Straws On The Camel’s Back & Self Esteem Issues

This faux cover by enchantedone mocks the situation a bit, but self esteem is often a fragile thing.

Lately I’ve wished my problems were as easy to remedy as panty lines — just get yourself a girdle, a slip, or at the very least properly fitting underpants and jeans, and Voila! But sometimes things are so much larger than lines on your behind.

As noted, hubby’s been on my back — and please, don’t hate him, we’ve had a run of bad luck with transportation (there’s never a good time for cars to suck utterly, but this was exceptionally bad timing) — and all of this sort of made me wonder what it is I am doing here.

I didn’t start this blog with grandiose intentions or lofty pretentions; heck, I didn’t even have much of an idea what I was doing. But along the way it’s become very special to me. Surely, underthings are not so very important in The Big Picture. But as I’ve said before, this blog isn’t just about lingerie — lingerie is the (lovely to) touch point for many important parts of our individual lives, and therefore our culture. And yet, under the current circumstances, this blog just seemed like the thing that had to give.

Take one straw out to save the camel’s back.

And when I took a look at the load the camel was carrying I felt pretty badly about myself. How’d all that stuff get there? What kind of person accumulates that amount of baggage? How on earth would we get from here to there carrying all of that?! I looked around me and not only did I feel little hope, little I could do about it, but I felt unequal to the task. Where does one begin?

I want to love the little camel that is me, love her for trying.

But trying isn’t enough. When so many bad things happen, it’s difficult not the let the circumstances become your definition of you. “Not good enough,” was beginning to be all that I could see.

I awoke this morning to a grey sky, unsure if it would return to last night’s rain or if it would part and let the sunlight in. I myself sat on the same precipice. But I couldn’t just let myself open up to the relief of little water droplets pouring down for neither the gentle weeping variety nor the raging gusty type are the sort of tears children should see from their parents. So I went about my business, both as a mommy and a blogger.

There’s something to be said for faking it. First I faked myself out enough by being a good momma and presenting “happy and normal”. Then I faked myself out some more by being not just a blogger, but a blog friend by making the rounds to see what my blog pals have been up to. This is how I discovered that my post, Nylon Whispers, was voted #2 in this issue of Sugasm (#89, which I will be posting here later). Ah, I thought, they like me, they really like me!

Still excited from my Sally Field moment, I decided to take a shower. Water is a form of therapy and refreshes the soul. (Not to mention my lady lumps don’t like the scratchy straw!)

The shower helped. I put on one of my favorite pairs of vintage panties — full cut, liquid black nylon, with black lace and Tuesday embroidered on them in red. I felt tentatively better about things. Who doesn’t feel better about themselves when their bottom is caressed by quality nylon panties? I felt like a princess.

That is until I exited the bathroom and found my same life awaiting me. Recognition from others, as lovely as it is, doesn’t solve my problems. And pretty pretty panties don’t pay the bills.

I sank into my desk chair and tried to get in the mood — any mood but this pessimistic one where I actually felt I wasn’t worthy of such wonderful nylon panties… I was beginning to feel like a very dressed-up camel. No offense to camel tailors, but I felt like a cheap, whorified camel.

All dressed up yet too exhausted to face my huge pile of straw which was waiting for me… :Knock Knock: My negative thoughts were interrupted, and any panty changing put on hold, by a knock at the door.

I didn’t want to open it. This is not opportunity, I thought to myself. What straw does this visitor bring me, I wondered as I went to open the door… Will it be that last one?

But waiting there was a friend, a mentor. She held wine coolers in one hand, a large envelope in the other, and a beaming smile upon her face.

Wine coolers, I must say, are not my traditional afternoon fare — especially with children to mind — but once my guest began talking, it was clearly needed. Without embarrassing others, or boring you, let me cut to the chase.

What she brought was relief:

A) In her envelope, some help to remove a few of the larger pieces of straw from another friend (who lives a bajillion-dy-two miles away, mind you).

B) Her smile, personal delivery, and sure, the wine coolers (“Go ahead, celebrate; one won’t make you a negligent parent, you dope!”) all conveyed the knowledge that I was not alone in this.

I have friends. Friends who believe that the straw, no matter how high it is piled or heavy it is, is something that I can deal with and manage. I admire them, trust their judgement, and so if they believe I can, well, it’s time for this little engine to start chuggin’ I think I can, I think I can! (Perhaps I can burn some of that straw from the camel’s back as fuel? Or maybe the dung… Either way, it’s crap, right?)

Kindness, genuine friendship, and love; this puts things into perspective.

To the friends who conspired, though miles and miles apart, I do thank you.

I’m sipping one of the remaining wine coolers now, from a straw — to complete this rambling metaphor, yes — and I toast you both, my dear friends.

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