Blind Deaf and Dumb Dating

Many of you have had a friend fix you up at some point in your life.  I have been on blind dates where I have had no firsthand knowledge of my companion.  In today’s world where Tinder and Match.com exist, people are blindly reaching for strangers more than ever before.

The term blind date brings to mind other images: a sightless soul tenderly reaching towards the outline of your person, humbly feeling for boundaries and trying to establish a connection.  More often than not however, these hasty encounters have the reputation for being deaf and dumb as well.  Your partner does not hear what you are trying to say.  Your companion has no idea how to have a conversation.  It can be an experience like no other, as if two handicapped blindfolded individuals stumble around, and bump into awkward blocks that may or may not yield romance.  Comic tales of these encounters are a dime a dozen. How can you lift your experience from the comic to the sublime? Start by spending time.

A woman in my neighborhood is going to marry an acquaintance after knowing him for a period of ten days.  Yup, you heard it right: a fortnight.  She feels their souls have been waiting and finally found each other. Call me a cynic, but I have changed my mind about all manners of things after ten days.  I hate a dress I bought a month ago and after six weeks now wish to change my exercise regimen. How deeply can you know another person after ten days?  Using water as reference point, “about as deep as a mud puddle.”

I understand the concept of love at first sight.  But why the hurry?  What is the rush? Yes you may be the rare exception that proves the rule. I am open to the possibility. This could be a forever thing. You argue that you are excited and will discover all in time.  Well marriage, at least ideally speaking, will give you all the time you could possibly want, but is there a problem in trying to make an educated choice? Could you not spare time now to look a little deeper before leaping ? Are you sure you want to legally tie yourself and your child (yes, there is a child) to a virtual unknown?  To me, you are putting the cart before the horse!  Slow down. Think as well as feel.

Dating is an adventure . There are no guarantees in life, even with added time.  Love is full of stories.  I met my husband because my mother called the police on him.  She was in the wrong and felt so bad she made him homemade doughnuts and sent me to deliver them. Who knew we would eventually marry?  I say eventually because we took time to really talk, we broke up, we got back together.  We laughed, argued and established respect and boundaries.  More than thirty years later he is still my best friend, laughing partner and truly my other half. Marrying him was the best decision I ever made.

It would definitely not have lasted had I gone into it blind, deaf and dumb. Technology has opened up so many new ways to meet people. Explore new territories with your internet dates.  Give your relationships opportunities and  real time. Don’t settle or shortchange yourself. Jump the puddle and share an ocean.  Know who you are committing your life to.  Remove the strangeness from the stranger before accepting him as your other half.  Build trust.  Love smart. I know I am not a love guru.  I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  Love remains our enduring mystery. We each choose how it comes to us.  I simply recommend that a tiny piece of practicality exist alongside your earth shattering romance.  Blind is tough enough.  Deaf and dumb is no way to start sharing a life.

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Holy Moly

I once was saved in a Baptist Church completely by accident.  The congregation was instructed to close their eyes, and if there was the slightest doubt whether you would end up in heaven or in hell you were supposed to raise your hand.  Being a thoughtful twenty-something with afterlife questions I raised my hand. I only opened my eyes as an enthusiastic preacher hustled me up onto the altar in front of my boyfriend’s very large family. I had no opportunity to interrupt or demur. Caught like a deer in the headlights, I was saved.

At the time I was attending a Catholic college, and being raised Catholic you would think I might have fared better at the mass I recognized.  One fateful day, however, a friend of mine and I brought the gifts up to the altar about five minutes too early into the proceedings.  When the priest saw us, he held us in front of the packed house, hurrying through the prayers until it was the appropriate moment for the gifts to be received. When I realized what we had done I muttered “Jesus Christ” under my breath without thinking.  The horrified Father shot me such a shocked look that any composure I once had completely fled.  My Protestant friend, panicked at my side, frantically whispered “What do we do now?”  I meant to say “Genuflect”.  I really did.  But instead my brain, saturated with adrenaline, came up with the unfortunate response “crucify yourself”.  I knelt, slunk back to my seat in abject embarrassment and prayed for my very soul.

