I should confess something here.
I often run at lunch. And unless it is 100 degrees out and I am soaked in sweat, I don’t take a shower afterward. I just put on more deoderant, tell myself my ponytail looks “sporty,” not “terrible,” and go back to work.
This means that I often look like total and complete shit the second half of any given day. Oh well. I’d rather look like crap and be fit than look fabulous and have to run fewer miles. Because even on a crappy day, being fit looks better than not being in shape. Or something like that. It’s like a weird vanity — so vain I have to run most days, but not so vain I have to look good afterward.
I also run with a lot of different people, many of whom I only see out on the roads, in the dark, with knit hats or facemasks or 10 layers of winter gear on. Or a blinding headlamp, so you don’t get a good look, anyway.
On Saturday, I ran with my friend Amy, who I only see about 5 times a year, out on a run, with the Saturday morning group. I only know her by her raspy voice and long ponytail. She is beyond kind — the kind of person you are grateful to know. The kind of person who is encouraging, friendly and always happy to see you. Just like 99 percent of the local running community. I swear, you just won’t find nicer people, especially around here.
I swear I have a point, and I’m getting to it.
So, yesterday I decided to do my weekly grocery shopping after work, while Philip gave the kids dinner. I ran 7 miles at lunch yesterday, so I looked like crap. And I changed into ratty post-work clothes, so I looked even crappier. And I had on an ill-fitting, dowdy fleece. Even crappier. And I was starving, which meant my cart was full of junk — think snack mixes, frozen pizza, even Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. Friends, I do not usually buy crap like that. Beneath it was fruit, vegetables, a huge box of clementines (because Jack randomly decided he eats oranges now … I plan to give him one every day until he randomly decides again that they are made out of pulpy poison).
But when I ran into Amy — looking gorgeous, as always, and her daughter, I just though, dear god, no.
I look awful. And I’m in a hurry. And I had just been poking at a pimple on my cheek, which I’m sure was all red and angry. And I had a cart full of embarrassing food. And I didn’t recognize my friend, so I know I stared at her all WTF when she stopped me in the store.
Until she started talking, and I knew her voice immediately. She was super kind, as always. But it reminded me of a time I ran into another running friend, Kristen, who I ran with almost daily for a while. But we saw each other out of context, and didn’t recognize each other.
It’s just funny. I’ve lived here long enough where I see friends out and about — I’ve actually lived in Sioux Falls longer than I’ve ever lived in one place, 11 years. So it really feels like home to me. I love that — I love seeing people I know all over. I love feeling like it’s a small town. I love feeling like I belong here.
But man, I wish I looked a little better last night!
That’s OK, I made up for it today, wearing these fabulous earrings.
I have been trying to dress a little better for work lately, mostly through accessories. It’s funny how it just makes you feel better. And with lots of changes coming up at work, it makes me feel more professional. Plus these are just awesome. I mean, really. They. Are. Awesome.
In other random ear news, Genevieve got tubes in her ears on Monday. My big girl. She did great. Jack had them, too, at about the same age, and it made a huge difference for him. I hope it does for her, too. And I hope she starts talking a bit more, now that she can hear better.
In part of the small-town love here, it felt SO good that my friend Kristen was her surgical tech, and my friend’s brother was her anesthesiologist. I loved knowing she was in such good hands.
Here she is after a long nap after surgery.
Jack was at daycare that day, so she was able to crawl around his room and play with all his stuff. That, friends, is 1-year-old baby sister heaven right there. Jack has been carrying this guitar around singing, “Jingle Bells” nonstop lately.
So, that’s what’s up here.