Thursday, September 03, 2009

No Skeletons in My Closet...

or clothes, for that matter.  

Turns out I don't wear the clothes from my closet very often.  A quick run through today convinced me that my mom and I could indeed, with still three weeks to go before we move, pack my entire closet.   That doesn't really say much for how I dress myself, does it?  All those pants?  In the box.  The skirts?  In the box.  Dressy shirts?  In the box.  Dresses? In the box.   Just leave me my jeans and my drawer full of t-shirts, mom.  I'll be all set for weeks with just those.

This is quite a revelation to me.  I mean, I knew I'd be quite a case for Stacy and Clinton if anyone would ever freaking take a hint and nominate me already for What Not To Wear (*cough* Husband *cough*).  But I didn't realize I was quite as shoddy a dresser as I actually am.  This is really the first time it's occurring to me that I have my own Mom Uniform.  T-shirt and jeans.  That's it.  End of story.   The fact that my mom and I could (okay, mostly my mom.  I can admit it) could pack up every single thing in my closet if kind of depressing me.  

It's not that I don't look in my closet--I do.  Every day.  And sometimes I even try on a skirt (with a t-shirt) or a cute shirt (with the jeans).  But almost inevitably I end up looking in the mirror and finding something to be uncomfortable about with whatever article of clothing isn't the Mom Uniform approved one generally ends up in a heap on the floor and I go running back to the tshirt or the jeans that are missing.   And then I'm back in my comfort zone.  

Maybe I'm not different from many other moms.  At least I've graduated from yoga pants and tshirts--although, now that I say that, I'm not sure why it merits an "at least" because yoga pants are pretty much the perfect article of clothing.  I just won't wear them because the jeans hide my leg-chub better.  And?  I haven't done yoga in about 6 years, so wearing the pants is really sort of false advertising, right? 

So fine.  I am a mom hag.  I have a Mom Uniform, I don't wear makeup nearly often enough.  I have worn out two pairs of flip-flops this summer alone.  And sometimes I look in the mirror and notice that I've got this weird little cowlick on the left side of my hair that only shows up when my hair is in dire need of a shampoo.   In the city of beautiful people and women who have a 5-hour getting-ready-in-the-morning routine, I have become a complete and utter slob.  

But, here's the thing.  I DO own cute clothes.  I DO own a lot of make up (please, I have a little tiny orgasm every time I walk by a Sephora, of COURSE I have lots of make up).  I used to dress up every day.  When I was a teacher, my students used to compliment my shoes ALL the time.  I was "the teacher with the cool shoes" (among other things, I'm sure). Hell, I am of the generation of girls who caused the hole in the freaking ozone layer with all of our Aqua-Net hairspray.  I had bangs of steel, dammit!  Why am I not not wearing my cute clothes and my make up???!!!  

Perhaps when we moved here, I figured there was no way I could keep up or compete with the extreme beauty of Los Angeles (which I have since mostly just ends up looking like a lot of really shocked, fat-lipped older ladies fighting the good fight).  Maybe I let my appearance go (with the exception of my kicky 'do) so that I wouldn't look like I was trying to compete or keep up.  If I faded into the background, no one would say, "Do you see that woman over there trying to look cool?  Oh, that is so sad!"  I suppose it's possible. 

But, if there's one thing about moving I find fascinating, it's the ability to "redo" yourself in a way that introduces you to the new environment so that you're just a leeeeeetle bit different than who you were in the last place.  Not like witness-protection plan different, but subtle changes that bring out the you you've always wanted to be a little bit more. 

My first attempt at this was in 9th grade.  I entered high school wanting to stand apart from who I was in junior high.  Because, seriously.  Doesnt' everybody?  I didn't want to be just Sarah.  There was, for the first time ever, another Sarah in my grade.  Gah! The idea of being the second Sarah.  No, thank you.  So I decided on my first day of school that I was going to combine my first and middle name, thereby making me SarahBeth.  I told everyone to call me that (I realize this is generally the behavior of a four year old who comes home and tells you her name is now Princess Imogene Prettypants, and you are only to call her that from now on, but whatever).  

Needless to say, it didn't really stick.  Teachers cocked their heads when I request to be called SarahBeth, looking down at the roster and back up at me.  "But it just says Sarah".  Ugh. Fine.  So I tried with my old friends--if they'd do it, it would certainly catch on and then everyone would be calling me by my new, more unique name.  But wouldn't you know it, they, too, looked at me like a second and third head were sprouting up from my shoulders and that was the end of that.  No way were my new friends going to call me SarahBeth when my old friends AND teachers called me just plain Sarah. So that dream of a mini-reinvention pretty much never got off the ground.  

