It’s the Final Countdown…Duh-nuh-nuhhh, Duh-nuh-nunt-nuhhh
I did it. Yes, I bought a girdle. Call it what you may… Spanx, Flexees, Body Shaper, Muffin-Top Eater, the “thing” Oprah wears… it’s still a girdle… the thing my mother wore.
I did it. Yes, I bought a girdle. Call it what you may… Spanx, Flexees, Body Shaper, Muffin-Top Eater, the “thing” Oprah wears… it’s still a girdle… the thing my mother wore.You see, my 20 year high school reunion is this Saturday. (In case you are wondering, I am only 37 years old, not 38... not until November. I started Kindergarten at 4 years of age. “Red-shirting” didn't exist back in the 1970s. I am the youngest of six and not only did my mother want me in school and out of the house, I was ready for school. I did not peril with a late birth date. In fact, I graduated first in my elementary school class and ranked seventh in high school. And Boston College accepted me early decision. Harvard, though, denied me… oh, those damn SAT scores. But I digress…)
So as my high school reunion quickly approaches, I amassed a long list of “to dos”….those basic hygiene and self-care necessities I have overlooked since the birth of my daughter in December. This past weekend, I overcame them.
First, I needed a “belly-tucker-inner.” I have been pregnant and nursing non-stop for over 6 years. I am not one of those moms who lose weight while nursing, I retain it. I nursed my first born for over 2 years (LaLeche loves me… my son does, too). The month after I stopped, I dropped to a size eight. Pregnant within 3 months, I miscarried two months later and then was pregnant again the month following. I gave birth to my second son in May 2009. He nursed for a year and two weeks. Unbeknownst to me, I was already nine weeks pregnant the day of his first birthday. (Note to self… do not rely upon breastfeeding as a form of birth control.) Now, I am on month six of nursing my daughter, which brings me to the second necessity.
A new bra. Yes, I needed a new bra. A minimizer of course because… because, you know. In the Victorian age I would have been over-qualified for the position of wet nurse. I could have headed a "wet-clinic."
Thirdly, I needed to pluck the hairs on my chin. I liken these hairs to the wiry ones Gina Davis finds on the back of Jeff Goldbloom, the first evidence of his transformation into the Fly Guy. Remember the scene in the movie? They are sharing an intimate moment and while Gina’s hands are lovingly wrapped around Jeff, she caresses something spiky on his back. Upon completion, she looks and finds heavy-duty, possibly 36 gauge, black hairs growing forth from the skin on his back. She then takes scissors and with all her might, cuts them off. Although not scissor-worthy, I took the tweezers to mine; my eyebrows, too (check-off #4 on the list).
Fifth, I treated myself to a haircut. While pregnant with my daughter I decided to pass the time by watching my hair grow. I wanted to donate it in honor of her birth. The month after her entry into this world, my hair measured the 10 inch requirement for Locks of Love. Instead of getting a proper haircut, I asked my loving husband to cut across the top of the pony-tail holder. How hard could that be??? A straight line… I mean, he is a quality manager at a medical device manufacturer. He constantly measures metal springs and rods and tubes within nanometers of the desired measurement. A straight line, I knew he could do it. Well, you guessed...
But, my hair didn’t look that bad, honestly. No one could really tell it went up in the back on the left side or at least they said so. My friends commented how shorter in the back is the new style. So, I lived with it. This past weekend, though, I went to the salon and got myself a proper haircut, the same style but with the back stacked. However, the hair dresser cut straight and she isn’t even an engineer.
Sixth, I bought myself some new clothes. My current wardrobe consists of clothes too big or too small. The too-big ones fall down as I run after my toddler and the too-small leave battle wounds around my muffin-top. For the past 3 months in preparation for this reunion, I have been walking… try as I may to get back into shape and be healthier. So when I went to the GAP to get my ensemble for this high school soiree, I beamed with pride when I fit into a size 12 off-white Capri pants and a large, peach scoop neck T-shirt.
As I looked into the mirror, I witnessed a woman who has aged since high school. Although a ping of sadness came over me with the realization that I failed to reach my unrealistic goal of being my former size 6-self just five months after the birth of my third child, I also acknowledged that I am currently skinner than in my high school days. I am also happier, wiser and more confident. In the years following high school, I worked desperately on my self-esteem, anxiety and depression. I promised myself that before I brought forth a child into this world, I would get my self right. I refused to perpetuate the more-than-just-simple-short-comings of my family of origin. And as I uncovered and demystified my chidhood years of shame and guilt, my body amazingly (with proper nutrition and exercise) shed away the poundage. My body no longer needed to protect me emotionally and physically.
So, on Saturday I will proudly enter Martell’s Tiki bar in good ole Bayville, NJ. I will don some new threads, a plucked chin and a sportin’ new do. In my purse I will possess a photo of my gorgeous children and around my neck will hang my Stella & Dot initial charms (three As, if you’re curious). And oh yes, I will have on my girdle.
Peace out, moms!
This is an original post for NJ Moms Blog. Brenda is a former wannabe guidette and currently, a mom who still loves dance music (thank God she married a European who also appreciates techno). She prays her children never aspire to be on The Jersey Shore. (The title of this post is accredited to the 1986 hit by Europe; check out the video. Also view more old-school videos on her weblinks.)
Photo credit given to: www.cafepress.com