Oh Dear.

It hit me, this morning....

I've become the George Costanza of my social circle.

It happened gradually. I didn't wake up one day and decide that it was ok to walk around in public wearing things that shouldn't be seen outside of a gym or a bedroom. It was baby steps that led me to this...this...state.

It used to take me a good hour to prep in the morning, more than that to get ready to "go out" at night. Shower, moisturize, make up, and then hair. Oh the hair. I used to tend to it like a retiree tends to their prize bonsai tree. Apply product, blow dry, straighten, fuss, muss. I'd hold up mirrors and check it out from the back, to make sure people behind me got a treat. When I first started going gray I found my very own Aveda "stylist" who would welcome me with open arms and a cape every six weeks. She'd make me Dark Chocolate Brown again, and give me a hand massage to boot.

The hair that doesn't grow on my head? I paid attention to that, too. Waxing, bleaching, tweezing...there wasn't a single renegade whisker that was able to sneak by me. I remember sitting on the beach one time, and looking down with sheer horror at a sneaky ankle hair I'd missed. I pulled the interloper out with my fingertips. Not on my watch, mister. No way.

I used to wear matching bras and underwear (after my 8 solid years of wearing nursing bras, that is). My friend April and I would spend hours searching the clearance racks at Target, putting together cute matchy-matchy lingerie sets. Have you ever done this with a girlfriend? If not, do it. We had a blast. And yes I'm fully aware that there are many other, better, classier places to buy your underwear, but even when I gave a damn about what was holding the twins in place I still wanted a bargain. There's some cute stuff at Target...seriously.

The clothes...even at my most stylish (and by stylish I mean when I used to look in a mirror before I left the house) I was still pretty simple: Jeans, Danskos or boots, and some variation of my favorite long sleeved tees or turtleneck sweaters. I did dabble in the "blouse" department for a while, too. Who doesn't love a crisp white shirt?

I accessorized too. Loved my big chunky necklaces from Chico's and J.Jill. Always had earrings in, always. There are a few cute scarves hanging in my closet, a testimony to my accessorizing days. And purses! I am a closeted Coach fiend. I used to love them, way back in the day when they only came in 3 or 4 colors and in a handful of styles. I'm still not super crazy about the new-fangled Coach, with the canvas logo stuff, but I do have one gorgeous bag that was a gift from John McCain, and even at my poorest I've never once considered giving it up. It's a big, black leather bag, called the Julianne if I remember correctly. I named mine Phoebe. Don't tell anyone but when I got her home I stuck my head all the way into her purple-satin lined loveliness and inhaled that New Coach Smell. My other favorite purse is a basic black Harveys Seatbelt bag. I got that one for $6 at a garage sale. In pristine condition, hardly used. Yes, I did almost poop my pants at that one.

I was never, ever a girly-girl, one of the high maintenance "omigod I broke a nail" types. But at one time I did give a crap about the me I sent out into the world. I don't know if it's a case of no-crap giving or of me just not having the time/energy/resources to think about it anymore, but I'm not liking it. My shrink said that it's my own little weapon, my self-defense: blend into the background and you'll be safe. I think that's why I have an extra layer of fat these days, too. Kind of like insulation, if you will.

This morning, when I left the house to run some errands, this is what I looked like: way overgrown hair up in a messy bun (and it's like 10 different colors right now too...Andrea from Aveda would DIE if she saw me), ripped/holey faded sweatshirt, stretchy black workout capris in a quick dry fabric (because I work up a sweat thinking up self-deprecating analogies) and a stinky pair of pink Keens. I won't describe my legs, which haven't said hello to a razor in a few weeks...oops I guess I just did, huh? Ewww. I did wash my face and put on some spackle/concealer and some mascara. My purse of choice these days is a tiny "bar purse" that I've had for a bazillion years, another garage sale find (it's similar to this one from Hobo..I paid one dollar). Oddly enough, that little bag still garners compliments. Maybe because it's the one thing on me that doesn't look like it slept in a cardboard box? Who knows.

So...I'm thinking that it's time to change things. I constantly bitch and moan about how the only man in my life is neutered and has paws that smell like stale corn chips, but really, what do I expect when I walk around looking like Stacy and Clinton's worst nightmare? I imagine them doing the pre-makeover closet purge; the garbage bin would be filled with fleece and faded black pants and concert t-shirts (Clinton holding up a Godsmack tour shirt: "Really, Jenny?").

My favorite Seinfeld line, ever, is the mini-speech that Jerry gave to a sweatpants-wearing George: "You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweat pants? You're telling the world: I give up! I can't compete in normal society. I'm miserable, so I might as well be comfortable. "

As hard as that line still makes me laugh, it's also a teeny bit disconcerting. Because I see myself in George.

And that, my friends, scares the hell out of me.


  1. Can there really be two George Constanza's at Meadowbrook? Because baby, if I'm there AND you're there we are gonna have to figure out who came first.

  2. Ummm...if YOU are Costanza, I must be Newman. Dear God.

  3. I love J Jill & Coach. I used to be quite the purse fiend. I'd treat myself every few months with a new one. What a freaking waste of money. Wish I had that money back now that I'm getting a divorce and don't know if I can afford my house. And I'm skipping J Jill now. Kohls and TJ Maxx are more in line with my budget now.


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