Crap. It’s happened. I have become the mother I always said I would not be- I have become (gasp!) the un-cool. I promised myself up and down that I’d be the hip mama- stylish if not slightly exhausted with a bambino strapped to my back and adventure awaiting in front of me. I looked down at myself in the office today and I saw it. That is to say, my outfit: BORING. Plain grey skirt, cranberry cowl neck sweater, black boots I’ve beaten down for the last four years, and black tights. The earrings my lovely spouse got me for Christmas were the only piece of interest in my otherwise lackluster canvas. Oh wait, it wasn’t a canvas, it was a check off of the morning to do list. And you know what my second thought was- lord help me- “the world should be so lucky that I look even this good.” And truthfully folks, many mornings, I really do feel that way… like, heck, I actually slapped a little make-up on my mug, my hair is sort of cute, I wrangled a stylish top from the dresser. Snooooozzze, I bore myself.
But it could be worse. I have stood on the equator for awhile in this regard- teetering between eating up fashion, loving interior design, recognizing it is art on your body, cultivated in your home, and also feeling disturbed by the materialism of it all… impressed by and aspiring to be more like certain friends of mine who truly live the ideal of simplicity and making a low impact. Their clothes are minimal and basic (mostly secondhand and many free), their homes tidy, compact, no-nonsense, and functional. But I’m not even that cool (and isn’t that the real cool?). I’m just sort of tired.
I told myself today that it would be better in the summer time. Winter is all piles of clothes and poofiness… flat hair for this curly-headed girl. But I’m kidding myself a little there too. Summer is about shedding all those layers and with my skinny body I feel all sharp, exposed edges and appendages. There is no va-va-voluptuousness in this lanky frame.
But that’s my fashion state of affairs, at least at this point in my life. I am starting to accept it (is that part of the sad reality?). I kicked and screamed about not being sure I could handle having a baby before we had one, even though another part of me really wanted one. Then she was on her way, and I sank into the reality and I was elated. And now that she’s my little girl, that projected image of myself seems so…. unimportant.
You know what I do miss though? Thrift store shopping. I love me a good vintage score. One of my aforementioned friends was over recently and he walked into our kitchen and stripped off his jacket to reveal a treasure of all thrift store fashion finds: a soft brown leather vest that had all the old timey flare of a well-worn banjo. He looked great in it. And it suddenly registered in my brain- seeing my friend who is one of the most conscious, thoughtful, low-consuming, low-impact people I know, decked out in this rad vest- that maybe it’s not completely one or the other. Maybe the key is upholding these ideals, but also finding creative ways to be, ahem, creative in the midst of parenthood. I think of my friend, who I will call Y, who also lives with beautiful simplicity and she is one of the most creative, funky people I have ever met (and of note, she’s a mama)… she makes the world around her art. So I think more the bummer that I present to you, dear readers, is that lately as a mama, I feel that I have a low mental supply of time and creative fashion spark. Most of my creative bursts happen after the kiddo has gone to bed and I am pushing myself to string words together as I tap away on the computer. Maybe someone knows of a vintage shop that is open late on the weekends and sells caffeinated beverages? Until then, let’s hope for some occasional strokes of magic in the morning.