Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Well, as long as you know it's ugly...."

Soooo… I am the sort of girl that buys scented nail polish. The sort that eats up bobby pins with little bird heads on them, sunglasses with bows, and Sailor Moon t-shirts. And yet I’d deny being a “girly-girl”. Perhaps it’s because I view “girly girls” as being so polished. To me a “girly girl” cares to a certain degree just how all that girliness is working for her, or at least can demonstrate some flair in pulling it all together. She is serious. I am… not so serious. I’d describe my style as cute…. or maybe fun, I’ve never been able to pull off polished.  I mean, there is nothing polished about tearing through a thrift store rack full of ugly sweaters, at least not how I do it anyway. I triumphantly hold up a great find, shouting “THIS ONE!”, as my thrifting partner in crime… cringes.
“Just wait till I try it on before you judge!” I snap.
There I am, in that retro black and white checkered amazingness, waiting for Kati’s opinion.
“It’s great right? It’s so bad it is GREAT!”
“Ok….” She concedes, “that is kinda working for you. How the hell do you do that Kendra? Only you could pull that off.”
         If hadn’t heard that a hundred times before, I might have been offended. But I’ve learned to take “only you could make that work” as a good thing…. and not so much as the backhanded compliment I used to.  When I’d ask “What do you mean ONLY me!?” the response was normally something like…. “Well I could never wear that, but…..” (Hrm.) Well, I can..... and do.
         I go on…“Well I am hardly serious about it Kati… I sort of think people can see that right? That’s it’s fun? And if they don’t, they can enjoy a little chuckle at my expense, I still would really, really love this sweater.”
         Perhaps I should just embrace the whole girlie girl thing, I mean, I did buy a sweater with flowers all over it. Sure, Ok, I am a girlie girl. Patterned tights and cozy sweaters just make me happy. I wore this prize piece out Monday and then popped over to visit my mother. I had it paired with black corduroy pants and flats. Simple.  The lack of attention I paid to my hair is sort of pathetic, but pony tails are just sooooo easy. (I sort of think a real girlie girl might have made a little more effort up there- wouldn’t she?)
“While I am here would you take a picture of my ugly sweater?” I asked.
“Well as long as YOU know it’s ugly….” my mom responds.
“Of course I know it’s ugly! Come on mom, you know you want one!”
“No…. only you could pull that off Kendra.”
         (Yikes.) Well, maybe my taste is way off the mark, but I am afraid realizing this isn’t going to stop me from wearing it. I am the sort of girl who gleefully wears ugly sweaters.
And now, a story of a boy, and his cats. …….
I am also the sort of mom who can’t tell her three year old that these pictures are really just supposed to be of me and my obnoxious sweater. Baelin saw that camera and couldn’t join me fast enough, squeaking “I waaaaant to get in toooooo!”
Alrightie B. I know one day he may be mortified to be seen, let alone photographed, next to me in such a fine sweater, I am not going to chase him away now. So there he is, with Big Grey Cat, and New Big Grey Cat, under each arm looking terribly cute. My mom had to run some paperwork into a high school she works with after our visit and asked if she could bring Baelin along. Never one to turn down a few moments to myself I stuffed him, and cats, into her truck and waved them off. While on their drive Baelin is of course going on and on about his cats, my mother later tells me she asked him if his cats get to go to school with him.
“No… they have to stay home with Mom.”
“Hrm… schools don’t let you bring in lovies huh? We’re going to go to a school, but since you’re with Grammie special today, I think we’ll be able to bring your kitties in. But when you’re bigger and go to high school, Big Grey Cats will have to stay home.”
          I was told that Baelin had a nice visit with the ladies at school, he and kitties chatted everyone up, and let them know that it was alright  his cats were with him today…. he would leave them at home when he was bigger. On the way out of school, surprisingly, Grammie and B passed by a young man who had a stuffed cat under his arm.
“What do you have there!?” my mother asked him.
(Baelin gasped.)
“Oh, this guy is just coming to visit with me today.” the young man responded heading in doors.
“GRAMMIE!” Baelin exclaimed “You caaaaan bring lovies to BIG SCHOOL!”
“I guess you can B!”
         The first thing Baelin tells me when they return is all about how he will get to bring his kitties with him when he starts high school. When we pick up his brother from school that afternoon, he excitedly recounts his discovery again, and yet again to Daddy when he gets in from work.
“Daddy! When-I-get-to-go-to-high-school-Big-Grey-Cat-gets-to-go-TOO! I can brrrrrrrring my caaaaaaaats!!!!”
Romyn shouts “And I can bring my JETS!” (Big Jet and Little Jet are Romyn’s two favorite stuffed dogs.)
         Eric gives me a look. I am not sure if it is for the cats or for my ugly sweater.
“Baelin had a great day today.” I tell him.
         Later Eric and I reflect on just how fast these kids are growing up. I tell him how Baelin crawled up into my sweater pictures, and wondered just how soon it will be until we as parents become too humiliating.
“Well if he brings his cats to high school I am not sure much will embarrass him.” Says Eric.
“What if I’ve stuffed her into his back pack before he heads out?” I ask, “He has already promised Big Grey Cat he’d take her.”  
“That would be awesome.” Eric laughs.
         I guess with this sort of mindset we’ll become embarrassing sooner, rather than later. Oh well, let the countdown to freshman year begin!

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