Way back when (in the olden days) when I lived in Brooklyn I ran out to the corner deli for some binge food late one evening. Underneath my baggy men’s jacket I had on my pajamas. At best I figured I looked disheveled, but not quite homeless. At the corner deli I ran into a good friend’s husband. I barely knew the husband and the next day while strolling to the park with the good friend I remarked what a poor impression I most likely made on her husband. “No” she replied, quite matter of fact-ly, “He said you seemed together.” “Together?!?” I asked. “Yes” she said “that was his word ‘together.’” I was shocked.
(fast forward 6 or 7 years) One day I purchased an antique looking quilt out of the $19.99 bin at Linens and Things. It happened to be on my bed one summer day when a garden state friend came into my bedroom with me to grab something. “Pottery Barn?” she asked pointing at the cheap quilt. I told her where it came from.
(fast forward to last Friday) When I got back up to utopia last week I ran into the super market just to grab a meal’s worth of food. I paused while I dashed by the tiny little nail polish section and grabbed a bottle of some pale glittery summer type shade. I just happen to have ten perfect nails for this nail unique brief moment and I figured, why not?. I came home, slapped a shimmering coat on that same evening while watching tv with Matt while balancing the whole deal on a People magazine. The next day I stopped to chat with a neighbor and when I gestured with my hands she noticed the polish and said “Oh, a manicure” I was all “Chic and citied out.” I told her how the polish came about.
When I was a kid my mother used to tell me this story about being nervous entering an expensive restaurant (or something) and how she walked into a room holding her head high and standing tall and how every one in the room turned to admire her because she was so confident and important looking. (or something like that.) The point of her story was that people respond to what you are giving off and even if you are unsure of yourself people will assume you are purposeful and strong if you look like you know what you are doing and where you belong. I guess I manage to pull that one off most of the time. Not sure how I do it.
But this ability to look fine has it’s draw backs. Up here in utopia folks are pretty tight with each other. Every one knows every one’s business and all sorts of people keep coming up to asking how I am and how my mother is. I just burst into tears every time they ask me how I am because all I find myself doing this summer is mostly reminding myself to breathe. I can discuss my mother’s situation easier because it is more medical and less emotional. But judging by the look of semi horror that meets me every time my voice begins to quiver and my eyes start to well up I must be looking like I am doing a whole lot better than I actually am.