Today, as I was doing my makeup at a stoplight, I realized that I was about to put concealer on what was not a skin imperfection, but barbeque sauce.
As I prayed to get one more red light, so I could finish doing my makeup, I started to think about the role models I grew up with, in media. A child of the 90s, these included Kelly Kapowski, Topanga Lawrence, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Buffy Summers, and even Lizzie McGuire. As the style of the day dictated, each of them had well-coordinated, brightly colored outfits, perfect bubble gum pink lipstick, and intricate hairstyles requiring those tiny rubber bands they use to attach bows to a poodle’s ears.
These trends may be the stuff of Buzzfeed posts now, but unless it was a defining feature of the episode, such as that time Buffy had grass in her hair, these girls were nothing but coordinated and adorable, regardless of style. Lizzie may have struggled to fit in with the cool crowd, but she did it with perfectly crimped hair.
As I entered my late teens and early twenties, I longed to be more like Rory Gilmore and Blair Waldorf, with their preppy, tailored jackets, headbands, plaid, and perfectly timed topical references. I wanted to wear subtle makeup, designer prints, and kitten heels while discussing college life.
I, of course, never mastered any of the above.
I once burned toothpaste into my hair with a straightener.
I regularly wear oversized t-shirts over my work clothes, because I can’t trust myself to drink a cup of coffee without spilling it.
I frequently use the word “shankraped.”
I don’t own white clothes. As much as I’d love to be the girl in a white sundress and strappy sandals, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it is never going to happen.
I’ve gotten through an entire day, wearing a dress that zipped up the back, before I noticed the zipper under my chin.
I make “that’s what she said” jokes to my Gramma… and then try to explain them.
I’ve notified my loved ones that if they ever find me in a bathtub full of blood, it wasn’t a suicide attempt. I just never mastered shaving my legs.
I’ve done the Sign of the Cross in thanksgiving after realizing my dress was tucked into my panties before the interview.
I walked like a newborn deer for all four of the months I tried to wear heels.
My makeup comes from the drug store.
I don’t trust myself to use a styling wand without taking out an eye.
My punctuality is based on how many green lights I can catch.
I’ve noticed I’m wearing two different shoes, at work… something I’ve been told is unique to extremely pregnant women.
I look at least four sizes larger in plaid or argyle.
I’m far too cheap to buy the pricey, sexy undies.
I will always ruin sweet moments with an inappropriate joke.
Some days, I apply my eyeliner and just go with it, even though I look like a panda bear.
Gail says she can always tell which dressing room I’m in, by following the sounds of crashing.
I’m afraid to go shopping alone, because more than once, I’ve gotten stuck in a top and been unable to get out.
Today, my style most resembles Jess from The New Girl, but at least she’s supposed to be uncoordinated. I mean, sure, she’s never endured the awkwardness of dry humping someone while wearing a skort, but it’s at least a little closer. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I come from a long line of opinionated, boisterous, and often wildly inappropriate women. I buy size 10 shoes, can’t wear button up anything because I’m so broad-chested, and I cuss like a sailor. All of that runs in the family, too. I’ll never be the girl with the perfect hair and makeup, because I like my sleep. I’ll never wear the latest fashions, because I like my money. I’ll always be a little too loud, which is fortunate, because my best friend is getting married and has already refused to give me the microphone at her wedding. I’ll never be the debutante who spends two hours getting ready. Simply put, I will never be dainty… and that’s okay.