Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Four: The Secret Life of Writers

If you're a writer, co-habitate with a writer, have a writer in the family, or deliver packages, mail, food or subpoenas to writers, you already know what I'm about to tell you:

Sometimes writers don't get dressed. Sometimes we spend the day in our pjs. Sometimes we spend the day in our pjs until about five minutes before the kids (or spouse or parents) get home, then take a two-minute shower, throw on clothes and smell-pretty stuff and pretend we've been dressed all day. Sometimes we wait until two minutes before they get home, throw on extra smell-pretty stuff, and take comfort in the fact that we (probably) showered the previous day. Most of us remember to brush our teeth if things are going well.

Glamorous, huh?

There are times--conferences, booksignings, interviews--when we have to leave our hidey-holes, put on our writer suits, and pretend we're just like everyone else. I think that part is a lot of fun. Many writers do not. You'll recognize the men by the out-of-the-package, unironed creases on their dress shirts and the women by the way they seem a little unsteady on those 3.5" heels that looked SO cute at the store they stopped in on the way to the hotel, and the longing looks they give your Crocs or flip-flops.

I basically maintain 3 wardrobes (as most women do): Work (travel, signings, etc.), Parent/Social, and Sleeping/Exercising/Gardening, etc. (I used to maintain a fourth--Lingerie. But the lines are a little blurred these days and let's just say my unfailingly polite, longsuffering UPS man, Ron, probably knows more about me than he cares to.) This project is becoming progressively daunting given WM's narrow selection of clothes and categories.

It's the fallback, wear-at-home wardrobe that's been particularly challenging to build. I hate to spend money on hanging out clothes. There are just those days when I absolutely don't want to leave the house and I don't want to have to worry about doing the whole hair/makeup/dressed thing. It doesn't happen all that often. But now that I take pictures of what I wear each day, I'm feeling a tad self-conscious. It's like those studies from Psych 101 in which an experiment's outcomes are changed because the subjects know they're being observed. (Why do I suddenly feel like I'm in an old Twilight Zone episode?)

One of my lifestyle heroines, Marla Cilley at, insists that one should "get dressed to the shoes" on getting out of bed each morning. She has a point. Does your day go much more smoothly if you're, well, dressed? I know mine usually does.

Okay. I've delayed enough....

Thank goodness I don't have a picture of myself in this outfit!

You might recognize the shirt from...I think it was Day One. Only it's a different color. I have four of these shirts. Yes, four. (Told you the selection was slim!) I have two in 4/6 and two in 8/10. Neither fit great. But at $5 each, I can wear the worse-fitting ones on the days when getting dressed is an option. And it's not really the shirt that's a problem.

The shorts are very cute, and they fit reasonably well. They're just WAY too short. I bought two pair--they didn't seem so short in the dressing room. But once I put them on with the slightly-too-small-shirt, I felt very exposed. And not in a good way. They're not Daisy Dukes or anything like that. They just feel kind of tacky on my 40-something body. They're fine for the house and yard, but not picking up the kids at school or the grocery store. (Unless it's a run up to the 7-11 to get beer!)

Now, this is really embarrassing. I don't know why, but the material for this jacket reminds me an awful lot of a bathrobe I once bought my grandmother for Christmas. And once I got that image in my head, there was no dislodging it. You'll just have to imagine it topping the above outfit. I can't help it--I get COLD in the house as I sit on my giant exercise ball to write.  Maybe I am turning into my Grandma, bless her soul.

 (You can probably guess that it only cost $3)

Cost: Faded Glory Shirt (pea green) $5 (clearance); Short shorts, Faded Glory $5 (clearance); Danskin fleece jacket $3 (clearance)    Total: $13

And, no, I don't think I put shoes on all day. Needless to say, I didn't have to go to WM all day, either!

Next: Day Five: Overdressed at the Festival

P.S. I'm loving having followers--Thanks to everyone who put his or her smiling face on my front page. And secret thanks to the folks who want to remain a secret!


  1. I too love those days when I know I don't have to leave the house and can schlep around in my PJs or the clothes I wore to the gym, only leaving my office for refills of coffee.

  2. I almost bought one of those fleece jackets at the beach - we were on our way to the movies and I was chilly. I bet it's cuter on than you say...

  3. Hey beautiful,

    This one made me laugh! I always have a hard time deciding whether getting dressed (in a real way) is a good mental exercise or a waste of writing time. I usually go with B out of sheer laziness and love the days when I don't have to look any particular way. That's why it's good to date other writers -- they understand!

  4. Judy--Me, too! But the whole gym thing makes me suspect you're way more industrious than I!

    JT--It doesn't look bad zipped up, I guess. Wearing it right now over my jammies. I saw bathrobes at Sam's Club today, but they suffered from an excess of flowers.

    Sweet Michelle--Waste of writing time? That's going right to the top of my excuse list. And you're gorgeous in anything you wear!

  5. I'm a huge fan of Flylady, too. In fact, I think a lot of her principles (ie establishing the a.m. and p.m. routine also work for writing. However, my subconscious definitely works better sans shoes--especially lace-ups.