by Wendy Pike
cup of tea & slice of chocolate marble cake
It’s only a number but the ramifications are seismic. I can scarcely believe it. I’m not proud of it. I wish it wasn’t so. I’m whispering this: I am a size 14.
How do I know this? A wardrobe full of size 12 clothes has exploded over every horizontal surface in the bedroom, including the floor. For an idea of the mess, imagine the aftermath of the worst possible minor earthquake hitting the ladies department of Primark, Debenhams, M&S, BHS, Monsoon and Next combined. There’s no hope of any of the treasured garments ever fitting my lumpy, bumpy middle-aged figure, so no point in cramming them back into the wardrobe from whence they came.
Admittedly there a few fashion disasters amongst the debris, labels still intact on the worst offenders. It seems hindsight is very helpful in deciding which items to take to the charity shop and which ones to attempt to sell on Ebay. What was I thinking when I bought them? For the really embarrassing mistakes, a trip to an out of town charity shop, where nobody knows me, is looking likely.
My faithful old jeans, once comfortable and almost fashionable, are now rather too snug a fit around my increasingly rotund derrière to be considered decent. Despite major disappointment, distress and disbelief, they have to go. It’s like saying goodbye to friends. The places we’ve been and the things we’ve done together ….. Fare thee well old chums.
But some things are impossibly difficult to turf out. Like my purple party dress. My husband says it fits just fine and he thinks I look great in it. However, I have lost confidence in it, so it comes out every so often when I’m feeling optimistic yet having a wardrobe crisis about what to wear. I try it on. Then it goes straight back in the cupboard in the hope that one day my chest won’t sluttishly spill out so eagerly from the top and I will regain the ability to breathe whilst wearing it. I still love it to bits and dream of going out in it. One day.
So it’s official. I have gone up a dress size. How do I come to terms with this momentous news? Ironically, with a bad habit that pushed me into this mess in the first place, with a mug of tea and a slice of chocolate marble cake. A necessary evil I feel, whilst I work out a plan of attack. Something has to give. We have to sleep in our bedroom tonight. And what the devil will I wear tomorrow?
Footnote: It’s amazing how the passage of time changes perspective. In the decade since writing Size Matters then leaving it to gather dust in my computer archive, the current on-going battle is to remain a size 14. And my beloved purple party dress has long since taken a final trip with me. To the charity shop.