(I pondered this ALL DAY yesterday. And now you get to read about it. Or not. It’s okay either way. )
I don’t care what I look like, but I care what other people think I look like.
I realized this yesterday and it startled me.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t care to the extent that I will never leave my house unless I look my absolute best, but I do care.
It’s the reason I shower and wash my hair.
It’s the reason I don’t eat donuts every day so I can fit in my pants.
It’s the reason I make sure my clothes are appropriate and my legs are shaved.
It’s the reason I wear lipstick.
And I know what people say: “I do all this for ME,” but I don’t buy it.
Health issues aside, people lose weight and color their hair and groom their eyebrows and straighten their teeth and coordinate their clothing and stay in shape so they will feel good in front of other people.
Listen, I am skinny enough to be healthy but fat enough to be happy, but that’s because I live in a world with other people.
If I knew that for the rest of my life, I could live alone in a cave with my computer and my little dog and never again come in contact with other human beings, I would happily look horrible.
I would look so bad that it would make a homeless person, or a Burning Man attendee, appear dressed up in comparison.
I wouldn’t care about showering regularly
I wouldn’t care what my hair looked like, or even that it was combed
I wouldn’t care what I wore but I guarantee it would all be oversized and elastic
I would eat Pop Tarts every morning for breakfast and donuts for dinner.
Because no one would see me. It wouldn’t matter.
I mean, I feel sorry now for the people who have to see me when I look bad; the people who have to see me after working out or the UPS guy who comes to the door when I’m wearing dirty sweats and two different colored socks.
But other than an occasional glance in the mirror, I don’t see myself. I don’t have to look at me. I don’t care what I look like.
But other people do look at me. I live in a world where I work and talk and play and interact with other people and so I do my best to look my best because THEY have to look at me.
At the end of the day, I take care of my appearance for the same reason I drink coffee…
because I love my family and friends and want them happy.
I respect the people I interact with and as a result, I do my best to make sure I present in a way that doesn’t make people shriek in true “Princess Bride” fashion: “Dear God…what is that THING?”
And we can worry about the state of the world and the climate and all that, but really, if the apocalypse happened tomorrow and I ended up living by myself in a cave…
I know I’d be just fine.