"You are so cute!"
"She has such a cute face!"
"How cute are you?!"
"That is a cute outfit."
I grew up alongside a sister who posed for pictures on top of the hood of her Camaro and wore Farrah Fawcett-like white bikinis.
I, on the other hand, was never the Camaro type and the only thing slightly Farrah-ish about me was a feathered blow-out I got once when I was 12.
I hated cute--especially in my 20s. I wanted to be called anything but.
Pretty. Attractive. Beautiful. Or, the most coveted: Sexy.
So that was sorta my thing: don't call me cute! Women in their 20s should not be called cute. Especially when they're all dressed up and wearing stilettos that hurt their feet. Can't you see I'm trying here, people?!?
When I tried to explain my disgruntlement with this particular adjective to the guy who ended up marrying me in spite of my general craziness, he used to tell me that I was all those things: pretty, attractive, beautiful, and yes, even sexy (I knoooow!)...but that within all of that I was still cute.
He said I couldn't help it. I was.
Fast forward 14 years.
The cute girl in her 20s who was resisting cute-ness is now 41 (and three quarters).
It is Halloween.
She is a teacher.
She, along with several of her teacher colleagues, thought it would be an adorable (read: cute!) and easy idea to be Minnie Mouse for work: pink sequined Minnie ears, black nose paint, bright pink lipstick, black leggings, black t-shirt, black pumps, and the pièce de résistance: a pink tutu.
Think of it as an abstract interpretive Minnie.
When I walked out of my bedroom wearing the outfit (minus the ears and nose paint), my husband started laughing. I did not, in fact, look adorable at all. I looked like a 40-something-year-old in leggings and a too-short, hot pink tutu.
"Wait!" I proclaimed.
I ran to put on the ears and painted the tip of my nose with my Smolder Black MAC eyeliner.
Then I looked in the mirror...
...and realized: Now I just looked stupid-er.
I had a sudden flashback of the movie Fantasia...remember the dancing hippo? No? Look it up.
To add insult to injury, my husband said I looked (and I quote) "a little hoochie."
"Hoochie?!? How could I look hoochie? I'm wearing ears, for god's sake!"
"Baaaabe," he chuckled. "The leggings and the tutu and the heels? They're a little inappropriate for work."
This from the man who wears t-shirts and ripped jeans to work and never, ever, ever thinks my jeans are ever too tight for teaching 9-year-olds.
I went back to my room and started rummaging through all my Halloween stuff: maybe it's the too-puffy tutu...do I have a better set of leggings?...what about with the lipstick?....skinny black jeans instead? Why does this look so...wrong?
And then it hit me: Perhaps...just perhaps...a forty-one-and-three-quarters-year-old has no business trying to look cute in a costume that was originally the idea of a 13-year-old who wears a size zero.
What do you mean I ain't cute?!?
|My BFF and Teaching Partner AFTER I swapped the Fantasia-like tutu for another one|
and swapped the pumps for these less offensive flats...pretty cute, right? Right?!?