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Having men notice me again made me feel normal; like a real grown-up..a woman. When a very nice looking man walked by our table and smiled at me (chuckled? ), I subtly and gently felt the back of my head, fingering what felt like, yep, a large Tootsie Pop wound tightly throughout my hair, with the stick protruding like a pop-up turkey timer.I then did the unimaginable and dressed in real grown-up clothes - not one stitch of Spandex adorned by body. I was newly single, and having just completed a master's program in social work, I was still unemployed, and living with my father at the age of 35.

And despite loving being a mom, I spent most of my time feeling tired, dirty, fat(ish), slug(ish), and was just plain wiped out.

Mostly, I didn't feel like myself, and I was yearning to feel whole again, to feel attractive, to feel like .

Since I was a single mom I had no one to remind me that I was still a human being under all those layers of goo.

So my father, no doubt having pity on me, offered to take me out to dinner, without my son in tow, and I joyously and graciously accepted. I couldn't remember the last time I'd showered alone, and actually could take the time to blow dry my hair (the back as well as the front), and put on makeup.

So on this night I vowed not to ponder how I thought my life would turn out differently, or question every decision I'd made since childhood.Rather, I was going to trust that the babysitter wasn't going to detach my son's retinas in the two hours I was out, and determined to allow myself a guilt-free grown up meal, I hugged my boy goodbye, and walked out the door.

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