- I have never actually ‘dieted’.
- I don’t own scales. I figure if my clothes fit, I’m good to go.
- I don’t participate in exercise I don’t actually enjoy.
- I LOVE good food.
- I believe that a functioning body is a miracle of mammoth proportions (just thinking of the number of perfect cell divisions that take place daily is mind blowing).
So there I was, looking for a ‘take me seriously’ dress. Who knew they were so hard to find? One shop after another, I went in and out of change rooms.
I know that the mirrors in change rooms are too close for anybody’s comfort. I know change rooms are badly lit. I know they shouldn’t affect a person’s self-image. Knowing all this, I make sure I always look at myself in the mirror in the change room across from my own (that’s a nice safe distance). I make sure I use the right ‘self-talk’. I say, “this doesn’t fit me”, rather than, “I’m too big for this”. So I was well armed for my dress-seeking mission.
Then I went into Portmans. I have always relied upon Portmans for ‘take me seriously’ dresses, so I thought I’d be all set. Portmans is also the place I remember shopping when I first started work, because it was the only place I could find clothes that fit.
Standing in front of a (very small) rack of serious dresses, I picked out a tiny piece of material. Size 6. Who, I wondered, looking at the tiny swatch of fabric, would ever fit into such a miniscule garment. Then I pulled up short mid-thought. Moment. Me. Back when I shopped here all the time, I fit this specific size. In fact, this size was the reason I shopped here.
I put the dress back and left the store a little despondent. To be fair (to myself and every other grown up female on planet Earth), I wore those tiny dresses twelve or thirteen years ago. Not only has gravity had more than a decade to work on me, I’ve also had an extra child. I deserve an extra dress size.
Still, indestructible as my self-image would seem, I found myself confronting my husband during dinner. “I do alright…looks-wise…don’t I?”
Instead of the usual male fear this kind of question generally invokes, my lovely man asked. “Why? What have you been doing that would make you ask a question like that?”
I twisted my napkin and picked at my food. “Staring at myself.”
“Stop it,” he replied. “It’s rude to stare.”
I have, because he’s right. Staring is rude.