The Art of Faking It

It has been a while since I have written and I admit I am using this more so as a journal than a public forum to get some kind of message out. I have never been much of a faker. Well, maybe when I was little and it got my older sisters in trouble, I could turn the tears on and off but as an adult, I just don’t know how to function socially when I am expected to present myself in a certain way. I have recently had a chain of events happen that have me struggling with how I want to proceed in this life. They are petty and shallow but such is the nature of human life, I guess.
There are some things I am fiercely proud of: my family and my 5 children who so far, behave acceptably, at least in public, most of the time. It is a lot of work but they are NOT spoiled in the sense that they have a lot of things. They definitely are not perfect….I work to teach them to be kind and compassionate, to be spiritually strong. But kids lack filters. And mine have some sharp little tongues sometimes. They will reference my weight at times, which sometimes I can laugh off but I have to say, sometimes it really does bother me. The most recent incident was when my 8 year old daughter made a joking reference to me being 300 pounds (which I am not, she was about 100 lbs off, although I lied on my latest drivers license and said I was 190lbs) and I tried to brush it off but the thought struck me that…is that all she is going to think of me? Is that all her mom is, is a fat lady and that’s what they’ll remember? And if I wasn’t overweight….would there be something else that they would find to make fun of? That piled on with an incident where a lady at church thought I was 10 (TEN) years older than I am, and another where a coworker complained about my ‘ugly grandma’ purse, I am struggling. It’s not like I wouldn’t love to be a ‘trendy’ mom….but I really don’t know how. I like what a I like and I want to be ok with that. I tried to defend my ‘grandma’ purse–actually, I thought it wasn’t bad at all so I am not sure why she took such offense to it, and I really thought she was a pleasant person before she so vehemently voiced her opinion. I was at a loss as to why someone would find it necessary to speak out in such a way and still don’t get it. Did she think she was doing me a favor? Or just compelled to be bitchy and judgmental? The age comment stung but I could tell she was embarrassed…which really kind of makes it worse in a way.
I don’t have a talent, and never have, for going into a thrift store and making things look stylish, nor can we afford to buy that look new. My visits to the hair salon are few and far between and the do it yourself dye jobs have not turned out very favorably so I am painfully aware that yes, my hair is getting a little gray and I do not like it but if I have $80, it will go to something much more necessary than my hair color at the moment–like winter necessities for the kids or groceries. It makes me wonder if it is my appearance or my personality that attract these comments. Do I lack the appearance of confidence and is that why people (including my own children) feel that they can make these rude and snide comments to me? I do not feel deprived in any way….I have a loving, loyal husband, I like being a stay at home mom, even if it means we cannot afford to keep up with the Jones’….I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a tiny part of me that wishes I could run off to get my hair done or the gym or a store other than the thrift store to buy any of my clothes but I really thought those things were not priority right now when we are in the midst of raising our children. But is this something I will pass on to my children? Is that a bad thing? My mother, who is one of the sweetest people you will ever know struggled in the professional workplace and I always felt it was because she refused to play that game of maintaining her appearance to always try and look younger, to look stylish. People in the workplace were mean to her and did not appreciate her gifts. If they had taken the time to get to know her, they would have found a passionate, intelligent, beautiful woman. But they didn’t.
I am blessed to have a husband who does not seem to mind that I have gained weight and struggle to lose it, or that I don’t know how to fix my hair, let alone keep it maintained with color and highlights, and he certainly doesn’t give two shits about my purse. That is comforting on a certain level but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cross my mind that he is simply too much of a gentleman to comment. I am not sure where this leaves me. Just that people suck. And I wish I was a stronger person that that didn’t bother me. The bottom line is I am 33, I have five children and we live within our means. Isn’t anything else just pretending on some level? I will not be a hypocrite and swear I will never color my hair again because I am ok with my grays, cause I probably will color those fuckers up and I will continue to try and lose weight because I want to be healthy. But I can’t be ok with spending money on clothes or accessories that we don’t have the money for the acceptance of people that I really don’t like and it sucks that on that most basic level, that is how we judge each other. I don’t know how to fake being a trendy mom, cause I am not….I think it makes people uncomfortable. When I think about all that goes in to creating the illusion of being younger, having money, and being socially acceptable….I just don’t have the time or patience for it. I was not blessed with the innate ability to fake it. It’s dumb, really, when you think about it. I mean, I can go get a new purse but that lady can’t really fake not being an uppity bitch.

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