My shopping trip today was almost a total bust. Everywhere I look there are clothes meant for young, trim, nubile bodies and mine does not fit that description any more. I used to be built like Kate Moss (before Kate Moss was the paragon) and now I am built a little more like Kate Smith (you oldies will know who she was). All the clothes at Stein Mart, where I went to spend the last of my Christmas gift card, are either pink, aqua or acid green, and full of polka-dots, horizontal stripes, sequins or ruffles, which I didn't like even when I was built to wear them. Everything I tried on was too tight, too short, too revealing of my bulges and bumps.
My lunch companion (age 78) yesterday was singing a similar tale of woe. She needs a dress for a wedding in April; is dreading shopping and fears she will never be able to find anything suitable that is also stylish. We were window shopping after lunch and saw items with bare midriffs and necklines to match. My advice was for her to check out the local department stores, which tend to be somewhat more conservative, or at least they still cater to women 'of a certain age'.
Part of my problem is that I always think of myself as I was at age 25-30; too thin, able to wear absolutely anything and get away with it. When I try on clothes and look in the mirror, it is a quick trip into the harsh reality of today - and a sad reminder that I don't look like that anymore. It is depressing and either I come home emptyhanded - or I buy earrings and purses to fill up the vacant spots inside. Pitiful is the word that comes to mind.
However, being older and chubby is better than some alternatives; I am healthy and able to be (mostly) cheerful. I am active and productive and I try to be helpful and encouraging to others. So I must content myself with those adjectives and forget about the young woman I used to be. But I would ask you to remember that inside my chubby body, that young, thin, exciting woman still resides. She's just obscured a little nowadays.