You might think me lacking in faith.  Not true. In my youth I attended every type of religious ceremony I could, seeking enlightenment.  I went to Temple and  invited Mormons in for discussions. I read the Bible cover to cover. I have friends of various religious persuasions. I have always been spiritual. I sincerely wish to understand the similarities and differences between faiths.

My parents divorced when I was twelve and my mother, who was raised strict traditional Catholic, used to pretend for her mother’s sake that we had attended mass.  Whether that was a moral choice, who can say?  In our personal “mass time” we would stroll through the woods and talk, both of important things and day to day minutiae. I do know that this made my relationship with God feel very personal and that this shared contemplative time reinforced my faith. Mom would say God can be felt in nature as strong as in any house that man constructs.  To this day, many religions and buildings later, I still feel the truth in that statement.

I have had meaningful encounters with clergy. I have experienced signs.  I know God exists.  What my experience has taught me is that Buddhist or Christian, Muslim or Jew, we are more alike than different.  Most faiths share similar humanistic principles and encourage us to conduct ourselves within a moral framework. There is no right and wrong definitive religious view.  Understanding is a very personal issue.  I have brought my sons to mass, and shared my own perspectives and faith with them.  I have encouraged them to seek truth, confident that God will reveal Himself in a way that holds meaning for each of them.

I am not the Catholic that my grandmother might wish.  I am, however, a person whose principles and faith she would admire.  I am at peace with myself.  I pray daily and contemplate the beauty of the existence we have been given. I am thankful for every moment that has taught me something, whether sad, embarrassing or joyful. I am sure God has a most excellent sense of humor. For that reason I even still make an occasional appearance in church.

 

 

 

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Read

Written words are a doorway.  I learned at age 4 that when I could correctly interpret letters on a page I could see pictures in my mind.  I could be anyone and live adventure. Books made me feel and think and dream.  I remember my cheek pressed against the cold bathroom floor, envisioning Snow White while forgetting I had the flu.  I smuggled a flashlight into bed at night so I could see where dragons would next appear.

No television or movie experience completely engulfs me like a good read.  Mixed media does the intellectual work for you: you see and hear what is presented.  Written stories present sensory information as well but imagination is required to furnish the details, to add dimension and form a personal reality.  A reader’s own focus, understanding and experience complete the interpretation. Reading becomes not just a passive experience but an internal act of creation.

My kids and everyone else’s are absorbed by video games, cell phones, I Pods and a host of other technological devices. We are revolutionizing our information systems.  Admittedly, progress is a great thing.  Here I sit, blogging on a laptop that no one had thought of yet when I was young. I slogged to the library for all my college research papers (uphill both ways of course) and consulted heavy tomes to substantiate knowledge.  Now Siri looks stuff up for me.

The information at our fingertips is mind-blowing. And it is all so easy. Is easy always better?

Practically speaking, books gave me vocabulary skills, spelling and an innate sense of syntax.  Texting might be able to provide the same if we can get by the abbreviations and shortcuts we so heavily depend on. As far as books go, Nooks and e-readers do give bibliophiles options.  I miss the smell and crinkle of crisp pages but ecologically speaking computerized text is better for the planet, and so could be considered improvement.  I haven’t seen inspiring, colorful illustrations within electronic formats but they may exist. I hope so.  As a child the pictures were the icing on the cake, a beautiful and vital piece of the book experience.

As an adult I still read every evening before bed and wouldn’t trade that time for anything. Real life has budget restrictions and responsibilities.  In my freedom hour I am wealthy or beautiful, mysterious and magical. I learn.  I travel and accomplish wondrous things.  I imagine, dream, laugh, cry and relate to all peoples in myriad ways.  Books connect me to other realities, provoke me to think, spur me to expand my consciousness. They give me  wonder and a deep appreciation for human connection. They make me value expression.

