BTW, the arm-slimming garment lady canceled on me. Too bad! I was looking forward to cramming my arms into it and testing it out first hand.
Meanwhile, my old friend Kely (old as in I first met her in grade school, not old as in having put so many miles behind her she’s running like a ’73 Dodge Dart with a ’82 muffler) put things so well that I had to post her more prominently.
I don’t believe there is any way to actually gain traction on this ‘slippery slope’, what I think is necessary is a complete revision of how we perceive ourselves and and what we perceive to be ‘letting go’. For example: have you noticed how the more famous and respected a star is, the more slovenly they dress? Perhaps to deflect attention, perhaps to attract attention, none of this matters to us because we are not famous, just slovenly, but I digress…
So here is my long winded point; I convince myself that I am so fabulous that I can actually get away with walking my kids to school with no make-up on, uggs, unkempt hair and sometimes even pajamas under my coat, a veritable trifecta of ‘mom letting go’ offenses. I convince myself that a pair of absurdly large sunglasses masks almost all my flaws (much like toddlers when they close their eyes and think you cant see them).
Another example: two years ago I bought a minivan!!!! YES! I said it. Granted, its a Toyota Siena which is better looking (or so I tell myself) than most minivans, but none the less its a minivan. I have three children and a dog and we go away frequently on the weekend and it was just the right decision.
Incredibly, I was ok with it. For the most part, I am not a ‘car’ person, which I am sure helped as I have no prejudices or alliances toward any particular car model, I actually prefer the subway. But also, I have honed this useful delusion of fabulousness to such a degree that my knee-jerk reaction was “well, I will be the HOTTEST thing anybody has EVER seen stepping out of a minivan” (admitting, of course, that the bar has not been set too high).
You see where I am going with this?
I have to caution that it is a perilously tricky and volatile delusion. Seeing that I am still 40lbs over the weight I was when I danced and strutted the streets of Manhattan, pre-three kids, and that I do not look that good in uggs and probably should wear some concealer or at least blush.
There are some things in my life that help me sustain this state of mind. We live in this gorgeous 100 yr old house with very poor lighting which bounces off of very dark stained oak moldings and doors (original to the house) and reflects a magical movie-star glow on all who wander through it. This often makes me put on Joker like blush at night and sometimes not enough-but it doesn’t matter (see how this works?)
Anyway, I am not suggesting anyone try this, but it works for me. And although it seems like a lot of work training yourself to think this way (I can not say because for me it came naturally), once you are on a roll its actually quite fun.
There are a couple of setbacks I should warn you about:
1) Before and during ‘that’ time of the month, the illusion you have been creating and cultivating and nurturing so tenderly is ripped away from you with cruel and hideous force and for one unholy week you are just a fat, middle aged, angry woman sitting in a minivan.
This is sadly unavoidable and at this particular time the illusion can only, possibly, be sustained pharmaceutically.
2) Prepare to be knocked-on-your-ass SHOCKED when you see a picture of yourself.
This I have no remedy for. Photos are clear proof that the illusion is exactly that, an illusion and can be very detrimental to the existence of the world you are trying to create. For this I have no remedy.
Avoid cameras or perhaps, my favorite, tell yourself that you must look much better ‘in movement’.
In short, just because you own in a minivan doesn’t mean you are, in fact, a minivan.
Photo by: John Haslam, CC licensed
October 24, 2008 at 8:23 am
I had to laugh. I have ONE good photo of myself & I plaster it everywhere to convince myself that that is how I actually look. & when I come upon a real picture of me? It get’s un-tagged (facebook), deleted, or torn up pronto!