You could say I’m not exactly the snazziest dame in town.
I wear gym clothes, pajama shorts, or yoga pants 70% of the time (not including the time when I’m practicing my nudist values).
I only put on makeup when I have to go to work, and even then it’s a halfhearted effort.
I have what some people refer to as “panda hair” (meaning fluffy, dry, and of Oriental heritage*), and it doesn’t get tamed styled properly too often.
I would like to say that it’s because I’m “low-maintenance” or “earthy,” but let’s be real:
I’m (halfway) unemployed, I live with my parents, and I am an incredible nerd was an English major.
What else would you expect? The high bar ain’t set that high….
But that all reached a new level last night when mama found herself face-first in what is commonly known as “rock-bottom.”
It all started with a trip with my dad to the grocery store at 7pm. I had spent the afternoon preparing my application packet for a position that I’m pretty excited about, and was ready to get out of the house as soon as possible once I sent that puppy into the wild, wild web (meaning finally hit the “Submit” button)…so I decided to just grab my shoes and go as I was.
When you’re sitting at your desk for hours on end trying to wrangle a viable employment option for yourself, comfort is key, you know? You’re not trying to impress anyone but your potential employers, and they don’t care what you wear while you write your cover letter. Therefore, it should be completely understandable that I found myself standing in the glorious fluorescent glow of the Winco parking lot looking like a hot mess.
I got out of the car, looked down, and shared my immediate realization- “Good grief, I look like a street person.”
My dad, being the kind fellow that he is, looked like he wanted to assure me that my natural beauty radiated through my ratty old sweatshirt, but all he could manage was a semi-optimistic grimace…before he muttered, “Good Lord, Dominique, your shoe is even untied.”
And as I went about rectifying that, he continued observing, “Well, you do look a little…sloppy…and like you might possibly have five kids waiting for you at home…and you perhaps are battling an addiction to meth…”
But really, it’s not like I could argue with him.
I was wearing mascara (I’d worked that morning), but it was half-smudged under my eyes, and my hair was just kind of hanging out on my head like usual.
The yoga pants could’ve offered some redeeming qualities if they weren’t baggy and grey and putting me in danger of being mistaken for an approaching battleship had I worn them with a grey sweater.
My baggy university sweatshirt was one that I’ve owned for 11 years, and those years have not exactly made it into a form-flattering outerwear piece, and I had made a poor choice to forgo a certain crucial undergarment beneath that sweatshirt….
So you see, it wouldn’t have been a stretch for people to assume my father was a compassionate local pastor who was conducting some sort of homeless ministry and had taken me to the grocery store as an act of charity.
Fifteen minutes later as we walked back to our car, having triumphantly conquered the depths of the beast that is a discount grocery store, I admitted to my dad,
“This is it. I truly have become a Person of Walmart. And we’re not even at Walmart!”
He seized this moment to bestow upon me some fatherly affirmation, and told me, “I think it’s great that you’re not the kind of girl who has to get all done up just to go to the grocery store, and it’s neat that you’re can go out in public and don’t need to put on makeup or fix your hair.”
While I truly appreciate his encouragement, this only served to cement the fact that I have, in fact, hit rock bottom.
And, I mean, it didn’t help that he’d been lecturing me on the way over about why I should be hesitant to accept any jobs out of state:
“Think about it, will it really be worth it to move that far away? You’ll have fun going to the open-air markets- but you won’t be buying much, because you won’t have much money to spend- but what else is there? At the end of the day when you leave work and go home to your cat –”
“Why do you assume I’m going to be a cat lady?!??”
“Ok, then you go home to your small dog that you dress in sweaters –”
“I am not going to be a spinster! I will have no need to collect travel-sized pets!”
“Maybe a bird then? A canary? Or a budgie?”
“No. Besides, what the heck is a budgie?”
“The kind of bird you’ll have. So when you come home from work to your budgie….”
Really, it’s a wonder it took this long for me to reach this point.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m wearing the same yoga pants right now.
*Technically, I’m (half) Pacific Islander, not Oriental, and I’m still a solid 50% Irish (got the temper without the orange hair, thank you Jesus). But between my non-pasty skin, non-blue eyes, and non-blonde hair, people get confused…and I’ve got more important things to do than correct them. Besides, this way I can get away with offending even more minority groups.