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Augusta, Aiken & Columbia Columbia/Augusta/Aiken



Unwrap the dark days from December to find the surprises inside: tissue paper and tree toppers, glitter dust and gold stars, mangers and menorahs, tape and twine, fruitcake and wine, evergreens and Yule logs, twinkle lights and solstice nights, Santa suits and elfin boots, Scrooge’s ghosts and midnight toasts, mittens and mufflers and ribbons and bows, candle glow and small globes

Shaken With Snow, tinsel streamers and tacky sweaters, gingerbread houses and eggnog hangovers, branches of holly and an overdose of jolly, stockings stuffed with tiny treats and children jacked up on too many sweets, poinsettias because you don’t have a choice and when they expire a time to rejoice. Mistletoe over every door, Rudolph playing in every store, and New Year’s Eve

t o c l o s e t h e m o n t h wit h a cork-popping roar. Cover copy by Nikki Hardin, Art by Daria Jabenko

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” Boris Pasternak


about skirt!

Publisher Nikki Hardin National Art Director Caitilin McPhillips National Editor Margaret Pilarski Market Manager (Augusta/Aiken/Columbia) Kate Cooper Metts Contributing Editor Columbia Jenny Maxwell Contributing Editor Augusta/Aiken Gracie Shepherd

skirt! is all about women... their work, play, families, creativity, style, health and wealth, bodies and souls. skirt! is an attitude...spirited, independent, outspoken, serious, playful and irreverent, sometimes controversial, always passionate.

Sales Executives Libby Salvador Susan Eaker Graphic Designer Cher Wheeler Meaghan Pafford

theSurprise issue

sheMAIL skirt! 127-A 7th Street Augusta, GA 30901 Sales: 706.823.3373 Sales Toll-Free: 800.622.6358 FAX: 706.823.6083


A Trick of the Light

Stacy Appel ................................................................................... 13 No Joke

Susi Gregg Fowler...................................................................... 14

Photography Molly Harrell Chris Thelen

20-Year-Old Me Meets 40-Year-Old Me

Amy Vansant................................................................................... 31 skirt! is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Augusta/Aiken/ Columbia area. skirt! reserves the right to refuse to sell space for any advertisement the staff deems inappropriate for the publication. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. Letters to the editor are welcome, but may be edited due to space limitations. Press releases must be received by the 1st of the month for the following month’s issue. All content of this magazine, including without limitation the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content, as well as the selection, coordination and arrangement thereof, is Copyright © 2010, Morris Publishing Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this magazine may be copied or reprinted without the express written permission of the publisher. SKIRT!® is a registered trademark of Morris Publishing Group, LLC.

Women Women make make more more than than 80% 85% of of all all purchasing purchasing decisions. decisions.


Women spend Women almost 2 ofspend every 3 almost 2 ofdollars. every 3 healthcare healthcare dollars.

Letter from the Publisher.......................................................... 6 Letter from the Editor................................................................ 6

Women control 2/3 of the nation’s disposable income.

Feel Good....................................................................................... 10 He’s So Original........................................................................... 26

Women Women influence 80% 80% influence of of all all car car sales. sales.

Skirt of the Month..................................................................... 39 F-Word.............................................................................................. 34 Survival Guide............................................................................... 16 Gift Guide........................................................................................ 35 Meet.................................................................................................... 32 Planet Nikki..................................................................................... 42

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S u r p r i

e I s s u e

Surprise someone with a gift from your heart that doesn’t have to be wrapped, ribboned or requested.

December 2011   december

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The United Skirts of America

The United Skirts of America was founded on the blood, sweat and

From the Publisher

freedom to

theSurprise issue

break The Rules, to wear

Surprise! My newly installed operating system erased my address book

combat boots or high

and calendar. Surprise! I lost my ATM card—again. Surprise! Wall Street

estrogen of our foremothers, who won us the

heels, to run for office or

took another mouthful of my retirement fund. I get so fixated on my Whack-a-Mole miseries (“poor me!”) that I neglect to step up to the

run a marathon, to form

piñata moments. I’m a sucker for piñatas because to me they represent

Daria Jabenko

our own rock groups

taking a wild swing at life and flying with exhilaration when it cracks open

Illustration, for Daria, is inspir-

instead of being groupies,

raining gifts and blessings on my head. I’ve always been a sensation junkie,

ing a world of dreams. Every

to shatter Glass Ceilings

Cover Artist

illustration has a personality. The palette of colors can be

and Glass Slippers, to

needing more, better, faster in order to feel alive. Always waiting for “real life” to begin in some vague future time. Always seeking a big epiphany, the one that would change my life forever. I’m starting to understand

sensuous and complex or sleek,

shoot hoops instead of

that piñata moments don’t have to be hair-raising adventures; in fact, I’m

simple and gleaming, but above

settling for hoop skirts.

