It's a rainy day in Maine and my youngest daughter talked me into going shopping today. I recently promised my husband I'd buy him a few new shirts, so we headed to T.J. Maxx to find some bargains.
I needed a few summer things, as over the winter I found a few extra pounds. (Whoever of you lost them, you are welcome to come take them back at any time.) What with a back injury and surgery on my leg, my miles and miles of walking last summer are a distant memory. As are the smaller thighs and trim leg and ab muscles that were a by product of all that walking.
I find trying on clothing to be an uncomfortable exercise in any format, but the T.J. Maxx dressing rooms seem to be special ordered to make everyone feel worse about themselves. The lights are too bright, the floors cold, and those mirrors have GOT to be the kind from carnivals and fairs - the ones that are designed to make us look bigger and wider than we really are.
Add that to the fact that I was in the company of an athletic 18-year-old girl, and the sad state of my body became all the more vivid. I wanted to put on furs, move to Northern Canada, secure a bottle or three of wine, and never take off my clothes again.
After trying on about 800 pieces of clothing, I found two that fit and didn't actually make me look worse. My daughter be-bopped out of the store with several things that made her look as cute and trim as she already is. If she wasn't my daughter, I would hate her. Maybe I already do. But only a little.
I really don't think I ever want to go there again. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with growing older. I just lectured a friend earlier today about not succombing to society's lie that we all have to remain 30-years-old forever. We should grow old gracefully, but even if we don't, we WILL grow old. And besides, it's better than the alternative. Or at least that's what my dad always says.
But even if I'm ok with getting older, I don't need to deliberately go into places that make me feel bad about myself, right? Right?
Anyway, we got out of the store with some bargains and ventured back out into the rain. We came home and made hot chocolate to celebrate. (And yes I know what hot chocolate does to one's hips, and no, it's not sugar free. Stop judging me.) We put away our new clothes and sat down to rest.
And it was only then that I remembered the shirts I promised to get my husband.
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