I am a zero

A few weekends ago I dropped the girls at church to practice for the black history play and the boy and I traveled to the mall. Ah, the mall (as I drool like Homer). I can honestly say that until that Saturday I hadn’t stepped foot into a mall in many months. In fact, I had no desire to shop in the months after he was born. I was busy being in bliss with my baby. Sweatpants were still a staple in my wardrobe. Nursing bras, big t-shirts, grandma bloomers. I was set and had once again fallen into the abyss of comfortable.

After the first girl, I dropped weight extremely quickly (much to my disappointment). After the second girl, it hung around a bit longer (oh, how I hoped it would stay! Come on, thighs, continue to rub for mama!). Again, though, it vanished in the first few months post baby evacuation. Then there’s the boy. I gained immediately with him. I had more fun in this pregnancy than with either of the girls. I had boobs, butt, thighs. I was a woman. Not that shapeless sister who people asked “Really? Two kids? Wow” with that look of disbelief (disgust?) as they imagined me on some idiotic Hollywood diet, shamelessly eating only lettuce while running on the treadmill as my newborn napped. Um, get your heads out of the stupid areas of the clouds, people. I wanted those breasts. None of this is new, though.

So. We’re in the mall. The desire to actually show up at work in something other than the black pants that were getting at least two wears a week (I throw them off with a different shirt and shoes) finally won. I went from store to store. Everything was huge. The boy sat and ate his apple quietly observing his mother disrobe, dislike, redress. Every store that normally carried my size either had nothing, was overpriced, or just drab. Benetton was filled with gloomy greys and browns. Eventually we wound up in the food court. I’d forgotten Express was even down there. We ventured in and lo and behold there’s a table of really nice dress/work pants. The fact that said pants were an unbelievable $70 and weren’t even lined is another discussion altogether.

An overly perky associate asked what size I needed. She grabbed a few zeroes before I could answer (there were different styles: low rise (um, no thanks. I talk about those women on the train wondering if they’re going to happy hour straight from the office), flare, straight leg, boot cut) and headed to a dressing room. She led me into the largest room so that the stroller would fit. “Here ya go, Mom. Let me know if you need anything, OK?” And she flitted out. I stared at the back of her head hoping to make it implode (without getting any brain debris on me, of course). OK sure, I actually am a mom and this is certainly not equivalent to being called Ma’am, but really? Young perky heifer. Maybe if I had been in Ann Taylor looking for mom jeans I wouldn’t have been so irritated.

Anyway, the damn pants don’t fit. I mean, they fit, but they don’t fit well. A belt is definitely needed. I think to myself, but I am a zero. Myself says back, “Nay, you are a negative zero.” Bitch. I’ve never liked that other self. I peek out the door and ask her for the next size down. I didn’t even want to say it out loud. “I need a double zero, please.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat the fuuuuuuuuuuu…come on! I am 37 years old. Why in the absolute hell am I wearing a double zero? I tried them on and they fit amazingly well. But I couldn’t decide if I should get the zero which had some room for me to grow into (what am I now, a toddler? We should save that size seven coat for when he grows into it seven years from now) or the better fitting double zero. Getting those, though, if I gained two pounds they wouldn’t button. I bought neither.

A few days ago, as I dressed for work, I couldn’t find my belt (these pants were a size two so just imagine how attractive I am in those). I saw the end of a belt peeking out from under the bed and I grabbed it up. It belonged to the oldest girl. And it fit me. Needless to say, I didn’t wear those pants. I’m almost certain along with always wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident and keep emergency money in your shoe in case you get mugged or become lost there’s a rule that says don’t wear your fifth grader’s belt whether you can fit it or not.

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