Being a stay-at-home mom must be the least glamorous job in the world; and of all the unglamorous SAHMs, I must be one of the most unglamorous. I don’t have much reason to do myself up nicely when the only people I see most days are neighbours-turned-friends at the park, sundry courier boys, and the husband and kids, of course (who really wouldn’t care much whether I was well-dressed, shabbily dressed, or nude, as long as they got food when they wanted it).
Generally, I alternate between three pairs of jeans, all of which are either too loose or too tight; a threadbare pair of shoes (not that shoes can be threadbare, but if they were made of threads, they would be threadbare) and a pair of sandals that bears evidence of Tara’s motion-sickness from a long ago trip to Pondicherry; a few shirts that have seen better days; and a haircut that was a disaster when it happened and hasn’t improved much since except on the rare occasions when I give it the full treatment and make it look nice for all of two hours.
When we first got the twins, I had planned to take a few hours off once every weekend, to “do my own thing” and to keep (or, as it often turns out, regain) my sanity. Of course, it hasn’t always happened. Too often, doing “my own thing” turned out to be grocery shopping, or buying birthday gifts for upcoming birthday parties. Or giving and picking up laundry. Sigh.
So today, when I had done my obligatory two hour stint of painting the bathroom (work is going well, though I have to admit that the Sistine Chapel is a rather prettier sight), I set off with determination for a trip of some self indulgence: shopping, without a thought for the girls, the husband, or the household. I was going to buy nightclothes, trousers/jeans, shoes, maybe some (costume) jewellery (what unglamorous SAHM wears the other kind?) and any other feminine trinket that caught my eye. I headed for the nearest mall, with my pockets full (I still hadn’t, after all, got myself my puja gift yet, though my father-in-law had sent the cash months ago) and my hands free, stopping along the way for my usual solo outing companion, a chocolate ice cream.
It has been a seriously long time since my last successful shopping expedition, and in the interim I seem to have gone even more out of fashion than I ever was before. I needed jeans, but all the shops have only low-waisted boot-cut styles. I wear my jeans around my waist, and an hour-glass figure I may not have, but I do have a waist that is distinctly a different part of my anatomy from my stomach, and my jeans belong at my waist, not on my hips, don’t these designers know anything???
Shoes? All they have is the strappy, glitzy, high-heeled stuff that 18-year-olds can wear to maximise their fan following. I need sensible flats, closed in front, preferably black, that I can wear to the park and on planes, trains, and automobiles, that are easy to slip on and off, and that I don’t need socks with. I’m not going to too many pubs, discos and parties here, people.
I browsed the nightwear section and found stuff that was seriously sexy (too old for that), or seriously homely (not old enough for that yet). Just as I was despairing of finding anything to justify this entire expedition (other than the chocolate ice cream, which alone is capable of justifying even an expedition to the ends of the earth in my opinion), I found one nightie that would do, and grabbed it, and, in short order, headed home.
Mission accomplished, but I’m still the most unglamorous of people in the most unglamorous of roles and hopelessly out of touch with modern fashions to boot. And shopping expeditions for such creatures are increasingly doomed to failure. What am I supposed to dooooooooooooooooooooo???