Clone Mamas

I read a post recently that really stuck with me. It was written by a newly returned San Franciscan who is obviously a little homesick right now (and who seems to be spending time in a neighborhood that makes me grumpy, too). In reading further, it looks like she's caught some flak for this post, and my immediate reaction was also pretty negative. But that's just defensiveness; I saw myself in so many of her itemized uniform elements, and had to stop and consider why.

Not the Bugaboo; although people love theirs, it didn't make sense for us. And not the designer water, which I really don't get, especially when it comes in a glass container. But the elements that make up the uniform? That's been me for, well, about 12 months now.

Her reaction was that we San Franciscans can't deviate from the norm in our mode of dress, but I think that's a pretty myopic assessment. Like NYers and Chicago-ans who complain that there's no culture here, no bar scene here (and comparatively, there isn't), that's missing the point of what people feel is important. I think people have better things to do than spend a lot of time thinking about clothes, just as bars close here because most people start thinking about how tonight is going to cut into tomorrow at about 11:30 PM. Are you really entertaining me? If the answer is no, then I'm going home to sleep, thank you because I plan to ride/hike/insert-outdoor-verb-here tomorrow. Well, at least that used to be me, pre-MZ. Now it's straight up I can't control when the baby wakes, and the babysitter will be long-gone by then.

As for the uniform, I have to say that Fashion with a capital F just doesn't interest me that much. I am highly responsive to colors and textures, but day to day, I can't be bothered to compose a visual image of style and originality. Heck, I can't be bothered to blow my hair out most days, or alternatively make the appointment to get it all chopped off so I don't feel like I need to. So, the ponytail may seem de rigueur, but mostly it's a functional way to prevent it from being pulled and to get out the door quickly during that too-brief window between Nap 1 and Nap 2.

It wasn't much different when I worked. I loved my job, but it was demanding, and like most people, I craved balance. Only so much time in the day, and shopping wasn't that stimulating to me. So a uniform of black pants, reasonably stylish but not ground-breaking shoes and a black jacket ensured that I looked professional enough for whatever came up that day but wasn't likely to find myself out in the cold in a dramatic weather change, or worse, at the gym with two different shoes, or even earrings. When is the last time I even changed my earrings? Oh, there were those great Amazonite danglies, but those got put away shortly after MZ almost yanked them out of my earlobes.

So the diamond studs do now what the black pants and shoes did pre-MZ: they ensure I don't look like the shaggy slobmama I feel like when there's not enough time for all the things I'd like to do. And if I look like I don't deviate from the norm? Consider it Garanimals for adults. We've got better things to do.


At 20.2.06, Blogger CityMama said...

Oh, bernalgirl. I loved this post! We all have our idiosyncracies. I wear a uniform too. Black fleece and yoga pants. And I only vary it when I exchange jean jacket for yoga pants. :-)

We do have better things to do. You are so right about that.


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