Every year for the last ten we’ve thrown a party in May. It used to be called the May Day party – back when I was still with my ex as we both had birthdays in May. We also had an amusingly high number of friends with May birthdays or anniversaries. All were invited to share in the summer celebration.
When we separated my sister continued the tradition. The first year I’m sure it was considered a favor to me – done as a kind gesture so I wouldn’t be sad about no May Day. What was interesting is that it had the opposite effect — it was depressing to carry on a tradition without someone I loved and cared for deeply, and to do so with no acknowledgement of him.
No matter. The name was changed to Sperry’s and Stripes, the old friends were no longer invited regardless of when their birthdays fell, and it became the official kick off to summer. Nautical attire is strongly encouraged. Sea sides flow freely and are aggressively consumed, along with as much from the pot of clam boil you can handle.
Every year I’ve had to buy a bigger size in white pants. Two years ago I went up to a size 16 white jean. It paired beautifully with my 1x blue with white polka dot silk shirt. Combined with a red and white thinly striped jacket, and of course my captains hat, I still looked like someone happily and stylishly engaged in a theme party. Last year I wore a blue and white striped dress– the jeans were too tight and the alternating direction of striped panels on the dress seem to provide the best situation, almost near a very flattering fit. It paired with the same red and white striped jacket, as my love for pattern on pattern has never faded, not even in the summer sun.
I tried the jacket on last night and to my horror, it doesn’t fit. The circulation in my fleshy arms was being cut off. It was like a summer time episode of fat man in a small jacket, with a bit less wiggling since I ripped it off as soon as I could — too ashamed to view myself for any longer than necessary in the mirror. I know I’m now in a size 18 white jean, and I didn’t have the heart to try on the blue polka dot number. To top it all off, I couldn’t find my captains hat.
The long running tradition of the party seems to ensure it will go on, at least in some form. I wonder how long I will go on like this, changing to an ever bigger form of myself. I’ve compensated by buying bigger clothes, but there must certainly be an end to that. I couldn’t find the hat, which was the one thing that surely would have fit. I can’t seem to find the wherewithal to stop eating and take charge of my own ship, my life relative not just to clam boils but to all forms of food.
I’ll be going tonight as the good sea witch, capitalizing on black and white is the new black, with a linen large print anchor scarf I just bought – one size fits all. Hopefully the spell I cast will be on myself – so I can stop drowning in food, sorrow, and my own inaction. If not I will truly have a May Day, Mayday, Mayday situation.