more blown away by being able to recognize everyday extraordinariness.

all, unexpected, potent and creatively ambitious.The

The ones who came

Falling in bed and in love with new white sheets and pillowcases. Being on the bike in Spinning class instead of counting the minutes until it’s

invented world should be

before us made it pos-

a place to go that’s familiar,

sible for our daughters

by tenderness. All in now-time. When I took trapeze lessons, it should

to dream bigger, to have

have been a huge piñata moment, but like so much of what I undertake,

provoke positive feelings and a

the chance to grow up

I was focused on getting it over with, having done it rather than the doing

better mindset in the audience.

to be President and turn

almost nostalgic, yet strange and new. Her main objective is to

Daria creates most of her illus-

over. Suddenly seeing into a friend’s hidden pain and feeling overwhelmed

of it. Now that I’m teasing myself with the idea of skydiving lessons, I hope that I will focus on the jump and the fall rather than the landing.

the Oval Office into

I want to learn to love the swing into thin air, the breaking open of self,

medium in combination with

the Ovary Office. In the

the surprise of finding what’s inside.

ink and watercolor. Her clients

United Skirts of America,

trations by hand using gouache

include Condé Nast Germany, Cosmopolitan, Cunard Cruise Lines, Grand Canyon Railway


every day is Indepen-

dence Day!

and others.

From the Editor There are good surprises—like getting that red Francis Francis espresso machine from The Gourmet Shop as your Christmas present. And there are bad ones—like coming home from vacation, for



example, and discovering on Facebook that the man who went with you is “in a relationship” with


someone else. The best surprises for me have always been the ones in which I surprise myself—


running farther than I ever thought I could, discovering that I can play mountain tunes on the fiddle, Eureka!

being strong enough to handle an unimaginably difficult family problem. In this issue, we hear from women who’ve done things that may seem amazing, crazy or even downright shocking. Would you? Could you? Read and mull it over—you might just surprise yourself.


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Look and Feel Your Very Best

Augusta Plastic Surgery has helped thousands of people in the Augusta area and around the world enjoy better health and enhance their appearance and confidence. A team of highly credentialed, experienced surgeons – that’s the hallmark of Augusta Plastic Surgery. • A spacious, comfortable office with WI-FI • An accredited ambulatory surgery center • A friendly, responsive staff • Insurance accepted and filed • Flexible payment options through CareCredit • Visa,MasterCard and American Express welcomed • Complimentary consultations for cosmetic procedures • Same-day appointments for emergencies • Prompt reports to referring physicians • Laser rejuvenation and laser hair removal next door at...

Depend on the area’s most established Plastic Surgery Team Board-certified plastic surgeons Randolph R. Smith,M.D., Billy P. Lynn,M.D., and Christopher J.Ewart, M.D., have helped thousands of people in the Augusta area and around the world enjoy better health and enhance their appearance and confidence. A team of highly credentialed, experienced surgeons—that’s the hallmark of Augusta Plastic Surgery.

L to R: Christopher J. Ewart, M.D. Randolph R. Smith,M.D. Billy P. Lynn,M.D.

Call 706.724.5611 today to schedule a quick, convenient appointment or a complimentary consultation for cosmetic procedures.

Augusta Plastic Surgery • 1348 Walton Way, Suite 6300 • University Hospital Women’s Center • Augusta, GA 30901

December survival guide Twinkle Lights Snow Days Winter Solstice Parties Ticket to Tahiti Champagne Nights The Nutcracker No Layovers

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Painting America the Beautiful “grand and glorious� - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram “a rapturous encounter� - The Boston Globe

Thomas Cole (American, 1801-1848) Catskill Creek, N.Y., 1845, (detail) The Robert L. Stuart Collection, S-157

“remarkable� - The NewYork Times

Nature and the Grand AmericanVision: Masterpieces of the Hudson River School Painters Supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities Organized by the New-York Historical Society

Special Exhibition Presented by the Blanchard Family

November 19, 2011 - April 1, 2012



Feel good about creating and sustaining American jobs.

