Catherine as a kid: But, isn’t this song about the guy?
Adult: Yes, but it’s meant in a different way.
Kid Catherine: But she keeps talking about him on and on, of course the song’s about him.
Adult: Yes, but she’s trying to make a point.
Kid Catherine: I just don’t get it. She keeps saying, “don’t you!? don’t you?!” like he’s wrong, but he’s right. The song is about him.
So, today’s subject: Vanity.
I had to run to the store the other morning to buy some cream for my coffee, cream for my coffee, and…. the store is literally across the street, and it’s still pretty early in the morning. Now, I hadn’t showered yet, and I was looking a pretty fantastical mess because sleeping when it’s 923 degrees (at the time, I think we’re back in the 50′s now) does not make for an attractive wake-up picture.
Now, despite the fact that there is likely to be no one in the store at this hour, and despite the fact that this is a Mom and Pop store and not Macy*s, and despite the fact that I’ve seen people purchasing items from this store wearing pajamas, I actually went into the bathroom to rearrange my hair and apply some mascara before adventuring out. I even put on some shoes rather than flapping over in my flip flops (though, some of you know my feelings on that matter).
Now I ask you: what the hell is wrong with me? I don’t think it’s vanity, but maybe somewhere down inside, it is?
Months ago, I had to have my picture taken for a photo identification badge at work, and someone asked me why I’m not really smiling in the picture. I tried to explain that, for one thing, you feel like a moron standing there and it seems kind of ridiculous to have to work up a smile for something that has nothing to do with happiness or fun. And the other thing I said was, “plus, I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard.”
I’ve analyzed that statement, and I have no rock solid reasoning behind saying something like that. If you read my recent post regarding Beauty and how other women perceive it, you’ll notice that I have a thing about noticing what other people notice.
I don’t know, am I being “excessively prideful” about my appearance if I (a) don’t want to look like a scary homeless person when going out in public and/or (b) am concerned about looking “good” but not wanting people to think I’m trying? Perhaps it’s just (c) you’re a weirdo and get over it, Catherine. When does one cross the line from having a sense of propriety to overdoing it? Or purposefully underdoing it?
Back in my younger days, I honestly didn’t care what people thought about my appearance. I thought I looked fine, and my mantra was that people shouldn’t judge by what was on the outside, anyway. When I looked at photos of myself and my friends, I didn’t think, “oo, I don’t look good there,” I thought, “we were having a lot of fun!” Now that I’m a senior citizen, I find that I’m quite critical about myself when viewing photos. I thought you were supposed to care less when you got older, not more? I’m apparently doing this backwards.
I often complain in my “decline of humanity” type posts that people don’t give a poop about how they look, but maybe I need to soften my standards, I don’t know. Just because I won’t walk around with flip flops and exposed muffin top and white legs in the summer, doesn’t mean others shouldn’t. Right?
Okay, I take that back. I don’t want to see any of that stuff, on anyone. Maybe that’s some version of vanity. Or maybe it’s just common sense. I still believe, way down, that the cover is not a clear indicator of the book content. But at least it should be presentable. And not overdone.
If this quandary fails to resolve itself in the next 20 years, I’m checking into an asylum, where I can be blissfully unaware and uncaring about my appearance, because I’m too busy picking nits from the hair of a pretend monkey, and singing “You’re So Vain” to myself.