Author Archives: mimacat14

About mimacat14

Hi! I'm Heather! Former English Professor, Aspiring Writer.

My Deep Winter Face & Some Olives

I fondly remember thumbing through the latest issue of Teen or YM magazine at age 14 and taking some sort of quiz that told me what my “season” was, and thus promised that it would help me forever and ever choose the best red lipstick to complement my most-likely stunning 1990’s outfit.

I could never settle on an answer, because I felt like my coloring was so unlike any of the choices. I have dark DARK hair naturally, super black eyebrows, my skin is very very fair, but my eyes are a very dark grayish blue. Basically I matched nothing. I have no idea what color my wrist veins look. They looked like all of the choices! And to be honest, I’ve never had luck picking out the best makeup colors for myself, because nothing really seemed to match me. Awesome. The un-matchable face. But now, at age 41, I watched a random YouTube video the other day that pushed me way way down the “find your colors, find your seasons” rabbit hole, and it’s been surprisingly illuminating. PS – this is the channel I’m speaking of – her videos are helpful, and her voice is very relaxing. Plus now I need to purchase like 6 tweed blazers. Audrey ala Mode

She said something in one of her videos (sorry, I’ve now binged on about 890809 of them, so I cannot tell you which) that was like light bulb turning on over my head. She said, and I paraphrase, you can have very fair skin and still have an olive tone. WHAT? I thought olive skin meant you were darker? NOPE. Just means you’re green, apparently. She said, once you notice that your skin has a very slight green undertone, you can’t unsee it. And she was right. I am green. One of the telltale signs that sets a fair skinned olive gal apart from the other fair skinned maidens is that despite what one might think, we actually DO tan. I just choose not to as an adult, because I eschew the outdoors & the hot weather, but in this photo I clearly match Jenn Molloy, and this is proof positive that I can, and have, gotten tan in my younger years: 71573480_435162730684735_343837949093216256_n

And now what? Well, I don’t know. I’m green I guess. But this just encouraged me to take it one step further and explore the idea of what “season” I might be. Concurrent to this, I was having a personal crisis over a pea green sweater. I bought the sweater, but didn’t try it on in store, because I actually LOVE the way this color looks on other people. I also purchased the same exact sweater in a sky blue that day (which I did try on) so I figured that the pea green (I keep accidentally typing pee green. Hm) was a shoo-in. But, it really just exacerbates my green-ness. I become a pea. So, I got to the bottom of all of this drama by taking a color quiz. I took it three times with three different photos, and my result was the same each time. Again, it felt a tiny bit inaccurate because my eye color doesn’t typically GO with my hair/skin color combination, but I believe that the colors it suggests for me ARE the ones that I most prefer on myself. Here is the quiz – take it! Why not, right? Colorwise Season Test

As it turns out, I am a deep winter, which is lovely because I generally enjoy all things winter. And apparently so does my face. These are absolutely the colors that look best on me (I also think that clear winter would work for me, but my eyes are a very dark blue)

No wonder I look so crappy in the pea green! And in camel! And beige! And yellow! Here is the infamous sweater… which is horrid, until I add a grey scarf next to my face. Notice how the same sweater in the light blue is so much more complimentary, and the all time best is the teal shirt that I’m wearing today. Same mirror, same lighting. Now, I’m not going to say that I will never wear items in my “worst colors,” but I’d probably choose to wear them on my bottom half, or in an accessory, and not right next to my big old green head. Take the quiz! Its fun ladies. And let me know what you score!!

Novella Premise: Working Title – Murder by Legging

Staci, a thirty-whatever-year old mom of twins, decides that she would like to find some sort of passive income source in order to pay for some extra super fun activities for her children, such as lavish photo shoots for a variety of minor holidays and karate, and she also suspects that purchasing a Labrador retriever will elevate her family’s status in the small California suburb in which she lives. A chocolate brown one, to be exact.

