Walk Feminine, Talk Feminine…

Posted on | August 29, 2011 | 8 Comments

In viewing my life as the parts of all my sum, something has suddenly occurred to me… I think I’ve forgotten how to be a woman.

When I was a girl, it never occurred to me that I would ever be anything other than who I was at any given moment.  I was happy and content with my knobby knees and wind-blown ponytails.  I didn’t think twice about which pair of shorts to pull on in the mornings or if my feet were dirty in my sandals.  I just went about my hours and my days of girlhood, skipping from one adventure to the next, sweetly aware and yet unaware of the woman I would soon be.

As a young woman, I spent almost all my time wondering what is right and worrying about what might be wrong.  Nothing I wore was good enough, nothing I said was smart enough, and I knew I was never the prettiest in any room except perhaps my own.  I just couldn’t wait until I would meet someone, fall in love, and spend the rest of my life knowing that I was enough to him, no matter what I might think.  And then I did meet someone and it never occurred to me that I would ever return to those in-between places, these dark and confused days of not being enough… to anyone.

And now? Now I am there again.

Only this time, I am not as smooth… I am wrinkled and lined, my body not as neatly organized as it was when I was first here, in this shade of gray.

I’ve spent the past three years of my life focused almost entirely on one thing… my son. I have put aside my wants and desires, put away my fancy shoes and trendy tops and bottoms.  In their place are plaid pajama pants worn all weekend, stained flip flops, and half-painted toes.  Leaving the house no longer requires any real work; it is just a process, now, of grab the child and go in whatever I have on, in whatever shape I am in.

I think I’ve dried my hair maybe fifteen times in the past year and though I always remember foundation and mascara, I’m hesitant to say that there’s ever enough time for anything else.  I’m sure my boss is concerned about my choices of office attire, but most of my nice clothes have been stained by spaghetti and smashed peas.  I don’t remember how to remember to care about my appearance, to be honest… it’s so much easier just to be.  Without fuss, without worry, without a care.

And I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with not worrying about my appearance, except that it seems, as I look around me, that I am perhaps a bit too unkempt for the life I’m now supposed to be living.  Today, my paralegal told me that I looked nice and asked if perhaps I had on make up.  I told her I hadn’t left the house without makeup on in probably 15 years and she seemed surprised.

“Really? Because some days you don’t look like you have any on…” she trailed off.

Though she attempted to dig herself out of the hole she was creating, the fact of the matter is, I have forgotten how to present myself as a woman… without the precursor of “working mom and…” See, when I classified myself as a woman without addendum, I cared about the fact that my pajamas are stained with paint and have a hole in the crotch.  When I classified myself as female full stop, I cared that my sweaters all have snags and my shoes are losing height off the heel.

I have spent the past two plus years forgetting entirely what it means to be a woman first.

And now I find myself in a place where being a woman, once again, matters.  People. At some point I’m actually going to theoretically date again.  Date. Again.

Marriage was supposed to be the end of all that.

Marriage was supposed to mean I could relax and be okay with just being me and not trying to be funnier or prettier or smarter.

Marriage was supposed to mean the end. of. dating.

And yet here I am, once again in a place where I am supposed to perfect my genuinely interested face and re-learn how to curl or straighten my hair.

I would love to think that somewhere there is a man who will be all “Yeah!” over my ridiculously over-sized pajamas and go-to, not-so-tidy semi-bun hairstyle, but I think it’s time to make a bit more effort than that.  It’s time to remember what it means to be a woman first.

I think it’s time to start taking care of my feminine side.

Whatever the hell that even means anymore.

Comments

8 Responses to “Walk Feminine, Talk Feminine…”

  1. Sara
    August 30th, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    The thought of fixing my hair and makeup every day AND trying to take care of a toddler’s needs while trying to get us out the door on time? Overwhelming. Take baby steps, mama. You’re already a step ahead of me with the whole mascara thing. I’m like 2/5 days a week on that one. And I only blow dry my bangs. So, yeah. Get your nails did and slap on some lipstick, you’re hot!

