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The Blind Optimism of Family

Apologies for the late hour of this post. And for missing my post last go around. I was finishing up a book, which was successfully delivered to my editor Monday morning. Which naturally means I’m now sick with one of those colds that makes you wish you could dig out the insides of your own head. Sorry. Too graphic? Yeah. From my side, too.

For the next few weeks, you may notice an awful lot of quiet hereabouts. We’re in the process of planning our themes and posts for the coming year. Stay tuned.

Beyond that and without a theme to rein me in, you get to hear “What I Got for Christmas and Why I Love My Family’s Blind Optimism”.  It goes like this:

My family (Mom, Dad and sister) like to give me clothes for the holidays. I try not to take it as any kind of comment on my sartorial – erm – let’s call them missteps. I love cool clothes. But I *am* a geek. Thus it is that I’m more fashion victim than fashion forward. I’ve made peace with this. Mostly. It’s also one of the benefits of living aboard a boat. No one expects you to wear heels while you’re climbing in and out of a boat. Gel coat and cute shoes just don’t mix – not without one of you going swimming. Sensible boat shoes lead to jeans, which lead to comfy, oversized sweatshirts and well. Pretty soon everyone who knows you, knows to say ‘adult clothes, please’ when they invite you out for dinner. And that means ‘something with no bottom paint on it and no battery acid holes in it’.  Occasionally, such items are in short supply.

So my family gives me clothes. Lovely things. Cute things. Things that are a size 0.

I adore my family, but I am not, nor have I ever been a size 0. Ever. I went straight from a girl’s 14 to a women’s 6. Or 8. Sometimes a 10. The funny part? They ask my size. I tell them. Medium. Size 6. If you’re buying 501s? 30×32.

And yet. every single thing I unwrapped was a size 0 or a small. “Try them on! You wear your clothes too big, anyway!” (Granted. I do. Because I like breathing. And layering. Lots of layering.) “No way will these fit,” I said. “I’m not that tiny.” My sister insisted I was so that little! When I couldn’t get the size 0 jeans over my hips, she shook her head and walked away, muttering, “I could have sworn…”

All of this used to depress me because it seemed like my family didn’t actually see me. They saw what they wanted to see. But it finally occurred to me that it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with their pasts – their aspirations. My sister held on to her jeans from high school – when she was legitimately a size 0. She’s had a child since then and she’s finally coming to terms with the fact that she’ll never be a size 0 again – her body changed in a wonderful way to give life to her daughter. But if SHE can’t be a size 0, damn it, *I* would be! Though, as I pointed out to her while trying on the jeans she’d give me, I’d be a size 0 only if I break both hips and my pelvis.

We laughed and laughed. I put back on my grungy, saggy Levis and she and I went to raid the Christmas cookies.

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