Monday, July 5, 2021

Dishes and Denial

They (who ever "They" are) say our 60s are the new thirties, then, Lord, that means I have to do 40 all over again. 30 (the first time around) I handled with ease. By 40 I was a basket case. My 5 foot 2 inch frame was carrying 189 pounds. However in my mind, I still weighed a healthy 125 The airlines were just making their seats much smaller.  The clothing manufacturers were resizing their lines larger. It was ridiculous. However, when what once was a size 6 was now a 14, what was up with that?

Now every woman wants to shop. And if one cannot get satisfaction out of buying clothes then one's attention must go elsewhere. Mine turned to dinnerware. After all,  dinner plates were always going to be relatively the same size, as were salad and bread plates. Besides instead of "dressing" me, I could "dress" our dinner table. Each evening it could take on a different personality to match the food or the season or my mood. (Yes, I had 4 eggplant purple plates for those days when I was not especially "cheery".)

Who needed a new frock when they could have a set of dishes with whimsical dots on them. Or imagine the joy of finding a set of six over sized formal plates for those rare meals when the crab claws or lobster would not quite fit on the standard dinner plate. There was the cheer joy of stumbling upon a set of small Mexican plates that were perfect for alfresco dining on the patio in the summer. Of course I had to have that set of cobalt blue plates I found in that second hand store that matched the blue in the colorful Mexican plates if I ever wanted to set a table with the smaller plates sitting atop the solid colored ones. It went on and on.

The madness came to a grinding halt when I watched a video of a reunion picnic I had attended. Who was this squatty woman dressed in this God awful baggy outfit? Oh . . . My . . . God . . . that was me. As I caught my breath and realized this is what I really looked like, another revelation struck me. The size 16 Petite was not an oxymoron. As I emerged from my haze of denial I knew airplane seats had not gotten THAT much smaller. And, if anything, clothing manufacturers wanted women to think they were smaller that they truly were.

Fast forward several years and 60 something pounds lighter, I was discussing this revelation with my oldest daughter. I was laughing at my refusal to be aware of the reality of my condition. "The clothes," I told her, "My God the clothes I wore and thought they were so becoming. They were disgusting."

I went on to tell her about my giving up on shopping for clothes. "After all", I said, "Nothing I found was attractive. But I still shopped." I left it there.

Months later, my daughter wanted to do something in our kitchen which required more space. Since several of the shelves we used were on wheels, I suggested we just roll into another room while she worked on her project. As we were moving the shelves, she laughed, "I had no idea we had so many dishes. Where did all of these come from?"

"Remember when I was so overweight and I told you shopping for clothes was miserable."

She nodded.

"Well, I bought dishes instead. And looking at these shelves, it is a good thing I started losing weight. I'm not sure where we could have put any more."

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