"Your attitude determines your altitude." That was the message television personality Melody Rogers had for the 450 women who attended the "Celebrating Women Today" seminar Tuesday at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Rogers, whose show "2 on the Town" was canceled last fall after an 8-year run, told the decked-out crowd she had learned that her "thinking attitudes had always directly corresponded to what was happening in my life."
And, looking snappy and happy in ruby red, she told the tale of her journey from the "frustrated chorus girl" years to becoming a bright-eyed, tousle-haired TV celebrity. "But we were replaced by the 'Gong Show,' " she wailed before joining guests at the benefit for the Orange County Philharmonic Society staged by its Spyglass Hill Committee.
Her attitude now? "Oh, I've been working in my garden a lot lately," she said with a huge smile. "And I got married. I needed time, after all. Time for me. Time to see what's next." (What's next for Rogers, she said, is the TV show she is currently producing with her husband, Patrick Kelley. "It's called 'American Tales,' " she said. "We're going to travel around the country in a motor home with our dogs and interview the backbone of America.")
Her advice for women having trouble celebrating life? "Go out into the garden. Plant seeds. Watch them grow. The laws of nature remind us to trust. Look at a deciduous tree. Its leaves fall, but they always come back."
Also on the seminar agenda was Beverly Hills psychologist Leonore Hausner, Ph.D. "I'm here to teach women about more effective ways to communicate," she said, moments before she went on stage with a peppy dialogue that got her audience howling.
Talking about lack of communication causing divorce, she cited the woman who went to an attorney who asked her if she had "grounds." "Grounds? We've got 3 acres!" the woman answered.
Then Hausner, who also wore red, got serious and said that poor listening was the chief reason for poor communication.
"You need to be a reflective listener," she told the crowd. "When somebody talks to you, listen to the feelings ."
Don't try to be a know-it-all, she said, and tell them you know the answer to their problems. And don't be a soother and tell them to just sleep on it and everything will be all right. "And don't be a worry wart!" she said, and say things that will scare them to death. Just say something like: "That must have been so embarrassing for you."
"When your friend talks to you of a humiliating experience," she said, "listen to the feeling."
After the talks, Joyce Reaume, event chairwoman, introduced Susan Taylor Rothenberg, new owner of Charles Jourdan boutiques in Costa Mesa and Beverly Hills.
"I'm am also here to celebrate," said Rothenberg, stunning in a mustard-colored leather suit and a diamond the size of a Jacuzzi. "This is my first California fashion show!"
With that, models sporting avant-garde looks by Charles Jourdan of Paris took the runway. On view: crayon-colored leather suits, some draped with bold scarfs; skinny bathing suits topped with huge hats; and romantic evening gowns, one fringed at every turn with flowing ostrich feathers.
Cocktails and a fillet of beef luncheon followed. Proceeds were estimated at $15,000. Also among those on the seminar committee: Barbara Sanderson, president of the Spyglass committee; Judy Rose, Christel Schar (who asked Rogers to appear); Phyllis Meyer; Milli Wieseneck; Terri Newman, and Mary Sabatasso.