Its spring time in Seattle. Actually spring is almost over…in fact, within the next few days, it’s supposed to be summer, officially! Then why the heck is it so cold!!!??? You can see that everyone’s ready for summer. Men are wearing shorts and t-shirts, women are wearing shorts and t-shirts and other barely nothing items of clothing (those who have the body to carry them of course) and everybody is hugging themselves to keep warm against the chilly wind that keeps blowing every now and then and looking wistfully skywards hoping for a sun-break (a very Seattle word…no where else in the world any one uses such a word!)
We had a sun-break last Sunday…it lasted pretty much all day and was beautiful! In fact so beautiful, that we braved our collective jet-lags, picked up Subway sandwiches and headed towards the park by Lake Washington for an impromptu picnic. I had almost forgotten how beautiful the lake side looks when the sun shines! The park was full of children splashing in the near frigid water while indulging parents lounged languidly in the sun. Nubile nymphets pranced around in miniscule bikinis showing off their perfectly toned and amazingly smooth (how do they do that?) bodies, while young studs with perfect six-pack abs strutted about wearing swim shorts that hung dangerously low on their butt ( I had to control the urge to pull one down when one them passed me in close range!) They rubbed sun-tan oil on each other, undid bikini tops to get smooth unlined tans on their backs and in general looked gorgeous!
Meanwhile, I was seating in the shade, covering my bags of cellulite in a mulmul tunic and long pants, munching on veggie delight sandwich (they are supposed to have only 6gms of fat), not daring to step out in the sun (I had forgotten my morning routine of applying Fair & Lovely on my arms, you see), feeling fat, dowdy and ugly!
So I went shopping that afternoon. My wardrobe consists of only mulmul tunics and jeans and salwar-kurtas…they were perfect for Hyderabad spring, summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. Being away for two and a half years, I had forgotten the art of layering that’s essential when you live in Seattle. Once in the store, I was thoroughly confused with the array of items that was available…skirts and shorts, shirts and shrugs, capris and culottes, camis and tees…everything looked great but nothing looked right on me. In my mind I was still the shapely teenager who was able to carry off anything she wore…but the matron staring back at me from the dressing room mirror looked completely incongruous in those clothes. I had picked things that looked nice on size 4 (that I used to be once upon a time) but not on size 8, 10 or 12 * sigh*
Next few days very cold and dreary and I felt cold and dreary. My birthday came and went. I general, I don’t like birthdays…mine or any one else’s…especially mine, since it reminds me that I’m getting old and makes me grouchier than usual! Spouse tried his level best to cheer me up. We went up to the mountains to a fancy lodge, had a fancy dinner watching the heavy rain obscure the valley below (it always rains on my birthday…always!), drank a fancy bottle of wine and passed out while wisps of clouds floated blissfully over rain-washed evergreen woods!
Yesterday, with renewed enthusiasm, and a vow to look good in future (birthday resolution…won’t last for long!) I walked into Old Navy and asked the first friendly teenager in obscenely low-rise jeans I could spot for help. I wanted to know what fat-middle-aged-but-young-at-heart women are wearing these days. She arched her perfectly shaped eyebrow and stared at me like I just landed from Mars or something (little did she know I indeed landed from Hyderabad) then smiled and said “Follow me!” Couple of hours later I left the store with two bags full of goodies, lighter by almost $300!! But now I have a wardrobe full of “in” clothes that actually fit me! Now that, as Mastercard would say, is PRICELESS!!
So I’m ready for Seattle spring, with all it’s the sun breaks, tall-non-fat-decaff lattes, walks in waterfront parks and fresh asparagus from weekly farmers ’ markets. I’m springing forward to a new beginning (yet again)!