I NEVER SAW MY MOTHER DO A SIT-UP - By EllynAnne Geisel
As originally published in Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul 2004 I NEVER SAW MY MOTHER DO A SIT-UP By EllynAnne Geisel The dress was a full-length sheath the color of sweetened condensed milk, itssimplicity the perfect canvas for the hemline’s garden of hand-painted flowers. Wearingit, I was a fashion success, and I basked in the symphony of compliments the dressgarnered. But fitting into the dress year after year was difficult, for although shapeless bydesign, I had to stay in shape to wear it. Despite daily exercise, sometime betweenbirthdays 51 and 52, my metabolism slipped into a coma and my svelte figure, along withmy derriere, disappeared. Although I’d noticed my pants were snug at the waist andbaggy in back, it was my husband who questioned the geographic relocation of my rear.“Where’d your butt go?” was his eloquent query. To reveal my buttocks’ travel plan, I tried on the dress. With my head and armsthrough the appropriate openings, the barometer by which I judged weight gain followedgravity and flowed southward. But unlike in previous migrations, the dress stopped itsjourney midway. Gently tugging on one side, then the other, I eased the fabric down myhips and over my thighs. Then I looked in the closet mirror. From waist to knees, thedress clung to what appeared to be a lunar landscape made of dough. I’d found my butt. Determined to wear the dress to an upcoming family celebration, I immediatelybegan starving and sweating calories. For several weeks, I worked-out with a variety of video partners and a thighgizmo (the purchase about which I was so embarrassed, I’d set the box and its packagingin the alley by a neighbor’s trash can). I nibbled foods consistent with the rodent culture,and sticking my nose in the Oreo package, sniffed dessert. I was miserable butdetermined to fit into that dress.