I do want my children and grandchildren to enjoy their electronic devices.  But I also want   them to leave technology behind once in a while.  Practice a time-honored interpretive art. Walk through the doorway.  Reading is a gift, one that I hope to share. Pick up a book. Imagine and feel and dream. See where the dragons may land.

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Casual Look

A statuesque blonde strolled by me in the parking lot today.  Maybe forty years old she had a lithe body attired in black tank top and lycra leggings, sweater casually knotted at her hips.  I envied her relaxed gait and perfect posture. Her confidence was magnetic.  She cared not at all how anyone looked at her and because of that people looked.

I went blonde once on the age old theory that it would be more fun.  My husband really liked it which brought a few perks. Overall though, I did not feel more elegant.  I was not instantly more attractive.  It was not an uplifting change. The mirror just reflected a platinum head of hair.  Far from feeling like a model,  I suddenly experienced the urge to snap chewing gum and take orders in a fifties diner.  I felt silly and artificial.  I felt uncomfortable.

I am not a beauty snob. I  wear makeup. I have no problem with any hair color or clothing style. We all try different things.  I have spent money, more than I will ever admit, and time on silly feminine foibles. My skin is pale and my siblings naturally have much lighter hair than I.  Going blonde should have been a great experience.  It just wasn’t. This look didn’t fit.

I am a natural brunette.  I admit sometimes I add a little auburn now that grey has begun sneaking in.  Darker hair suits me, at least to my own eyes.  Because I like it I feel more confident.  I feel more myself.  I do not have perfect posture or an enviable figure.  But I do have my wit, and humor and compassion.  I am intelligent and purposeful.  I like myself.  Like the lady I passed today I too walk with a spring in my step.  I won’t be sporting the lycra look in public any time soon, but I am glad I got to share a smile with someone today who really wears that look well.  And she smiled back, at little old brunette me.

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Dental Damn

Auschwitz survivors.  To me they are the epitome of human determination.  I cannot comprehend the agony of their experience.  But I deeply admire their will to triumph, to persevere in the face of all obstacles.  When I am feeling wimpy,  facing the unknown or have a personal obstacle to overcome, I challenge myself.  I will not buckle.  I will not fail.  If people survived years of abuse and deprivation, surely I can accomplish anything for one hour, even sitting in a dentist chair.

You have heard of Captain America and Iron Man.  I am busy competing for the title of Silver Woman, The Caped Cavity, or perhaps The Dental Dame.  I was not blessed with strong pearly whites, never had braces and have always hated my smile.  My fifteenth year was particularly heinous dentist-wise, with several cavities followed by wisdom tooth extraction and subsequent infections.  I was in that chair so often I jokingly greeted my dentist with “Hi Dad, I’m home.”  Perhaps that was the year that scarred me.

I do follow protocol, brush and floss. Yet I am filled with shame when the hygienist sighs and starts rambling on about fruit juices and soda, neither of which I drink.  I am not a child but certainly feel like one.  I have a small palate and lots of teeth on a small jaw.  I know people have much worse circumstances than mine, but when I see that rubber dam coming that they want to put in the back of my mouth I feel like throwing a tantrum.  I hate feeling like I am choking, or that I can’t swallow or breathe properly.  It brings me back to my childhood asthmatic days, before inhalers were a thing.

I scold myself, school my expression and make jokes.  I appear completely comfortable and relaxed.  My interior monologue allows no outward show of nerves or cowardice. I will not give in to displaying fear.  I will do what has to be done and emerge a conqueror. So I keep my appointments and suffer through one afternoon.  Humans in this world have tolerated situations unimaginably worse. Whining or cringing brings deeper shame than any diagnosis could.  I have dignity.  I am a grown-up.

