100 Days Project

Anita/Fern: Now and Then

Some days I look at my husband, our three children, our cat, and our home, blink, and think "How did I get here?"
I find myself constantly wondering how my life's events led me to this exact moment in time. How did I become the person I am today?
In an effort to figure that out, I am going to spend 100 days reflecting on the way things are now, and the way things used to be.
Every day I will take note of a single moment or event as it occurs, and will use it to remind myself of a moment or event from my past. I will then write about both my "Now"s and my "Then"s as openly and honestly as I possibly can, in an effort to give myself and others a little insight into both the person I am, and the person I once was. Are we really one in the same?

I’m in my bedroom with a stack of dresses lying on the bed before me. My sister Sophie is here, my friends Ellie and Chantalle are here, my daughter Xanthe is here, my son Maurice is here. The party day has arrived, and I still don’t know what to wear. We need to sort it.

Sophie has taken charge, telling me what to try on. I put on the brand-new black dress that has been hanging unused in my wardrobe for the last three weeks. I didn’t want to wear black, I wanted to be bright and colourful, but it looks like I may not have many options left.

I leave my singlet and trackpants on, and slip the dress with its tags attached over my head carefully. I don’t want to mess up my hair. The curl has already begun to drop a little, I don’t want to disturb it any further. I slip my arms through the sleeves and reach around to pull up the zip. I need help. I turn my back to my sister, and she manages to pull it closed. I’m dressed.

I want some colour with it, so I try on the waist belt I picked up impulsively this morning. I look at my sister and I look at my friends and they see what I see. The tight belt digs into my fleshy maternal stomach, pushing my gut up and out. It’s not flattering. Not flattering at all.
“Should I try on my gunt container?” I ask my sister. “Maybe it’ll look better that way.”
“Yeah, put your gunt container on,” she replies, and as I step into my oversized flab controlling underpants with an audience of five I remember…

Sophie and I are in my bedroom, and I’m trying on clothes. Sophie shops a lot, and she gets bored of her clothes easily, and that means she’s always giving me the items she no longer wears. It works well for us both. Today she has a few different tops for me to look at.

I’m in my own bedroom and I’m with my own sister, so I have no shame about pulling the clothes on and off. I don’t mind standing around in a bra. We’re family. I have nothing to hide. I try on a singlet top and it looks good. I twirl around, check myself out in the mirror, and tell Sophie that I’ll take it. Next.

I cross my arms over each other and grab the sides of the top, pulling it up and over my head. I drop it on the floor and turn to reach for the next item on the pile. I stop. Something feels strange. We look out the second-storey window and down into our neighbours back yard. A teenage boy is standing there, staring up at us, staring up at me, shamelessly.

“Ew!” Sophie squeals. “What a pervy perverson!” She yanks the curtains closed and we look at each other in horror. What a creep.

Day 65:

Dressing with an audience

From that day on Pervy Perverson smiled and winked at us whenever he saw us.