Sunday, August 24, 2008

lessons from mom

The only time I saw glee on my mother's face was in a department store, and it only happened once. My sister and I sat witness at Bloomingdales, or Saks, or Macys, who knows, on a little fake suede couch and watched with disbelief our repressed and infinitely dissatisfied mother do a little happy dance.

She was buying a new wardrobe to attend a class reunion. Why she couldn't just wear any of the hundred and fifty articles of fine linens, wools and silks in her closet was beyond my limited scope of understanding. New. It had to be new.

So, sis and I sat on a fru-fru couch in a chi-chi section of some overpriced, overly self-impressed fine clothing section observing our mother's spending spree. For some reason I can remember the cream pants and red blazer pantsuit, and if I were British, I would call the outfit "smart." But those weren't the clothes that brought on the shuffle of delight.

It was a little black number. Shiny, frilly, and showing some leg, but in a maturely demure manner. Something maybe Diane Keaton would wear to a benefit dinner. Mom modeled for us. Yup, that was the one. She looked at the tag and giggled (my mom does not giggle) and went into the Ginger Rogers routine. Sis and I were glad to be sitting on the little poufy couch, otherwise we would've been hurtling to the floor.

Why was she looking at the tag? I thought maybe the dress was on sale. Or, maybe it was overpriced. Who knows what would send her into such an unnaturally joyful state?

Turns out the dress was a size 4. A size 4.

Size matters is the lesson I learned from my mother who sent me to Weight Watchers when I was in the sixth grade. I have never been a size 4. I will never be a size 4. But, even with all my little grey cells in motion and the calm of my loving family, the Lord, and the fact I might actually and astonishly like myself, I have this nagging little voice in my head that tells me size matters.

Now, how to get rid of it?

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