One afternoon, as Staci waits on line in a coffee shop for her pumpkin-something-or-other coffee drink, she has a chance encounter with Brittani, a girl with whom she’d attended high school but to whom she has never actually spoken. Brittani, fully clad in a hoodie and leggings that look like they could possibly double as bowling alley carpet, launches into a diatribe about how she, coincidentally, has been able to pay for the very photo shoots and karate sessions that Staci longs for. She doesn’t mention a dog, but Staci is undeterred; she learns that Brittani is able to afford her lavish lifestyle of photography and martial arts for toddlers via the mystical world of multi-level marketing; more specifically, she explains that she is an independent retailer for a clothing company called PooliePoo. Well, Staci is simply entranced by Brittani’s speech and signs up as part of Brittani’s down line, full of expectation and anticipation about the wonders that await her.

After several months and many, many thousands of dollars, Staci begins to have an inkling that PooliePoo is not solely a clothing company, and she begins to uncover a hidden cult of horrors, full of deception, con-artistry and even murder – yes, I said it, murder. Murder by leggings. When Staci wins a trip to the warehouse to handpick her god-awful inventory, she accidentally stumbles upon a crime scene – the body of an unknown woman is found gagged, with leggings, and buried, in leggings, in a shallow grave, and then covered with leggings.

Staci, afraid to alert the authorities after finding, in her hotel room, what appears to be a poorly written threatening note in the style of a ransom letter, you know, with all of those cut out magazine letters in it, appeals to Brittani about what she’s seen, but instead of demonstrating horror at the prospect of a legging-centric murder, Brittani appears to be part of a massive cover up that involves the binding and gagging, literally and figuratively, of anyone who dares question the motives and antics of the company.

But who has committed the murder? And who is the Jane Doe who has been unceremoniously buried in yards and yards of grotesque fabric? When Inspector Mifkin of the Bakersfield PD is tipped off about the crime by an anonymous source, he must interview each suspect one by one until he uncovers, Scoobie-Doo style, just how deep the waters of the PooliePoo cult run. And what rough and rip-tide-y waters they turn out to be.

Is it Brittani herself, who bleeds PooliePoo damask and plaid, and who will go to any length to hide the ills of her mentors?

Is it Tami, the owner’s daughter-in-law, who hopes to run the company one day herself and overhaul the patters of the leggings so that they resemble more of a roller rink carpet as opposed to a bowling alley one?

Is it Brandi, second in command at PooliePoo who hopes to, one by one, destroy dissenting retailers, so that they might take over the entire garment industry in the United States… and perhaps even the world… and perhaps even the universe?

Is it Jessi, who maybe just didn’t like the bitch who they found murdered?

Is it Staci, who, unbeknownst to herself, has been hypnotized and used as a pawn of the cult to do their bidding, I mean, used as a pawn of the company to do their bidding?

Is it Kristi, the owner of the company, who is concerned that the money in her offshore accounts might be seized by the government somehow, and is annoyed at herself that she didn’t properly learn how to launder money even after watching Ozark twice through, and so she kills an unsuspecting woman just to get out some of her aggression?

Will Inspector Mifkin get to the bottom of the crime, or will he be bought off – or worse – while he tries to decipher just how and why so many women have been brainwashed by the very notion that it might be a good idea to wear a giant ice cream cone, or perhaps pumpkins or Christmas Trees, splayed across their rear in tight ass pants? And will Staci be able to pay for those karate lessons?

Do something. Eventually. If you want. Or not.

Maybe it annoyed me more than the average person because as someone who works in healthcare, I didn’t actually have any time off (not one single day!) but even so, in the Spring of 2020 I did find myself with a few extra hours on my hands every day; we weren’t seeing as many patients, so I just didn’t have as much work to do.

I don’t know about you, but during the Pandemic Proper, nothing annoyed me more than being “told” that I should probably take my time “off” and do something productive – something perhaps that I’d always been passionate about. Something that I’d always longed to do and never got around to because that pesky thing called real life got in the way.

