Friday, March 25, 2011

Being Invisible

Zygote and I went grocery shopping this morning to get out of the house and to prepare for a houseful of weekend guests. I like to talk to her when we're out and out, describing different things, in an effort to get her to start talking more. I was standing on my tippy toes trying to get some applesauce out of the far corner of a shelf, blathering on about high fructrose corn syrup, when I heard a loud sigh and an "EXCUSE ME." I turned around. My big preggo belly and big cart full of toddler and toddler-related snack items was blocking the aisle. A woman in her twenties, I'd guess, and her fancy Bluetooth headset wanted to get by. I moved, and when she walked by, I heard her say to whoever she was talking to, "god, these people with kids are so oblivious."

I wanted to cry. I was/am that lady, and I know I've muttered something similar a gazillion times before when trying to manuever around someone else's enormous stroller, but now I'm the mom. Nobody even sees me, and if they do, it's because I'm in their way. I didn't cry. Because I'm me, I said, loudly, "Oh, excuuuuuse me. I didn't realize that you were so fucking important that you needed the friggin aisle all the yourself" and stared her down. But it got me all rattled, and with the pregnancy hormones, all morose about how I will never be cute again. Eye roll.

I never WAS cute. Or I was, but I never EVER appreciated it. I never appreciated people looking at me or talking to me, and because of all my body image issues, I figured that the only reason people ever looked at me was because I looked weird or wrong or was the wrong size or had the wrong clothes. I have never been able to accept a compliment. And now, I kind of morph into the big mass of decent, yet tired-looking women pushing kids in strollers and wearing comfortable shoes. It just is. And it's particularly noticeable when you live in a college town and the places you frequent are filled with 18-22 year olds.

So we came home, and I got a little teary because of my invisibility and because I had to throw out some maternity clothes because they are too small. And I don't care how body positive and healthy you are, throwing out MATERNITY clothes will do a number on you. I put Zygote down to nap, and started trolling the Internets.

I found Erin Shea's Mirror Image post. The whole thing is beautiful, but these parts really brought on the waterworks:

How can I continue to berate myself and how I look when this perfect, sweet, awesome tiny human being looks so much like me? Even more pressing is that she’s going to hear that her whole life – “You look just like your mother.” I would rather that be connected in her mind to a woman who is at peace with herself and her own skin than that of a woman who spends an inordinate amount of time telling her reflection she doesn’t measure up.

Because I would stab anyone who would tell Abigail such a thing about herself.

. . .

All the same, she is a good reminder that I have value and beauty and worth, and I deserve better than what I offer myself most days, and in turn she deserves better than to be raised in a house where even a woman who has worth and intelligence and has worked hard to craft for herself and her family a life like this can be annihilated by a “fat day.” She deserves better than to be raised in a home where her mother uses such language to describe herself or anyone else, as though any of that is important.

She deserves, she deserves, she deserves.


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