Thirty is the new Twelve

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer wardrobe is not exactly my favorite thing to shop for. Since I was super-pregnant all last summer, my closet of summery wear is now two years old, and in dire need of restoration. I do have a couple pairs of shorts that seem to stick around year after year (since I evidently wear them oh-so-rarely, they can make it from season to season) and one pair of trusty capris. These capris are the kind of item that you reluctantly pay full price at Old Navy for at the beginning of one summer and then, as the weeks go by, you realize you should have bought them in every color since it is the one thing you end up wearing day in and day out to beat the heat and still look neat (hey - that could be their slogan!) :)
So, since my waist and my closet have both shrunk since last year, I began the search for some new summer clothes. This is no easy feat! I shopped at all my usual places - Old Navy, GAP, H&M, and even hit the sales rack at Banana Republic and JCrew...all to no avail. I mean, where can a gal score some capris? Instead, the racks are filled with "shorts"...and these shorts mean it. I mean, they are S.H.O.R.T. Shorts today are just ridiculous! They are nothing but hoochie-mama, glorified-granny-panty, wedgielicious, how-did-your-father-let-you-leave-the-house-dressed-like-that shorts. C'mon, people! What am I supposed to wear?
Then it struck me.
I held up another ill-fitting pair of short/capri/pants in the dressing room and then looked myself in the mirror. Is it just me? Am I truly getting older? Have I totally lost touch with style/reality? Is Oprah about to ambush me with a makeover when I step out of the dressing room??
As I've matured over the years, I've gained the ability to absolutely refuse to believe the self-loathing lies of modern society's need to commercialize my brain into thinking that it is me (as in, my body) needing to change and not the clothes. I mean, if I don't look good in something - then I will just buy something else. The jeans should fit me...I am the boss of them. So, this wasn't the usual mental breakdown over self-esteem or body issues or anything like that (that is not allowed in this brain!) No, this hesitation was something else.
Maybe I haven't mentioned this before, but I'm turning thirty this year. I say it a lot - "I'm turning thirty this year" so as not to allow myself to slip into denial (nor to let anyone off the hook for not knowing it's coming up) but also to prepare myself.
I feel sorry for 29 because I haven't recognized it at all. In fact, 29 should just be called "I'm going to be 30 next year" so you can just charge on forward in life and not feel like you have to cling to the twenties with any kind of desperation.
All that to say - while I'm on my way to the next decade in my life - I stared at the capris in my hand and felt like I might as well be twelve years old.
Turning thirty is just like being twelve again. Only this time, I've traded in my braces and acne for spanx and anti-aging cream. My hormones and body changes have been resurrected in the form of pre and post-pregnancy chaos. And even though I'm a mom, I refuse to resign myself to "mom clothes"...which is evidently defined as "dressing poorly in your thirties". And why is that? Can we please change this stereotype? Why do mom-jeans and mom-sweaters and mom-shoes all have to denote "she-let-herself-go" or "function over fashion". Do you really have to make me choose whether I want to look kinda-slutty or spinster-boring? Is there really no middle ground?
I don't know if capris are still in style or not. I don't know if I'm crazy for wanting a cute purse to cost $29.99 and still be able to hold everything from my lipstick to extra-just-in-case diapers without looking like I'm boarding a plane. I don't know if Tim Gunn would want to be my friend if he knew I changed into yoga pants every night as soon as I got home from work.
People, I just want to be cute and confident and comfortable and convenient. Is that too much to ask?
Still, as I look back at my super-awkward-twelve-year-old-self, I'm reminded to be grateful for one simple fact: I do not have to live through my teenage years again. Thank you, Lord. At least when I'm sporting my awkward-but-comfortable-capris I can walk my no-time-for-a-pedicure feet towards my did-I-stop-to-kiss-him-today husband and pick up my don't-put-that-in-your-mouth-again baby and go out to you-are-kidding-if-you-think-I'm-cooking-tonight-after-the-day-I've-had dinner.
Because, you know what? I'm turning thirty this year. So, who's gonna stop me?
It's time to celebrate the awkwardness, people.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to break it to you...but, well, here goes = the feeling 12 years old thing, it never really goes away completely. I'm half-a-hundred plus one & I still get those flashes of awkwardness.


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