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Someone asked me what brought on yesterday’s (slightly sarcastic) rant about saying “no”.

It was not brought on by a child’s temper tantrum because I wouldn’t let him…oh, I don’t know…skateboard off the roof into a wading pool (for the record Little Guy does not own a skateboard or a wading pool)…or whinging because I won’t let him play M-rated video games.

Nor was it brought on by any unusual requests from friends, co-workers, or sainted busybodies who think that because I only work 22 hours a week and my ladies’ ministry is over until September, that I need something “to do” in my “spare time”. (for the record, I do not)!

Rather it was brought on by a shopping trip that was threatening to end in death by chocolate… I thought it would be fun to go shopping. My “summer wardrobe” is suddenly filled by items that are too big, too small, too worn, or too “young”!

There were plenty of lovely things on the hangars…but not so lovely on this 40 year old! Gone are the days of transparent camis (if I have to wear another layer under it to make it decent, it’s too hot), the days of strappy sundresses (bra straps can show when they’re little and cute, not over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder-types), and short shorts or crop tops (for obvious reasons that I do not care to elaborate on lest the desire to drown in chocolate syrup overcome me)…

After 8 stores, several tiny change rooms (with mirrors that do not lie), and countless “sweeping” glances of disapproval from judgmental “stick people” with perfect hair and flawless skin, my self- esteem was circling the drain…

I knew I should go home, tie on my runners and go…running…but my feet hurt too much from trudging through the mall.

I wanted to buy every chocolate chip muffin from the Mmmarvelous Muffins store, and share them with my friends, Ben & Jerry!

But I said “no”…apparently out loud, causing the 2 ladies passing me to look over, one grabbing the other’s arm and pulling her away lest I break into a moody meltdown and take her down with me…

I needed a pep talk…but I wasn’t sure I could talk to anyone who would understand without breaking into a fantastic burble that could too easily have turned into an ugly cry. Your best friend can handle “ugly crying” but my pride hadn’t fallen quite that low…instead I turned pen to paper and went back to the basics…how to form the words with your mouth in the hope that they will flow into my heart and into my life.

I can happily report today that no chocolates were hurt in the process. My self-esteem has been shaken but still remains intact…my gift cards are in my purse awaiting another “brave” day of shopping! My sneakers are still moulding in the closet, and the cd in my car is set to replay Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls”. If you can’t beat ‘em, might as well have fun trying!