Saturday, October 1, 2011

Right Here In My Skin

      Well, for the first time in three months, the Girl's Night Out group finally met again last night.  Right on schedule for our "monthly" meeting;)  Fact is, when you have a group dedicated to dragging way-too-busy mamas out of the house without children, it's darn hard to get there.  Most of the group couldn't make it and we missed them, those of us who went had a great time.  As usual, the process of getting myself ready to go out was filled with craziness that I was eager to share on the blog but somewhere along the line, this post reshaped itself into something sort of different, so here it is--the funny, the sort of gross, and the truth.

      As I was preparing to go out with the girls, I decided that I would like to disguise the ever increasing gray streaks in my hair.  Heaven knows, I don't make it to the salon often so I buy the box stuff.  Now, I have colored my hair all colors, with all types of dyes, fruit drinks, plant products, you name it, over the years so this was nothing new.  I was trying a new product which is always a risk and after putting it on my head, I sent a text to a friend that said, "In 23 minutes, my hair is either going to be awesome or tragic, there's not much room for middle ground here."

      I was wrong, 25 minutes later I texted her, "I would call this color anticlimactic with a side of weird sauce."  It's true.  The dye took to my hair oddly.  It didn't have much impact on the darker parts of it one way or the other.  The gray, now becoming color resistant, is sort of pink and highlighted oddly by the darker parts.  The parts of my hair that were sun lightened and/or previously highlighted, (who really knows after all I have done to it,) looked as if I colored them with a red Crayola (TM)  marker.  Then, when I get under different kinds of light, it explodes into multiple shades of red, pink, fucshia, some colors that I'm fairly sure only have names in physics labs that specialize in light...  In truth, there are probably times in my life that I would have loved this color but I am too old for it now.  There are also times in my life that I would have sobbed and hated my foolishness and hidden under the covers because of this color.  I don't feel like that at all.  I don't even hate it, I think it's kind of funny, and I also know it will fade quickly.  It will be fine.

     Next, I had to move on to the hair removal process.  I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS.) It is a fetching little disorder.  It basically means that I don't ovulate much, my hormones don't work well, I store fat remarkably efficiently and hold onto it like July tick on a hound dog.  The most lovely thing though, is that it makes hair grow in weird places.  In fact, without intervention, I would not be a true bearded lady but I could make a kick ass Jack Sparrow (Darn it! Last night's waxing totally cost me first prize at the Eckman's Halloween party.)  Never the less, I started plucking and waxing, making up jokes to put on the blog about it to distract myself from the searing pain.  In fact, the original title of this post was "Remember When Primping for a Night Out Didn't Require a Weed Whacker?" still a good one!

   Then, it was make up time, which I love.  My husband hates make up and can't believe that women think that they "need it."  Obviously, I don't think that because I don't wear it nearly as often as I should. However, I really like putting it on.  The drama geek in me would probably go out in full costume make up from Cleopatra to zombie just because I love to do it, if I didn't have so many kids and so little time.  Still, I painted on my magic; camouflaging second chins, highlighting cheekbones and carving hollows into my round cheeks, making my dark eyes the highlight beneath newly mowed brows, painting lips with a new shade purchased that day so it wouldn't clash with my weird hair.  I smiled at the reflection in the mirror, it wasn't perfect but I was rocking what I had.

    "Ugh," I thought, "now I have to figure out what to wear."  Do I wear the spanx which force my folds into submission?  Do I wear no shapewear and wonder what lump and bunches were waving at my dinner companions?  I chose a middle of the road,"help-a-mama cami".  It gives me a little confidence but isn't uncomfortable and allows for the imbibing of mass quantities of melted cheese and chocolate on these special occasions.  I threw on jeans, all of mine are a little too big right now, I've lost a few pounds.  I picked out a blouse of which I am tired but it is fairly presentable and I am seriously lacking in non-t-shirts these days.  Finally, I threw on one of my favorite sweaters, mostly because I love it and because, it is finally cool enough to wear sweaters (and I think the advent of sweater weather should be a national holiday.)  Did I love anything about the way this outfit looked?  Nope!  Did I hate it?  Nope?

      "How could that be?" I wondered.  I have spent the bulk of my life detesting how I looked.  I've permed, fried, painted, dyed and starved myself a billion different times over my lifetime.  There was actually a time when I was a thin, beautiful young woman and I totally missed it because I focused on my every imperfection.  I honestly used to hate the size of my rib cage--seriously, I was a doofus.  Still, here I stood in front of my full length mirror, with an ill fitted outfit that I didn't like, with Martian hair, with recently plucked chin hairs, with new wrinkles and an extra chin, and right at this moment, I was totally okay with it.

     You see, I've never had a problem seeing the beauty in people.  I have known and adored human beings with profound physical disabilities and deformities and I can tell you about a girl with a broken body who has the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.  I know a man with facial deformities who's eyes are the most breath taking, spectacular shade of aqua. I remember a young man with fetal alcohol syndrome who was probably the most ill behaved human being I've ever met but his laugh still resonates within my soul as the epitome of the sound of joy.  I have known and loved hundreds of people that the world would have overlooked or even turned from and I can tell you about their spiritual beauty but also their physical beauty.  You see, until now, I've afforded them a luxury that I haven't afforded myself.  I allow the quality of the souls of others to open my eyes to the physical beauty that God sculpted in them.

     So, I am about to do the least southern thing that I have ever done.  I am going to pay myself a complement in the eyes of whoever chooses to see this blog.  I may not be the world's greatest beauty, but I am kind of a cute, if slightly round, mama.  I have straight teeth, thick hair, nice eyes, a cute nose, small feet, a great rack (sorry if any of my preacher friends are reading this, and to my mother-in-law and my husband who are probably blushing,) and I am tall.  I also have a decent way with words, a slightly vicious but funny sense of humor, and a generous spirit that genuinely loves to help people.  I, like my pinkish hair, am okay.

     Does that girl who can see all of her flaws still live here?  Yeah, she does, but her voice isn't quite as loud as it used to be.  I need to eat less and exercise more.  On a dime, I can tell you 100 things I would love to improve about myself.  However, I am standing here in this skin of mine, skin that doesn't hang quite as tight as it used to, and I am okay with it.  In my heart of hearts, I hope someone whose inner teenage self-loather still screams louder than she should will read this and feel better about him/herself.  I promise you, if I meet you, I will see your beauty and I pray that someday, you will see it too.



  1. I see beauty in people too!! I love your description. My fave line: "It basically means that I don't ovulate much, my hormones don't work well, I store fat remarkably efficiently and hold onto it like July tick on a hound dog."
    Great simile!!
    So....guess how I found you? My wonderful sister, Jennifer Fowler, told me that you're a writer too. :-) I'm so happy to have found your blog and wish you the best in your writing!

  2. Jessica,
    Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I love that you told me what you enjoyed. I hear congratulations are in order, you're being published!!! I'd love to talk with you some time about that process, especially querying as I seem to have a block about it. Feel free to facebook me or email me any time, I'd love to read your stuff as well.

    PS your sister is AWESOME!!!