Granted I am a grown-up who feels like she got slugged in the jaw with a baseball bat but my yearly trials are complete.  I have no shame.  I gracefully survived.

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Food Doggone It

At the Culinary Institute of America the motto is “Food is Life.”  I admit it is a pretty great motto.  Scents of cloves, cinnamon and ginger dance through my holiday dreams.  My family passes heirloom recipes through generations, traditions of festive family feasts shared on joyous occasions.  We celebrate with food, share while mourning, surprise each other with new delicacies and challenge each other to achieve new culinary heights.  Food really has played a central role in every part of my life. I love it and live it.

My grandma always had fresh-baked cookies in the tin for dessert to follow the homemade soup softly bubbling on the back of the stove.  Food was comfort and family and home.  My dad had cocktail parties, elegant affairs where my mother would prepare appetizers for an upscale crowd.  Nothing cheered us up more than a special snack to make us forget the hardships of the day.  There really is a recipe suitable for every occasion.

Unfortunately I found a lot of occasions.  My body wishes I had less to celebrate.  After years of indulging it begs me for a healthier obsession.  Exercise has been suggested as an alternative. Housecleaning, bookwork, yard work, and art projects are all things I  can do instead of feeding my face. I am working on it, taking steps to limit sweet treats and carbohydrates and add more fruits and vegetables.  I am adding exercise and tackling neglected projects.

As a special gift a friend brought me a small sugar free pound cake.  I have given up sugar in my daily diet, so this was a super treat.  I had a little slice and put it aside, wanting to savor that feeling of indulgence that I have recently been denying myself.  I waited a few days until I tackled a particularly unpleasant chore. I was proud of myself for getting the dreaded deed done. I decided that this was the moment.  Reward time.  I had earned another slice of that impossibly good, rich yellow carbohydrate.

Imagine my surprise when I realized that the cake was gone, finished by my sneaky little cocker spaniel when I was not looking.  It was a crushing blow. I was denied the sensual pleasure of ingesting every last calorie guilt-free.  I could lie and say that it was no big deal, pretend that I was not totally disappointed.  I could focus on the positive and remind myself that I certainly didn’t need that cake and that the dog in his way actually did me a favor.

I am honest.  I was mad.  I have since recovered myself and munched on some salad, trying not to glower between lettuce leaves.  There will be other treats on other days.  I will keep working on getting my body to a healthier state when I can pursue a guilty pleasure now and then.  My brother would tell me that I should eat to live and not the other way around.  But no matter how thin I get, I know this one indisputable fact: for me food is life, and there is no point in denying it.

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Respect as Right

A friend recently attached a Trump sticker to the back of his car. He has since been shouted at, flipped off, mocked and verbally assaulted.  Fortunately, he has an amazing sense of humor.  He is calm within himself and secure in his beliefs. Though initially startled by reactions from total strangers, he shrugs and takes the heat in stride.  It is his car and he can put on whatever sticker he likes.   When did it become okay to yell at someone you don’t know because they have a sticker contrary to your own political opinion?

My sons attended a university event last month where the invited guest speaker could not complete a sentence without vitriol spewing from the audience.  People continuously interrupted, accusing the speaker of various offenses without allowing any response time. These interruptors did not wait for a question and answer period or politely phrase objections.  They simply shouted over the invited guest.  People paid for tickets to attend this lecture on a college campus, where a guest was denied the opportunity to share his perspective. Where was his right to expression? And the audiences right to listen?

Outrageous behaviors are being excused under the auspices of “free speech”.  I support free speech. And I couldn’t give a fig what your political leanings are. That is irrelevant. Believe whatever you wish.  But please don’t shout, rant and rail to express yourself. Be civil. Do not trample others rights in pursuit of your own.

