The other day I stopped into a bike shop and told the supercool bike shop guy who greeted me that I am looking for a hybrid bike. He quickly directed me towards a Schwinn that he said would be just right for me. "And it comes with the fenders and a bell, so you won't have to purchase them separately!" It did have the suspension features I was looking for, and was in the price range I had in mind...but it came off as so...dorky! I told him I had to think about it. And I did. I thought about him seeing an over-forty out of shape woman who needs a haircut and quickly deciding what bike to sell her. I had been judged! My irrational imagined reaction was to somehow come up with $3,000 for a Real Serious Bike that would prove to the world what an accomplished and committed rider I am, who was he to say that I needed fenders and a comfort seat?
And then today a good friend from work called. She was in the area and wanted to come over to visit. Yes! I'd love to have some company and catch up on what's going on over there. But I had about 1/2 hour to get ready. I scrambled around putting things away, shoving papers into piles, no time to vacuum! And then there was my own appearance to deal with. Let's just say that my "around the house" look is a wide departure from my "going out" or work look. No time to fuss with that either. Of course we had a very nice visit, but again I had to reflect on why I got so freaked out in getting ready. Maybe because she is one of the people who seem to "do it all" successfully and I wanted to at least measure up, a little. Or else the fear that she would be reporting back on my condition to those at GM in a hushed whisper: "I think she's been cutting her own hair!"
It's interesting how, when suddenly confronted with a mental view of myself through someone else's eyes, I get a little defensive about what I think they might see. Shouldn't we not be judged about our appearance, or possessions, or housekeeping priorities? Well, maybe it serves to provide a little window into my own insecurities. And heck, I should know about judging people, I was after all once a sorority rush chairman. And the true reality is, it was just a guy trying to sell some extra bikes he had on the floor, and a friend coming over for a visit. The rest was in my head.
So that's all for now, I have to go and make a haircut appointment.