Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'm a School Drop-Off Fashionista. Surprise?

For a strange set of pretty complicated (and boring) reasons, P. doesn't ride the bus. That means that twice a day almost every day I drive her to school, wait with her until the kindergarten doors open and I see she's safely inside, then do it in reverse two a half hours later because our district is the last one locally doing half days for the littlest students.

It's kind of a drag for such a short day but I'm doing it because it is the right thing to do. And I'm making the most of it, too, trying to chat with one or two of the other parents every day. Us drop off parents are all in the same boat, after all. Sure it's fun now but like I was saying to another mom, it's going to be hell in the middle of February when the snow is blowing and the high is 5F.

One unexpected side effect of our new groove is that I am if not necessarily showered by mid-morning, dressed with hair brushed or done and made up. It turns out that what I find most terrifying about daily interactions with the parents of P.'s classmates is not the small talk but apparently how I will be perceived by these people.

Which makes no sense because it seems like everyone at drop off and pick up is wearing what they would be wearing on a Saturday in July. And it's not like I'm out there on the school curb judging other parents.

Maybe I am just wearing what I'd be wearing on a Saturday in July if I had a reason to try harder. Or maybe I'm just both incredibly vain and incredibly unconfident - a deadly combination, for sure. All I know is that I recently asked the mister what percentage of my time I spend thinking about my appearance and he said 5%. He might be right, actually, but that 5% is made up of micro-moments distributed throughout each and every day. Like...

Noticing that when I sit in a certain position my stomach pooches out over my waistband. 

I've caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in a selfie where my receding chin is very apparent and so I spend the rest of the day sticking my chin out. 

Laying in bed, I'm wondering what I'll wear to school the next day.

Picking capri sweats for dance instead of hot pants because I'm too fat that day.

I'm applying lipstick in the car and thinking how lucky I am that it's sunny because my big sunglasses will hide my naked eyes.

Random thoughts pop into my head like: Why is there a bump on each thigh right here? 

Do people notice that my nose moves when I talk? 

My toes look funny. Are most people this hairy? I wish my knees weren't so gross. And on and on.

These things are not special by which I mean they aren't prompted by putting on a swimsuit or dressing for a party. They're just wrapped up in the twisted threads of my thoughts, raveling and unraveling throughout the day. I'm a little embarrassed to be dressing for school when I'm not the one going to school and no one else is putting on a show (that I can tell) but honestly, I cannot help it. This is the sort of thing that I'm supposed to be too smart to care about and I care anyway.

At the very least, though, I am also smart enough to keep that ugly, questioning, unconfident voice inside my head where it belongs. We don't do bodytalk around here. And so maybe, just maybe when P. grows up and is dropping off her own kids at school she'll just wear whatever she wants to wear be it haute couture or a housedress. So far she's doing a great job of asserting her own style.

P.S. - This is such an amazing post. Honestly, when I see the bloggers trying to weave their love for Hamburger Helper or whatever into a gushy personal post I feel like saying "Good on you for getting paid." I don't mind the sponsored posts that are real projects or reviews that seem honest, but some of it... *barf*

P.P.S. - If your little one is carrying a backpack these days, you need to read these backpack safety tips!


  1. I hear ya! We just moved to a new town, so I am more anxious of how I look at the bus stop than ever. I don't always have nice clothes on, but I try to wear cute workout wear. Also, I brush the hair and always wear makeup to cover my relentless blemishes. Of course I really don't judge other mom's appearances at school, so I don't know why I am so worried they are judging me!

    1. Yes, that's the most confusing part! I don't judge the other parents, either. Why do I even assume they're looking at me!?


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