Respect is the issue.  I was raised to believe that open discussion of difficult principles was part of intellectual growth.  At Thanksgiving my uncle would play devil’s advocate to whatever popular opinion held sway at the table. He would literally take an opposing view for the fun of it.  Friendly arguments were family tradition, and one that we enjoyed. I learned how to think at that table and how to better articulate my own point of view. Yes we disagreed frequently and sometimes loudly.  We also heard each other out and examined the merits of every position. It was intellectual exercise, affectionate ribbing and respectful discourse.  We did not shout our opposition into silence, sling insult or heap humiliation.

Rational argument is a flashlight aimed at issues to achieve enlightenment. When respect is removed from the equation however, things get ugly.  Rudeness prevents people feeling safe to express their own opinions.  Those who shout and grandstand may be speaking freely but these abusive habits are offensive. They inhibit the expression of others.  Intimidating someone into silence is not the way to ensure freedom.

By definition, universities should be a forum for intellectual discussion.  Yet by failing to set guidelines and remove interruptors, universities are failing.  Social criticism is rampant right now. Myriad campuses are exploring safe zones, environmental goals, transgenderism, and a host of worthy issues.  Intimidation however is not forward thinking.  Campuses are buckling under the weight of social expectation. In their struggle to be perceived as politically correct they are losing a critical quality: that of being objective.   If they remove a protester from an event, they may be perceived as curtailing free speech.  Due to that fear they are inadvertently crushing free speech.

Civility needs consideration. There should be guidelines for appropriate dissent.  The university is simply a model for what is happening everywhere.  Groups are not asking or persuading others to their viewpoint.  They are demanding.  Those who disagree are publicly taunted and shamed.  Frenzied energy carries the day, logic silenced under outpourings of sarcasm and vitriol.  Soon our society may look very much like Salem in the witchcraft trial days, full of raised voices and pointed fingers.

Look within a tinier microcosm, Facebook.  Internet memes are a dime a dozen. It is easy to locate amusing tidbits to share. Some interaction is friendly and lighthearted. Yet there also exists a darker underbelly where rude replies to posts or simply insulting others has become its own form of amusement. I frequently witness gleeful chortling at snarky commentary. Why is it acceptable to belittle others online?  Do you feel anonymous, safe behind your screen? If addressing a stranger are you less accountable for your words?

Trolls, online or in person, have never been attractive. They are abhorrent in fairy tales, despised creatures.  Yet we now accept trolls and troll-like behaviors as part of our daily existence. We have forgotten our manners.  We have erased respect in our dealings with others.  Children learn that screaming tantrums do not solve problems.  Adults must remember the same.

Politics and the internet are obvious examples. Lack of respect is everywhere. Much may ironically stem from our diet of political correctness.  Though the intent of such awareness is good, the unintended results are often divisive. We cannot salute the flag without offending someone.  We must take into account every individual circumstance in society, from educational challenges to economic level to sexual orientation and defend each loudly and with vigor.  We have to hold society responsible and in our litigation happy world we do just that.

We have forgotten the importance of personal responsibility.  We as individuals need to be held accountable for words and actions.  We need to relearn the art of civil discourse.  We should also stop whining and behaving as spoiled children. Not every difficulty requires a mothers intervention. Every human being faces challenges in their lifetime. Facing obstacles does not make you special. It makes you human. It is the difficulty of such challenges and how we face them that defines our character.

We have also forgotten our joy.  We need to appreciate the positive aspects of our society, the good within people.  Focus on the beauty in each day and the negatives do not disappear but rather slide into perspective.  It is easy to be hot and bothered.  Take a moment to breathe, think and appreciate before blowing off steam. For all our differences we are inherently alike.

Remember that we share this society with one another. Political correctness, the decline of religion, lack of traditional family values…there are hundreds of possible rationales for why we are no longer polite to one another.  Poor television programming, outrageous video games, the state of our schools…the list goes on and on. None of it is pertinent. It just doesn’t matter.  It is important that we correct it, starting with ourselves.

