out loud, I cried; my emotions were all over the place. With engaging characters and a unique story-line set in 1980s New Jersey, ‘Love Cats’ is a story that will captivate you and stay in your heart long after you read the last line.” – S.C. Miotto, author “Moonstone Dreams” and “Diamond Love.”

“Maryanne’s zeal for life and passion for creativity shines through in all of her work. Here in her first book of fiction she gives us multidimensional characters mitigating love and growing pains as they manicure their pop culture lifestyle at the tail end of the ’80s. It’s romance — Gen X style! I could not get enough of Janey and Beck.” – Scott Schiaffo

In “Love Cats,” Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta really takes you there, to the fun and electricity of running around, being young in the 1980s, in New Jersey, but enough universal magic so we all can relate: the spontaneity, adorable flirting, daring and exploring, making mistakes and finding your way. Maryanne treats tricky, sensitive and intimate topics with the most refreshing honesty. – Zaphyrella, fashion designer.

 

Smart Women, Dumb Shoe Choices

Published December 16, 2012 by Maryanne

shoes

Okay, I’m not THIS bad! But close!

Here is one to definitely file under the “dumb me” file.

Last night was a super amazing fun time at http://www.wdvrfm.org/ where my husband played bass with Hounds of Winter on a holiday show hosted by Deirdre Gilmartin, which I will post about in a near future date once I get the wonderful photos that Darlene Foster took of everyone.

So, I’m getting ready and I’m all dressed up, wearing shoes beautiful enough to make Carrie Bradshaw swoon and high enough to make Lady Gaga feel like a suburban housewife in comparison. The radio host even complimented me on the shoes — a Nine West pair my husband bought me one of our first Christmases together in Peddler’s Village.

Now mind you, my husband loves the fact that I am petite and prefers me wearing ballerina flats or a low heeled boot or sandal. And I do love that look too (thanks to being inspired by Amy Winehouse and her ballerina flats). He always hugs me and says, “You’re so tiny!” as I am only 5’2″

Plus, in addition to being a musician, he’s also an artist, so he’s great at choosing clothes for me that I’d never see myself in, but turns out he’s right — they end up looking super and I get compliments. How great is that?

Anyway, I walk out of my dressing room, ready to go and Dennis is like, “How pretty!” Then he sees the shoes I’m wearing, with the 5 inch heel and goes, “Oh, you’re going to be tall tonite.”

Then he adds, “You know, this is going to be in a very small radio station. It’s very low key.”

I’m like, “It’s Christmas! I want to look festive!”

So, we get to the radio station and it’s in this quaint little town that nobody ever heard. The parking lot is so small and all the spots were taken, so we park a block away and I’m walking over cobblestone in these heels.

Getting there wasn’t so bad and I was fine once I got in.

Then getting back to the car was a bitch. Due to my excitement of my hubby being on the radio, I couldn’t be still. I stood and watched the whole time and only took a short sit once at the end of the night.

Now it’s 12:30 a.m. and I am tired. But before we go back to our car, we go to Tommy and Darlene’s car because Dennis wanted to get some of the Hounds of Winter Christmas CDs. It was a gorgeous night and I was all set for a nice walk, forgetting that I’ve been standing in my stilts for two hours and now my legs were tired. And again, I’d have to walk over cobblestone streets!

So I walk over to Tommy and Darlene’s car, at this point I’m walking like an elderly woman minus the cane. Tommy hands Dennis 20 CDs, but Dennis’ hands/arms were full as he had his bass and his amp. So he hands me the CDs. I go to reach them and they drop all over the parking lot. We’re both awkwardly picking them all up and we’re cracking up.

Then Dennis decides to carry everything — CDs too, between his fingers and thumb, so of course that’s not gonna work. We get a few feet and then the CDs go flying  out of his hands, into the street. (Thank GOD it was a small quiet town with no cars around).

We’re both scurrying around the middle of the street to pick up the CDs and I’m bending over like an elderly woman. Then Tommy sees us and jumps out of the car, giving us a plastic bag to put the CDs in.

