Today I found myself in high school. Again. Ok, not really. Been there, done that about (ahem) 10 years ago. But, sometimes I kinda feel like I am back. Apparently while our acne and perms may go away, that insecurity does not.
I feel the cliquishness while I drop Will off at school. My brood and I go in alone and drop Will off with a few smiles and polite nods to a couple of the other mothers. But, for the most part, I am alone. But, there is a group of women who parade in together, highlights flapping in the wind and you just know... they are those girls. The ones that everyone wants to either be friends with or date, depending on your sexual persuasions. They waltz in wearing whatever the "in" sportswear is of that moment and even though it may be a Columbia jacket and Pumas, they still make you feel frumptastic. When I got dressed this morning, I was fine in my brown cords and orange sweater. Then I see them and my reflection turns from the warm and casual look I intended, into a Halloween costume of a construction cone on two tree trunks. My hair suddenly feels uber cropped into man locks and my dweeb factor sky rockets. They are smiling, texting and sashaying to their 4Runners, an army of put together momunists. I am grunting, lugging and hauling toddler to my minivan. They are those girls.... and I am still not.
The funny part is that I wasn't this girl in high school. I had my fantastic group of friends, and the girls in the popmosphere just didn't matter to me. I have no idea what they did in their spare time and who they dated. None of that registered on my "things to care about" list. While I may have admired their attire from time to time (though as I try to recall, I am not sure that is even true), I was an overalls and ARMY t shirt (from a thrift store) kinda gal. I liked my flannels and my jeans, and none of the above came from The Gap or Abercrombie or any of the like. I wore what I wanted (I still miss my bright yellow Doc Marten mary janes), and I didn't really care. I didn't change my opinion of me based on the looks on their faces, so why now?
I find myself in a world where my self confidence (or don't care-edness) has gone away. I remember back to being 22 and walking into my first real job one day with blond hair with pink tips and the second in command said "Your hair is two different colors." I looked at his more salt than pepper mop and said, "So is yours." I cracked back and didn't care who liked my look and who didn't. But now... I care. Maybe it is because I have morphed into a person I don't really know yet. I traded who I was for a person that I want to be... the stay home mom. But, maybe she and I haven't really melded yet. Or, is it that with each year that passes, the pounds pack on and I feel unsure in my own skin? It's not what they are wearing or driving, but that they are a mere sliver of myself and I would still feel ashamed of myself even in the same outfits and vehicles? Is it that I have finally grown up enough to recognize that impressions we give to others actually do matter? My "self confidence" was really just immaturity with a better name?
Whatever it is, I don't know. I know I want to feel the way I used to in a dog collar and jet black hair. While I realize I looked more Marilyn Manson than Mama Bear and do not wish to head back to punkland, I wish I could still stand as tall and feel as good. Until then, I guess it is back to high school for me. Maybe this time I can get better grades!!!