Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Don't Feel Fat in Pajamas

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.


Anonymous said...

awh jenna


you're awesome.

and totally cool that you get to meet one of your bloggy buddies in person. have a blast, kathleen

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Sorry you had such a lousy shopping trip. I have in that same dressing room situation too many times to count. The worst thing is when I come home almost in tears and my husband wants to know why I didn't get myself anything.

My daughter is also a size 0 and complained today about how nothing fit. Yep, I just had to bite my tongue.

So I keep wearing the pedometer and trying to change it. I guess more vegetables would be in order and I probably won't be going anywhere near a swim suit this summer...

Abby said...

Jenna dear...fat is not a word I would *ever* use to describe you..not now..not even while you're PREGNANT! I hate you for that. While some of us blew up in just the belly area..and are still blown up in that've had (count them) 4 beautiful babies and you still look AMAZING. Stop giving yourself such a hard time!

It's hard (and frustrating!) to find summer dresses that look rad on your petite frame. You are shopping in petites, yes? Because dresses that are long enough for me..are too long for you. You knew that though. I think you also need someone else there to tell you how you look in the things you try on because we can be too cruel on ourselves.

Also..have you tried one of those fandangled swim dresses? I absolutely refused to be seen in a swimsuit in front of all of you until I tried one of those on and figured I didn't look SO bad. Sure..chub here and there..but what am I going to do about that in the next 4 days? Not much.

I babble. Be proud of yourself, Jenna. You're way hotter than you give yourself credit for.

Sarah said...

I feel your pain, Jenna. Although I think the mirrors at Target were speaking the truth to me! As well as the one at mervyns AND at JCPenney! I had gone a couple weeks ago with my girls looking for a few things and had the same sort of dilemma. I went out the other day by myself though and was able to find something that would do. It's not a bikini which is what Josiah strictly said I could buy. But lets face it, HE loves me....not the rest of the world!

But I agree with what Abby said...We are all too cruel on ourselves, and you are much hotter than you give yourself credit for!

Annette Lyon said...

AH! THIS is why I like to wear pajamas until noon.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

You may be fifty pounds slimmer than I am, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to the ever yucky fitting room experience. I think you look lovely and slender in every picture I've ever seen of you, but's all relative? There was a time when I felt horrible about my body because I was bigger than I had been...never mind that I was still a stick and technically underweight.

I do feel the need to point out though that the current fashions out there are hideously unflattering. Don't discount the notion that it might be -them- rather than -you-.

Momo Fali said...

Oh sweetie, you are preaching to the choir here. Those summer dresses make me look like a Butterball turkey. Target dressing rooms are horrendous too.

My suggestion...JC Penney. They have resonable prices and have this darling American-Something-Or-Other line of clothes that look like Ralph Lauren knock-offs. When all else fails...dark jeans and a nice top do nicely.

Lesley said...

There is something about the lighting and the mirrors in those places...honestly it's a wonder they can sell any clothes at all. It would be awesome to go on What Not To Wear because they always stress to dress your body now, not the body that you someday will have back. I usually just trust my teen daughter's opinion. She's brutally honest in a good way, much more honest than those fitting room mirrors, so some things I think are atrocious really aren't that bad. I'm sending good shopping vibes to you...

Anonymous said...

you look so cute! Lately, I have been feeling the same way. I turn around in the mirror and wonder why my legs and butt are hanging out with my ankles...ugh

Laurie said...

I love that you are so honest. I was in my pajamas today until 2, changed to go pick of kids from school, came back home and put my pajamas back on. I will put clean ones on to go to bed but chances are I will wear them again all day tomorrow also. I think it's the bright lights that make us look and feel awful in the dressing rooms. I also feel so white, really sickly white in those mirrors, like I have all the wrong makeup on and my skin looks dry and uncared for and I love standing there looking at my stubby legs and my socking feet. Nothing looks flattering at that point. Don't be so hard on yourself. And maybe take a friend or your husband with you to get more positive feedback. Cheer up. I hope you really do go back and get something for yourself. Have fun meeting your blog friend. I'm wishing it was me....maybe someday!

Anonymous said...

Next you should write the Momma's dresses version of your Momma's red shoes story. Feel better yet? When I start my sackcloth business, you can have your choice of anything in the factory warehouse. The dressing rooms will not have mirrors. And with every sackcloth dress you choose, you'll receive a free can of ashes. Be thankful that you're not me. Not only am I plump, but my plumpness is old, old & wrinkled. I know; I'm not much help. I do love you, however.

The Ancient of Weeks

Kristi said...

OK...I had to laugh at your title! How true this is. Pajamas are magical little things that make everything "all better". I ran across this link from another blog and decided to check it out. I had to comment on this blog. I can totally relate to this. This week we had our 14 year anniversary, and I decided to recreate a pose we did at our wedding and put them side by side. As I did this I was mortified! I know that I am "heavy", but I didn't realize how heavy I am. Not what I had pictured in my brain at all. Went to Freddy's that night to buy a shirt to make me look/feel fabulous. Let's just say that the mirrors are evil there too! I had lumps in all the wrong places. That along with a crying baby at my feet, was no fun. I came home, put on the "magical" PJ's, had two brownies, and it was all good. :) Hang in there!

Shellie said...

I just found this thing called a Kariza skirt. It's like a sari and hides a lot of flab!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Okay, here's the plan. We totally abolish regular clothing and make a movement that everyone wear pajamas all the time. We get a presidential candidate to put that on their platform, they would win by a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Goodness...this sounds all too familiar!!
My Tip:
If you drink enough Diet Coke & Eat Enough Chocolate so you can get real good & can try clothes on and they will look just fine in those blasted store dressing room mirrors! :)


Julie Wright said...

Girl, You have just written my last three four years of dressing rooms sagas. I don't know what happened. I used to be pretty cute, but now . . . now, I'm 36 and I have rolls. Yes ROLLS!!!! I can't tuck shirts in any more because that accentuates the fact that I am no longer skinny. So it is with serious empathy that I laughed and commiserated with you on this post. You are awesome and may I say, you're beautiful too. You've got pictures on this blog to prove it.

piper said...

Goodnight Nurse!!

Jenna, you are the lovliest woman in the world! Nothing is even remotely unflattering about you... especially NOT your body!! Good grief! And I wore a swimsuit around you... I'm the one who feels gross in clothes my friend.

You only felt that way because you aren't used to seeing yourself in things like that. You don't know that you're beautiful! I'm going to pound it in to your head.

You are the definition of LOVELY.

Angela said...

I wish I could come shopping with you sometime, I think we would have a blast!

I have definitely felt that way before too! I finally realized that it is OK to buy a size bigger because it fits better and some clothes at Target fit smaller than at other stores. also, sometimes it helps to take my husband because he helps me feel beautiful even when I don't feel it myself.

It is always great to have one outfit you just feel SOOO cute in. Good Luck in your search.. don't give up!