Any time a conversation commences with a hesitant, "No offense, but..." or a cautious, "Don't take this the wrong way...", fear rises quickly from the pit of my stomach. I pray nothing is said about my weight, fat moonpie face, or eating habits, knowing that the subsequent shame spiral will put me off running and non dust-based food for the foreseeable future.
Today a colleague busted out the latter phrase, and I knew it wouldn't end well. So the quote makes sense, I was wearing high heeled boots, which is a departure from my standard collection of Rocket Dogs.
Her: "Don't take this the wrong way, but I think when you're tall like today you look like a teenager. When you're short, you just look like a mum."
Those loud sucking and screeching sounds you hear? That's my self-image evaporating and my head being ripped off by winged agents of Satan, intent upon dragging my soul into the depths of Mumsy. Those who know me will know that there are very few things which I would classify as an insult, and telling me I look like a mum is definitely one of those things. Tell me I have a flat ass - fine, I do. Tell me my hair looks like shit - it probably does. Tell me my boobs are too big - they are. Looking like the stereotype of a mother? You might as well hook me up with some high-waisted jeans, a grubby KMart sweatshirt, and a dandy collection of Hummel figurines.
I don't ever deny being a mother, and I'll never be like those post-menopausal ladies who only want their grandchildren to refer to them by first name only. I'm happy to be a mother, but jesus, I'm only 30, surely I have a few good years in me before I look like one. Some of you have met me - I'm not drowning in mummyness, right? RIGHT? I know I'm frumpy as hell, but I'm in metamorphosis at the moment (fat to thin, not cool to mum). Tell me the truth, no wait, no wait, lie if you must. I can only take so much honesty in one day.
My future has been foretold, and it looks a lot like this: