Monday, October 18, 2010

Identity crisis

I was walking through the grocery store today (gotta love the quarter-to-five-missing-ingredient-rush) and I had what one could call an out-of-body experience. As I tried to keep the frustration out of my voice to the pubescent  stock boy about the lack of plain ol' breadcrumbs (no, the Italian kind aren't the same thing thankyouverymuch), I saw me as he (likely) saw me...

Without an ounce of makeup - blotchy skin that hasn't seen the hint of a care regime in months years.

Unwashed (since??? I can't even remember to be honest) hair pulled back into a messy bun - but not the fun, messy kind that walks red carpets at teen choice award shows - I'm talking hair sticking straight out in all directions and the bun part falling lopsided off my head.

Mis-matched "cozies" - no Lulu's for me - these are trackpants (burgandy) and an XL grey sweatshirt from Uni days. Joggers unceremoniously tucked into Uggs - but not for the fashion statement - more for the "OMG I get to wear shoes that feel like slippers OUTSIDE? Ummm, okay."

And the accessories of all accessories? Two whiny, hungry, annoyed children. One talking through a binkie about how she MUST watch Ariel when she gets home because I PROMISED and holymotherofgod meltdown about an 'effing SHOW. And the other? Hungrily slurping away on Sophie the Giraffe - eyeing me like "I'm totally going to meltdown if you don't get me home and feed me in the next 10 minutes lady. I don't care WHERE we are or WHO hears me."

In reality, I'm sure this stockboy didn't even register one of these observations about me - I likely just looked like any other "mom" out there - maybe more unkempt and a bit crazier than normal because, ohsweetjeezus why is she so obsessed about breadcrumbs??

Except I used to (still do?) care what I looked like out in public. I groomed. I didn't leave the house without mascara and some kind of lip gloss. I got pedicures and highlights and waxed on a regular basis. I used to wear heels everyday.


I get it now, why my mom used to have the best shoes to play dress up in, but I never saw her wear them - you can't chase down an unruly child in heels. You certainly can't straighten your hair daily when you've got a squawking 3 month old looking for her next meal. And my lipgloss? Has either been lost at the bottom of my purse or been confiscated by my 3 year old.

Fall used to be my favourite shopping season because boots! and booties! and closed-toe pumps! and more boots! Oh I still lust after these fall lovelies. I look at the thigh-highs (that would make me look like stripper-mom) or the peep-toe booties (mid-life crisis mom) or even the lower more utilitarian boot (cowboy-mom) - and then take that $150 and mentally spend it elsewhere - matching Christmas dresses for the kids perhaps?

I guess what I'm trying to say (I know - I did have a point, just trying to meander back to it) - it's weird remembering who you used to be. And realizing how much things have changed. How it's hard to reconcile what you look like when you actually look in the mirror to what you remember looking like not that long ago. And I'm not asking for permission to go out and spend $$ on highlights or new boots or fancy skin cream. I know I can. I could do it tomorrow (if I could muster up the energy). And I do hope to start looking nicer / a bit more presentable / a bit more like the old me soon ... but most of the prep-work just seems like that - work. Time I don't have anymore.

Priorities change. Expectations lower. And I just rummage in my shoe closet for a pair of comfortable flats to get me through this stage until I can fathom wearing heels on a regular basis again.


1 comment:

Joanna and Marcus said...

You're beautiful with our without the fancy shmance.