Because I love to preface...
The following story has been slightly hyperbolized for dramatic effect. (operative word = slightly.)
Mostly I thought it would be funny to see the following chain of events on paper.
We've talked before, you and I, about how I am a highly irrational human. I have come to the conclusion that this irrationality is perhaps at the root of another of my flaws as well - (two, I know, you wouldn't know it to look at me) - I am indecisive. I hate making decisions. I'm terrible. I know that I'm a grown up and I'm supposed to be able to do things like decide what to eat for dinner or what movie to rent from Redbox, but some days it is just not that simple, you know? Recently we were invited to go to this swanky grown-up martini fundraiser, and we decided to get all dolled up and go. I felt great about it. Until the day arrived, of course, and I found myself on the brink of hysteria because it was already 4:00 pm and I still had approximately 287 decisions to make.
What should I wear? Should I go get something new? No. I don't have any money because I'm a nanny. Great, now I am stressed about my career path AND I have to decide what to wear. There's this dress - buuuut I wore this dress the last time I was trying to pass for a grown up. What if someone notices that on every grown up occasion I wear the same thing? (That's not a lie. I actually thought that. Upsetting on multiple levels.) Maybe if I style it differently? I could belt it. There's this skirt - no definitely not that skirt. Back to the first dress again. Maybe I can just do my hair differently? GOODNESS, my HAIR! Curly or straight? Curly. Natural curly or curling iron curly? What time is it? OH THE HUMANITY!
THEN (yes, it gets better. worse? better.) I get in the car with my dear, darling, wonderful friend. My friend who is a kindred spirit in general irrationality - which is both awesomely validating and double-trouble all at once. This is, I think, an accurate depiction of how the ride to the event went:
- I think I'm wearing too much eye makeup. Does it look trashy?
- No, of course not it looks great but do you think I shouldn't have worn nylons? Do people wear nylons? It's just that tights looked funny... Maybe I should take them off. Do you think I should take them off?
- No, they look great, you look perfect. Is it ok that I'm wearing a shrug? Maybe I shouldn't wear it. Do I look like a grandma? I look like an old lady don't I?
- No! Wearing a cardigan is totally acceptable. You look great. [We arrive.] Now get out real quick and look at my legs. Should I keep these nylons on? I really don't love these shoes...
- Should we wear our coats inside? It's not THAT cold, but do you think there will be a coat check? What if there's not and we have to carry it around? It looks like those people are wearing coats. Ok, let's wear coats.
Then as we walked in my friend slipped on the ice and onto her be-hind. It was the last straw. It was at this point I thought to myself, I need an adult. We needed one. Someone to step in and tell us to shut up, because really, we are smart, normal girls who know how to dress ourselves and attend functions. We just forgot for a minute.
You can laugh, it's ok, because the whole thing was ridiculous. To be fair, most days we get dressed all by ourselves like we've been doing since we were toddlers and go out and have a lovely time without spiraling into the pit of despair because we don't know if we're wearing an appropriate nail polish color. But we were just ever so slightly out of our comfort zone, and we panicked a little. At least we can laugh about it now. And since I know you are on pins and needles... you can wear a shrug, people do wear nylons, and there was, in fact, a coat rack.
Despite it's deceitful appearance, it seems to me that being a grown up isn't about not being scared so much as it's about doing stuff even when you're uncomfortable and unsure, indecisive and irrational. Learning with every heroic foray into grown-up-ish activities that yes, in fact, you can do it. The adult is in there, somewhere, and I bet with practice I'll start to hear said adult interject a well-placed "shut up" every now and then. Maybe one day I will walk into a fancy party and realize halfway through that I got there with grace and ease. One day...
In the meantime, I feel pretty lucky to have at least one person who understands what it's like to become slightly deranged when I get a little insecure. The more I'm honest about it, the more other people are too, and the less alone we have to feel in the face of adversity.
Yeah, adversity. Or, as the case may be, in the face of completely inconsequential daily choices.
Coat or no coat? We can do this!