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Accepting the Woman You Are - My latest on Catholicmom.com

When I married into Mr. Pete’s family, I inherited a lot of his family lore. One of those tales was about Dear Aunt Kerry, who came to a formal family wedding in hot pants! I saw photographic evidence. It was more of a hot pants suit complete with the bright colors so popular in the 1970s, pointed collars, and knee-high boots with colored hosiery. It was quite stylish for 1970. But my husband, who was about 12 at the time, and his younger siblings thought it was hysterically funny. So funny that the story stood the test of time and they were still talking about it when I came into the family years later!

1971 Fashion, Hot Pants - 1 of 3
Classic Film via Flickr, licensed cc 2.0


The story came up this year when I was shopping to wear something to my nephew’s wedding. I wanted to wear something stylish but not silly, cute but not ridiculous, fun but not frumpy. Then I found the perfect dress. Okay, it was a little short and a little too tight. It was also sleeveless which made it the trifecta of bad dress choices for my particular body type. I tried it on and it fit okay but you’d have to ignore my obvious figure flaws before you could say it looked great!
That’s when it occurred to me: I was probably the same age as Aunt Kerry was when she walked bravely into family folklore with her neon-colored hot pants suit. I’m sure she didn’t want to be ridiculed or remembered that way. I think I finally understood where she was coming from. She was trying to dress the girl she used to be. I know in many ways I don’t feel like the middle-aged mom and now grandma that I am!  But the reality is, I am not the woman I was, and I have to embrace the new woman I have become.

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