A semi-recent thing I do not enjoy is how my midsection has taken on an entirely new shape that involves, like, complex topography.

This doesn’t really feel like a “curvy” situation. In fact, when I hear the word curvy I instantly think of a certain type of body and that type is youthful, because up until a point you’ve got collagen and skin elasticity on your side and those are big juicy curves, girl! But as the ravages of time take their bodily toll, DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD kind of changes to PARTIALLY-DEFLATED SKIN BALLOON WITH WEIRD NEW BULGES, POPULATION: YOU.

I am trying very hard to work on acceptance these days. I see a counselor, I listen to earnest soul-bolstering podcasts, I sit on a yoga mat every damn day and think about how to love this body I’m in because honestly what are the alternatives? Living in bitter hatred of my own self, day after day after day after day until I am DEAD?

I mean when you put it that way it seems completely insane to spend even one more second of my remaining life bemoaning the way my belly, somehow shaped like the capital letter B now, folds the lower part of the B over its old C-section scars like a tragic little flesh-apron. Or how my back looks both strong (yoga!) — and very much like a melted candle, with lumpy rolls that cascade down my sides. Or how my upper legs are now textured and jiggly enough that leggings really don’t cut it unless they’re thicker and form-fitting which of course makes them too uncomfortable to wear. Or how my breasts are just an entire fucking heavy-ass disaster that require monstrous bras in sizes and prices that are brand new to me.

It’s crazy, right? Crazy to spend so much energy, STILL, after all these years, after all the developments in the last who-even-knows, after all we’ve all been through. It feels crazy to care at all, never mind caring so much it sometimes feels like that’s all I can think about.

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Riley recently woke up with a stuffy nose and a cough, then John started sniffling, then I started feeling a scratchiness in the back of my throat, and I really and truly thought maybe we all had COVID again. It definitely seems like we just had it, but that was actually back in January so I suppose it’s feasible to get re-infected a few months later? It didn’t seem LIKELY, but it also didn’t seem, you know, completely outside of the realm of possibilities. Luckily we have plenty of tests on hand (and probably always will, after the yikes experience of needing a test and not being able to find one or even get into urgent care for testing) and the negative results indicated we’ve been sharing: a cold.

Great, except that regular old colds — and seasonal allergies, for that matter — kind of feel like a whooooole new thing now. (Swistle wrote about this recently; it must not be an uncommon experience to be dealing with colds again and wondering about protocol.) Obviously the best choice is to seal yourself in an impenetrable protective bubble and keep your snotty contagion to yourself for the entirety of your sickness … but what if you have, you know, Stuff to Do? Or your workplace/obligations aren’t so accommodating as to make space for every sneeze and sniffle? Or what if it’s just sexy, sexy tree pollen and that’s why your entire face is exploding?

Honestly every day that I was sick with this cold felt like an outrageous, if involuntary, act of hostility: not me coughing over here, what the fuck. Why not get up and spray the room with bullets while I’m at it! Why not just raise inflation more, somehow, asshole.

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