Duncan: Lessons learned while trying to fit into a jumpsuit


Pulling, tugging, grunting, crying, and possibly blacking out somewhere in the middle, I stood in front of the mirror with black material underneath my fingernails. | Megan Duncan

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It hung across the way from the Little Debbie snack aisle I was perusing.

A black v-neck atop what looked like a long skirted dress, and I was suddenly called away from the sticky buns to a place I generally dread.

The dressing room.

It’s where “one size fits all” only fits if I lean a little to the right or just lay flat on the floor.

Today I was hopeful.

My 20th anniversary is coming up, so I grabbed that romantic frock and held my head up high until that dressing room door swung closed.

While taking it off the hanger, I realized it wasn’t a dress at all. It was a jumpsuit.

Immediately ruling it out, my hand went for the knob but something stopped me.

It was my size. Why not try it on?

A teeny part of my brain still sees my reflection from 1999, which I was overly critical of then but would give my left pinkie toe for now. I realize there might be some foreshadowing in that of how I will see myself now in 20 years.

I did try to talk some sense into myself.

Not necessarily because it’s a jumpsuit. I have seen women of all sizes rock jumpsuits of all kinds, but for me, any outfit that could classify as a contraption isn’t usually a good idea.

I am not graceful, and weird things tend to happen to me.

I got stuck in a bodysuit in 1993 when a wayward underwear thread intertwined with those inconveniently placed buttons. I cried in the K-mart bathroom while doing the pee-pee dance.

Since I rejected the sticky buns and ate salmon three times in a row, I just had to give the jumpsuit a try.

I pictured Blake Lively in a Walmart onesie. So I undressed and stepped into the thing. Thus began the one of the greatest struggles I’ve ever known.

Pulling, tugging, grunting, crying, and possibly blacking out somewhere in the middle, I stood in front of the mirror with black material underneath my fingernails.

I laughed my ever-loving butt off. I laughed so hard I snorted.

My belly fat and boobs merged into one weird lump with a bow placed awkwardly in the middle. I was pretty sure walking would result in all of that freeing itself in one catastrophic rip.

I am not meant for a jumpsuit, even though I kind of want to be.

I can’t say I don’t envy women who can wear all the fun clothes. Yet, I would not trade anyone for this body God has given me.

We have been at odds over the years, but we truly are old friends. Over the last 44 years we’ve been together, we have gone through so much. We grew from a tiny human sprout in my mom’s belly to a walking, often bumbling around, person who functions day-to-day for the most part.

We went through awkward stages, coughing through a cloud of Aquanet in the 90s to reach the maximum height necessary for high school popularity — although it was never attained.

My body amazingly grew and delivered two children — all by the grace of God, of course.

Then together we did some crazy exercises and found our waist again … then lost it again … and then found it again! And so on…

My hands are my favorite. They have held the past and now lead the future.

They were led by generations of people I have loved and lost. My fingers mingling with theirs as they entered into the glory of Jesus.

They grasped my husband’s hands at the alter as we whispered promises to each other we have worked hard, and sometimes failed, to keep in these nearly 20 years.

Now these hands have fed, diapered, bathed and stroked my own babies who are now teenagers. I can feel their hands gently slipping from mine and into the future as they find their own paths.

So we prepare for the next phase. I think it might be menopause coming up, so it might get a little rocky.

Really though, with all of that — and so much more — how can I get mad at my body just because it doesn’t fit into a silly jumpsuit?

So here I stand in this mirror, laughing at my wardrobe debacle. It’s just another thing my body and I have been through together.

Now we have to get back out this thing without causing a scene.

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