Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lookin' Good

I just finished my English lesson, said good bye to my students and went to the bathroom. On looking in the mirror I noticed that my collar had been sticking up at the corner. Oops. I pressed it down and looked for another second in the mirror, mentally replacing the vision of me sitting in front of my students with my collar looking retarded for the past hour with one of it behaving the whole time.

I do this sort of often. I'll come back from shopping or church or doing anything in public, really, and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see that one of my curls is flipped the wrong way or that I forgot to wipe off the bit of mascara that got brushed on my eyelid.

And always I wipe off the mascara, or flip the hair down or whatever, look for a second at the fixed me and convince myself that that's what I actually looked like. Or maybe it's more of a "that's what I meant to look like". Or something. And then I'm fine with the fact that dozens of people just saw me looking the wrong way. Almost as if turning down my collar after the fact has some sort of retro-active power, making it so that it really WAS the right way the whole time.

And I wonder, do other people do this?

25 comments:

CaJoh said...

Don't know how many times I may just bolt out the door only to find that something is strangely wrong when I next look in the mirror. What is disturbing is that people don't notice. It's like the line from Shawshank Redemption "how often do you look at a man's shoes"

Heidi Ashworth said...

You mean the crazy part about fixing it with the feeling that it has retroactively applied to the past? yes and yes! (I love pink!)

What the Hecklinger?! said...

Pretty sure I just wish I would have looked in the mirror earlier. My husband is the vain one in this relationship, and can't believe that I often leave the house--or go all day--without looking in the mirror! Sometimes, like in the collar situation, I can't believe it either. :)

Barbaloot said...

You never know---maybe your students liked it and will be wearing their collars like that tomorrow?

Lara said...

I like your approach. I tend to just get really annoyed when I see something amiss in the mirror. I get annoyed at myself for not noticing earlier, and annoyed at all the people who saw me and didn't let me know!

Kazzy said...

Heck yes! The worse offense is food somewhere on the face. Why is that one more embarrassing?

MelancholySmile said...

While I certainly have looked in the mirror only to find that I have spinach in my teeth or a wayward bra strap, I'm usually much harder on myself. I LOVE your approach! So healthy to simply fix it in your mind and let go. Life is too short to waste time torturing oneself over looking slightly amiss in public, especially when no one else has noticed. :) Thanks for the great idea!!

Carolyn V. said...

I do this all the time! Now I just smile at people and think, "I'm an eccentric in the making. Plus I'm so darn creative!" It helps a little. =)

Melissa said...

My favorite saying: "Oh well." I often go out in public wearing highwaters, white socks, brown shoes, and a black sweater. (Mind you, this is usually at night and only to the grocery store). I just think to myself, "If other people care about what I'm wearing, at least maybe they'll have a good laugh. Then they'll forget about me one minute later, and it won't matter at all." Really, the fashion police should take me in.

Sue Q said...

Oh, only every other day. But people are used to seeing me dressed up in all sorts of weird and strange ways, thanks to my chosen profession. Can't complain. I have a very strong sense of self, I guess!

Funniest fashion faux pas - I was hemming a dress for a show, and I had to take off about two inches off the bottom, and my hair was getting in the way, so I used the scrap to tie up my hair. As soon as the dress was hemmed, I drove off to deliver it -- via the bank, the grocery store, and a few other errands as well -- and forgot about the scrappy hair-band until I saw myself in the reflection of the theater. The REALLY funny thing is, the next day, a couple of the girls in the show wore scraps in their hair! "Imitation is the sincerest form of... flattery?" Or do you think they were making fun of me? I'll never know!

Sue Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

No, this almost never happens to me. I almost never look into a mirror. The few times I do it is only to get an eyelash out of my eye.

Melanie J said...

No, I don't do this, but I'm going to start. Usually, I just feel stupid for three times as long as I actually looked stupid until I caught it. Your way is better.

L.T. Elliot said...

I don't do this so much at home because it's just me and the doodles during the day but when I go out and about, yes. Especially at conferences because many of these people are meeting me for the first time IRL and I want a good impression to last. When I find something amiss, I try not to dwell but I usually do. (I worry way too much!)

Kimberly said...

I do!

But the method totally failed me the time I found the small patch of dried snot from my sick three-year old on my cheek after having come back from grocery shopping (and running into several people I knew while doing so).

It was not a small patch. At all.

Moody said...

I totally do this too!

earlfam said...

I do.

charrette said...

I TOTALLY do that! The worst is church. In the mad rush to get us out the door on time, my hairstyle is frequently, well, compromised. The problem is, if your hair is not completely dry and it's also naturally curly, what it dries like is a frizz ball. I usually walk out the door feeling perfectly fine about greeting people. And then come home and...oh, no, don't tell me I looked like THAT for the past three hours! Some days it is mortifying.

charrette said...

And then of course I have to start fixing it, to convince myself it wasn't THAT bad....

Annette Lyon said...

I had a friend who once went to a party and then halfway through went to the bathroom, saw herself, then came out and freaked. "I've been acting CUTE this whole time, and LOOK at me!"

I died laughing. She was gorgeous no matter what, but the idea that her behavior hinged on how she looked was pretty funny. I got it (especially because we were young and stupid college freshmen), but I still think it was funny.

charrette said...

p.s. I like the pink. I was sort of hoping it was "it's a Girl!" pink, but I lost my mom to breast cancer, so I'm all about that kind of pink too.

Nancy said...

I don't pretend there wasn't something horribly off my my appearance... I just pretend no one noticed.

Alison Wonderland said...

Yup. All the time. Even if it;s not really something fixable, like that my jeans don't really fit of I have a huge stain on my shirt. It's not that I think I can retroactively fix it, it's that I'm pretty convinced that I really look like I do in my head not like i do in the mirror.
Please do not disabuse me of that idea, I'm much happier believing it.

Anne said...

You must have learned this from me!

Andrea said...

That is hilarious! I think we all do that.