Or More

Starbucks has teamed up with Opportunity Finance Network, a network of community-minded lending institutions, to launch Create Jobs for USA. The program utilizes OFN’s commitment to financing neighborhood businesses that need help. To kick off the project, the Starbucks Foundation donated the first $5 million. It’s easy to help—just donate online or at your local Starbucks. Donors who give over $5 can get a red, white and blue “indivisible” bracelet. All proceeds go into the network in order to finance community businesses that create and sustain jobs in underserved areas across the country.

Let us know you gave $5! Email us at

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Morris Museum of Art

Mary Whyte, Trap, Crabber, Pinpoint, Georgia, 2008. Private collector. Image courtesy of the artist.

Working South PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES BY M ARY WHYTE Exhibition opening 12.2.2011 • 6:00 p.m.

1 Tenth St. I Augusta, GA 30901 I 706-724-7501 I

The Morris Museum is FREE every Sunday! Image: Philip Juras, Swamp Forest on Stagger Mud Lake, Ocala National Forest, Florida, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.   december

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No Joke

treat yourself this season with My heart almost stops. Really. A prior marriage and divorce had left me bruised and disappointed. I rarely felt beautiful—but I see something in Jim’s eyes. This is magic. I don’t know what to say. His words dance around my brain. “Sometimes you just look so beautiful.” But spells, alas, are easily broken. He pauses only a moment before saying, “And then again, other times…” End of magic moment. Curtain comes down on that picture. I must say, however, that to Jim’s credit, once he realized that I was hurt, that I felt like the butt of a joke just when I was most vulnerable, he fell all over himself apologizing. It was just that he couldn’t resist a punch line waiting to happen. That’s his credo. I learned to be prepared. Lest I seem to be painting a sad picture, I must say that Jim’s ability to laugh at a wide range of foibles, pretensions, and fantasies, including his and mine, has taught me to take myself much more lightly. This, in turn, has made my life easier, better, and a whole lot more fun. So he’s not romantic. So what? I know Jim’s sense of humor and his style so well that these days I can anticipate the one-liners before he speaks. I know his repertoire of jokes and often begin rolling my eyes before he opens his mouth, sensing, as I do, what’s coming. He is quick with unexpected quips or puns, too, but even with his “new material” I can guess the tenor of the remark brewing. As he has aged, he has also learned that there are times for silence, but I have been amused on several occasions knowing that he’s holding his tongue while someone pontificates and imagining—almost like thought transference—the quip he longs to make. I guess I’ve internalized his sense of humor. Our daughters share my skill at reading their father, and sometimes we’ll all groan before he even starts a familiar story. He accepts our teasing with his typical good humor. And so, for better or for worse, Jim’s predictability is woven into the fabric of our family life and the tolerance and affection we have for each other. There is, after all, comfort, not to mention entertainment value, in this predictability. And he can, of course, predict our reactions, too. But there was once a Christmas no one could have predicted. It is a memory that still possesses a glow—a kind of halo—around it when I think of it, although it occurred many years ago now. Amidst the chaos of the opening of stockings, the crumpled wrapping paper everywhere, and the music of my mother’s old Harry Simeone Chorale record playing in the background (as it still does every Christmas, never without a groan from Jim), my very predictable husband took my hand and led me to a wrapping paper-free spot on the carpet and asked me to sit down. What on earth was this about? He sat opposite me and took both my hands in his, and looked deep into my eyes. Shades of that moment 20 years earlier! I knew I was about to become the butt of a joke and steeled myself. I wasn’t going to get suckered in this time; no one can say I don’t learn from the past. And then Jim began to recite. “Come live with me, and be my love, / And we will all the pleasures prove / That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, / Woods, or steepy mountain yields…” This wasn’t happening. Jim doesn’t memorize poetry—okay, maybe a limerick or two. Poetry is my thing. “And we will sit upon the rocks, / Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks, / By shallow rivers to whose fall / Melodious birds sing madrigals…” He continued. Time held still—I swear. The dog and cats quit rustling through the gift wrap. The girls were motionless. At least, I think those things happened, or maybe I was just suspended in my own personal snow globe, a magic place. And there, in that magic place, Jim recited to me all of “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” His hands trembled—or was it my hands that trembled? His eyes never left mine. He left me breathless, and the children witnessed yet another miracle: their mother, speechless. There was no punch line. A Christmas surprise? Oh, yes. The best gift ever? Indeed. Romantic? Oh, my, yes. Does it balance out all the jokes at my expense? Hmm. I might have to get back to you on that one. But it did remind me that the possibility of surprise always exists. You can’t prepare for it. You don’t know when it’s coming. You can only be grateful. Delighted. Surprised! Susi Gregg Fowler lives and writes in Juneau, Alaska. Her work has appeared in newsmagazines, literary journals, and anthologies, including The Christian Science Monitor, The Binnacle, Windfall, Tidal Echoes, Underwired, and The Centrifugal Eye. She is also an award-winning children’s book author. Contact her at

