When women wore rhinestones, hats and gloves

Today a friend and I went to two workshops on old costume jewelry at an antique shop. We played with the rhinestone pins and put on bracelets covered in little flowers and tried on glass pearl necklaces from Japan. It was a wonderful day.

In the afternoon we sat on an white settee in the antique shop sipping lemonade and eating chocolate cookies. I held up an extraordinary teal and emerald green rhinestone pin from the 40's with rhinestone dangles up to my chest and said, "I want to try on the life that goes with this jewelry." Then I laughed and said, "Well maybe not, because that life for women in the 40's ment they alwasy had to wear girdles, hose, high heels, hats and gloves and I am sitting here in jeans and comfortable shoes and I am really happy!" So tonight I went out with my jeans and comfortable shoes and big old Sapphire rhinestone pin stuck on my shirt. It was a good night.

Think of women in the 40's and all the feeling they had to hide, all that pretense. For years I thought about how pretty they looked. But they had to have almost all their body windows closed. Some of you have heard me talk about body windows. A theory I create when I was teaching body language at Florida State. There are windows on you body that you open and close depending on how you feel, who you are with and what your talking about. You close your body windows when you are not feeling confident or powerful. Women had to wear hats and cover their head window, hold their stomachs in with tight girdles closing their heart window, cross their legs daintely when they sat down closing their knew window, walk around in high heels and thus very painful feet making the foot window painful, and cover what I call the honesty window at the palms of their hands with gloves. Thease things effectively closed their body windows and even put them in physical pain. Clothing really does effect how you feel. Men had to be closed to. All in all I perfer our open lives now. Yes, thinking about it, I perfer the truth of blue jeans.

Handshakes and self disclosure/ Police officer and suspects

Some of you know I use to teach at a law enforcement training center and that I am particularly interested in what body language can make people open up. In grad school I wrote a paper on body language to increase self disclosure and I have been researching that process ever since.

Recently I have been corresponding with a police officer about some of his experiences Here is one of his stories that I thought was interesting.

"After hearing your handshake lesson and reading the article in your book, I started shaking every one's hand I was introduced to. I meet people all day long, but I used to shake hands only about 1/2 the time. I notice now that when you offer it first, usually there's a brief smile on the other end of it- almost like they do not expect a cop to be friendly- it works!"
"Now, when I shake a suspects hand, we have already made inroads into the rapport-building phase of interviewing him. I of course want a confession- or at least an admission from a bad guy to help me make my case...I clearly remember at least 3 times when I was on domestic calls and would not shake a guy's hand. The call would be all but over and we were literally leaving the scene. Me not shaking the dude's hand at the close of "business" would make him mad all over again. Hey it's a tactical consideration, but I wonder if I could have shaken more hands now."

I would love to know what you think. Do you think shaking hands can make people self disclose more? Do you have a story to share?