Home > Literature, Mangia! Mangia!, Style > On my nightstand/Sept. 11

On my nightstand/Sept. 11

September 11th, 2009

 

On my nightstand

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An Immoveable Feast by John Baxter. I pretty much ripped through this fun French read sent to me by Cherie! Thanks again Cherie.

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Bar ara Pease. This is a fascinating read. I am reading it slowly so I can remember all the important knowledge it has about reading body language. I recommend this to anyone and everyone. It is a library book.

The Mandarins by Simone de Beaviour. This is a library book I haven’t had a chance to start yet.

The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq. I am three-fourths of the way through this library book, inspired by either the author of Entre Nous or the author of French Women Don’t Sleep Alone who mentioned that French women argue over the latest Houellebecq book. Great book. Very intellectual and lots of sex. I’ve heard it is dismal and depressing at its conclusion however. We’ll see.

When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson. A great book I will pick up and resume reading when I finish my library books.

Loop Loop and Here Kitty Kitty are books I own that I may not get to for a while.

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  1. September 12th, 2009 at 10:28 | #1

    I’m liking the bright orange wall behind you. It’s such a vibrant color!

    • Kristi
      September 15th, 2009 at 06:31 | #2

      It makes me happy during the gray dreary winters here!

  2. September 14th, 2009 at 20:05 | #3

    How pretty you are.

    • Kristi
      September 15th, 2009 at 06:31 | #4

      Thank you! What a nice compliment.

  3. jean
    September 15th, 2009 at 15:05 | #5

    Bella. As I scrolled down to this post, I found myself smiling back at you, pretty lady! Kristi, what a great energy you project. The orange wall is a happy backdrop but the “real” glow is from you, from within. Thanks for another great moment of inspiration.

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What is it about those Italian women? You know the ones I’m talking about: beautiful, sexy, dressed to the nines just to take the kids to the park. They have a certain something that is indefinable. It is in the way they dress, the way they prepare their meals, the way they spend their leisure time.

It is because they know the importance of la bella figura. Roughly translated from Italian, it means putting you best foot forward in everything you do. It means cutting a beautiful figura. The opposite of la bella figura is la brutta figura, which is what someone might say about the falling down drunken guy at the party or the super tackily dressed woman at church. It means ugly figure.

La bella figura is much more than your appearance. It goes much deeper than that. It is about how you act. It is about how you treat others. It is about how you care for yourself, your home and your family. Living a life in line with la bella figura doesn’t take money. In fact, it is more about how to have class without a lot of money.

Someone who exudes la bella figura will have clean, pressed clothes and be well groomed. They will not be rude or sloppy. Their fingernails will be impeccably groomed. Their hair shiny and clean and their shoes will be polished. They will not have stray threads hanging from their suit hems. They will not be driving a car in need of the car wash.

La bella figura means driving that 15 year old car and meticulously cleaning it and caring for it. It means keeping your belongings in good repair. It means taking time to clean your house and not cluttering it up with meaningless objects.

When you focus all your spare energy, time and money on the things that bring you the most amount of pleasure, then you are truly living a life in line with la bella figura. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be Italian to do so. You just have to think like an Italian.

Italian children are raised to present la bella figura in whatever they do. From the time they are small and are groomed perfectly to attend church or school, they know that appearances count. They count because it is the first thing people judge about you. That first impression does matter. Appearances are also important because when you take the time to look nice, you are showing that you care about yourself. When you care enough to look good, it shows you have good healthy self esteem. Nothing is more attractive than self confidence.

In addition, dressing nice also shows respect for others. If you invite people over for dinner and greet them in flip flops, baggy sweats and a stained shirt, it is really disrespectful to them. The same if you dress sloppy to go to church or even to the market. By dressing nicely and being well groomed, you show respect for everyone in your world.

Having la bella figura means presenting yourself in the best light possible in all your interactions.