We’re all laughing like crazy. We gather up the CDs and wave good-bye to Tommy and Darlene and get into our car.

First thing I do is kick off the shoes. Sweet relief!

We turned on the heater and my toes were snuggly warm for the hour plus ride home!

The night before, Dennis and I were Christmas shopping and we went our separate ways. Of course I ended up looking at shoes and heard a young couple, an Asian woman (unusually taller than an average Asian woman) and an Italian guy, debating about what shoes the woman should get.

She was parading around in a gorgeous pair of black knee high boots with a high heel.

The guy was arguing with her (in a cute way) telling her that the boots were not practical and she could get something different.

I had to put my two cents in and I offered, “Those boots are gorgeous! Perfect for a holiday party! Get them, and then get a practical pair too.”

The Italian guy said, “You friggin’ women are all alike!”

We ladies laughed, as the guy kept saying how inappropriate her boot choice was.

I said, “You’re like my husband. He prefers the flats too.”

Then the Italian guy pulls a pair of Gene Simmons-like boots from the shelf and said, “How would you husband feel if you came home wearing these?”

Then my husband appeared out of nowhere and said, “She already owns boots like that!”

More laughter.

Then the Asian girl said, “In my country, I am too tall and I was never able to meet anyone. Nobody liked me.”

I said, “So you had to come to the United States to meet a small Italian!”

She said, “Yes” and giggled.

The Italian guy said, “And we have a word in Italian for a lady in those type of boots!”

I said, “Let me guess, does it start with a ‘P’?”

More laughter.

The moral of the story — while a lady can be smart enough to pick a great guy (with a great sense of humor), her choice of shoe may be questionable.

But life is short and if the shoe fits, wear it for as long as you can.

Needless to say, this morning my thighs were sore and my work-out was limited to a 10-minute child’s yoga session.

Steady as She Fauxs

Published November 20, 2012 by Maryanne

Ann Baxter, promotional ad wearing faux fur

With winter right around the corner, it’s time to shop for our warm coats.

It’s always a challenge for me to find something that’s very warm, yet to my liking. I’m more of a summer clothes kinda gal: open toe shoe, cut off jeans, sun dresses, etc.

And since I often work as a reporter, I don’t like to wear bulky coats because it makes it so hard to write and carry stuff like a camera. I need clothing that moves with me.

Ever since I became an animal rights person back in 1986, I just loved to wear faux fur. Faux everything in fact — faux leather (as some call it “pleather”) and everything man made.

Faux fur has been around since the 1920s and with more and more people becoming animal advocates it’s becoming more and more popular.

My late friend, Cyrinda Foxe and Justin Love, 2001

The first night I met my friend Cyrinda Foxe (RIP), I was wearing the above faux fur coat. She was wearing her grandmother’s mink. We traded coats for the evening just to be silly. Of course I don’t normally wear mink, but I made an exception because it was her grandma’s and that’s very special. Plus, I was a little tipsy.

And who am I to judge anyway? I’m such a live and let live person. I’m the one vegetarian/faux coat wearing/no animal testing make-up connoisseur who will NOT JUDGE others. So everyone can just relax around me. It’s all good.

But back to THAT COAT ….

That coat went on so many adventures with me. I saw The Buzzcocks wearing that coat. I met legendary rock photographer, Mick Rock, wearing that coat. I wore that coat almost every day in the winter when I wrote for several New York newspapers.

I may still have the coat stashed away somewhere. Or maybe I gave it to the needy. Once the inner liner ripped, I decided it was time to move on to something else and stopped wearing faux fur for several years, replacing it with other types of coats.

Now this winter, I’m back to faux fur!

SAM_0415My Fab Faux

I found my new FAB FAUX earlier this fall while at a street fair. It was a great buy. Not only does it keep me warm but I can wear big, snuggly sweaters underneath it.

It’s cute, it’s fun and it’s guilt-free.

I’ll wear it in good health — thank you very much!

