No lip gloss for me, thanks.

I couldn’t get the song Try a Little Tenderness out of my mind yesterday. It is such a tried and true song about being a weary wife and mother, when you haven’t shaved your legs in months, and you smell like Desitin and macaroni and cheese. When you don’t have much of a clothing budget and you wear the same clothes over and over again. You try to hide the illustrious fat apron, you have one eyebrow, and your husband’s t-shirt that looked so cute on you years ago is now a worn down mess filled with pit stains and holes. You long for the time when you smelled like soap and shampoo and when your legs were at least shaved from the knee down. You can pencil in at least one half hour of quality time with your spouse doing whatever it is you feel is quality. I feel the need to tell you that when I feel like Try a Little Tenderness, it’s the Otis Redding version. Not Michael Buble or Chris Brown or whatever other singer who has tried to sing it. But in my version, Ducky from Pretty in Pink is lip syncing to it.

Yesterday I was feeling very frumpy and dumpy. Okay, scratch that. There has been maybe 5 days total in my entire life when I didn’t feel frumpy and dumpy. And at least one of those I can guarantee I didn’t look half as hot as I thought I did. One year for my office Christmas party, I got my hair done, did my makeup all nice, wore a frilly black dress and sported some sweet antiqued jewelry. I thought I looked quite classy. They had a karaoke machine too, which I thought was a bonus, considering how swanky the party was. I rocked out Lady Marmalade and people thought I was the shit. As did I. Until I saw the pictures. Once I saw the pictures, I knew that by technical standards, I looked nice. I cleaned up okay. But in my mind, all I could see was Kathy Bates as Molly Brown in Titanic. I really looked like her. In my mind, I thought my ass looked like J Lo. In the universe, in reality, I looked like Kathy Bates. But she is a fine actress and a good representation for the bigger set, so rock on, you know?

I could blame motherhood and working for my lack of positive feelings about my appearance. But honestly, I rarely think I am anything beyond just average, sometimes even slightly below at times. Only it’s not like I hate myself on the inside. I don’t. I just kind of see what I see. It’s my version of just keeping it real. Being realistic. I am short, shaped like a pear, and my hair falls out. I hate shopping for clothes. I hate wearing them. I hate having to keep up with trends and constantly dealing with upkeep. I get what I get and I am done with it. Granted, I have gotten better at shopping because I know I have to do it. I still have a skewed perception about what I look like though. I have this argyle hooded sweater that Lulu swears by. I wear it and all I can envision is this gym teacher I had in high school who let me stay out a day when I had an allergic reaction to my Teen Spirit deodorant and my pits blew up. She was an awesome lady, but I don’t want to look or feel like her.

There was a time just before I got knocked up where I felt pretty awesome. I had trained for this 20 mile walk for charity, I had my blood sugar under control, and before I knew it, I was practically vegan and lost like 45 pounds. I didn’t know it at the time though. I just felt really great. I wasn’t paying attention to how I looked. I went to a party at the South Side Irish Parade and, as I do once a year every year, got incredibly drunk. I mooned the cops at the train station, danced the jig, and ate a ton of soda bread and sausages. I was having a blast and looked about as stupid if not slightly less drunk and stupid as the rest of the lot. A funny thing about that is that a year later, I saw a picture from that day, and I looked hot! Like, sculpted legs and no fat rolls hot. I didn’t feel hot. I just felt like me. I look at the pictures, looking for Roseanne or Kathy Bates, and J. Lo and behold, there goes a foxy lady. So, when I wasn’t looking or trying or thinking, shit happened. Hi Bebe, nice to see you! Where you been?? 

It turns out I was pregnant, only about 3 weeks. Sorry son. No wonder you are all screwy.

This type of attitude I have about myself, this kind of negativity but somehow really self absorbed theme that I follow can be broken down a couple different ways and you can take your pick regarding which one is accurate. Because honestly, I am certain that they are all kind of true. First off, I kind of just accept things as they are, as I see them. I have always sort of been this weird in-between in life. Am I accepting of things without sweating details? I don’t know. Am I so certain that I am so solid on the inside that I don’t care about the outer shell? Whether that is justified or not, I would say that sometimes I think I am a legend in my own mind. Why do you think I started a blog? I mean, besides the altruistic reason of sharing new experiences with my brethren? It’s because I think I am cool enough to actually think people will dig what I say. And I like to read my own shit.

Am I a lazy fuckface who doesn’t want to dude myself up every second of the day? Am I the person you can dress up like a queen that will focus on how my nylons are pinching my ass or that lip gloss kind of reminds me of semen? Yeah, I said that. I went there. You all know it’s true, so let’s not pretend we don’t. We are adults here. Why yes, I am indeed that person too.

That’s not to say that I don’t sometimes want to be pretty, and feel pretty. I just don’t want to put the work into it. And because I don’t want to put the work into it, I tell myself that I am pretty kick ass on my own, and I don’t need the frills. I mean, if you are going to be a weenie, be the best weenie you can be. The world needs ditch diggers too. That being said, I have loved ones who would beg to differ and to them I need to apologize. There is nothing worse when someone you love doesn’t see how bitchin’ they really and truly are. So, if anything, for those people, I vow to try and get my insides and outsides to sort of catch up to each other. I am going to try to see pictures of myself and not pick out the weird profile of my nose, my jowls, my mismatched complexion, my double chin, my pear shape and so on and so on and so on……….

Lulu talks about this 365 day project, where you take a picture of yourself every day for a year and just work it. I am going to try it out and see if I can get to a place where I think that I am the acceptable version of pretty is to me. This is going to be a lot of trial and error people. I have a lot of self improvement on my plate already. Well, just enough to make me feel like I am just trying to be my best without putting too many expectations on myself. And I know that my loved ones really love me the best when I love me the best. Winter is a good a time as any to start. Great colors, lots of corduroy, funky sweaters, cool boots. No lip gloss though. Yuck.

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