If God had wanted us to see our butts, he would have put eyes in the back of our heads

dont turn aroundAccording to the scale at my weight loss center, I have lost 17 pounds. I actually had lost more than that, but I gained a few back when I was forcibly attacked by a box of chocolate covered Entenmann’s doughnuts.  Damn those doughnuts.

Anyway, I have been working out like a fiend to shed the weight that somehow snuck on over the winter, so I decided the time had come to go bathing suit shopping. Trying to find a bathing suit that is flattering to all my varied jiggly parts is hard enough, but trying to find a bathing suit in the beginning of June when the stores have already moved on to parkas and mukluks is a nightmare!

After a visit to the local department store turned up nothing but some mismatched tankinis, I decided to try hitting up the local specialty bathing suit store. I usually avoid this store because it is much more expensive and the “fit specialists” there like to actually see me in the bathing suit so they can make some adjustments which is about as appealing to me as having the ladies in the bra department feel me up so they can recommend a bra for me.  However, it was such slim pickings in the regular stores that I decided to bite the bullet and go to the specialty store.

Normally when I go to these stores, the sales help is a size 00, which makes the whole process of finding a bathing suit for my 50 year-old, post-baby, size 10, cellulite-speckled body that much more painful. But today there was someone there working that was actually my age and size, which empowered me to brazenly try on a sampling of body-baring swimsuits.

Now this is where things got ugly.

I tried on a suit in the dressing room that I thought was actually pretty flattering. Then I peeked out of the room to make sure there was no one else in the area, and I zoomed out to get a look in the three-way mirror.

Suddenly, I realized the scale had lied. As I took in my rear view in the three-way mirror, I saw that I had not actually lost 17 pounds. It had all just moved around to my backside. There it was, spilling out on all sides from the bathing suit like an escapee from cellulite prison.

This was not a “bootylicious backside” or a “bountiful booty” or a great “badonkadonk” like Kim Kardashian’s or J. Lo’s. This was one big, fat rear-end. It was the mother of all tushes. It was Buttzilla.

I gasped and grabbed the nearest sarong to wrap around my body. Hearing my cries of horror, my fit specialist ran over.

“Is everything ok?” she asked.

“No. Not OK.,” I cried. “I had no idea that things were so bad back there.”

“Back where?”

I pointed to my other end. “There!”

“Well maybe it is just the bathing suit you have on. We can find you another,” she suggested.

“Do you have one that goes down to my knees?” I asked.

She smiled. “I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think,” she said diplomatically.

“It is. No. Actually it’s worse. It’s like someone molded my butt out of play-doh and then rolled a bunch of golf balls across it.”

I really was shocked. The last time I had looked at my butt was in the 90′s and it had been much cuter and tighter and rounder. Of course that was before I had kids and ate my way through two decades of Entenmann’s.

Since there was no way I could get that butt in shape before the end of this bathing suit season and since I was fairly certain that large, lumpy butts were not going to be the new trend this summer, I opted for the bathing suit that looked good from the front, and the longest matching sarong I could find without looking like a Mennonite.

While I paid a coma-inducing amount of money for this insult to my self-image, I took some deep, cleansing breaths and decided that instead of focusing on the bad parts, I should be happy for the progress I have made, the weight I have lost, and the better shape I am in than I was six months ago. I also realized that as bad as I felt, there was a positive light at the end of the tunnel:

Ski season.

©2015, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Growing old ungracefully, I Shop Therefore I am

The True Gift of Motherhood

(In honor of my mother and all the other moms celebrating today, I’m rerunning a column I wrote in 2009 and also kicking myself for not giving my mom the same gift this year.  Miss you, Mom!  xoxo)

As I was perusing the card aisle, I noticed that Hallmark had already started replacing their Mother’s Day cards with Father’s Day cards and I realized I’d better start thinking about what to get my mother this year before my only remaining option were stuffed teddy bears leftover from Valentine’s Day.

When I was little, I used to make my mom popsicle stick picture frames that she seemed to really love. But somehow I thought that giving your mom a popsicle stick picture frame when you’re forty-five might not be as appreciated as it was when you were six. Of course I was pretty sure I could make a much better picture frame now because my hand is steadier and I’m much less likely to get the glue all over our pet cat the way I did back then. But I thought a different gift might be warranted, nonetheless.

Still, it was hard to figure out what to get her.  She had enough nightgowns to fill a lingerie catalog and yet she mostly wore a t-shirt to bed.  She had more jewelry than Elizabeth Taylor yet she mostly wore the same earrings every day.  She had plenty of bath oils and scarves and pretty writing paper and all the other things they tell you your mother would love for Mother’s Day and so I was at a loss for what to get her that would convey the depth of my love.

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would give my mom her homemade cards along with burnt breakfast in bed, take her to the park for a picnic lunch, and make an extra effort not to fight with each other so Mom could have a peaceful Mother’s Day.  This seemed to really make her happy, although for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why. Toys, candy, even money, I could understand. But lousy, kid-cooked food and hanging out with me and my annoying brothers? That, I didn’t quite get.

“Someday when you’re a mother, you’ll understand,” she’d say, as she’d give me a squeeze.

Of course, like everything else that she predicted, she was right about this, too.  And so when I had my own kids, I suddenly understood that it wasn’t about the gifts at all, but about spending the day with the people I loved, and having them want to spend the day with me.

Spending the day with my mom for Mother’s Day now, however, wasn’t quite as easy. Several years ago my parents had sold the house I grew up in and they had moved down to Florida This put them about a thousand miles and a two and a half hour plane ride away.   Suddenly, the popsicle stick picture frame was looking like a better option.

So I called my brother to see if he had any ideas.

He did.

“Why don’t we see if we can find an inexpensive flight and bring Mom up here for mother’s day,” he suggested. “We could split the cost.”

“She’ll never go for it,” I argued. “She gets mad when we just buy her gum.”

We decided to get my dad in on the plan, and then without asking my mom how she felt about it, we just sent her the ticket.

“It’s non-refundable,” I said when she called to complain. “Happy Mother’s Day. We’ll see you next week!”

“Don’t you want to know how I feel?” she asked.

“I know how you feel,” I said. “And I love you, too.”


©2009, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Da Holidays