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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
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There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
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4:02 p.m. - 2010-03-22
Someday the lesson will stick.

So okay, a couple months ago MIL gave me a pair of yoga pants. She'd bought them for Gram, who'd never gotten a chance to wear them. Not that Gram was going to be doing any yoga, not with a broken hip, but the pants looked soft and had a drawstring waist so would be comfy and convenient. Like I said, Gram never got the chance to wear them so when MIL and I started working out together she gave me the new-in-the-package pants and said I should wear them in good health. I took them and thanked her nicely and hid the inward groan over the size very prominently displayed on the wrapper. Size 12? Right. Might as well run them up the flagpole outside my office and use them as a windsock, my time in such a diminutive size was over. (Shut up. A size 12 is small for me. Think on it, at 6' tall with my uh…sturdy thighs? So not happening.) Since coming to me the pants lived in the bag, still wrapped, tucked away under the visitor's chair by my desk, quasi-forgotten but mostly deliberately ignored.

If anyone except my MIL had given them to me I would have seen the insult intended. The same one dished to me over and over by small women. Women who've done everything from loudly and laughingly steering me away from their more fragile looking furniture toward the room's one Papa Bear-sized chair with the giggling observation that "I'd be more comfortable in that one!" to loading my plate full to slopping over at dinner parties insisting that "Of course I'd want 29sq yards of lasagna! Why just look at the sheer size of me!" But MIL? My MIL is as oblivious as she is sweet.

This morning when I pulled my usual workout pants off the hook on the bathroom door I saw I'd forgotten to wash them and totally could NOT go to the gym in them, not with the big plop of spaghetti sauce crusted on the front. I'd worn them this past weekend while doing a pile of cooking so's to have a bunch of heat-n-serve dinners ready for the week and had gotten the pants cruddy. I'm a messy cook. With a sigh of resignation I took the gift pants from the bag under the chair and unwrapped them. I figured even in they fit like second skin I could wear one of Mick's ginormous t-shirts over them and hide the Buddha belly and horizon wide ass such tight pants would highlight in all their awful flobby glory.

Yeah, you're way ahead of me. The pants fit. Nicely. Attractively. No giant camouflage shirt required. I checked out my butt in the big bathroom mirror. Nobody was going to bang down my door demanding I pose for 'Maxim' anytime soon, but it didn't quite look like the nearly 50-year old ass I'd gotten used to being back there either. Yeah, the thighs are still…sturdy, but they've always been. Buddha belly? Not entirely gone, but what's left is more C-section pooch than The Gut That Cheetos Built.

I was guest of honor and sole attendee at a happy dance surprise party in my bathroom this morning.

Yes, yes, I know my other workout pants had gotten floppy and all MC Hammer-ish. Yes, my jeans have been fitting weirdly and I've moved my belt in a notch (or two). Yes, it was only 5 years ago I'd gone through a similar shrinking process, and jeeze, I can't be that fricken senile yet to be so blind. Yet I have been. Blind, I mean, not senile.

Since this November I've been in a downward spiral, since the new year the spiral became a total freefall. The woman I've been seeing in the mirror was no friend of mine. How could she be? This hag with the gnawed fingernails and deep furrows beside a mouth that so rarely smiled anymore? The laid-off loser? The one who'd been told she was worth far less than some trinkets from eBay? That's who I've been seeing in the mirror. It's been easy to overlook the body that was both shrinking and getting harder, not with this ageing wreck staring back, the one who'd yet again been told life with me was a hell, the return of LA the Life Ruiner. Today was a shock. A pleasant one, to be sure, but a shock just the same. It's like today I woke up and remembered who I am to myself, who I was for a while and can be again if only I allow myself to believe it. Believe in me again.

Trust me, the irony of beginning to reclaim my life because of a dead woman's pants is not lost on me.

Starting again for the bazillionth time, ~LA

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