A quote can sometimes sum up your past, present and maybe even your future. Although probably hard to truly find a quote to sum up a future that has not happened. While reading “The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles” by Marianne Williamson, I came across an idea that sums up an aspect of my childhood. It is hard to walk away from ideas and experiences that were ingrained in your thought and life at such a young age. At times I feel like I am still being chased by this idea:
“’I have an issue about being taken care of. I never think that there will be enough’.” Page 109
Maybe it was because for many years of my life (and my sister’s) we had to fend for ourselves. We were not taken care of. We were the caretakers for my mom, dad, and grandma. So it does not mean that no one cared about us, but it does mean that we were rarely looked after, watched, parented, or cared for in the way we should have been. It took me until I was much older to truly understand that my childhood was not like my peers’. Jumping ahead to adulthood where I have evolved, grown, and become my own person over the years, I still have a hard time with being taken care of. Chris is really the only one in my life that I completely allow in to dote on me in that way. Maybe I am that way because of so many years where I had to figure it out for myself and be creative for how I was going to fend for myself that I have a hard time allowing others to jump in. The sad truth that runs through my mind: They were not there before so why should I expect anyone now?
About their being enough… When there is not enough money in the bank, when you are not allowed to go about normal school activities because you do not have the proper attire, and when you are the recipient of the food bank, you begin to wonder if you will ever have enough from day-to-day. My problem now in adulthood: while I know from the top of my head to the tips of my toes that I have enough, I still have never shed that little birdie on my should that says: “There might not be enough. Save ’cause you never know. Do not get that because you spent too much already.”
I know I have all that I need right now, but I am still learning to let others care for me and I constantly battle that little birdie. Some things never change, but maybe little by little I will wear myself down and change my mantra to: “I can be taken care of. There will be enough.”
Recently Chris and I were talking about how easy it is for men to pick out clothes. Obviously there are many reasons, and you can yay or nay them based on the person or your personal opinion, but the most glaring or obvious to me is that for a man a size 34 is a size 34 is a size 34. No, those are not typos. I wrote in that way for emphasis. A woman’s size 8 is not a woman’s size 8. Even within the same company a women’s size 8 is vastly different, and from company to company it is grossly different.
Chris can go into a store, not try on a single item, make a purchase and be happy. I do not have that luxury. I have to try everything on and even then I am slightly (or maybe more than slightly) indecisive about making a purchase. Sometimes the day I try something on it fits fine and when I come home and try something on a day or so later it fits differently.
Alas, the dilemma of shopping as a woman. Our conversation about clothes, sizing, and fit made me think about Marilyn Monroe. I started wondering about her and what was considered beautiful in the 1950’s. After a bit of research, what I learned was a bit mind-boggling and I think that says something about our society. You can read full details here, but in the 1950’s Marilyn was a size 12-16. I know that is a big range, but as you look at pictures (or if you were around to remember her) you would think “she was not a 12-16.” As the article states in the 1980’s, the Department of Commerce changed our sizing (umm…can we say how vain we have gotten). A size 16-18 in the 1950’s is equivalent to a size 8 today. A big difference. The article even states:
“Those measurements were 5 ft. 5.5 inches tall; 35 inch bust; 22 inch waist (approximately 2-3 inches less than the average American woman in the 1950s and 12 inches less than average today); and 35 inch hips, with a bra size of 36D.”
Marilyn had a 22 inch waist, and the average today is 35 inches. Shocking. That is a crazy difference. Regardless of all the changes to sizing from the 1950’s to today, it is still a man’s world. Most of the time a woman cannot go into a store, grab her size, pay and leave. Is it time for a size revolution?