Well, today I returned to work. It wasn't so bad except for the nervous breakdown I had when the day care workers pried my baby from my vice like grip. I cried like they were taking my baby from me by force and keeping him forever. Big, fat, hot tears running down my my big, fat, hot cheeks. I look like someone mid-stroke when I cry. It's past ugly and into obscene. My mouth twists into a cod fish grimace and my eyes become a mere crack between my cheeks and scrunched up forehead. Oh, and in addition to the black mascara running down my face I get these tear tracks through my make-up that gives my face a striped look. At least they're vertical stripes. To finish off the look I add redness and a dash of puffy. Gorgeous.
So, not only am I having a breakdown, but I look like crap doing it. But, I made it out of there without falling in the floor in a spasm of grief so I consider myself victorious. My husband was actually pretty sensitive to the whole scene. He asked me four times if I was alright. Clearly, I was not alright, but didn't want to make him feel bad so I just nodded my red, puffy face "yes" and resented him silently.
I finally made it to my office building after twenty minutes of morning traffic that I'd forgotten was a daily irritant to the downtown worker. It felt strange to be winding my way through the parking garage looking for my spot on the 7th floor and I half considered cruising right on by it and heading back home. If I hurried I could be back in bed with my baby by the time The View started!
Alas, that wasn't really an option, so I parked and began my walk of pain. Making my way into the building I imagined two scenarios: one, no one cared that I had returned, leaving me to eat lunch by myself and sit alone at my computer all day and; two, everyone was so excited for my return they had made two tons of confetti and hired a marching band. I believe I've mentioned before my rich fantasy life......
Though there wasn't a ticker tape parade heralding the return of moi, I wasn't left out in the cold either. I'm very lucky to work with a lot of wonderful people that go out of their way to make feel better when I'm down and they did their best today. Not to mention my excellent jurlfriends that had me on suicide watch and checked on me throughout the day. Oh, and I guess I have a pretty decent husband since he sent me beautiful flowers and a lovely note as a way of apologizing for the fact I have to earn a living.
Besides all of the sadness and anxiety related to leaving my son with others to raise, I also had to deal with my fashion conflict. Today was the first time I'd wedged a pair of high heeled sling-backs on to my puffy feet in six months. I didn't so much as walk as teeter totter. Though the shoes were the least of my worries. I'm at war with my wardrobe. While on maternity leave my clothes and I called a truce since I rarely had to dress up to feed the baby or do the laundry. But now that I was making a reappearance in the working world the truce was called off and at 6:45 am we were once again locked in mortal combat. First the brown skirt came at me and made me look like like a giant turd. I beat it back in the closet and turned on the polka dot skirt. We eyed each other like two old enemies. Against it's loud protests I shimmied into it only to find the seams would not hold! Retreat! Retreat! Defeated, I wrapped myself in my lone ally, black sweater, black skirt, black tank.
I hate my clothes and they hate me right back. I think I have decent fashion sense, but you'd never know it to look at me because I'm forced to shop at the Fat Barn and I compulsively by clothes that are too big in an attempt to keep unsightly bulges/bumps/lumps/ concealed behind yards of black or brown fabric. I'm pretty sure this sad attempt at cloaking my weight doesn't come close to working, but like any addict I can't help myself. So I keep buying clothes that look terrible on me and they keep making me look terrible. Soon I'll launch an offensive attack to destroy their leader....The Baggy Sweater!
Meanwhile, as I'm knee deep in the fashion battle of a life-time I'm surrounded by fashionable women who are clearly in a healthy relationship with their closet. There's nothing to make you feel bad about yourself like another woman. I hate that, but it's the truth. The only time I'm not comparing myself to another woman is when I'm not around one. And not watching television. So basically, when I'm asleep. Unless I'm dreaming about how someone is better than me. Really, only in death will I stop measuring myself against others. But that's another blog for another day.
So to recap my first day back at work: left baby with strangers and cried myself ugly; was shown love by dear friends and husband; floated through the day feeling disconnected and unfashionable; and finally, picked up my children and went home. All in all, not the worst day of my life.
Tomorrow I'll try to cry less and maybe do some actual work. But I will continue to fight the good fight against my wardrobe.