Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dirty, Pretty Things

I am a girl who likes lingerie. I have it abound, a bureau full of lace and silk, satin and tulle, in every color of the rainbow, every style one can name. (For the record, I would have a great deal more if I hadn't purged my collection of everything obtained during my previous relationship. Some of it I had never even worn, but it just felt creepy to hang onto.) It makes me feel like a vixen, pretty and desirable, regardless of how bad a day I may have had--you slip it on, and suddenly you're beautiful.

Tonight I went shopping for something new. There is a new year coming, it's a time of beginnings, and it's been a while since I added to the collection. A few minutes into my journey, I located a lovely black piece--a little sparkly, a little racy, but still quite elegant. Unfortunately, the smallest size they had was a medium. Since I can pull off a medium on occasion, depending on the fabric, I took it and headed towards the fitting room. A beautifully dressed, very robust, older black woman was the fitting room attendant for the night, and examined the garment, then me, shaking her head and making some type of "mmmhhh" noises under her breath. I wasn't sure if this was approval or disapproval, didn't care much. I just waited for her to unlock the door and allow me inside.

Once I was in the fitting room, I stripped down (it's 30 degrees outside--I had on several layers) and tried it on. Hmmmm.....it was okay. But just okay. The fit wasn't quite right. A little loose, gapping a bit in the top especially. Just then I heard a knock on the door.

"You okay in there, honey?" It was the attendant.
"Yes, ma'am."
"You got that thing on?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"Now open up this door and let me take a look."

I paused. It's not often that one is asked to model lingerie by an African American woman old enough to have given birth to me. But, I'm not particularly shy. I figured "what the hell" and opened up the door.

She stood back, looked at me for a long moment, then shook her head frowning.

"Girl, you too skinny. You can't even fill that thing out. And look, your girls don't stand up like they should, because it's just too big." She stepped forward so that she was behind me in the mirror, reached around my chest, grabbed my breasts and hoisted them up. It was my first experience going to second base with a 60-year-old woman. Comparitively speaking, I've had better, and I've had worse.

I tried to gently shake free. "Yeah, it's a little big, but I think it COULD be okay...." I cocked my head to the side and studied my image.

She started shaking her head before I even finished. "Nuh-uh. Ain't no way. That thing don't half fit you. I could put two of you in that thing. Now, ME--if you had MY girls, you'd be spilling outta it, ain't now way it could hold you in. You young girls don't understand that a man likes a little meat on those bones."

I examined her and agreed. "True, I wouldn't argue if I had those suckers. I'd flaunt them all the time. Hell, I'd probably be wearing a tank top in THIS weather. They're fabulous." Anita (her name, by the way) was probably a size 16 or so, and rocking approximately a 38 DD.

She stuck out her chest and looked in the mirror, clearly in agreement. I may have been standing there nearly naked, but all eyes were on Anita. I love to see a woman proud of her body, regardless of what her shape or size may be. This was a woman who was proud of her body.

In this world, we are all different. In my 32 years, I've been enormous with child twice, I've grown and I've changed. At this point, I'll probably never make it beyond 5'3" (on a good day) and my weight has stayed within 3 pounds for about four years. I'm settled into myself. I like my hair long, my makeup sparse, my fingernails unpainted, but my toenails red. That's who I am. And even if something pretty doesn't fit, whether it's too big or too small, I'm okay with that. Even better, I'm glad that there are other women out there who feel the same, like the lovely Miss Anita. To channel my soul sister Ray, "if you've got it, work it." Stand proud, ladies. Every last one of you is awesome.

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