A day of beauty
For our anniversary, Christopher gave me an afternoon at a spa that included a massage, a lengthy manicure and a pedicure. After an unusually long week, this Saturday was the perfect time to put it to use. It made me think back of the days of youth work when Christopher was a Jr High Pastor, the girls in my small group were always content spending an evening painting fingers and toes, watching sweet movies, eating candy and reading old love letters that Christopher and I had exchanged many years ago. I don’t know if that’s what Jr High girls now do, but those were some fun times.
Somewhere along the way, I gave up all nighters with 12 year old adolescent girls and took up all nighters with crying newborns and sick toddlers. There are wonderful blessings to be had with both. But what I’m realizing I miss is the plain old girl time. Some days, I forget that there is anything feminine about me at all. I am tired, dirty, stinky, unshowered, unpainted and just plain messy. I’m not complaining as I really do love spending my days with my children.
I’m just saying there’s something to be said for taking time out to act, feel, think and look girly. I would argue this to be true even for the un-girly type girl. There is something rich, something wonderful about being a woman and while that does look different for everyone-it should be experienced in it’s fullness every now and then.
For me, having my nails cleaned (even though she had to use three different tools to get the grime and gunk out of my nails/skin), having my toes painted (even though my feet are dry and cracked to bleeding some places) and having the absolute pleasure of laying on a warm table for a whole hour having a massage-well, that was a little bit of heaven. It was my 10 year anniversary gift, of course not practical on a regular basis. But it made me think that I still need to invite beauty and the feminine into my life in little ways when I can. And if I do, it really makes me happy. Goodness, even just hanging out with another girl and no kids made me feel more….like a woman.
In an effort to bring the perfect end to my perfect afternoon, my sister met me at the mall to shop and eat. I was relaxed as could be (nearly fell off the massage table when it was over) and happy to oblige. We walked through a few stores and looked for a cute shirt. You know, not a tee shirt from the Old Navy clearance rack that was $3.99 on sale but a real shirt.
We ended up at Nordstrom’s after the stores geared to teens clearly did not work out. My sister beckoned me upstairs to the youthful section (where back in the day she shopped every single weekend) and she grabbed a bunch of cute things and sent me to try them on after I argued that they wouldn’t work.
After no success even getting one pair of the jeans over my hips that have birthed four children and no luck getting shirts buttoned over my…..well, you know…..the very nice, very young, very skinny sales lady came to our door.
“How’s it working out in there? Do you need any new sizes?”
I smiled at my sister and quickly replied the honest truth “Well, no I think I need a new body!” as I thought to myself Yes, to fit these blasted junior sized clothes meant for girls half my age-there is nothing ‘junior’ about my rear end – what in the world am I doing here?”
Honestly, I am not too bent of shape about the whole thing. I don’t lose sleep about my roundness though I’d prefer my old clothes to fit and to have a little more energy. So, this whole adventure is not at all traumatic but I could see my sister didn’t want any rain on the parade of this lovely afternoon. So, seeing that this wasn’t working out just as she’d hoped, Steph had a spark of brilliance.
“How about we head to Lane Bryant? Surely they’ll have something cute there!” in her every so perky voice.
I’ve never even been there but in my uber relaxed, all-is-well-in-my-world state of mind I said “Wonderful idea!”
So, in an instant we went from clothes meant for tiny teens to clothes meant for more full sized women. Suddenly, the smallest size available was a tad bigger than me. They even adjusted their jeans sizes, a size 14 = a size 1 at Lane Bryant, a size 16 = a size 2. How great is that?
Not only that but the not-supermodel-skinny salespeople were ever so helpful and not the least bit intimidating. We giggled our way through the store, had a lovely time and found a very lovely, bedazzled brown blouse that rode the fine line between too-tight-on-my-belly and looks-like-maternity shirt. I am wearing it right now and enjoying feeling like a lady in it. It really is kind of nice every now and then.
We ended the day with some delectable food at P.F. Chang’s and it surely lived up to my expectations. Just about everyone I know has been there except for me. It was very tasty despite a very crummy waiter.
I am well aware that not all husbands are willing to watch four children (plus the neighbor boy) for a 7 hour stretch. It is quite a pull. I am really thankful for the chance to get away and remember what it feels like to be a girl. Not a mama or a waitress or a cook or a lover or a driver or a nurse or anything else.
I love getting to be all those things.
But sometimes it’s nice to be a plain old girl.