20% Off BoTox

This holiday season treat yourself or a loved one to the gift of beauty. Back by popular demand, Augusta Internal Medicine is offering 20% off BoTox procedures! We provide the latest innovations in skin rejuvenation, as well as non-invasive cosmetic procedures that are both safe and effective. Every treatment is specifically tailored for the needs of each individual. Our goal is to enhance, refine and bring back the natural and beautiful appearance of the skin in an environment of safety and expertise! Call us today to book your appointment before the holiday rush. Gift certificates are also available.

Michelle Parker, MD, RD 7 0 6 .7 3 6 .2 2 7 3 Member of Trinity Hospital of Augusta Medical Staff

 8SJHIUTCPSP 3PBE 4VJUF  4VNNFSWJMMF #MEH "VHVTUB ("  t Offer good through 12-31-11 Trinity Hospital of Augusta is directly or indirectly owned by a partnership that proudly includes physician owners, including certain members of the hospital’s medical staff.   december

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Ladies Shoes & Handbags Bernardo • Lodis • Tory Burch • Sesto Meucci • Franchi • Anyi Lu • Cynthia Vincent • Cristal • Paul Green • Happy Holidays • Sondra Roberts • daniblack • Whiting & Davis • M. Clifford • Plinio Visona • Eric Javits • A. Marinelli • Tano • j.j. winters • Moyna • Foley & Corinna • Badgley Mischka • Merry Christmas • eyebobs • SR Squared • Sam Edelman • Inge Cristopher • Stuart Weitzman • Andre Assous • Via Spiga • KORS Michael Kors • Franco Sarto • Sofft • Jack Rogers • Elaine Turner • Thierry Rabotin • Happy Hanukkah • Van Eli • Joan & David • Diane Von Furstenburg • Attilio Guisti Leombruni • UGG • Kate Spade • Tusk • Seasons Greetings • Zina Eva • Frye • Pelle Moda • Hobo • Geox • Cole Haan • SR Squared • French Sole • Vince Camuto • Dolce Vita • 7 For All Mankind • Andre Assous • Arche • Hunter • Cordani • Delman • Geox • Latico • Lorren Bell • Louenhide • Mark & James • Frye • Minnetonka • Moyne • La Canadienne • Happy New Year • Rebecca Minkoff • Sacha London • Sofft • Jack Rogers • Elaine Turner • Davis • M. Clifford • Lodis Mon. - Fri. 10 am - 6 pm • Sat. 10 am - 4 pm • Surrey Center • 487 Highland Ave. • Augusta, GA • 706.504.3532

Reserve your space! January/February is our DOUBLE issue Space deadline – December 8th   december

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Your place for Holiday Gifts!

Augusta's Priority Dealer

Give the he gift she’ll really lov love! Choose from Designer Fabrics, Exclusive Furniture & Accessories

Exclusive dealer of Highland House Furniture

320 Baston Road Augusta, GA 30907 | 706.868.5757

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A Wonderland of gifts and ++sparkle++ & shine Gift Registry

Mallard Feather inspired sterling silver money clip, baby cup, and spoon from Grainger McCoy

Pickard • Skyros Designs • Julia Knight • Le Cadeaux • Calaisio • Spode Woodland • Match Pewter • Michael Aram • Spode • Simon Pearce

141 Laurens Street, SW | Aiken, SC


“Augusta's Original Silver Shop” “Begin a beautiful tradition at Holiday time” 371 Highland Avenue Surrey Center – Lower level Augusta, Ga. 30909 706-736-2004 GENEROUS GIFTING FROM FRIVOLOUS TO REFINED   december

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W W W. B A R B A R A S U E B R O D I E . C O M


Happy Holly-day Ornaments! 345 HAYNE AVE. SW AIKEN, SC | 803.644.0990 MON-FRI 11-5 , SAT 11-3

Sterling Silver Monteith Bowl, Elkington & Co. London 1898


409 Hayne Avenue (at Pendleton) • Aiken, SC

We want to wish everyone A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE! Book your appointments online

706.922.HAIR (4247) 1202 Town Park Lane | Suite 103 Evans, GA 30809

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“Store Closing Sale” beginning December 5th. All fixtures and furniture included in sale.

