Jane was dreading her husband’s holiday office party. Everything in her closet wasn’t suitable for the wife of a CEO, she was a Kindergarten teacher and all of her clothes had to be comfortable and loose. Most everything she had was either black, gray, or navy blue, no reds, greens or even an ugly Christmas sweater to speak of. “Face it Jane,” she told herself, “you just aren’t a wife of a CEO”. Pulling out the only decent dress she had, a simple black dress she had worn to her aunt’s funeral three months ago, Jane laid the dress down on the bed wondering what she could do punch it up. As she went to her dresser she stopped in front of a full length mirror, disgust etched all over her face as she took in the sight of her own figure. Bumps, rolls, dimples on her thighs, and great another pimple was beginning to make itself known right on her chin. Just what she didn’t need!
Opening the top drawer she pulled out an Italian red scarf that a friend had brought back from a recent trip. Quickly she rummaged through her jewelry box looking for her Nana’s brooch that had been given to her years ago, something her Nana wore every year for Christmas. A bell with two semi precious stones that symbolized her Nana and Pop-pop’s anniversary. Oh how she missed them. Checking her watch she knew she didn’t have much time to waste, she had to make as much effort as she could in looking great for her husband.
Squeezing into her spanx, her mind reeled with the what if’s: What IF someone noticed the pimple on her chin? What IF someone stares at her while she nibbles on some food? Oh no, the food! What if there’s nothing safe to eat there?! Her stomach twisted and knotted into a bundle of raging nerves. She couldn’t do this, there was no way she could go tonight and not worry about something. The beginning of depression settled in as she slipped on her black dress not even noticing that it was looser than when she last wore it. Nothing was going to set her free from her self pitying and loathing.
Taking a seat at her dressing table, she brushed her fine blonde tresses annoyed that her hair was still coming out…would this never end?! She didn’t dare clip her hair up, that wouldn’t do. No, she needed to look like she cared just a little bit. Opening a draw in her dressing table she pulled out a scrunchie, hair pins, and a carefully curled hair piece that her mother had helped her pick out for her wedding. Carefully she tease her hair to add some height, pinning her hair up and making a simple bun in the back. Positioning the hairpiece over her growing bald spot on top, Jane pinned it into place making sure it wouldn’t move at all.
“Make up, make up…great, where’s my green correction stick?!” She grumbled, taking everything out her old kaboodle box, finally finding the one piece that would make her look somewhat normal at the very bottom. Gently she applied her makeup, making sure not to pop anything or aggravate it further. Her splotchy red skin annoyed her to no end, her cheeks always looked like they were wind chapped. Careful to keep it looking as natural as possible she kept her eye makeup simple yet appropriate for the evening. Red for lips with just enough gloss, she sat back she took in her work. “Not a model but hopefully no one will notice.”
As she made her way down the stairs to get her winter coat and evening bag her husband was in awe of his wife. He always knew she was beautiful but tonight she was radiant! He helped her with her coat and with her car door. Jane’s stomach clenched and unclenched, her nerves were working overtime. Only eat fruits and veggies, she thought to herself, stay away from the desserts and carb laden foods. Keep your stomach sucked in as much as possible and don’t lose your cool when someone starts complaining about their kids. It was difficult for Jane to hold her tongue when people would complain about the very thing she couldn’t have herself…a child. Her PCOS was so bad she hadn’t been able to conceive in the seven years of her marriage. A wave of heartache was coming over her, mingling with her depression and growing self hatred of her body. Why was she even bothering?!
“You look gorgeous honey.” He said as he kissed her hand, “My belle of the ball.” His smile melted away all her loathing emotions and replaced it with the only one that mattered the most.
I don’t know about you all, but I can certainly relate with Jane. Though I can put up a good front at times, there are moments where I begin to second guess how I look, if others are going to start critiquing my appearance, is someone going to make a comment about what I’m eating…stick with fruits and veggies Amanda! I’ve had years of practice when it comes to eating around people who make me feel uncomfortable. You learn quickly that if you don’t want to become the conversation, take smaller portions, eat more fruits and veggies, skip the desserts, and only drink water. That way they will have very little to talk about and the rest is then speculation 😉
I’ve learned to be more vocal, which is difficult for me after years of being bullied as a child and enduring abuse from a narcissist. Finding my voice to set the record straight has been liberating and has opened the door for many folks to learn about something that they didn’t even know existed. Now when I go out to a Christmas party or other gatherings I make and take my own food, I wear clothes that are comfortable and surround myself with those who love and accept me. It’s taken me years to finally reach a point where I don’t care what others think or what they might say. People are going to talk, they are always going to find something to gossip about…and I say let them!
Cysters, you have the choice to whether or not you’re going to enjoy this holiday season in a positive way. Are you going to let other peoples murmurings spoil this time you have with friends and family? Or will you take a stand and let it go? We’re all beautiful, we don’t have to be size zero in order to achieve that beauty. We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made! Our flaws are just the spice in our cupboard, we all have them and some are more unique than others 😉
As you step out this season remember that you are a woman of teal, PCOS doesn’t own you, and what others think of you is just their opinion not the truth. Enjoy this time with your loved ones!