Bloganuary Day 3
On January 2nd, I left the house and my hair was a mess, my clothes were stained and otherwise clearly not clean, and I’m not sure if it was evident that I hadn’t taken a shower cause I hadn’t. I also had barely washed my face or brushed my teeth. Your girl looked a hot mess eh.
My excuse can’t even be that I had a rough day because I’m usually on point – on the good days and bad days. Dare I say yesterday was one of the exceptions.
It’s far from my comfort zone to leave the house without having washed my face or brushed my teeth, wearing stale day old clothes and not having bathed. I say this because I grew up learning that in order to feel good, I must look good, and to look good means to set a good example, and in setting a good example, people will trust you – and of course looking good will become part of your profile.
Well, I don’t know what example I was setting but it wasn’t a good one – at least not in the court of public opinion.
I was asked to accompany a loved one as they ran a few errands. “It won’t be long,” they said. So I literally rolled out of bed, threw on my cardigan to not look so bad and said, “okay, let’s go.”
I had no intention of getting out the vehicle but an opportunity came for me to get needed items from the pharmacy. So, I took a deep breath and exited the car. The only thought at the forefront of my mind was, “please don’t let me run into someone I know. I cannot be caught looking like ‘I don’t live anywhere’ (This is not a jab at the homeless. This is how Caribbean people refer to people who don’t take care of their physical appearance). Not to mention the post-chatter that would take place between the person who might see me and their cronies. My reputation was at stake!
I was braless, wearing a white tank -stained- , a short shorts -stained-, dirty sandals and my hair was in quite the messy bun.
I never go out to accompany anyone for errands in shorts – much less not not cleaning myself. I usually have my bra on in public and hair is usually better looking than it was, face always clean and teeth and mouth ever fresh.
At this point, you may be asking why I left like that knowing the discomfort I was about to subject myself to. Well, I really wasn’t feeling my best and I didn’t foresee an opportunity to get some things I needed which would require me to be seen by people. That aside, I honestly didn’t feel like putting in any effort to look good that day. In Jamaican terms, “mi neva did a look nuhbodi” (translates loosely as, I’m not on a mission to find my life partner, so it is what it is).
In any event, I stepped out the car and walked toward the pharmacy. Looking down at my clothes every minute to ensure that I didn’t look ‘that bad’ and whispering a silent prayer to not run unto people I know. Well, that prayer wasn’t answered.
In retrospect, I really didn’t look that bad. It was more of a mind over matter situation especially because I’ve never looked like that in public before…at least, not that I could remember.
Sure enough, I ran into staff at the pharmacy who knew me well enough to identify me. 😅. At that point, I gave them an extra dose of my personality. You know, if you can’t win them with your appearance, your natural personality and charm will get them. I honestly don’t know if it worked but I lay it on them. I got what I needed and we left.
I’m just happy there are pandemic protocols in place such as the 6 feet apart bit, mandatory wearing of the mask and so on. So, if it was evident that I hadn’t taken a shower, no one would know for real. Haha!!
Life Lessons from looking raggedy
To pull this all together, let me give you a life lesson from my experience. Consider the book and the book cover analogy. Put yourself in the shoes of a reader and also in the shoes of a book.
We really ought not to judge a book by its cover. The cover may be torn, worn or stained because it hasn’t been through proper maintenance through no fault of its own. That doesn’t mean that the book’s contents will look as unkempt as its cover. Give people a chance if you’re the reader. Give yourself a chance if you’re the book and stop worrying about your readers will think about you. With or without maintenance, some people will like you and others will not.
The court of public opinion isn’t always right, and as such – we shouldn’t absorb everything it says.
Hoping that you learned or relearned at least one lesson from this letter. If you did, feel free to share it with people in your life and drop a comment of how you’ve handled uncomfortable situations.
The Suburban Girl JA