Talky Words 

"I like when you read your stuff to me. You make talky words." 

-Mr. Creel

Getting Up--The Nicene Creed is My Reset Button

Aged 44  years

[This letter is a response I wrote to my Bible Study teacher, who asked the class what practices and scripture(s) have helped us to endure the long isolation of the covid-19 pandemic.]

I am a creative introvert by nature, so I spend a lot of time in my imagination, writing stories or making things for people I love. I like to imagine how a person will experience the gift I make for them, and I imagine them living moments of everyday gratitude for simple things, like sunbeams in their kitchen and the love of God burning like a happy campfire in their heart. 

But sometimes, after many weeks of contentment, I will very abruptly and with deeply felt sadness register the absence of gatherings in my life. 

At those times, the recurring image I have is one of a great sandstorm or blizzard coming over the whole land, and each of us, where we stood in a field waving cheerfully at one another moments before, now pull a sheltering blanket over of our heads and, grim faced, settle into the protection of our fragile dugouts. Some of us are alone, some of us have a small family nestled in with us, but all of us are sober in our awareness of what potential harm the storm brings. 

In the vision, though we cannot see one another, I yet feel a keen awareness of your presence nearby. 

And that brings me to the scripture that keeps me going when the going gets tough: The Nicene Creed. Here's how it goes for me when the alone-ness hits me in the gut.

"I believe in God the Father, Almighty maker of heaven and earth."  I bow my head, and take shelter from the storm beneath the blanket of His sure strength.

"I believe in his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried..." I take a deep breath and confess my fear of the unknown storm to my brother, lord and savior who intimately understands what it means to feel isolation, betrayal, pain, and dread.

I exhale again, remembering that the death of a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of existing (even physically) is not the end but a beginning of a promise fulfilled. "...and on the third day he arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of  God the Father Almighty." 

Momentarily, I feel hope at Christ's triumph. He arose from the dead. That miserable ending was not the end, it was a passageway to the part where he arose.

As I worry about what comes next after this plague, after this aloneness, I take another long, slow breath and then exhale. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I make sounds, sort of like singing, to release the tension that has accumulated in my throat and chest from keeping a brave face on for my kids and my family. Some might call it "non-accidental wailing," but I like to think it's my beautiful surrender song. 😁

"...From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." At this point I wonder, rather meditatively, what is quickness, and how much of what we consider "normal life" is actually "being dead," spiritually? 

"I believe in the Holy Spirit," the fire in my heart brightens with this phrase. 

"The holy everybody church," is how my mind pronounces catholic with a lower-case C.

"The communion of saints," which means thee and me--we're always hanging out with the angels and with each other, all the time when we're hanging out with God in the fire of our hearts!

"...the forgiveness of sins," and I make sure to let some stuff go right about now.

"the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, Amen."  

At this last, I take time to envision what it would really look like? What would it feel like and live like if the body of Christ, all of us, got up as Christ? 

What if we let anxiety and inward facing concerns wash away like tears in the sea of His love, and rose up like an ocean of love in service to the people in and around Lockhart--who could use some loving affirmation and a helping hand? I just wonder, sometimes, if maybe we could take part in our own resurrection, if that, along with faith and communion and all the rest might be an intrinsic part, you know? 

Is getting up when everything has fallen apart and looks totally bleak an intrinsic part of life everlasting in Jesus? 

Finally, with my "Amen" I pledge my heart, mind and service to let this whole meditation / prayer / vision become so. 

Now, this whole prayer looks like me just turning off the news or Facebook, getting out of my chair or my bed and stretching my back, rolling my neck until it gives a little pop, and maybe doing a little side bend or side twist to loosen up. But, on the inside, the Creed helps me reset. It helps me stay grounded in my deeper purposes. It reaffirms my security in my community of sisters and brothers (that's you! the saints), even when we can't see one another on account of staying hunkered down in our individual dugouts.

At least our dugouts have the internet! 

That Spanish flu pandemic of 1918? Man, that was lonesome. Research that one if your grandmother didn't tell you something about it. And then call, text, or write (or video chat) a friend or family member to tell them how much you love them, how you like to imagine them making something beautiful or smiling at the clouds, and then tell them some of the beauty in your heart.

