A Public Service Announcement for the Vain

Consider this your public service announcement for the week.

One miraculous day (because her children are often up at 5 a.m.), a middle-aged woman slept in until 6:50 a.m. Once up, she walked downstairs and hurriedly made her ravenous children the hot breakfasts they love so much, downed her coffee, checked her email (because she never knew what stores were going to need her), and packed lunches, because her life is like the movie Ground Hog’s Day. A movie she has never had the desire to watch, yet, knows the premise, and therefore often references. She hopes she is not getting it wrong.

Except this day, when she went to get dressed, determined not to continue in her lazy ways, she put on work out clothes, and throwing caution to the wind, eschewed her foundation. She may have forgotten her deodorant, too.

Her bus stop neighbors had long grown accustomed to this woman’s signature, just rolled out of bed look, and even thought she worked to achieve this look. However, the preschool set was accustomed to a flawless complexion and neat ponytail, at the very least.

But that day, the middle-aged woman thought to herself, who gives a damn?  After all, most days she was running late and hardly had time to look at anyone else, let alone stop for a close-up. I will run and dump, she thought, and no one will be the wiser.

As the woman pulled out of her driveway, with her fresh faced daughter in tow, she gave one last look into the rearview mirror at her red blotchy face, ran her hands through her greasy hair, and threw on her sunglasses.

Once they arrived at her daughter’s school, she whisked her daughter from the car to her classroom, only to be met with a roadblock. She couldn’t reach the classroom door because of the throngs of well groomed parents blocking the way, all wanting to be first in the classroom for the much overdue (blame the snow) Valentine’s Day Party.

The woman panicked. She sought out the teacher to ask, “Are we supposed to stay?”

“You don’t have to,” the teacher replied, her eyes briefly betraying her judgement, slacker mom.

The woman looked at her daughter, who gave her a wink in return, and knew she must take one for the team.

She spent the next uncomfortable thirty minutes adjusting her sunglasses, hoping they were holding back her mess of hair and keeping a safe distance from the other moms, because she suspected that she might even have smelled (see above paragraph on deodorant). Oddly, this was not difficult, as it seemed the the pink scarved and riding boot set were in charge of guarding one corner of the room.

When the thirty minutes of watching her daughter eat snacks were up (seriously, she needed to stay for this), she kissed said daughter and ran out, vowing never to run out the door without foundation (or deodorant) again.

The end.


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