I’d like to blame it on the weather, but I don’t think that’s really it. But I have taken to slobbing around in sweatpants in public for some weeks now (see Costanza, George). Not leggings or yoga pants. Shapeless, drawstring, Target sweatpants. I care, but let’s face it: if I cared that much, I’d make an effort to pull myself together. Sometimes I stop to pick up coffee after I drop my kids off at school, and I stand in line in my sweatpants, my dirty hair, my giant tubercular undereye circles, disheveled and bleary-eyed, as if I’d been woken from a deep slumber and forced outside at gunpoint.
I got my hair cut recently, after six months of witch wig. That’s something.
Spent $48 at Sephora on a brush and concealer. I can’t wait for them to change my life.
Problem: hidden identity. And my worlds are colliding (see Costanza, George). Let me explain. Leslie Stella is the writer me, my maiden name. But the other me keeps that hidden from most acquaintances and all work colleagues. Why? It’s not like I’m embarrassed of being a writer. But I’m embarrassed at how much of a flake I feel like, that I can’t get into it with most people. I don’t think I can make it in this industry. I have a very undeveloped sense of self-preservation when it comes to my career (see blog, this one). I don’t tweet all the livelong day (full disclosure: I deleted my Twitter account two years ago). I don’t have a “street team.” The term “street team” makes me want to throw up into infinity. I’m poor at interacting with people, unless I’m the other me, the mom or the suffocating employee. But my worlds are starting to collide because a couple of casual acquaintances have sneaked under my psychic barbed-wire fence, and know my dirty secret. And it’s gonna come out eventually, and I can’t stand it. “Why don’t you want people to know you’re a writer?” you may ask. Part of it’s because I’m a private person, and I don’t like sharing. I like secret things. And part of it’s because this career has never stopped being a struggle for me, and I don’t like to broadcast my failure out loud to people I barely know. Except you. I barely know you, and I don’t mind spilling it to you. But that is because you and I have the beauty of typed words between us.
I have a relative who is fantastic in every way, except that he asks me every single time I see him, “What’s going on with your book? Have you sold your next one?” and I always have to say, “Nothing, and nope.” And I cringe and feel guilty because all he is doing is taking an interest in me, and all I can do is feel like a choad.
I don’t want to discuss my career, except with you in these safe, little-read blog entries. I don’t want a street team, I don’t want to sell myself beyond the words I write for you. I guess the truth is that I am just a fundamentally morose middle-aged woman with an embarrassing passion for geek culture and nothing else.
I am sweatpants. I hide flaws and failure beneath voluminous folds of black fleece. My worlds are colliding, and soon all of that will be on display, every chunk of it laid bare for those who thought they knew me but never will.