Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks. I think.

For years people have been feeding me "compliments." They make statements that feel like they are almost kind, but could just be cruel, then look at me expecting me to show some gratitude for their words, when all I am really thinking is,  "Are you kidding me?" 
When I was a teenager I had really bad acne on my cheeks. I was a pretty confident girl, but I was always embarrassed by it. After arguing with a friend about who was prettier, or some ridiculous conversation that 14 year old girls have from time to (all the) time, she looked at me and said "Yeah, but you look good with zits." I look good with zits? What does that even mean? Thank you?

I seriously can't remember who I was talking to, but within the last few months (since the baby weight has come... and stayed for a longer visit than I expected) someone told me that I don't look bad when I put on weight- because I put it on everywhere, and I still look normal. What? I look good fat? Then why does it hurt my feelings every time I see a picture of my pre-preggo bod? Sure the waistline has extended and the chins have doubled, and the calves no longer fit into the boots I long for, but I wear it all over- so the fat looks good, right?  Thanks?
Great with Child. Plump from head to toe. 
One time a friend had this car. This friend would eventually become my husband, but that's beside the point. This car was hideous. It was a rusty maroon colour. The plush velvet seats extended in 2 long rows, and the velvety ceiling sagged a bit in the middle. It died a few times before it's ultimate demise, which was delivered by a mini van in reverse. It's licence plate was a series of numbers followed by the letters HMP... and so the name it was known by forever and always was... ahem... is:  "The Hump." Gross. There was a BBQ one night at the church, and Dave had hauled some stuff over in his work van, and needed someone to follow him home in the The Hump. I volunteered. I drove out of the parking lot, waving like the queen and telling people to check out my sweet wheels. My roommates later told me, in all seriousness, that I looked good in it, and that it suited me. What? This thing is gross and old and sounds like a dying cow... and it suits me? Uh huh. Well, I... appreciate that?
The Hump. You could count on it to let all weary travelers down. 
Me, sleeping soundly on the Humps plush velvet seats. Suiting it? 
For YEARS people have commented on my choice of attire by saying "you can pull that off." I can pull it off? What does that mean? Are you saying I shouldn't be wearing this, but I'm making it work in spite of it's outdated-ugly-unflattering-strange-ness. Is it that you would never wear this? Why say anything at all? Why not just think to yourself, "Is she seriously wearing that?" and get on with your day. But since you chose to say something, the only choice I have to say in reply is "Thanks."
Rocking the Bridesmaid dress I probably never should have squeezed into. 
Ultimately these thoughts were brought on by something Dave said to me the other day. He looked at me with a smile and said "I'm grateful you're not one of those wives that are crazy in public." Huh. I'm not crazy in public. So... does that mean I'm crazy- just not outside of these walls? Does that mean that I'm not really myself when other people are around? Or is he implying that most women are crazy in public? Because if he understood what we as women go through on an average day - the worry, the planning, the hoping, the wishing, the comparison, the demons that we fight, the emotions that we bury... I didn't even know how to react to that- except to wait a few seconds, look at him with furrowed brow and reply "Hmm?" All Dave could say as he reconsidered what had just come out of his mouth was "I'm grateful." and nod, with a wide eyed smile- like he had just said something which I would agree with, and appreciate, and thank him for. 

Well- Thanks! 
I think. 
Showing Dave just how CRAZY I can be- in public- and while peeking into the window of the Hump. May she R.I.P.