But perhaps, just maybe, when I get up to our new house, as I unpack my clothes, and I'm hanging up my skirts and dresses and girly tops in the closet, I will try to picture myself wearing the cute stuff, the stuff that makes me feel pretty and not just ho-hum mom.  And maybe I start pushing myself to wear something other than the uniform.  


Dana said...

Fear not, my friend. You are not alone in the renaming department. I did the same thing in about 7th grade. I tried to hypenate my name;
Dana-Lynn. Charming huh? Didn't stick either. I blame the fact that we grew up in the North East. We don't do two first names very well.

AJU5's Mom said...

Umm, I think your wardrobe is fairly normal at your stage of life! I am assuming you wear the "dressier" t-shirts - solid, not a huge bag, etc. If so, your attire is very similar to mine! I do put on a skirt on Sundays for church, but I rarely wear makeup, do my hair, or put on a button-down shirt. It is just too much work!

Becca said...

My latest standard is to not leave the house in the shirt I slept in.

But in general, I used to wear shirts with words on them and jeans every day. And that was in college BEFORE I had kids. Now I at least try to put on a NICE shirt and NICE shorts. But I also figure I'm just dressing for the job, you know?

Linsey said...

When I was in kindergarten, I used to tell people that I was from China. Yeah, I am 1/2 Greek & 1/2 German and I was born in Pennsylvania. No asain in my blood.

I also went through a "call me LJ" phase (Linsey Jean)... my mom flat out told me "no."

Amy said...

I will say, it's much easier to dress "cute" when you have different seasons. When it's warm and sunny all the time, of course you resort to T-shirts and jeans. Last fall I decided I needed to dress a little cuter (like you, T-shirt and jeans for everyday) for the preschool dropoff and pickup. And because it was fall, I found some cute sweaters and long-sleeved shirts and actually wore them!

So perhaps the cooler weather will inspire you as well the move!

Aunt Becky said...

I have an excellent closet full of clothes. Sadly, they do not fit right now. Damn baby weight. Glad that I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

One friend & I are into looking cute right now. I do not like t-shirts on me (unless fitted) b/c I think they make me look like I have no shape.

On Wednesday, I took my kids to the pediatrician & Panera Bread for lunch. And I wore a white halter-style shirt with my favorite worn-in jeans (glad that look is in right now) with flip flops. I did do my hair though - flat iron & all. Today I cheated. Hair in a ponytail, but a silky top that ties around my neck (not halter, but not sure what it is called), jeans, and heels. Plus I don't go out without make up. Clinton & Stacy have gotten to me - it is just as easy to put on stylish jeans and a cute top as it is to put on any pants and t-shirt.

Here's to hoping your clothes find a renewed life up north! And fall clothes are always super-cute, so hopefully the cooler weather will help!

lonek8 said...

I also had my closet all boxed up weeks before we moved because I didn't need anything in it. I also planned to "reinvent" myself when arriving in my new city because I didn't want to be the frump I have become. Unfortunately, I have not defrumped because I have learned that all of my unused closet clothes are neither cute nor, um, the right size. So I'm still in my yoga pants and tee shirts. Wheee! Hope you have better luck than I did, and I hope I can get to a store and buy some cute stuff that fits soon!

ps: I can't believe you made it to 9th grade without ever having another Sarah in your class. As a Kate, there was always at least one other Kate or Katie or Kathryn/catherine/katherine, and sometimes all of the above in my classes. Annoying

gringa said...

somehow or other, 25, 30 or even 60 degrees high temperature for the day is somehow more conducive to "dressing up" than 90-105 so its not surprising that you wouldn't want to go through the same effort as in the "cooler" seasons changing northeast and mid-atlantic. That plus being the mother of a child who has quite actively grown to almost 3 1/2 years old with not a millimeter of couch potato in him -- is certainly reason enough for dressing in the simplest, fastest way possible. :-) So its not surprising that your closet could be packed. Anyway -- just think of the fun of rediscovering all those clothes when you get around to unpacking them????

Mallory said...

Isn't it the truth, though? I always get my son fed, changed, dressed, cleaned up, packed up, and ready to go. I'm in the car and on the road before I realize that I've hardly thrown a comb through my hair. Tee Shirt and Jeans? You're lucky you're not still in your pajamas.

Sarah said...

You were adorable at BlogHer-- adorable! Fear not-- you are certainly no momhag :)