Still Me

Do you buy yourself birthday presents? Is that a normal thing to do? I’ve always pretty much kept my shopping to a minimum. This isn’t to say that I am not a SUPREME window-shopper- I’m just a combination of picky and frugal that prevents me from buying for myself on a regular basis. I’d rather go to the movies or out to dinner than buy jeans (being what society has deemed a plus-sized model, ie a 10 WHICH IS RIDICULOUS, TYRA, doesn’t help).

It drives my mother crazy. When I told her my friend and I were going shopping for Chicago-winter clothes, she almost keeled over from shock. I have to do it though. I’ve been dreaming about brightly colored tights and new, thick socks and warm, bulky sweaters- because I’m freezing and it hasn’t even hit 40 yet.

Still, my birthday is different. I go a little nuts. I’m in Borders and I actually have to pick up one of those weird food-shopping baskets they have there because my head is whirring with the words “I deserve these things on my birthday!” and I black out and when I come to, I’m at the counter buying the entire AbFab collection with my dusty credit card. (And this is why I drive my mother crazy because even when I lose my mind, it’s on books and DVDs and not things I can wear while I’m still wandering around in shirts i bought in college).

Tuesday’s spree was not unlike my past birthdays. Meaning, I went to the bookstore and bought this

and this

But it all worked out ok because they helped shake me out of my late 20’s doldrums- that unsettling feeling you get on your birthday that you can’t rightly explain but you feel less like yourself than you should- basically because I took my two new, shiny, incredibly heavy and oh, so fancy cookbooks, I carried them out of the store…

and went to KFC to buy dinner.

And, I don’t know, there was just a moment when I was debating between bisquits and mashed potatoes (I got both- it was my birthday and I am a plus-sized model DO NOT JUDGE ME), standing in that greasy KFC, the smell of fried chicken in the air, Alice Waters shuddering in my arms because who knows how long those French cut green beans had to travel, probably from a can in JAPAN, the horror! when it struck me that I am only as old as my impulses.

Wobbling home in the rain with my fancy cookbooks and tubs of fast food mac & cheese (what?), I felt… better. I am still a study in contrasts. I can want exactly opposite things and have them, both, at the same time. At 27, this means I am no longer a careless, immature mess but something more aware- amused at myself… grateful… and appreciative. Capable of an ironic giggle at the KFC counter- still me, still fine. Still me.

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