Friday, August 13, 2010

This one really isn't funny. . .

I like to be funny, because I love all the positive reinforcement I get from you wonderful people! I took a personality test once that said I was "recognition motivated". I was working in a sales office at the time. The sales managers wanted everyone to be "money motivated", so my motivation was looked at as somehow lacking.

Ummm. . .boss? I think the point was that you meet people where they are. So by RECOGNIZING my results publicly, you will incent me to produce more, capice?

Regardless of the results of my personality. I do like recognition. (And blog comments, so feel free to add your 2 cents!)

Today I am going to tell you about someone I saw in an elevator recently.

This is the honest to Jesus truth.

I saw this girl in the elevator who I swear was the personification of every insecurity I have ever had.

She was about my size. She was about my age. Her coloring was similar to mine. She had long, fine, light brown hair that was clean, but not styled. (It would have looked healthier if she had cut about six inches off of it -- because fine hair looks limp and stringy if you don't care for it properly. I know this from personal experience.)

She was wearing a baggy tunic and baggy shirt and flats. She was clean, but clearly not wearing clothes she loves. She had on no makeup. No jewelry.

She was standing in the back corner of the elevator -- pushed against the wall, as if she was trying to take up less space. She was standing in that classic fat-girl-don't-want-anyone-to-notice-me pose: hands clasped in front of her, head down.

She looked so much like my secret insecure self that I wondered for a moment if I was imagining her.

Then another person stepped on the elevator and said "Hi Lisa!".

Insecure self said "hi."

That's when I knew she was real. My insecure self isn't named Lisa. Mine is named Martha.

I am not trying to pick on Lisa. For all I know, Lisa's house caught on fire last night and her 60 year old neighbor's things were all she could wear to work (because she is SO committed to her exciting career). All her makeup, hairdryer and accessories got burned up in the fire, and she hasn't had time to stop by the mall. Maybe Lisa is really a lot of fun and has dates every night, and doesn't have a cat because really? With a schedule like hers? She'd never be able to care for the damn thing. Maybe Lisa is hysterically funny and also super outgoing. Maybe Lisa regularly contributes to CNBC and is a sought after expert in her field.

Or maybe Lisa is a shy, insecure fat girl who is just trying to get by.

I really, really identify with that Lisa.

Wear your hair long to hide your body. Keep your clothes big. Don't style your hair or wear makeup, because why bother? Shoes should be comfortable, not pretty. I'll buy cute things when I'm thin. Until then, I'm going to hide in plain sight and hope no one notices me.

I wanted to take Lisa home with me. I wanted to tell her she's pretty and worthy and decent. I wanted to take her to see my friend Kasey so she could get her hair done. Take her shopping at Catos for fun & trendy clothes. I wanted to run her by the Clinique counter at Macy's, then off to Nine West to get some shoes. I wanted to go to Charming Charlies and get some cute accessories. I wanted to make her stop feeling bad about herself, dammit! Make people notice you!

Because then, I wouldn't have to look at my own insecurity.

It's not funny, is it?


  1. I so identify with this post. It's funny, but the older I get the more I realize that we ALL have an inner Lisa (or Martha, or Gertrude, who is mine). Often, the most vivacious, extroverted people, who seem the most confident, have the most trouble with their Lisa.

    Gertrude is tall--like a giraffe, not like a model-- and she slouches. She wears braces. When she smiles, there's always food in her teeth. She has a really, really loud and dorky laugh, and she smiles too much-- like she's begging you to love her. Her clothes are loud but not in a good way, and her feet are huge and clompy. Like platapus feet. She talks so much that when she walks away, people roll their eyes and say, "God, somebody shut that girl UP."

    Are you getting a picture?

    Yeah, that's Gertrude. If I ever see her in an elevator, I will absolutely have to blog about it. Because that's terrifying.

  2. @ Alexa

    Hey -- Maybe we could get Martha and Gertrude together for a makeover party!

  3. Haha! The blind leading the blind! :)

  4. Awwww. I bet you were spot-on. I do that too - sometimes you can look at a stranger and just know things about their lives. Sounds like she could really use a stylish boost from someone as wise and empathetic as you!

  5. I definitely identify with Gertrude. My parents used to call me "Olive Oyl" because when I wore a pony tail (or "chongo" as we say in S.TX), I looked just like her. Spaghetti arms and legs, big hands, big feet, goofy as all get out and very shy about it. At some point I figured out that it was no fun being shy and got over it. Now, I'm not saying I don't feel like "Olive" anymore, I just try to pretend I don't.

    Mary, its wonderful that you are posting these blogs from the heart because it reminds me just how real, honest and wonderful each of us could be and also how fragile we really are.


I LOVE to read comments. Seriously. I check them every day. Insecure? Maybe.