Remember always, God blesses you every day.

(c) Megan Creel January 24, 2021

George Floyd, Black Lives, and Laser Vision: 

My (ongoing) Identity Crisis

Aged 44 years

2020 has been weirdly therapeutic for me. Not always comfy, but productive in setting aside time for deep prayer and contemplation of my whole life as well as my lifestyle. 

The Black Lives Matter movement ripped the social veneer off of friendships I’d trusted for years, and it also ripped the complacency off my own heart for politely nullifying my Black heritage for the sake of keeping other people comfortable in their bias and fear. 

To hear some say in so many ways that quality of life for minorities of all types is of lesser importance than “order” and “respect of property” demanded a reevaluation of what it means for me and my family to be alive, to feel the same faith and comfort in the American Dream as my “most patriotic” friends. 

There, all around me, everywhere I looked on social media or in the news was the signal that the lifestyle of one America was more important than the lives of multiple “other” Americas. 

I had to come to terms with and define my own blackness, and, for the gazillionth time in my life, address how to walk with it in self-love and legacy-love. I had to stop disowning blackness as if it were a bad dog that was keeping the neighbors awake at night. I was tired of pretending America’s race problem wasn’t affecting me.

Am I Black enough to wear braids or locs full time, or is that misappropriation? Is the constant drive “to be slender with manageable hair” winning me access to relationships that I don’t even want, or will it win rapport, solidarity and acceptance from successful people who can be important social allies for my kids? 

The more I meditated and prayed, the deeper my questions became.

Is the exhaustion of “what should I look like?” versus “what DO I look like” what God intended for me? Does my desire of a peaceful life graced by inward and outward acceptance actually matter? Does it matter to my chosen friends? Does it matter to me? 

If it matters to me (and it does) that my darker skinned family and friends face actual threats and menace to their physical, economic and psychosocial liberty every week, while my own lighter skinned struggle rolls out along lines of “merely” psychosocial malaise, what should I be doing about it?

For starters, I decided that my own blackness did matter to me after all. It wasn’t a cultural relic best disavowed and hidden away for the sake of relational “peace and progress.” It is a rich legacy that I cut myself off from, way early in life, as an act of social survival. So, for quarantine time, I “took my Black back” from whatever mental shelf I had put it on. I put my hair in twists and let them develop into locs, then made this declaration on Instagram:

I've wanted this for so long and held myself back because of what others might think or want... But you know what? I want my Black back. I tucked it away in a memory box as a child. I tucked it away in a segregated town where it was better to be White. I tucked it away in a school, and later a business culture where "my" "big crazy hair" was a plaything and source of entertainment for people who do not grow this hair. My blackness was not my own. My blackness was socially regulated and passed from hand to hand by others who had so much equality that my hair belonged to them more than it belonged to me. I decided this season that my black life is more than just my indrawn breath. My black life is an expression of the conjunction of all my families' legacies. My black life is the expression of my inheritance of body, mind and spirit. And it matters that I may joyfully celebrate and honor that inheritance with sovereignty and primacy over whoever else might also want to celebrate and honor it as mine, not theirs. It matters. My whole, intact, joyful black life matters.

I tuned in to podcasts and conversations, images and films that celebrated the joy of living while Black. I found out that, contrary to the oft-heard assertion that I was “different from the other Black people,” I really wasn’t. And I was overjoyed! I found and reached out to other Black and mixed women in my community and intentionally cultivated friendships of mutual support and celebration. At the behest of one of my friends, I started watching “Mixed-ish” on Netflix with Leora, and it has been the frame for many hours of deeply meaningful conversation with her on all aspects of personhood mattering.

Somehow, getting LASIK at the end of October helped more than I would’ve predicted. Getting those glasses off my face was one more degree of coming out with my real face, and it liberated my personal expression from an obligatory artifact. I can see, and that’s really great for a person who’s been hiding herself in plain sight for so long. ❤️

(c) Megan Creel November 22, 2020

Love is Like Breathing

Aged 41 years

I love many different kinds of people. I love people over here who are complete opposites to people over there. I love friends who have springy black hair and generations of things they could be bitter about; I love friends who are recently bald and who have several months or a few years of things they could be completely defeated about. 

