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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tabatha vs Tabulous.

I do this thing, when I'm going to leave the house and either (a) know I'm going to be photographed a la birthdays or (b) I'm representing myself as a blogger and not as a stay at home mom where I kind of go for gusto with my appearance.

I become kind of hyper-attentive to detail about nearly everything on my personage because I want to look like I have my shit together, I want to appear to be all the things that people who don't really know me in real life (and even some that do) seem to think I am -- I feel this overwhelming need to live up to a hype that I think I may have made up myself.

Which means I end up being overly dressed for almost everything I do in the name of the Internet.

This time, it was meeting The Bloggess at the bookstore across the street from my childhood neighborhood.

It struck me, as I spent literally all day dyeing my hair (protein treatments and masques and bleach and three different colors because my hair is refusing to hold color for more than a week at a time right now) amidst doing laundry (so I had my entire wardrobe at my disposal) and the general daily tasks of our household all in preparation of the night's activity, that it's almost like I have two different personalities -- the at home Tabatha that you'd see if you ever randomly popped over, and then Tabulous, who I present on this blog and nearly every social media network I'm on.

And I thought maybe you should see both sides of that coin.

If you come to my house during the week, it's a good chance it's been at least a day since I've showered. I'll be wearing some sweatpants and a shelf bra tank top and a sweatshirt, dirty hair a nest on my head, glasses either on my face or laying around somewhere, with bits of dried mystery substance on my pants or sleeve to wherever it fell when a child or cat came in close proximity to me and marked me in one way or another. I might be wearing slippers or socks or be barefoot. Everything has holes in it and I don't particularly care.

But if I go out, especially where I feel like I might be "seen" chances are I'm wearing something for the first time -- might be a shirt or pants, maybe the shoes, or even just earrings. I'm freshly showered and have a full face of makeup and a whole head of product done. Contacts are a must unless the weather and my allergies completely rebel. And 7 our of 10 times, I will be wearing ridiculous, near-impractical shoes.

Because that's my shield.

When I dress up and wear make up and six inch stilettos and my hair is freshly peacock-hued, it's like I'm playing the part of Me, going through an imaginary script of what I think I should be like if I were more normal and social and the person I more wish I was than who I am 95% of the time.

I think that's been true most of my life.

At the reading, Jenny talked about her Confidence Wig, which is/was a wig she wore to feel better about speaking in public or other times she generally has to be around people. She said that she doesn't use it as much any more because if everyone knows that's why you're wearing it then there's not much point really in wearing it, so screw it.

So, this is me screwing it, a little.
Tabatha vs Tabulous via sotabulous.com
You should recognize the lady on the right.

I'm the lady on the left.

This isn't to say that I'm suddenly going to start schlepping around in my jams all the time, because I really do like dressing up and OMGSHOES and I don't feel bad about how or who I present when I do leave the house and know(hope?) someone might recognize me for/as my blog ... I just thought maybe I should show you who I am most of the time that I'm sitting here on my laptop, sharing my stories.

Consider my confidence wig busted.

(And for those of you curious, I managed to NOT burst into tears meeting Jenny AND I was able to not only thank her for being honest about her mental illness online but ALSO tell her that reading her book gave me the internal strength to believe that maybe my story is worth telling, too. WITHOUT A TEAR OR SOB. And then we took a photo
meeting the bloggess via sotabulous.com
and I thanked her for coming to Dayton of all places and I walked away, fulfilled. Me, point; anxiety, zero.)

Also, there was this:
inscription via sotabulous.com

And my life was made.