Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Does This Ass Make My Dress Look Big?

So today I went shopping, because, my friends, I have been summoned to attend an awards show. As you may know, Sweet William works in the film biz, and as this is part of his job, now I must attend my first black-tie crazy "I'd like to thank the little people" show.

This necessitated a trip to a fancy shmancy store, where it took me about five minutes to find a dress I liked, because thank Gawd they did not have racks upon racks of special occasion clothes where I would be completely lost and disoriented, like a penguin in the tropics, and run away and anon, on and on, quite like this sentence. No, I found a sexy yet tasteful black beaded number, though I had thought I might perhaps do something with a bit more color, but you can't go wrong with black, or so they say. An incredibly helpful perky salesperson led me to a fitting room, where I promptly removed my T-shirt and jeans, glanced in the mirror and felt horribly sorry for my husband.

Yeesh, what happened here?

I can't blame the lighting in the fitting room entirely for how my body looks now. I can't even blame the pregnancy, because that was, well, three years ago. I can't blame my genes, because I come from petite stock and according to this table, I am the "appropriate" weight for my height. No, I can only blame myself for not getting up off my ass with greater frequency. The problem is not my weight; rather, it is my un-toned-ness.

Full disclosure: as I sit here typing this, I am eating microwave popcorn. This is bad for me, not just because of the salt and fat (of course I buy the kind with butter), but because it is so greasy it makes my skin break out like a motherfucker. However, there is something about it I find comforting, so here I am, running on this sick cycle like a hapless little hamster on a wheel.

I practice yoga twice a week, generally, but if I am feeling sick or bummed out or generally off-kilter, I don't. This happens more than it should. And I should be doing something more cardiovascular as well, I guess, but I don't. Man, I suck.

Sweet William is very active. He runs a couple of miles and/or practices yoga every day. He is incredibly disciplined about it. It is really rather disgusting, but since he doesn't get on my case about how much less proportionately physically fit I am than he, I don't get on his case about that. You see that? A good marriage is all about communication -- not just what you say, but what you don't.

Getting back to the original topic: I bought the dress. It hides my not-so-lovely parts and flatters the parts that are still in good shape -- i.e., my arms, back and bustline (whatever else you can say about it, yoga is good at toning the upper body). So, crisis averted for the moment. Thank God there's no swimsuit portion of the evening.

Speaking of the portions of the evening: cocktail reception begins at 4:30. Dinner at 6:00. Awards presentation at 7:30. What this means is that it would be entirely possible to spend 6 hours at this event that I don't really want to go to. On a Sunday night, when I could be sprawled on the couch in my crumpled pajamas eating ice cream and watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm." You see the dilemma I'm in.

Before you cuss me out for not wanting to go to this fabulously glamorous awards show, let it be known that the likelihood of celebrities being present is practically nil. These are awards for people who work on technical aspects of films, and while I do think they should be recognized, let's face it -- the only reason anyone would want to go to an awards show is so they can dish about the celebs they see there. It makes for a much more interesting story.

But picking up the thread of an idea: shouldn't everyone be recognized for the work they do? If you do a good job, wouldn't it be nice to get some public appreciation from your peers?

In my first job out of college, I received an award for being an outstanding employee at [insert name of performing arts institution here]. It was a shock -- not in a bad way, but honestly, I didn't know about it ahead of time and went to a staff assembly and they called out my name and I nearly shit myself. It was what I imagine you would feel like if you were sitting in the audience at a game show and suddenly the announcer called out your name: "LISA BLAH BLAH, COME ON DOWN!"

I didn't shriek or jump wildly into the air and hug whoever was sitting next to me, or spill my popcorn, or whatever. I was actually kind of mortified. Okay, so really, it was more kind of like sitting in the audience at a magic show and having the magician pick you to be his onstage assistant to be sawed in half. I scurried up to the stage, accepted my award -- it was heavy, being basically a big block of glass with my name engraved on it -- and then stared at the floor while the Dean of the College read all the nice things that people who had nominated me said about me.

I would much rather have been at home on my futon in my college sweatshirt and ratty boxer shorts, drinking beer and yelling out all the answers to "Jeopardy!" while my roommate cursed at me savagely.

So perhaps recognition isn't always a good thing. But you know, the award did come with a cash prize -- most of which I gave to my mother. Yes, I was that much of a goody two-shoes. Go ahead and mock me.

And right now, I think I might actually push away from the computer, get off my ass and shake it a little bit before I have to go pick up my kid. Dancing around my living room to some old school Salt-n-Pepa or Prince is the cure for the daily blues -- and perhaps for flab. I'll report back.

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