I’m naked. I stand in front of the mirror trying to figure out what my mother’s ass is doing on my body. I cup my hand to my mouth and suck in little breaths of air. I throw on a robe, unable to take it a second longer, then move to my closet and begin ripping through the clothes hanging there. Too brown. Too boring. Too desperate. Too old.
My fingers stop on a black Diane Furstenberg wrap top I had bought on sale, then sold on e-bay, then taken back even though it clearly said “no returns” on my listing. I lived in fear of negative feedback.
I slip off my robe and quickly slide the modal top over my strong shoulders. They had to be strong. They had survived a divorce. I somehow maneuver myself into a pair of jeans that are at least a size too tight, tug up a pair of hand-me-down Loubouin boots, throw a scarf around my neck, then take a step back to access the damage. Christ. I had posted a five-year old picture, which I then photoshopped, on my dating profile page. I had set him up for disappointment.
My daughter comes into the room. “You look nice,” she says, then cocks her head studying me harder. “I won’t be late” I tell her. “We’re just meeting for a drink. Although I’ll probably just have tea.” The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to be drinking alcohol and lots of it, but she’s a teenager and I feel the need to lie. “Okay, Mommy,” she says, somehow still sweet despite her age and the volcano of hormones coursing through her body. I look into her big, brown eyes and I know I’m not the only one vulnerable tonight.
I take one last look in the mirror. Get a hold of yourself. You were a cheerleader.
I grab my bag, kiss my daughter good-night, then head out the door, my mother’s ass swaying behind me.