Same Old, Same Old

I go to BigCity, NC to watch “Little Miss Sunshine” at the Fine Arts Theatre with a friend. Unlike the last film I saw there, a depressing documentary, this is upbeat and comedic. Somehow the film manages to be real, develop characters fully, and build and release tension all in a matter of 48 hours (that’s 110 minutes in real-time).

But the scene that stays with me the most, because the moon is full and I’m PMSing, is the one where the seven-year-old girl Olive Hoover is looking at herself sideways in a full-length mirror. She has just seen how other girls her age can shape and move their bodies and is comparing herself to others for the first time. She sucks in her tummy, frowns, lets it out, sucks it in again, etc.

I had to buy a new pair of pants for the fall today before I went to the movie. BitCity has a mall which is partly why, I guess, I call it a BigCity to begin with. The pants I own right now don’t fit. I’ve been through size changes in my life so this is familiar territory. And I have my run of excuses – May 2005 to May 2006 no running was allowed due to an ankle injury. Ok, cry me a river then get over it – that’s what I say to myself anyway. The point is this: I got home and tried the pants on and sized myself up just like little Olive Hoover did in that movie. How sad and pressed women learn to be when they look at their bodies. Twenty years of looking later and still I my thoughts run the same. In my mirror I saw my own seven-year-old self, practicing the same frown, agitated by the same societal norms, setting the same impossible goals.

Something has got to give. I don’t have the energy for this interior dialogue and self-betrayal. It represents that anti-thesis of creativity. And yet…It’s expensive buying new clothes. It’s uninspiring. And I do prefer being in better shape.

Big FAT sigh. I need a plan.

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