I love pretty clothes. I usually buy second-hand, because that just means I can buy more of them and still afford groceries and fuel in my car. I have all kinds of clothes–ripped jeans and prim A-line skirts, chunky cable knit sweaters and flowery summer dresses thin enough to see through… …punk rock tee shirts, knee-length wool skirts, cherry red cardigans, achingly white short-shorts–I love them all.
But as much as I love clothes, I never love my body as much as I do when I’m undressed. Home alone, I may wander around all morning without wearing a stitch, doing all the usual things like laundry and cleaning up the kitchen and making a bite to eat for lunch.
Saturday was just such a day. Blissfully alone, I slipped out of bed after a long, lazy stretch. I bent over to admire the soft curve of my calves, my funny short toes, and even my damaged left ankle, permanently misshapen due to an old college sports injury. I marveled at the reach of my arms, the strong tensile strength of my fingers with their nipped-off, plain nails. I can do so many things with these hands, from mundane household chores to softly seducing Lover to come a little closer.
I wandered to my closet and looked over the racks of shirts and blouses and pants and skirts and dresses. I stroked the soft wool and cotton blends, toyed with a belt and then a pair of linen slacks, a sleek silk dress.
No, none of that seemed right.
I picked up an old, soft Pink Floyd tee shirt that I sometimes sleep in but put it back down again, my hands sorting through other, less favorited options like flannel pajamas and yoga pants.
What the hell. Might as well stay naked.
Noontime came with a rumbly in my tumbly. Staring into the open fridge while fidgeting on one foot, I wrapped my arms around my belly as if to divine what it is I wanted to eat. It was then that I realized I even love my little lower belly, which I have always had, even when I was younger and thinner and playing rugby with the intensity of The Hunger Games. It is the soft, gentle swell of a woman who likes exquisite dinners and ice cream for dessert; it is uniquely feminine, this curve that fits in the cup of my hand. My body was never meant to have the flat, inflexible lines of an ironing board.
Later on as I waltzed past the bathroom vanity, I caught sight of my tattoo, which is usually hidden under layers of those beautiful clothes I adore so much. The design starts somewhere along my right last rib and wraps around my side, bigger than both my small hands. It took six weeks to complete, a testament to willpower and a high threshold for pain, and it is a masterpiece of tiny details. I have just this one tattoo, which commemorates my 35th birthday. Only two other people have ever personally seen it. I spend so much time dressed, even I forget about it sometimes. And then there are moments like these, when I marvel at the color and remember what it means to me: to be real, always, even when it hurts.
Maybe even especially when it hurts, because life is like that.
As I left the mirror behind with one last fond look at this little secret, I caught sight of my round rear end. Even that part I decided to appreciate today, although it is not my favorite feature. At least when I have to sit for hours in a mundane meeting, there’s a lot of cushion between my bones and the unforgiving flat surface of a folding chair! But the moment I love my bottom the most is when Lover has both hands wrapped around the curve of my ass, his thumb gently caressing my tailbone as his fingers clench to bring me closer.
This is a wonderful way to spend some time alone on a Saturday, remembering who I am and that I like myself, just so.
This very last photo is not mine: https://goo.gl/IPuKLS.
All the rest are my own.