I love friends in blue hats, who daily lay their bodies on the line for public safety. I love friends in Pink Pussyhats who are moved by their convictions to march and shout. I love friends who cherish their modesty, their holy books, and their special role in their society. I love friends who proudly tote their guns and practice shooting on date night. 

I love friends who want social justice so fervently they work to legislate into being. I love friends who study and argue the finer points of distinction between Socialisms and Communisms with decidedly nerdy zeal. 

I love friends who have husbands and wives with whom they share not only a glorious life but also the same gender. 

I love friends who are skeptics of science and worship God, and I love them as equally as I love friends who are skeptics of god and worship Science. I love friends who celebrate science and The Goddess. I love friends who use science to worship God.

And you know what? It isn't hard to love them all at once, all in the same heart, all in the same moment; because love, by its very nature, isn't condemnatory. Love is not sanctimonious. Love does not dominate the body, mind or spirit of another being. Love does not enforce co-belief. 

Love is simply and only the delight in sharing space and creating interest, wholeheartedly and without reservation or qualification, with another human being.

I love my friends best and most fiercely when they are living and loving their lives and purposes without needing to condescend the lives and purposes of others in order to further elevate or sanctify their own joy of living.

Love is just like breathing. We can all take deep breaths together and look for the resonance in that act, or we can suck the life out of one another by locating and fixating upon the dissonance that is inherent in individuality. 

Love is  just breathing together. We can do that, right?

(c) Megan Creel, Jan 22, 2017

"Hello, my name is Strong Light."

Aged 35 years

I love researching the meanings of names, and long before I wrote my first story, I purchased my first book of baby names at a "friends of" book store, where everything was a nickel. I think I was nine years old.

My name means Strong Light, rooting back to the names Mae and Helen. As I have written stories, experienced life, and met others with names stemming from the same root, I have gained a sense of wonder that so much interpretation gets lumped into names, and that the actual personality of the individual can be at such apparent odds to their name, and so diverse from one bearer to the next.

Much of my life, I think it would be safe to say all of my life, I have been strong-willed, but only recently have I learned any sense of strength in which I myself can believe. My mother always interpreted "light" to mean truth; and, certainly, I have exercised a high insistence on truth in others, truth in relationships, and justice; but, again, only recently have I begun to feel that I am, at last, being truthful with myself.

Many months have passed since my last posting to this blog, and it was not through oversight or forgetfulness. I thought of it most days, but something happened just prior to that; some things, actually. It would be fair to say an entire field of lights in my personal universe either exploded, or just went out, all in one moment. My last was a summary of what positive I could take from the experience, but it in no way captures the many conclusions and new vistas that were arrived at.

Most notably, I am out of the Perfection and PR business. You may chuckle, it seems so trite, you know; but wait, this runs deep. You already know what it is, I don't even have to reference the magazines, talk-shows, self-help best sellers, and so on for you to know what I am talking about; it's just that the chuckle and the critical thought is all part of the same package deal of our civilization. It's obligatory, and I forgive you, because I don't have to invest my energies into making sure you think I have all my shit together, or to assure you, repeatedly, that I don't, so that we can strike some sort of rapport over our mutually human condition.

Neither do I feel called upon to go on about the merits that make a sound and happy marriage or friendship; which, before my springtime meltdown, I did. You know, because I felt strongly about it, and had so much light to shed on the subject.

What I have gained is insight into myself, and how my name is yet accurate. My Light could be likened to my attention bandwidth, my Strength to its level of intensity. My attention encompasses my love for others, my interests, curiosities and concerns, and my hunger for insight into others' lives. I was looking, or shining in one direction of darkness so intently, and for so long, soul dilated so as to catch the least glimmer of something, or perhaps someone, so long ago departed that I finally had to conclude not only had it gone, but it had also forgotten I was there, waiting for its return. That light that had propped me up for so long at last burned out.

It was dark, and lonely, and raw for months. But as my sight adjusted, I found beautiful things had been beside me all along, and now relieved of my fixed gaze, I could shine upon them and find my dreams reflected in the present. And so, with only occasional discomforts, I am shedding the persona which I have dubbed Lady High Beams, and I offer my chagrin to anyone I have blinded in the past with my attentions.

