Here’s a taste of my recent performance at Mom Shop 2. Hope you like it.
When I was young and had time to think of such things, I liked to think of what I would do when I was an adult. I was going to sip coffee in Paris, perhaps infiltrate the KGB as a secret agent. I would live in an ultra modern high rise overlooking Central Park and tempt fate by driving a roadster while wearing long scarves. I would be beautiful and vivacious and stunning to behold. It didn’t really work out that way, now did it? Uhuh, I stand before you, living the wild life I dreamed of: wife, mother of three, driving a minivan no less. Let’s just say that my life hasn’t turned out quite like I had planned it. Three kids will do that to you.
Take this morning for example. Normally, if I am going to perform, I actually take some pains with my attire. Of course, there was a time when just doing my hair was a major event – I survived the 80s thank you – and with a spiral perm no less. However, with each child, I have had to reduce my “getting ready” time until even basic hygiene has become a bit optional. After baby three, I came to the realization that I was beginning to average only 1.5 showers a week. It turns out that while smelling bad is not so great for one’s marriage, it is very good at desensitizing me to a point where I could put in a 8 mile run this morning, wipe the sweat from my eyes, reapply my deodorant, and do a gig in front of an audience of real people and not just the motley crew I live with. So, I hope you enjoy this. But I recommend you don’t come too close though.
Isn’t it absolutely amazing what giving birth does to you? Forget stretch marks and episiotomy scars, I’m talking about being absolutely unfazed by looked terrible in front of complete strangers. One minute you have a troupe of 18 residents checking out your tonsils the hard way between contractions and then next minute you shuffle to the grocery store in flannel sleeping pants and a t-shirt covered in baby goo. It is a truly sad thing. And not only do you stop caring what strangers think about your clothing ensembles, but things like comfort and elastic waistbands are suddenly the only thing that matters as you struggle to find clothing to cover what I like to call the “Mom Body.” When I got married, my husband made me promise that I wouldn’t start wearing sweatpants all the time because, in his workds, they just scream, “She’s given up!” I believe in keeping my word. These pants I have on? They are yoga pants. We yoga in them, not sweat.
So, an acquaintance of mine heard that I was taking part in a mommy makeover show and she wanted to know what I had learned I look best in. My answer, the dark. She was like, “Oh come on. You can do better than that, miss smarty pants.” Okay, a total power outage? Seriously, there seems to be only one color in my closet and that is black. I don’t care if wearing black only makes me look large and monochromatic, it matches my mood.
I can’t help it, I’m just not happy. It used to be I was cute, which I thought was rather insulting at the time, but whatever. Now, I’d love to be cute again. I’ve gone from being a cute girl to a minivan driving mom. I have tried to reclaim my cuteness factor with fun hair clips and sparkly nail polish, but it didn’t help. The other day, I got out of the shower and after cursing the fool who put a mirror across the bathroom from the shower, (oh yeah, that was my idea) I just stood there. Taking inventory. And I’ve gotta say. I look better dressed.
You know, cause we women can hide a lot of flaws under our clothes. And we can hide even more with good under garments. Ah, undergarments – every woman’s best friend. “Lingerie,” “Intimate Apparel,” my favorite is that oldie but goodie, “The Foundations Department.” I love that. Because it really hints at the whole smoke and mirrors thing, doesn’t it. I tell you, there ain’t no truth in advertising anymore.
Myself, I’m built like a pear. These days, make that a Bosc Pear, actually. So, a bra is my favorite item of apparel ever. I love that foundation. Cause it’s like I can just prop my itty bitty boobies on top of there and viola, instant boobage. You big boobed apple shaped gals, you love a good bra because it puts the girls back up where they started out, right? But, you know, I kindof pity the poor guys. It must be a shock to see what is really under our sweater. You know, like I’ve got plenty of cleavage, it’s just wide not deep. As far as I’m concerned, a day without an underwire, is like a day without caffeine. Just not very perky. Actually, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. When you wear a B cup, your boobs look pretty much the same at 40 as they did at 18.
Sometimes a girl has to play PollyAnna to make it through the day. In case you don’t know who Pollyanna was, Halley Mills played her in a 1960 Disney movie where she always was finding ways to see things more optimistically. So, some days, a girl just needs do a Pollyanna and find the good in the situation. You know, like they may be small, but they are still on my rib cage. Or, I have a 6 pack, really I do. It just has its own Coleman Party Cooler. Or, if things get really rough, I have to remember I’ve got fantastic blood pressure, my hair may be gray under this box of Clairol #462 but it still thick, and while other women have buns of steel, I have a cervix of steel. It takes a Pitocyn blow torch to get that thing open. So I may not be the girl I used to be, but I’ve still got a few good things left.
You know, now that I’ve been Pollyanna-ing for a bit, something has occurred to me. I have always been more than a just bit bitter over the fact that of the three sisters, I am the only pear-shaped girl in my family. But you know, perhaps what I should be lamenting more is the fact that I am so dang pale. Because if I looked a bit more “ethnic” my ample booty would be an attribute. In fact, people may actually encourage me to gain weight. Yeah, men would sing songs about my butt and what they couldn’t deny. But, since I’m trying to avoid additional sun damage, I’m afraid I’m going to stay this color.
You see, I’m now of the age that one goes to the dermatologist -not for acne treatment but for an evaluation of all your skin tags and moles and other such nasty things. And, it appears that one of my best features seems is leaving me. It used to be that I looked really young for my age. I recently went to the bank and the teller who couldn’t have been legal to drink looks at my license, looks at me, and then chirps, “Wow, you’ve really changed.” Could have gone all day without hearing that one. These days my beauty routine has more layers to it than an onion. Who knew it would take so many products just to try to MAINTAIN this level of sun damage? I wouldn’t mind except that it takes me 2 hours to spackle it on so I can go to bed each night. Meanwhile my husband has 2 steps to his routine. Pee. Brush his teeth. That’s it. The same thing he’s been doing his whole life. And the crappy thing is, he still looks basically the same as he did when I met him 19 years ago.
What is up with that? Men look distinguished and women get to look old? It is almost too easy just to be pissed at men for all the inequalities. But you know ladies, it isn’t the men folk that really cause us all this body angst – it’s worrying about what other women are going to say. Women are the scary ones. “Did you see what she had on?” or “Can you believe the size of her butt in that outfit?” ‘Cause while a man may look at the young firm flesh that passes him during the day (like we women don’t!), he knows he doesn’t have a chance with her anyway. And after getting married, most men really don’t care all that much about what we women look like naked. Yeah, seriously, men are most attracted to what they have access to. Proximity is the key. And frankly, now that there is more of my butt, proximity is never a problem. In fact, maybe I will have that second helping of tater tot hot dish.