What, Exactly, Are Big Girl Panties?

Sometimes when I’m out to lunch with my dad, he’ll say something along the lines of: “yeez, Heather … you should probably stop woofing down those french fries like there’s no tomorrow, or you’ll have to upgrade to big girl panties.” The oddity that is our father-daughter repertoire aside, I always think of this when I hear someone say “time to put on your big girl panties.”

Of course when people say that, they don’t mean you’re getting a little hefty around the backside. Well maybe they do, but for all intents and purposes we’ll assume that what they really mean is: it’s time to act like a big kid. They mean that it’s time for you to grow up. For you to make a decision you don’t want to make. Follow through with an action you don’t want to do. It means that you need to make a sacrifice, be an adult, and act your age.

And it means the big R. Responsibility.

I can think of  a few examples in recent memory that I wore my big girl panties.

Yesterday,

in the grocery store parking lot

Yesterday, in the grocery store parking lot, a skirmish unfolded and I was confronted with the need to hitch up my big girl panties and move along quietly. A woman parked next to us as we were getting out to walk into the store, and she therefore was walking in about the same general area as us from car-to-grocery. As we all crossed the lot to the store, a car pulled up very quickly and started honking, the driver yelling “hurry up!!” Rude, I know, but having the Pookies in tow meant I needed to keep it down to set a good example.

“Some people are in such a hurry,” I said calmly as we finished walking into the store, but then the woman that had parked next to us turned around and started screaming at the car. “Bite me you son of a bitch!” she screamed, causing everyone in the parking lot to turn and look. Inside she was my personal hero; outside she really needed to pull up her big girl panties and move on.

Last Friday, over text message with my Trailer Trash Mom

I invited my mother over for dinner over the weekend and she accepted. I know what you all are thinking: I was being too kind. I was, but then I really wanted to get more dirt on what is going on with her Hillbilly Husband/New Mexico trailer-drama. What can I say, I like a good story. So she told me she’d let me know which day worked better with my grandparents’ schedule and then I didn’t hear from her for a few days.

Friday I texted her and said: “Hey, I just went and got all the food for dinner. Do you know whether Saturday or Sunday will work best yet?” and she responded that they were invited to a family tailgate party for the UCLA-Nebraska game, and had decided to (a) extend it into a whole-weekend-family-affair, that I was (b) excluded from on account of the fact that I don’t like either team. This is how that family usually rolls, so I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like my mom, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It was still rude that she handled it like that, though, and if I were to let it get to me I probably would have said something nasty. But did I get upset, and scream and cry about it? No. I pulled up my big girl panties and put the extra food in the freezer for us to eat later next week; then waited to smile when Nebraska got creamed.

But what if you don’t want to put on your big girl panties?

This morning when I woke up, I was immediately smacked in the face with my very real “big girl panties” problem: our rent is being increased significantly. The problem is very complex. We’re trying to move to the Midwest – something I have been waiting to do for about 12 years now. Signing a 10 or 12 month lease (the two options we were given besides month-to-month) will lock us in here for another full year. A lot can happen in a year, and as I said I have been patiently waiting and working towards this for 12 years. It will also increase our rent even at that. Another option is that we pay the month-to-month rate and starve to death. There’s also the fact that this place isn’t even worth what we pay now – we had an attempted break-in a few months ago, my outdoor vase was stolen just last week, and a child of one of the neighbors was kidnapped on the 4th of July. But moving to another place while we buy some more time to figure out the whole Midwest move thing will cost a lot of money and lock us into another lease.

Ugh, I know.

You can see why I don’t want to pull up my big girl panties on this one. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place and in the end the only one that will really be suffering, acting like a big girl, and sacrificing for it is me. I’ll have to stretch the budget to make it work. I’ll have to go another year waiting. It’s very frustrating, to say the least.

So while I do believe that there are a lot of instances when we need to let ourselves upgrade to big girl panties, figuratively speaking of course; I also believe that there may be a time to say “enough is enough.” Is there ever a time when we shouldn’t have to put on our big girl panties? What, exactly, are big girl panties, anyway? I always thought they meant adulthood. Sacrifice. Responsibility. Stuff you do but don’t want to.

But is always sacrificing, never taking risks, and settling for less really living?

