If any of you know Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series, you’ll know what I looked like going to work today. I had recently had some clothes made across the border in China (where you can get tailor-made clothes for a real steal!), and I took a risk by having a full length dress made with a very bold geometric pattern in bright blue and brown. Frankly, I look like what a hip high school teacher probably looked like in the 70’s, though the greying roots and my lack of platform clogs didn’t completely catch that image.
When I came down for breakfast in the morning decked out in my geometry dress, Emily casually asked, “Hey Mommy, are you learning about patterns in your class today?”
I was tempted to go back upstairs and change, but I didn’t. If there is one thing people (especially teenagers) could learn that might change their lives, it’s:
NOBODY ELSE IS THINKING ABOUT YOU.
Really. We’re not. We’re so busy thinking about ourselves that we don’t have time to worry about what you look like or what you’re doing or how you’re acting. Aside from physically getting into someone else’s space and irritating the hell out of them, people just don’t have time to pay attention to you. (Even as a teacher, when I’m in front of the class in all my glory, I’d guess I have 70% attention at best and that’s when I’m telling a joke. Actual teaching? Who can even guess.)
The other lesson I have learned in life? (This is also a powerful lesson for teens.)
MAKE FUN OF YOURSELF BEFORE ANYONE ELSE DOES.
I just waltzed in front of the class declaring myself the geometry queen, we all had a good laugh, and we got on with the day. In fact, several stylish girls in my class came up to me at recess and told me they quite liked my look. So there.
On my ongoing to-do list for personal appearance:
- Take more fashion risks (but not too many)
- When in doubt, continue to wear black
- Make most of my statements with accessories
- Continue to floss
- Get my roots done soon
(And, no: I’m not going to post a picture of myself wearing that outfit. Maybe another day.)