Aging! It's Just The Way It Is !
Aging is an interesting business and I believe that most of us, at one point or another, vow to accomplish this journey with grace and finesse. No screaming and denial for us! I was relatively petite for most of my life, enjoying the ability to eat pretty much what I wanted to with no obvious deleterious effects. That was then you know - this is now - or was it then? No it is now - not then I am quite sure!
The other day a friend of mine called. After "hi what's new" we began comparing notes about the sometimes funny and, at times, not at all that funny, passage of time. I used to think that no matter what size you wore - that was the size you wore no matter who was making the clothes. If pants were snug then surely it was me who needed slimming - the manufacturer could not have skimped. Surely no kindly manufacturer would intentionally send a size conscious female into a tail spin of depression and angst by cutting their patterns smaller than the "normal" size recommendations that the 'international bureau of clothing size standards'' dictated? A good friend who I have always thought was quite a small person once gifted me with a PILE of clothing. I am still wearing some of these gems years later. Her taste ran parallel to mine and she could have been my personal shopper any day - wait! she WAS my personal shopper sometimes come to think of it! The clothes she donated to a good cause (me) were all sizes from 6-14. I was flummoxed. I asked her once if she had kept all of the clothes for a long time or if some of them had been pre-pregnancy clothes? She looked at me with somewhat serious look as if she were speaking to a dullard - huh?!! Indeed she, the fashion-ista of us all clued me in that there was no 'international board of clothing standards'. She imparted the precious knowledge that manufacturers made clothes is what ever measurements they wanted to make them in. One company's 8 could mean another companies 12. This was one heck of a liberating moment for me! No longer was I chained to a can of dry tuna when a pair of slacks felt too snug. I'd just pick a pair from another manufacturer! Yeah! As the years marched relentlessly forward and my distractions made me no longer a long distance runner but a small distance walker, the non existent 'board of international clothing measurement standards' kept expanding my concept of permissible size ranges...when one day I noticed that my unmentionables were also playing this "no standard size" game? How could that be? Jockey had always been the last bastions of size conformity! At last I take under consideration that it might now be time rather than clothing manufacturers that were the issue. I cautiously pushed the ubiquitous "buy me" button and ordered a larger size. Ahhhhh! relief! I was no longer suffering from a lap band on the outside of me ... comfort ruled once again.
The last few years have been a real eye opener for me. I hate things like belts now. I hate having anything that is not loose and soft of my person. I kept wondering why I was always comfortable at home - ah! could it be perhaps, that I always were elastic waist pants at home?! They may be soft linen Flax pants - but they still have elastic rather than unforgiving stiff roll bands! I like long flowing clothes anyway - and, if I had the wallet to afford it, I would look for a new wardrobe that suits my new, increasingly need for s-o-f-t-n-e-s-s life. Longer tops with less shape and soft fabrics can sometimes make my short self look somethign akin to a walking toadstool about to tip over. But, no matter - I am comfortable and now understand the adage "made for comfort not speed". Yet another rather rude awakening that I have been able to take with aplomb - it is, after all, just the way it is.
Just as my friend and I (notice how she is remaining nameless less she kick me when she sees me next time!) had finally decided that aging is, really and truly, okay and that we accepted as 'simply the way it is' the larger sizes we seemed to be gravitating to these days (notice I said we were gravitating to - not that gravity was taking us to them!) began to discuss clothing patterns. "Nameless friend" was just beginning to construct a new jacket from some wonderful fabric that she had recently bought. It's rather like a jacquard in a scrumptious low key pumpkin color that managed to camouflage small pumpkins within it's weave. She said that, after taking some measurements she was going to have to go and exchange some of the patterns that she had recently bought for larger sized patterns. Why?, I asked - you KNOW that those clothing manufacturers are all different and ALWAYS add a lot of give don't you!! The size you got will fit just fine!
Yep. we're fine with aging - it's just the way it is - right?!