Thursday, February 1, 2007

Clothing Martyr

I read this the other day. It sounded so familiar; I had to double-check that someone else had indeed written it. If you are too lazy to click the link, I’ll summarize.

This woman used to be the hotty in her marriage, and over the years and after having two kids has martyred herself into not feeling like she looks good, or deserves to look good. (I should point out that she still is gorgeous as all hell, only the way she FELT about her looks changed). Meanwhile, her husband got himself all trim, fit and stylish over the years. A few months ago, she found herself resenting him for spending time and money on himself. Not terribly healthy, so she’s determined to make herself a priority. There's more to it than that, but this is where I'm putting my focus. Just do yourself a favor and read that fabulous woman's work.

I recognized so much of myself in that, it was almost scary. I don’t even have kids, but I found myself doing the exact same thing. I am not terribly fond of my current shape, and have a hard time staying positive when buying clothing. So, I have about 6 different outfits that I can wear in decent company/at work. In fact, at least twice a week, I’ll end up wearing Xtian’s shirts because I'm bored with my clothes. But, I keep telling myself that I can’t afford to buy new clothes. And that’s not true; I can afford it, but I always think that I could spend that money so much more wisely.

Thing is, I never spend that money wisely. Aside from bills and rent, all money goes to food or booze. If the money wasn’t there, I wouldn’t spend it on either. To make matters worse, I was really starting to resent Xtian for all the clothes he has. One day he ripped a pair of jeans, and I demanded that he throw them out (this made a grand total of three holes in the pants, one of which left half an ass cheek exposed). When he told me he couldn’t because that would only leave him with ONE pair of jeans, I was appalled and pissed.

“I've only had the ONE pair of jeans for two years. Why are you complaining?”

I was getting so annoyed because he had all these clothes. I was playing the martyr, and it felt ugly. I’ve turned my distaste for shopping into Utilitarianism. I’ve turned my Utilitarianism into a “character flaw” in Xtian. Because, clearly, if I only need about 4 pairs of pants and 8 shirts, then he’s just being excessive by having more than that. I suck ass. (Although, I still argue he has WAY too many pairs of shoes and far more clothing than he wears)

When UPS showed up at my house last night with a birthday gift from Sarah, I was amazed to open it and find 3 new, stylish as hell shirts that not only look awesome on me, but I FEEL good wearing; and a new pair of jeans. I tried them all on immediately, and I realized in that moment, all my supposed distaste in clothing and shirking of fashion was just stupid. Another way to punish myself and to criticize others.

I liked the way I looked in these clothes. And I felt better about my body. So, in this vein, I will allow myself to buy myself some clothes that I like, and that look good on me. I am only 24 years old, I am not an overworked mother of 3. I should not dress like a woman who has completely let herself go. I deserve to like the way I look. I deserve to own and wear nice clothes. Xtian deserves to have a wife who takes some pride in her appearance.

So, thanks Sarah. Your beautiful, thoughtful gifts reminded me that I am not the schlumpy soccer mom I dress like.

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