Who’s That Girl?

When I first got divorced, I was so starved for physical contact and attention that I soaked it up like a sponge. I was flattered by the attention I got and loved feeling sexy and pretty, even if there was ultimately no emotional connection behind it. My confidence grew. But little by little, it started to not feel so good. I started to realize I was nothing more than a piece of ass to most of these guys, and that was the opposite of the progress I was attempting to make in my life.

I started being more choosy in whom I spent time with. I stopped responding to the booty calls that once made me feel wanted and desired. I decided that being alone sometimes on the weekends was preferable to feeling cheap and nameless.

A week or so ago, I ran into Eric at the grocery store. I’ve bumped into him a few times before, and every time, he wanted me to go somewhere to hook up. Every time I said no. This time, though, I was disgusted. I initially tried to just be nice and walk away, but he kept appearing in whatever aisle I was in, making comments and looking me up and down. The final straw was when he actually pressed up against me and said, “See, you got my dick hard.” I quickly walked away from him and he said he was going to wait for me in the parking lot. That really scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, he was nowhere in sight when I left, and I texted him saying to leave me the hell alone. He replied back saying I was crazy for thinking he was being anything but nice and that he only hooks up with pretty girls. Whatever, dude. Those ‘pretty girls’ can have your nasty self.

That incident made me realize just how far I’ve come. A few short years ago, I very likely may have gone and hooked up with him anyway. A few short years ago, I just wanted to feel wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve kind of given myself a gradual makeover since my divorce. Now I hardly recognize myself. A few weeks ago, I was walking down the hall at work feeling pretty good in a cute skirt and top with wedge heels. I suddenly had this surreal moment of seeing myself through the eyes of myself from 9 or 10 years ago. If someone had shown me back then how I’d look and feel now, I would have never believed it. If the me from 10 years ago, in comfortable baggy jeans and shapeless t-shirt, had seen the me of today,  not only wearing clothes that fit properly, but wearing heels and makeup (voluntarily!), I would have assumed it was a mistake. Without realizing it, I’m slowly becoming the me I always longed to be but never thought I could be. I’m confident enough to wear more girly clothes, to show a little leg, and to feel ok in my own skin. Several years ago, I heard someone say, “Whatever it is you are — tall, short, skinny, fat, black, or white — own that.” I think now, I’m finally living by that advice.

Last year I went to my class reunion and decided to wear a maxi dress that made me feel sexy and pretty. At the previous reunion, I wore jeans and a casual top, hoping to blend in and go unnoticed. This time, I wanted to feel good. Sure, I’ve gained some weight since we graduated from high school, but so what? Lots of girls from my class have put on a few pounds. I walked in there feeling great and was surprised to realize I really didn’t care if my classmates noticed my weight. I saw that several of the other girls were wearing clothes that covered them up (like I used to wear), hoping to conceal their larger middles or more ample behinds. None of them looked comfortable or confident. I walked in there and owned who I am and I felt amazing. Maybe they thought I looked good, maybe they didn’t, but I had a great time and felt unstoppable, and it made all the difference.

 

 

Many times, my friends have said my ex-husband must see me now and wonder what happened. I never looked or acted like this, even in my twenties when I weighed considerably less. There’s much to be said for shedding one’s skin, dumping one’s baggage, and looking forward. I used to look back with disdain for my old self. I was embarrassed at how much I had let myself go and how I didn’t care at all about how I looked. But now I realize I needed to go through that to get here. The old me is someone to be proud of, doing the best she could with a shitty situation. Now I embrace that old me and hope that she would be proud of the new (and still improving) me and know that she helped me get here.

I know all of this might sound incredibly conceited, but really, I’m in awe of all I’ve accomplished. I’m a better me in pretty much every area of my life: my job performance has drastically improved, my general attitude has improved, and I’m definitely a much better mom now. So no, I won’t apologize for tooting my own horn occasionally because for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I have something to toot about.

