Learning to Love My “Thunder Thighs” – A Short Nonfiction Story

Hat, romper, shoes, and thunder thighs. Whatever.

My poor brother.

One day, as our family gathered on my parents’ back porch in the summer, he dared to jokingly say something about my thunder thighs. He didn’t mean any harm by it; he was only lovingly teasing me.

But I’d heard about it enough in high school, especially as a cheerleader who had to wear a cheer outfit to school twice a week, and those old wounds hadn’t mended. I suppose even in my early 30s, I was still sensitive when hearing my legs referred to in that way.

I leveled him.

Of course, I’m sorry for it now. I should have been able to laugh it off, make fun of myself, and just accept that I have pretty strong, muscular legs. I always have. I played tennis, did gymnastics, and cheered.

Fast forward to now, many, many years later.

With age comes wisdom. I am older, wiser, and more confident now, even if I still wish I had been born with long legs and was 5’5″ instead of 5’1″.  When you hit a certain number as you age, you just don’t give a $$$$ any more what anyone thinks; you become less self-conscious, and you wear what makes you happy.

I like fashion a lot, enjoy clothes and putting outfits together, and being trendy. I bought the outfit above yesterday, and I can’t wait to wear it, big legs and all.

You get smarter. You accept yourself, and you learn to love yourself and all  your imperfections.

And if ever once upon a time you called me “thunder thighs,” I forgive you.

Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of the newly released Inn SignificantBaseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree.  Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt. 
To visit Stephanie’s Amazon Author page and see her books, click here.

Lost In The Details —Weekly Photo Challenge

I really liked what Christopher Martin had to say in today’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. As an amateur photographer, with a keen interest in “seeing things in spectacular ways,” I am drawn to using my camera as a tool in creativity. I am only 5’1″, so I tend to shoot low to high anyway (I’m coming back in my next life as a tall person), plus I like to play with angles.

Here are four shots whereby I got completely lost in the details.

Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL
Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, FL
Breakers, Palm Beach, FL
The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL
Christmas at My House, 2012
Christmas at My House, 2012
And saving the best for last, my son's drawing.
And saving the best for last, my son’s drawing.

These Kids Stopped for (and created) Beauty: A Follow Up

As a quick follow-up to my post a few days ago entitled “Do You Stop to Appreciate Beauty? This Writer’s Confession,” I discussed a certain experiment The Washington Post and writer Gene Weingarten engaged in a few years ago that won Weingarten a Pulitzer Price. You can read my post by clicking on it above. Also, within the text is a link to the actual article in The Post.

My friend Liz linked to a clip this morning on her Facebook page and I was intrigued. I clicked on it and found something that gave me hope. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn from Weingarten and Joshua Bell and the hurried, crazed, frenzied people dashing to work every morning, iPods on, cell phones in hand, looking down and around, but not really seeing—or hearing—what is around them.

This video is wonderful.

Stop, look, and listen. It’s worth our time.

And happy holidays.

Click here to see it!!!!   Carlson School of Management

Remembering Venice

Photo credit: http://www.venice-tourism-guide.com

I think of Venice often, even though it’s been many years since I’ve been there. It was the most unique and amazing place I have ever visited; Italy in general holds a special place in my heart because both my family and my husband’s family are of Italian heritage. Many people say the Grand Canal is the most beautiful street in the world; I think they may be right. Last year, in my Poetry class, we were asked to write a haibun and a haiku that flowed together. As we could choose any subject to write about, Venice was my choice. When I travel, I keep a copious journal, so it is easy for me to recall sights, sounds, people, and feelings I had at the time simply by referring to my journal, as I did when I wrote the following piece:

Haibun meets Haiku: One with Venezia

We hoist our luggage from the train. We follow the steps from Venezia Santa Lucia to meet the Vaporetto. I pause, convinced I am in a postcard. I touch my face. I am not dreaming. It looks exactly as I imagined, the history and miracle of this place. The sky above, blue, the hues of the city vibrant. In an instant, it seeps into my skin, my soul. A pigeon descends. I look at my husband; we have tears in our eyes.

Hotel Monaco delights us, Grand Canal and San Marco in sight. In minutes, I have become this place, feel its pulse, its people. Blissful pedestrians, bikers, gondoliers. The canals are clean, clear. We hear the swishing of the water—a relaxing sound. The magnificent buildings showcase their architecture. I want to absorb it, walk the streets and bridges, taste the food, see the stars and moon glisten off the canals. I want to be among its people, laugh, taste the wine. Our tummies rumble and we head for Dorsoduro. The canals echo, just us.

Heels tap streets, click, click—
gondolier sings “Volare;”
the city won’t sink tonight.