Friday, July 9, 2010

more important than pants.



-yes sweetie...

-where are you?


-eww...well come to banana republic. i mean it. you won't be sorry.

-okay honey i'll be there in a minute.

somewhere between the time i called my mom, and the time she wandered into the dressing room calling my name like a crazy person, i'd found a pair of beautiful pants, i'd picked them up in a size bigger than i wore the last time i tried on pants (which was before i went to treatment), i'd put them on and i'd realized they were too tight.

i dont know if it was the fact that i'm a little spaced out from all the vacationing and sun exposure, or the fact that the pants were a magnificent burnt orange (my favorite color) or a combination of both, but i didn't even act like trying on pants for the first time since treatment was a big deal. i just picked them up and took them in the dressing room.

i suppose i subconsciously thought, "hey...i haven't come out of this recovery thing empty-handed...i'm still a size *. I won't ever actually have to deal with being a 'real-woman' size".

...until i pulled the pants up, zipped them, and saw that my body had transformed the beautiful burnt orange dress pants into spandex.

i took a deep breath and walked out to the "big mirror", hoping that i was somehow mistaken. and then, as if in a trance, i turned away from the mirror and walked numbly out to the rack where i found the pants in the next size up.

i put them on.


i swallowed hard and took a minute before i evened my eyes with the mirror to fully examine them. sort of half-squinting at first, i braced myself for whatever it was i was going to have to look at.

i looked at the front. i looked at the back. i looked at the side.

i couldn't believe it, but i didn't just love the pants. i loved myself in the pants.

i had no idea what i was feeling or what i wanted to feel or what i wanted to think.

it was about that time that my mom came yelling, and i cracked the door and poked my disgruntled face out.

"i had to get a size * ", i told her.

i didn't want to like how i looked in the pants and i didn't want to like the pants or the number in the tag.

so far, i'd been successful in the final of those three endeavors.

one out of three wasn't enough to keep my mom from convincing me to buy the pants. and so we paid and i carried the bag close to the ground and for a little while, i let myself pout and stew like a child--i felt i deserved a little time to wallow.

but as much as i didn't want to have to attach myself to a new, scary, uncomfortable, frankly larger- than-i'd-care-to number, i realized i was going to have to.

i went to sleep thinking about the number in the tag of the pants and woke up thinking about it too.

but as i sat outside in the freshly risen sun on the balcony drinking coffee and watching the umbrella man set things up down on the beach, i realized that maybe i didn't have to attach myself to any number- comfortable or uncomfortable- at all. it occurred to me for the first time that saying, "i'm a size * " is basically the same thing as saying, "i'm as important as a pair of pants".

there was a time in my life that i would've raised my hand high and said, "yes. my worth is my pant size. and right now my pants are a size * and that is an important size. so right now, i'm important."

but after months of rediscovering myself, and a trip to banana republic to really push me into it, i've realized that i'm actually a lot more important than a pair of pants. the pants are supposed to fit me. not the other way around.

i'm not a size anything. that's not my job because i'm not an object. from now on, i'm leaving the labels and the tags up to the pants, because pants aren't alive.

the world needs me and i need the world, and the only way for either need to get met (thanks to original sin) is for me to put on some clothes, walk out the door, and greet what each day has to offer.

and whatever size the clothes happen to be really has nothing to do with any of it.





  2. EA Love you!! Thank you for sharing your heart and your recovery! As Mel Gibson said in Braveheart...FREEEEEEDOM!!!!

  3. This is a beautiful story...and I love the part at the end about "needing the world" and it "needing you." That's inspirational - I may not want to do it for myself at times, but I want to glorify Him all the time. Thank you. I, too, love orange pants!!! :)

  4. EA, I so needed to read this today. I, too, tried on pants for the first time since MC a few days ago and was surprised and almost saddened by the size. I definitely let it control my thoughts for several days while I wallowed, but as I'm learning these days, "My worth cannot be MEASURED[by pants sizes, weight, measuring tape, or the mirror] because it is far MORE than rubies..."
    thank you for the timing of this post.