Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to Shop at Victoria's Secret. Or: Mothers Have No Privacy.

First, let me just make an observation: Victoria really doesn't seemed too concerned about keeping things secret, does she? As for me, the only person who knows my secret would be my husband . . . and my former obstetricians . . . and all their nurses . . . and anybody who was around when I gave birth. Um, and maybe my oldest daughter who never allows me to see her unless she's fully dressed, but when she needs to talk, always chooses to do so when I've decided to relax in the tub. I finally put up a curtain, albeit a lace one, so that I could have some privacy. She sits in my bathroom floor to talk about life's problems.

The classic scenario in our house is me in the bathroom and one of the kids coming in and asking, "Hey, mom. What're you doing, mom? Are you in the bathroom? Okay. Well . . . blah, blah, blah." And me replying with something like, "Do you mind?" It seems that nothing deters a kid who wants to talk to mom, regardless of her current activity.

Did you ever imagine that when you were potty training them that they'd one day hang around when you're sitting on the toilet? If you're a mother-to-be, consider this fair warning.

Anyway, truth be told, I guess I really don't have any secrets. Or privacy. Sigh.

Honestly, when you have five kids, nothing is sacred. Your reproductive life seems to be everybody's business, especially when your belly looks like it might explode any day and there is only 17 months between your twins and the next baby to be born. And I'm not even talking about the whole birth experience. I'm talking about what leads up to the whole reason you're going to give birth in the first place. Everybody and their brother . . . or, if you're me, your husband's aunts (yes, there is a boldfaced 's' there for a reason) . . . wants to know if you "know what causes that" (as if having kids is a disease). Um . . . right. What I always wanted to say was: "I don't know. Do you know what causes that?" But what I ended up saying was something like: "Yeah, I do. Why do you think we have so many?", with a large grin upon my face. That pretty much shuts people up, though I mean that will all due respect. Except . . . are rude, nosey people due any respect?

Anyway, on with shopping at Victoria's Secret.

For a while, I have been getting these gift card things from Victoria offering a free pair of cotton undies, plus $10.00 off of any bra. I had always let them expire cause I didn't really care to pay that much for a bra. And I'd feel really guilty about getting the free undies and not buying the expensive bra . . . or double barrel sling shot as Elly Mae Clampett calls it. That just seemed like a cheesy thing to do. And there's nothing cheesy about VS.

Back in January or February, I received another coupon thingy. Except. This time it included a little fold-out flyer with pictures of VS models in pretty underthings and skimpy nightwear. My husband, er, suggested that there were a few things in there he thought were pretty cool. Or hot. Or whatever. I gently reminded him that I would not look like those models at all in that underwear. He just smiled. And I just groaned. Inwardly. Cause giving birth to five kids didn't leave me with a perfect figure. It's really hard for me to see myself as my husband does. I just glad he doesn't see me the way I see me.

A few weeks later I going to be passing a VS store on my way home from getting an eye exam and decided to stop in to see their selection. Although . . . now that I think of it, maybe my husband should have gotten the eye exam if he thought I would look good in any of that underwear. Or maybe not. :) Ha!

Sorry. Those crazy rabbit trails.

Here is where I give you a list of how to shop . . . or how not to shop . . . at VS. I can share these rules with you because I broke every one of them. And now I'm paying the price.

  1. Do not take your 13-year-old daughter.

  2. Do not decide it would be a good idea to take a picture of yourself with your cell phone camera and send the picture to your husband, even if you can't decide which bra you want to buy. Deal with it, sister. Just pick the one the shows the most clevage. He'll be happy. Reason being for this rule is that cell phone cameras make a noise that your 13-year-old knows and she won't be one bit reluctant to ask you about it. Especially if she doesn't want to be there in the first place. You'll be having a conversation like this: "Mom, is that your cell phone? what are you taking a picture of? are you taking a picture of yourself? mom?" Of course, it was loud enough for the whole store to hear. You'll be giving answers something like this: "Get out of the dressing room area and go stand by the door like I told you to. NOW!" And everybody will know that you're a redneck mama who yells at your kids in the store. Everybody will know that your real name is 'Bertha Mae.'

  3. Do not tell anyone you bought a bra at VS if you broke the rules above. The whole world . . . especially your mother and your other two daughters . . . will know all about your naughty pictures because your daughter has a big mouth. They will find out on a Sunday afternoon after church when you're out eating lunch. You can be thankful that all of the boys were sitting at another table. If you don't understand about God's mercy and grace, then take my experience and run with it. Had the boys been sitting with us, well . . . I can't even imagine how I would've handled that.

Well. That's enough of that topic. Surely it proved as just another example of how a mother has no privacy.

As I was writing about shopping at VS and the fact that my husband still thinks I'm one hot mama, even if I don't like my looks a lot of times, I remembered what God said when He sent Samuel looking for the next king over Israel:

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 . . . for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

I wish it could be different. I wish that man could see the heart instead of having to look only on what's on the outside. It would certainly make life much easier for all of us. On the other hand, I am grateful that God does see my heart.

I hope that what He finds there is a thankful attitude: thankful to be a wife and mother; thankful that He didn't leave me to die and go to hell; thankful for all of the good things He has done for me.

I would also hope that He would find love there: love for Him; love for a husband who sometimes makes me nuts; love for five kids who tend to keep my heart on pins and needles; love for friends and family that's there even when we disagree; and a love as big as His for lost sinners.

I would also like peace to be found there: a peace that comes only by faith in my Creator and Saviour.

Of course, I'd like for a desire to be be a faithful servant to be found there as well.

You know, I was just thinking: Jesus had no privacy either. And then He died for people who hated Him. Us whiney-butt mom's just need to remember that and deal with the fact that when you are a nurturer, when you care about, serve, and reach out to others, you will have little time for you.

There were many times when Jesus tried his best to escape His followers just to be able to eat and sleep.

  • Mark 3: 20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

A mother's life is like that, forever giving up food and sleep and whatever is necessary in order to see to the needs of the multitude . . . not matter how big or small her multitude might be.

And just like Jesus, her time with her multitude is limited. Eighteen, twenty, twenty-four, or however many years the multitude is at home, all pass by too quickly. She sends them out into the world to (hopefully) fulfill God's plan for their lives.

Just remember this the next time you are tempted to fuss and rant when you don't get the privacy and quiet you need. It's hard, I know. I fight myself every day over this, all the while lamenting the fact that I have college-age kids, young men who will one day be fighting the bad guys, and five teenagers.

Just remember: this is a period of your life that won't last long. Enjoy it.

Soon you'll be asking for grandkids because you miss having kids around.

Just don't take them to Victoria's Secret.

Love you guys!



Coffee Bean said...

How did you find my blog? I love this post of yours! I LOVE it! Hmmmmm... I think we might be kindred spirits... although, YOU, my dear, are a total HOOT! What talent to be able to take shopping for bras at Victoria's Secret and turn it back to the Lord. Wow. I will definitely be back to see what else you've got to say!

Kathy said...

Hi, loved this post. I came over here from coffee bean's place. She is a totally Hoot herself! I'll be back....

NiftyNadine said...

I really enjoyed this post! Gave me a chuckle while I'm enjoying my little bit of quiet before my 2 kids get up. But Thank you so much for the reminder that this is the best time of my life, just yesterday I was feeling 'fed up' with my kids and yelled at my husband "I'm not having any more kids! 2 is too many!" Thankfully he was napping and didn't hear me cause I definately want more than 2 kids!