Advertisements

Am I A Ticking, Biological Time-Bomb? Short answer? Yes. Long answer…

Have you “liked” my blog on Facebook yet? No? Shame on you… Well, here’s something you can really do for me – click the link for Top Mommy Blogs dot com to register a vote for my site as one of the best. Thanks!!

_________________________________________________________________________

Today one of my very dear friends (and an instrumental participant in nicknaming me ‘B(itch)’) texted me. He told me to watch a video he had just posted on his Facebook page after we got home from swimming lessons and all the other random stuff that keeps me so busy all the time. With most friends I would probably sluff it off; maybe watch it in a few days if I remembered and got a chance. But with this friend, I usually follow suit. Okay, I always follow suit – I think he has me whipped.

So I got home and watched this video immediately. It’s called 29/31 and he saw it at the Attack of the Show panel at Comic-con last weekend. The video, itself, is hilarious – it is the perspective of the same woman at ages 29 and 31. Being smack-dab in the center of this at 30 years old, I can empathize completely, moreso with 31. While I was never as sweet and optimistic as that 29 year old is, I definitely can feel the transition to ticking, biological time-bomb coming on.

Even for a married mother such as myself, the truth to this video is a little disturbing. In fact, I think that single or married doesn’t matter – a woman still feels many of these very things at this point in her life.

Or maybe it’s just me.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit A

31 is right: there is no one left and we are all alone. At this point in time, most of my friends have gotten married or are well on their way. I’m married too so this should be no big deal, right? Except for the fact that now everyone is in a varied phase of these relationships, so have all pretty much disappeared from the universe outside.

Some friends are in new relationships that are getting serious on hyper-drive, and have absolutely no time for anything other than their significant other.

Other friends just got married, and everything has become a “we” this and a “we” that. Translation = fucking annoying to have any kind of conversation with them.

Then there are friends that have been married or in serious relationships for a while and have become these mommy-types that have absolutely no lives outside of said relationships and children.

I sometimes feel as though I am the only person that wants regular “me” time; and that can be away from my husband without having to check in regularly, without texting excessively, and talking about nothing but … well, my husband. The last Girl’s Night Out I went on was just like that – a bunch of girls sitting around, texting and talking about their men. Lame if you ask me.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit B

29 is a fucking bitch that deserves a nagging case of jungle rot. Won’t settle for anything less than perfect, you say? I’ll give you perfect: perfect is a day that you don’t actually have to clean up toast crumbs off the counter, piss off the side of the toilet, or spread your legs for the 30 most awkward seconds of your day.

Surrounded by love and peace? The only place that love and peace exists in this world is in the naive and vaguely narcissistic dreamworlds that immature 20 year olds create for themselves. Negative you say? How about realistic.

Every year that goes by, I become evermore aware of how ugly this world can be. There are definitely good things about it – moments that make it all worth it, innocence undisturbed in a child and all that. But man is there a lot of crap too.

The B(itch)’s Transition to Ticking, Biological Time-bomb: Exhibit C

31 may be off base a little bit about the whole “ovaries shrinking”-thing. I mean, didn’t Madonna have a baby close to 50? But just because people do it doesn’t mean they should. Where she does hit the mark is in the biological reality of it all.

My husband and I were just talking about this the other night. When we met – years ago – I made it explicitly clear that were I to have any babies with him they would all be before 32; 33 max. I want to enjoy my retirement. I also don’t want to deal with the health complications that come with pregnancy later in your 30s, 40s, etc.

So it’s do-or-die time for us and to stand firm to my belief, I’m planning on looking into getting my tubes tied and his nuts clipped if 31 comes and goes. So in a way, I guess my ovaries are shrinking; or at least the “window of opportunity” is, in fact, about to shut forever.

Can you hear that clock ticking? Tick tock. Tick tock.

Ultimately, 29 is exactly what 31 calls her: an arrogant c-u-next-time. I sometimes wonder if I was that arrogant at 29. Who am I kidding? I’ve never been that arrogantly optimistic. It’s funny how time and change and your 30s make you so much more aware of the realities of age, though. Today I realized that my new vacuum cleaner is being delivered tomorrow – something that excited me to no end before I went completely bipolar and grew depressed over the fact that my excitement over a cleaning product is a sign of my age. My biological reality. Clearly I have already become a ticking, biological time-bomb. Next stop is screaming with 31.