Since I left my nine to five job in January I have become pretty carefree. So much in fact that my husband has been calling me “The Dude“. I can’t really blame him. I have taken up wearing a uniform of sorts which consists of pajama pants and a CBGB tank top with a sweater that looks like a homeless man was wearing for years before handing it over to me. When I leave the house I throw on a pair of workout pants to “dress it up a little”. It usually stops people from trying to hand me dollar bills at the grocery store. I’m not going to lie though, on occasion I just throw on yesterday’s pajama pants. Don’t judge me!
I think it would be a little easier for my husband to swallow if it was just the fact that I was dressing like an unemployed pot-head. It’s not. My entire demeanor has changed from the Type A control freak of the last decade. I would like to say that I turned into a slacker after being a super-achiever for my entire life, but that’s not true. I have been a free-spirit my whole life, interrupted only recently by a nine year stint in snoozeville. It worked for me for a little while. The money was good, the vacations were nice and the comic relief of working with a bunch of uptight accountants was great. I also enjoyed suiting up every day and slipping into a pair of high heels. I think the hardest part for me was smiling and keeping my mouth shut. This was especially hard with the misogynistic old man in the office who was so afraid of showing his age that he dyed his hair a ridiculously unreal shade of poop. He couldn’t carry on a conversation with me without staring directly at my chest. I’m pretty sure he thought my boobs carried anti-aging milk the way he drooled. Strangely, I kind of liked the old guy, if only for his honesty.
I am not a surface kind of person. I don’t do small talk and my jokes are usually either pretty dark or end in “that’s what she said”. I call people out for being insincere or unkind and I don’t really care if people like me or not. This is not a great personality type for the kind of office I was working in. In fact, it was similar to putting a fox into a rabbit pen and asking it to behave itself. It took the kind of self-restraint that only lasts so long. So in January I slaughtered the rabbits and headed back into the wild. I am still amazed that I lasted as long as I did. I really do love wearing high heels.
Today, I am still walking around in my CBGB shirt (or occasionally a Sleigh Bells or Sonic Youth shirt). I am still a fourteen year old little punk rock girl in many respects, banging away on my daughter’s drum set when I have writer’s block. I am also a middle aged woman who tutors kids in a less fortunate area and takes my six year old to gymnastics practice and the dentist. There’s no one box for me. I’m no longer a square peg trying to cram myself through the round hole. I have come to a place in my life where I just don’t need to fit some kind of mold. I have never really conformed to what others wanted, but until recently I still had a curiosity about their opinions. Now, I just can’t be worried about that. My curiosity has faded just like my beat up old sweater.
So it is true that The Dude abides. I am still the sarcastic kid that I have always been. I still have the same sense of self that I never let go of. I still sometimes do things just to rattle people’s cages. I am also still fiercely loyal and have a unwavering desire for justice. There is still both a lot of light and dark in me. Although my circumstances may change, my innermost self remains the same. I feel like I should probably apologize for that, but who am I kidding?