My Self-Conscious Friday

November 6, 2009

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.

Posted in: personal, me

Comments on My Self-Conscious Friday

  1. 1

    From Megan:

    I know it’s mean to say, but I’d like to see a photo of the co-worker who made that comment. Because, seriously, there are some serious envy issues going on there.

    I mean, come on. Just LOOK at you!

  2. 2

    From Meghan:

    what a horrible, horrible thing to say!

    if that had been directed at me, it definitely would have brought down my day, so i feel you.

    i hope the rest of your day speeds by and everyone keeps their opinions to themselves for the rest of your shift :)

  3. 3

    From SoMi's Nilsa:

    I kind of laughed at the spilled coffee comment because my husband gets a case of Turret’s syndrome any and every time he spills his coffee. May I tell you that travel mugs don’t always help with the spillage? He’s got plenty and it doesn’t stop him. hahaha.

    BTW, I would like your co-worker’s name and phone number. And then I’d like to send her all sorts of literature about eating disorders. Comments like hers to someone who is perfectly healthy can be extremely damaging. Even if she did mean it with the best of intentions.

  4. 4

    From DeMo:

    Wow. I’m pretty much in agreement with everyone else about the weight comment. Especially coming from another woman who would probably be hurt if you said something like that to them. I don’t think I could ever say something like that to someone, unless it was my BFF and we’re totally tight like that.

    I hope the rest of your Friday improves! I’m sure that David will love you more than enough to make up for the crappy parts of the day.

  5. 5

    From Chelsea:

    This makes me want to go to your work and open a can on these chicks. NOT OKAY.

  6. 6

    From MagsMac:

    LOVE YOU KATHLEEN. You look hot in those scrubs.

  7. 7

    From Girl w/the Red Hair:

    I don’t think either of those comments were necessary. At all. ESPECIALLY the weight one. I’m actually kind of appalled at your co-worker!!

  8. 8

    From Cio:

    a) purple nail polish is so FAB! Some people just don’t know….

    b) coming from someone who actually IS very overweight. YOU my dear
    are VERY slim and healthy. Sometimes people say mean things to make themselves feel better. Gosh, that’s SO rude!
    Don’t believe them! You look fabulous! I should know. I took your pictures! : )

  9. 9

    From Rae:

    I can imagine your mentor not being into dark colors and thinking that she is helping you out by criticizing your nail polish, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how your coworker is anything other than a jerk. I was going to say a blind jerk, but then I realized that she obviously sees how good you look and that is probably what sparked her need to try to make you feel badly. Grrrrr.

    I hope that your hug comes quickly!

  10. 10

    From Amy --- Just A Titch:

    Kathleen, honestly…you are one of THE SWEETEST, prettiest girls ever, and it breaks my heart that anyone would even think to criticize you. I am glad you have a healthy view of yourself, and I certainly hope that you will let these things go. And as for your co-worker?! I would tell her off if she said anything else. That’s terrible.

  11. 11

    From Just Fine Just Dandy:

    Those comments would make anyone self concious! Geez!!!

  12. 12

    From Marlena:

    HOGWASH!!! Even if the nail polish was a tad risque for you – flat out calling it unprofessional and walking away falls in the tactless category to me. The weight thing…………………………you are far too sweet of a person for me to say what category that falls into!!!

  13. 13

    From mediumcrazy:

    WHAT!?!?!?! *trying to stay calm*

    If there is one thing that drives me over the edge it is BAD MANNERS and your coworker needs to enroll in How to Be A Decent Human Being 101 with a summer school session of Introduction to Why No One Likes You.


  14. 14

    From David, The Rainmaker:

    BTW, did you know that part of the music video for “Stuck In A Moment” by U2 was actually filmed in the Astrodome?

    Go watch it and you’ll recognize it immediately!

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