I’ve been a bit of a gym rat lately. I run, I lift, and I work off the grief and stress.
I also look around a lot–I mean there’s not much to do on a treadmill other than watch the three TV stations available. I tire of Fox News or The Housewives ripping each other’s hair out. Sometimes I simply prefer to watch gym people–it’s just as entertaining.
So, I’m running along the other day, bopping out to Pandora, when a woman catches my eye. She’s twentiesh and tiny with long hair swishing down past her itty bitty bum. Offhand, she looked Philipino to me, or Islandy (Islander?)…let’s just say she was some exotic blend of tan skin and petite features.
That is until she turned and I caught the side view. Island Girl’s bust was GINORMOUS. Huge is an understatement. I actually gasped in astonishment.
I tried not to gawk but her machine of choice was in my direct line of sight, so then I thought it would look more obvious if I twisted my head and avoided looking forward.
Sam’s self talk goes something like this, “Just be casual. Don’t stare. Don’t stare. Don’t stare.”
(I’m sweating more from angst than my actual workout)
I glance up, oh so nonchalent, to my first full view of the woman. It looked like she was wearing a Hello Kitty Top with her yoga pants.
A “mall stroller” came to mind. For those of you who aren’t mom’s of babies, let me explain.
You know when you put all your shopping bags and the diaper bag and your purse on the back of the stroller and everything is fine and dandy until you pull the baby out and then the stroller falls over?
That’s what Island Girl reminded me of–a mall stroller–and I waited in apprenhension for her to topple over. She was so top heavy she defied gravity.
Then her t-shirt came into view more clearly. And I was wrong. It didn’t say Hello Kitty.
It said Hello Titty and the kitty face was morphed into a strange kitty boob concoction.
When the slogan hit me, I almost fell off the treadmill. I punched the arrow key and lowered the pace trying not to laugh out loud but making strange gurgling noises in the process.
I hate to admit what I thought next–maybe she’s a porn star? But then I thought about it again, “In Ladera Ranch?” It didn’t make sense to me.
Now my brain is humming a new refrain, “Don’t judge circus girl. Don’t judge. Don’t judge. Don’t judge. Oh God help me, I’m judging just trying not to judge.”
And sadly, I couldn’t look at her without throwing mental stones. I knew I needed some help.
So I got off the treadmill and walked a safe distance away to pray and get a grip on my inner bitch.
And I tried to think how God would see this girl. This desperate girl screaming out for attention.
And God whispered, “What if she was your child?”
What would I do if my daughter went in for three surgeries and became addicted to the knife in some desperate attempt to feel beautiful or loved?
What if my daughter believed the lie that even negative attention was better than no attention so she disfigured herself to try and find it?
But let’s be honest here, what would make a girl even go in that direction? Sexual Abuse? Neglect? Abandonement?
Then I felt another nudge from the Spirit, “Where are you in this girl?”
Really? Ouch! Well, I guess, I too fall into the trap of wanting to be beautiful, to be relevant and to matter.
My definition of beauty might be different than hers, but I still want to take my husband’s breath away. I still want to be pretty despite my age (41). I enjoy looking young”ish” even though I’m grateful for the years of growth and maturity.
In all truth, I’m still vain deep down in my core despite my efforts to supress it.
Are my desires so different from hers? I might not wear a booby shirt and flaunt my 32 ZZZ’s at the gym but I understand the desire to be loved and pursued and adored.
And it hit me, If she were my daughter, I’d love the socks off her. I’d love the good parts and the broken parts and the really big parts.
(Although we would definitely have a conversation about the Hello Titty top)
I got up and walked over near where she was working out. I picked up some weights and smiled at her when she caught my eye.
A friend smile. A smile that hopefully said, “I see you–not the boobs–just you–and maybe I can lift weights next to you and we can chat without anything wierd between us.
No agenda. Just gym stuff.
And I felt God removing the log from my eye, a really big 2×4 that let me see this woman a lot more clearly.
I looked up the shirt when I got home. It’s a BREAST CANCER logo.
I will not even go into the awkwardness of some of their campaigns but I will give the gal props for raising awareness!