Writing My Brains Out In My Grungy Lady Hat

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I always think it’s okay for guys to be grungy. That if they wear oversized hoodies, pants that are too long, weird hats, wrinkled shirts, or whatever the heck they want to wear, they generally look just fine.

Not the same for women.

We’re expected to at least look presentable when we go out. No hair sticking out, clean clothes, maybe make-up if we’re being really freaking unnecessarily fussy. Just clean.

Which sucks, because I am learning how fun it is to be grungy. If you don’t feel like washing your hair, put on a hat. If you don’t want to mess around with leggings or a skirt or jeans, put on those baggy, baggy black pants that look like you could fit a large puppy up each leg. Wear your old, dirty slip-ons with holes that your pinkie toes stick out of. Who gives a crap, right?

I don’t know if my students give a crap. My guess would be they do a little. So I should keep trying with them. But with other people… what’s the point?

I just walked to the liquor store wearing my baggy black pants, goofy hat, and oversized hoodie. Not a big deal, I guess, but since it’s the first warm day since our crazy April blizzards, everyone else was in shorts, white shirts, and sandals. I was the only grungy, baggy, overdressed person out.

For some reason that made me very happy. I should probably be concerned about that.

I’m going to blame it on my neck hurting, not being able to play violin, stress from moving, worry about the status of my college application, desperately needing a break, dread over having to call 900 different bill companies to change either my address or credit card number or both, and the fear that the job I’ve had for the last 10 years is about to become physically impossible for me to do and I’m going to be out of work before I finish school while still having to pay for school, and I’m going to end up one of those depressed, exhausted, whiny girls sitting around at home eating too much ice cream, complaining about homework, and crying while my husband wishes I’d just shut up so he could watch TV.

I blame that. All of that makes me wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and say “My hair is sticking out. I could either shower, dry it, and put goop in it so it doesn’t stand straight up from static… or I could put my damn hat on.”

The hat has been winning a lot lately.

The positive thing about my descent into grunginess is that all those same things are making me retreat into my own head. That’s positive because it means I’ve been writing again.

I had 615 pages when that last laptop broke. After 7 weeks of no writing it was hard to get going again. But I finally did. Set to work completely redoing the first part, so that I can incorporate my secondary storyline and side characters from the beginning, rather than suddenly introducing them halfway through the story.

I’m only 29 pages in, but those are 29 completely rewritten pages. Also, somehow in my rewriting, 615 pages became 612. So I guess that’s progress. I’m trimming some fat and putting in (hopefully) better content. Less rambling, more to the point, and more effective.

Of course, as of now those positive thoughts are only my opinion. I’ll have to have Raine or my husband read my new beginning soon to see if they agree.

But for now I’m happy that I like it better than I did before. And I have a lot to work on. 29 pages down, 580-ish to go. Not to mention that I then have to finish the story.

I’m looking forward to a long summer spent in my new condo, enjoying home ownership and my shiny desktop computer, writing my brains out and getting ready to go back to college.

I’m excited.

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