I am yet strong, but I am learning to blink, and to rest and look away from others, to grant them peace from my meddling mind.

My daughter was named for me, but she is Light Strong. I think it means she out-watts me by several football stadium light sets. I have to squint when she wants something from me, even though it is a delight to have her about.

In case you were wondering, I do not believe Light should be interpreted to mean truth. That little girl can lie her ass off; and so can I. History is littered with "Helens" who specialized in starting wars with their "Light", and also those who have aided and healed through its use.

It is my hope to grow more practiced in the efficacious use of light, strong or otherwise. 

I was so disheartened to find I had been shining on nothing, the whole while convinced of a something that wasn't really there in the first place. Especially depressing the longer I lingered on, hoping and turning back to see whether something came out in the brief moment my back was turned.

Empty. It was empty all along, and now having resolved that with certainty, I turn my attention only slightly, and can find that my life is full, and I am yet strong and light.

(c) Megan Creel, August 15, 2011

Honesty and Growth (A Rant)

Aged 34 years

At risk of coming across as Sanctimonious--and wouldn't that make a great handle for a chat room!--I shall now speak upon Honesty and Growth in a character. (I clear my throat, and improve my posture before I speak...)

Do you know, as hard as it is to maintain kindness and compassion for others under duress in real life, it is hardest for me to maintain a sense of kindness and compassion for myself when faced with my own imperfection? Yes, I have come to realize I did not materialize, fully formed and perfect from a sea of Happy Foamy Feelings, and it has all but crushed me to admit myself. I am embarrassed, because everyone around me knew it and loved me anyway, but I seem to be the last one to "know" it, and the fact that my efforts to hide my imperfections from others were wasted just drives me nuts. I am, alas, imperfect and transparent, and I meant to be perfect and impervious to other's examinations.

Thankfully, I have found that I am anything but alone in my imperfection and frustration.

Thus, the next hardest thing for me to experience is picking up some form of entertainment by which to escape or to lift my spirits a bit, and wouldn't you know, the heroine in the piece is frickin' perfect? No, not just skinny, I mean she's small bodied (and I am not), she's never tired (and I am), her choices, both the ones she faces and the ones she makes, do not seem to upset her (oh, ho, and mine sometimes--okay, bullshit-- often they do), and, she never seems to experience anything more volatile than annoyance or a pissy sort of vengeance when she encounters a barrier or experiences a disappointment (and I burst into flames and thirst for the ability to vaporize people).

A great escape? Hardly. It's more a magnifying glass turned inward at every fault I find in myself.

And, if possible, it becomes even worse when I put on my Man-Colored- Glasses.

To explain, I consider it an honor and a privilege that certain men in my life have permitted me access to their hearts and minds with exquisite honesty, and from these men I have learned much about present day Honor, Duty, Strength, and, yes, Pain. It is with the viewpoint gained by their concourse that I try to look, and to write with my Man-Colored- Glasses.

When I look at that same entertainment, be it literature or film, even popular music, with my Man-Colored-Glasses, I find "myself" faced with a hero with a big dick, who has a bottomless source of money and a perfectly formed, tall tanned body he doesn't have to sweat for, who can make love in Mandarin, Urdu, English, Swedish, Finnish, French and seven dialects of Spanish, perfectly, all the time, every time, never blowing his load at the wrong time, who is never tired, never insecure, never bitched at continually by the woman he is with (or women, because, hey, he can have lots of them), and, IF his dreams crash and burn despite his best efforts, he can just move on, sparing one last sort of poignant look at his lost life, before proceeding with that infuriatingly hateful grudge that women find so irresistibly sexy. He's an asshole, and they love it. They eat that shit up like candy. Woo-hoo! What a great release from life.

And "I" will never be like that.

So, I beg the question, do we really want to be? If we just step aside from the Hollywood crap we are spoon fed, and the Western Civilization, Strong and Independent Contest to which we are carefully indoctrinated; do we really want to be like that?

Hell-to-the-No, is my straight answer.

My big brown ass is delicious, even as much as some travel-size white woman, or a tasty mouthful of Latina, or a lovely golden child of Asia; hot temper, crying spells, mood swings, conflicting feelings and all. 