contemporary jewelry southern art and jumble of artful gifts

803.649.9663 9663

137 laurens street sw • downtown aiken monday-friday 10-5:30 saturday 10-5 • closed sunday   december

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Dr. Ron Eaker of Women’s Health of Augusta What can you do to promote a healthy pregnancy? Here are some suggestions from the American College of Obstetricians:

• Have a preconception checkup with a health care provider. • Get early and regular prenatal care. • Take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before pregnancy and in early pregnancy, to help prevent neural tube defects. • Begin pregnancy at a healthy weight (not too heavy or too thin). • Don’t drink alcohol. • Don’t smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke. • Don’t use any drug, even over-the-counter medications or herbs, unless recommended by a health care provider who knows you are pregnant.

• Eat healthy foods, including foods containing folic acid and folate (the form of folic acid that occurs naturally in foods). Good sources of folate are fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products, beans, leafy green vegetables and orange juice. • Don’t eat undercooked meat or change a cat’s litter box. Both are possible sources of toxoplasmosis, an infection that can cause birth defects. • Get tested for immunity to rubella (German measles) and chickenpox before becoming pregnant and consider being vaccinated if not immune. After being vaccinated, a woman should wait 1 month before getting pregnant.

Remember, pregnancy is a normal, natural state and not a disease. Use some common sense and prepare yourself as best you can. For complete pregnancy care for both low risk and high risk pregnancies call Dr.Eaker at Women’s Health of Augusta today. Dr. Eaker delivers at both Trinity Hospital of Augusta and University Hospital For more information about prenatal care call

Dr. Eaker at 706-733-4427. 706-733-442 27.

Women’s Health O F AU G U S TA

2258 Wrightsboro Rd. Suite 400 (next to Trinity Hospital)

New patients mention this ad and get a free copy of Dr.Eaker’s new book “Healthy Habits for a Fit Family” and www.womenshealthof

F u r n i t u re Consignment

Now accepting new consignments! 139-D Davis Rd, Martinez Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm Holiday Hours open to 6:00 on Tuesday and Thursday 706.922.5106 24  december


Like us on facebook to see our new arrivals   december

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Back in 1999 we started roasting coffee the old school way. No digital thermal devices and no fancy automated machines. We know that coffee roasting is an artisan craft, not an automated science. MoonBeans coffee is a labor of love, and we’re more than a little obsessive about it. We roast to order and ship anywhere. Locally roasted coffee makes a great gift! MoonBeans is a small shop dedicated to the art of coffee. It’s a well-kept secret among the area’s coffee snobs. For over a decade we have been craft-roasting specialty coffee from around the world in small batches for some of the area’s best restaurants, specialty grocers, caterers, and discerning coffee enthusiasts. MoonBeans is located next door to our sister businesss -

Join our coffee club! Buy 9th & the 10th is free! Historic Downtown Aiken 118 1/2 Laurens St NW | 803.644.0637

shop MoonBeans online via New Moon’s website

This year put YOURSELF on your gift list Nutrition Therapy for Women

You can find us on Baston Road across from Augusta Christian School. Drop by for a visit or call us at 706.945.0176 Fan us on facebook to view our new arrivals

• • • • •

menopause issues blood sugar management cholesterol lowering weight reduction IBS 5160 Woodside Executive Ct. • Aiken, SC 803-642-9360 •   december

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Just in Time for the Holidays

Kick off your Holidays Bring the family and pick out your perfect tree • Frazier fir trees, garland and wreaths • • Flocked trees • Tree stands • • Free cutting and netting •

NEW! Vera Bradley Rolling Luggage 150 Davis Road (Look for the green and white tent!) Augusta, GA 30907 • 706-550-0227 Mon-Sat 8 to 8 • Sun 10 to 8 • Downtown Aiken

131 Laurens Street SW • 803.648.6124 Monday - Friday 9:30-5:30 • Saturday 9:30-5

Help us make a Child’s Christmas Brighter Cut A Thon

to benefit MCG Childrens Medical Center

Toys for Tots

Sunday, December 11 11am - 5pm

Birng in a new unwrapped toy for

$5.00 off any service

Haircuts for donations Food, Raffles & Fun for the kids

Now-December 17th

Come see Santa!

Fringe Hair Salon

101 Maple Drive (Next to Firehouse Subs on Columbia Rd.) 706-364-3722 • Find us on Facebook

Luxury for Any Decor...

