A month or so ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an author friend of hers via the books Straight Up With a Twist. Y’all know I love a good book recommendation. This one in particular piqued my interest because it included a Seventeen magazine-like quiz right smack in the middle of the book.
Yay! I said. I love a quiz, I said.
Until I took the quiz and some truths hit a little too close to home. Crap. Don’t you hate when the truth stings and slaps and makes you wish you had cheated with your answers? Then, you feel crappy because you wanted to cheat.
You see, Mary Giuseffi introduces a concept so clever, yet so apparent, we all wonder why we didn’t think of this idea years ago. Her theory is most women fall into one of four categories, Champagne Girl, Margarita Girl, Bourbon Girl, and Martini Girl. Of note, you don’t have to drink, or even like a particular drink to fall into a category.
I really think Mary describes her book, and its intent, better than I do. Instead of me simply reviewing it, I thought I’d interview her. Check out what she has to say and go buy the book today. (Spoiler Alert: This isn’t the end of my relationship with Mary. We want to empower you and we’re planning a workshop. Holla!!)
INTERVIEW WITH MARY GIUSEFFI,
AUTHOR OF STRAIGHT UP WITH A TWIST
Arden: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Mary. I enjoyed your book and I’m excited to introduce it to my audience. Let’s start easy. Who is the audience for Straight Up With A Twist?
Mary: My Audience is every woman who is “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of their life, circumstances and relationships and truly wants to become the best version of themselves by taking responsibility for how they show up in the world! The book is a fun way to explore our personalities and the personalities of the women we know and love, whether you enjoy cocktails or not. And it has become a “play book” for a lot of guys as well.
My hope for the reader is: “The only thing I care about the end of the day, is when you look int the mirror, you like what you see….No you love what you see…no you are passionately in love with the woman you see!”
Arden: Do I have to like the cocktail which emulates my personality? Heck, do I have to even drink to benefit from your book?
Mary: Absolutely not- as a matter of fact, there is a non alcoholic answer to the questions in the quiz. The spirit and message of the book is far deeper than the titles belie. The purpose of the quiz is to identify the persona most like our own as a starting point for an epiphany and growth. Some people have a combination of two personas. The more self aware and self responsible we become, the more we are able to take the assets from each of the four girls and incorporate them into our own personality. As we become the best versions of ourselves we become a hybrid. We then enjoy all the cocktails as current mood and environment allow.
The Girls also help us understand our relationships with our families, our friends, coworkers and significant others. It is a short cut to creating relationships based on understanding each other’s truth, neurotic layers and needs, wants and foibles. Referring to each other as one of the girls has been a life saver for many mother daughter relationships. As I have toured the country, many moms and daughters have thanked me for giving them a way to communicate with each other and chat about the not so fab parts of ourselves and each other with humor and compassion. We can say something without it triggering a negative, defensive response.
Arden: There is a point in the book when you suggest that any woman can turn on us at any point. As much as I’ve heard that, I have a hard time really believing it. Maybe I’m just lucky. Or I could be very naive. Do you really believe every woman could turn into my enemy at some point?
Mary: I believe that once we conquer the enemy within, and silence the self critique and the insecurities it creates, we will be able to overcome our projections onto other women. The most important message of the book is that we MUST learn to love ourselves first and realize that there is NO competition with other women. There are enough “cookies on the tray to go around.” If we can accept that the male paradigm has created this unnecessary competition, we can change our behavior and our understanding. If we do not accept the challenge and shift our thinking, we will remain defensive, suspicious and manipulative in our women-to-women relationships. We will create enemies where we could create friends and allies.
Is it possible to change this seemingly damning relationship statement? Yes, it all begins with the challenge to love ourselves first and accept that the only relationship that really matters is the one we have with ourselves. Once we have created that fierce independence and self love, we can create relationships with others based upon love not fear. There are only two motivations in life: Love and Fear. If we choose love and keep choosing it, we will attract that into our lives. If we use our partners as “completers” and base our relationship out of need instead of want, we create a formula for disaster. it’s really about choice.
Arden: Whoa. You’re preaching to me when it comes to seeing partners as “completers”. And speaking of mistakes I’ve made in my dating life, why do women love the bad boy?
Mary: They are the forbidden fruit; risk is exciting. They are addicting and sexy. Their unconscionable behavior becomes alluring and seductive. We can’t help but think the “we are the one” who can convert them to a life of goodness and monogamy. We can not! They have a way to get under our skin like no other man. They are master manipulators—lots of highs and lows. By the way, not all the girls are attracted to bad boys..it is a cultivated taste. LOL.
Arden: Well, I’m a mix of a Martini gal and Bourbon gal. That combo could lead to one heck of a hangover. And heartache. According to your book (and my life experience) I’m a bad boy’s equal mixed with a good guy’s best pal. Is there any hope for me?
Mary: YES, to both! I actually think that you are the perfect balance between the two. Both of these girls see life as it is: they are realists and are very practical girls at heart. The Martini Girl has much more ambition than the Bourbon Girl. The Bourbon Girl has much better manners than the MG. They both love game of life. The BG plays fair and is a straight shooter. The MG doesn’t. She know what she wants and gets it by playing a very high level shenanigans. Both of these girls are protective of the people they love. Both of these girls have huge hearts. The BG is the more balanced and easy going of the two. She is very balanced and much more secure in who she is in the world. She is comfortable in her skin and has realistic expectations for her life and her relationships. The MG has more layers and is more insecure at heart therefore she has an overarching need to control every aspect of her life and love. She does this through intimidation and a bit of bullying. But underneath that facade is a very beautiful person. You are extraordinary…balance the two ends of the spectrum..they both have very good points. I believe you are a more of a BG.
Arden: You’re too kind. And the Southern girl in me thanks you for seeing me more as a Bourbon than a Martini. So, will you write another book about this topic? I know I need to read Straight Up with a Twist a few more times to get a grasp on all the knowledge you drop. But, eventually I’m going to want to see the next chapter from you.
Mary: Most probably. This lays the ground work for much more deep and meaningful conversations and further self development. This was intended to be the first in a series. I purposely held back on some major insights because I felt it would be too much for the first book. For instance, I did not even touch upon the Scotch Girl! If my readers want a second book, I will write it. I did write another book last year. It is called Femme Fierce: Flashes of Courage. It also became an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book is an entirely different genre. It is poetry which is my native tongue.