March 22, 2012


It's basically been the same way my whole life. I'm sitting in the grass trying to get some vitamin D on my face and all I can hear is the happy chortles of those next door...playing in their greener grass where the sun is much warmer and their teeth are somehow white as porcelain. Oh, and also, over there in the greener grass, they don't go long stretches of time wearing ZERO traces of make up and they most certainly haven't resigned themselves to "the winter of knit" (which, by the way, has been the lamest idea since not shaving my legs for 6-months in college).

Peering over the fence I can only imagine what I look like to them. Let's just start with the obvious: my hair looks greasy and gray (because it is), my face looks weathered (because having a baby stripped by skin of some super essential hormone that resulted in my face skin turning sallow and crepey). Either that, or I'm 40. Then there is a little thing called Holy Crap, where did my muscle tone go? And finally there is the knit? If comfortable means I walk around all hunched over and sloppy then Hells Yes, I'm comfy. It's just a little difficult to wake up day after day always looking like the pathetic before photo in the makeover segment show What Not To Wear.

This fence peering post I keep, it's familiar. Sometimes I look over and see lots of beautiful people and that's hard. But what is harder is to look over and see people who probably never wake up afraid. I wake up afraid a lot. You see, somewhere way back in the anals of my childhood, I decided that if I couldn't be or do perfectly, then I shouldn't be or do. It's better to just quietly blend into the background or foreground than to try anything and not be perfect at it - which translates to mediocre. And mediocre is basically the worst word you could EVER USE AROUND ME. It's fine if you are describing the steak you had for dinner (unless I cooked it for you) but it's a dagger to the heart if you use it in reference to anything connected to me.There are so many things I want to do or try but I'm simply too afraid.

Those people on the other side of the fence also have this super-human amount of motivation. I mean, I shuffle around the house with my teeth unbrushed, sometimes until...all day long. Meanwhile, they have made 6 loaves of homemade bread, reupholstered a chair they bought for $3 at a garage sale, exercised, and have put together some enchantingly clever outfit that absolutely does not include black yoga pants. They take these beautiful photos of their beautiful lives and all I can do is peek thru the slats in the fence and wonder how in the eff they got back into their jeans after they had their baby. And is their baby already walking?

Does anyone else carry on long bouts of dialogue with themselves? The kind that starts, "did I brush my teeth yet? Oh man, no I didn't. And it's 3pm. Why bother now. Clementine hasn't been out of the house in 3 days. I should be arrested for child abuse for keeping her in the house so long. I guess I'll brush my teeth and take her on a walk but I'm absolutely not combing my hair or changing my clothes. What you see is what you get people. If I wear sunglasses and some lip gloss I'll fool them all. I didn't expect it to be so warm out. I wish I could take off my sweatshirt but my tee has sweet potatoes on it and I accidentally dried it in the dryer so it fits too tight and I hate how my arms look in it. I guess I'll just leave my hoodie on and sweat like a pig. Oh crap, I didn't wear any deodorant. And look at my yoga pants; they haven't been washed in so long they have knee bumps even when I'm standing with my legs straight. It's nice out. This weather, this sunshine, it all makes me want to get really creative. I feel like I could write a novel in 12 seconds if I were home in front of the computer; I'm gonna write for an hour after I get Clementine down for her nap. Look at that cute mom over there swinging her little girl. hmfph. I'm so hot all I want to do is take off this stupid jacket. But now I have BO so I definitely cannot. Clem seems tired, I'll start heading back. When I get home I need to thaw out that chicken so I can make dinner; I think Nate's dad is coming at 5:30. Oh, and I need to put the clothes in the dryer; if I forget again those clothes will permanently smell like mildew. I can't stop thinking about that cute mom at the swings. Oh, there is so-and-so, I don't want her to see me because I stink and I'm pretty sure I was wearing this on Monday when I saw her before.

I love my husband and my baby more than ever. That grass couldn't be greener or more succulent. But the grass that represents me, my accomplishments, how I look and feel...rubbish. Luckily, Clementine has 101 faces that cheer me up during the course of the day and I look forward to each one for their own specific healing powers. Take this one for example.

I imagine her as a pirate saying,
"It's time to throw ye overboard matey.
That tee is a disgrace even to a pirate."


Kym said...

....what you don't see my dear Tonia, is that everyone secretly wants to be like you. Be as funny as you. Be as smart as you. Be as good a writer as you. I know I do. I admit it to you often... you know that, don't you? This is our year, Mrs. Conger. We still have 9.5 months to make it happen. It may not be perfection, but it will the progress of it all. Besides, who gets to look at Clementine whenever they want? YOU DO!

Kym said...

P.S. You're beautiful.

Ashley E. said...

Omgosh.. Tonia, I totally don't know you- I secretly want to be best friends with you & Kym (I guess that's out in the open now:-).. I am literally giggling so hard right now.. Trying not to wake my sleeping husband! You (& Kym) are so funny...
I don't Know you.. (sometimes, again, I believe we're Old friends) But, that list bit- wondering if you've brushed your teeth.. & looking down to see baggy knees in what's meant to be fitted black yoga pants- that was me, today. & Monday.. & last Saturday too! Lol..
You sound absolutely amazing! Such a talented writer.. Witty, beautiful, honest.. & you're bff's with Kym! Are you serious?!! I think you're life sounds dreamy! Kym is one of my idols.. In so many ways! (hope you're reading this, Kym! I just love you)! She's the funniest, most gorgeous, unalarming & approachable girls I know.. & I KNOW she's friends with the best!
You two are pretty incredible mamas... That's coming from me- peering through the slats in my fence!

natalie malan said...

I will confess that I was up at 3am sewing a knit skirt this morning to be just like you!!! I LOVE the knit! Yay! :) When you see me in my pink striped maxi skirt - know that you inspired it. SOoooo excited!

natalie malan said...

PS I'm only sewing it because I'm too lazy to get myself and both kids up and dressed and to the store to go buy one. And I'm too cheap to pay shipping.

Kym said...

Tonia, don't believe any word from Ashley E. She never has a bad hair day, she has 5 beautiful kids, looks like a supermodel and owns an entire wardrobe from Lululemon. Oh wait, and I adore her. She is one of dearest people you'll ever know.

Tonia Conger said...

Thanks for the words of comfort and LOVE KC! "You take me up, oh ho, you take me up to the higher ground. You take me up so high, and now I never wanna come back down."
Natalie! Your maxi! I think this needs to be our next "make and take". I tried to sew knit once and it was a to have an expert show me the ropes would be invaluable.
Ashley...any friend of Kym's is a friend o mine. I think she and I spent an hour at the Gap one day trying on sweat pants and hoodies to look just like you. We both gave it our best for a feverish hour and then we decided...we just don't have what it takes like Ashley does. I don't even know you but Kym told me you were pretty perfect.

Ashley E. said...

Kym.. you had me at hello! Just kidding.. but, I'm pretty sure I fell in love with you all over again.. & you boosted my self-esteem a few notches! :-) I do adore you.. but boy have I got you fooled! you should see my laundry room!
Tonia.. I will admit, I do rock my sweats & hoodies.. You have to find the perfect sweats when that's what you live in (Lucky Dusty :-)!
(can I be a part of the winter of knit club?.. do sweats count)?
Love you ladies!

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