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I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of my silly behavior yesterday and the crappy example I set for my daughters. And even though I told them the story without shame, they were quick to point out how immature and ridiculously I behaved.
I fell victim to what I call the “girlfriend avoidance game.” Allow me to set the scenario.
Yesterday I had a great workout. I cranked out an 11:20 minute mile and I was feeling quite pleased with myself. Sweaty and contented, I came home and cranked out a bunch of chores. More satisfaction. I was having a pretty good day.
Fast forward to 5:00 pm. My very satisfied and contented self is still in her dirty, stinky, sweaty work out clothes. I still had to get to the grocery store and dinner time was fast approaching. No problem…nothing a little Jo Malone and deodorant won’t fix. I pop a baseball hat on my head and proceed to the store.
With the cap pulled down low and my sunglasses on, I’m officially “in cognito.” I am not in the least bit self-conscious about my yoga pants or my sweat stained t-shirt. I’m just going to run into the store for lunchmeat and veggies. Quick in, quick out.
Ugh…youngest budding goddess texts me to get oreos and brownie mix. At least I haven’t left the store yet. I pull a grocery cart 180 and jaunt over to the cookie aisle.
And there she is…
Long, blonde flowing hair graciously pulled back off of her face by her designer sunglasses. Elegant linen slacks and white t-shirt. Damnit, I think she’s even wearing lipstick.
Another grocery cart 180…oreos will have to wait. There is no way I’m going to let her see me the way I look (and dear God, how I must really smell) at the moment. I just can’t. I imagine the way she will give me the once over, realize it’s me and give me the obligatory “hi!”
I allow my teenage inner demons to imagine her sharing my sad state of affairs with all of the other impeccably dressed, lipstick donning moms from school. My sixteen-year-old self imagines them rolling their eyes and laughing.
Nope…not entering that arena. Those designer-clad lions are just too hungry and I’m not in the mood to be their dinner.
I wait for her to leave the cookie aisle, grab the stupid freakin’ oreo cookies and meander my way over to the check-out. I only have about ten items in my cart…score! Express lane here I come. Now I can exit quickly with my dignity still in tact.
Of course it couldn’t be that easy. Tall, beautiful blonde is holding court in the fast lane. I duck into the first check-out lane I see and take refuge behind the candy display. I am grateful to have a talkative cashier who is chatting it up with the person in front of me. At this point, the cashier could be sharing her entire medical history and I would still be happily patient.
I don’t care if the cashier can smell me. I don’t care if the sweet mom and her adorable uniform clad daughter think I look fat in my yoga pants. I don’t care if they judge me for my “in cognito” baseball cap as long as I can get out of this store without “her” seeing me.
Mission accomplished. I happily carry my bags out to the car and head for home. I’m actually feeling happy that I (dare I say gracefully) avoided a potentially uncomfortable situation. When I tell my daughters the story, we will all have a great laugh over my stealthy abilities and bond over the whoas of “mean girls.”
Nope…not even close. “Oh my God, mom. Did you really care what she thought? Did you really avoid her like that? What are you…a teenager or something?”
They called me out on my shit. Here I was feeling all proud of my stealthy avoidance tactics while my lovely daughters just threw me back into the arena to face the truth.
And they were right. Ok, perhaps it was a bad call on my part to not shower after the run, but so what. I created a whole “mean girls” script in my head and let “her” direct my actions. Who’s to say she would have noticed me? And if she did, who’s to say she would have gossiped about me? Did I not feel pretty enough, or polished enough, or fresh enough (ok, yes, I should have showered, I get it) ?
And why should I freakin’ care?
Because no matter what my state of affairs, I am always good enough. Even my yoga pant-pony-tail-hat-wearing self is good enough.
And perhaps my 51-year-old more mature self should have looked past all of her designer decorations on the outside and connected with the light in her eyes, where our true beauty really resides and help space for our mutual “enoughness” and said “hi!”