Hip Hip Hooray
For this installment of Academichic’s Dress Your Best, I’m celebrating my hips. They are the kind of hips one might call “child-bearing,” as though it were a good thing. And maybe it will be someday…but for now, let’s just say they are wide. Sometimes, that can be tough to deal with and dress around, especially when most modern silhouettes in design are based on rail-thin, straight up-and-down women. No hips included. It’s easy to hide in jeans or loose dresses, to camouflage the full shape of my body. But I don’t let myself fall into that trap too often–especially when I have this skirt.
Joe surprised me with the skirt after a blog post on my Anthropologie wishlist I did some time ago. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it’s fitted–very fitted. Luckily, it happens to fit me perfectly, but the fit means reconciling myself to showing off my hips. The high-waisted pencil skirt is a statement unto itself, and the bold colors in this number shout for attention.
As for the book in my hands, it’s a book by Stephen Puleo called Dark Tide and it chronicles a rather strange event in Boston history–the collapse of a mammoth molasses tank in the North End, unleashing a lethal tidal wave of molasses that killed twenty-one people, injured over a hundred more, and decimated the waterfront area. I lived in Boston for four years and lived within 50 miles of the city for nearly my whole life, and the first time I heard this story was when a friend recommended this book to me. My initial reaction was disbelief–”Molasses? What the heck was that much molasses doing in the North End?” I laughed it off as a historical quirk and moved on, but my curiosity about the story niggled me until I got the book from the library last week.
It turns out that the molasses tank was used to house millions of gallons of molasses for distillation into industrial alcohol used in munitions manufacture during World War I. Puleo’s book does a great job of portraying the real people affected by this disaster, and also placing the event in the wider context of what was going on in early 20th century America–covering prejudice against Italian immigrants, the Anarchist and Labor movements, World War I, Prohibition, and the rise of Big Business in the 1920s. It’s a fascinating read and goes at a good pace–although it’s harrowing and awful.
Is there any nonfiction you can recommend that has a good event and happiness as its focus??