This past Wednesday I was given a gift from my parents. My two year old has officially turned two, physically, mentally, emotionally, and demon wise. If something doesn’t go Eva’s way there is jumping up and down. Dead body. Crying. Sometimes rabbit kicks. And on good days screams of “No”. It can be a lot. My parents sensed this and quickly asked, “Can we come down this week and watch her for an afternoon? You can go do something just you.” and I quickly responded, “That would be great. Thanks.” Usually, I say no because in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal, it’s my every day life, she’s two, what can ya do. I needed this though. On Wednesday they came down and I went on my way to get a pedicure.
Ah, the elusive pedicure and alone time for moms. Some of us never get it. Some of us get it once and a while. Some of us are lucky and get it once a week. It’s the sample booth at Trader Joe’s. I was pretty excited. It’s relaxing but also my feet were disgusting and the cracks on my heels were becoming painful. So overall good thing. The pedicurist was perfectly sweet when she began. Asking if I had kids, if I worked, how long my husband and I have been together. And a few times she gave me the sweet relief of saying nothing, let me enjoy the massage chair, and watch what they were cooking on The Chew. It was overall going great and what I needed/wanted. Then it happened. My pedicurist started talking about her kids, and said she started going on walks after her kids were old enough. I said, “Yeah walking is good.” and then I heard it, “Yeah, you’re a big girl *points to my stomach* walking would fix it. Walking good”.
I didn’t know what to do. Do I scream at her that it was so incredibly rude to say that? Do I ask for a manager? Do I sit here and say nothing? Do I kick her in the head? Did I hear her correctly? What do I do? Honestly, I just sat there and felt my cheeks set themselves on fire while I felt myself lay my arms across my mid section. I was embarrassed, confused, hurt, and speechless. I begged the universe to finish this pedicure as fast as possible and just not say another word to the pedicurist. The rest of the appointment was a blur and I felt like I stumbled out of the salon with my foam flip flops barely clinging to my feet, a beautiful representation of my being at that moment really. Barely clinging on. The drive home was only eight minutes but it felt like hours. I was trying to figure out, what just happened?
I got home to Tim who came out of his office to ask how my hour of self serenity went. Unfortunately, he was met with tears and a story that no spouse wants to hear. Someone was mean to their best friend. He tried to hug me and wipe away my tears. At that point I didn’t know if I wanted my tears dried. I didn’t want hugging because apparently I was too gross to be seen in the light of day. Tim left work at 2:30 pm so we could see a movie at 3 pm. I ran upstairs and changed into an outfit that didn’t so clearly show off my big girl-ness. I came downstairs with tear soaked cheeks, neck, shoulders, boobs, everything. My being at that moment was just a tear stain. I argued with myself why I needed to go out with Tim at that moment. We never go to the movies anymore. We both really wanted to see this movie. My parents took Eva for this reason. Tim would understand and stay home with me while I cried. That last reason is why I went really….and I really wanted to see the movie okay? I’m not a saint, you guys.
On the way home Tim kept asking what I wanted for dinner and I kept getting frustrated. In this short time I was already trying to figure out how I could hide from Tim that I wasn’t going to eat meals. I could hide breakfast and lunch because he isn’t out here. I could have really small dinners and say that I just ate a lot at lunch. I was frustrated and snipping at him because he was going to ruin my plans and make sure I ate. Old habits. I stopped myself by that night and remembered that not eating isn’t the answer, it wasn’t even a choice. I went to bed that night feeling better. I had lots of wonderful Facebook support and solidarity. Then the morning came.
Thursday and Friday I did nothing. I felt such shame about my body and myself. I felt like I was this offensive being going out in public. If people saw me with Eva they would wonder how I could let myself become such a big girl and set that example for my daughter. If we went to a park Eva would wonder why she had a fat mom and why other kids had skinny moms. I didn’t feel worthy enough to go outside. All my life I’ve been a “bigger girl”. From the ages of six to 18 I was reminded constantly that I shouldn’t pursue dance professionally after high school because I DID NOT have a dancer’s body. I was called chubby or chunky through school. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 16 and that was through a camp where you were lucky and got to know people and love them for them. I felt though, he liked me as a person but wasn’t attracted to me physically (I’m not saying he made me feel this way, it was my mindset). I had a boyfriend in college who would remind me every few months that I was beautiful, but no matter how much I worked out or what I ate I would never be small and skinny like my best friend so by societal standards, I would never be hot.
One statement brought all of that back and then some. I am tying what this complete stranger said to me being a mom. About how I’m a mom. Which is ludicrous, I know, but that’s where I go. Yet AGAIN, I start working out and feeling somewhat good about myself and the universe comes in and shoots it all down. People keep saying that I need to talk to a manager even now, I need to spread the word about this incident, I need to fight back somehow. And I have to say, no. I need to be a little selfish right now because I need to figure out how to move beyond this. I need to figure out how to turn an ugly into a positive. I know it was an off handed remark by a complete stranger and really, it’s not that major. That’s what I keep telling myself.
I know that our country is oversensitive to comments especially about our physical features and most other countries are a lot more blunt about it. I get that, but at the same time, it majorly sucked to hear that during my one hour of 100% me time. The last few days have sucked because this is what those comments do. They earwig into your brain and just feed on you. Telling you that you aren’t good enough. That you are in fact fat and disgusting. That your husband is only with you out of a sense of duty. That one day your daughter will stop hugging you because she hates your belly rolls. Like, hi, welcome to my brain right now.
I’m not sure how to end this blog post this week because I’m not done with myself. I feel better than I did yesterday. I’ll probably shower tomorrow. Hopefully soon I’ll start working out again, because that’s my word with working out. Again. If I’ve learned anything over the last 32 years and especially the last two years, it’s that you have to take life one day at a time. It was an off hand comment. It was a stranger. It wasn’t even malice in intent. It’s just what happened.