And that man over there? The one who isn't six feet tall but he has a great smile and a rather ordinary dick, who works sixty hours a week (or more)? He's awesome! Even though he often feels like he isn't enough, that he isn't seen, that he isn't valued as the man he is? Even so, He Rocks.

We're real, people, and we are the heroes and heroines of life. And if we cannot be honest with ourselves, and with our entertainments, our dreams, we cannot grow.

Growth isn't pretty or comfortable. My family once kept a tarantula for almost two years as a pet, and when she grew, her shell ruptured. Say it with me, "Her Shell Ruptured", and she climbed out on weak, wobbly legs and just laid there for days, drying off, hardening up, Completely Vulnerable to death: even the tiny crickets we fed her could have killed her in those days of recovery. She taught me a lot about growth, and when I am having a "spiritual awakening", or a crisis, or a lesson in life (same thing), and I am seething with embarrassment or shame over my weakness, I think of the tarantula: Ruptured. Weak. Then Bigger and Stronger. In that order.

I am going to work on being as kind and forgiving to myself as I am of others; and I am going to keep keeping it real, writing work that puts real people in escapist scenarios, that celebrates what is human and great about them, and what is great about YOU.

Because that would be a treat. That would be some really pleasant entertainment.

(c) Megan Creel March 11, 2011

Loving versus Living

Aged 34 years

Why would I counterpose Loving and Living, as if they are in contest one with the other? Isn't Romance all about "living with love", or being in love for the rest of one's life, or some other such thing?

First things first: The way I see it, Love and Live (short i sound) are active verbs, not passive, just to get down to grammatical "tacks".

We have all met the person to whom life is happening: The bills were late, the job was lost, their lucky break got broke, and then, God help us, they fell in love (like falling into a bucket of vomit) and caught pregnant. Their cries ring through the night, running up phone bills and running out patience: "I don't know how it happened!"

This is passive Love and passive Living: it happens to them, and good or bad, they are its victim. There is no contest because they are not doing anything. The only thing more tiresome than reading such a story is witnessing it firsthand, or worse, living the nightmare.

What fun is that? Where is the adventure, the growth, the lessons learned? In short, where is the "story" in that?

Now, if we take the word Live and define it as "that succession of decisions and actions one makes toward desired goals and purposes," we have an active verb, and one which lends itself to the creation of a good story, to say nothing of an interesting life.

With that basis in mind, we can define Love, actively, as "the willing extension of grace, tolerance, and affinity to another or others, whether deserved or undeserved, and regardless of their receipt or reciprocity of such."

Immediately, we can see an interplay of these two actions, which can be in apparent conflict, one with the other, or in harmony, or in a state of non- interaction. One can observe that it is possible to live without love, or to love without living; but it isn't as much fun.

To be succinct, "True Love" is an act of faith which one can extend over and over again, and to multiple persons. It not only survives but supersedes time, space, and separation. It is not inherently sexual, but it is inherently spiritual.

To tell the story of how two people LIVE through possibly crushing situations, with all the unpredictable variety and outcomes of others' choices, and who yet find within themselves the personal strength to engage in the ultimate act of personal confidence and belief--to LOVE, also--not only thrills, but enriches reader and writer alike.

Loving Versus Living. How is the contest going for you?

(c) Megan Creel January 28, 2011

Who Am I Talking To? Who Is My Audience?

Aged 34 years

Who am I talking to? Smart Chicks.

And, I suppose, if a Smart Chick happens to be A Highly Educated Woman as well, the question is more properly stated, "To Whom Am I Speaking?".

But, to clarify, "Smart" ain't the same as "Educated", and the former may or may not embrace the latter. Smart, according to Webster, means "mentally bright and alert", it also means "intelligent". Brightness is indicative of how awake someone's mind is, and intelligence has to do with judgement and the solving of problems. "Educated", on the other hand, has to do with the mental storage of data and the acquisition of "papers", titles, degrees and such. Some of the dullest people I know are super educated, and some of the smartest were drop-outs.

"Romance for Smart Chicks" describes, therefore, imaginative stories about love and sex for women who are Awake, Aware, and Grown-up. (Incidentally, the stories are also for men who are Awake, Aware, Grown- up and who are interested in Awake, Aware and Grown-up women. But slogans must be brief.)

