Or: Thoughts on Body Image
Earlier, I was sitting in the bathtub when my friend Christy knocked on the bathroom door. I knew it was Christy because no one who lives here bothers to knock when I am in the bathroom, also because Christy had called to say she was stopping by to pick up the beaters she had left at my house on our seventh annual Cookie Day. I assumed she knew I was bathing but wanted to see me or tell me something, anyway, so I said, "Hello," and not, "I'm in the bathtub," and I wasn't freaked out when she opened the door. Now, I wasn't wearing my glasses, so she was Blur-o'-Christy, but she didn't seem particularly freaked out that I was in the bathtub, either, and--again, since I assumed she knew I was in the bathtub when she opened the door--I didn't expect her to be. She stood there and greeted both Charleigh (who was sitting beside the bathtub in her bouncy seat) and me.
That's when Jim walked behind Christy and exclaimed, "I'm sorry! I thought Brandee was bathing Charleigh, not in the bathtub, herself!" (If I were a more vindictive person, I would write a blog post about a certain husband who doesn't always listen well, but anyway...)
Christy said, "Oh, it's ok. I've known her long enough, by now, to see her naked." And she stood and talked to me for another minute or so before saying she'd see me tomorrow and shutting the door.
Even as I write this, Christy may be traumatized: sitting somewhere, staring at a wall, and rocking back and forth. But I have been laughing on and off all afternoon and evening because--while I had never before had cause to consider it--I am downright tickled to have a handful of girlfriends whom I would invite into the bathroom even if I were bathing. These are women to whom I have bared my soul to such an extent that their seeing my unclothed shell seems of no consequence to me, whatsoever. What a blessing it is to have them in my life.
I am not my hair. Thank goodness, because it has been falling out by the fistful, which I have found incredibly depressing.
Today, I asked a stranger to gather my hair into a ponytail and cut off ten inches. I am donating my hair to be someone's Christmas present. She will appreciate it more than I did; I just kept it piled up on the back of my head. I think I saw Jim's lip tremble a little when I walked out of the salon, but I kissed him four times in Wal-Mart, so he's ok.
Now I just need to color what hair I have left. See, I almost used the word "dye," just then, but I remembered that my friend Bette Gunderson corrected me, once, for doing that. She said, "Honey, you dye Easter eggs. You color your hair."
While I was shopping in Wal-Mart, this evening, I realized: my face has become too old for glittery make-up. Also that I'm ok with it, and glad for it.