Truth in Advertising

<disclaimer> All the narcissism and navel-gazing and appearance questioning stuff ahead. </disclaimer>

I don’t dress like the other moms I’ve run into in our new town.  When genetic gifts were handed out, I was so busy running to the front of the “MAKE ME TALLER” line that I completely skipped the “put an outfit together” and “master the 5-minute face” lines.  Which has never really bothered me before – I’ve got a nice working wardrobe of unisex athletic/sweat pants, plain t-shirts and ponytail holders, and am slowly learning that there CAN be a middle ground between full-face-makeup and oh-my-god-are-you-ill.

The rub? In our new location, meeting people on my own without a tether to a job, I am realizing that this uniform invites certain… assumptions regarding my athleticism.  In that people assume I have some. Not unreasonable – six foot tall, skinny, dresses like a jock…  But I don’t. Have any athletic ability – not even a little.  So when the coach of Little Scientist’s bumblebee basketball team tosses me the ball and asks me to help run drills, what do I do?

And here’s my dilemma – right now, I fake it.  Turns out, I kinda like being sporty.  I like the ease of conversation it affords, the automatic team camaraderie that gets tossed around.  It gives me a way to relate to the other moms and dads without having to figure out how to dress / talk / look like them.  I don’t exactly SAY I played high school or college ball, but I definitely don’t disabuse folks of that notion.  And it’s starting to feel a little bit like lying.

But it’s also part of a bigger problem, foisting my comfort in appearance onto other people.  Poor Nerddad’s been bearing the brunt of this one for over a decade.  Case in point: I like my hair short, he likes it long.  Not in a creepy I’MCONTROLLINGYOURHAIR way, but in a “well if you ask my OPINION” way.  So why do I make him feel guilty when I want to cut all my hair off?  Why do I put him in a position of having to lie to me or uncomfortably voice his opinion, when we both know (a) that he really doesn’t care about my hair and (b) it’s my hair.  Why can’t I just own it?

And there it is.  What is my problem in OWNING how I appear to the world?

Today’s deep thoughts brought to you by my 18th load of laundry.  And a looming haircut.  Sheesh.

3 Comments on “Truth in Advertising”

  1. Carolina (@braziliancakes) says:

    I don’t have the problem of being thought of as athletic. No one would confuse my 5.4 figure. 😉 But I also rarely worry about what I wear and never wear any makeup. That’s the joy of working in a lab. The downside of course is that its so freakin difficult to get an outfit together when I actually need to.

    I think you could probably joke with the people who think you are athletic if you are worried about lying. You can say something like, “I love participating, but don’t expect anything, I’m all tallness and no coordination” or something like that. Most people will probably get it.

    As for the hair, I have the same problem with my hubby. He doesn’t care but prefers it long. I’m also planning on chopping it off soon and was thinking of dying my white/gray streak (many hairs) purple or blue!

  2. I think there is a sport for everyone but you just have to search to find it and it’s entirely possible to get decent, if not very good even if you try it later on in life.

    You should think about sports or sporty activities that you might enjoy. We have recently as a family tried archery and everyone liked it. In fact, the woman who taught Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence’s trainer) was an Olympian who didn’t start archery until age 13.

    My oldest is trying crew and that came about because she likes water sports in rivers like canoeing, kayaking and sailing. (We live near the Charles River).

    My youngest just tried fencing and LOVES it.

    I started boxing one year ago and I’m hooked. Maybe a martial art would be your cup of tea? There are sooo many to choose from. I actually did a post matching martial arts to kids’ interests:

    Biking? Walking? Hiking? Rock Climbing? Zumba? Hip Hop? Circuit Training? Scuba? Snorkeling? Surfing? Rollerblading? … there are so many things to try out.

  3. I am sending you my love. It’s so hard to feel comfortable in your own skin. I try on identities like clothes. I finally am at a place where I feel comfortable in my own skin and most of the time comfortable in the clothes that I wear. xoxo You will get there.

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