I had looked myself over no fewer than five times before leaving the house. It was Friday, Jordan and I both had the day off from work, and we were headed out to Walmart to pick up a few things. My mirror shattered over two years ago, and I have yet to replace it, out of nothing more than sheer laziness. Through the split glass, I thought I looked okay in a pair of mid-rise jeans, and a plaid shirt that reached just above the top of the jeans.
So, when the van drove by us in the parking lot, I wasn't expecting for anyone to call something out to us, which is probably why I didn't make out what she'd said.
"Something something something, girl!" was all I heard, as we lugged our Walmart bags toward Jordan's SUV, having just finished our errands.
"What did she say?" I asked quickly, sharply. Jordan was short in his response. "Nothing. Who cares." "Was she being mean, though?" "Who cares." "... I'm always going to wonder." Nervous giggle.
Jordan suddenly darted off in the opposite direction of the parking lot, and I called after him to ask if he was looking for his car. He wasn't. I shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, until I saw him coming back toward me a minute later. I smiled weakly.
"Where did you go? What did I miss?" He was quiet. I closed the car door behind me, and looked over at him. "Just tell me... what did she say?"
Jordan informed me that the woman in the back of the beat-up blue van had called out to me "Hips don't lie, girl!", from her open window. So he'd trekked over to the van to ask if she and her van mates thought they were "clever" for yelling out of passing vehicles at people. My knight in shining armour.
"Technically, she could have meant it as a compliment!" He nodded his head toward me, with a sideways grin. "True!" I said, smiling back. "My hips certainly do not lie!" But he knew I was upset, and he asked me not to be, and put his hand on my knee the rest of the drive. Because to me, even on the off-chance that she' d meant to compliment me on the hips I self-deprecatingly refer to as "child-bearing", the point was that someone had noticed my hips walking out of a store. They were that big. They were so big that she felt she needed to yell it to me.
Later on, I wondered if she would have said anything at all if she'd known that I worked so very hard to be where I am now; struggled every day to lose 50 lbs, and still struggle every day to stay healthy, some seven years later. "Women are supposed to be sticking together... isn't that what I keep hearing?!" The problem, though, is not the woman in the van, and I know that. The problem is me. People can be nasty, but truthfully, we are often nastiest to ourselves. Every day, I fall somewhere within a grand spectrum of accepting who & what I am, and wanting to be more (or less). It's frustrating, difficult, and detrimental. And I know, full well, that I am not alone in this. I'm no self-help guru, but I am truly saddened by the way I hear women talk about themselves; I think we are all often guilty of being a backseat van yeller to our own selves. I'm looking to change this about myself, and it started with me trying to determine what I really, truly like about myself, because that's what matters.
So, if you feel this way some days (maybe most days!), like I do, here is what I think you should know about yourself, despite anything else, every day:
You're funny. In fact, you're hilarious. You have beautiful eyes, and your makeup (or, hey, lack thereof!) always looks flawless. You are creative, and hard-working, and smart. Your smile lights up the room (which is a total cliché, but also a total truth). You are happy, and confident, and you see the best in people. You're kind, independent, and charming.
You're beautiful. You really are.
And, by the way KM, I bet your farts ARE awesome. The rest of you certainly is.