RIP Helen Gurley Brown — Feb. 18, 1922 to Aug. 13, 2012

Published August 14, 2012 by Maryanne

Author of “Sex and the Single Girl” and Cosmopolitan editor for over 30 years

Burt Reynolds, famous Cosmo layout, during the Gurley-Brown reign in ’70s

Model Paulina, 1980s cover

I remember the first time I saw Cosmopolitan magazine.

It was in the 1970s and Burt Reynolds was the “centerfold.”

I was only a kid, but my mom and aunt, who were only in their 20s, were giggling and showing the picture to me, my younger sister and younger cousin.

My grandfather got pissed at them for showing us such “filth.”

I was intrigued.

From that day on, every month when my mother’s Cosmopolitan issue came I had to look at it. I was too young to even know how to pronounce “Cosmopolitan” and as a little girl, referred to the magazine as “Cosmo-Politician.”

I guess in some ways beauty could be politics. But even in my young age, I figured out how to work it.

I asked my mother what she learned from the magazine.

“How ugly I am,” she said.

But on the contrary …

Each month they had a feature where they did make-overs for women. Cosmopolitan made plain Janes (“mouse burgers” as Gurley Brown would call them!) into goddesses via make-up and hairstyling.

So as the skinny kid with pimples and glasses — before glasses were fashionable — Cosmopolitan was my ray of hope. And once I got my hands into make-up, I transformed myself into a beautiful 15-year-old who looked 18 (the thing all 15-year-olds wanted to hear!)

Throughout the 1980s I tried to emulate the looks of the models on the cover — big hair and a ton of make-up! Fuschia on the cheeks and eyes was a key element to “the look.” And don’t forget, Aqua Net Extra Super Hold — otherwise known as “glue in a can.” Every photo I posed for, I pouted — whether it was at a nightclub, for work or for family. I wanted to be Cosmo 24/7.

And if anyone doubted my look (because growing up in suburbia meant being surrounded by a lot of conservatives) I’d tell them they don’t know what they are talking about because they obviously don’t read Cosmopolitan!

I was never jealous of Cosmopolitan models. My attitude was was more of a “Yay, I can do this too!” kinda thing. Because all it took back then was the art of make-up and a good tease with a comb. Unlike today where women are brainwashed into thinking they need Botox, veneers, Japanese straight perms and plastic surgery to be acceptable. And then they still don’t think they look good enough.

Looking back, my favorite Helen Gurley Brown quotes include:

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”

“Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody.”

“What you have to do is work with the raw material you have, namely you, and never let up.”

After Helen Gurley Brown’s book, “Sex and the Single Girl” was published in the 1960s, she was the editor-in-chief Cosmopolitan and stayed with the magazine until 1997, when she was replaced by Bonnie Fuller.

And it was during that time that I lost interest in the magazine. I was now in my 30s and living a very cool, edgy life, writing for a NYC newspaper, making my own social circles. I was no longer intrigued with the styles of models because I started creating my own.

Plus, when you read a magazine for over a decade, articles start to recycle. How many times can you read about how to please a man in bed? By the time you’re in your 30s, you should know.

With the dismiss of Brown’s reign, I turned to women’s magazines more suited to me, personally, like “Sassy” (later “Jane”), “Bust” and “Bitch.” These magazines were better for me because they embraced the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and were more anti-fashion than fashion. Since the young audience of these magazines were free-spirits they made their own art, not necessarily emulating models. Bad asses like Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore were on the covers. Models had braces and pink hair. And you could read articles about the Prozac Nation and young rockers you’d like to date.

While Gurley Brown was famous for being feminist, “Jane” “Bust” and “Bitch” were feminist-supreme. Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan paved the way to magazine greatness for the next generation!

And let’s not forget all the television shows she inspired! Shows about the modern, independent woman: “Sex in the City.” “Mary Tyler Moore”; and “That Girl” to name a few!

