late bloomer

Stories, musings, and pictures… a little bit late.

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When I was a little girl (young enough that my mom dressed me, but old enough that I probably could have helped) I had anxiety over socks. If the seam that went across my toe knuckles didn’t lay just right I ended up in a tizzy before mom could even pull her hand away. Today I just wear my socks with particularly irritating seams inside out.

Oddly enough, this:


does not bother me. Not one bit. Sure those socks don’t match, but my discerning feet can’t tell the difference and my eyes don’t care. However, I would never make a matching pair out of these socks while doing laundry. I’ll give you a couple of reasons why.

1. Clearly, they don’t match and therefore don’t belong confined by wimpy sock elastic in my sock drawer.

2. I don’t take the time to match pairs of socks when I am folding laundry. The gratification of making an acceptable pair at the time of getting dressed must thrill me more than the efficiency of putting them away in an organized fashion.  Besides, no where on my dresser does it say “Sock Drawer: Couples Only”.

There actually is a little bit of method to this madness. For instance, I couldn’t wear socks of differing lengths or elasticity. That would just be crazy.


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The day I found my Hips

My body shape has most resembled a rectangle throughout the majority of these 29 years. I remember trying on dresses and looking as though I poked my head through a pillow case. I never really gave my curves a fighting chance in those days, running cross country and track all the time.

In fact, it was at a cross country meet when I discovered what everybody else already knew. I was transforming from a girl rectangle to a young lady with slight  curves. My discovery happened in a mid-morning shadow. My shadow body was laid out perpendicular to me – giant feet, long limbs, stretching torso, my tiny shadow head yards away. I noticed a ridge below my waist and figured it was from my uniform tank being tucked in to my little running bloomers. I untucked to see. No difference. “Hmph. What is making that shadow?”  I pressed on it. Firm, rigid. “Hips?! When did I get those?”

Nobody else was surprised. They knew what was going on all along. Isn’t it funny how when you see yourself or someone you know on a daily basis, the changes to them are so slight and often unnoticable? It took a different “mirror” for me to notice.

You will be happy to know that I haven’t lost my hips since that day and for personal reasons have started protecting them – with love handles.

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Bra Shopping

I know a girl who is not quite in middle school yet. A few months ago she looked the part of an elementary school student. I saw her recently and WOWZA! Let’s just say that she is blossoming.

When I made it to 6th grade I found out that popping bra straps was the cool thing to do. I never worried though, because I didn’t wear one. They weren’t gonna get me. Ha! Then one day Mary reached between my shoulder blades and tugged at my shirt. “GASP! Laaaaaaaaauuuuuureeeen, you’re not wearing a bra?” Um. No. Why would I?

I am not sure if it was solely this incident or maybe a combination of this and my mom saying to me in the front yard “They’re groooooowiiiiiing” that spurred the shopping trip. Regardless of actually need, it was time. If memory serves we started at a department store for a professional fitting. The lingerie lady came out from behind her register and started (wo)man handling me right there out in the open with the finesse of a TSA agent.  After she took the measurements mom and I headed to the dressing room with a couple of options. The most memorable bra made it look like I had a pair of ski jumping slopes on my chest. A downhill grade followed by a slight curve back up.

We laughed. We laughed hard.

Things didn’t pan out so well at the department store so we headed to a ‘Mart. Less intense, maybe. Here I am; 11 years old, with my mom, standing in front of the training bra/ undershirt rack about to meet a major milestone of a girl’s life. We’ve got it narrowed down, and about to seal the deal emotionally unscathed when a lady exclaims “Don’t you hate it when your 4 yr old insists on wearing a bra?!” I kid you not, we were the same non-cup size. And that is when I cried.

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Buying New Pants – Crisis Averted

The pairs of jeans I own with holes in the knees has recently outnumbered the pairs I own without holes in the knees. I have been toying around with the idea of sacrificing one pair to patch the others, but as we all know, the holey jeans are usually the most comfortable.

Throughout my growing years shopping for pants was awful…for the whole family. (Sorry Mom, Dad, Melis.) It often involved anxiety, frustration, angst, anger, tears, and self-image issues. Don’t worry, nothing permanent or irreparable! (Thanks Mom, Dad, Melis.)

