I am (always) currently trying to lose weight.
At one point I was trying to lose the weight I gained by getting pregnant with a baby who did not live, but who left me with the pounds I’d gained to house him in my body. I eventually got to the point where I had lost almost thirteen pounds, I still needed to lose ten more pounds to be at my normal adult weight and have a lot of my clothes fit me again, which would make me happy, since I love my clothes.
Right now, if I lose thirty-three pounds altogether I can almost guarantee I will feel really good about how I look in clothing. I will be able to wear even my smallest clothing, the clothing packed away in plastic storage tubs and duffel bags marked “small size clothing” and kept way up on the top shelves of closets. If I go to purchase new clothes and try them on in dressing rooms I will do a little dance of pleasure and have a hard time resisting making the purchase because I will like how most things look on my body.
If I lose forty pounds altogether it will be a fucking miracle and that would be my Goal Weight, my weight of all weights, and I would think that everything I put on looked fabulous on me.
A Goal Weight is really a completely ridiculous construct.
You have your skinny pants that you never wear but that are the barometer. You have your fat pants that you wear more than you need to. You have your period pants that are dark and thick and forgiving and comforting.
You have your period panties.
I have a new resolution not to wear my period panties at non-period times. I have gotten into the habit of wearing only my period panties and pretty much never wearing my other panties, my nice panties. My resolution is to wear nice panties every day, even the days I don’t think I’m going to have sex, even on the days when I’m going to ride my bike.
Once, in the locker room at the YWCA after tot swim class, I saw another mom who was wearing beautiful, chic mocha panties and a matching bra even though she had just come from swim class and had a kid. The panties and bra looked French, and so did the mom. I swore right there and then to wear my nice panties every day, even though my nicest panties aren’t as nice as those panties were.
But then I got pregnant again and never felt like wearing nice panties.
So that was three years ago now. Exactly three years and I am finally hoping to make good on my promise of nice panties.
Thus far I have kept my nice panties promise for about a week and a half. It’s been difficult. Almost every day I reach for my period panties but I haven’t relented. It does feel good to wear nice panties, though it pains my heart to get on a bike or go to sleep without sex when I am wearing them.
Even when the nice panties are not two hundred dollar hand washable silk tap pants, nice panties are a conundrum.
Arielle Greenberg has two books coming out in 2015: the poetry collection Slice and the creative nonfiction book Locally Made Panties. She’s the author of the previous poetry books My Kafka Century and Given, and the chapbooks Shake Her and Fa(r)ther Down: Songs from the Allergy Trials. She is co-author, with Rachel Zucker, of Home/Birth: A Poemic, and co-editor of three anthologies: most recently, with Lara Glenum, Gurlesque. She writes a regular column on contemporary poetics for the American Poetry Review and lives in Maine, teaching in the community and in Oregon State University-Cascades’ MFA.