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Published 08/31/2012

I've learned a thing or two about style and chic "expression of self" with clothing.  Pretty much that thing or two I've learned, boils down to one fact: that style and chic-ness have no place in my current lifestyle.  Now wait, all of you jumping to the conclusion that I'm a fan of the "letting myself go" ensemble---this simply is not so.  I have merely learned that as a mother of seven it is, ummmm...impractical shall we say, to shop with a mother of one child who is over the age of seven while listening to her advice on what is "cute and sassy." One example of my sister's (did I just nark on her?...oh YES I DID!) fashionista advice is when she held up a royal purple (jewel tones were ALL the rage of the season) tank top with GLAMOUR emblazoned across the chest in rhinestones.  "Oh Sus," she gushed, "this is soooo cute!  You could totally dress this up or wear it casual.  You have to get this!"  I could see the red-carpet version of me sashaying up to all of my Cosmopolitan friends (other Mom's with humongous vans and enormous grocery lists) in this sparkly top.  Yes!  This jewel of a shirt was created for me...I must own this glamorous tank!  And so I did.  Yes sir, I whipped out my credit card and purchased my very own slice of Vogue!  I am woman...hear me roar...or at least watch me glitter! One month and a few errant attempts at dressing up my high-fashion tank later, I was sitting on our back deck while wearing my precious purchase in the high noon sun.  I was sweltering in the summer heat while watching my kids ride bikes, run their Popsicle sugar-high off , and have no-nap melt-downs (Warning: this type of melt-down is enough to make a grown man cry...ask my husband). I could feel the perspiration beading on my nose while my bangs slowly became plastered to my forehead.  I was irritable, tired from chasing children and putting out argumentative fires.  I hung my head to shield my face from the cruel solar-rays unhindered by my no-shade yard.  It must have been the 100 watt glare of reflected sunshine off my classy rhinestones that drew my attention to the irony of my un-ironed shirt...GLAMOUR.  My shoulders slumped and then slowly began to shake from my laughter as I thought, "Oh yeah baby, I'm livin' the high life!  Especially with that particular smattering of baby food on my midsection...I AM G L A M O U R O U S!!!" I went in and changed my shirt and thought "That does it!  It is time to trust myself.  I will no longer listen to the voice that tells me a Hawaiian print tankini is a good fit for my annual Cook Forest tube down the river!"  I probably should have had the foresight to guess that I would be catapulted from my tube by a rapid which would have the tankini (which should have been a TANK-MUMU!) top exposing my  midsection, which is never pretty when bordered by Hawaii's tropical flowers in bright reds with puce colored leaves. I know, I should have known.  No, I will not bow to the pressure that black patent-leather shoes with three inch heels and chains across the top are not only fashionable to wear at the mall, but will also be a good staple for "nights out."  I truly felt my toes were being stabbed by staples during one date night...which tragically ended up with hubby and I strolling the local aisles at Wegman's grocery market...eventually with me in my bare feet.  And who wants to wear heels while pushing a double stroller and wearing a baby in a sling? Not me...not anymore. Sorry, sis, I can no longer deny my favorite athletic shoe aisle.  I won't cower in shame when you leap out from behind the track-suit rack and shout, "A-ha!"  I WILL own my non-Cosmo, must-be-comfy, stretchy due to the slightest bit of spandex, cotton fabric with a powerful sigh of relief!  And maybe, just maybe, I will slip that Glamour tank on under my sweatshirt just to remember what was, and giggle at the contrast to what has become of my life-STYLE ;)

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