Combining those traumatic experiences with my recent discovery that I have been wearing “Mom Jeans” made me a little hesitant to go shopping. Until yesterday when I noticed a coworker had some holes in their back pockets, then realized the fabric I could see was their underwear. Instead of thinking, “Well, at least my butt is covered.” I went the other way to “I am better than this!”

Last night I had a few minutes before the group run started so I went in to the nearest department store.  Amazingly, the first pair of jeans I picked up and took to the dressing room were winners! Also amazing is that I grabbed a size 14-long after years of the fashion industry letting me believe that I was the same size, a 12-long, since my senior year in high school. I guess the amazing part is really that I didn’t have a panic attack over going up a size.

Does this mean I am m… m… mmm… maturing?


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In Da Club

In a few short hours the school/work week will finally be over.  Who is hitting up the clubs this weekend?

Yeah, me neither.

I’ve been to 2 clubs, 1 time each. The second one was one too many. Well, the first one may have been, but I find that I like to put myself in situations in which I am pretty sure I will be uncomfortable and see how I manage.

The first club outing was part of a bachelorette party. The evening started out relatively tame with bridesmaids snacking on cleverly named hors d’oeuvres. Unfortunately I failed to get the memo that we were leaving for the club right from the snacking location so I was stuck without my “clubbing attire”. Not that I actually owned “clubbing attire”. However, I did own outfits that less resembled Steve’s wardrobe from Blue’s Clues.

Seriously, I had on a short sleeved V-neck version of his shirt.  Just swap out the pleated khakis for some stretchy denim capris and there you have it. I know – H O T.  But wait, you haven’t heard about my shoes! A pair of green, mary jane style sneakers, from Wal-Mart.

The group of girls I was hanging out with averaged about 5’4″ in height. That left 8″ of unobstructed visibility to my green stripes and uncomfortable grimace. More than that if you consider how people are shorter when they dance…you know, ‘cuz they knees is bent. I felt huge. And awkward. And unattractive.

Maybe I’ll go back one day when I am feeling frisky. After all, I do have a fashion advisor and -if I make the right phone call- my own personal beauty consultant.

Tonight though, I think I’ll just put my pajamas on too early and take my antacids. Come on over, we’ll party!

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Wash and Curl

One summer when I was home from college I decided I wanted to give curls a try on my long, straight locks. At this point I had never had a perm before and was terrible with a curling iron. Not to mention, shampoo was my only hair product. If only there was a product that would be simple enough for my limited talents and temporary enough in case I hated the results.

I perused the aisles of a Wal-Mart (because that is where you should shop for top-notch hair products) for the ideal solution. Amazingly, it was there. Wash N Curl.

To be fair, I never saw this on TV otherwise I probably would have understood.

“Ok,” I thought, “that seems easy enough.  98% of the time I do a good job washing my hair. This should work great!”

I read and re-read the directions: Lather. Rinse. Style as usual. “I got this.” After my shower I carefully, gingerly even, towel dried my hair. “Style as usual it says, this is my usual routine.” Once my hair was  a sufficient level of dampness  I sat down at the computer and waited for the magic to happen. I was keeping my head as still as possible to make sure I didn’t interrupt whatever process was going on that was going to give me beautiful, wavy curls. Anxiously I would step back into the bathroom to check the progress in the mirror. “Humph. Looks the same, maybe I should scrunch it.”  Before the next reveal I grabbed fistfuls of hair from the bottom and squeezed upward to help the Wash N Curl start curling.  “Maybe my hair is too heavy?”

It took about an hour for me to realize that “Style as usual” meant feel free to use your hair dryer, rollers, vent brush, curling iron, etc… to achieve the look you desire.

I returned the mostly full bottle of “defective” shampoo.



It’s all in the Jeans

A couple of weeks ago I asked a smartly stylish acquaintance of mine to go shopping with me. I needed some professional clothes that I felt comfortable in for some upcoming business meetings. I can’t tell you how many anxiety attacks I have had because I didn’t feel comfortable or that I was wearing the right outfit the occasion. I can tell you that they are never fun.

My fashion advisor asked me what stores I shopped at regularly for pants, shirts, etc… Over the last few years I have discovered that the pants that are cut the best for me come from the Gap and Old Navy.  It is such a relief to finally know where I “belong”. Well, it was a relief until yesterday. I was cruising around on Pinterest for some really important things and came across this pin:

Oh no! All these years and I come to find out I haven’t been presenting my back side in the most attractive way possible. I don’t know how I will ever recover. Where do I go now?