Dad and denim
Posted on May 02 2018
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 were who didn't fit the inane 'school yard expecations' that my fellow classmates had set, 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 then. That is why I stood solid even as others didn't understand where Sonya's 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 1a.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 breath taking.
He was a simple man, a self-employed custodian for half a century. His career was humble; a trash dumper and toilet bowl cleaner. A mighty good one at that 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, stop and thank them! I do and it sure shocks them!
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*
I always had a extravagant eye for fashion and I was sooo 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 did I ever look stylish!
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.
A few of the countless things are:
- The understanding that everyone is struggling and that kindness can heal a hurting soul.
- The importance of stopping and making time for those around us.
- Respect for those that put in an honest day's work. (Dad retired at age 75.)
- An understanding that in life, family is who has our back. Family isn't defined by blood.
- The importance of counting our blessings and remaining humble.
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.
-Sonya, Curvy Founder