By Rachel Perkins of The Well-Adjusted Adult
I met up with a friend recently that I haven’t seen in about a year. As I got dressed to meet her for drinks, I thought I’d put my best foot forward as the restaurant was a nice place and she would be coming from work, so she would surely have herself well put together. My best foot for the hot day was a printed maxi dress, flat sandals, eyeliner and lip gloss.
I felt well-dressed and ready for drinks, but as I walked in and saw her in all of her long-legged, perfectly dressed glory, my balloon of confidence promptly popped and I felt like I had come out of the house in pajamas, hair rollers, and Old Navy flip flops. She is a fancy girl and her appearance this day is typical of any other day I have seen her, whether it’s dinner, a quick lunch, or even a football game. As usual, she was flawless with no hair out of place in her thick mane of waves, full face of un-smudged makeup, impeccably tailored, blemish-free dress and well-coordinated heels.
As much as I think I would like to be, I will never be a fancy girl. I adore the fancy girl. I wish I could be a fancy girl. I dream of having the qualities that she possesses. There have been moments in my life where I have tried to be the fancy girl. I’ve refreshed my wardrobe, purchased several pairs of grown-up shoes, and bought new makeup, but being fancy just doesn’t last long as a part of my normal routine because it’s not inherently who I am. Being the fancy girl has to come from inside, and my guts just are not fancy no matter how I try to put on the veneer of sophisticated elegance. It peels at the edges. It chips on the corner. The tattered threads of it get caught in the door, interrupting my attempt at a graceful entrance.
I will never spend the time to put on a full face of makeup in the morning. I’d like to blame the fact that I am a busy working mother with no time for such things, but that would be a cop out because I have never been one to do that, even before becoming a parent. First, I am always rushing because I like to sleep until the last possible minute. When you’re rushing, you don’t have the time to paint your face and do a good job, especially when you have never learned how to do makeup the right way.
Second, makeup is intimidating to the novice user. I get it all over the sink. I don’t know why I have 8 brushes that are all just a little different. And once I finally manage to pull something halfway decent off, it never stays where I put it. By the next time I see my reflection, I am a startled raccoon with lipstick on its teeth. I don’t even know how to act and carry myself when I’m wearing makeup. It’s like wearing a masquerade mask all day that you can’t take off, and I feel like I’m in character for some performance in which I’ve forgotten all of my lines. The last time I bought foundation was about 5 years ago, and the containers are still more than half full. That’s how frequently I use it.
I will never be the person who wears high heels every day. It’s too much of a commitment to teeter precariously around, dodging grates and uneven pavement all day. I don’t care how many shoe inserts I’ve purchased, my feet still ache like crazy and a blister is bound to form somewhere. I used to try more with the nice heels, but it seems the older I get, the more my feet rebel against fashion over function. God bless the fancy girl who is more comfortable in heels than in anything else. Her feet must have been forged in the fires of Mount Doom by the Dark Lord Sauron.
My clothes will never be flawless after a full day of anything. Somehow I always get SOMETHING on my clothes, whether its food I have dropped, pencil marks from accidentally writing on myself, or dirt from brushing against a car. This is why I do not wear white. I happen to think I look great in white, but once a few hours have passed, I am a mess. The days I wear white are the days of spontaneous ink pen explosions and coffee spills. When I am done with a day, I look like I’ve worked hard at something. I am wrinkled. I am disheveled. I am not gracefully ready to transfer from the work day to a night out without a complete overhaul.
I am not the girl who is striking from across the room. I am not the girl who seems effortlessly flawless. I am the girl who is comfortable. On a day where I am looking my best, I can assure you, I did not wake up like this. It took way more hours than I am normally willing to spend to get out of the house. I am not a temptress. I am not a vixen. As much as I admire them for their commitment and poise, I am not a fancy girl… But I also am not comfortable in my own skin or in who I am anymore when I am trying to be any of those things.
I am not the red lingerie that is readily amatory because it’s supposed to be. I am the pink nightgown. I would ruin an expensive glass of Dom Perignon by adding orange juice because mimosas are more my speed than caviar. I am not the saxophone that is sexy by popular opinion. Sometimes I do struggle with it, but I am the much-less-overt trumpet and I will learn to toot my own horn.
This post was originally published on The Well-Adjusted Adult.
About the Author
Rachel Perkins is a working mother and wife living in the Philadelphia area. When she isn’t busy bossing people around, she is blogging on The Well-Adjusted Adult where she tackles the challenges of being a grownup with the grace of a drunk T-Rex. Find her at thewelladjustedadult.com and on Instagram @the_welladjusted_adult.