 

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Booty, Caboose, Apple Bottom, Badonkadonk

For most of my life, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my butt. When I was little, my mom affectionately called me “Toots,” and somewhere in my baby book, there’s a comment about my dimpled little bottom and chubby legs.

In 2nd grade, I remember my teacher asking me to deliver a message to another teacher. I was in cutoff shorts because it was track & field day {I went to Catholic school, so any day without the uniform was a rare treat}, and I remember one of the kids from that class commenting later about how my butt stuck out as I stood waiting for the teacher’s response.

In 5th grade, a boy whom I had a crush on measured my rear end {unbeknownst to me} when I was leaning over, exclaiming at how many inches wide it was. Nah, that wasn’t embarrassing at all! Asshole.

I liked the fact that my butt was round, but it was always hard to find jeans that fit right because of my curvy hips. I bemoaned my ample backside many times over the years, trying desperately to keep everything covered and silently cursing my skinny sister, who never had trouble finding clothes that looked good on her.

So imagine my surprise to discover, after years of hiding, covering, grumbling, and groaning, that there are men out there who love a big butt. What the… WHAT??

In the year or so before my divorce, I became friends with some girls {sorry, but ‘women’ sounds like we had a quilting circle, and some of them sure ain’t ladies} who are part of a BBW group. I had never heard of such a thing, much to their amazement.

BBWs {Big Beautiful Women} have groups, fan pages, calendars, parties, admirers… How had I never heard of this? My parents had pretty much raised me to believe that bigger was absolutely NOT better, so in my mind, a BBW party was another way of saying, “Fat Girls on Parade.” I imagined heavyset girls awkwardly trying to have a good time at a party while skinny people pointed and laughed. As someone who was extremely bashful as a child {and even now has moments of shyness}, not to mention very self-conscious about my weight, this sounded like my worst nightmare. My new friends assured me that there are many men out there who not only like bigger girls, but PREFER them. I admit, I was skeptical.

After a few months of badgering, they finally convinced me to go to a Valentine’s Day dance. Dressing up for me back then pretty much involved some kind of semi-dressy top and black dress slacks. I didn’t own any heels, so I wore my black loafers, which had a very slight chunky heel. Sexy, huh?

I hadn’t been to any kind of social thing like that since college, and I completely froze. I spent almost the entire evening by the wall, occasionally talking to people if they came near me, but not knowing what to do with myself. My friends kept asking me to come out on the floor and dance, but I couldn’t. I was honestly frozen to my seat and couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.

A few guys did notice me, especially one {that’s a story for another post}, but I was a total wallflower.

Despite my being a social failure that night, the party really opened my eyes to a whole new world — one where it’s ok to have a big butt and chubby legs. I learned that even though I’ve spent my whole life thinking of myself as fat, what I am is more often called ‘thick.’ There are girls bigger than me at these parties who love their bodies and have all the confidence in the world. If only I had met some of them years ago, but better late than never.

I still occasionally go to the parties, but the bar scene really isn’t my thing and I’m still not big on hitting that dance floor very often. I feel a little more confident {and sometimes, dare I say, sexy} when I dress up, and I’ve even started wearing skirts and dresses {something I hadn’t done since my now-teenage daughter was a toddler, and those were borderline muumuus… shudder}. I’m coming to terms with my curves and I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve stopped hiding my ass under oversized shirts. No, I don’t dress trampy, but I’m owning who I am. Guess what? I have a big ass! And for the first time in my entire life, I’m ok with that. My daughter is built just like me, and because I’ve always made a point to reassure her that she’s perfect exactly the way she is, I don’t think she’s ever given a second thought to her butt {except one time several years ago when a little boy in day camp sang “Baby Got Back” to her. I laughed and told her to take it as a compliment.}.

The majority of guys I’ve met since my divorce have liked my curves and have shown me that you can absolutely be attractive and sexy, even if you’re not built like a swizzle stick. Thanks, guys.

butt

Next up: The One Who Got Stella’s Groove Back