Numbers are King. Read-out on scale. Pinch-point of measuring tape. Number on tag. 115. 23. 2. One-hundred fifteen pounds. Twenty-three inch waist. Size 2 jeans. Achievement and maintenance of these numbers means success. A perfect body. My perfect body. But my perfectionist drive and numbers don’t mesh healthfully. Numbers drive me so bananas that I historically go overboard, deviating so far from the goal number, avoiding the other side. The fat side. And when I do fail because restrictive diets and manic exercise can’t last forever (for me), all hell breaks lose. And I get fat. Again and again and again.

So I’ve developed another system!

The Queen’s system. Because Queens are always stronger than the King. Are they not? ;)

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This photograph, dated September 2011, pictures my waist and The Queen’s limbs encircling it. She literally wraps those strong legs around me, clenching paws into my skin. I know exactly when she requires a pedicure because I’m jabbed! I know precisely where those paws will clench because I carry her A LOT. But this morning, I was taken by surprise, the pinch happening in a different spot. After two months of Finding My Yoga, my waist has become smaller. Leaner. More perfect. Yay! Okay fine, let’s dance a jig. Drink some wine. Have a party. Boring news, yes. So what’s my real point?

No matter where Gwendolyn’s paws have clenched my waist, she has never looked at me differently. Last weekend, the girls at Bed Bath & Beyond, fawning over Gwendolyn in the cart, exclaimed, “My goodness, she is staring at you! Admiring you! Your dog really loves you!”

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It made me smile because she’s always treated me this way. No matter my size. No matter my hairstyle. No matter my living conditions. Sure, I’m a higher quality mother when I’m smaller and healthy, but Gwendolyn doesn’t really give a damn about my size. She just sees her mommy.

Reader AVSKK questioned at Changing The World,

“I’m surprised to find that the seeming contradiction between your dislike of ‘socialism’ and compassion for Kmart shoppers is understandable when explained. The compassion you feel toward individuals is (in just my opinion, obviously) a facet of yourself you should highlight more often.

On a shallow note, I’m really curious about what you think of the actual ‘fashion’ offered at such places. Being a Wal-Mart gal myself, your comment that a person who shops there can still be a fashionista made me wonder what you think of the actual clothes.”

What if we could see the world through a dog’s eyes? 

That’s the best analogy for how I perceive the fashion world. Gwendolyn could walk into Walmart or the Prada Boutique and be equally as unmoved. But if one of those Walmart shirts barked like a dog, she’d be all over it like white on rice. And if one of those Prada dresses smelled like chicken, she’d be all over it, like brown on rice (for we the ‘healthy’ folk, wink wink). Likewise, I don’t assess each and every fashion piece created by a certain designer. I simply go about my business, and if I like something, I get it.

Here I am, in 2011, wearing a $10 graphic t-shirt from Walmart.

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…with my doggie woggie loving me!

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AND here I am opening a package from Kate Spade (2011). Dress, $450-ish. Necklace, $250-ish. Doggie woggie, equally as impressed!

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This weekend, I could see myself in her serious, focused eyes.

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The next minute, she was going bananas!!!

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The next, leading a pack!

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The next, kissing her mommy wommie!

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Walmart, Prada, yada yada. The designer or retailer make no difference to me. When I like what I see, I like it. In fact, people-watching is one of my greatest pastimes. Everyone is so different! And that’s what makes the world gorgeous. To me, the world is a piece of art.

LouLou asked at Man v. Machine regarding my first date uniform,

“I want to know what bag you would have purchased! I just spent $200 and am in love, but handbag and shoe porn are two of my favorite things about the internet.”

And after thinking all weekend, I don’t have an answer. I’d be spending dough on something that exists. Not on something that I crave! It’s like declaring a significant other for the sake of having one. Who wants a Chanel bag just for the sake of it? Or the Loubis because they sparkle in her Facebook news feed? Or the man who sends you a nice dinner invite? I want the stuff that drives me bananas! So when I find it, I’ll let you know. Until then, I plan to observe the world like my dog does.

Have a very good day, and namaste!