The Beautiful People

I haven't sat down at my computer for a week. I've missed this blog sisterhood. Chaos is always nipping at my heels. I'm not a skilled organizer, but I am good at functioning within my disorderly world I'm so accustomed to and am not a flake. I somehow almost always manage to pull it together just in time to satisfy (at least on a very minimal level) any requirements and responsibilities expected of me. However, there are times like the last two weeks, that events conspire and ambush and coincide in a manner that render me completely useless which allows the chaos to finally get a good firm hold of my ankle and bring me down. (I promise nothing bad or drastic has happened, all I was trying to say was that I just got swamped and very behind on everything.) Having read the above paragraph, you will not be surprised to hear that at 9:45 am Thursday morning I realized to my horror that I had a meeting for my child's pre-school in fifteen minutes and I wasn't supposed to bring any children with me. There I stood in my exercise clothes (not the stylish sporty kind, the scroungey sloppy kind) without a stitch of makeup and two kids in the next room.
For a split second, my pride and my practicality debated. Pride: "You can't go to a meeting for your child's pre-school looking like this. What will the teacher think of you? What will the other mothers think of you?" Practicality: "This isn't about you, this is about your child. Go to your meeting and quit being so vain. Besides, it's 10am, I'm sure none of the other mom's are all dolled up either."
A desperate phone call, a child hand-off, and a mad dash later I arrived at the school at 10:02. I rushed to the room and entered a nightmare. It could have been a photo shoot for a magazine called, "Moms-a-licious". There they all sat in those tiny chairs (fitting nicely) in their Gap capris, or old Navy skirts with a perfectly coordinated cute little t-shirt or tunic. Their hair was perfectly stylish and modernly carefree, and they all had just a hint of freshly applied make-up.
I promise I don't usually care a whole lot about how I or others look, but the contrast was humiliatingly inescapable. I silently sailed across the room and and sat down on my awkwardly tiny chair as invisibly as I could, but I was as conspicuous as I would have been had I just done a tap dance number on the middle table. I mustered all the dignity I could and held my head up, listened attentively, filled out all the forms, signed the volunteer list and waved to a few familiar faces. That's what mattered, right?
I am the first to admit that I could stand to take better care of myself. I confess I have never been a trend-setter or even a timely trend follower. I'm happy with my own little sense of style, but it probably wouldn't kill me to expand my shopping stops to include more than Target and Wal-Mart. That said, I understand and share the desire to look cute. I have often, in my enthusiasm at the chance to leave my house without children, shown up at Book club or Enrichment kind of over dressed and just generally over-done. But, come on people, how did those moms ALL have time to be that cute and that pulled-together at 10:00 in the morning? These are the same Moms who are sometimes seen at the park in July with jeans and high heels (I'm not lying, my SIL knows a lot of them and had a play date at the park and witnessed it first hand). Ugh. Call me sour grapes, but isn't there a middle ground here?


Blogger The Wiz said...

Come on, Andrea. If you had just gotten up fifteen minutes earlier....

Anyone heard that one before? I'd like to kill anyone that says that, because it's just a LIE that people tell for no reason whatsoever, and it's a LIE and it's also UNTRUE. Everyone knows that if you do get up 15 munutes earlier than usual, the universe knows it, and will fill that time with incoming phone calls, or vomiting children, or simply make you forget the time as you take an extra long shower.

Truly, nobody there cared what you looked like. They were more concerned about what they looked like. Trust me on this one.

9/05/2005 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

Jeans and high heels are so tacky. Do you live in Vegas or something?

9/06/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wish you had given some credit to the unnamed hero who took your younger child. Who was this charitable person? Did he take your son and play with him and hug him and love him as if your son was his own? And did he give him ice cream and fill him full of jelly beans and then throw him around with his other uncle? I think your readers would like to know. How fortunate you must be to have people like this hero in your life.

9/06/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Wiz, I totally agree with you about those 15 minutes always being eaten up. I actually got up at 4:30 that morning and still got behind!

Susan, I don't live in Vegas, I live in Davis County, Utah.

"Anonymous" aka my brother, Davis -- lol. I am truly in your debt for all the times you bailed me out with my kids during your stay. You're a fabulous uncle. This particular instance was when you had gone back to NYC and Chris and Rebecca rescued. Thanks for reading and for all the free babysitting!

9/06/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Heather, I knew you wrote a post awhile ago about frumpiness, but I didn't look it up until after I posted mine and saw an almost identical title -- sorry! I poached in ignorance!

9/06/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

My "fifteen minutes earlier" universal vaccum is always guaranteed to be swallowed up in barf. I don't even try, because when I do, my kids are cursed. Kudos to you for going as you were, and putting your kids first; not worrying more about how you looked!
Thanks for making me laugh, and helping me remember my first pre-school meeting is on Saturday. Maybe with three days notice, I will be able to look cute too, but I doubt it!

