Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Uniform of Our People

Bekah stood in front of me. Her hair was pulled back in two ponytails and she was wearing minimal makeup. "Does this necklace work?" she asked me.

I gave her a once over. "Sure. It only adds to the look."

"What's that look?"

"It's the uniform of your people."

She seemed happy with the assessment and headed out the door to school.

"Mom, I am wearing sandals because I can." Luke was digging into the show orgy by our front door.

"Sandals? You own sandals?" I watched him shove his white sock clad feet into soccer slides, pop-in ear-buds and finish getting ready for school

"Mom? Does this match?" I turned from Luke to Noah who was holding two blue shirts: a t-shirt and a button down.


"Oh, good, I thought they looked nice together," he said as he slipped them on, and partially buttoned the outer shirt.

It occurred to me that all three were in uniform.

Kids try on a lot of different identities as they grow up, although it seems (based on my minimal research) they settle into the one that is most comfortable for them at some teenage point. This is their look, and the look of most of their closest friends.

Bekah likes to have a spark of individuality and tell people through her look that she is a Library Rat. Her favorite classes are centered around books, and she really likes marching band. Those are her people and she is her best, most comfortable self when she is around them.

Luke is a jock. He's also got a bit of Theater Kid in him, but he identifies primarily with his footballbaseballbasketball teammates. He doesn't mind attracting attention, and thrives when it finds him- but sports rule his life.

Noah wishes he could spend his entire summer on Martha's Vineyard, he wears ties to school frequently and likes to look sharp. He's only 8 so who he will be most comfortable as when he is in high school is anyone's guess. But now? Sharp Dressed Little Preppy Man.

That day they all were dressed in the uniforms of their people. After they had gone to school, I saw that my Googleplus friend Angela had shared this picture.
via Angela Mia Googleplus

She commented that her days of primping were replaced by hustling kids and all their gear to and fro- her own grooming going by the wayside.

And I related. Ho-boy did I get it. Minimalist is the uniform of my people. In that moment I was inspired to take a selfie. Here it is.

My eyes are crinkled and sport some bags; my skin is blotchy and all I did this morning was wash my hair- no product means Frizz-City. I'm even wearing the same t-shirt I had on in the previous post- it must have been clean and on the top of the stack.

But I'm smiling.

A real smile.

I am content; I am happy.

I've been out and about in town today looking like this, and I didn't care. I was just as confident as I was years ago when I had the luxury of spending time (and money) on my appearance. Actually, I know I am more confident now.

More content.


Sure, I would like the time to pamper and primp once in awhile and judge a good outfit day by more than simply putting on cute shoes. Maybe some day I will have a high maintenance day and when I do you bet your Aunt Fanny I will take a picture.  But for now, I know that this look- the oft seen shirt, the wrinkles and the blotches and what-style-is-that 'do? is the uniform of my people. And I am most comfortable in it.

To the casual observer I may look like the picture above and the more critical in that bunch might see flaws but I don't. I don't see things on my face as imperfections because I don't even see them.  They disappear when I look in the mirror. Maybe they are obscured by all the blessings that I do have in my life.

Blinded by blessings. Not a bad way to look in the mirror.


  1. You look happy, you look comfortable, you look real. There's a great deal to be said for not wearing a mask, and for being comfortable in your own skin (and clothes). I think that's a pretty darned good people to wear the uniform of.

  2. Also, because your comment instructions "require" it... ��

    olive oil
    sesame oil
    water chestnuts


  3. haha! Oh, I need sesame oil,too- thanks for reminding me! Thank you, I am very, very real.


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