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July 16, 2008

Discovering my Inner Paris Hilton

Paris_hilton_at_sundance_film_festiI’m having a weird day. To start, I’m craving a hamburger and I don’t eat meat. Also, the dress I tossed on this morning, bad choice. Really bad. Luckily I found myself downtown in Soho, land of opportunity if you’re looking to shop or eat. I stepped into a little boutique with rows of brightly colored clothes stacked up perfectly on long, low tables. I spotted the shorts immediately, white and slender and just-above-the-knee. I zeroed in on a great shirt but it was way too pricey for an impulse buy much less an accidental-shopping-spree.

I recruited the sales-guy. “I need something inexpensive,” I said. Moments later his two hands appeared through the dressing room curtains holding a strappy, aqua-marine top, something I never would have picked out for myself. It fit perfectly. This, I thought to myself, is good. Really good. My new best friend removed the price tags and took off the sensors. Then, along with a new pair of Texas-size aviators I emerged from the dressing room channeling my inner Paris Hilton.

I never even knew I had an inner Paris Hilton. But for some reason today I really needed her energy. Paris Hilton knows how to pay attention to herself and not feel guilty. She creates the illusion she doesn’t have a care in the world. I think Paris Hilton. I think yacht on the Riviera, champagne, a ridiculously cute heir-to-a-fortune boy-toy, and a wardrobe to die for. This is a woman who seems to know what makes her happy and, by all accounts, doesn’t apologize for it. I admire that. And today, I needed that.

I needed to feel free and frivolous and fabulous. I needed those hands to reach through the dressing room curtain with a top that said, “Honey, this is how the world should see you.” I understand why Madonna reinvents herself so often. On the most positive levels, she has the imagination to explore new aspects of her personality. Talk about power.

I’d planned to write about my children’s apparent addiction to spaghetti or the bus that failed to pick up my daughter on her first day of camp. But this seemed more important in a strange sort of way. I was struck by a line from the brilliant HBO Family series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child. In the Rip Van Winkle episode a Maya Angelou character tells a young mom who has forgotten the sound of her inner voice that it’s incumbent on her to be the “heroine” of her own story because, “If you’re not…who is?”

My heroine was at risk of sliding down an embankment. But changing my outfit changed my mood like a rope tossed at the critical moment. It seems ridiculous. But I realized how quickly you can regain control by making even the slightest change.

I may never have a yacht and definitely no boy-toy or X-rated-tape but when I left that store, three guys and a girl checked-me out. It's probably because I was smiling. Next time, I may have to channel my inner Maya Angelou or Sandra Day O’Conner or Amelia Earhart or Eleanor Roosevelt. But I’ll always have Paris. And that cute little boutique in Soho to help me channel my inner goddess.

Deb Feyerick believes in finding something positive in everyone, regardless of their faults. This is an original post for NYC Moms Blog

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