It has become apparent that a la Alec Baldwin, I must say goodbye to public life. But before I do so, I wanted to offer an explanation.
A few months after I began working in Los Angeles, we held a day of focus groups in Beverly Hills. We were in a swanky office in the heart of the 90210 — an area that my recent college graduate self had not yet had any reason to visit.
At around 2 or 3 PM someone suggested we take a break from the torture and walk to a nearby cafe to grab some lunch. As we headed out into the sunny afternoon, I saw a sight that shocked me.
There were crowds of grown adults everywhere, just wandering the streets like it was Saturday. They were my age and older–you know, working-age people, just ambling mindlessly through shops I will never be able to afford. I thought, don’t these people have anywhere to be?? I assumed most of the women were probably Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but the men? What were they doing here!?
One man who struck me particularly was this good-looking brunette sitting in Urth Caffe wearing a red track suit. He just sat there, nursing a Spanish latte and reading a book for the duration of our lunch. When we left, he stayed there reading. I was astounded.
I shook my head in disgust at the nerve of these people, so publicly flaunting their lack of a real day job.
And then recently, I became one of them.
See, I quit my day job a few months ago to be a freelancer. This basically means that I write from home in my pajamas for most of the day and only leave when I want to go to yoga or need almond milk. Sometimes I stay inside all day and tell myself it’s good for my skin. It is a strange existence, largely devoid of human interaction, which can make a person quite crazy. But I have kept myself busy, which I thought had kept me sane.
But then one day I had to go to an interview, which required putting on real clothes.
I grabbed a chambray shirt and was annoyed by how many buttons there were. I grabbed a pair of skinny jeans and wiggled my way into them.
I stood up and felt a spasm of unhappiness shoot through my lower half. What are skinny jeans!? Why must they encase my legs so tightly and squeeze the life out of my waist?? My body rejected them like a bad organ; after my hour in public, I raced home to discard them on the floor.
Despondent, I realized that this is the definition of “having let oneself go” — I have literally let my body relax into the capacity of my yoga pants. It will tolerate no denim.
Since then, I slump around the apartment and catch horrifying glimpses of myself in the mirror, wearing outfits like a sundress with a hoodie, or a swimsuit top with a tennis skirt and slippers. Once I caught myself at the car wash wearing a pair of gym shorts and a silk blouse.
I decided the other day when meeting a friend for lunch that I would put an end to this repulsive habit. I approached my closet and stared numbly at the objects inside it wondering, “What are all these things draped on the metal triangles? Did I buy all this?”
When I showed up to lunch she said, “Well, you look sunny!” I looked down to see that I was wearing pink and yellow floral pants, a perfectly matching pink top, and glittery sandals. Each element on its own would have been tolerable, but the combination of all three made me look like a 6-year-old on Easter.
“Agh! What’s wrong with me?”
“What do you mean what’s wrong with you?”
“I am unfit for public life!!”
And so world, I write you from the safety of my couch to bid you farewell. As a non-contributing citizen who has lost her ability to wear clothes, I no longer have a place in your company. I will not be the man in the red track suit. I will keep my indecency to myself.
Do let me know when you invent skinny jeans with a drawstring at the waist.
Until then, I bid you Goodbye.