I used to hate driving to work, but now that I’ve started making coffee at home and drinking it before the drive, I’m coming to enjoy the 40 minutes to myself (probably because I no longer fear that I will fall asleep and die). I was sleepy when I woke up this morning, but that made the coffee taste even better. I got in my car with my mug in hand and my favorite U2 song queued up, “Stuck In A Moment”. I was just coming back to work from two days off and looking forward to the weekend off too. I was ready for it to be a good day.
But since I don’t have a travel mug, I immediately dribbled some coffee on my cute pink scrubs. It was only a little bit, and it’s not blatantly noticeable, but it still makes me self-conscious. No big deal, I thought. No one will notice.
I got to work a tad late, and took my seat in the conference room where we listen to report. My mentor said hello and then looked at my hands with a confused expression. After report she approached me and said, “So what’s with the nail polish? Is it black?”
“No, it’s purple,” I replied. I want to say that I rarely–and I mean almost NEVER–paint my nails. I don’t like dealing with the polish chipping off, which it seems to do after only a few days. When I do paint my nails, it’s either clear or a light, neutral color. But all day yesterday I had the urge to try a dark color. I had some deep purple lying around left over from friend’s wedding. Finally I gave in, and it’s been weirding me out ever since. I kind of like it, but it’s totally not ME. I thought about taking it off, but I wanted to try and be bold and branch out a little anyway.
“I’ve gotta say, it looks really unprofessional,” said my mentor, and then she patted me on the shoulder and walked away. I flushed. I know a lot of people wouldn’t agree, but she’s probably right. Technically we’re allowed to wear polish if it’s intact, but it’s a harbor for germs if it starts chipping. Also, I really respect my mentor and want to please her. I tried to wipe it off with alcohol swabs, but that didn’t work. I’ll just remove it tonight.
So after I obsessed about the nail polish a little bit, I moved on and was just going about my business. Out of nowhere one of my coworkers said to me, “Kathleen it looks like you’re gaining some weight! What’s going on there?”
I flushed again. “I haven’t gained weight, it must be the pink scrubs I have on today.”
“But I noticed it the other day in the teal color too. I mean it doesn’t look BAD, I’m just used to you being really skinny.”
I mean, come ON. Don’t you think women should know to never say that to another woman, even if it’s true? And for the record, I HAVEN’T gained weight. I checked. I’ve actually been eating a bit healthier lately, and exercising more regularly. Maybe my fat is just rearranging itself, I don’t know.
I think I have a fairly healthy view of myself, so I’m not distraught over these petty comments. But one after another, they don’t help improve my day. At this point, I’m just ready for 7 p.m. to get here so I can go home and be hugged by my husband.