Look, there is really no other way to describe it- I am completely delusional when it comes to my own personal perception of myself. 

I imagine everyone has an image of themselves in their head, of what they look like, act like, sound like, etc, to the rest of the world.  And perhaps sometimes the image in your head is at odds with what is really there, but in my case I think I have really taken it too far.

For example- in my head, I can wear whatever type of clothing I like, which is actually true, and look good in it, which is patently false.  Sure, I am physically capable of donning a shapeless sweater dress and a pair of leggings.  Once I turn to the mirror, however, it becomes highly apparently that I am still short and chubby, shaped a bit more like a square or a rectangle than anything else, and that putting that outfit on me is the exact opposite of what the outfit designer had in mind.  There is no variation on that outfit that doesn’t make me look wider, shorter, or more unattractive than I already am, but I persist in picking up bulky cable knit longish sweaters and hoping this one is the magic one that will make me look the way I think of myself in my head, which is apparently something along the lines of Heidi Klum crossed with Elle McPherson, only Jewish. 

Sometimes I think of this as a particularly healthy sense of self-esteem, but then in the dressing room, it starts to seem like maybe I’m just kidding myself. 

This sort of delusion extends beyond the orders of what I think I look like, and into what I think I am actually capable of.  Now this part I’ve seen written about often enough to know I’m not the only one, but dear GOD, you’d think by 34 I’d have figured out that no, upon finding myself without a job, I will not miraculously transform myself into June Cleaver, with a home-cooked meal on the table when J gets home from work.  A vast, VAST, majority of the time, J does the cooking, while I sous-chef, or generally stand around in the kitchen making a nuisance of myself. 

This pregnancy has done nothing to dampen these delusions- I thought for sure I would be one of those cute pregnant women, all normal looking everywhere else save a cute rounded belly that no one ever mistook for too much cake.  No, no, I am still me, short, round, and with fewer clothes to choose from than I originally had. 

So, fine.  I’m no super model, and there’s precious little I can do to make myself grow taller, or to make designers realize that yes, it is possible to be both a size 14 and under 6’0.  However, the cooking thing- as of this writing, we are planning on having me stay home with the wee thing once it gets here, because, judging by the job prospects, there is no way I could make enough money to cover daycare costs for an infant.  And since I’ll be home, I really would like to be able to put a meal together for us all to eat, even though I haven’t done such a thing in the better part of 5 years. 

I’m pretty sure I won’t have an excess of free time once the baby does get here, so my idea is to start now (well, January now), putting together a mental file of recipes and meal ideas.  To up my dinner making average to twice a week, maybe, rather than the paltry once a month I seem to be pulling out of my ass these days. 

Thanks to Twitter, I’ve already got some ideas- but does anyone have a good meal planning tool?  I end up getting stuck at meat and vegetable, meat and vegetable, over and over and over again.  I’ll take it all, websites, recipes, special incantations. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance.