Dingy White Pits

Ladies, this one’s for you. Let’s be honest, you know what I’m talking about when I refer to that one white tank top, that one you wear under everything, the one that has the dingy white pits, no matter how many times you wash it? And if you don’t know what I’m talking about then this blog entry is not for you!

For those of you that can relate, you know the limitations to wearing this top, guarding onlookers to see it, as you perfectly pair it with your favorite blouse, but never a shirt that would allow it to be seen. Let’s just admit it, you’ve even pulled it out once or twice of the dirty clothes because the outfit just doesn’t feel right without it. We all have one.

Well at least I like to think we do, it makes me feel better. I never imagined some of my favorite pieces of clothing, the hardest ones to surrender, being the ones I wouldn’t let anyone see. As I strive to appear put together, relaxed, well groomed, and up-to-date in my hair and clothing, I often fail to worry about the things people can’t see, with intentions of “fixing” it later. Oh how this so describes my life!

When Jeff and I were first married, I remember having a surprise visitor swing by the house to drop something off. This was not a person I knew well but was a friend of Jeff’s family. As this person entered our home, at first glance, I felt proud, as she caught me in a moment of good “wifehood”, stirring our dinner over the stove. As she began getting a bit too comfortable during her unexpected stay, my heart began to pound. I was envisioning the piles, upon piles, of dirty laundry in our bedroom, along with our unmade bed, and loaded down counter tops. That’s just to mention the surface, hoping she didn’t start to stare closely at the un-vacuumed and un-mopped floors, dust lined baseboards, and toothpaste marked bathroom sinks. Dreading the question, I appeared relaxed, until at once, as if my greatest nightmare came true; she asked to see what we had done with the place.

Before I could even intercede, making up some lame excuse to avoid the tour, she was in our bedroom! It was obvious when her eyes saw the room in utter disarray, meeting a totally different expectation to the meaning “done with the place.” Shortly after she left, I remember balling my eyes out; uncomfortable in my own skin, ashamed that anyone would have ever seen that side of our lives, the side we tried, so carefully, to cover up. I mean everyone thought we totally had it together right? A brand new married couple, living on their own for the first time, and overcoming great daily hurdles of managing a physical disability at the center of it all! It was easy, why wasn’t my bed made, the laundry done, the sinks rinsed out?

Because that’s just not how life goes for everyone, especially not for me! And now after ten years of marriage, I still struggle to allow people into the truth. It’s something I work on, but honestly, it’s hard. Covering up those dingy white pits stains in my life, continuing to wear them, with the rare occasion of having them seen, is far from comfort. We often think, that if anyone were to ever see that favorite white tank of ours they would think differently of us, when in reality, they probably wouldn’t even notice!

As a new mom, I have to remember I am not alone. Part of allowing some of the “ugly” to show, is just admitting the truth to friends, and much to my surprise finding out I am in good company. I am so thankful for my friends for loving me and helping me see beneath the beautiful, and most importantly for teaching me to show off my dingy white pits. One day, we will need to be proud of these tanks and go out to lunch wearing nothing over top, confidently allowing all to see! What a lunch date that would be …

Sarah Dykema jumping