It happened. I had to do it. Not one single pair of my jeans (or pants, which are all jeans, but in various leathers, pleathers, denims) fit me anymore. I’ve been wondering when this would finally happen. When the belly would pop. It’s been creeping out, but I keep suspecting still, that I’m just chubby and yes, we’ve already determined that I’m vain for caring. I mean, pregnant women don’t care, do they? They love their growing belly, the scales going up and up. But me? I’m an ex bulimic, ex drinker who got sober and dropped 20 and got fit and trim and loved her body. I had a good 4 year run of loving my body. I guess that’s good enough, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong: I LOVE this body now, but when I forget that there’s a baby bumping around in there, I panic and think “Shit! I’ve been eating too many carbs, sugar, cheese, not exercising, what have I done?” I make a living standing on stage and we do have to think about these things because people take photos and videos and it’s usually the really shitty photos and videos that they put on Facebook and Youtube and tag me (sometimes I wonder if they’re just being mean). Some days I can’t wait to be 70 and be Patti Smith, long grey hair, a possible moustache (although I’m Irish so I doubt that will happen), deep nooks and crannies of age in the folds of my face, a long black coat over oversized black trousers, mittens with the fingers cut out. When I’m 70 and like Patti Smith I will walk onstage without make up and I will write what I want to write and sing what I want to sing (which is no different than what I’m doing at 49) and I will be a teacher at a University with records and books behind me like a yellow brick road that led me from 25 to 70.
But here’s the photo today on December 12, 2017. This is what I see:
I see a neurotic, 5’4″, once size 6/8 woman on the verge of 50 who doesn’t look close to that, standing in front of a dressing room mirror at a Target trying on, finally, a pair of maternity jeans. And she looks pretty good there. I’m standing sideways to take a photo for Jamey, because he’s been freaking out that I’m squishing the little dude with ever-tightening waistbands, so I wanted to send him the photographic proof that stands in for me saying “You’re right,” which anyone in a partnership knows is a gift better than diamonds. And you know what? I thought I looked kind of hot. No makeup. Hadn’t even brushed my hair today, just put the hat on, my feet hurt, my back hurts and yet, there I am, big ole belly full of boy, a freaking miracle of so many things, and in all those years I had that body I’d worked so hard to get, I rarely stood in front of a dressing room mirror and thought “You are HOT”. I still found the flaws.
Today: I had that rare peaceful moment of thinking: you go girl. You broken and beautiful you.
And with that, since the rest of the day brought nothing but unexpected chaos, I will counteract the stress by making Christmas cookies. And eating some of the dough.