Today was not my typical Saturday. I haven’t done any reading, nor have I indulged in a single nap. Instead, I faced two fears and am still coherent enough to write something. I think that warrants a celebration, don’t you?
Fear number one was a task I put off for a long time. In many ways, it felt of Herculean proportions. But it had to be done for the sake of future joy. After great procrastination I forced a smile on my face and went to the mall to find a new bathing suit.
Ugh. It was every bit as awful as expected. I didn’t used to hate shopping. I also used to be thinner. There was once a time, not too many years ago, where searching for something to wear to the pool or beach was enjoyable. Back then, I expected to find something I liked, even if cost more than I wanted to pay. Back then, I was an optimistic idiot who weighed a certain amount of pounds less.
I know. It’s hypocritical of me to complain about my dissatisfaction with my body. Everyone knows how I don’t believe in dieting, how much I despise the weight loss industry, and has been annoyed with my lecturing about health at every size. But I am as susceptible to the beauty complex as much as any other woman. All my logic and well-reasoned arguments zip away when I am faced with struggling into a bathing suit that is too small, in a size that used to fit perfectly.
I tried to tell myself all of the things I would say to a friend. It is just a number, every style fits differently, it’s okay to not weigh the same at thirty-two as you did at twenty-two. They kind of worked. I was able to drag myself through the stores and I did find something that was almost comfortable. It wasn’t fun. There was no giggling with friends or posing in the mirror. Other than a panicked selfie I sent to a friend for confirmation I wasn’t going to terrify children, It was a solo experience. It was better that way.
The water slides tomorrow better be the best water slides in the world.
The second fear I faced was good old stranger danger. As if the trauma of the dressing room wasn’t horrifying enough, I then had to attend my PH’s company barbeque.* If it was a large crowd, I would have been fine. With groups of thirty or more it is easy to blend in, find a spot on the peripheral and people watch. If it was a tiny circle, I would have been fine. I can handle people I don’t know in more intimate gatherings of up to six. It’s groups between 7 and 20 that intimidate the crap out of me.
This was a group of twelve. Terrifying. My shyness kicked in right away and all I wanted to do was disappear into a corner. Unfortunately, one can’t do that in such a small crowd. People notice when certain people aren’t talking and will call them on it. And when they call them on it, the whole group usually turns to stare at said quiet people, waiting for them to stammer out an excuse of why they aren’t as verbose as everyone else. It’s a brilliant time all around.
Somehow, I made it through the pre-dinner drinks and chitchat and all the way through a somewhat awkward meal. It helped that my not-shy but introverted PH was there. At least I wasn’t anti-social all by myself.
At the end of it all, I rewarded myself with my very favourite Saturday activity. No, I don’t mean beer at the pub, although that is close. When we got home, exhausted after interacting with so many strangers, the first thing I did was go for a walk with the Sheevs. It reminded me that no matter how frightening the world can be, as long as I have a dog to walk, I can handle anything.
*By the way, why is it spelled barbecue in the U.S. when Americans also use the abbreviation BBQ? It’s an oddity.