The Wreck of the Hesperus

First of all, yes, I did have to look up how to spell “Hesperus.” This was something our Dad always said to us when we would roll out of bed all disheveled, or look like a general mess. I sure didn’t know what the Hesperus was, or what wrecked it, but the general message was received. I looked a mess. It was just his way, and it was all fun and good.

I kind of feel that way a lot, you know. Like an unmade bed, which was the variation my stepmom Dar used instead of summoning Hesperus. I just never was able to put myself together in the way a lot of girls did. Cute outfits with the right accessories, well kept hairstyle, etc. A lot of that stems back to our childhood, when Mom, God bless her, tried to put me in cute outfits. As her first daughter, I got lots of nice little dresses and frilly things I just didn’t care about. I was following 3 brothers, and I am sure I was more interested in what they were up to than learning to be a girl in Girl Clothes.

We went to Catholic grade school, I went through 7th grade. That meant uniforms. Little plaid jumpers, then in 5th grade the girls went to skirts. No individuality there, and accessories were maybe earrings, but I didn’t have my ears pierced until I was 14, and that was against my Dad’s wishes. (Thanks again Dar!!) But still, so many of the girls managed to look good, put together in those plaid nightmare outfits. Not me, I looked like a mess. There were many contributing factors to that, Mom’s episodes of Mental Illness meant a lot of laundry mishaps, and ironing uniforms was not a priority. Things like that. I was jealous of these girls, but not enough so to try to change how I put myself together. Again, other things going on, but I just couldn’t get there.

When I finally escaped Catholic school, I got to wear regular clothes: jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, whatever I wanted to put on each morning! It was a dream! So when I would see the efforts some of these new friends put into their outfits each day, I tried. I had a few things that looked ok, but I still couldn’t accessorize. And what I learned along the way was that I kind of didn’t care that much, really. I was more about comfort. I wanted to look cute, I just didn’t have to motivation to get it put together quite right.

I will say this- once I could wear makeup, I did. All the time. And that was always an adventure, looking back. There are still days that when I “put on my face” each day, that I think I look like an 8 year old who broke into mom’s makeup bag. That’s a whole other thing.

Ok, so here we are in present day Coco World. I still prefer to dress comfortably. But now, with the work I have put in losing weight and getting stronger, I have been buying more cute clothes, and Lord Help Me, trying to accessorize with cute shoes, boots, the occasional scarf, whatever chicks wear these days. The results? I still look like I don’t know what I am doing. I did put together a pretty ok looking outfit when I went out with my friend Deana the other night. (She ALWAYS looks put together with fun clothes and outfits, by the way!!) I didn’t look like an orphan. That’s a big deal for me. So maybe there is hope for me, finally, at almost 50 years old.

Maybe the Hesperus weren’t so wrecked after all. But really, at the end of the day, maybe I want to be wrecked just a little. If I start looking too “put together” people won’t know it’s me!! At least I will always have the crazy curly hair to keep me from looking too civilized. Having your own “style” doesn’t always mean you have to be “IN STYLE” but just be yourself. I know better who I am now than I did a few years ago, and by not comparing myself to the girls who know how to match their boots to their belt and earrings I have found my comfort level, which is comfortable. So, Hesperus, and Dad, maybe a little Wrecked isn’t so awful after all.

Lots of love, from Coco to all of you on this morning!!

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