Conforming

It is a strange time for my body. Lots of TMI ahead. Run away if you don’t want to know about my armpits.

I am extremely hesitant to write about this at all. I don’t like writing about changes as they are happening; I don’t want to challenge the gods to fuck me over.

I’m losing weight. It is a side-effect of some medication that is otherwise working well, so I’m probably on it for the long run. I was going to go in to more detail on that, but it sounded too much like an apology. I don’t believe that fat people are sick, and I sure as hell don’t believe the ridiculous hate in the media for all things unwaiflike. Apparently, a woman is only worth fucking if you can break her over your knee. Screw that. Okay okay, I didn’t come here to rant. I came here to talk about how I feel. Being fat is an effect of a long-term illness that you’ve all heard me talk about at length. As a means of self-medication, food is better than anything anyone else in my family chose. If I weren’t fat, I suspect I would be dead. So I don’t regret these pounds. There are other reasons–stupid shit I did. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is the belt I finally had to buy, because I didn’t want to replace all of my clothes again. How the heavy buckle pokes out a bit. The form-fitting shirts I was so proud of myself for buying (because a fat woman isn’t supposed to show her curves) no longer fit my form. Well, they’re comfortable enough. So those are the changes. They aren’t all that visible to the outside world yet, but they are profound for me.

What’s dangerous: the more I lose, the more I want to lose. I’m filled with dread at the thought of rebounding. I’m curious about the number on the scale, though I’ve resisted buying one. I’ve skipped my usual healthy breakfast for three days now–patently stupid. I open the refrigerator with trepidation. Nonetheless, I’m coping, and having a good lunch.

What’s confusing: I find myself wanting to do the girly things that I’ve always found oppressive. I bought perfume. This morning, I shaved my amazon pits. I lifted my arm proudly for Bill, and he shuddered. “Why would you do an awful thing like that to yourself? Didn’t it hurt? Won’t it itch?” He asked. Hormones, no, probably, I said. I rationalize by thinking hey, I don’t even like men’s hairy pits, so if I have the freedom to shave mine, why not? I like nice smells (a lot, I’m very nose-centric), so why the hell shouldn’t I have a little bottle of Satsuma? Next: it’s just lip gloss! Foundation protects me from UV rays! I like the feel of hairless legs! Heels make my calves look sexy! Sorry, can’t have lunch, I have a Brazilian wax scheduled!

My unrepentant commitment to comfort and convenience is faltering. In the awful Barbra Streisand movie, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Babs is talking about her transformation with her sister, played by Mimi Rogers. Mimi doesn’t congratulate her. She says “Now you spend an extra hour in front of the mirror every morning and every night.” And she goes on from there about the perils of beauty. I don’t want to be that woman.

I’m still wearing jeans and tromping around in my same basic dressy loafers. I’m just conflicted. I don’t mind that my body is becoming different. I mind that decades of brainwashing is making me want things I didn’t want before. Or maybe I just don’t like the look of hairy armpits, and I’m finally giving myself permission to get out the razor.

Christ, woman, relax.

So I’m trying to roll with this. I will probably swing too far one way, then back again. And now I realize I have a point here. That I am seriously over-thinking this. I’m old enough to do whatever the hell I feel like doing, as long as I’m having fun. I’ll sort the rest out later. Right after my pedicure.

2 Responses to Conforming

  1. Paul says:

    Wow Cat! Where do you start on a post like that – get it out girl!

    I have never broken Andrea over my knee…I know your talking about perceptions and prejudice and they make me pretty mad too. Somewhere along the line respect and integrity flew out the window and it all became about the “me”

    “The years of brainwashing….” you seem to say that those years have been to want things commercially, womanly, steroetypically? Maybe the years of brainwashing has been for the other side, to rebel against all of those socially expected chick stuff etc and now it is breaking down and god damnit you sound like you are enjoying it although in equally horrified proportions.

    Being comfortable is important and so is feeling beautiful AND so is accepting who you are – a woman. You can either deny it or embrace it and enjoy you.

    Ah enough of this serious stuff I am off for a massage!

  2. Cat says:

    I always figured Andrea could take you in a fair fight. 😉

    I try hard not to rebel for the sake of rebelling, but yeah, I need to just let things happen. I’m too old to get uncomfortable!