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May 18, 2006

All about the bottom.

So! My birthday is coming up in a month or so, the big three-five. Last year I whined and bellyached and carried on and then drunkdialed Mr. X, and when he answered the phone I said, "Happy Birthday Darlin!" like some trailer floozy channeling Conway Twitty. Good times. Then, after I hung up, I cried to Shannon and Jennifer, and we drank some more and played bad Spanish love songs and I lip-synched and made jazz hands. Proving that if you think drunk-dialing the man who is divorcing you is the bottom, the very lowest one can reach, well I am here to tell you -- you can go lower: drunken jazz hands.

I will not be making the same mistakes on this birthday, because three-five is the Year In Which I Become Margaret Mitchell.

I do not actually know all that much about Margaret Mitchell, to be honest, but I know she wrote my favorite book and invented the O'Haras, and when I was about 15 or 16 years old someone told me that Margaret wore pants even back in the 20s and 30s when it was very unfashionable for women to wear the pants. I took it as a metaphor. According to my 11th-grade source, MM smoked and drank and carried on and lived a life that was quite unconventional. So, although I personally never met the woman or really read much about her, in fact this could all be made up but whatever, she became in my mind a symbol for something free.

And I think three-five would be a good time to just be free. Free of all kinds of ideas I had for myself, and also free of some of my issues. I decided this one night in Paris, after I spent an hour in a cafe with three of the most gorgeous women I know, three girls who each weigh about a hundred pounds or less. And I sat there in arguably the greatest city on earth as my extremely hot (and skinny) girlfriends discussed thigh size and cellulite issues and so on. Which is just normal conversation. Except I'm sitting there thinking, "OH PLEASE. YOU DO NOT KNOW FROM THIGHS. I COULD CRUSH EACH OF YOU IN A THIGH GRIP WHILE I ALSO DRINK A BEER AND HAVE A SMOKE AND YOU THERE! YOUNG WAITER! FETCH ME A BEER!"

Truth is, I just don't want to talk about myself like that anymore. I don't want to hate my thighs or constantly wonder how many calories are in a taco, or compare myself to others or any of it. It doesn't mean that I'm giving up on my shape or that I'm going to stop trying to be healthier in general, etc., but I have spent all sorts of time (years and years and years!) comparing myself and sizing up and really, ya'll, I am just exhausted. I have the juicy booty. I am going to own the booty, as I can imagine ol' Margaret would have owned hers, had she suffered from juicybootyism.

Luckily for me, I have made this decision at a time when it's fashionable to have a big ass.

Now I've had a big butt my entire life, but finally it's cool to have all that junk in the trunk, gold in the hold, to be swollen from the colon. The proof is right there on the radio station -- you could build a whole playlist of current songs that sing the booty electric. There's "Miss New Booty" and "U and dat" (love you, King's English!) and "Shake That." Plus, of course, the old standbys "Feeling on your booty" and "Back that azz up" and some song about dumps in the trunk, whatever that meant, and "Bootylicious" and "Fatty Girl" and on and on.

If this whole national obsession/acceptance of bootylicious babes had occurred when I was in my formative years (like, perhaps seventh grade when I desperately wanted to rock the Calvins sans the bubble butt like Caroline Whatshername who was board-straight and I was so, so happy when big T-shirts were the new in-thing, because big T-shirt! I can hide!) anyway, I might not have ever doubted the fabulousness of my own extremely ample behind and spent years trying to hide it which, in case you're wondering, was a complete and unqualified failure. There is no hiding this jelly.

Type the words "big booty" into Google and you'll get a whopping 1,970,000 matches. By the way, I don't encourage you to do this at work since about 99% of those links are hardcore porn and your supervisor might be walking by at the exact moment your results pop up (speaking from personal experience, ahem.) (It is rather hard to explain the big booty web research as part of a journalistic effort to record all the news fit to print.) Next I typed "enormous ass" into Yahoo and got a solid 10,800 results. Notice I was not deterred by presence of boss during first search, as I am firmly committed to a life of scientific research.

So clearly there are people in this world who can appreciate a large posterior, some of them sick and demented yes, but let's not dwell on the negative. While I'm quite sure my own extremely ample bottom will not be gracing the pages of Vogue anytime soon, I have given up trying to conceal my ass in favor of self-acceptance (and sheer laziness, truth be told.) It's simply too much trouble to hide the truth, whether that be a failing marriage, a love of very unfortunate eye shadow colors, or one large and in charge juicy booty. I'm not exactly building a shrine to it, but in year three-five I'm not going to slink around in shame anymore, trying forever to fit some ideal that only goes to a size six. It's three-five! Time to just accept something about myself for a change. Might as well start with the obvious. Oh! And no more drunken Spanglish jazz hands.

Maybe.

Posted by laurie at May 18, 2006 9:07 AM