It's official. The dressing room mirrors at Target have confirmed that I am not as skinny as I thought in my mind. And it's very depressing.
I just wanted a new swimsuit and a cute summer dress. Apparently, I am not built to wear either, ever again. This makes me mad.
Tonight I took the four kids to Target to get the boys swimsuits. Lyndsay, of course, makes an immediate left-hand turn and heads for the Juniors department. I take the baby in the shopping cart and we go directly to the Boys department to accomplish the task. It takes two seconds. The boys then want to go to the toys, so I head back to Juniors, looking for Lyndsay. On my way I find two darling dresses, size 2 (may I gag?), on Clearance even, that I think would be perfect on Lyns. But I can't find her. Not near the purses. Not near the jewelry. Not with the shoes. Conor won't stop fussing to get out of the cart, as it's dangerously close to his bedtime, and I feel like stopping right where I am and yelling out, "LYNDSAY!" so I can stop the "Where's Waldo?" charade. I finally find her with her arms full of clothes to try on. I add the two dresses to her pile and we head to the dressing rooms, Conor growing more impatient by the second. Well, the size 2's are too big. Which makes me want to shout at her and cry for myself all at the same time, but I hold back both as I'm trying to raise a daughter with a healthy body image. But all the same, I do not feel sorry for her.
I see so many cute clothes! I just want one cute thing to wear. I'm meeting a blog friend in person for the first time next week, and seeing all of my family too, and I feel old and chubby and frumpy. I push Conor around through the racks, trying to be entertaining enough to keep him quiet, while pulling a few things off to try on. The boys show back up from their expedition at Toys. I beg them to take Conor so I can try some things on and tell them I'll meet them back at Toys as soon as I'm done. They happily oblige and I hesitantly approach the dressing rooms.
I hate this part. Hate it! This is why I'm very happy to order clothing from a catalog and just live with it. I have never in my life tried something on and been thrilled. Resigned, yes. Desperate, yes. Ready to be done shopping, yes. But thrilled? Not yet.
I close the door and undress. I stand there looking in those stupid trick mirrors at my body and want to cry. When did this happen? When did there become so much of me? Why is nothing flat, except the two things that aren't supposed to be? I tried on everything and just got more and more depressed. Nothing looked good. Nothing was flattering. I just looked ridiculous. I felt fat in everything. I didn't know I was so un-skinny! Here I was floating through life feeling decent about my body image, and it all went to hell in a matter of seconds in the Target dressing room.
How come everybody else looks cute in a summer dress? How come even really chubby people look cute in a summer dress, even slimmer, and I look bigger than life and like I'm wearing a tent? Why is that? That's not fair! How come very overweight people still look great in cute clothes and I look ridiculous? I put everything back and I walked over to the Toy department to find the boys. No where to be found. Waited. And waited. And waited. Getting more frustrated. I had that overwhelming urge again to just yell at the top of my lungs, "DYLAN! AIDEN!!" But I resisted again. (am I the only one that ever has that urge?) Finally I head back to the Women's department and there they all are, waiting for me. Dylan stopped listening to my directions at "try a few things on" and so never heard the "meet you at the Toys" part. We made a bee-line for the checkout. Let's just get the heck out of here.
I'm trying not to cry the entire drive home. All the kids feel badly that I didn't get anything for myself, but I make some phony promise about going back later by myself when I can spend more time looking without the baby.
I go up to my bedroom and take off my clothes again and put on pajamas. Ah, elastic. I walk into the bathroom and turn around in front of the mirror, looking closely. Doesn't look that bad. Why? Is it me? Is it the mirror? Is it the pajamas? They're not especially slimming pajamas, although the V-neck is flattering, but PUH-LEASE! I can't wear pajamas all the time, although that would be a perfect world. What can I wear? I need someone to help me! One of my style-conscious sisters to tell me what to do! My daughter to write in to TLC's What Not to Wear. At some point in my life I would like to conquer this issue. I have never felt confident about fashion. I've always been winging it and hoping nobody notices. I just don't have the knack. And part of the problem, I'm sure, is that I never have the money to spend on myself.
I suppose, first, I should take the money I didn't spend on the swimsuit and summer dress and go buy some vegetables and fruits. Go for a walk to burn off some of this negative energy. But can't I feel sexy and confident at 35, even while I'm waiting for my great bod to show back up? Wouldn't great clothes help? Tonight is depressing. Thank goodness I don't feel fat in pajamas.