Blogger Santa assignment, and I get naked.

Welcome, come on in.  I think the sangria is still good (see the trick is to NOT add the club soda into the pitcher, pour it into the individual glasses, see).  I never made the chipotle shrimp the other day so the makings are in there and whoever keeps drinking the Fat Weasel needs to fess up.  And buy more!

Oh, and Hi new heads.  Come on in.  I don’t bite, until the second date.

My dear friend at Life Begins at 30 suggested a summertime writing project to prop up our little tired writing heads and possibly distract herself from some very exciting changes happening in her life.  You go girl, I’m so excited for you.

Luck would have it, I was given the prompt “Cupcakes!”  Yeah, blog gold, right?  Okay, I’ve accepted my fate, I’ll move to the lame kids table…not a huge fan.  Sure, they’re pretty, hot stuff blah blah blah.  Obviously you all did not go to this kids birthday party this summer where the cupcakes were vegan and some other hippy/trendy disgrace of a baked good.

Fortunately for all of us, that wasn’t the only prompt.

When I read this, all my nerve endings tingled. (Damn, thats some good prompting!)  Sure, sure, the opportunity to write some beautiful fiction, paint a picture with my imagination, was right there on my puter screen. Oh, the flowery words I could use, the grand descriptions, the self flattery….I rubbed my hands together and an evil snort escaped.

Then I did just as the prompt suggested and reality gave me a swift kick in the nuts. (Sorry, I just really like the visceral response that phrase provokes.)

So, my little head went through all of its neurotic calisthenics and the downward spiral began. Oh, no, I now know that most of this crapola is hormonal but it still happens.  I see a visit toa psychotropics dealer in my near future.  I have written incomplete, disjointed, disparaging notes in my head all week but instead of feeding you any of that, I listened to the words of some wise women and gave myself some slack and self love…..and I don’t mean the diddling kind.

Spit it our, right?  Okay, okay, enough with the foreplay, lets get this party started. And note…I’m shootin from the hip here.  Only edits are to correct spelling.  I had to do this in one sitting and or it wouldn’t be authentic.  Hands off from here…

The prompt:  When you look in the mirror, you see……

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see the strong arms and shoulders of the soldier I was, the ripped results of 100s of daily push ups brought on by my big mouth.  I see the rounded soft arms of my paternal grandmother. Arms that carried large sheets of delicious sticky buns to her daughters home to show her love of her family.  I see arms that carry my own child, that hold down a sick cat to give him his meds, the soft arms of a woman who has given up her gym rat membership and embraced her greatest calling, Mom.

When I look in the mirror, I look right past the fun bags.  They’ve never been porn star quality and never my best asset.  While I had lustful dreams of augmenting them to match the glory days of nursing, I’ve come to terms with these ittybittytitties and save the fun names for the sweater muffins of friends.

When I look in the mirror, I don’t see the toned midsection of a fixated teenager, the girl who started and ended her days with sit ups.  I don’t see the tight abs, hips and thighs of a young woman who spent her days riding her bike to and fro, ran and did squats and whatever hip class was available at the gym.  I see the proud wide scar of a caesarean section, the softer hips of a woman who knows her own body and its capabilities and its shortcomings.  And I’m just a little anxious about getting back on that bike.  This booty does need a little lift.

When I look in the mirror, I see legs I’ve always taken for granted, legs that will always run, support my pushing and shoving.  Legs that can catch my two year old and the eyes of men of all ages.  I see the affect of years of life guarding and the fading scars of being a klutz.  I like what I see.  No complaints.

And then I look back up at my face and pause.

I see the face of that teenager, that self assured young woman.  The crows feet that are quietly setting up house around my eyes don’t bother me much.  I’m beginning to see the evidence of my heritage, the beauty of my maternal grandmother and I count myself lucky.

The face in the mirror doesn’t betray my doubt, my fear, my madness.  Is this a magic mirror, or is it a mask I wear, even for myself?

12 Responses to Blogger Santa assignment, and I get naked.
  1. otherworldlyone
    August 30, 2010 | 10:53 am

    I loved this. Fantastic job. Really.

  2. Coffeypot
    August 30, 2010 | 11:07 am

    This was a great read and hit close to home for me. I think someone snuck in my house and replaced all our mirrors with those fun house mirrors in the circus. We all have a mental image of ourselves, and it is such a shock for me to look into the reflecting glass and see that old man looking back at me. Who dat?

  3. Hen Jen
    August 30, 2010 | 1:33 pm

    wow, beautiful! I never thought I'd mind getting old, but I'm starting to, a little.

  4. 'BOTB
    August 30, 2010 | 1:44 pm

    Love love love!

  5. Lifebeginsat30ty
    August 30, 2010 | 2:10 pm

    I so love this! It's so beautiful! I had no idea that my little idea would prompt suck thought and reflection. I'm still digesting it. I think I shall have to read it 5 or 10 more times before it settles. Or maybe print it out to remind me that lines and wrinkles and unperfection really reflect an entirely different kind of beauty :)

  6. magnolia
    August 30, 2010 | 2:45 pm

    nicely said. there's so much empowerment in owning how you are and loving it in spite of a plastic, overly-stretched and youth-obsessed world.

  7. Sara
    August 30, 2010 | 2:55 pm

    Beautiful.

  8. injaynesworld
    August 30, 2010 | 5:45 pm

    Wonderful, my friend. So honest. So relatable.

  9. Red Shoes
    August 30, 2010 | 6:03 pm

    I am who I am… I am what I am… I, too, look in the mirror from time to time and think, Damn, Shoes… what have you let happen to you!?!?!?!

    But then I realize I'm not a young guy anymore… I do see a younger face looking at me in the mirror, but for some reason, it's not the same face that seems to look at me from photos… not that Ive ever been that photogenic.

    I've had a few women tell me that I am sexy… and maybe that makes me believe that what I see in the mirror is more what I reflect than what I see in photos… who knows… who cares…

    I do want this body to carry me the rest of the way… however far it is determined I am to go…

    And… if at that point, it's all used up… I will remember the fun… and the joy it brought me…

    … and I will be at peace with it… :o )

    Great post!!

    ~shoes~

  10. MommaKiss
    August 30, 2010 | 10:49 pm

    where's the picture of naked santa? FFS, woman!

    (loved this, you nailed it)

  11. Jessica
    August 31, 2010 | 12:45 am

    My Lord, Woman! This rocked.

  12. Mary Jane
    August 31, 2010 | 1:42 pm

    I almost cried. Almost. Beautifully written.

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