Like most nightmares, mine started with a trip to the mall.
Well, not the mall, exactly, but while shopping. For the first time since adolescence, I feel really, for lack of a better term, self-conscious about what to wear. I don’t mean what to wear for an interview or black-tie party (not that I’ve ever attended a black-tie event. I’m not married to Bruce Wayne) but on a daily basis. And it’s fucking annoying because I’m 37 years-old and have the means to buy nice things but I wander around stores unsure of myself and wondering if I’m too old to be in a certain store or if I’m required to shop at Talbot’s and look like Emily Gilmore and this is truly the dumbest thing to think about all the time and yet I cannot stop. Maybe it’s not having a super strict work dress code for work so the lines are blurred between Business Christen and Weekend Christen so I can pretty much wear the same thing on a Tuesday and a Saturday? Kind of like when I was a kid. Maybe it’s working and making friends with people who are younger? We go shopping and they suggest things for me and while my initial reaction is usually “Yeah, that looks good” I panic that I’m going to look like one of those women who is desperately fighting her age and clinging to youth and that is most definitely not a good look.
An additional issue: in the last eight months or so I’ve put on a fair amount of weight. The combo of longer work days, happy hours with new fabulous coworkers, the abundance of food and snacks in the office, socializing which generally revolves around food (and wanting to explore new restaurants), AND not finding a new running group has resulted in a slow but steady creep. I have started a new, sustainable workout routine and have been making better choices about food and portion control, but it’s going to take time to get back into a fair amount of my clothes. In the meantime, buying new clothes has become a necessary chore because I can’t come to work in yoga pants. So I’m shopping in the middle of an identity (midlife?) crisis and not exactly psyched about it, or the body I’m dressing. What could possibly go wrong?
So, yes: I am basically reliving my adolescence, only I can stay out as late as I want and buy my own booze. Yay?