For some reason the conversation of ten women and one man (what part of Girls Night Out did that achingly close, not yet married couple not get?) in a bar turned to undergarments. One Scandinavian woman is dissatisfied with the width of the thongs that are available in this godforsaken country; but it turns out that she is really longing for g-strings (which, to those of you who don’t know the difference—as I didn’t, is the string up you-know-what as opposed to an inch-wide swath of fabric up that same place). When I told the Scandinavian woman next to me that I don’t wear thongs or g-strings, but I cover it all up, she shook her head and said, “No, you must embrace your curves. Try it, you will feel marvelous.” She then said something about men who will love to see me jiggle. I’m not sure, but I thought the undergarments were for me and my hygiene. But no, she was quite sure that a g-string or a thong was all that I needed to get my love life out of the thought department. And with that a six-foot tall, blond, blue-eyed, slender Danish woman managed to invade the cotton comfort of my life.
But it wasn’t just about thongs. No, her statement “embrace your curves” sounded so much better than my mental disparagement of “you need to lose weight” or “look how fat your face is.” Embrace my curves. She said it in a much nicer and more respectable way than the man who never made it past a phone call because he said he liked my curves and then seemed to be disappointed that I didn’t carry the conversation into dirty-talking territory. I told her that I know I should accept who I am, for goodness sakes I’ve been down this thought-vein for years and it hasn’t brought me any happiness or dietary success. She smiled at me and said something about her not having any curves, which I ignored.
Today I was thinking about symbolism and carried the curves thought to my hair, which is as full of ringlets as Shirley Temple’s ever was. Those surely are curves that I am proud of, after all, I never flatten them with an iron or blow them away with a hair blower. No, I proudly toss my curliques from side to side. Maybe I am meant to be curvy, all over. It’s not that I am a glutton, but my body has found its place. It is not where I would like it to be. I do not have most of my friends’ bodies. But I guess they don’t have mine either.
I’m not sure if I’ll follow through on the thong/g-string connection to feeling good about myself, but I think I finally heard what I needed to hear, or else I was finally ready to just let down my guard of pretending that someday I could be someone else and accept myself—curves and all. I must admit, I’m getting awfully tired of being disappointed in myself. It’s hard to always be critical and always finding fault. I am who I am.
In Hebrew, the word hineni means I am here. Maybe I need to just start saying that to myself: hineni. I am here. This is me, curves and curliques and all.