Now, Instagram, Facebook, the dreaded media, even friends, seem to be demanding that I do something productive with my extra time. Learn Piano! Resurrect your college Italian! Try your hand at baking a really unappetizing bread that looks like a large round dirty rock! It was like if I didn’t fill my hours with something extraordinary then I was somehow wasting this bonus time.

Know what I did? I gained 8 pounds and got SUPER tan. That was my contribution to the Great Corona Self-Improvement Tour. For the first time in my life, I didn’t quite look like a vampire in the summer.

Why am I writing this now, when, God willing, all of that bullshit is now behind us? Well, I don’t feel like I wasted my pandemic time. It was, after all, interesting to see myself with tan legs for the first time in over forty years. I think I’m writing it because now, with two years between myself and that period of time, and nearly eight years since I first started to write down notes for my now nearly finished novel, I’ve finally decided to do something. Because I want to. Because now, I feel like it.

I’m not sure why now was the right time to finally get the words of my book nailed down, but it was. And all of the prodding and pressure and guilt piled on by the Internet en mass two years ago just could not get me to pull the trigger. But now, back to working full time and then some, with a crazy kindergartner and lots of other stuff on my plate, it has been, dare I say, natural to write this book. The most natural thing I’ve probably ever done in my “professional” life. And I feel so much improved for having done it.

Now. On my terms. Not because someone told me I should.

So, by all means if you want to bake yourself a rock bread, go right ahead. But please don’t do it because you want the photo cred on Insta. Just bake that horrible bread, slather it with butter and bust a crown on it because it’s what you felt like doing today.

You know, or write a novel. Whatever.

Ain’t Never Had A Friend?

Guys, this post has been on my mind and my heart for years, but I’ve been so reluctant to write it for fear of sounding, oh I don’t know, pathetic? Attention seeking? Something. I’m not too sure what, but I have to believe that some of you can identify.

I feel like social media puts a lot of pressure on us to have certain things, act a certain way, and have achieved certain things. And, while I’ve always felt this way, its been exacerbated by the internet.

What is that thing that I don’t have? Guys, its that archetypal “best girlfriend.” And I doubt I ever will. And I’m not 100% sure that I’ve come to terms with this fact.

Don’t get me wrong – I have a lot of great friends and tons of lovely acquaintances. I even have a handful of friends that I’ve known for almost 30 years, but with time and adulthood our lives have sort of gone separate ways and we don’t see each other very often. If I threw a big ole party I’d like to think I’d have a good showing… but would anyone show up with the biggest gift with a card attached that said “Thank You for being a friend?” Nope. In fact when I typed out this sentence Siri wanted to auto fill “friend” in the previous sentence with “bitch” so even my phone isn’t that into me.

I remember 20ish years ago when I read The Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood I was just in awe and so jealous of that friendship thang… and, yet, I’ve never been able to make it work for me.

Believe me, I realize that I am a huge part of the problem. For one thing, I am certainly not an open book. I am incredibly guarded with what actually goes on inside my head and if you think that you know me, chances are that you actually have no idea.

And for another thing, and the biggest pitfall I’m sure, I’d characterize myself as an incredibly fun person to gossip with. I like to make people laugh, and I like to be funny. So chances are if you’ve ever chatted with me and there’s someone that you’re bitching about, I will go all out and try and make you laugh by completely destroying this person. I honestly don’t mean to be malicious, I just have a really harsh sense of humor. I know this isn’t nice. I also know that every time I’ve done this, like literally every single time, it has gotten back to that person and bit me right in the ass. So, there’s that.

And so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that at age 41, I’m probably never going to find that forever friend. The person with whom I’m apparently supposed to sit around in PJs and a bra and drink wine and, I don’t know go on vacation together or some crap.  Maybe have our husbands out in the yard barbecuing sausages while we bake a pie together inside or something. As you can see by this paragraph I’m clearly not an expert. 

Honestly I’m not sure why I wrote any of this. I guess I just wanted to get it out of my head. To you ladies that have these relationships, enjoy them. I think they’re much more rare than you even know.

Is Facebook Making Me A Jackass?

