I tried today to stand up straight and sit up tall all day. I made it exactly 10 minutes before I caught myself in the mirror, slouching while I brushed my teeth.
Walking to the train, I tried to imagine I was carrying my breasts on a tray in front of me, like a medieval painting of Saint Agatha.
That works pretty well, oddly enough, except when I forgot, and I forgot every 10 minutes or so.
First thing at work, I had a meeting with about 30 people. We were jammed into a conference room, and I happened to pick the chair next to the speaker. All eyes on me! So I sat up straight. The whole time. I didn’t even let my back touch the back of the chair, I was that straight. My mind wandered to Scarlett O’Hara’s mother in “Gone With the Wind,” a lady so refined that Scarlett “had never seen her mother’s back touch the back of any chair in which she sat.”
After that I felt a little burning sensation between my shoulder blades – maybe from muscles that hadn’t been used in a good long while, muscles that had been complacent and atrophied in their slouch.
For the rest of the day I tried to sit up as straight as possible. I realized my chair and desk were a bit un-ergonomic for this, so I fussed over the chair a while. When I got that straightened out, I realized my monitors were a bit low, so I fussed with them. I finally got to work on the computer and noticed from time to time that my shoulders crept up toward my ears. I pushed them back down. That little burn between my shoulder blades got hotter.
At lunch I stooped over my soup. I mean, I am all for trying this posture jazz, but I am not going to dribble soup all over my clothes to get there.
A few more meetings in the afternoon, and a few more Ellen O’Hara impressions. “Why yes,” I thought, “I am the epitome of femininity and refinement. Look at how my back doesn’t even touch the back of my chair, bitches.”
I walked back to the train, head held high. I stepped in a subway grate and scuffed up the heel of my new boots, tripping and almost falling, but hey, I was walking with my head held high, not down at the ground like some slattern.
Then I got on the train and took a nap, all slouched into the seat. Hey – I needed a break.
I resumed the walking and sitting when I got home for a while, but later, curled up on the couch watching TV, I caved. Enough for today.
Or, as Scarlett would say it, “Tomorrow is another day!”