2021 Walton Way Augusta, GA 706.736.6400 Monday - Friday, 9-5 We Offer Full Interior Design Service

Get ready for the Holidays.

30% off

storewide thru December 31, 2011

803.649.4565 405 Hayne Street, SW, Aiken, SC   december

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From our office to you...

We wish you all a blessed holiday season! DR. JUDSON S. HICKEY PERIODONTIST

❄❆ ❆ ❆ ❆

Comprehensive gum disease treatments Surgical placement of implants

Kick back and ring in the New Year at the Hickory Knob Resort. Usher in 2012 while dining and dancing the night away. Enjoy a champagne toast at midnight, a breakfast buffet the next day and much more. Packages start at per couple. McCormick, SC For information and reservations visit or call 800.491.1764.

Extractions (including wisdom teeth) Regular checkups, x-rays and cleanings

Bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, and deep cleanings


2315-B Central Avenue Augusta, GA Mon-Thur 9AM-5PM 706-739-0071

Happy Holidays from our family to yours

• Trained staff providing care 24 hours a day • Specialized memory care program • Restaurant-style dining • Social and recreational activities

Experience the Elmcroft Difference in Assisted Living and Memory Care! ELMCROFT OF MARTINEZ Assisted Living & Memory Care 515 The Pass, Martinez, GA 30907 706-855-6565

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“Do I have things I want to tell you!”


Amy Vansant

look at the woman sitting in my aisle of the plane. She is young. She is familiar. My god, she’s ravishing. “Wait, are you...? She nods. “Yep. I’m you, 20 years younger. Surprise!” I gasp and flop down in the seat beside her. Okay, maybe she isn’t ravishing, but she’s 20 years younger than me, and that is about as ravishing as I ever was. This is it. This is the moment when I tell Young Me all the things I wish I knew then. Either that, or I’m in a Lincoln Financial commercial and I’m supposed to tell Young Me how proud I am she’s saving money by flying in coach. Like she had a choice. No, that’s not it. My idea of saving money is not feeding a parking meter and gambling the ticket lady won’t stroll by. I clap my hands together, giddy with excitement. “Do I have things I want to tell you!” Young Me seems happy to see me, but she has dark circles beneath her eyes, marring otherwise tight, fresh skin. How did I not appreciate that skin? I make a mental note to tell her to wear sunscreen. “Can I guess why you look so tired?” I ask. “Were you up all night talking your overly dramatic boyfriend out of throwing himself off the porch?” She nods. “Our first-floor porch, five feet from the grass.” “Riiight... you have four more years of that to look forward to.” Young Me is alarmed. “Four? But we’re soulmates! What happens in four years?” “In four years you spend all the money you have buying him a ticket to grad school in Hawaii.” “I do? By himself? Why?” “Distance makes it a lot easier to break up with him. After missing your chance to do a semester abroad and all sorts of other fun college things, you realize that taking care of him is making you lose yourself. This epiphany arrives right after you catch your “soulmate” flirting with another girl on the phone. I wish I knew who she was so I could send her a thank you card now...” “Seriously?” “Yep. It’s the breaking point. When the opportunity arises, you pay for his ticket, buy him a laptop and send him on his way. When he calls to ask for more money a couple of weeks later, you end it.” Young Me’s jaw falls. “I buy him a laptop, too? I’m an idiot!” I nod. “I know. That doesn’t really change.” She spots my wedding ring. “So who do I marry?” she asks, motioning towards it. I look at the ring and smile. “First or second time?” “What?!” Young Me is getting agitated. I would buy her a drink, but I know she only likes sticky sweet margaritas and thanks to her passion for them, I can’t bear the smell of them.

