March 29th, 2010
As I sit laptopping in the local coffee shop, just tip-typin’ away, wearing my favorite gray moth-eaten sweater, misshapen tunic and faded jeans, I can’t help but think back to my full-time working days. Oh lo, those days. I could visit three cubicles in six seconds wearing 3-inch heels and an 85-lb. Franklin Planner. I was faster than a speeding Starbucks. More powerful than a Xerox copier. Able to leapfrog 38 meetings in a single bound. All while not looking like a hobo.
Now. Now? I superglue my wobbly flip flops to pick the kids up at school, and more often than not, I spend the day unshowered working on my couch. I wouldn’t know a “paradigm shift” if it hit me upside the ass, and I sure as hell no longer recognize myself in navy blue pinstripe. What happened? I’m pretty sure it’s that I relaxed into not having anywhere to be, no one to see my unwashed hair, and nothing to prove. (Retraction: There is my husband. He kinda cares about the hair sometimes. Especially when the Black Forest sprouts overnight on my calves.)
These days, it’s so easy to be comfortable. But I used to not know a thing about it. When I quit work in 2007 to freelance from home, I browsed the thrift stores and Ebay for the kind of apparel “people who didn’t work in an office” wore. Why, I had no idea. I was thinking jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes, but I didn’t really own many of those things, and certainly not enough for seven full days of non-suit-wearing. I wanted to be cute, yes, maybe wear a fancy print tee, some faux athletic shoes with a bit of glitter, but nothing constricting or God forbid, corporate. So there I was, collecting 100% cotton wear and rubber-soled this n’ that. For awhile, it was good fun. Until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today.
I’m the first to admit I may have taken it a bit too far. I’d prefer NOT to get up earlier than usual in the already madcap mornings to take a shower, so I do this thing with my chicken fluff hair where “thing” equals gather it up into a mullet-like ponytail, usually using some kid implement to hold my flimsy strands in place. Then the clothes. Looking cute is sooooooo much work. And as I age, it’s getting a whole heck of a lot harder. So most days, I don’t bother. Instead I throw some old jeans over my now-unelasticized underwear and call myself dressed. Occasionally, I’ll grab a clean shirt, but more like I wear my wine-stained pajama shirt and drape a sweater over it so no one can tell.
I really didn’t think there was anything wrong with my morning ensembles, especially when I run into some moms still actually wearing their pajamas WITHOUT a sweater to hide the ugly fact. But, but, but. Today. And the mirror. The mullet. The Cinderella scrunchy. The oatmeal-curded t-shirt. There was no denying the fact:
I needed to
go shopping at J. Crew get a job.
I fear it is the only way I won’t turn into a full-on comfort troll.
Anyone you know looking for
a couch potato former superishwoman reality TV show critic cheesecake analyzer screw-off blogger
somebody to do something important and high-earning?
If you hire me, I won’t do that thing with my hair.
Unless it’s Casual Friday.