9/06/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

It is noon, eastern time, and I have just showered after a morning of jogging, painting a door, and taking a break while dd slept. I'm feeling good! If you managed to get to the meeting only 2 minutes late after all that, you must be doing great! I agree with Susan, I'm no fan of jeans and high heals. I don't even wear heals with skirts these days. But I do love capris and flip flops, my summer staple, which I just now donned after my long busy morning :) If the ladies at the meeting did notice what you were wearing, perhaps they thought, "Gosh, I wish I would have known I wouldn't have been the only one casual, she looks so comfy!" haha

9/06/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Heather O said...


Don't fret about the poaching. It's always nice to share similar experiences. And at least you weren't even trying to look beautiful, you were just running a little behind. Me, I was actually TRYING to look good, and still failed. Oh well.

Most of those moms were probably thinking, "Wow, look at Andrea. She had time to exercise this morning! What a together kind of gal."

9/06/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

I have never been one of those organized, together, beautiful people. I have ached to be one, almost killed myself trying to pretend to be one.

I gave up. But I am still slightly envious.

If you figure out, how to get those extra fifteen minutes, or the energy to utilize them, feel free send the info my way.

I think you did just great. You made it, and child free. You're great. AND what a fantastic brother!

9/07/2005 02:29:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. It's truly helped heal the the wound of humiliation I experienced!

9/07/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

A confession: I am guilty of wearing heels (not big ones, just a couple of inches on my loafers) with jeans. /hangs head in abject shame/

In my defense, it's not because I have delusions of glamorous grandeur, it's just that I have the world's shortest, pudgiest legs, and that little bit of extra height makes it possible to wear jeans without hemming them (is there anything dumber-looking than hemmed jeans?) and I occasionally manage to think that my legs look slightly less chubby if I cheat with heels.

OK--you can all throw tomatoes at me now.

9/07/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...


When I envisioned heels with jeans, I was thinking of those spiky heels, that look like anyone who wore them would be tottering around. Loafer heels don't count as heels, at least in my book.

Anyone else?

9/07/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Phew! I don't own anything spiky--can I be readmitted to playgroup?


9/07/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Anonymous claire said...

Wow, once I had the luckiest break. I had a school-related meeting once and ran out of the house thinking I would be spending the evening in the back of an auditorium somewhere. Instead, it turned out to be a very fancy, catered cocktail reception in a local mansion with a presentation in an outdoor canopied tent thing afterward. By total luck, I was dressed vaguely appropriately in a pair of black slacks and button-down shirt instead of jeans and a t-shirt!

9/07/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

Andrea, I loved/hated your post, because your described this phenomenon so accurately, humorously, and colorfully that it recalled the pain I felt on countless times, all through my kids' school years. I'm now an empty nester, and it still happens-- just not as often. I never understood how they did it, or why. Just knew it didn't work for me.

The most humiliating time, was when I had to take a baby to the doctor first thing in the morning, and just didn't have time to do much getting ready. Comforting myself with the almost always false hope that no one would see me, I walked in to the office to find a girl from my high school that I hadn't seen for years. Back then I had been astounded by her beauty; and there she was, years later, in my doctor's office--looking no less beautiful, and wearing the height of fashion--a stylish tweed blazer with jeans and heels. I wish I'd been above feeling extremely humiliated, but I wasn't!

9/08/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Andrea Wright said...

lol, kristine. I should state that I have no problem with jeans and heals together, just that it was perhaps a bit much for a playgroup at the park in July. And yes, the way it was described to me I pictured more of a spikey look.

So, yes you are totally invited to playgroup, just try not to show the rest of us up with your good looks and fashion sense. :)

Claire, you are VERY lucky and must be livin' right. I guess I should feel lukcy for not have walked into something like that in my sloppy get-up.

Jo, I feel your pain. I think the part the bugged me the most was how humiliated I was. Really, what is the big deal, but it was and that was the worst part.

9/08/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Greg said...

Ange, I've been thinking lately of the truth of the saying that "we wouldn't care so much about what others thought of us if we realized how rarely they did." Our meekness (the most unnatural of virtues) is determined by what audience we play to--if to our vanity as inferred from others' reactions, we are vain and not meek. If we play to ourselves and give honest credit for the good things as well as wholesome criticism about the bad things which brought us to where we are, then we are moving toward being internally secure and even meek. However, on the highest level if we look only to the Lord and feel His love, that's meekness--regarding only what He thinks with all His love and acceptance of us. Meek is better. Actually, meek is best.

9/09/2005 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kelleesplace said...

OK Miss Andrea, Heads up for a long look down future lane. You just did the best thing you could have done. That was to teach your children that the meeting was more important than the look. This will come in very handy in the next 12 years when your girls are in High School and they make getting to class more important than making sure they are dressed to kill. (or at least maim) And think of the money you will save in must have styles because your girls will have learned its not what you are wearing but what you are doing that gets the work done. Way to not give into pear pressure and way to hold your head high. You out shine no matter what your doing.

9/12/2005 12:27:00 AM  
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10/08/2005 12:25:00 PM  

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