#DadPreneurs, Style and my Carrie Bradshaw Moment
Funny (read, interesting and occasionally bordering on ironic) that these posts often start off as one thing and end up entirely as something else.
When I started this one, it was titled simply "Style". I was prompted by a friend (happens to be a guy, which wouldn't normally bear mentioning, except in this case it will be relevant in a moment) who said, "You should write a blog just dedicated to style for the active mompreneur."
Before I go any further, let me say that I think "mompreneur" is a silly term that must have originated by either someone trying to sell something, or by a guy. Until I see someone hash tagging "dadpreneur" as a major movement, I'm going to continue to ignore the ignorant who act as though being a mother and a self-made professional is a genetically engineered feat (for which I am guessing a guy would have taken credit). I'm a person. I am a woman. I gave birth to a couple of other people. Then I went back to work. Moving on.
I asked him what he meant and why my style is even a thing.
"For a lot of people like you who have it, style is something you buy, adjust or coif. It usually has to do with clothing, accessories or hair. But not for you. For you it's very different. Some people make it seem effortless, but you make it almost non-existent."
I think that was a compliment. I think. He continued and made some sort of superhero reference.
"I have seen you go from water polo mom in sweats to power-CEO, like Clark Kent in a phone booth."
After the whole "mompreneur" thing, I wondered why he didn't reference Supergirl or Wonder Woman. But I let it go. He continued, and this part I remember verbatim.
"Your style comes from somewhere else. It's deeper. And it's so -"
He paused, working on the word. I held my breath, thinking, please don't use the "m-word" again. He exhaled with a single word, "you".
"It's so you."
That was a nice moment. Good place to end. But he didn't.
"You should really write about style for mompr --- "
Yes, he said it again. I let it go again. I have to choose my battles.
But I thought about it. I'll admit that for an instant, it was mildly appealing. Ok, maybe more than mildly. I envisioned living my life through a Carrie Bradshaw-esque (Sex and the City, for those of you living under a rock around the turn of the century) narrative. You know, wake up whenever, roll over, write a little, and then wait for "Big" to come pick me up for dinner, drinks and.
And so I started thinking of titles for my blog.
"Rachel On Style"
"Style by Rachel"
"Style and the City"
Whatever. I'll mess around with titles later. Now, on the the good stuff. Style. STYLE!
Manner. Appearance. Design. These are the words typically associated with style. What was my take on those?
Ok, maybe manner didn't resonate with me. Next.
Appearance. Ew. Too self-centered.
Design. Too architectural.
Maybe I should start with something simpler. But what?
I was doing my makeup at the moment, and it hit me. Makeup. Makeup! Admittedly, a little superficial (literally) but that seemed a good place to start. As I ran my eye liner across the bottom of my right eye, I thought what I need is an angle or a theme. How hard could this be? I figured if I just looked through my makeup, I could come up with a theme or something that was "me on makeup". I grabbed the pile of creams, lipsticks, eyeliners and laid them out on my makeup table (I'm not that fancy. My makeup table is just my nighttable with a chair shoved in front of it.) A theme. My theme. What was my theme? After 10 minutes or so, I realized I don't have a theme. A drawer full of old makeup, 10% of which I use and 90% of which I am apparently irrationally attached to. Was that my theme? I like getting great deals on makeup. I like getting things on sale. Maybe that's my theme. Now what? Should I make one of those videos where I just sit at my makeup table and talk while I get ready? Does anyone care what brand of blush I use? I'm not sure I have it in me. Or maybe this whole style thing is a little blown out of proportion. Yet I still did fancy the idea of my own style blog or channel or something. I decided to look elsewhere to see if I could locate my style.
I stood in the doorway to my closet, looking around at what amounts to my life in decades. Stuff from two decades ago that I'll never wear again. Things from the last decade that are the evolution from new mom with unmanifested plans to socialize with adults, through functional minimalism (aka, clothes that don't piss me off when I have to sit on those plastic folding seats that seem to come out of nowhere at pretty much every school event, ever). Off in the distance were the Rachel clothing archives from more than 20 years ago, which are now beginning to look like something I just saw in a high fashion magazine (note to self, dig through magazines to see if am more in style than I think). So where shall I begin telling the world about my unique and effortless style? As I was deciding, I slid into my favorite jeans from Target. They were right over there, barely in that pile of laundry in the bottom of the closet, and totally acceptable to wear again. Ok, this isn't working.
Maybe I should just stick to writing about the random things that move me at any given moment. Who cares if I can't write a blog about makeup or clothing? I make cookies, right? Lots and lots of really, really good cookies. Maybe I'll start a baking blog or cooking channel or something (hmm).
And so for the blog post that started out with the title, "Style", what happened there? I guess I decided maybe I do have my very own inimitable style. But if I do, I doubt it's something anyone wants to read about. Or I suppose I could just make one of those silly videos where you watch me roam around the house, washing my face, putting on makeup, and going to pick up the kids. Can you imagine? Who does that?
Anyway, style for me isn't how I wear my clothes, my makeup or my hair. Style is how I wear my life. What he saw as so effortless was the fact that what I do, where I go, with whom I associate, is my life. And fortunately it came in just my size. The other stuff is just stuff.
Now, if you really, really have absolutely nothing better to do for the next few minutes, here's a bit of art imitating life. Or whatever.