Dad and denim

Posted on January 08 2019

Dad and denim

I have always been curvy, full-figured, plus-sized, BBW, insert-other-title-here. So many names for the same thing: A woman that carries extra weight on her frame.

I struggled with it through my adolescence and teen years. I knew I was the big girl as the kids wouldn't let me forget it for even one single day at school. The piercing, cruel commentary finally stopped when I was around age 16.

As many others who didn't fit the inane expectations that my fellow classmates had, I was bullied for my size. I was also bullied for having a lisp and even for being raised by a single Dad. My Father was and still is my hero. The girls that were talking about how ''weird'' it was that I didn't have a mom had no idea I was standing in the bathroom stall overhearing their ridiculous dialogue!

As I stood there, quietly listening, I was rattled only for a moment.

I was 11 and knew that my dad was a hero, even at that young age. That is why I stood solid even as others didn't understand where Alexis' mom was.

Dad treated me like a Lady. He always treated me with a gentle kindness and he embraced my fiery spirit, friends and fashion ''needs'' with acceptance and generosity. I was blessed.

Our tiny little apartment on the ''wrong side of the tracks'' just outside of London, Ontario was a second home for many of my friends who came from single-parent homes, primarily. It was the hang out spot for the gals through those crucial years of growth as we went through elementary and high school.

Dad put up with us as we giggled until 1 a.m on the weekends in my bedroom as we talked about boys and sang into My karaoke machine. Dad never said no when I'd ask if a friend could stay over. His hospitality was breathtaking.

He was a simple man, a self-employed custodian for half a century. His career was humble. He was very dedicated to his job and I'd proudly tell people what he did for a living. Custodians are one of the most under appreciated careers out there but we all know how filthy facilities and life in general would be without them.

Next time you walk past the person sweeping up the fries off the food court floor, I encourage you to stop and thank them! I do and it sure shocks them every time. 

We lived in a three-storey apartment. Our apartment was little and simple, filled with furnishings from the second hand store and random trinkets that dad had collected over the years. A beast of a record player sat along one of the walls and it was filled with tons of classic country, gospel and bluegrass records. 

Our hearts were content for we knew that even though things may not have been shiny and up to society's standards and that there was stress waiting for us outside with work and school, we still had enough. We were covered, fed, clothed, and safe.

I never thought much of these things growing up. It didn't phase me that we didn't have a fancy home or the newest cars.

My dad treated me like a Princess and that was priceless. I was happy despite the anxiety that filled my body when I'd walk down the hallways, wondering who the next rude comment was going to come from.

The one area where I knew I was indeed spoiled was my wardrobe and the fancy phone dad had purchased from the phone company so I could have the ''best'' to talk to my girlfriends on. Dad eventually stopped answering it as he said he knew it would be for me, anyways. *chuckles*

One day he joked that I should attach the phone to a necklace and wear it like an accessory! 

I always had an eye for fashion and I was so blessed that Dad indulged my fashion tastes.

I'd eyeball a pair of plus size jeans at WhiteOaks Mall in London, I'd wander to find Dad who was sitting with his cup of coffee on a bench and before I knew it, we were walking back to the store where I'd spotted the denim eye candy and he was purchasing them for me.

It really is very humbling to think back on. My heart fills with gratitude and words can't convey how blessed I feel for having had such a generous parent. He did it on his own, with no one helping him. My siblings didn't help as they were 20 years my senior and my mom was on the other side of the continent dealing with her own struggles. 

So, there I was sat, in a worn-down brown rocking car in the corner of our tiny apartment, perched upon the top of golden shag carpet watching Beverly Hills 90210 on a tiny 19 inch tube T.V, insecure in my awkwardness as a growing girl but still at peace, knowing I was okay, even through the adversity. 

I have so much to thank my Dad for. I've told him how I feel countless times but it will never feel like enough.

He thanked me for giving him a reason to get up everyday. Looking back, I feel like I surely must have burdened him but he said that he enjoyed the mall trips, and the people-watching with his cup of coffee, and my bold and spirited ways. 

Whoa. Blessed!

I take this moment to encourage everyone to embrace a heart of gratitude for what you have in life. There is always something to be grateful for. If you're not feeling this way, send me an email and we can talk. Connecting is what life is about and a few moments shared with someone can be truly empowering. My ear is always open.

-Alexis

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