The ultimate triumph was buying medium pajamas.
My physical self lost twenty pounds In the last year but in my head, I had lost a hundred. In the swirling mass that is my daytime mind, I had become rail thin, my jeans held up only by my sharply angled hip bones, books could be stacked on those bones. The change in my head was dramatic. I was wearing size 10 jeans. I felt like Audrey Hepburn.
I have always had this problem. Some people think they are way fatter than they are. I think I’m way skinnier. So then when I see a photo where my self-perception seems to be contradicted by photographic reality, I am taken aback. Why is there such a disconnect, I ask myself, why do I always feel so svelte? Before my massive weight loss, my closet was full of size 14, XL this, XL that. Sometimes the size of my jeans when they were laying empty on the bed would startle me and I’d think they were my husband’s pants. Then I’d put them on and they’d be all snug and I’d think, “I’m fine. I’m a dish.”
I tell you the power of my mind is incredible.
So when I started waking up every morning tied in knots by my XL pajamas, it occurred to me that my new slim self needed some new jams. So I glided off to Kohl’s Department Store where, happily, flannel pajamas were on sale. Like Governor Walker, I had my Kohl’s Cash and a 30% off coupon in hand, so I bought three pairs. Three pairs of size medium pajamas. It was extraordinary, I arranged them on the check-out counter so the cashier would see their labels. “See, medium. I’m buying medium things and they’re not for a child.” I walked out with a bag o’ jams. One pair all red (my favorite color), one pair a black and white print, the top of which could have been used as a business shirt maybe depending on whether you were in the hardware business or something, and another red pair that had little dogs on it.
Yes, I am a grown-up with an advanced degree and my own business which, I have to admit, I occasionally manage in my pajamas. So clients out there who make the mistake of reading this blog while having me under contract for serious work, yes, I may have done your super important funding proposal wearing red pajamas with dogs on them. Anyway, so I bought these pajamas and then looked forward to dozens of consecutive winter nights being as my now-grown up daughter used to say, “all snarfy.”
And then I washed the pajamas.
I came out of the bathroom that night, wearing my red pajamas with the dogs on them and my husband looked at me over the top of his iPad. No comment. He just looked. And then went back to reading about the Brewers’ big change-up in locker assignments in the club house.
The jams had gotten a little tight, I thought. The pants a little short, the top less like pajamas and more like a muscle shirt. I looked in our mirror, not obviously looking in the mirror just glancing in the mirror because, after all, I didn’t want him to think I was concerned in any way about how I looked in my pajamas. I am way above that as a person.
The snippet of my profile I caught in the mirror seemed sliced from a Garanimals for Adults ad in the Sunday paper. All I needed was bunny slippers and a Build-A-Bear and I’d be set for the ‘I don’t wanna grow up’ genre of women’s couture, baby doll pajamas gone flannel. I rolled my eyes at my own self.
I took this little incident as a sign that I need more alignment with reality. That’s clear. I just can’t go on like this. Fooling myself all the time. It’s so juvenile.