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My Opinion Matters (aka Baby got Back), here goes....

Last week, I had what could have been a very embarrassing moment.

In the morning super rush-I quickly threw on workout clothes. Very very soft running shorts (from a sale bin, this will be important later) and loose t-shirt. I was in a hurry as usual-I was off to drive kids around, then go running. All of us suburby moms look like this, the new morning rush uniform.

I dropped off Kiddos 1 and 2. Salsie and May at school, where luckily I stay in the car. Then, I had to drop kiddo 3, who calls herself Sauncy, at preschool, where I do have to get out of the car. Eyewitness point number 1. Then I went for a run- starting pretty much up and down the main street, past the 'gated' part of my development, right by several construction sights, then in front of the golf club. Eyewitness locations 2-20. Where I finally ended at the park to set kiddo 4, Willsie, free from stroller jail. Eyewitness location number 21.

At the park, trying to cool down in 90 degree, 100 percent humidity, dripping with sweat, I met a lovely abuela named Pilar playing with her granddaughter Claudia. She spoke mostly Spanish and I spoke mostly English. She decided as we played that she would refresh my Spanish speaking abilities. (Forget those 6 years in school-IQ points remember.) We had a great time, she did not mind my sweat, and we taught each other new words and phrases. She told me about Lima, Peru, her home. Her three children, the daughter who lives and works here, is an architect (thought Julie would appreciate that). I taught her the difference between the word workaholic and alcoholic. We compared 2 year old monkey business and both agreed that we loved nap time and bed time. She told me good job for running, she swims in the ocean every day, but can't here, and misses it. We had one of the better park experiences I have ever had. She and I were both happy to have someone else besides a 2 year old to share a conversation. Preschool for Sauncy was over, we parted ways, the kids waving and blowing kisses (yes-Willsie blows kisses, he has 3 big sisters) and said our goodbyes.

I arrived at the preschool class and we were happily (well, mostly happily) on our way home. Lunch, nap, huge prayer that nap sticks, and tiptoeing down the stairs, you know the routine-I finally was off to the shower, to relieve the world from my stink.

This is when I caught a glimpse of my bum in the full length mirror. This is normally a spot I try to avoid checking or drawing attention to, I'm sure you understand. But, I had to stop to look, did I mention the shorts were white with blue trim (must be the reason they were in the sale bin-everyone else knew better)? The discovery I made was ginormous (this word is in the dictionary now) in a couple of ways. There were words showing right through the shorts that declared 'BEACH BUM' very clearly.

All I could think was-at least I didn't wear 'Responds well to Compliments' or 'A Lady Never Sweats'- yea right (yes these are real, I couldn't make up bum slogans like this). I didn't even think about it when I dressed myself, I mean-hey the panties were white everywhere else.

About ten years ago, I probably would have died and worried about who saw me, where I had been, and how embarrassed I was. I mean-what a dork. It has been a struggle my whole life to be at a point where other people's opinions and perceived thoughts are not completely encompassing me. Let's be honest, I am a huge worrier. This is where age and wisdom come into play .

That day though, I thought, (and you have to know how BIG this is for me)-who cares. You must ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you there is not a chance in the world that I ever said or thought this.

That day, instead, I thought about my encounter with Pilar. And how she was happy to just have a friend at the park. She didn't care what my bum said, that I smelled, that we were different ages, or spoke different languages. We just appreciated each other.

I have to learn to appreciate and be happy with my opinion of myself. Every day it's a very tenuous balance with me. I weigh my good with my bad and hope like crazy that they at least balance out.

That day, they did. And I made a friend with Pilar. A friend with my bum. And a friend with myself.

It's funny the little things that bring you perspective.

Now go have a piece of chocolate and glass of wine! And wear crazy panties with see-through clothes!

A message from Julie, from Beyond the Vacation: It's Perfect Post Award time and I found one! Miguelina wrote A Work in Progress which is one of the best mom manifestos I've read. Way to go, Miguelina, thanks for such a perfect post! Check Petroville and Suburban Turmoil for the rest of the Perfect Posts from September!
The Original Perfect Post Awards – Sept ‘07


Suz said…
I would cringe at the idea of having words, any words, on my butt, much the less "Beach Bum," so this was a great post and a good reminder to have as I go about the day.
Kyla said…
In high school, I went on an overnight with one of my classes. We stayed at a hotel and decided to jump in the pool, fully clothed, in winter. (This is Texas, so not quite as stupid as it could have been.) I was wearing light khaki pants, almost cream colored. When I got out of the pool, they were 100% see through. My underwear were blue and had a huge smiley face both in the front and back. I had to walk back to the hotel room like that. Good times. And yes, we passed other hotel guests on the way. Oh my.
Kellan said…
How funny! But what a great story about meeting Pilar. I liked all the visuals I was getting with this story (running past construction site ...) - Good post!
I love a woman who can show her bum and laugh about it!

You've done nothing but raise my already high level of respect for you even higher.
flutter said…
You are too funny
ewe are here said…
Good for you! Who has time to worry about what other people think!

I have to admit, I'd be had to have anything written across my bum; not an area I want to call attention to these days. ;-)
painted maypole said…
beach bum is a lot better than some things I've seen! but still, yes, a wee bit embarrassing! Good attitude about it! :)
Lesley said…
I'll do what Julie does and respond to all!

suz- I'm sure there was much cringing around the neighborhood that day as well!:)

kyla- at least you were in high school, not a 35 year old woman pushing a jogging stroller. The front though,that's tough to live down, at least that might have alerted me to the back issue.

kellan-Are you the one in San Antonio? Pilar was adorable, as was Claudia.

jeff- I am glad somebody respects me still. :)

flutter- thanks!

ewe- its a work in progress.

maypole- i love maypoles, all the pretty ribbons... You are correct, at least it didn't say federline was here!

Goodnight! and thanks for reading while Julie is away.
Emily said…
I love that you put more time and detail into describing Pilar than mortification due to over exposure of bum slogans. Good for you! (BTW-my husband bought me some undies than spell out rhinestones. UGH!)
Girlplustwo said…
Responds well to compliments? i've got to get some of those...

this was too much.
Anonymous said…
Speaking as someone who knows you in real life? I have no doubt you totally pulled it off.

Next week you'll probably see a whole proliferation of women in their "Beach Bum" panties.
Anonymous said…
You have just validated my decision to buy only white underpants :)
Anonymous said…
As a person with chronic clutziness and messiness I am so used to making a fool of myself I just go with it.

The Pilar story helped relieve some anxiety I have about meeting the mother (who does not speak English) of one of my daughter's best friends this week.
atypical said…
"Who cares" - always so much simpler for the mind to achieve than for the emotions. I am proud of you. I? would have likely moved out of state. :)

The playground experience with Pilar sounds very calming - even for an introvert.

BTW, thanks for taking care of us while Julie is away.

Aliki2006 said…
I agree with what others have said--"beach bum" could be worse. I had a student show up once in red shorts, with black letters saying "squeeze me" across her bum.


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