Princess: Self-acceptance or utter denial?
The Aspen Princess
So the other day I was at Spring Cafe with my friend Amy, who is tall and gorgeous and has the hair I’ve always wanted, long and blond and all the way down her back. We’re hanging out on the patio with the babes and the pug sipping our $18 smoothies when some lady comes up to us and asks me, “Is this your daughter?”
Mind you, she’s not talking about Levi; she’s talking about Amy. She thinks that I’m the grandmother.
God knows I’ve suffered worse insults over the years, especially around my mistaken identity as a pregnant woman. That’s why I loved being pregnant so much — I could finally be myself. With wide hips, strong legs and no trace of a waist or bones, I was born to be pregnant. My pooch belly has always been there as if to say, “Apartment for rent.” But I have never been mistaken for old.
If anything, having a baby has been a nice little vacation from vanity. Like, what was the point before? I pretty much spent all my time thinking about myself. I’d get mad when my friends with kids wouldn’t sit on the phone with me all the livelong day and listen to all my boy problems, especially after all the times I’d ignored all their well-intended advice. How could they not understand how much I love yoga? It is so not a cult, but obviously only the people who are in the cult understand that.
Now I’m the one posting photos of my baby incessantly, even though I know it’s annoying. I mean, he is the cutest baby who ever lived, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.
It’s also true that having a baby changes your perspective on your body. It becomes a practical thing, a tool rather than an ornament. Like, one of the biggest lessons I learned during pregnancy is how to wear clothes that actually fit me.
For years I was hell-bent on fitting into the smallest possible size I could find, clothes I could only squeeze into right after a colon cleanse or a really bad flu. I can tell you right now there was only one person who benefited from all the money I spent on expensive designer jeans that I looked good in for five minutes and his name is Boogie.
Now I’m all grown up, and I have everything I’ve ever wanted, so what size my jeans are isn’t really a priority anymore, especially considering I haven’t worn jeans with an actual button and a zipper since they invented yoga pants. They make them in all these cute colors and patterns now, so you can wear them every day of the week. So I’m a size medium. I can live with that.
So here I am, feeling pretty good about myself and about life. So what if I’m a size 10 in Lululemon? I can live with that. I can cut the tags out. Plus, when I go hiking, it’s about sharing that experience with my baby, about exposing him to the fresh mountain air and the sounds of the birds and blue skies and warm sun. The Baby Bjorn hides my belly, and besides, no one is looking at me anyway. They’re all way too interested in my pug.
Life is just grand. Then the other night I go to this cocktail party that’s kind of a ladies event. It’s like a Tupperware party, but they’re selling makeup instead. So this girl who is sort of effortlessly hip in skinny jeans, ankle booties, an expensive-looking silk halter top and a fedora sits down next to me and says, “So when are you due?”
I spill my champagne just a little and start to stammer, “Um, six months ago? I mean, I had the baby already. Six. Months. Ago.”
I get home, and after my tantrum, I throw my dress into the trash, unsure of why I thought it looked good in the mirror at Target. Maybe I have the opposite of body dysmorphia, so instead of only seeing my flaws and never thinking I look good enough, it’s the opposite. I look in the mirror and see a sexy beautiful woman, but in reality, I’m kind of a porker. What if I actually do need liposuction and a boob lift but am just not willing to admit it?
Like, I’ve been determined to find a bathing suit that’s appropriate now that I hang out at the Basalt pool with a stroller loaded with enough baby gear to fill a small garage. It’s not like I’m at the Sky pounding drinks and trolling for my next big mistake, a place where I actually need a bikini from Victoria’s Secret, preferably one with padding. I thought I was being so conservative when I bought that tankini until I saw a photo of myself in it. It’s totally obscene, what, now that I have these giant mom boobs that aren’t exactly the stuff of Playboy lure but look more like mounds of dough that are kind of squished together. So much for the athletic look; this is what they mean when they say “bosom.” Soon I’ll be wearing eyeglasses around my neck on a beaded chain.
So now I’m not sure if I’ve arrived in a place of self-acceptance or utter denial. It’s true that I don’t even have a scale, what, since I lit it on fire and drove over it with a truck after I did that damned 10-day green cleanse and didn’t lose any weight. But it’s also true that I’m running around pretending to be a young mother when I’m actually in my mid-40s and, yes, old enough to be a grandmother.
At the end of the day, I’m just too in love with my baby to care and that’s not such a bad place to be.
The Princess loves ice cream. Email your love to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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