Thigh Gap and Dirty Grout

How mopping the floor made me love my thighs…and other non-spurious but odd correlations.

It was 111 degrees outside. Although I live 3 miles from an office, my commute was over 40 minutes long and involved walking more than it could have. Social media delivered a zinger to my eyeballs and snail mail reminded me that bills are for paying.

Not exactly the kind of day you wake up hoping for.

Because this wasn’t the first day of its kind, the cup of my sanity got full fast. The mental exhaustion of trying on 49 new scenarios for my life and cross-referencing each one with the bus schedule had won the short straw in the race to a breakdown.

Luckily, the floor in the kitchen was filthy. Honestly, the grout was 4 shades darker than it should be but there weren’t globs of unidentifiable food or piles of pet hair. Floor dirt level analysis aside, the point is the floor became my victim.

On my hands and knees in my grey striped summer pajama set, I scrubbed. And rinsed. And mopped. And scrubbed. Something had to come clean and it was either the floor or my mind. My heart was blubbering too loud to notice it was time to participate.

Six rinses later, the floor looked better. My heart was still crying uncle. My mind. Well, fences will always be a positive part of my mental health.

So far I have skipped over thigh love. Honestly, for 38 years I have skipped over thigh love. I can say my nickname in junior high was thunder thighs and my throat doesn’t completely swell shut. Progress not perfection?

Thigh love. And dirty kitchen floors during an employment drought. In the middle of it all, you realize you have a desire just in time to see your desire turn a corner heading in a different direction.

Yes, had there been ONE SOLITARY OUNCE of dark chocolate in my house, I would have devoured it before ever pulling out the baking soda and scrub brush. It would not have been sufficient for this teetering episode in my life. More chocolate also would not have moved me toward embracing the soft mound of flesh at the top of my thighs. (Note the nickname and the loathing came eons before the frenzy over thigh gap!)

Yes, I am the girl who sees her oatmeal boiling over and believes her passion and sweetness need a better, a different outlet. I am also the girl who scrubs floor grout to reach a kind of tenderness when she sees her thighs. Though I had no idea loving my body, my softest parts could come out of aggression taken out on the kitchen floor.

It is possible. Possible to love your thighs and have a clean kitchen floor. Clean floors don’t equal the right guy or the right job or the best dream. Using the task before you with an openness and presence can lead to epiphanies about the way you laugh or how he is perfect in his imperfections or your true passion is blue. I think it is more likely that in those desperate moments our choices tremble with the opportunity inside them.

Love your softness and your edges. Love your softness and your edges. Love. I am learning that all these years of working ON me has left a hole in my relationship WITH myself. As the saying goes:

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no body happy. And by mama I mean your heart and by no body I mean your life, your mind, your soul, your thighs–with or without the trendy gap.

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