The lovely Franny, custodian and creator of Bat Fit, just sent a shout out on Facebook asking how us Batfitters were doing. So, how am I doing? Well, er, ok. I guess. Except…well, except I’m finally beginning to feel my age.
Let me explain. I turn 44 next week. My big bro just turned 50, husband 48. We are decidedly middle aged in terms of years. And yet, I’ve been kind of cushioned into it. By virtue of being small, dimpled, not having any grey hair and looking pretty young for my age. People routinely think I’m in my early 30s, which is great.
Recently though there has been a shift in how I see myself. I think it was the incident with the green jumper that brought it home to me. There it was, all spring like and cable knit, sat on the hanger begging me to try it on. Perfect for the transitional season into spring. Something my younger self would have looked snug and sweet in (this is the blighter here…)
So I happily trundled into the changing room to try the pretty thing on. And…and…oh, it was just dreadful. Pretty jumper turned my bosom into a matronly shelf. A large matronly shelf. I could have rested an entire teapot on it, never mind a mug. Let it be noted – this is not the first item of clothing that I’ve seen this trend in. It was the worst to date. The one that brought reality crashing down about my ears.
See, I’ve not really put weight on. It’s all very stable in terms of numbers – a steady 133-135 pounds. I know other people would love to see that number when they stand on the scales. However – it’s the distribution that’s changing. The waist is thickening, the chest is sagging, the rear is drooping – and that’s before we get to the possibility of a turkey gullet under the throat.
I have to admit this is bothering me. I have a magnificently wrinkly forehead. I have laughter lines at mouth and eyes and an abundance of freckles. These are cool. But the cholesterol spot in my eyelid and the witch wart on my chin? Not so cool. Perhaps I am overthinking it, perhaps it is my impending All Fools birthday getting me hot under the collar. Perhaps I am – rather unknowingly to me myself – vain!
But all of a sudden all my clothes look wrong. I look like a tired out, ill fitting version of myself. Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I trundle about life leaves me caught out, thinking are they really my stumpy pins? Do I really have four-boob bad bra syndrome? (the answer to that one was definitely yes).
Admittedly I’ve been rather under the weather. This week gone has just been lost to pain and pain meds and feeling like my iron levels are flatlining thanks to my delightful fibroid interlopers Estella and Miss Havisham. The month before was given over to academic frenzy, from which I emerged in a haze of coffee overload and bad hair days. I feel like mould.
I need to pull myself back together. Be ruthlessly honest about where I am in life. I started yesterday with a full closet clearing session. Filled a wheelie bin with evicted clothes, and another four bags for charity. The four-boob bras? Gone. The excessive cardigan hoard? 5 left the building (though admittedly I still have 14. I did count). Bad jeans and tights that roll down the belly when I walk? In purgatory. And anything with frills or flounces or any embellishments or appliqués were escorted from the building. Some people suit boho chic, some (me) look like they’re wearing badly fitted handkerchiefs.
It helped. It helped a lot. I realised I actually miss dressing for work. Neat crisp shirts, pencil skirts, fit and flare modest dresses – I folded them all away back in the storage box. Now I live in M&S sculpt and lift skinny jeans (admittedly the most comfortable creations ever) and t-shirts. The ubiquitous cardigan. I rarely dress up. When I do it generally feels all wrong, like a sausage in a sock. How did I lose my sense of what feels good, what makes me happy?
So tomorrow I’m dressing up. Husband Underfoot is taking me out for an afternoon’s enjoyment in our favourite local hostelry. Pinot Noir and sweet potatoes fries all round. It’s a pretty special looking place, all velvet drapes, moulded skull wall fittings and chandeliers (I should take some pictures). I’ll try to match the opulence, just a little. I don’t want to go back in time – I am the age that I am – but comfort in my own skin would be kind of nice.
And I have the perfect excuse for an entire new closet of lingerie….banishment of the four-boob burst out! Yay!
(Apologies for the somewhat self-involved nature of this post. It’s – literally – been something I’ve needed to get off my chest. Life is at a bit of a crossroads right now and I’m in limbo waiting on the grace of others. Too much time to worry over what is kind of superficial because I’m trying not to think about the important stuff).