“Well, you’re so traumatized by the first guy, you end up marrying the exact opposite person. He dotes on you.” “Dotes? Then why do we get divorced?” “One night, after you have a minor knee operation and are recuperating, this boy scout of a husband doesn’t show up for dinner. He doesn’t show up to dinner with your parents after you had an operation. When he finally does come home, he explains he lost track of time showing a young, male tennis partner around downtown.” Young Me scowls. “Okay, weird... but hardly a reason to leave him.” “It seems less weird after he gets more distant and mean and you look through his computer and find photos and... Well, let’s just say it seems less weird later.” Young Me falls silent. “You get the house,” I say, trying to cheer her up. “So who’s this guy?” she asks, pointing at my ring. “Oh, he’s great! Third time’s the charm. You meet him at a bar about a year after your divorce.” Young Me perks up. “Whew! I was really starting to worry!” I smile. “You don’t do everything wrong,” I say, my eyes drifting to her frizzy hair. “For instance, I think you’re only a year away from losing that perm.Yikes.” She touches her head self-consciously. “Okay, well... good! This is amazing finding out what I do wrong!” “I have so many things I want to tell you!” I say, mentally listing examples of zigs where I should have zagged. “So many things to avoid, so many...” My eyes fall on my wedding ring. I stop in mid-sentence. Young Me is alert and ready to hear the secrets of her future life revealed, but I’ve stopped thinking about all my wrong turns. I’m thinking about how happy I am now. If I tell her what to avoid, even the smallest thing, it will change my path forever and everything will be different. If I tell her the things she should have done differently in her career, her love life, with family, with friends; where will I be now? If she breaks up with the boyfriend she has at 20 too soon, she’ll change my path and I’ll probably never meet husband two, whom I love very much. I release a deep sigh. “I can’t tell you anything,” I say. “And I need you to forget everything I told you so far.” Young Me starts to fade. Soon, she’ll be gone, destined to make all the mistakes I made and me powerless to stop her. “WAIT!” I scream, trying to grasp her now transparent arm. I am about to lose a once in a lifetime opportunity. A million facts are clamoring to be revealed: the rise of the Internet, what stocks to buy, the real estate bubble; how can I help her without disturbing my timeline? There must be some way… “One night you’ll eat Mexican food with Husband Two and his mother!” I yelp. Young Me nods, lingering long enough for me to share my final words. “Don’t eat the guacamole!”

Amy Vansant is a freelance writer and blogger at, and just release her latest book: Kid-Free Living: Humor Essays and Fiction, available in paperback and Kindle format at   december

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f-word [ Feminism Free-For-All ]

Rape Firstborn Kudos to Prime Minister David Cameron for championing the right of a firstborn royal daughter to assume the British throne rather than any sons born after her. “We espouse gender equality in all other aspects of life, and it is an anomaly that in the rules relating to






The Girl Scouts are updating some of their badges. New badges include Computer Expert, Website Designer, Financial Literacy and The Science of Happiness. Some old badges are also getting a makeover. For instance, what used to be a Fashion, Fitness and Makeup badge has morphed into The Science of Style. Go Girl Scouts!

the highest public office we continue to enshrine male superiority,” wrote



Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in an effort to get more women involved in the issues they care about. Gillibrand knows that women must get off the sidelines if they’re to make a difference in their community.


High school can be cool. reports that Patrick



School in San Diego crowned lesbian student Rebeca Arellano as its first homecoming king during the school pep rally, and days later, Rebeca’s girlfriend of two years, Haileigh Adams, was


coming queen. 34  december



Facebook Depression Social media guidelines released by the Academy of Pediatrics warn that there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a potential minefield to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem. Public friend tallies, status updates and photos of happy party people might make some kids feel worse if they feel they’re losing the online popularity contest.

Thermal Tote Hickory Knob 800.491.1764

Italian Calligraphy Sets by Bortoletti The Columbia Museum of Art Shop 803.343.2159

Quoizel Chandelier Hardwood Floors & More 706.868.7030 803.642.3232 Augusta, GA Aiken, SC

Pecan Sampler Pecans Unlimited 706.736.1800

Pandora Windsor Fine Jewelers 706.738.7777

Melissa & Doug “Mine to Love” Annie Drink & Wet Doll Kid to Kid of Evans 706.364.6408

Melissa & Doug “See & Spell” Classic Toy Kid to Kid of Evans 706.364.6408

Scarf Charm Mainstream Boutique 706.860.5200

HO L IDAY 2011   december

2011  35

Men’s Grooming Collection by Molton Brown POUT! 803.254.5051

Rolex Windsor Fine Jewelers 706.738.7777

Chandler 4 Corners Pillows 3 Monkey’s 803.648.7592

Consuela Grande Tote La Dee Da 803.426.1655 La-Dee-Da-Home

Gift Subscriptions Augusta Magazine 706.823.3722

HO L IDAY 2011

36  december


Studio of R. Wood Handcrafted Pottery Morris Museum Gift Shop 706.724.7501

Santa Joes’s & Plantation Christmas Blend Moonbeans/ New Moon Café 803.644.0637

Towle sterling silver Old Master Snowflake 2011 Christmas ornament. Angevine’s Fine Silver 706.736.2004

