So. But. Anyway.
Last night Dread Pirate came over and we "shopped" my closet.
For the uninformed, this consisted of DP going through my clothing murmering any and all of the following:
EW. Weekend only.
Oh my God, this looks terrible. Why won't you dry clean?
You have a lot of mock turtle necks. Is there any reason for that?
I'm expecting to find--oh yes, here it is *shudders*: the Christmas sweater.
Your closet is full of Burqas. You know that, right?
This would look so hot on you! Why is it stuffed in the back of your closet?
What is it with you and the spinster-school-marm look?
When you're big and middle-aged, or maybe just middle-aged, or maybe just big, you often adopt a "I'll cover it up and then I won't have to think about it" attitude towards your body. The skirts go to the floor. The tops go to the knees. You tell yourself, this skirt that drops straight to my feet is very slimming, and will hide the extra pounds.
Of course, I had my own defenses set up as Pirate handed items to the daughter to add to the ever-growing pile on the bed
- I can't rid of that. I paid a lot of money for it.
- I can't throw that out - it was a gift.
- That was on sale. It was a terrific deal.
- Hey, I like that piece. (To which she would counter, when do you wear it? and I would have to say, it's too big. i can't wear it.
Do you have any idea what size you are now?
|that 70s child. I'm on the right.|
I could have bought some of the "in" clothes with money from my jobs, but I was also required to provide my own gas, cigarettes (don't go there) and insurance, so there wasn't much left for clothes. I just wasn't all that invested, to be truthful. I adopted an I-don't-care-attitude toward clothing. When my children were little, like a lot of moms, I lived in sweat shirts and jeans.
When I finished graduate school, I started working on a professional wardrobe, but my weight bounced between a 12 and a size 16 continuously, so it was hard to maintain, and I fell also into the role of a schoolteacher, and wore long dresses with high necklines. I graduated from high school a size M, usually between a 6 and an 8, and after my first pregnancy, I never saw those numbers again except for a brief few months in 2000 when I got down to a size 8 by hiking and starving myself. I couldn't maintain it. I bounced back up to my adult weight: size 12 to 16.
Last year in April I dropped to a size 8, and then this past February, a size 6, although that depends on my level of hydration and time of month. I've comfortably maintained this for nearly a year. I don't feel starved.
My picture of my adult self is permanently stuck at size 12 or 14, so when I see clothes that size, I figure they will fit me. I still do. When I look in the mirror, my filter sees me at that 12-14 size, usually an L and sometimes an XL.
Also, truthfully, I had to admit to myself that I'm afraid to get rid of the bigger clothes, because what if I get bigger again? What would I wear? So yes, for all these reasons, I often protested even as the clothing was going onto one of the growing piles on the bed.
I have to remind myself that there will always be clothes. Also, clothing should be an adornment, not just a cover-up. It should show who am I am, and how I feel about myself. And right now, despite all my kvetching, I feel smart, fast, accomplished--my clothes should reflect that, right? And slim. I have to keep saying that to myself: I am slim.
I do not need to cover it the hell up. I don't dress quite as floridly as Dread Pirate; she is a walking party and celebration of fashion, and it reflects her personality. My work requires that I be a bit more conservative, and perhaps because of a lot of life experiences, I just am. I like Clark shoes, and Born heels, because I can walk briskly in them. I take long strides, so stilettos are out, as is anything that requires tiny, mincing steps. I need to feel like I can reach, bend, stretch, move in my clothes.
But still, I can have more fun in this new, strange body. Well, not strange. It's just a body I haven't seen in a long time. It was all covered up with extra fat, and of course, lots of fabric.
So more often, as the session went on, I found myself saying, You're right. I haven't worn that in ages. Sometimes I pull it out of my closet, put it on, and then toss it back into the closet, because it's too big, or looks like shit on me, or both. No, you're right. I look like hell in brown. I don't know why I have so many pieces of brown clothing.
At the end of the event there were five piles of clothing on the bed:
- These need to go to dry cleaning NOW
- These need to go to Goodwill.
- These might could go on Ebay.
- These need to have about 18" chopped off the hem, or taken in, or both.
- These are on probation (where you take an item and put it in a separate part of your house, and if you haven't worn it in 6 months, out it goes.)
The stuff that is left is, in all honesty, pretty much what I wear now about 90% of the time anyway.
Now, there is more room in the closet, for more adornment, as I continue to explore the new meaning of the space I take up, and the self that I think I am. I can have fun with this new, smaller me.