I have developed a new fashion sense that is caught somewhere between practical and lazy. I don’t know how this happened; I used to be cool and concerned with how I looked at all hours of the day, and now I am just more concerned with getting through the day. I do buy cute clothes; mostly from Costco & Target with the occasional sprinkling in of Macys or Kohls, but I have come to realize that it has less to do with the clothes I buy and more to do with the effort needed to pull myself together that gets in my way.
I am forever running from one place to the next, and it is never for me. My children, at 6 and 8, have the life that I would love to have; but instead I have assumed the role of chauffer, chaperone and pimp (responsible financially). As a result I am often in the middle of some task when I am interrupted by the shout of a child reminding me of a dance class, birthday party or play date that I am somehow contractually obligated by my uterus to fulfill. As a result I am usually jumping in the car with whatever I have on and racing off without a clue of how I look.
My most recent purchase of $150 ugly-ass walking shoes is testament to what I have become. I really wanted those sporty looking Coach flats to wear with my jeans, but let me get all righteous and tell you about their lack of support and how they just scream, “Give me bunions!” My feet have taken that beating they get from wearing way too many cheap heels early in life and they have taken a hellacious revenge in the form of unbearable pain when I attempt to wear anything less than an orthopedic slipper. In trying to convince myself they aren’t so bad, I pointed out that there is so much support in them they are similar to wearing heels (very ugly heels).
The other day I was rushing from home to school to the grocery store to God knows where after and at some point I looked down at myself and did a full body shudder. I was wearing lime green yoga pants (fancy word for sweats), a shirt that had every color under the sun in it (except for the lime green in my pants) teal and purple striped socks WITH grayish Keens and did I mention no bra? Good Lord, I was like the poster child for abstinence or birth control. The sad thing is that once I realized what I looked like I was like, ‘What the hell do I care, I am way too busy to be troubled with how I look!’ This, by the way, is the attitude I assume most people adopt right before they stop combing their hair before going out in public and wearing clothes that grossly misfit them because ‘they were on sale’.
To make matters worse, yesterday I ran all over town doing things for my family and got home with what I assumed was enough time to color my hair (which was badly needed) before heading off to the school to get my kids. I started the process and then somehow realized that my brain must have done some kind of reverse calculation or ‘forgot to carry the one’, because I suddenly realize that I have cherry red hair dye that needs to stay on another 10 minutes and it is time to go get the kids. I berate myself and then pull my hair back into a pony tail with the thought that it just looks wet. I race up to the school and as I pull forward for the car line I realize that it is backed up to the intersection which means I am going to have to park and run up to get the kids. S-H-I-T!!!!!! I jump out and run toward the school, thinking that moving at a faster pace will not allow people to see my hair clumped with hair dye or maybe they will just think I am sweaty from exercise or had some kind of bloody head injury and commend me for not forgetting to pick up my kids. However after the first 60 seconds it became apparent that when you sprint across the school yard people take more notice of you and they know exactly what you are trying to hide. By the time I picked up the kids and headed back to the car I had several colorful comments and had been victim of a couple of camera phone pics that I am sure would end up on Facebook by end of day.
I have to admit, these thoughts would rarely come to me if it wasn’t for my nemesis, ‘June’. She is always on time, she always looks good and she never has a hair out of place or mascara smeared to the top of her eyelids halfway through the day. June’s kids aren’t trying to braid her hair or use the top of her head as a steadying post while attempting to get their shoes on. June doesn’t have a syrup stain in the middle of her shirt from rushing through breakfast after asking the kids to finish getting dressed 8 times before screaming it and then realizing there is only 90 seconds before they need to be in the car and June most definitely would not be wearing pajamas to drop her kids off (and maybe even at pick up on a rough day).
But I am what I am, and there is the occasion that with enough effort I can still look good. We’re not talking MILF material but I bet I could get a couple of 50 years old men to check me out at the Orthopedic’s office or waiting in line at the bank, even if it is just to take notice that we are wearing the same support shoes.