Once upon a time, my very observant daughter Selina bought me a girdle. The girdle became a trusted friend. I relied on this uncomfortable corset for years. It seemed to never fail. This constant companion made me look smaller and it gave me an amazing shape! My girdle, my friend, my tight sister, my forever squeezing and not giving me a chance to breath buddy -failed me today.
With my trusted companion in hand, I slipped into the restroom of the ladies parlor as the bridesmaids prepped for John’s and Ahsley’s wedding today. I stole a moment with Caroline, Jose’s girlfriend to let her know that I needed her help with zipping up my girdle. I slipped on the girdle and confidently called Caroline in for help. She gave up after a few moments of squeezing, sweating and pain shooting through her fingers. We called in Selina for reinforcements. Selina pulled and Caroline zipped. I sucked in my gut and almost fainted, but anything to be beautiful ladies! Selina was flustered, “Mom, when was the last time you wore this thing? The buttons are all broken and the zipper won’t zip! Suck in your gut more!” I wanted to respond, but I couldn’t breathe!
They both gave up and ran for help. This was an emergency! My son was going to declare his love for his bride today and I needed to look good. My pictures had to be flawless and a hanging gut would destroy it all. Selina understand me. She knew that only one person could get the job done.
My amazing super hero husband entered the ladies parlor and straight into the bathroom because his wife was in despair. Like Clark Kent turning into Superman, Ruben Dominguez became Supergirdleman! He knew the routine, we’ve done this a thousand times before. So, in his beautifully thick Latino accent he proceeded with the following instructions; “Lean against the wall,” he had this thing down packed! “You zip and I’ll pull. Suck in your gut. Why are you wearing this thing again anyway? You are beautiful without it. We are throwing this away after the wedding. I’m not doing this for you anymore. It’s not necessary.” I could barely respond because remember, I couldn’t breathe!
My Supergirdleman got the job done. Sister girl was looking good! Everything that needed to be lifted had risen. All of what liked to hang was tightly tucked away. He looked at me in my dress, “You look good baby, but you don’t need that thing anymore.” All I could do was smile because I was still struggling to breathe!
The wedding had begun. I walked down the aisle with as much grace a I could. My son’s wedding day had to be special for him. I wasn’t going to break down in tears because my waist burned, no not I, I am strong. I made sure no one noticed! I counted on my girdle. It was my trusted friend. My hope was in its security, even if it cost me my peace. I wasn’t going to give up on my girdle.
I could barely eat because my stomach was squeezed so tight. I could barely sit because the sides burned so bad! All of this agony, but I smiled. That’s what we oftentimes do. We pretend that all is well before the crowd as we suffer in silence. No one would ever know. I wasn’t going to let go of my confidant. This false truth of reality had become something I relied on for years. I would not let go.
It was time for me to dance with my son. Our song, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’d never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away….” I sang that song to my Jonathan while he was in the womb, as I nursed him, when I changed his diaper, as I put him to sleep and throughout his childhood. This was our moment. Our special once in a lifetime dance. This was it and my girdle began to drop.
That trusted friend failed me. As the muffin top began to expand, I asked John to hold me closer. He asked why and I told him that my girdle was slipping. He could not hold back his laughter. I looked over at my other children at the table and they were also laughing. I felt a little hopeless. The thing in which I placed my hope had failed.
Such is life my friend. Why place our trust in this flighty world? Why place our hope in man? There is nothing on this earth capable enough to hold you up. Just like my failing girdle, the things of this world will leave you disappointed right when you need them most.
This has been my recent learning curve. Man lets down. The things of this world won’t hold up.
I laughed with a few friends about my girdle, then I went upstairs to take it off. True freedom came when I looked into that long mirror and accepted each and every part of my bulky self. I realized that I already had what I needed. True freedom reigns when we accept that our only hope is found in a relationship with our loving God. He won’t let us down and He will always hold up!
Selina, thank you for your gift, but I’m taking dad’s advice and throwing it in the trash. Today I’ve chosen once again to put my trust in the God who formed me and who loves me, curves and all. Today I choose to be free!