When I recently surveyed women who read romance as to what they like to read about, one woman replied that she no longer read the genre. When asked why, she said, "I guess I grew up." My initial response was a sort of shocked sadness, thinking her belief was that romance, as an idea, was for the naive or young. But, on closer questioning, I found that it was the typical romance book that was being regarded as juvenile. I couldn't agree more!

Most romance books feature a spoiled, critical, drama queen as the "strong" heroine. Ha! Strong like pet urine!

In life, real romance--the kind that sustains a couple through years if not decades of challenges--requires strength of character, not merely strength of assertions. This is "grown up"; but it need not be depicted as boring, dour-faced, duty.

One mustn't forget the factor of quality. How would you like to meet the one who sees you for who you really are, and finds you most admirable? How would you like to fall in love, every day, with the same person? How would you like to be physically, emotionally and mentally stirred by your life partner?

Wouldn't that be an exquisite fantasy by today's standards? Romance for Smart Chicks. Real. Hot. Fresh. On sale, today!

(c) Megan Creel December 16, 2010

On the Occasion of Having To Buy New Panties

Aged 33 years

Last month, I joined a friend at her picnic blanket one morning at the kids’ soccer practice. After we exchanged our excuses for having missed practices for a month (allergies, teething, mucous, teething, the runs…), I asked her soberly, “So how are you?”

She sighed the most afflicted sort of sigh I have ever witnessed on her in the course of our yearling friendship, and I became concerned at once. She began with a puckered brow, “Yesterday, I saw the backs of my thighs…”

I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing because I, too, had recently experienced a similar betrayal. She understood my laughter, and I was glad she wasn’t affronted by it.

“No, really, Megan, it was bad; worse than I thought. I mean, I don’t know how long it’s been since I even looked, and I wasn’t intending to look—it was just, I was just bending over adjusting something and I happened to notice the mirror was behind me—and, oh my god!” She heaved in her breath with a choked sound. “I’m not kidding. I was like, to my husband that night, I was like, ‘do you still love me as much as you did when we married, because I know I’ve changed a lot;’ and he looked at me funny and asked me what I was talking about. So I told him, I said, ‘look! I’m like way heavier than when we met, and I just want to know if it’s still the same for you.’”

I was sad for her that it was a genuine concern that he wouldn’t love her, but to my (and I’m sure, her) relief, she reported that he said she was crazy for even thinking it. He loved her, and he loved her body, and didn’t expect her to look the same after bearing four children and raising them at home (they are 1, 3, 7 and 9 years old). Thank god for him, and men like him.

My own realization came on The Occasion of Having to Buy New Underwear. (The title reads like something that would occur in the Hundred Acre Wood, and the event was experienced with similar solemnity.)

It was a dark and dreary day, and there I stood in the Target fitting rooms. It had been two hours since I entered the store on a hunting trip, and finding something that was comfortable and not ugly was as difficult as tracking a Heffalump in the snow. Round and round the racks I went, picking up and putting down the same pieces, trying on stuff that was guaranteed to make me feel like a slob. 

I realized, as I turned to face the three way mirror one last time, that exchanging my old, puked-on mommy clothes for new, not-yet-puked-on mommy clothes was a waste of my time, as I still felt like an old puked on mommy. 

And then it happened: With an irritated flick of my wrist, I bumped the mirror as I pulled down the seventh pair of fat-girl jeans and there it was, my ass and the backs of my thighs brought horribly, suddenly and unexpectedly into view under the grotesquefyingly green glow of the fluorescent lights. Though I was alone, I yet felt humiliated. 

Now, I knew I was having some Sponge Bob issues—that’s why I was shopping for new pants; and I knew I was experiencing friction in the most excruciating places, but I had just attributed that to the shrinkage factor of Cheap Walmart Crap.  But what I hadn’t realized was that my recent anger management problems, presumed to be the effects of postpartum hormonal adjustment, was due to a far more sinister situation, indeed.

In fact, all these things traced back to One. Big. Failure.

My Ass Had Fallen.

Ask any woman who has Found Out, and she will grieve with the same ardor as befits The Day The Stars Fell Down. At least on some level, she will, if her ass was any account in the first place. Mine was my Morning and Evening Star—the first thing I checked and the last thing I admired every day since I had recognized its beauty and worth; which, sadly, wasn’t long enough ago. 