I’m pretty confident that most people feel me on the whole love/hate relationship with Facebook (or Insta, or Twitter, or whatever the social media of your choice may be) and I’m pretty positive that most people have had that fleeting “I should just delete this crap” thought… and, yet, here we are. Most of us share way more on social media than we probably do in normal conversation with people we actually know in real life. And I’m not really sure why this is.

Actually, that’s not true. I totally understand why this has become the norm. It’s because it’s incredibly anonymous and easy to share all kinds of semi-personal stuff when it’s in text and you don’t have to utter the words yourself aloud. For example, not a half hour ago I was compelled to share a message about how difficult it was to assemble some stupid Pokémon toy that I bought for a dollar. Was it necessary to share this? No. I don’t even know why I did. I guess on some primal level we all like a little bit of attention and we just want to talk 24/7. Look at me, look at me!!

That’s not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about why it’s so hard to disconnect from Facebook.

Let me first say that I have no intention of deleting my Facebook. If you’re one of those people that is able to walk away from Facebook and forget that it’s there, that’s excellent. Additionally if you’re one of those people that deactivates yourself because you know that if the app is available you won’t be able to help yourself, I understand that as well. If you’re one of those people, however, who makes a grandiose announcement that you’re fed up with Facebook and everyone on it and you’re about to delete your account in 24 hours, then please know that I roll my eyes at you and think you’re being dramatic and narcissistic. And I’m no stranger to drama or narcissism so I know what I’m talking about, you attention whore.

I genuinely like some aspects of Facebook. I have tons of photos stored there. I’m in several groups that I would miss and it would be incredibly inconvenient if I was not able to have access to them. There are people, not everyone but a good amount, from my past and from high school etc. that I would not keep in touch with otherwise. And I do like seeing photos and reading about what they’re up to. 

But I feel increasingly like Facebook is not helping me to be a better person. It feeds my insecurities; it often makes me feel inadequate; I sometimes feel jealous or dejected or just plain left out of something. I scroll through my feed and I see tons of holiday events, many of them are just posted by mere acquaintances with whom I have never even had occasion to socialize. But for some reason seeing all of these “fun” things happening makes me feel like… Wow, I wish I was having some fun. Here’s the thing, I do have fun! We even hosted a little holiday party and we enjoyed it so much that we didn’t even take a break from what we were doing to take pictures to share on social media! So I’m not sure why social media is such an energy suck for me.

I remember when I was in eighth grade at the end of the year there was a big formal dance… The eighth-grade formal! How aptly named! Anyhow, after the eighth-grade formal a girl in my larger group of friends was having a big party. And she made sure to invite every single person in our crowd except for me. I didn’t really know her that well so I wasn’t sure why she disliked me so much, but I’ll never forget that feeling of being the odd man out. I’ve always been on the quiet side and a lot of people misinterpret that as snobbish, but really I’m just reticent especially in larger groups. Anyhow, I’ve always remembered how I felt that night, and in fact when that same gal randomly friend requested me several times earlier this year, I declined every single one of them. You might think that’s petty, maybe it is, but I have no use for people like that in my life. 

And so all of this, seeing peoples highly curated super awesome Facebook lives and all of these awesome social events and everyone’s beautiful houses and vacations and purchases and labrador retrievers and whatever… How is it affecting me and making me worse for the wear? Well, it makes me do stupid things to make my life look extra curated and perfect. Maybe I’ll post a random video of myself singing or maybe I’ll post some pictures of me in a new outfit or with a new purse. By the way all of these things I have now deleted because I felt silly afterwards. Because at their core all of these things are… what? I guess fishing for attention? Showing everyone how awesome and perfect my Facebook life is? And while my life is great, and I do love it, as we speak my kid just threw a laundry basket against my Christmas tree and there are small pieces of paper clock all over my living room floor. And some days I let him eat a lollipop at 9:30 in the morning. 

