I recently ran to a friend’s house to pick up a hand-me-down (go figure. With four kids, we live for hand-me-downs). As she opened the door, she sheepishly said, “Please excuse our mess!” Understandingly, I replied with a very Clueless-style, Cher Horowitz classic: “As if!” I explained to her that our place is always a mess, but I was not prepared for her response.
“No, it isn’t. I’ve seen pictures you post on Facebook. Your place is always so clean!” Like with any image on Facebook, I assured her that she wasn’t getting the full scope. After my many thanks, I drove off in thought about exchange. Was I incidentally sending the message that I’ve got my house together? Did people think that I have my life together based on what they may see from afar on social media?
And then it hit me: I’m what Cher Horowitz would call a full-on Monet. From far away, I’m ok, but up close I’m a big-ol’ mess.
If you were to judge me or my life from far away based on social media, you’d get the false impression that I’ve somehow got it all together. Knowing me personally proves I’m really just a big ol’ mess!
Yes, my house is almost always tidy because clutter stresses me out. But the truth is that it’s almost never clean. And there’s a big difference! I may not have loose items on the furniture, but don’t run your finger across a shelf surface!
I pretty much never have my nails painted. But if I do, they’re chipped. Because I did them in a rush getting dressed after coordinating an outfit that obligated me into wearing open-toed shoes. That cute, flowy shirt I’m wearing in a picture was once a dress that shrunk in the wash. My kids’ precious, matching church outfits were gifts. Or hand-me-downs. Or a combination that I got creative with.
My favorite t-shirt has a hole in the armpit that I’m very discrete about. I had to set about twelve phone reminders to get the kids to soccer on time. I need an excel spreadsheet for our weeknight activities. The boys’ fingernails are unacceptably long. I don’t know what to do with my hair (if it looks good, it was an accident). I have no idea what size diapers the baby wears (I rely on my last Walmart Grocery Pick-Up order for that). I cannot imagine what my life would be like without a work planner, a personal calendar, and reminders from Siri. (Confession: While at work, I once got an email from my daughter’s teacher about a behavior issue at school and had to set a reminder to fuss at her about it later. My memory sucks.)
If I’ve ever conveyed that I have my life together, I assure you it’s an illusion. I’m a full-on Monet. And that’s ok. Because if I were to guess, I’d bet most of us are. We’re all just out here doing what we need to avoid looking like Tai Frasier falling down the stairs at a cool college party.
If anything, I can probably start posting more honest pictures of myself on social media. You know, in solidarity with the other moms out there who have more fun vegging out than going partying.