I love the idea of “letting yourself go”, as in “oh, Barbara’s really let herself go since she had the twins. She’s put on 10lbs and wears hotpants without shaving her legs”. I’ve been a fan of non-grooming all my life, but the presence of a toddler, poor eyesight and a lack of motivation has led to an all-time low which is now bordering on the unhygienic.
This afternoon I decided that things had gone a bit too far when I fished something nobbly out of my pants and realised I’d been walking around with one of Mini’s socks in my knickers. I hadn’t even noticed anything was amiss. Apparently I can now lose entire items of clothing within my body creases.
I should have realised that things were trending downward as the only comment I’ve had on my appearance in the last six-months was that I’d gone “all Greenham Common.” That’s right, I now look like a lesbian from the 80s who’s been camping without washing facilities for a month. Admittedly, at the time I was wearing a rather jazzy Camden headscarf plus the jumper and jeans that have been glued to me since 2009.
I thought I’d managed to hold it together at work though, but this week found that I don’t have a single pair of tights without holes in (I blame iron-wire leg hair) and both of my “good” dresses have got toothpaste on them. To my mind they had been clean so I had worn them to work splattered in white marks. Classy.
I’ve been enjoying letting myself go in other ways too. Without the constraints of partner or housemates over the age of 2, I can eat celery and strawberry bootlaces for tea, washing them down with hot chocolate and gin, and there is nobody to raise an eyebrow or force the 2-5 diet on me. There is nobody to tell me that lying on the floor in my dressing gown reading teen vampire fiction isn’t the best way to spend the evening when there’s a baby to care for. There is nobody to tell me that throwing the shopping into the cupboards willy-nilly is a bad idea (true, I’ve now got 4 tubes of tomato puree and no rice, but…), or that the 1kg jars of pickled onions are intended for consumption by large families only. Although I’ve lived alone before, I’ve always restrained myself in the past – not giving in to the things I REALLY wanted to do, but instead reading improving material, volunteering and pushing myself to eat well. I have given up on all of these pretences and have got used to indulging my true inner-self – the true self who wants to watch the Sopranos boxset for the third time in a row and the true self who eats out of the tin to avoid washing up.
I’m slightly concerned I’m un-evolving. Within 10 years I’ll be back to primordial goo if I continue on this road. Primordial goo with Denis Healey eyebrows and cellulite.
(This post is dedicated to the countless souls who have told me that my new hair colour is “interesting”. Don’t worry people – I know that “interesting” is code for “a huge mistake”, but I’m truly letting myself go and embracing a pink barnet!)