Last week I decided I needed some pants that buttoned, and that I could no longer fear what size I may be. The damage that can be caused by wearing all elastic was mounting. It has been 6 weeks and I still cannot fit into the clothes I was wearing when I was six months pregnant. I spend some time assuming this is because I am a lazy fatty that will never be thin again.
The only thing powerful enough to break my cycle of self loathing are the nights I go to sleep and feel like a creaky old ship. Too tired to get up for Motrin, too afraid to wake the baby, whatever my excuse - I lay there in bed aching as my hips find their way back together. The elastin in my system relaxes, having completed its job of stretching me out to maximum capacity and the ache of putting me back together begins. All of my joint pain compounds to form an ache equivalent to a wet wool blanket being folded onto itself just beneath my skin. This pain is the wage of little factory workers deep in my bones reconstructing woman into mother. Healing.
So I called my mother and asked that she join me on a pilgrimage to the Chandler mall, where what is sacred is made of nonexpendable waistbands, however vast in their lacking elasticity. The idea was that she would hold Cohen, as dutiful Grandmas do, and I would try on pants. Instead I spent 15 minutes breastfeeding Cohen in a fitting room while my mother perused Lane Bryant and brought me clam diggers big enough to dig up whale bones. When it was time to switch so Grandma could hold Cohen and I could shop, my mother was holding a handful of Hersheys kisses. Thinking little of it I gave her the baby and watched her put the chocolates in the cup holder of the stroller.
I went to the sales girl and explained that I needed pants with a finite waist and could she please tell me what size I am so that I can find said pants. She looks me over and says I am probably a 20, because I do seem a little smaller than her. She is about a 26. She does not make eye contact during this conversation and is obviously disappointed that I am the smaller of the two of us, however large I still may be. Her self loathing is laid on so thick that if she felt good about her self for a few days she would probably drop a dress size. It was then I looked around for that BBB of the LB. Where was my big, black, and beautiful Lane Bryant sales clerk? I dont know what it is about black culture that a black woman can put her weight on with pride, but I needed a guide not a shrinking violet. Instead I walked out with two pairs of jeans that I got on a great sale, and an ear full from the clerk that rang up my purchase about her shirt getting tighter and tighter everyday and there is nothing she can do about it.
At the car as I was loading Cohen in, my mother took the chocolates from the stroller and said, I guess I better throw these away. I asked why she would throw away perfectly good chocolate and she replied that this was not perfectly good chocolate, she had found it in the pocket of a pair of pants in Lane Bryant. Used pants? Nope, brand new. The sweet irony made me forget that I had just purchased a total of 42 finite inches of waistband. You have got to be a big beautiful someone to be so committed to your sweets that you must stuff your pockets to try on new pants. Yeah, the 24s seem to fit, but is this realistic if my pockets arent stuffed with candy?