Fit to be Tied

11 Oct

So last week I decided to try out a little wardrobe update.  I thought it might be a good idea to check out TJ Maxx since I had to make a return there from buying what I thought was a cool sweater vest a little while ago.  I decided to browse around and ended up with a ton of stuff to take home and retry since I was running out of time.  I heard the echoing of my mother-in-law saying “If you aren’t sure just take it home.  You can always return it.”  So I did.  I felt like Old St. Nick walking out of that store because the bag was THAT BIG.

When I went home I tried on a bunch of stuff for my husband and ended up with a bunch of things to return and some that needed in a different size.  So, I went back the next day and ended up trying a bunch of things on again.  As I was trying them on, the dressing room attendant (we’ll call her “the Attendant” for ease of reference) was commenting on a couple of the items I was wearing.  It was unsolicited but not bad advice.  And the attention was pretty nice, too.  So, I went through all of my outfits and with some help made final decisions on what I would be bringing home.  The last item I tried on was a knit dress with  3 broad color-blocked bands, knee-length and fitted.  Both my husband (from the night before) and the Attendant seemed to be very pleased with this dress but I still wasn’t sure.  I really haven’t worn dresses much less anything fitted since way before kids.  So I kinda shrugged and said “well, I think it makes me look fat.”  Shock and awe struck her face and she reassured me that it definitely didn’t and that I am skinny.  How could I argue with skinny?  And since I was already in a euphoric state from even being able to step foot into a clothing store for more than an hour ON MY OWN, I decided to set aside my insecurities and drop the dress into my “to buy” pile.  I then got dressed and headed out of the dressing room, thanking the Attendant for all her support and encouragement.  That’s when things changed…

As I was gathering up my “keepers”, the Attendant, almost in a whisper, leans over and asks “Um, do you have a baby?”  Now, I wasn’t with a child, I never mentioned a child, I didn’t have any child related products anywhere near me (in fact, I had man slippers in my cart, in plain sight) and I made sure to manage my time in the store so that I wasn’t asking around every 5 minutes if anyone had the time while explaining that I had to pick my child up from school.  So, the only conclusion I could come to was that I probably did look fat in that dress!  I replied “Yes, why because you could tell from my belly sticking out in that dress?”  And before I knew it we were in the underwear section standing in front of a rack containing items with control tops while the Attendant was explaining to me that if I needed to I could always buy one of these but I definitely didn’t look like I needed it in that dress and by the way did I remember to TIE MY BELLY when I was pregnant?  TIE MY BELLY??

If only I had known…

Naturally, I replied “Uh, Noo” as if I had forgotten because apparently in her world everyone has or is doing it and I definitely wasn’t going to be the idiot that had no idea what she was talking about.  She then continues to say “Oh yeah, you gotta tie your stomach but that’s ok if you didn’t this time, you can always make up for it with your second and third child.  And you know you can always do sit ups for your abs.”  NEWSFLASH!

So with little time remaining and clearly lots of work to catch up on (belly boot camp, working on a second and third child, picking my current child up from school), I excused myself and checked out.

I bought the dress but we aren’t friends and it will probably find its way back to the store and maybe into the hands of the childless, young and single Attendant who probably ties her belly just in preparation for the day she gets pregnant.

The irony in all of this is that I was in the store trying to find things that didn’t give away the fact that I am a mom.  I realize my body has changed and I look tired which doesn’t go well with many things other than yoga pants or jeans and a t-shirt but sometimes I just want to change it up.  I want to get past my postpartum insecurities and start feeling more like my old self.  But, is that possible?  Or do I embrace a new identity (a “mom-dentity”) with a side of who I used to be and incorporate the two into how I want to express myself now?

I suspect that although we want to find and embrace the things that remind us of who we used to be we can’t help but think about who we spend most of our time with and just how they play a defining role in who we are now.

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2 Responses to “Fit to be Tied”

  1. Laura October 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    “…maybe into the hands of the childless, young and single Attendant who probably ties her belly just in preparation for the day she gets pregnant.”

    Nobody understands until they are there themselves.

    Love this post.

  2. Joan Alison October 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Great words and so true from a young girl who has bloomed into a wonderful mother and a wonderful woman!!!!!

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