Sunday, January 1, 2012
Function without a critic? Not I.
"Don't cry." I heard a girl's tiny voice whisper harshly. She was behind the curtain of a department store dressing room that I was passing by. Entering the neighboring booth, I drew the curtain and leaned my ear to the thin wall that separated us. I could hear muffled sobs, a choking cough and sniffling. Quickly I undressed and slipped on the expensive jeans who's clever marketing ad promised a tush rejuvenation. The crying in the next booth subsided, but my heart sank as I scrutinized my reflection in the mirror. Where had all this flab come from? I jiggled the "muffin top" that lazily lay over the lip of the fancy stitched jeans.Who was this tired-looking, old woman trying to kid? These were jeans for young women who still had something to prove. Buying them made as much sense as wearing high-heeled shoes to Six Flags. As I sat on the cold cushionless bench to peel the hopelessness off my legs, the quiet crying next door resumed. This time the girl's voice wasn't a whisper, but a condescending, hateful near-punch in the mouth. "Get your fat butt out of here and don't come back till you lose some weight!" She demanded. There was so much venom in her voice I expected to hear balking, bellows or bawling, but I heard nothing. Intrigued, I exited the dressing room, but hovered around the entrance, circling a rack of permanent press polyester slacks. Gingerly I fingered a light blue pair, wondering how long it would be before I would hang these on my dismal frame while pouting Hush Puppied feet. Just then a well-rounded woman with a youngish plump face darted out of the dressing room empty handed. Her cranberry cheeks and red-rimmed eyes said she was my cryer, but where was her tormentor? As she waddled away, I realized her demoralizing critic was just a little more vocal than my own.