Tory Burch patent Robinson small cosmetic cases Van Jean 803.252.4339

KĂŠrastase Hair Products Tangles Hair Salon 706.922.4247

Uggs Classic Tall Round Robin 803.771.7610

Tartan Wool Throw The Curiousity Shop 803.644.0004

Tacori 18K925 Windsor Fine Jewelers 706.738.7777

NIA24 Niacin Powered Skin Therapy Augusta Plastic Surgery 706.724.5611

HO L IDAY 2011

Antique French Porcelain Vase Design for Change 706.922.5106 Designed-for-Change Designed-forChange

Designer Christmas Ornaments refresh 803.643.9663 Aiken, SC

Buddha Bowl, Belly Plate, and Noodle by Flavor Design The Columbia Museum of Art Shop 803.343.2159

Corral Handcrafted Western Boots Shoes at Surrey 706.504.3532

A Woman’s Guide to Hormone Health J. Ron Eaker, MD 706.733.4427

Mud Pie Picture Frame Tea Garden Gifts 803.648.6124 Aiken, SC

Color Science Starter Kit Dr. Kate Barrett Mayes 803.641.1270

HO L IDAY 2011

38  december


Holiday Topiary Pillow Curtain Call 706.868.5757

David Yurman Windsor Fine Jewelers 706.738.7777

Johnny Was Scarf Vinya’s Aiken, SC 803.642.9684

Traci Daberko is an illustrator and graphic designer in Seattle, WA. See her work at

threads 108 Laurens Street SW Aiken 803.335.1452

What could be better than a great coffee and a good book? When that coffee and book helps someone in your community. Shopping at GoodBooks Café supports Goodwill’s job training and placement services across the CSRA. Specializing in gourmet coffees, smoothies, paninis, salads, and VeryVera desserts Open Mon-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun Noon-5pm 3179 Washington Road (Corner of Fury’s Ferry Road)

Donate your gently used books today and help someone start a new chapter in their life!

2011 CROP PECANS Custom Gift Tins • Gourmet Foods • Unique Gifts

HARDWOOD FLOORS & MORE Your place for Wallpaper, Windows, Fabrics, New Speciality Tiles & Visual Comfort Lighting!

We Ship Anywhere

Now featuring ng Hunter Douglas Window Blinds

2 Locations:

706-736-1800 • 877-732-2671 • Fax: 706-364-6888 1704 Central Ave. • Augusta • Mon.-Sat. 9-6

(706) 868-7030 4696 Washington Road • Evans (803) 642-3232 550 Silver Bluff Road • Aiken

Winter Wonderland with the Mad Hatter

Ladies Apparel Located in Historic Summerville 1502 Monte Sano Ave. Augusta, GA 706.738.4888 Mon–Fri 10–5:30 Sat 11–4

December 17, 2011

Characters, crafts, favors & food! Reservation deadline is December 9th.

Space is LIMITED!

(Only Tea Room in Augusta, GA)

1403 Monte Sano Ave. 706.733-4230 Follow us on Facebook (Lunch) T-F 11:30 – 3:30 • Saturday 11-2:30 (Walk-ins welcome)

planetnikki [ a visual journal ]

I grew up wanting to be a rebel, someone who forged a path rather than followed a well-worn highway. I’ve veered wildly between the twin poles of



my please-like-me Nikki versus the-hell-with-it Nikki. Housewife and hippie, flouting rules and fearful of breaking them, middle-of-the-road and off the charts.

Is everyone such a smorgasbord of selves?

On constant replay: I can’t listen to Patti Smith (my favorite rebel), Bono and Bruce Springsteen belt out “Because the Night” on my way to work and be in a bad mood.

I’m not a breakfast person, but I’m addicted to starting most every day with plain Greek-style yogurt.

I finally watched James Dean: Forever Young, the documentary that I’ve had out from Netflix forever, and was mesmerized all over again by his achingly beautiful talent. Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant—all in my top 100 movies of all time.

Can't wait to try AtlantaFresh, handmade in the southeast.

Add some sacred pomengranate seeds, which represent life and regeneration, when in season.

Someone recommended The Art of Living by Epictetus (interpreted by Sharon Lebell) to me during lunch recently and said he reads a snippet from it every morning. I love the idea of being inspired by an ancient Greek instead of Gawker.

Let us know what inspires you every morning Email us at

Nikki Hardin is the founder and publisher of skirt! magazine. She blogs at 42  december


skirt! Magazine Decembmer 2011  

skirt! Magazine | December 2001 Issue for Columbia, Augusta, Aiken

skirt! Magazine Decembmer 2011  

skirt! Magazine | December 2001 Issue for Columbia, Augusta, Aiken