Oh Friday. After a long week of self-reflection and exposure, not to mention sleepless nights taking care of a sick kiddo, I finally made it to Friday. Few things in this world bring me greater happiness than dancing to 80’s music, and for a few weeks my friends and I had been planning on doing some 80’s booty shaking on Friday night.
The evening began with fixing my hair, which immediately went “Whitesnake.” And I was great with that because, hello, it was 80’s night! Bonus if I get to slide across the front hood of a camaro or something. I didn’t, but I thought about it. Then I spent an hour cursing my body as I searched for something suitable to wear. By the end of the hour, I finally settled on a black shirt, black jeans, and black shoes. I think that hits all the important points: funeral, stealth, slimming. Then I brought out the HAPSS! Feather earrings I’ve been saving for the perfect occasion. Oh happy day! I left the house feeling like, maybe I might look good?! Weight loss makes me feel bipolar.
The HAPSS were a bit much for a childcare venue, so I took my feather earrings off before I walked in to pick up my daughter. That may have been my downfall. Oprah says, (pretty much anyway), be who you are or you’re not going to be who/what you’re supposed to be. I should have kept the earrings on. When I walked in I was excited about the evening, relieved to have found clothes I didn’t hate…happy. My daughter had a weird look on her face when she saw me, and I vaguely noticed an older gentleman getting on to his kindergarten granddaughter. My daughter joined me and immediately starting telling me a story about the kindergartner girl, her friend, and the grandfather.
My daughter’s storytelling is in development, so I clung diligently to interpreting the story she was telling, complete with details of what the subjects were wearing. We reach the end of the story just as we reach my car. The entire journey I thought this was going to a have a cute or funny punch line. The ending, the punch line, is this: The kindergarten girls were talking about me being fat as I walked in the door. They didn’t realize my daughter was behind them listening, and they were shocked when I walked in the door. That’s why my daughter had the weird look on her face, and that’s why the grandpa was admonishing the girls. Awesome. I turned to my daughter, mood now completely wrecked, and said, “why would you tell me that?” Her face fell, and she said, “I don’t know, because it upset me.” So we silently got in the car. I immediately texted my lifelines with a brief synopsis and WTF? I also turned on a radio station playing 80’s music. I interpreted the 80’s music as a hug from God.
We begin our drive to my sister-in-law’s (she’s taking care of my monkeys so I can booty shake). I’m silent and working hard not to be ugly to myself or my daughter…and not to cry. Along the way I had to stop at the store, which bought me time. Somewhere along the way I found inner peace (at least enough to get by). But before I did, let me tell you what went through my head…and forgive me, because I’m just being honest:
1. I have myself to blame I AM fat.
2. How do I get this honor? There’s moms three times my size picking up their kids in there!
3. Wow, people are really training their daughters to be biznitches early these days.
4. I wonder what her mother looks like?! I wonder if she has HALF my personality, HALF my kindness, half of anything I offer. Clearly she’s HALF the mother I am because she’s doing such a poor job of raising a kid with manners.
5. Oh that’s not true, even the best moms have kids who make these comments. Remember when your daughter had an issue with amputees?
6. Regardless, I’m losing weight, and I’ll be skinny, but that kid’s mom can’t get prettier, nicer, or more interesting.
7. Oh that’s not fair. She’s probably a perfectly wonderful and beautiful woman.
8. Okay seriously. You’re losing weight. You’re doing the work. You’re fabulous. And honestly, this is one of the reasons you’re losing weight. So thank you God, for reminding me that I need to get past 205 for me AND my family.
9. Still I’ve never wanted to “recognize” another person’s child so badly in my life. She’s very lucky I didn’t actually hear her.
10. Oh who am I kidding. I’m too damn nice for that.
11. I’m alright, and my baby girl will be too.
By the time I reach my sister-in-laws I’m able to say in a cheeful voice, “Okay cutie’s grab your stuff! Let’s head in.” My daughter is looking all sad, but she perks up. When I’m leaving, I take her face in my hands, and I say, “I don’t care. I’m overweight, but I’m working hard to be healthy, and regardless, do I not look fierce? Please. Do I not look fierce?!” My daughter laughed and nodded. “Alright, than don’t worry ’bout it.” (Please note, I had put the feather earrings back on in the car…there’s empowerment in HAPSS). She tried to tell me she was sorry, but I stopped her because she had nothing to be sorry about. She was processing (where does she get that?). Then, I walked out, had a Dos Rita and cheese at Texican, and shook my arse to 80’s music all night long.
I’m so proud of me. Because I really felt like, “eh screw it. I’m doing the work, and I love me.” My only regret is that I wish I had remembered to tell my daughter that people come in all shapes and sizes, GOOD PEOPLE, and not to let others define beauty. But I was too busy letting someone else define my happiness. Ah well, grow with love. I’m not perfect.