Living in Los Angeles, I frequently find myself surrounded by beautiful exteriors. And I ain’t talkin buildings. And I’m not really talking about the beautiful people either. Though there are plenty of those walking around too. I’m talking about the people who seem to have it all together. They are always perfectly dressed for wherever they are, they say the right things, or sometimes they know when to say nothing (a particular skill I do not always possess), their meals always are food-magazine photo worthy and they seem to move through life with a general sense of grace and dignity. These people are glossy.
I am not one of these people.
If you thought that I was, let me dispel that rumor immediately. I never know the right thing to say and I often say way too much. I am frequently overdressed or under-dressed or just dressed strangely, usually in an attempt to pull off a look that I have seen one of the glossies pull off effortlessly. I take pictures with a duck face or with food in my mouth more than I’d like to admit. And yesterday I lint rolled my friend’s ass in front of 15-20 construction workers before I realized what I was doing. Yeah. Glossy I am not.
I realize that the “glossies” most likely would not describe themselves as such. I’m sure they have problems too. In fact every time I get to know one of the glossy crew, I find out that like me, they too often feel awkward and graceless and like they can’t keep their head above water. But man, is it hard not to let my imagination run away with every detail of your seemingly beautiful, obnoxious perfect lives.
Yesterday, after lint rolling my friend’s ass in public, we walked into a pre-natal yoga class (this is a fellow preggo friend, btw, which is so nice to have around!). Pre-natal yoga is a special special thing. It is designed to create space for moms-to-be in their lives and in their hips. In pre-natal yoga, they say things like, “Breathe your baby down,” and it requires 10 minutes & 7 props to set up in order to begin class. Because pregnant women need a lot of pillows and straps. There is a lot to roll your eyes at, but truthfully after a class, I always feel better.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t giggle when the instructor said “release your sphincter.”
Now I grew up in Berkeley. With two parents and a slew of adult family friends who work in the medical field. I can speak clinically about vomit and puss and vaginas (hopefully not at the same time) without flinching. Bodies are bodies. I’m fine. But apparently “release your sphincter” makes me snortle like a school girl. In my defense, my preggo yoga buddy is my good friend from college who is quick to giggle. I knew she would laugh if I looked at her when it was said, and I still looked at her. And it’s not like we laughed inappropriately or even very loudly and it lasted approximately 3 seconds. But there was not another preggo in that pre-natal yoga class that even cracked a smile. And it’s moments like these that I am reminded of my lack of grace and gloss. If I were glossy, I would just release my sphincter and not feel the need to giggle at the silliness of it all.
There are days that I lament glosslessness. It makes me feel unsophisticated and therefore undeserving of good things. It makes it hard to get dressed in the morning when all of the clothes in your closet represent everything that you are not. It makes it hard to cook dinner when you know half of it is coming from the freezer and the other half will be opened with a pair of kitchen shears and a can opener and will not be gloriously photo-worthy. When I submit myself to glossy-flogging it’s hard to get out of it. After carrying around the glossy whip for a while, it eventually gets too heavy and I put it down or drop it and forget it all together, until the next time I’m scrolling through Facebook only to be reminded that there are other people who are doing everything better than I am. Sigh. It’s a never-ending cycle.
But ultimately, I’m always gonna be the girl who giggles when the yoga teacher says “release your sphincter” followed by a long guttural breath of ujjayi. And I’m gonna lint roll my girlfriend’s ass if she gets out of my car covered in dog hair. It’s just gonna happen. And for now, I’m ok with that.
Even if the only thing glossy about me is my greasy hair that I should have washed but didn’t because I thought I could squeeze one more day from last week’s salon blow-out.