Growing Up vs. Dressing Up, or Why I'd Like to be Five Again

This is me, circa 1981 (5 yrs old), about to go to a friend's dress-up party.

I've always loved this photograph. Ironically, this is how I imagined I'd dress most of the time once I grew up. I couldn't wait to be like my mom and get fancy on Friday and Saturday nights to go out on the town. Earrings, makeup, perfume, pantyhose, high heels---these were the tangible symbols of womanhood I quietly coveted.

The amusing reality now that I have actually grown up is that I spend most days in workout gear, sweatpants, jeans, or jammies. Motherhood is lots of things, but glamorous isn't one of them. I spend too much time feeling badly for not putting more effort into my appearance. Yet it hardly seems worth it when my days are filled with snot, mashed up cookies, spilled juice, dirty little hands and the occasional vomitus. I can't play Duck, Duck, Goose in a dress, or even in a nice pair of slacks. Get Play Doh or watercolors on my nice Banana Republic blouse? No thank you! Comfortable and casual clothing is key.

Motherhood isn't glamorous. It's the hardest job I've ever had. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but the joke is on me---because it never will.

Life would be much simpler if I could rewind to the dress-up days. I'd put on Mom's party dress, heels and jewelry, prance around for a bit, and then take it all off, leaving it in a puddle on the floor, a dream for another day.


Memoir Monday: The Aqua Net in My Purse, Or Why Those 80s Bangs Didn't Work Out So Well For Me


Despite what you might think, I haven't always been the smashing success I am today. Sadly, I haven't always been this calm, cool, collected, drop-dead gorgeous and intellectually superior woman. No sirree Bob, back in the day I was just a lowly Wannabe. You know that book about the Wannabes and the Queen Bees and how much cliques and junior high girls suck? Well, I was lucky enough to fall into the Wannabe category. The one nobody wanna beez in. Get it?!

I crack myself up.

Anybee, it's 1986, so I'm 10 years old and in 5th grade. This was a stellar year for me because my mom hadn't bought me my first bra yet (which was very obvious given the starched, white blouses we had to wear with our hideous red plaid uniform skirts), but all the other girls had them. Didn't so much matter that I had nothing to put in said bra, but I was already feeling singled out. Fifth grade began the Spin the Bottle parties, UNITS outfits, the rise of Forenza and Girbaud jeans (another thing I didn't own but everyone else did, not that I'm keeping track or anything), lots of hair spray and bangs the height of the Empire State Building.

(See? I wasn't kidding. UNITS + Big Bangs = FAIL)

For my tenth birthday, a friend had given me a new purse. I used my allowance to buy a bottle of Aqua Net like all the other girls whipped out during break to tweak their coiffures. Unfortunately for me, it was not in an aerosol can, it was one of those archaic pump spray bottles. You know, the ones that are better for the environment?

We're in math class with Mrs. L. She's up at the board writing some problems for us to work on. Her arm jiggles like crazy and everyone suppresses giggles while her ample behind sways from side to side. She finishes, turns around, and you can hear her pantyhose-clad thighs rubbing against each other as she heads back to her desk. Suddenly she freezes in her tracks and opens her mouth in horror.

"What is that?" she hisses, pointing to a previously undetected puddle next to my desk. Everyone begins twisting this way and that, trying to see what she's looking at. I look down and blush furiously. I instantly realize that the entirety of my beloved bottle of Make Me A Queen Bee (aka Aqua Net) has somehow leaked through my purse and onto the classroom floor. Everyone titters because it honestly looks like I had an accident, like some brand new puppy.

I apologize to Mrs. L and race to the girls' room to get some paper towels. As my classmates' snickers turn from Mrs. L to me, I sop up the mess and put the soggy paper towels in the trash can. Next, I toss in the now-empty bottle of hair spray. I can feel my face burning, I can't look at anyone, and deep down I already know I'll never be a Queen Bee.

Looking back I can honestly say I'm glad I wasn't a Queen Bee. I'm just not built that way. And I never picked up another bottle of Aqua Net again. Hair spray is just not my friend


To Vlog or Not to Vlog--That is the Question. Or, Why I Embarrass my Husband.

Many of you may have watched my vlog from Thursday about Why Jazzercise is Evil. If you haven't already done so, please check it out here. Then come back and read this.

Are you done? Okay, good.

My husband said my vlog really sucked suggested I quit vlogging and revert entirely to the written word. He told me that I look like an old corpse unearthed from its tomb half eaten by maggots "depressed" in the video and that my real self comes through so much better in plain writing. Last night at dinner my friend, Anne, quipped that perhaps Hubs simply missed the boat with my deadpan sense of humor about those damned Girl Scout cookies (which I bought myself, shame on me---it's all my fault, but that is neither here nor there). She was spot on. I was trying to be funny, but perhaps I shouldn't quit my day job. I will obviously never be Chelsea Lately. Regardless, I patiently explained to Hubs that vlogging is a nice break from the standard stuff, it's fun, and it gives people a chance to see "the real me" in all of my unshowered glory. I mean seriously...you guys don't even have to pay for this shit!

So, dear readers, here is where YOU come in. I want to hear from you---ALL of you. Even if you aren't a follower (sobbing), even if you only read sporadically (boo hoo hoo!), even if this is your first time reading my blog (please come back again!). Leave me a love note in these comments. I've set things up so that anyone & everyone can comment---you don't have to sign in, you don't have to create a username/password, you don't have to be registered, pay anything, sign over your life....all you have to do is click on "Post a Comment" and then write whatever you want in the pretty little white box below. It really is that easy peasy, I promise. I'm begging you to be brutally honest. Tell me the vlog sucks. Tell me you love it. Tell me you're indifferent. Just tell me something. Either prove my husband wrong and stroke my bruised ego or tell me straight up that the vlog is not my forte and to throw in the towel.

And as long as we're on the subject: If you don't ever comment, I have no idea you're reading.

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