Thursday, April 5, 2012
Big girl panties
I am not a small person. Not no how, not no way. I am 5'10" tall, first off. I do have memories of going to Sears as a young girl and heading straight for the big overhead sign that read "Size 6x". We did that for a long time, my mom and I. Then I kind of remember wearing a size 9 in Juniors for a while. Then it's a blur of Misses sizes - from 12 to 18 mostly, with a few glimpses into 10 and all the way up to 22 for a short time that I consider dark and depressing.
I periodically make peace with my fluctuating weight. I mean most people fluctuate in their weight, right? I just happen to fluctuate a good 50 to 75 pounds instead of a mere 10. A few years ago I thought I had accepted this. It helps to have a husband who tells me I'm beautiful, that he relishes my curves, and not only doesn't mind my big ol' booty but kinda likes it. But sometimes I don't believe it.
Like this week when I finally broke down and realized that almost all of my underwear were frayed and worn and really looked like something I'd be embarrassed about if I was in the ever possible car accident that requires the cutting off of my clothes and the reveal of scraggly-ass undies. So I went to Lane Bryant, where all big girls shop, to get me some big girl panties.
I did this after sucking down the rest of a pint of ice cream that Husband had brought home from the store. He said it didn't taste quite right. It tasted fine to me. However, I don't think it was too smart for my self-esteem to eat ice cream before going underwear shopping.
But there I was, sifting through the "5 for $30" tables of panties. I was mesmerized by the bright spring colors and patterns. I picked out six. Well, that wouldn't do. I upped it to ten. They looked big to me, these panties. But I was buying my pants size. Seemed reasonable. I wasn't going to try them on. I've been buying my underwear at Lane Bryant for years. Surely I could do this without trying them on.
So I spent $60.00 on underwear and went home to the disaster that is fixing dinner and homework and dog getting fed and I mentioned to Husband, "So. . .you wanna see my new panties?"
He seemed less than enthusiastic in his response, but dutifully looked at each pair and only said, "You really needed ten pairs?"
I was a little hurt. I kept fixing dinner with chaos going on around me. I decided I had gone overboard and would return five of the pairs - making Husband pick out the keepers. I pulled out my bin where I keep all my underwear to see just how many pairs I had that were still wearable and that's when I saw the tag on my old underwear.
They were a size smaller. I bought panties that were too big. Or that I hoped were too big. I reported this to Husband and do you know what he replied? "I thought they looked big."
"I knew you were too quiet! Why didn't you say something?" I squeaked.
"Because sometimes that gets me into trouble." True enough.
"Maybe you should try them on before you return them," he suggested. I did, over my old ones. "They look like they fit," he said. And they did. But I knew the smaller ones would fit just as well because that was the size I'd been wearing, comfortably enough. And it was the principle of the thing.
I followed through on making him pick out the keepers, although I returned them all and exchanged the top picks for the smaller size. I did it immediately. That night after dinner. I wanted those big underwear out of my life. It signaled something I didn't want to accept. I was NOT going up in underwear size. I REFUSE.
So maybe I haven't made peace with my Rubenesque body because this is what happens periodically: I feel self-conscious and dissatisfied with the weight that I am. I get a look at myself in one too many pictures where I see a double chin or sausage arms and I get pissed. Sometimes I join Weight Watchers. Sometimes I try Atkins or the Dukan Diet or South Beach. I went vegetarian for three years. But you know what? I'm really good at maintaining my weight at just about the same spot in between these dieting fits. It's just about 50 pounds heavier than what I'd like it to be so that I could wear cute little dresses and tuck in my pants and not be too horrified to wear a sleeveless top or shorts. How vain am I? But clearly I need to make peace with the fact that I'm not a skinny strap and Daisy Dukes girl. And I need to be okay with that.
Why am I not okay with that?