My Big Fat Box of Skinny Gains Weight

Monday, May 17, 2010

As I continue my slow and steady course toward moving into the house that I bought, I've noticed the accumulation of two things in the years since my last big move: clothes and pounds. Upon my arrival home, my wardrobe unfurled into three closets. And my waistline, likewise, has expanded [insert secret number of sizes I am unwilling to disclose on the internets]. It would seem that being reunited with homecooked meals and my boon shopping companion led to weight gain in a number of ways.

Instead of packing up the now ridiculous-sized wardrobe and moving it part-and-parcel over to the new abode, I'm forcing myself to sort through it piece by piece in a harrowing fashion show of the outgrown and simply "out." Those items that fall into the former category and intersect with the "I hope I'll wear it again someday" category get tossed into the box that I started awhile back when I noticed this rotund new trend. I call it "My Big Fat Box of Skinny." Inside are the single-digit-sized cherry red wool pants passed on to me by my sister-in-law. And the gray trousers I purchased on the cusp of fitting, only to tip right over the edge shortly thereafter into the "ain't gonna squeeze in no way no how" and requiring me to fold them neatly and place them in the box never having worn them in public. And the list goes on.

There were also in this hit-parade of fashion memorabilia the gross misfits, those garments I attempted to wear that rendered me flushed, panting and somehow twisted up in armholes and zippers with fabric cutting into all my soft places. The skirts that felt like sausage casings. The dresses I was able to get into but appeared to be related to the Michelin man with all my doughy rolls clearly visible.

And so it went - an extravaganza of ill-fitting. A feast of faux-pas. At the end of it, when the last skirt had been paraded out for review, I tossed the too-small items into the Big Fat Box of Skinny. And I noted, with a grimace, that the only thing that had lost weight was my closet.

Dear Mom, on Mother's Day:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It would have been nice if I had gotten it together and bought you a Hallmark card for the occasion, but I didn't. And even if I had, I might not know where I put it. I might've forgotten to sign it and give it to you. I might find it next month. After all, I'm a chip off the old block.

And I can't imagine any block I'd rather be chipped from than yours. You of primary school car-rider line fame. You the library lady. Famous in Publix checkout lanes - both from your celebrity with the under-7 set and your popularity with all the checkers and baggers. You of bread-making and seamstressing legend. You of Sunday afternoon paper and ice cream from a coffee mug. You of never planning and always flying by the seat of your pants and almost always landing on your feet. You of never being too old to want to ask me how you look in the morning before you leave for work. You who taught me the bliss of the first cup of morning coffee and that anything eaten in tiny, tiny "slivers" does not contribute to your daily caloric intake.

And who taught me other things. Essential things. Like the importance of kindness and never being too busy (or think yourself too important) to offer a smile or a pleasantry. Like the willingness to be behind the scenes, to work for the greater good, to be the one who does the thankless and the unnoticed. Like the perspective needed to make it through this old world, to be grateful for blessings, acknowledge trials and be hopeful for tomorrow. Like to believe, to have faith, to find peace, to pray.

You have never liked recognition - whether because your modesty keeps you from it or your humility keeps you from feeling that you deserve it or your contentment with being behind the scenes keeps you from really needing it. But it's Mother's Day, which is cause for celebrating the one who brought me into this world, shepherded me through it and continues to stand beside me on good days and bad. So, Happy Mother's Day, Mom. You are the best.


Lazy Jane by Shel Silverstein

Monday, May 3, 2010

Farewell, Art!

Sunday, May 2, 2010