Mary Panza

To say I hate dressing up is an understatement. I fucking hate it. I never used to be like this. In the old days (late 80’s and early 90’s), when it was an honor and not a God given right to be a featured performer, I would go to town. By the time I was 30 I had a closet full of little black dresses in all shapes and sizes. I lived to get dressed up and perform and hunt for a cute man and have that lbd in a heap on the floor in some apartment smoking a cig and feeling all powerful. I would put on a good dress and heels and I was a super hero.  Looking back on it, I was kind of slut in a good dress and heels. I don’t long for those days anymore as it seems like lots of work and why would I go out when there may be something good on TV. This brings me to last Sunday.

I keep a couple of items around for funerals and weddings (which in my mind are one in the same). I have a more cheerful black section in my closet for baby and bridal showers. I hate any occasion where I have to dress up. I hate my body, spanx (which is really a girdle), makeup, hair and anything that is not a blank tank top with a sweatshirt tied around my waist and jeans or sweats. It is not a rut; it is my reality. Thanks to my failed, malfunctioning, thyroid (that is correct, it is official, and I can finally blame being a fat hog on my thyroid. Tastes like victory and cheese fries!) I have become too fat to fit into any of my clothes. Sunday, however, was the baby shower of my niece-in-law. She is having the first boy child in my in the last 30 years. It is a big deal. I have one black skirt I got in Cape Cod and I bought a shirt with a pattern on it because I like the way it looked on the mannequin. Did I mention that I have a body morph disorder where I think I am 50lbs thinner than I am and that I always look good? It is denial at its most delightful. I put the shirt on and it fits but it is not cotton. I don’t fucking know what material it was but I started to panic. 3b (God bless him) was waking up to me dressed up and looked at me like I was his Sicilian grandmother back from the grave.

3b: Oh? Honey, you look (pause) nice.

Me: SHUT UP!!!

I could tell we were never going to have sex again.

Anyways, I go to pick up the cupcake and call the one person that knows and understands all things me: Capri. I tell her that I feel fat and it is hot and I am trying but this is not me and I don’t think I can keep this stupid shirt on all day and I am going to look to fat in the photos and I have my period and why is it so fucking hot?! She knew EXCATLY what I was talking about.

Capri: Look Mar, we all have a uniform that we wear and feel comfortable and safe in. I like my khakis and striped shirt. You know I love a good stripe. You go home, take that stupid shirt off and get a short sleeved black cardigan with a black tank underneath and stop trying so hard. Hey, we are in our 40’s. We have earned the right to pants with stretch and a comfortable shirt. Go home and get into your uniform! Just please wear a bra. You are going to be around normal people and you ARE in your 40’s.

Capri giveth and Capri takeith away. That is why I love her. So I did just that and had a nice afternoon and took my spanx and bra off in the car on the ride home like a proper lady.