My Christening: godparents, Maryanne in lime, "Uncle Sam the kitty's pal;" Susie & Peter with little meLooking crappy all the time has been a way of life for me. I typically have clay in my hair, snaggle-tooth fingernails, stains all over, and clay dust clouds poofing around me every time I sit down. I leave clay treads all over the floors of bars and restaurants. I don't spend money on things like haircuts, make-up and manicures because it all seems so futile, so the situation snowballs. An associate of Tim's has been using the office because he's visiting from Holland. He said to me when he arrived for dinner, "Who was the woman taking care of your child at the office?" "Ummm....me...with my hair up?"
I've always been like this. I used to ride my bike everywhere in San Francisco, so that created fashion limits. When I worked at a law firm 3 days a week, I left a black dress hanging on the door of my office and some black shoes under my desk. I wore that uniform every day for about 6 months. I don't think anyone noticed because I'd created low expectations. On top of it, I don't use a blow dryer. I'd shower before work, so I'd have bedraggled hair in the morning. I'd run and shower at lunch creating the same drowned rat in the afternoon. I'm comfortable with all of it until I see someone who's really put together. It makes me self-conscious; I wonder when I'm going to grow up.
My mom never left the house without lipstick on. Revlon's naked pink was her color. Her perfume was Chanel #5. She typically would match her shoes and eye-shadow. She sewed all of her clothes: straight mini skirts with matching fitted vests. The vests had buttons down the front, and she would make fabric-covered buttons, so it all matched. She'd make her own Bermuda bags with the same fabric. (Bags are another category of shame for me. I never have a chic bag with everything all organized.)
This weekend I was proud that I'd bathed and changed for our post-nap expedition to a music festival. (Our weekend days are split in two: pre-naps and post-naps.) I had on a flowing white skirt and a nice blue tank top that matched my flip flops. I felt relatively put together. In the yard while putting all 3 kids into the double stroller, Toby puked on me. It was bright orange sweet potato/carrot puke. It'd taken so much to get us out the door; I just rolled my eyes and said, "It'll be dark soon; no one will notice."
Before darkness happened I bought a chicken kabob for all of us. It had that bright red bbq sauce on it. Of course one kid didn't like it and handed me a half-chewed piece while I wasn't paying attention. It tumbled down the front of my skirt. I was sitting on the grass and another kid spilled a beer onto my ass. It mixed with the dirt and soaked my backside. Toby's puke had dried to a light yellow/orange stain. It occurred to me in the beer line that I looked like I'd pissed, shit and gotten my period. Inadvertently I said it out loud under my breath. A woman laughed and said, "It's OK; just get one of those t-shirts that says 'mom' across the chest, and everyone will understand." When did 'mom' devolve from a put-together hottie in a mini-skirt to a 40-year-old hag who's lost all bowel control?