Sunday, July 09, 2006

Somewhat Lacking

I am not a well-put-together Mom.

By this, I mean I do not wear cosmetics, I don't iron clothes, and as soon as the weather permits, I am wearing capri pants and sandals to work everyday. My entire hair care system consists of washing it once a week, conditioning it everyday, and putting enough gel on it so it doesn't become a frizzball, and popping a hairband on to keep it out of my face. My skin care regimen is much more elaborate - cleanser, toner, moisturizer - I do want to look young and have nice skin.

I started out in my girlhood as a tomboy and it seems I have reverted back to it. My Mom rarely, if ever, wore make up when I was a child, so I had no frame of reference for it. I distinctly remember the first day I wore make up to school when I was in grade eight - I was laughed at and I made some excuse up that I had let my sister (sorry, Teri) put it on me and I didn't have a chance to look in the mirror before I left for school. And then I promptly went into the bathroom and washed it all off. I did get better at it as I got older - and was probably quite the girly-girl when I was in university - but this all ended when I moved to Japan when I was 22. Why? Well, it was so damn humid that cosmetics simply melted off my face! That and the fact that I had a very difficult time buying cosmetics in Japan - with not having the right skin tone (fair-pinkish as opposed to olive) and all. Now I rarely wear make up because everyone feels the need to comment on it when I do - favourably this time, but it is embarrassing nonetheless. In an odd sense, I wear cosmetics now to hide who I am rather than to show off who I am.

Why am I getting into all of this?

I stayed home sick from work on Friday. I ate a questionable quesadilla for lunch on Thursday and paid dearly for it the next 24 hours. I did drop Willow off at daycare on Friday so I could come home and wallow in my discomfort in peace. I dropped her off, walked back to sign her in on the computer, and saw a very well put-together Mom.

I have no clue who she is. But she was about my age, had very nicely styled hair, a prettily-made up face, blouse, suit skirt, stockings, and heels. There I was, recently from my sick bed, dressed in flipflops, sweatpants, t-shirt, and unbrushed and extremely fuzzy hair pulled up into a messy french roll. My heart dropped. Part of me wondered why I can't look like that. Not the being thin and having straight hair - I've dealt with my hand in those situations. But why can't I look put-together like that? I feel like if I started doing that now people would think I was playing a part and not being me. I am working in an industry and department where it really would behoove me to be put-together like that and I know it.

Bah! I didn't need to see her when I was feeling bad to begin with. But still - here I am wondering about what I am going to wear to work tomorrow and if I will bother slathering something on my face to try and be like someone else.


Jaimes said...

hey Jo she probably doesn't wash her hands after she goes to the washroom. looking good on the outside lacks heart on the inside.Be yourself beauty will shine thru. Love Jaimes

aija said...

I know what you mean... I'm a tomboy at heart too, and I hate my appearance being commented on by anyone (good or bad). Its tough but know you're the only one it matters to-- if you felt better about yourself if you wear it, its the only thing that matters. If you like it, and keep wearing it, people will comment less and less... Good luck, hope you feel better.

MOM said...

Be true to yourself - you are who you are!!! We think the world of you.
PS and no I couldn't be bothered with make-up when you were young and I still can't be bothered with it!! People have to take me as I am.
Love & Hugs

Jae said...

Are you worried that you don't look like you care about yourself or is it concern that others think less of you? If it's the latter, they aren't worth the effort it takes to look "put together". However, if it's the first - then only you can decide if it's true. If you like yourself, than be yourself even if you think that means a little change (or not). After a few days, everyone else will get used to whatever you decide and you'll be happier.

Lynne said...

Hi Jo, I sure hope you are feeling better. Let me tell you something...the very put together mom looks at other moms and wishes she could look better. Ah, it's all a matter of being comfortable and confident, no matter what we are wearing on our faces and just have to take one look at the sweet little girl and know that you are beautiful, loved and important. By the way...thanks alot for that Berroco cotton twist yarn you sent me...I just went and bought several more skeins of it today so I could make a tank with it. Enabler!

Jo said...

Hi All,

Thanks for the encouragement. Make no mistake - I like who I am and am very comfortable who I am. This has partly has to do with the fact that I started out as a teacher (very casual) and somehow segued into the corporate world. The place I work at is business casual so the capri pants and sandals aren't a big deal. However, when you look around at the people who get promoted to management positions... they aren't the ones wearing capris and sandals. If I am serious about seeking that route I know I am going to have to make some changes.

Jaime - I love your comment!

As for the make up - I'm not sure if there is any fixing that! The odd time I do wear make up I end up smearing it across my face because I forget I have it on and then rub my eyes...

Lynne - I love the Cotton Twist, too - the funny thing is I have never bought it for myself - only for other people.

Aija, Mom, Jae - thank you all!

tara said...

I hope I wasnt one of the ones in grade 8 who laughed. I can attest that you were very girlie in University. I have always thought you very beautiful no matter what you put on. Your inner beauty shines through and you have always had a glow about you. You are an unforgettable person for all the most perfect reasons. And you do have great skin (and hair and eyes, and on and on).

turtlegirl76 said...

Aww (((hugs))) What they all said. Besides, a put-together mom isn't the one wearing the suit and the cute shoes. It's the one that teaches their child right from wrong and is there to guide them every step of the way. You're put together, just in the way that it really matters.

Ter-bear said...

Oh Joey - people who know you, love you. I don't think you are talking about beauty in general here ('cause you are gorgeous and you know it!), more on how people see you. I love you and think the world of you becasue you are comfortable in your own skin. You have an amazing sense of self, who you are and what you will and will not stand for. And that is how people base their opinion of you. By just looking at someone you can't tell if someone is funny, kind, a good mother, a caring sister or a dedicated knitter ;P

As for doing the 'corporate dress code' to get ahead at work, they do say dress for the job you want, not the job you have. On that note it's a wednesday afternoon and I'm wearing jeans, mules and a hippie shirt. Today the job I want is to be sitting on the deck, reading a good book, watching the clouds roll by and having a Gin and Tonic. Make it a large.

Quit thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It's not. You are looking at the other grass from a different angle.

tara said...

wow. well put Teri. And I'll second the gin and tonic.

Shirley girl said...

and so life goes...always better and worse in this world..and the grass always does look are doing amazingly well in you lots, Shirley