The summer of skirts and dresses

You couldn’t get me to show my legs before this year.  In fact, there is a picture that was taken of me when I was at work…in a dress, once upon a time and long, long ago.  My coworkers were so stunned they convinced me to photograph the moment.  It became my Facebook profile picture for a short time and nearly caused the earth to stop turning on its axis.  And you thought it was that Chilean earthquake that registered an 8.8 on the Richter scale.  Ppptthhh…that was America’s stunned reaction to me in a dress.

I’m not sure why I never felt comfortable in skirts and dresses.  I was a gymnast for a long time and, without a doubt, I had a great pair of legs.  Or so that’s what I was told because I was a typical teenage girl who never believed a compliment.  Anyway, as my daughter gets older, she enjoys the feminine fun of skirts and twirly dresses and sequins and sparkles and I’m not girly, Mom! I like boy stuff, too!!  Sure, sure – that’s why Nana refers to you as the daughter she never had.  The girly gene obviously skips a generation.

As some of you know, I quit smoking a little over 2 years ago.  I immediately began to experience the after-effects of quitting smoking, the most obvious being eating like a cow.  A very hungry cow.  I have always been a snacker, a grazer (I hate that term), someone who can eat a small meal every 2-3 hours.  My friends and I even joked about my tapeworm, which never existed but gave us a good chuckle whenever I took out an entire canister of chocolate pudding and started scrounging for tacos or banana splits or some other food stuff within a few hours. 

My phantom tapeworm was replaced with the need to shove food down my throat.  After 32 years of living as an overfed and underweight waif of sometimes freakish proportions, I have finally topped 100 pounds and my clothing size has gone from a 14-16 in girls to a women’s 2,3, and 4.  I have had to give my clothes away to my coworker’s teenage daughters.  My ass doesn’t fit into my pants anymore and I’ve got 2 pairs of work slacks left…each hanging by a thread (literally).  And I hate shopping.  HATE HATE HATE shopping!  Because when you’re my size (5’2″ and 104 pounds), slacks either fit at the waist but were made for someone 8 1/2 feet tall or they fit at the leg but were made for someone 400 pounds. 

So I’ve resorted to wearing skirts and dresses and I’ve learned to enjoy the comfort of a free-falling dress or the elastic waistband of a skirt.  I have all kinds of skirts and dresses –  black ones, blue ones, brown ones, green corduroy ones, black & white ones, and this one:

You see that tear?  On the right side?  Here, take a closer look:

This sucker was so tight around my stomach that I had to cut it.  CUT IT!  Why would I do something like that?  Because we were all ordering chinese for lunch and the waistband on this skirt was cutting off my ability to breathe/eat/eat/eat/eat and nothing gets between me and my sweet and sour chicken (and cream cheese rangoon!).


So I’m shopping this weekend.  It’s my least favorite thing to do in the whole wide world.  But at least I can now shop in the women’s section.  And now that I’m no longer afraid to show my stumpy legs (which are often busted up because of my inability to control a sharp, slippery razorblade), my wardrobe options have expanded. 

Much like my waistline.


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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