It just Never Works to Wear Someone Else’s Nylons
This is a story about nylons or as some call them pantyhose. If you have never worn these before, they are sheer, close-fitting leg wear that usually cover from the waist to the toe. They cover my glow-in-the dark skin, as well as many other imperfections – so I wear them.
Years back after my fifth child was born, I was self-conscious about my so called figure, or you might say, my too much of a figure. I would like to blame it on the fact that all five of my children came ‘through the window’ as we call cesarean births around our house, but many other women have c-sections, lots more babies and still somehow manage to look like models.
My mother happened to call one day when I was really beating myself up for having rolls of ‘baby fat’, that were not on the baby. I whined to her, ‘Why could I not have forty pound babies because then I would only have to lose five to ten pounds’.
Moms are always vigilant to try to ‘fix’ everything, so she offered me some very special nylons. She would purchase a pair for me like hers and put them in the mail immediately. These were ‘magic’ and would suck it all in, though I kept wondering where it all went; it is a law of physics you know that matter has to go somewhere.
The package came in the mail containing the almost supernatural pantyhose. I decided I would wear them to church the next Sunday, hoping this would solve my issue of wanting to continually compare myself to every other woman in the building (yes, I am shallow and very human).
Sunday morning came, and taking the nylons out of the new packing they looked extremely small and those ‘magic’ nylons were most difficult to put on. I pulled and tugged and stuffed ‘matter’ into and around anywhere I could, struggling just to get those things up to my waist. I called mom to ask her if this was how they were supposed to be. She reassured me that yes, that’s why they were ‘magic’ and would make me look amazing.
Off to church.
I happened to have the job of conducting a group of adults and children through the music time, talks and so forth. About half way through the allotted time, I walked to the front to announce more of the outlined program as I had been assigned to do. As I stood in front of the group, all of the sudden I felt a snap of sorts and realized the ‘magic’ nylons had lost their battle with my ‘matter’ and the waist band was now at my thighs! I knew I could not move, much less sit down again, so as the chorister came forward to lead the group in singing and the pianist began to play, I sidled over to the piano and stood with my knees tightly together, while also trying to keep my feet apart to appear natural looking, terrified anyone would realize my nylons were threatening to come all the way down to my ankles!
Next, time for the talks. By now everyone was looking at me, some with a bit of confusion and some with a bit of annoyance that I never sat or moved from the piano which was towards the back of the room, even when I announced the next item on the agenda. I did not know the hands on the clock could freeze for time.
Mercifully the hour came to a close. I dismissed everyone with a forced smile and walking like a penguin, which I am sure got some laughs, as I waddled by and made my way to the restroom as quickly as I could to remove the dreadful pantyhose.
I called mom that night and asked her about her ‘magic’ nylons and telling her my story. She was laughing so hard she was crying. She kept saying over and over ‘they worked for me’.
The light bulb, dim as it is, went off in my head. My mom is maybe 5’ 2” and I am 5’ 10” and the pounds allowed for the size of nylons she brought me, were not near what I needed compared to what she needed.
From that day till now when I start to compare myself with someone else, I try remember ‘she just wears a different size of nylons’. All nylons perform the same function and can be useful, but distinctive brands, colors, types, etc. are necessary for different needs. We all have the capacity to love, nurture, help, encourage, do good works and serve, just maybe in a way that is unique and wonderful to us.
With all my heart I believe we are all here at this time for a very special purpose. It is our goal to find what we need to learn and how to be better, while remembering that we wear nylons that fit our situation, circumstances and life at the moment. No one is the same, nor meant to be. Let’s embrace our exceptional and irreplaceable personalities and be a bit better today than yesterday.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today