So what’s the solution? I don’t know. I try so hard to do all kinds of tricks to cut back on my dare-we-say obsession with social media. I move the app to different folders, I removed it from my iPad, I’ve hidden people who seem particularly showy… But at the end of the day, I just have to assume that behind the scenes at every fantastic holiday party, at every amazing workout class,  on every flight down to Orlando for everybody’s amazing Disney vacations, there’s a big white laundry basket being launched at somebody’s Christmas tree. At least all of the lights work this year.

The C Word in Our House

Guys, I’m talking about co-sleeping. For the past year I’ve had a chunky little bedfellow. And I need you to stop judging me about it.

If you weren’t judging me, then we cool. But let me expound a bit anyway for everyone who has felt the need to tell me, unsolicited and unprompted, that I should get my kid out of my bed stat.

For the first two years of his life not only did Jake not sleep in our bed, he didn’t even sleep in our room. Not even on night one home from the hospital. Proof positive that the nutman wasn’t always our roommate:

Truth be told, Jake has been a crappy sleeper since birth. We had a little luck because of the automatic Rock n Play, but once he outgrew it the transition to his crib was rocky. Side note: despite its questionable reputation this item was a godsend and without it I surely would have had a nervous breakdown that first year. No, my kid didn’t have flathead or torticollis. But once he was able to operate the controls by himself it was time for him to move on up, but instead of his crib most of year 2 he much preferred to sleep in his pack and play in the living room and we indulged him.

Eventually he was just too big for the portable crib and we transitioned him to his big cribby, which he didn’t care for. At first he would wake up a time or two each night, I’d lull him back to sleep on the couch, and return him to the crib.

Around age 2.5 these wakeups became increasingly frequent… often every (damn) hour. EVERY. DAMN. HOUR.

Guys, I was exhausted. So I took a trip to target, bought a bed rail, and made myself the monkey in the middle betwixt my husband and my son.

And I slept 7 hours that night. Seven glorious hours. I may have had a fat little foot kick me in the belly a time or two, or I may have been woken up by Jake demanding that I “close the gate!” ie spoon him and wrap my free arm around him, but guys… 7 hours!! That was huge.

That being said, I do try and put the boy into his crib, now a big boy bed, every night, but invariably some time later – maybe four hours, maybe ten minutes – I have a banana man climbing into my bed. And I let him in, because at the end of the day I NEED SLEEP… and its not like he’ll be 15 and still climbing into my bed, right?

Give me a break, Heather

Sometimes I talk to myself.

In fact, some of my best conversations have occurred completely inside of my own head. I fancy myself pretty entertaining, and usually I amuse myself. But too often I do something else. Something that I’d bet my bottom dollar that you also partake in. This is a serious statement because if you check my wallet at this present moment I think I’m literally down to my bottom dollar.

But that is neither here nor there.

What I’m talking about is self-criticism. I do it. You do it. Don’t even pretend you don’t. Even the most confident among us has a momentarily lapse of self-deprecation. It happens. But why does it happen? I’ve been thinking on this subject a lot lately, and I think I’ve had a semi-epiphany about it.

Like many of you, most of my self-criticism concerns my weight. I’ve often said that not a day has gone by in my adult life when I haven’t obsessed over money or calories. In fact, I can’t remember a time in my life when I was even consistently “ok” with my body, and believe me, I’ve been chunky, skinny and everything in between. I’ve always had a knack for feeling good for a second, and then immediately following up that feeling with, “oh but if only I was…” and fill in the blank. A little thinner. A little less thunder-thighed. A little less ham-like-armed. Blah blah blah. If you’re like me, and I sort of hope you’re not, you probably can’t even enjoy a fantastic meal at a restaurant without thinking either “well, I certainly can’t get on the scale tomorrow” or possibly “I guess if we’re going out to dinner I’ll eat sparingly throughout the day to compensate.” But I think you all are, because when I reached out on my Facebook and asked for photos that you all felt good about, I was met with so much self-loathing and self-criticism, and that made me so sad.

It has to stop. And so, friends, today I’ve decided to cut myself a break.

