|My usually schlubby self – ponytail, no makeup. The ponytail was the main reason I cut all my hair off – why keep it long if I put it up everyday? I hate the feel of hair on my face. I think I have tactile sensory issues like B.|
A few days ago my friend, The Persian Homeschooling Mom, wrote this blog post that touched a nerve with me. Actually, her 7th and 8th paragraphs did. I’m one of the “shlubs” she’s talking about. And she’s right. I don’t dress up nor fix myself up regularly like I did when I was single.
When I was single, I was living at home. I had to pay my parents rent, but I was working. I had no car loan, no debt and no one else to support. My money was mine to save and to spend. I did spend some on clothes, but only work clothes b/c my employers had dress codes. If it were up to me, I’d have been in jeans and sweatshirts all the time! I was always like that. I was not a “girly-girl” and I have never had any fashion sense. My mom was not a “girly-girl” and she had no fashion sense, either, so I had no one to teach me. Plus, from 1st grade all the way through college, I wore a uniform to school! The only non-uniform clothes I owned were PJs, jeans and sweat.
In 1993, I started a new job and gained a wonderful friend in a co-worker. She was beautiful, fashionable and new how to stretch a dollar. She took me under her wing, shared her wardrobe with me and took me shopping at the “right” places. I looked good. I turned heads. I married the sexiest man I had ever met.
Then I started moving up in the professional world and was no longer in the public eye. I started wearing clothes that were more “conservative”, more “comfortable”. I was never much of a partier and enjoyed reading more than going out and the hubs (being older) had gotten all of his “wildness” out of him before we met. So without any place fancy or trendy to go, I didn’t buy fancy or trendy clothes to wear.
And then I became a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom). We went from 2 incomes supporting only 2 adults to 1 income supporting 2 adults, 1 baby and all his diapers, clothes, powders, lotions, toys, furniture, baby-proofing paraphernalia, etc. Money was, as has been, tight, and I could not justify spending money on flashy/trendy clothes, especially when they were not what I was “comfortable” in.
But The Persian Homeschooling Mom gave me a wake-up call and reminded me that just because I want to be comfortable and don’t have a club to go to, does not mean I need to look older, bigger, sloppier or frumpier than I really am! There doesn’t need to be a particular place/function/person to dress up or dress better for – I am worth dressing better for! Target does not have a dress code; I can wear whatever the hell I want in there! Whatever makes me feel good, feel proud; whatever makes my head turn when I walk past a mirror.
I recently cut my hair off. I’m talking Jamie Lee Curtis short. My hair is naturally curly and when it’s long, it’s big and bushy. So big and bushy, that you’d never know if I was wearing earrings, so I never did. But now that the hair is gone, I feel I need the accessory of earrings around my face since the accessory of all that hair is no longer there. After running errands the 1st half of today, we were going to meet some friends out. I decided to change my clothes since we would be outside and the temps are typical Fallish. After changing my clothes, more of my neck was exposed and it looked plain, so I decided to put on a necklace. I tried on 2 before deciding on one. Then I put on matching earrings. Both necklaces bothered me b/c they were on my skin and I am not used to wearing any jewelry. But I made myself keep the necklace on.
As I looked at myself in the mirror I thought, “You look ridiculous! You are going to watch a youth baseball game, not a play! People are going to look at you and think you are pretentious for wearing this to a ball park!” And then I thought ofThe Persian Homeschooling Mom, who decided to dress herself down for her book club meeting based on what she, rightfully, believed the other attendees would be wearing. And I remembered the comment that I actually put on her post, admonishing her for changing what she wanted to wear out of fear of standing out too much. So, I left the jewelry on and went to the ballpark.
I have no idea if anybody looked at my jewelry or made any judgements of me because of it. I wasn’t self-conscious, because I forgot about it the moment I walked out the door. I was just me – comfortable and relaxed me. Only I looked a scoonchmore put together because I took the time to accessorize. And I liked it! I took the advice I gave to my friend: “Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be the change you want in this world”? So dress to the 9s now, especially when getting together with us homeschooling “shlubs”. Don’t change or dress yourself down for us. Set the bar high for us and maybe we will rise. If we want to.” I raised the bar for myself today and was proud. I need to take the time and do that for myself more often. Thank you, friend, for helping me to see that!