At the supermarket today I had myself convinced the coiffed woman who stepped out of a Gap Ad to grab some eggs was laughing at me and my winter hat and mittens. Usually I’d accept the look as jealousy because I know her stylish navel length cotton jacket and knee high leather boots that covered her nearly transparent trousers did not keep her as warm as my fleece, but today I felt sure she was looking down on me. I had an instant case of the uglies. My own dirty brown tresses (the color of course, not the level of cleanliness) were whipped up into a frenzied ponytail, my sneakers were tied in double knots to insure the fraying lace ends wouldn’t completely unravel and my face had not been kissed by the sun in months. In short, I looked like, well, me.
As I passed by Ms. Gap Ad I actually looked down! I started searching through my tote like I was not worthy to share the air in the dairy isle with her. As the click of her $400 boots faded I quietly dug myself out of my handmade bag attempting to piece together the loose fragments of my self worth while secretly wishing I too had legs almost as lean as my arms. The graceful thump of a gallon of skim milk landing in my cart startled me back into reality and I was horrified that I’d essentially erased myself in a shallow daydream. My usually over confident ego had disappeared and I sadly found myself comparing my pink t-shirt with the six year old in front of me. I had envy and, as a good non-practicing Catholic, I knew I was in trouble.
I gave myself a good, albeit pretend, smack to the head and started on my internal feel better speech in an unpretentious attempt to boost my plummeted self confidence. As I began my mental pick me up a pair of arms wrapped around me from behind catching me in the middle of a silent debate weighing the merits of being nice or being funny and I stopped short. Those arms, Michael’s arms, were my ticket back to normalcy. You see, Ms. Gap Ad may have perfectly coordinated jewelry, but I have me. I have my spirit, my husband’s arms, my uniquely imperfect body, my brothers and grandparents, and my sense of humor. I was blessed with parents, unconditional love, and two crazy dogs. Suddenly I was the Queen of the Dairy Aisle and I had the matching hat and mittens to prove it.