Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bedhead, Bedroom Shoes and A Runaway Bosom

It was bound to happen. For years, I have been playing with carpool fire, escaping the humiliating burn that was inevitable to occur. Risk takers, in general, are a prideful bunch, attempting to defy odds that all reasonable folks know are not in their favor. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18), words that ring in my ears as I contemplate the events of one morning.

I would ask that you refrain from judgment. As presumptuous as it may sound, I am certain that I am not alone in circumstances that beg for anonymity in the car line. In fact, we often pass by one another, baseball hats pulled low over our foreheads, huge sunglasses hiding the smudges from the previous day’s mascara and morning breath that can only be described as demonic.

The habit began innocently enough. A rushed morning, a scramble to fill lunch boxes and empty backpacks, left little time for proper dress. As is the case for most harried, worn-out moms, priority is given to the needs of the offspring first, and any remnants left over hardly adequate to address decent grooming.

The rush of school mornings that I compare to Noah right before the flood became less hectic when I readied myself in less than eleven seconds. Through much practice, and studying film of various pit crews in NASCAR, I have been able to accomplish pseudo-acceptable dress in the amount of time it takes for my children to bicker their way to our vehicle.

Certain concessions in attire are made to ensure arrival before the mocking of the tardy bell is heard. For instance, a sweatshirt is often worn over a pajama top. While I am aware that I have reached an age that has been sucker-punched by gravity, and fully recognize that any excursion lacking underwire is just plain wrong, the reality remains that it is quicker to hang free rather than support that which hangs.

Pajama pants worn to bed are also worn in carpool. At first, it was confusing to my children, as they often asked if I was headed to Wal-Mart after drop-off because “you know we always see people in their pajamas in the check-out line.” In addition, the bed head that frightens my husband every morning is sometimes covered with a baseball hat completing the look that can only be admired by colorblind hobos. And besides, who will really know if I don’t get out of the car?

Famous last words spoken by the unkempt, unshowered and unsightly.

My son’s forgotten lunchbox in the back seat of the car forced the issue one fateful morning. He was to leave for a field trip with high hopes of taking nutrition with him. I sped back to the school, hoping that the bus hadn’t already left, knowing that if it had, the Lucky Charms cereal eaten for breakfast wouldn't hold him.

With a quick glance to the mirror to confirm that I looked as disheveled as you are now imagining, I ran fingers through hair that hadn't seen a brush in twenty-four hours, and briskly walked towards the entrance of the building. Positioning one arm across my chest – as though I were about to say the Pledge of Allegiance – I tried without much success to hide unrestricted body parts.

Wearing red and white striped pajama bottoms topped with a faded blue sweatshirt, I looked like a tattered American flag shuffling up the steps in my bedroom slippers. The battle plan was to toss the lunch box at the kind receptionist and then turn on my fuzzy heels and run like the Red Coats were coming.

Instead of a quiet, inconspicuous retreat, I was met with an impromptu meet and greet with a few of the staff and two visiting students who fully took in with bulging eyeballs my bed head, bedroom shoes and runaway bosom. Together we all pretended that I didn't look like a bra-less fugitive in patriotic colors.

Allow my mistakes to be a lesson to those of you who tempt fate every morning in the carpool line. You may think that you are getting away with bulky sweatshirts and flannel bottoms, hiding crusty eyes behind sunglasses and halitosis behind rolled up windows. But I'm here to proclaim this very painful truth: my first could  be your first  and you too will be caught in all of your unsupported, floppy glory.

God Bless America.


Work In Progress said...

OMG! This is the best one yet!! I have actually dreamed about this same scenario happening to me on my off-days when I too believe that
"the reality remains that it is quicker to hang free rather than support that which hangs." You absolutely crack me up! Thanks for the JOY!

Joni said...


I encourage you to "keep hanging", but to do so with caution.

All it takes is one forgotten lunch box or homework folder and the absence of support will no longer be a carline secret. : )


Christa said...

Joni,You described Grace's greatest fear! Everytime I have to take them to school she asks "Mom,aren't you going to get dressed?" and I always answer no I don't have to get out. Then she says could you aleast wear your bra! You are too funny.

JMom said...

All I can say is thanks for the PSA. It coulda been me...

Joni said...


Those staff members assisting with the car line are going to look at us all very differently now.

For the record, and because of my unfortunate experience, mine will be confined.


Joni said...


You're welcome. I am here to serve.


Mom of Eleven said...

Hysterical. Not much else to say. . . except, I stand and salute your bravery.

elizabeth said...

This had me rolling from the title alone. This is the FUNNIEST thing I have ever read!! Of course, things tend to be more funny if you relate! Loved this and it made my day.

Joni said...


Wish I could stand and salute you back......but gravity took that away from me years ago. : )


Joni said...


Thanks. It makes my day to know that you can relate, that I'm not alone in my sagginess.

I appreciate your SUPPORT. (I crack myself up.) Know that you have really LIFTED my spirits.

I'll stop now.


Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Well Ms. Gravity -

Seems that you are not in my carline. I am always well groomed, put together and without fail fully wired. I could walk the catwalk in a moments notice!

Seriously, do you believe that?

The only thing that I never leave this house without...concealer, lots and lots of concealer, which always leaves me looking refreshed. (I am sure you believe that too!) Oh, and my morning IV of caffeine.

Joni said...


I like the concealer idea. I'm all for anything that distracts from my losing battle with gravity.

I wonder if concealer can be added while still staying under the eleven seconds I have to get ready.

I may end up looking like the Barbie Head I use to practice on as a little child, minus the red streaks I was never able to keep within the lip lines. : )


nottoooldtolearn said...

The only thing more embarrasing is to do this when your husband teaches at the school and is the football coach - I have experienced this - but only once :-) No matter how I tried to cover my face with my hair - I managed to get one "hey coach's wife" from the kids.

Joni said...

Not Too Old-

Yep, that is definitely worse.

Next time, don't answer to, "Hey Coach's Wife!".

Instead say that they are mistaken. You are the coach's second cousin. : )