That’s right. Give me a break already, Heather. Size 4 size 14, I’ll probably never been 100% ok with the gal I see in the mirror, but you know what? I think I’m becoming comfortable with that idea. I’ve been obsessing for over two years trying to lose the last 18 baby pounds (ps – don’t gain 65+ pounds when you’re pregnant. All of those egg sandwich bagels SEEM like a great idea, but they will hang around long after your kid is begging you to crack raw eggs with a hammer on the floor of your living room) And I do think I’ll do it, eventually. I hope so.

But right now, I’m giving myself permission to accept, and dare I say even LIKE, my body during the process. Am I trying to kick my Taco Bell habit and eat healthier? Of course. Am I hoping to incorporate some exercise into my life? I guess, but I just hate it. I know that until I do these things my old jeans will sit in my closet and stare at me mockingly, but right now I’m ok with going at my own pace and telling those jeans to check their attitude at the door.

I grew a kid in my body, and they cut him out of my abdomen with a knife. I think. I don’t know, I was pretty incoherent for that whole thing. I work like 8908 jobs. I’m busy. I’m tired. I’m so many things all the time, all day long, all week-long, all month-long, and I’m so so so exhausted sometimes. And I know you are too. You’re moms, you’re step moms, you’re single, you’re married, you’re divorced, you’re pet moms, you’re hard workers, you’re doing all of the things that make the world go ’round. And you know what? Its ok if it’s taking us a little bit longer to get there. Size 2, size 22, size 42, you have to find some beauty when you look in the mirror. It’s there – I promise. Other people see it, so stop all of your “I’m so fat” “I’m so ugly” “look at my wrinkles” and cut yourself a break, for God’s sake.

Success isn’t about achieving a specific end result. It’s every step you take along the way the moment you decide you are going to be successful. It doesn’t matter if it takes you two months or two years. It’s a journey. Be a little kinder to yourself as you find your way down the path.

Here I am pre-Jake, 36 weeks pregnant, and two weeks ago. And I think I’m ok with it. I’m trying so hard to appreciate my body for what it can do, not for what I think it’s supposed to look like.

heather

And how about all of my beautiful friends, who, either happily or reluctantly, shared these fantastic images of themselves? Beautiful, every single one of them – and I bet, if you turn down that little voice inside of your head that keeps putting you down, that you are too. xoxo – H

friends2friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Wear Skinny Jeans Even Though I’m Not Skinny

Nope, this isn’t a woe-is-me post about my body. No, I won’t be going on a tirade about how what’s on the “outside” doesn’t matter and its all about the person on the inside and pretty rainbows and trees and hippies and roses.  And I’m certainly NOT fishing for compliments (oh, Heather, you ARE so skinny!)

It’s not about any of that.

It’s about my journey to skinny jeans and how I’ve made peace with my body at age 36. It has been a long and bumpy road. Journey with me.

I grew up a chunky little kid. I was never a problem eater. I LOVED food. Look at my chunky little ham hocks here:

1681_10100641534895884_665124626_n

Yes, I was adorable, I know. But I was always the biggest (tallest AND fattest) kid in the class, up through and including sixth grade. And kids, as you may have heard, are mean. And that kinda stayed with me through all of these years. I may have lost a few and gained a few through the years, but even when I got down to a size 4 in my 20’s, I was still the fattest girl in Mrs. McGrath’s 2nd grade class, weighing in at an impressive 94 pounds – 9 pounds more than the next “fattest” kid in the class, who had the last name “House” mind you. That’s right. I was fatter than a house. How do I know these details? Because despite 8-year-old Heather asking nicely to keep her weight quiet, Mrs. Briscoe, the nurse, still insisted on announcing everyone’s weight aloud as she wrote them down. A little sick that this is a memory that is imprinted on my mind for all of these years.

Another fond elementary school memory: 5th grade. Riding the bus home from school. “Steve” decides to tell me, unprompted, that “If I were a mermaid, I’d be a manatee.” Yup, that one sorta stayed with me too.

