Gift Wrap

First things first -- **waves hello to all her new followers** ((yes, people reading my blog makes me insanely happy and mad with power... j...

First things first -- **waves hello to all her new followers** ((yes, people reading my blog makes me insanely happy and mad with power... j/k on that last bit there))

Secondly, yes... I know it's 4:30 am EST (when I started writing this). Someone took a nap after work and didn't wake up.

Thirdly, someone didn't go to the gym 2 days in a row because of a nasty sunburn on her stomach and her busy day at work.



So my little chickadees (and the few roosters hanging around here all silent like...) I wanted to talk about gift wrap today.

I kinda mentioned in my post the other day about how I used to dress.  Growing up, I was a bit of a tomboy, but I'd always look adorable in a dress.  But after my Nana and mom died, something happened.  Part of it was the weight, as even when my mom was alive, we had a hard time finding age-appropriate clothing for me (I was mortified when we had to go to a plus-size store to buy clothing right before I started the seventh grade (I believe)).  But moreso, any last bit of desire I might have had to look cute went out the window.

Part of it was my mom.  She'd make lots of disparaging comments about my body.  Looking back, I can clearly see that she was jealous that I received the womanly frame she claimed to not have.  She was curvy and gorgeous when she was in college ((was even the Spring Queen at her college)), but because of her eating issues and other issues (her panic attack medicine made her gain weight), she lost too much weight and her curves along with that weight.  I think she just chose to forget that she was once a plus-sized girl with breasts, hips, and legs.

My first bra fitting was when I was in the 4th grade (9-years old) and i wasn't allowed to get a cute training bra with a bow in the middle -- partly because I didn't fit any of the training bras.  I went from nothing to a 34B.  My mom made me get a sports bra that would squish my breasts down and I'd have to wear that all the time. She was a 34/36 A/B depending on the bra.  She'd poke me in the breasts and say things like "why couldn't I have gotten these?" or "figures it skipped a generation."  I think my mom has always had issues with her breasts -- she didn't enjoy breastfeeding my older brother (notes in his baby book suggest this) and per my father's recollection, she didn't even try breastfeeding me.

My mom was also jealous of my hips/legs.  She bought her jeans at a mens' store because womens' jeans never fit her narrowly enough in the hips.  On the other hand, I've always had wider hips and knees that are good friends.  In other words, I had the hourglass shape.

Mom tried to keep my body under wraps.  After she died, I didn't really speak up for myself and say "Hi, I'd like to be a pretty young girl."  I pretty much hid.  The clothing that my mom bought before the start of 7th grade was all I had for the start of 8th (Mom got sick right as school began in 8th grade and we didn't get the chance to shop for new clothing).  Dad didn't particularly understand the right of passage that is shopping for new school clothes, so I didn't get much new clothing until the old stuff was in disrepair.   I wound up wearing lots of my mom's old clothing, which was rather bittersweet and odd at the same time.

One of the first times I mentioned that I needed new clothing, dad wanted to make me look like a catholic school girl of sorts -- with plaid wool skirts and stuff, but I didn't want that at all.  One day my dad had taken my brother to get some new clothing (I think it was underwear/undershirts) at a Bob's Store, and i found myself wandering through not the women's section, but the boy's/men's section (I wasn't allowed to stray very far).  I picked out a pair of pants for myself (boy's skater jeans with ginormous leg holes) and asked my dad if I could have them.  I don't think he really looked at them or realized they were boy's pants, but as it was the first time I really asked for clothing, he complied.

That was in the 10th grade. For tops I wore his hand-me-down flannel shirts and some of of my mom's old turtleneck shirts.  I looked like a lumberjack.

So that's the backstory.  What I wanted to write about was gift wrap.  You know when you get someone a gift that you're especially proud of (b/c you know they'll love it and it's just perfect)?  You don't just hand it to them in the bag it came in, but you take the proper time and effort to wrap it nicely, in beautiful paper and maybe a few ribbons.

Well that's exactly how I feel about myself now.  I find myself wearing less black.  I find myself getting frustrated with pants that are too big.  I am wearing more color.  I am buying myself pretty, delicate things with flowers printed on them.  I'm showing off a little here and there (especially my arms).  I'm not skimping on buying things of low quality, or that hide my body in a tent.  I make sure i get pedicures and that my skin is moisturized.  I have almost stopped my obsessive skin picking (or at least greatly reduced it--and that's another mom vs. my body story to tell another day).

In Hamlet, Polonius says "For the apparel oft proclaims the man."  I hope the world is taking notice of what I'm proclaiming.  I hope it translates to "I take good care of myself.  I won't let you treat me badly."


I am gift wrapping myself for the world. And yes, it's because I love myself and I'm my own imperfect perfection.

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6 comments

  1. I remember that Roberta in the picture :)
    Hope you are well... keep writing!
    -Kristin Langton

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  2. I don't think you could stop me!!!
    Thanks for stopping by, Kristin!

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  3. I love this post! I linked to it from your blog entry today. I think it's so true that your "gift wrapping" is an important statement to the world. On the one hand I feel like people should get over their judgements of how people "should" dress, etc, but I think taking care of yourself (and that is probably very different for different people) shows the world that you care about yourself, and you won't take less than that from others. Lovely post!

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  4. well i'm very guilty of "I can't believe she's wearing that"
    but I think lots of it is out of empathy. My if I could, I'd take that person to get something that *fits* them.

    But i'm right with you -- how we take care of ourselves is very important. It sets the standard.

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  5. guilty of all of the above... including owning the skater boy pants... what was that about anyways? haha

    it is interesting how moms play such a significant roll in your subconscious choices... I almost cried when i cut my hair off a few years ago... going from hair that could touch my butt to hair that couldnt reach my shoulders.... mom always said it was my 'best' feature... aka that it was the only thing pretty about my fat ass...

    I need to get healthy and stay that way... for my future kid's sake! (or pray i have only boys!)

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  6. Laura:

    I have no clue what those pants were about. I am thinking that in case you came across a litter of kittens, you'd have somewhere to store them.

    I think parents (in general) don't realize how much they shape their kids world - not just their physical world, but their emotional landscape.

    Our mothers should have told us we were beautiful every day. It in no ways takes away from their own beauty to say that their offspring are things of beauty and grace (even if they're ugly duckings (or signets, rather)).

    Yes, you do need to get healthy -- physically and emotionally before you have children. It's the most important gift you'll ever give them, and give yourself.

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<3 Robby