Friday, June 28, 2013

Fact or friction?

I remember distinctly the first time it happened to me.

I was about 12 years old and my Girl Scout troop and I were serving as pages at the Capitol. I'm not sure why I wasn't wearing my uniform, but I was wearing my favorite sweater dress. Royal blue and highlighted with slightly shimmery stars, it complemented my perfectly teased bangs and pink and blue eyeshadow, giving me what I thought was a perfect look. For 1987. This was a formal occasion and bare legs were forbidden. So my mom bought me a trusty egg-shaped container of L'eggs pantyhose (in the suntan shade, of course) and I set out for my day as a political genius in the making.

I walked all day. All. Day. And by the end of it, my thighs were burning. The pantyhose, combined with my very, um, mature-for-my-age thighs, had caused chafing that was enough to make a Rockette weep. But, of course, a Rockette, with her danced-to-perfection thighs probably doesn't have to worry about the awesomeness of chub rub.

Chub. Rub.

It's a terrible name. But it's appropriate. Do a Google search and you find all sorts of ways to combat it (my favorite, in case you're wondering, is the Monistat Chafing Relief Gel. It's a Godsend in the summer). That fateful day at the Capitol--walking home like a cowboy after a long trailride--was my first realization that sometimes being overweight is physically, burningly painful.

I had an acquaintance once. We'll call her Mona. One day I was talking frankly about chafing, when Mona exclaimed, totally seriously, "Wait, you mean your thighs touch?" She ran to the bathroom and came back. "It's so weird," she said. "My thighs don't touch!"

Yeah, no sh*t, Skeletor.

Mona had never had the experience of wearing shorts on a summer day while subtly opening her legs just enough to try prevent her thighs from fighting to consume the fabric between them.

She'd never worn out a hole on her favorite pair of jeans. Or tried to staple them back together. OK, that one might just be me.

And she'd had never poured baby powder down her legs in a futile attempt to rid herself of a big-thigh heat rash.

So yeah, my thighs touch. They rub together. They physically argue sometimes over which one should be on top. And they might always do so.

Yesterday, I wore a hole in my favorite pair of work pants. It kind of broke my heart. I hadn't done that in a long time. This shows me a few things. First of all, I need to buy some new pants. Obviously I'm wearing the ones I have way, WAY too much. But that's because I'm not thrilled with my size and don't want to buy more pants. So now I'm still this size and minus one pair of pants.

It also reminded me so much of my heavier days. And it reminded me that I don't ever want to go back to them again. It made me realize how much I truly want to be the best me I can, even if my thighs might always rub together a little bit.

So I'm throwing out my holy pants and forging ahead. Forever.

But if this entry leaves you as surprised as Mona that some people's thighs touch (Your thighs touch? So weird!), I'm just not sure we can be friends. No offense.


Deb Shifferly said...

Ha, ha, ha! I can totally relate:) Great post!

Anonymous said...

happens to the best of us... here's my favorite.


Anonymous said...

Honey, I can't wear linen pants because of the risk of them catching on fire from my thighs rubbing together!

Anonymous said...

Mine rubbed together when I was heavier and they still do after losing a significant amount of weight. You can find me applying Glide (the runner's favorite chafe prevention product) before I run and sometimes when I wear dresses and skirts in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Jockey has a new product out called Skimmies... they're a combination between a slip and shorts... They have no "sucking-in" power like spanx, but they seriously help with the chub-rub problem! :)
Suzy (a friend of Peter & Gretchen and Brant & Brian)

Anonymous said...

My husband gets "walks like a cowboy" after a long day in his hot kitchen. I have recently started running, and I still haven't worn shorts because I'm afraid of how I'll run when they get caught up THERE the whole time.

Safe to say. I'm pretty ridiculously hot when I run.