Mom Knows Best (But Don't Tell Her I Said That!)
It's 2003. I'm wearing new low-rise jeans and a slogan T, and I've ferociously flat ironed my naturally straight hair. If you can believe it, I'm dressed for an occasion. It is the first dance of my high school career. Every year, my high school held an informal dance the weekend before school started. I was entering 9th grade, I was very awkward, and I was nervous.
My mom drove me. We pulled up to the curb, and she reminded me when she'd be back to pick me up. (I didn't have a cell phone yet! Imagine that!) I awkwardly jumped out of the truck, and joined the other high schoolers in a march toward the front doors. I got about ten feet when my mom stuck her head out the window and yelled, "Rebecca! Have fun! HAVE GOOD POSTURE!"
I don't know if there is any better story that encapsulates my mom. She is fun, and funny, and never let me take myself too seriously. (A feat in itself!) My mom was also my biggest defender. If I was ever slighted or treated unfairly, my mom was there making sure that my voice was heard, and that I got a fair shot. (She didn't only do this for me, she did and continues to advocate for our whole family.) She is a unique blend of friendly and formidable, and I've yet to come across anyone quite like her.
My mom also passed along a lot of fashion wisdom, that, as a teenager, I mostly ignored. (Teenagers, amirite?) When I was a chunky, round-faced middle schooler with butt length hair, she suggested a side part. A middle part makes round faces look rounder. Totally true. I didn't listen. (Oh my gosh, you should see the pictures... which you won't because I refuse to put them online.)
My mom also suggested that wearing a lip color in tandem with my Avril Lavigne-esque black eyeliner would be a bit more flattering on my very pale skin. Really solid. Totally true. I broadened my collection of clear lip gloss and didn't listen.
My mom also gives excellent life advice, that as an overly serious, neurotic teenager I also often ignored. I took theater VERY SERIOUSLY, and when I'd get cast in a small role and think the world was crashing down around me, she'd remind me that this too shall pass. It wasn't my turn this time, but it could be next time. Life has proven to me that this is totally true. At the time, I didn't listen.
Today is my mom's birthday. (Happy Birthday Mom!!) I wanted to find a way to celebrate her, but experimenting with fashion in her name didn't feel quite right. In a way, this whole blog is due to my mom. She has always encouraged my love of clothes, took me to Seattle for school shopping every year, and has bought me thousands of fashion magazines. So, instead, I'm taking her advice.
I am not as formidable as my mom. I have my moments. I can pull it out if I need to. While my mom is friendly and formidable, I'm more friendly and snarky. (Christian says I have an alter ego which he has dubbed "Sassy Sassiness".) Sometimes that works for me. Sometimes, however, it doesn't.
I've mentioned a few times that I'm a terrible self-promoter. It makes me panicky. I've attempted to convince myself that my work should speak for itself. Producing quality work is important, but in a world of self-promoters who also produce quality work, it doesn't always get me very far.
So, today, right this very instant, I'm honoring my mom and following her advice: The Worst They Can Say Is No.
I'm sending an email throwing myself into the ring for an acting role that I want. I'm terrified. I've put it off all week. But there's no time like the present....
Ok, it's done. I sent it. My heart is pounding and I'm a bit clammy sweaty. GAH! AH! And now, really, the worst thing they can say is no. And, if that happens, I'm not any worse off than where I started.
Recently, in my Inspired By | Stacy London post, I described how, when it comes to female friendship, I have a type. Here's what I said:
I befriend honest women. Women that speak their mind, have candor, and tell it like it is. They don't beat around the bush, they don't sugarcoat. They usually have a bit of quirk about them, and a unique sense of humor. They know themselves and don't apologize for it. They're not cold-hearted, or mean, or rude but sometimes can be framed as "difficult." "Difficult" because, after all, what's a women if she isn't sweet, always nice and certainly soft-spoken? Usually, that woman is my friend.
Now, if that doesn't describe my mom, I don't know what does. Thanks, mom, for always being your singular self, leading by example, giving excellent advice, and being my very first, and best, female friend. None of us know what we'd do without you. Happy Birthday!