You know it is going to happen. When you least expect it. You lull yourself into a false sense of security that you will be safe escaping for a short errand, incognito. You only plan to be out of the house a brief amount of time… or perhaps the hour is early, so you are sure you will go undetected. You feel safe. So you venture out in your sweats, no shower, no make-up, no attempt whatsoever to look your best. And BAM. You see someone you know. Or you are somehow called upon to meet someone new whom you’d like to impress, and you are in your least attractive state. Within a blink of an eye you go from brave and comfy to mortified and desperately seeking a place to hide.
To make matters worse in this ironic Murphy’s Law of Real Women, the other people you see look fabulous. Put together. Stylish. Clean!
Just recently a couple of my Real Women BFF’s have shared their stories of these uncomfortable encounters. One thought it safe to drop her son off to soccer practice. She did not plan to even exit the car, so she remained in her jammies for the trip. Not only did she end up having to speak to the Coach, but was asked to come inside to sign papers. Jammie-Busted!
Another BFF, who happens to be a Doctor, ventured out on a Sunday with her daughter to run some errands. She, like many of us on a weekend, threw on a tshirt and shorts, no makeup, hair quickly tossed up on her head. And she ran into 5 different patients as she ran her errands. Mortified, she decided to lick her wounds by hiding out at the nail salon. Where she immediately saw an ex-coworker. Work-Life-Busted!
For me, my humility is most often exposed at the grocery store. I can go to the store directly from work looking great, or pop in after church looking spiffy, and I see no one. But on those rare occasions when I put on my old sweatpants, baggy shirt, have on my glasses and no makeup, hair in a ratty pony tail — yup, you guessed it, I’ll see at least four co-workers past or present, or neighbors, or… you name it. And yup, you guessed it again, THEY all look great. I often wonder if they are thinking as they walk away “the poor dear, she doesn’t look good, do you suppose she’s been sick? Maybe she’s not getting any sleep….”
We R.W.’s all like to put our best face forward in public, to be looking the best we can, to exude confidence and success. We secretly hope to look perfectly amazing if we happen to bump into an old boyfriend or past boss or classmate. In our fantasy world, that is exactly what would happen. Yet in reality, the odds are somewhat against us. I know that there are many days that I just don’t have the energy or desire to primp before leaving the house. I just want to be comfortable and relaxed, to just get out, get my errands done, and get back home – undetected. Such a small thing to ask, isn’t it?
So here’s my proposition. We know we all need to show our R.W. sides to the world from time to time. Can’t we somehow synchronize our schedules so we can all have comfy-ugly days at the same time? Perhaps twice a month we can have a day that is deemed Sweatpants and Slovenliness day? No pretenses, no make-up, no heels…. And rather than hide when we see each other, we can greet each other with an enthusiastic high-five then be on our merry way.
Then the next time we see each other in our best dress, all sharp and stylish, we will greet each other with an enthusiastic “lookin’ good!” and really mean it. Because we’ve seen the other side.