We need manners. Period. Each and every one of us.  We should be responsible for conducting ourselves with dignity. Communicate effectively and politely. Demonstrate respect.   Go ahead and improve our world, but be a decent human being while you are seeking that change. It is fine to protest or to hold a dissenting opinion.  Express yourself often and well.  Just remember, as my grandmother used to say, “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

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Denturehood

I was surprised today  at Wal-Mart.  That in and of itself is not unusual.  There are many surprising sights at our local store.  However, on this day when purchasing alcohol, the cash register scrolled the question to the cashier:  Is your customer over forty? Without even a subtle glance back or asking for ID , my very polite clerk nonchalantly punched in an affirmative code and rang up the sale.

It hit me right in the solar plexus.  Yup. I am obviously above the middle age marker. No questions needed.  I experienced a sudden flashback.  My seven year old son once wrote me a birthday card which referred to me as an “old denture”.  We had a good laugh. It was pretty funny at the time.  Now?  I still don’t really consider myself an “old denture” but I am getting there.

I understood why the question was asked.  I distinctly remember how irate my father was when at age 70 a cashier at a local drugstore refused to sell him cigarettes because he did not have his license on him.  “Look at me,” he said, “Do I look underage to you?”  The facts did not change.  Without his ID he could not make the purchase. Wal-Mart is avoiding that scenario, employing a subtler method to roll back the number of identification inspections at the register.  Rolling back is what they do after all.

Time however keeps rolling forward.

Funny enough, the son who first coined the term “old denture” has hit a few milestones this week.  He signed a lease to a very nice apartment in another state today.  He takes the first real steps in his professional career this Monday.  He has grown into an amazing human being, a caring and accomplished man that I am very proud to call my son.  Our ages are thirty years apart.

Thirty years ago I would definitely have been asked for ID when making an alcoholic purchase.  Ironically, I don’t think I would have appreciated it. Back then I liked thinking of myself as adult,  obviously mature. I might have rolled my eyes when reaching for my license, aggravated that they really needed to ask. I wouldn’t have been flattered. Some things you only learn to appreciate later on in life.

Today I am grateful.  I can still laugh at the idea of being old while becoming it. I know and like myself as I am.  I definitely would not trade the years to have my youth return.  Yes, I have some grey hair, a few wrinkles and gravity is making itself known.  So what? Those intervening years between being carded and becoming a “denture” were the best years of my life to date, a time of joy in raising my family. We have had tremendous adventures, our  share of stress and sorrow, and infinite beautiful moments together.  I am so blessed to have lived a life full of love and laughter. My age is a testament to those shared years, the time invested in growing four beautiful sons.  That time is when I grew into myself, refined my values and learned to appreciate the gifts I have been given. I am no longer a spring chicken.  I am a plump white hen in the rafters, contentedly surveying the barnyard.

Life is cyclical as my sons will one day grasp.  Today’s experience was simply a reminder. Soon I really will be an “old denture”.  That’s okay with me.  It makes checking out at Wal-Mart that much quicker.

 

old white hen

 

 

 

 

Terror

Have you ever experienced a true David and Goliath moment?  Have you  hunkered down in mental anguish, desperately unsure of survival?  Have you railed against the fates, mired in the soul-wrenching misery of the downtrodden?  If you’ve been audited by the IRS, the answer is yes.

That is not a  typo. I did not write ISIS. I repeat – IRS.

The funny thing is I had nothing at all to hide.  Yet when the dreaded envelope arrived, declaring my government’s dissatisfaction, I was shaken to the core. It could be because they were threatening an ungodly amount in fines and restitution, funds I do not possess. It could have been the stone formality of phrasing, the utter certainty that I had somehow erred.  I felt like a criminal and feared for my financial survival.

Time was not my friend. The tax year concerned was three years in the past so it felt like the powers that be had avidly searched for a reason to persecute me.  The wait was heavy. I had a full six months in which to imagine many possible outcomes, most of them grim.

