Escape of the Inner Monologue

World, inside of my head. Inside of my head, world.

Spirit (Crushing) Week

Last week was Spirit Week at L’s day care. This is, as far as I can tell, an occasion scheduled for the benefit of the teachers so they can have a bit of a dress down week. Which they completely deserve.

However, I would prefer that they not schedule Spirit Week for the week after a time change. That’s just cruel to those of us who are lucky to leave the house with everything needed to survive a regular day, let alone a day requiring some lighthearted form of attire for a child who at best qualifies as half-conscious most mornings, and on the Monday after springing forward is so miserably tired she forgot to hate it when I brushed her hair.

I’ll never forget the look on L’s face when we walked in last Monday and the receptionist asked her what pajamas she was wearing for Pajama Day.

“Mommy, I’m not wearing pajamas!” I watched as reasons for her to see a therapist later in life started forming behind her big blue eyes.

“I’m so tremendously sorry, honeybunny! I forgot today was pajama day. How about you wear your pajamas tomorrow? It’s Sports Day tomorrow and you don’t own any sports things.”


“You haven’t picked any out when we go shopping.”

L emitted a harassed, exasperated sigh that would have put any Hot Topic employee to shame, but accepted the deal. Of course for the rest of the day she would innocently manage to mention her lack of pajamas at school and my heart would just break all over, crushed by the weight of Mom Guilt(TM). (“New and Improved Mom Guilt – Now with Shame Inducing Facebook Articles!”)

Tuesday, aka Sports Day, aka Pajama Day Take Two, went a little smoother, except for several parents who felt the need to point out to me that yesterday was Pajama Day and today was Sports Day. I explained that we were doing Pajama Day today because we had missed it yesterday, and also that they needed to get a fucking life if they had time to comment on my daughter’s clothing at 7:10am on a workday. I’m extremely popular with the parents at day care, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday was dress like a Grandma or Grandpa day. The school did well to call it Dress Like “A” Grandma or Grandpa day instead of “YOUR” Grandma or Grandpa day, as I was ready to send my toddler to school dressed as a rotted corpse because I think that would be seriously funny. Also L loves makeup. Also have I mentioned how popular I am?

Thursday was Stripes and Polka Dots day. L chose to layer both of her polka dot t-shirts, the short sleeve over the long sleeve. I got some use out of my otherwise fallow law degree by negotiating with her on whether pants covered in hearts qualified as a type of polka dot. If they did not, I was facing Mom Guilt(TM): Lack of Polka Dot Pants Edition (“Kit Includes Nagging Feeling That Your Child Will Never Forgive You! Some Assembly Required.”). It was the biggest case of my career. I may have a certificate printed up to celebrate the victory, which was must harder won than the only actual case I tried in front of an actual court.

Friday was Wear Green Day, which made me sad I didn’t have a tiny Billie Joe Armstrong costume available. Green is not one of L’s favorite colors to wear, but we did happen to own a pair of green pants and a t-shirt with a picture of a crocodile on it. The school evidently learned from last year, when the children staged a coup after their milk was colored green, as L did not report any glasses of “mold water” this year.

To conclude Spirit Week, I declared the entire weekend to be Pajama Day, and put aside my Mom Guilt(TM) in favor of wine. Take that, Sports Day parents.



I Cannen’t Wear Heels

There was a lot of talk in the news a couple months ago about the Cannes Film Festival refusing women entry because they were not wearing high heels. Evidently it is extremely important for your toes to be numb in order to properly enjoy a movie. If you have a uterus that is. If not, feel free to enjoy circulation throughout your body as you sip wine and eat crudités.

I have, for a very long time, felt uncomfortable wearing high heels. I am extremely clumsy, and teetering on under-oxygenated feet while at work or a fancy party just seems akin to walking around blindfolded – why increase the chances of a mishap so dramatically? But heels look so good, and can make you feel really sexy. if you are someone else, who isn’t worried about toppling over or counting down the minutes until she can pull a Britney Spears and go barefoot.

I used to joke that I knew I was old when I decided it was more important to not die of frostbite than to arrive at a club or bar without a coat. Now I know that I am even older because I will design any look for any occasion based on the flattest, most comfortable footwear I can get away with wearing. My daughter serves as a convenient excuse for this pattern, as it is much easier to chase, squat, and otherwise entertain a toddler in my favorite pair of chucks than in a pair of high heels. But my shoe preference has more to do with my nearly 40 years than her 2 years.

For certain events, though, a pair of heels is desirable. When R and I went out to celebrate our recent wedding anniversary, for example, I wanted to get dolled up. You know, wear the fancy sweatpants for a change. I actually put on a cute dress, did my makeup, ditched my customary ponytail, and dug out a pair of low but heeled shoes. I looked pretty cute. As I was doing a final outfit review and verifying that I had no exposed underpants or makeup smudges, I decided that I should blow dry my hair a bit to make it look even more like I was an adult and not a recently escaped sanitarium patient. Yes folks, I was going all out. I went from our bathroom, out into the hall, into my daughter’s bathroom, and snagged my hair dryer. I started to head back to our bathroom, hair dryer in hand, when my ankles decided they were no longer fluent in high heels, and I tripped on myself. I bobbled the hair dryer, did a half spin, and landed on my butt, inches from the top step of the staircase. In a message that might as well have been signed “Love, The Universe”, the hair dryer landed on my right ankle. I switched to ballet flats. After all, if I was that nimble sober…

Accepting that I am simply past the point of even trying to wear heels has been very freeing. I donated a lot of shoes. I gained a lot of storage space. And I have, most importantly, stopped fucking worrying about it when I have to look nice. I own nice flat shoes that do not look like they were purchased at a medical supply store. And better yet, I know that I will not be seen flailing for balance, with a look that is equal parts resignation and panic on my face, as I fall over into a puddle. And better still, I can just say that heels aren’t me, and put another little tick mark next to something that I have finally accepted about myself. Here’s to enjoying events without wondering how many toes I will have sacrificed by the end of the night!