Archive of ‘Life in Girl Land’ category

Dressing Room Wisdom.

Last night, I indulged in a little retail therapy. Descending on The Limited’s sale racks like the bargain hound I am, I filled my arms with loads of clearance-priced goodies. Sure, I wouldn’t normally go for a bright purple pinch-pleated skirt, but for $14.99, why not give it a try?

Arriving in the dressing room, I remembered why. Purple pinch pleats do bad things to my hips and butt.

I was staring into the mirror and sighing, thinking all kinds of unkind things about my body, when I heard something completely unexpected.

“Good lord, look at my thighs. I can’t wear this!” (that wasn’t the unexpected part).

“What are you talking about? You look great!”

“No. These jeans are too tight.”

“They are not. They’re perfect. You have curves. Embrace them!”

“You say curves, I say fat thighs.”

“We have thighs to protect our lady parts. They’re a good thing!”

“Maybe, but I just feel so self conscious…”

The other woman sighed.

“Look at me, then look at you. Do you think I look fat?”

“No, you look great!”

“And yet, I’m 80 pounds heavier than you. Do you know what the difference is?”

Silence (I assume she shrugged her shoulders or something).

“I love my curves. They make me look like a woman. Not some teenage boy. And you know what? Men like them, too.”

“Yeah, but…”

“But nothing. You girls don’t know how to appreciate what God gave you. I think I need to write a book…”

Her companion laughed. “Okay, okay, I get it.”

“So you’re going to get the jeans?”

“I’ll get the dang jeans. If you write that book.”

You know why that conversation was so awesome? The woman standing up for a woman’s right to be curvy actually believed what she was saying.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve stood in a dressing room issuing empty-mouthed assurances many a time. But I’ve never, in my heart of hearts, believed what I was saying.

Society – my society – has taught me that we’re all supposed to be a size 6. With the classic 36, 24, 36 measurements. And since, once upon a time, I actually had those measurements, it’s tough to believe I can be okay at any other size.

It’s refreshing to know it doesn’t have to be that way. That other women have already figured that out.

Maybe someday, the rest of us will too.



The Language of Hair.

A woman’s hair can say many things. It can speak volumes about beauty and sex, power and desire. It can be playful or woebegone. Do its best to attract attention or help its owner blend into the woodwork.

My hair? Has been known to do all of these things.

For most of high school, it was fairly nondescript. Whether short or long, its dishwater blonde locks  clung to my down turned face and cowered around my stooped shoulders. But as I came into my own, it gained more personality, sporting golden highlights and glorious curls.

In college, it suffered from an identity crisis. At times it was dark and goth. At others, it mimicked the sparkling blondness of the cheerleading crowd. But when I was feeling most like myself? It was red. Glorious, unforgettable red.

It’s impossible to hide with red hair. No matter where you go, or how you’re dressed, you stand out a little bit.

Red hair says certain things about you. It hints that you’re a little bit hot-tempered. A woman not to be messed with. Someone with the soul of a firecracker, and in possession of a great deal of passion.

It forces you to stand straighter. Meet people’s eyes. Walk around with an attitude of, “yeah, that’s right, I’m right here, buddy. You got a problem with that?”

Most often, the answer is no.

So, if you see me, take note of my hair color. If it’s brown, blonde, or some variation thereof? You can be relatively sure that I’m feeling pretty mellow, and not in the mood to make waves.

But if it’s red? Regardless of whether it’s long and curled or short and sassy, you’d do best to watch your step. I am ready to take on the world—and I don’t take kindly to those who stand in my way.


My Life: As Told By My Closet.

Every woman’s closet tells a story. Some speak of high-powered executives in search of their inner yogi. Others spin tales about stay at home moms too busy to worry much about their shirt on their backs—and their inner goddesses who still yearn for sparkles and stilettos.

Mine? Tells the story of a woman in search of her identity. A woman who’s tried on many different personas.  Someone who’s experimented with more careers than anyone in their 30s has a right to. One who’s tipped the scales at over 200 pounds and walked lightly at 125—and who never once found perfection.

There’s the polka dot business suit lined in hot pink left over from my hot young PR exec days.

The baggy fleece hoodie decorated with St. Bernards wrestling in leaves that I thought hid my plus-sized belly.

The fire-engine red A-line dress with the rhinestone buckle still ready to steal the scene at any formal occasion.

The dowdy purple mock turtleneck that I thought fitting for an Indiana town when I first moved here.

The sweet 50s-style swing dress that I fit into for a brief moment in 2003.

And the 12 pairs of jeans, ranging in attitude from look-at-my-tight-ass to please-God-don’t-look-at-my-butt.

There’s even a maternity skirt or two, still hanging in readiness.

Or at least there was. Because tonight? I bagged it all up to give away. It’s time to find those old personalities new homes—on bodies who will appreciate them.

I know who I am now. Or at least, I’m more sure than I’ve ever been.

I am a wife, a mother, and a writer. I am creative. Inquisitive. Never satisfied.

I like to wear swirly dresses and kicky skirts.

I like color—lots of color—and super cool tights.

I still rock more than my fair share of jeans, but I like to think they all make my ass look good.

I have more curves than I should, but I refuse to apologize for their existence.

I am a Woman. One who’s never been more ready to take on the world. And my wardrobe? Is becoming increasingly reflective of that.

So I waved good bye to those size 6 jeans. Bid my snazzy business suit a fond farewell. Snuggled my maternity skirt close before folding it away.

There’s no room in my life for that tired baggage right now. I’m too busy becoming the person I want to be.

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