Friends: Natural Confidence Boosters

It’s good to have friends. I’m lucky to have several friends I consider close.

The Plainfield Arts Gala Starlight Reception is this Friday. Friday! I can hardly believe it. I’ve been so excited except for one dreadful thing… I have to wear something nice.

Anyone who knows me has definitely seen my entire wardrobe. At least the entirety of what I wear. Just met me yesterday? You’ve seen 25% of the clothes I own. I save money on clothing purchases easily: I buy one pair of jeans and wear them until there’s a huge rip in the thighs. Then I buy another pair. I typically purchase one pair of jeans a year. I own several (meaning 5) maternity t-shirts and 2 nursing shirts, and those all get the rotation weekly. It’s awful.

If I’m honest with myself, the reason I own no clothes that I actually wear is because I keep thinking that one day I’ll fit into everything that’s hanging dusty in my closet from my better, fitter, pre-pregnancy days. I wear the cruddy worn-out clothes that do fit because I don’t feel like I deserve to wear nicer things. I hate shopping. I hate trying on the 23rd pair of pants and crying because they still don’t fit. I’m short. Seriously short. I have wide hips, large thighs, a huge butt, cankles and enormous boobs. Clothes are depressing. I’m depressed with my appearance.

I asked my coworkers friends Joanna and Courtney to help me shop. I needed fashion advice, advice about what’s appropriate to wear to this event I’m not familiar with, moral support when things don’t fit or look awful, and mostly someone to actually make me go shopping. The three of us decided on a day. I alternately dreaded it and looked forward to it all morning and then suddenly it was time. Courtney picked a store for women built like me and made me promise to try on the things she found for me. I promised. We stepped into the store and Joanna “it’s okay”-ed me while I stumbled and bumbled sheepishly and anxiously around while, like a boss, Courtney pulled a few dresses off the racks and handed them to a saleswoman. “These are for Laura. We’d like to set up a dressing room.” These chicks knew what they were doing.

Courtney and Joanna had a rhythm and dance I’m just not familiar with. We went to the fitting rooms and after a few repetitions of “woosah” under my breath I put on a dress and came out. They had me turn and move around. Courtney listed pieces of fabric and Joanna told me to move about. I looked in the mirror and actually… *liked* it.

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I tried another.

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They oohed and ahhed again and I tried on another and another.

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Guy, listen, and listen closely because I never thought I’d say this, ever. I had fun. I had fun and I felt good. About everything. I felt okay about my chubby upper arms. I felt fine about my huge boobs and butt. I felt okay about my post-pregnancy (second pregnancy, mind you!) belly. I looked fine. No. I looked good. I liked it. I felt hopeless before I even face myself a chance to try on the first outfit. By the end I was having a blast.

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I liked shopping and I liked the clothes and I liked myself. And I loved my friends. They made me feel good. They made me happy. They made me realize that there isn’t anything to worry about. Some things look good and some things look bad. There will always be someone thinner, bustier, bigger, prettier. There will always be a dress that flatters and one that looks terrible. I’ll never be perfect to myself but I’m perfect to the people who care about me.

Monday I stopped by Grandma Anderson’s house so she could hem the dress up for me. I put the dress on and Trent looked up and his eyes widened. “Whoa… You look like a princess!” I guess I may not always think so. But someone, some people do. And that is what makes me happy.

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