So, I’ve had some fat baggage that I’ve been lugging around since, oh, age 5 probably. And my recent experience with a certain pair of skinny jeans has caused me to do a little introspection.

Do you like Pinterest? Of course  you do. Well, I do too. I’m practically a professional. (follow me!)

Anyhow, I got it stuck in my head that I must own a pair of cream-colored skinny jeans for the fall. I MUST. Life will not be complete, Heather, unless you seek out and find these pants.

I’m more of a wide leg, dark-colored pants gal normally. But, all of these pretty photos of ladies on Pinterest wearing cream-colored pants and boots frolicking through autumn fields… picking apples… just hanging around without cellulite. I wanted to be in that club in the worst way.

I took a trip to (where else?) my faithful local Marshall’s. Now, if you’re a Marshall’s regular, like myself, you know very well that you can’t say to yourself, “hey, I’d like to go and purchase a pair of black peep toe heels” and expect to find them at Marshall’s. Its more of a “go with an open mind – you never know what you might uncover” sort of store. But, the skinny pants gods smiled upon me that day, and lo and behold, there they were – cream-colored skinnies. In my size.

I tried them on, and although they fit like a glove, I was skeptical. I am bottom heavy. I am so pear that I’m almost eggplant. I’m what my husband might refer to as “assy” – but in a good way. And I was besot with thoughts like “these make my thighs look massive” and “oh can you see my cellulite??” But, I bought them, because at Marshall’s you gotta get it when you see it, because it will be gone the next time you come back.

I took them home. I tried them on with about 78 things that I already owned. Boots. Flats. Tunics. Sweaters. I was unsure. I thought they looked decent, but I was unsure. I polled the masses. My  mom loved them. My friends were split.

And I caved. I returned them. I felt so defeated. By my own insecurities, by society, by the elementary school nurse, by stupid “Steve.”

I had trouble sleeping that night – no exaggeration – because I was so pissed off that I didn’t trust myself and how I felt in these pants enough to flout whatever nay-sayers might think when they saw a non-size 2 girl in light-colored skinnies.

Well, reader, I re-bought them.

I wasted my entire lunch break driving all the way back to West Babylon, but, by the grace of God, the pants were still there waiting for me. (Remind me never to return items in BABYLON again when I could easily have taken them right to the East Islip Marshall’s.)

And so, this is what I think. You don’t have to be skinny to wear skinny pants. Or a sleeveless shirt. Or a strapless dress. Or whatever that one item is that you consider to be off-limits. Despite what that little person inside might be telling you (in my case, elementary school chunky Heather) YOU look good. Do you feel good? Then you’re fine.

Just make sure the item fits and flatters. If these jeans gave me a muffin top it wouldn’t indicate confidence – it would just tell people that I was in denial about gaining a few pounds or suggest that I don’t own a full length mirror. Dress for the size you are today.

I never wear my swimsuit in front of people EVER unless I’m in a foreign country. Its true. Recently, I had an hour to kill while my husband was at the gym at a resort (in New Jersey – not a foreign land) at which we were staying, and so I sat by the pool for an hour. In my bathing suit. And you know what? The world didn’t end. My guess is that no one even gave me a second glance. But in a good way.

I don’t expect this to “inspire” people and I don’t expect applause. I just hope that, ladies, you extend your body the same courtesy that it extends unto you. I’ve had an almost abusive relationship with my body for years, treating my “flaws”  like an abusive husband might treat his battered wife. And I don’t think I’m alone on this. You’re ugly, you’re fat, you don’t deserve to wear this. And you know what? Our bodies don’t fight back. They just faithfully keep us healthy, carry us where we want to go, bear our children. Hell, mine climbed a mountain for me, dammit! Granted I did fall down and vomit when I was done, but still. I asked my body to climb 4 miles uphill and it didn’t answer me back. It just climbed.

Its time we start showing our bodies some respect.

Here are the pants. I’ll wear them proudly this fall and pick some apples or something.  Maybe carve a pumpkin.

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