Ours was a short and sizzling affair, ten years long, at the most, and not even continuously throughout that time. It had been an up again, down again thing; our most recent crush lasting from the Lost Twenty-five Pounds most the way through the Second Pregnancy. Somewhere along the line, we lost touch with one another, and then I was so busy with the new baby and, thus, the new family, I just didn’t even notice when It Had Occurred.

I try not to obsess about it, wondering What Did It. It’s nothing personal, it never is. An ass can only sustain so much load before its suspension systems fail and the bottom lobes, once so proud and independent, sort of hang together in limp submission to the Extra Ass, the Master Ass above. That would be Bob. He’s the sneaky Extra, the Insidious Bastard that has no business being on a woman’s body.

My dad is the one who had sent me shopping for my birthday. He told me to pick out some things and he’d pick up the tab. After the Incident in Target, I called him and said I couldn’t go through with it. Told him that along with a new look, which seemed unavailable to me at this juncture, I needed new panties, but the ones that fit me only come in two styles. It was even more demoralizing. Yep, right next to the racks of panties for Women With Narrow Asses in six, count them, six styles, there are two choices for the Women With Big Asses (WWBA’s): Granny Panties, or High Cut Briefs, which are like Granny Panties that creep. Oh, you can choose colored or white, and cotton or synthetic; but they’re both ugly as sin.

My dad, being a classical man, started to trouble shoot. What style did I want to wear, and wasn’t there a shop that catered to my size? “Bikini,” I told him. “I wear bikini style because, at least when I lost the weight, they didn’t creep, they stayed below my waist line, and I felt sexy. Only now…” I trailed off. 

Daddy so understands. He is a Man of Much Ass. With perfectly calibrated understanding, he finished for me, “they fit like a short thong?”

“Yes! That’s exactly what they’re like! And I don’t want a thong. I tried a thong, when one of my Big Assed friends recommended it to me ‘for comfort.’ I went down to the Fat Girl Store and bought one pair. After the eighteen dollars it cost me, I couldn’t afford the personal injury lawyer that should have been recommended on the tag, and I stopped wearing them.”

The comparison certainly clarified my Angry Woman Issues. Short thong, indeed. But, my successful action on losing the weight had been to feel sexy first, and then admire the weight off my frame. So, I compromised. I got the shiny high cut. 

High Cut Briefs only creep up over the tops of my thighs, which encourages the seat to go crack diving, and then I have to spend an inordinate amount of time tending my cootchie, which is not a seemly thing to do in public. The result was Anger, universally directed. 

Dad and husband concurred. Go get the Cotton Grannies, they ordered. I refused to buy them. My husband sent me back. I told him I wanted to feel sexy, and Granny Panties didn’t do it for me. He laughed, that darling man of mine, and said Pure Cotton Granny Panties are sexy because they’re healthy, and healthy means happy.  And, Happy is Sexy.

Fine. I got a pack. Took them out, and as they unrolled and unfurled, I just sat on the bed, demoralized. They looked like My Father’s Briefs. In came my husband to find me sulking, having reverted to my rattiest pair of Period Panties for comfort, and the Ultimate in Ugly. 

He got me up, and with childish cheerfulness, told me he wanted to see me in the new panties. “And,” he says, looking at my stained rag of a nursing bra, “didn’t you recently get some new bras?”

So, I put them on, and I put on my one of my new Victoria’s Wireless Demi Push-ups. With trepidation, I checked my reflection. Not horrible. At least they were both white and smooth. Matching is good. Catalogue Girls always wear matching. 

A knock. In my man walks, and his smile says it all. “They look good,” he says.

I look again and smile at the reflection. Ok. Not that bad at all. “Vintage. I like Vintage Chicks,” I say. My husband agrees. Vintage Curves are good.

 Oh, and Sponge Bob?. I’m going to get that fucker, and I’m going to get my ass back up, loud and proud. You watch, I’ll be issuing my proclamation soon. 

And I’ll be wearing my 100% Cotton Granny Panties with a smile and a wink.

(c) Megan Creel, May 22, 2009