  2. Keya
    August 30th, 2011 @ 4:19 am

    I’m lucky to shower everyday. Really lucky. I’ve seen a similar transformation in my daily attire, the amount of makeup I have time for, the rows of heels collecting dust in my closet…I’m trying to learn how to accessorize again at this point in my life.

  3. Amberleescrazylife
    August 30th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    I am going through an ugly divorce situation right now. I too forgot about myself, always but my boys and their father ahead of myself…but no more. I went and got my hair done for the first time in God knows how long. Then last week I got a special treat and got my toes done. I have been thrifting (because I’m too cheap to buy super expensive) and got some new clothes for work. You have to remember you…especially now. You are a great amazing person and don’t ever forget it.

  4. Jen
    August 30th, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    I am a recently divorced mother of two girls, ages 6 and 3, and can so very well relate to so much of what you write. Thank you for sharing! I spent a couple of years after my first was born as a SAHM, before returning to work, and have been working full time since (as crazy as being a full time, now single, mom with a full time job outside the home makes me, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I didn’t have to worry about how to re-enter the workforce when my marriage fell apart!). I felt the same way you describe a lot of the time while I was a SAHM, though I am also like you in that I rarely go out without makeup (and as a fair red-blonde, NEVER without mascara!), but just making a small effort to put on a necklace and earrings, along with mascara and lip gloss, has gone a long way to helping me feel more put together and confident. Even on days when I just want to stay.in.bed. You’re doing the best you can, LM, and that’s all anyone can ask of any of us.

  5. Jen
    August 30th, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    I am a recently divorced mother of two girls, ages 6 and 3, and can so very well relate to so much of what you write. Thank you for sharing! I spent a couple of years after my first was born as a SAHM, before returning to work, and have been working full time since (as crazy as being a full time, now single, mom with a full time job outside the home makes me, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I didn’t have to worry about how to re-enter the workforce when my marriage fell apart!). I felt the same way you describe a lot of the time while I was a SAHM, though I am also like you in that I rarely go out without makeup (and as a fair red-blonde, NEVER without mascara!), but just making a small effort to put on a necklace and earrings, along with mascara and lip gloss, has gone a long way to helping me feel more put together and confident. Even on days when I just want to stay.in.bed. You’re doing the best you can, LM, and that’s all anyone can ask of any of us.

  6. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    August 30th, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    It’s funny… I hear from single friends all the time how “lucky” I am that since I’m married I don’t “have to” shave my legs anymore, because “what’s the point.” Well, I like having nice smooth legs, so that’s the point. Marriage or not. Single or not. Divorced or not. Mother or not. Women should CARE because they can!

  7. Anonymous
    August 30th, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    Sure, bit it’s hard to find the time when everything else seems more important…

  8. Lola M.
    August 30th, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    I have finally learned that the second time around in the dating pool is actually better. Because now we’re old enough to be exactly who we are – flaws and all. Those flaws are beautiful and what set us apart (well, except for the hole in the pajamas – maybe wait to share that with partner later). Men really do appreciate women who are REAL. Especially as they get older.

    There’s a quote: “BEAUTIFUL and STRONG. I might not be the sexiest, nor have the perfect body. I might not be anyone’s first choice, but I am a great choice. I don’t pretend to be someone else ’cause I am too good at being me. I might not be proud of some of the things I’ve done, but I am proud of who I am today. Take me … as I am or … don’t take me at all.” (I have no idea who coined it – but she’s brilliant)

    I guess what I’m saying is be a woman for YOU – no one else. Do what makes you feel beautiful. Do what makes you radiate (even with jelly on your face). Love yourself just the way you are … and somehow that will broadcast itself to everyone around you. And hey, always take a compliment from another woman as just that … that Paralegal has guts. 🙂

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