The most striking thing about the whole experience was the way in which the burden of evidence fell to me.   In what other circumstance in this great nation of ours are you considered guilty until proven innocent?  Because that IS the presumption: that you have somehow cheated, or misreported in order to deceive the higher powers.  I had to go back into our financial history and gather documents. I called and hunted, gathered and submitted in the hope it would clear misunderstanding.

My initial response was deemed insufficient.  I was notified I would have to appear in federal tax court if I wished to defend my position.  I gathered more evidence, met with an accountant and returned yet more documents.  Sounds like I have offshore accounts, underhanded dealings and nefarious business practices, does it not?  I was actually proving our right to educational credits, having had three sons in college at the same time.

Transcripts, billing statements and diplomas proved our case.  No courtroom was necessary. After my second round of documents I was sent a letter. The IRS decided to accept the return in question exactly as filed. I felt like I won the lottery.  I felt as if I had escaped the hangman’s noose.

Death and taxes are inescapable.   But we do try to make dying as comfortable as possible for those we love.  Could we not at least try to lessen the intimidation factor involved with tax issues?  The majority of taxpayers are not a class of criminals.  We are working people who struggle to meet our obligations.  A friendly voice on the phone, a real human to answer our call might be nice.   A personal meeting with someone who tries to help the taxpayer…is that asking too much?  Tax law is ever changing and truly complex.  I pay my own accountant who was greatly helpful to me. What about those who cannot afford to pay someone to help them understand?  And shorten the time factor if at all possible.  It is difficult to have weighty issues unresolved, hanging like anvils over your future.

Thank you to those who helped me through the long night.  You buoyed me up, hoped with me and shared in my outrage.  It was long and painful but justice did triumph. To all those Davids out there, do not despair.  If you are right do not give up. Fight on. You are not alone.

death and taxes

Fat Fit

No one wants to see me in a miniskirt.  Or a midriff halter.  Or, God forbid, a bikini. Thanks to 2016, a time when equality in all things is expected, I do have these options in which to display my girth. This is not a bad thing.  Many bigger girls seem to appreciate it. I have seen them and they are proud. It is simply not what I want.

Stylish is not the same as flattering.  Trendy does not equate with appropriate. Current size demographics (pun intended) indicate that we Americans are a hefty population. Much attention is being given to plus size clothing. We are no longer marketing tents in which to hide and that’s great, though you can still find a brightly flowering mumuu if that’s your thing.

Shopping for a dress for my son’s wedding, I visited many sites which offered everything you can get in a size 2 modified and tailored to fit anyone up to size 28. Okay. I can choose the same clothes as a skinny model. Hooray, I guess? But it has been my experience that not much that flatters a size 2 looks stupendous on a round middle-aged mom.  The dresses I ordered simply didn’t work.  A friend custom made my gown.

Perhaps I am exceptionally difficult, but truthfully I believe there are many who share my feelings. I am not ashamed of my size. I want to take pride in my appearance. I want to dress appropriately for my age and career. I don’t wish to mimic a runway stick or pretend that I am twenty. Nor do I wish to hide away as a dowdy matron. I simply want to be the most vibrant, attractive me I can manage.

Yes I live now, in 2016.  That can be reflected in fabrics and color choices.  I yearn for simple clean lines, clothes made to flatter the actual shape I sport. Visually slimming?  All the better!  Emphasizing my curves?  Possibly, but only if highlighting the right ones.  Jelly rolls pouring over painted-on leggings?  Not so much.

I am not looking for equality in fashion, but fashion equal to the needs of my life.

Elegance. Class. Something in which I shine…not through sequins or satins, but rather a comfortable ensemble with flattering fit and color suitable for the occasion. Modern design has improved. We larger lovelies do have options.  Let us increase those choices. Designers, if you are listening, please stop upsizing size twos. Design for the Larger Market.  Your efforts would be so appreciated!

fat cinderella