Thursday, May 15, 2014

Don't Let the Past Remind Us of What We Are Not Now (Throwback Thursday)

Ok, First things first.

I love Throwback Thursdays.

I love looking at your old pictures and I love looking through mine.

Some of you post songs or antiquated ads or movie clips and I love it all.

Trips down Memory Lane can be a blast. Groovy. Dy-no-mite. The bomb-diggity. Awesome. Sweet.

They can also be a little treacherous. Most non-non-non-triumphant.

Tom and I have discussed this at length.

We have both been known to assault people we've barely met with pictures of what we looked like 20 or 30 years ago. Wanting, I suppose, to assure them not to be fooled by the middle-aged camouflage we're wearing. They are, indeed meeting cool, relevant people who look good in bikinis and/or spandex. It's important to us that they know that.

So I have learned to approach Thursdays with caution.

I always go through old pictures on Throwback Thursday, whether I post them or not. Today I came across this photo:

I remember this weekend well. It was the weekend my beloved niece was christened. That's her -- crying in my sister's arms. My grandma is in the chair -- the only one looking at the camera. Hi, grandma. Miss you. My beautiful cousin is in white. Her eldest is looking over her shoulder at something outside the frame. If I had to guess, I'd say that something was probably a barely toddling Liv. Her youngest -- my Goddaughter -- seems to be looking at Lea. That's the back of her sweet head in the foreground. It's not a beautifully composed picture, but it is making me very happy today. 

I remember this weekend well.

I have a souvenir.

Two, really.

They are two pairs of completely threadbare mens basketball shorts. 

Now this was a time when there wasn't much money. The kids were little and I wasn't working -- any extra money we DID have went to buying clothes for them -- Liv still needed a new wardrobe about every three months; Lea about every six. I didn't get new clothes. I didn't get manicures. I didn't even get haircuts. I remember that about that day, too. My dress was very outdated -- and when I took the bandana off of my hair and faced the prospect of actually styling it for the christening, I was at a loss. I had no idea what to do with it. We all went shopping and I saw these shorts at a sidewalk sale. My mom felt bad for me, I think -- unable to afford anything and only wanting these stupid shorts -- and she bought them for me.

She had no idea what a big deal that was.

I hadn't had anything new for quite a while.

The elastic was shot long ago. There is a paint stain on the back of one of them that is a color we don't have anywhere in this house. I don't remember what I was painting, but whatever it was, I definitely backed into it. There used to be six pairs of shorts, but four of them were deemed unwearable years ago. 

I wear these shorts EVERY week.

Since that picture was taken.

To give you some perspective, that crying baby is finishing up her freshman year in high school. That preschooler with her back to the camera is preparing for high school graduation. The young lady in the gray dress has been a teacher for a couple few years now and the one with the big white bow is a college graduate.

So -- yeah.

I've been wearing those shorts every week for a pretty long time.

If it will ease your horror any, I don't wear them as outerwear. I wear them under skirts. But still.

I have hung onto them, despite the fact that I probably shouldn't have, because I have never found a pair I like as much. 

Not even nearly. 

And believe me, I've tried.

When I bought these shorts, I weighed -- a number. I lost 50 pounds and continued to wear those shorts all the way down. I gained 80 pounds and wore those shorts all the way up. I lost 70, then gained 65. Never missed a week of wearing those shorts. All of that yo-yo-ing probably put more stress on my body than I put on those shorts.

They are awesome shorts.

And their days are numbered.

But we do this, no?

This isn't just me.

We find something we love and we cling to it. 

When I was gearing up for that 50 pound weight loss mentioned above, I bought 5 pairs of yoga pants to work out in. 

They were -- are -- perfect.

They come up high enough to cover my ass no matter how much I stretch or bend, yet they sit low enough that they aren't automatically dismissed as mom pants. They flare just enough at the bottom and are just the right length. They do not -- and some of you will appreciate how magical this is -- pill. Anywhere. And they are so soft... 

As it takes a little time to go -50+80-70+65, you can rest assured that I've had these a long time. Not quite as long as the shorts, but -- you know -- long. Three pairs have not passed the test of time, but two have. Until yesterday. When bleach landed on one of them. I was horrified. 

And then there was one.

Now these are not -- like -- Lululemon yoga pants or anything. Mostly because Lululemon doesn't think women who are built like me need to exercise -- or deserve to -- or something -- I don't really know, the conversation revolving around that particular fiasco became too offensive for me to keep up with really quickly. No -- these were Kohl's house brand. So they were not only perfect, they were pretty cheap. I mean, inexpensive. Because if they were cheap they probably wouldn't have lasted quite as long.


They don't make that particular cut anymore. 

I have never found a pair I like as much. 

Not even nearly. 

And believe me, I've tried.

Like Tom and I clinging to the visual of our former selves, I am clinging to the comfort of these shorts and these yoga pants. It's just as stupid. It's time to step out of the comfort (literally, in this case) zone of nostalgia and step into the present.

I can't find yoga pants like that anymore. Bummer. But I like compression pants. And if I can find long enough T-shirts (hello mens department and Pinterest!) I can put together a new gym look that will probably actually suit me better. As for the shorts -- since they are only worn as underwear -- maybe instead of looking for comparable mens gym shorts to replace them I should be looking at satiny, lacy tap pants.

The past is good.

But maybe the future can be better.


Unknown said...

I'm on my way down; have lost 39 pounds. At nearly 70, I hope whatever I loose, I won't have time to regain!

Unknown said...

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