Mind you, I don’t agree with all of Gurley Brown’s philosophies, some of them being very depressing (like being as thin as possible without getting sick or getting breast implants at age 73 or her views on money). But I do think she contributed more than her share to society for being a cutting edge trend-setter and a person who stood up for what she believed in.

RIP Helen Gurley Brown –yet  another original bites the dust.

Viva Gia!

Published August 7, 2012 by Maryanne

1980s, first supermodel Gia Carangi

Cosmo Girl!

Natural

I have to be honest, I lived the 1980s but do not remember Gia Carangi, the famous supermodel.

Mind you, like Gia, I was also in my 20s at the time so a lot of cultural things slipped by me because I was making my own culture by dating, going to nightclubs and exploring — which is totally understandable for a 20-something. And don’t forget, we didn’t have a lot of the media we have now back then. There was no internet, no You Tube … and some families didn’t even have cable television; some still had b&w TV sets!

When I first heard of Gia, it was when I picked up the 1994 paperback edition of the book, “Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia” by Stephen Fried, originally published in 1993.

I was mesmerized by the tragic story of a gorgeous Italian girl who rose to superstar status in the late 1970s, early 1980s fashion industry, and just a short time later died of AIDS in 1986.

The cool thing about Gia was — she was into cool things, like David Bowie and Blondie. She was in Blondie’s “Atomic” video. She was tough and throughout the book I thought she was like a fashionista version of Joan Jett.

A few years after I got the book, an HBO special came on about the life of Gia, staring Angelina Jolie. To me, that was Angelina’s best role ever. I loved the dark, sad movie. It effected me for days.

Well, last week Lifetime showed the movie again. I dug out my old “Thing of Beauty” book and started to re-read it.  I also looked up videos of Gia on You Tube and watched interviews. And a cold chill encompasses my body as I revisited the tragedy.

In my opinion, Gia was a fantastic model because her looks transformed her into a vast variety of different people. In Gia, at times I see: Julia Roberts, Janice Dickenson and Cindy Crawford.

And I also see, in Gia, some friends I had in the 1980s — not models, just normal pretty girls. I think that’s why Gia is so fascinating — on one hand she has the superior looks, but on the other hand, a sweet, simple vulnerability that all of us possess. That is what we’re relating to; we all just want to give her a hug.

During one of her last interviews, I felt she is being interrogated when asked about her drug use. Then Gia brought up drugs in food — which I felt was a genius move. Then the interviewer resorted to sarcasm by saying there isn’t cocaine in food.

Yeah, there isn’t cocaine in food, but other DRUGS that cause cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. which can all lead to DEATH! With Gia being as tough as she was, I wondered why she chose to stay in such a vulnerable mode during the interview and didn’t defend herself by saying what I just said.

Regardless, that girl was wise beyond her years and ahead of her time. Some people simply are therefore they die young and maybe come back many years later. I feel this way about James Dean.

And also, Nancy Spungeon.

No, really, hear me out …

If you read “And I Don’t Want to Live This Life” by Deborah Spungeon, Nancy’s mom, there are similarities. (And so interesting, both girls were from Philadelphia!)

These girls were tough, did drugs, turned tricks for drugs, possessed incredible style and beauty. I know a lot of people don’t think of Nancy as a “beauty.” But look again, she has similar features to the stunning Lady GaGa.

Both Gia and Nancy were head strong and intelligent. Spungeon’s IQ was 175.

And both died in their 20s.

I can only speculate, but I think people who die young just know their own destiny and live these frenzied lives as if they are trying to cheat death, somehow.

Fatal stories are horrific to us, especially when we’ve lost loved ones who wanted to live. How can others throw their lives away just like that? It’s not for us to say or judge, as we do not know the pain that lives inside another human being.

I like to focus on the positive. I did not know Gia personally, but what I do know is what she left behind to the world: Art via her beauty. She was a damn good model and I love going back to the 1980s through her work. Even though Gia’s time wasn’t so innocent, it was an innocent time for a lot of people. And nostalgia is healthy.

RIP, Gia. You were an original.