I was feeling pretty secure about my real adulthood debut and its unfolding. But then, I tried on a dress.
Not just any dress-- a new one that I had ordered from The Outnet's recent haul of last season Isabel Marant. It was actually sold out at first, but I stocked it relentlessly until it came back for a hot second in my size. So it was an important conquest, you see.
When it finally arrived in the mail, I put it on pretty much immediately. It fit perfectly. It made me feel like Marianne from Gilligan's Island except slightly less shipwrecked and slightly more St. Barths.
I was in love.
Then I showed my mom.
"Hmm," she said, looking me up and down hesitantly. "I like it okay."
"Just okay?" I paused, shifting my legs, giving her ample time to SEE THE LIGHT and change her mind.
"Yeah. That print and that cut--it's kind of done, don't you think?"
"Um, well... I love it!" I responded, grinning widely.
I love it I love it I love it, I mentally chanted as I headed back to my room. I took off the dress and hung it in my closet. I love it. I love it! I. Love. It.
I was determined to hold onto my initial, pre-mom opinion. Because that's what real adults do, right? Formulate an opinion based on their own unique and individualized sense of taste, knowledge, perspective, and self-awareness and stick to it? Maintain a baseline level of confidence in the validity of their distinct interior judgment, regardless of subsequent encounters with dissent or criticism? I'm pretty sure that's how it goes.
But I couldn't shake the nagging doubt. I'm an over-thinker to begin with, and this dress debacle was giving me considerable material.
For countless situations in my 22 years of life, my mother has been the assertive and confident yin to my hesitant and over-analytical yang. She likes to decide. I like to deliberate. She always knows what she wants. I always need 48 hours to think about it. As a result, I often rely on her immediate, unfiltered sureness to fill the void of my indecision. It's pretty advantageous to have a sounding board with such a dependable degree of efficient forthrightness. She never sugarcoats, and she never fails to speak up.
However, as I've gotten older, it has occurred to me that I might depend on her extroversion a bit too much and a bit too often. This reality was particularly evident when I recently went to the Apple store to return a pair of faulty headphones and deeply wished my mom was there to conduct the exchange for me. Arguing (politely) with an Apple employee about why I should get a new pair of headphones for free, because I had only purchased the broken pair three weeks ago, was well out of my non-confrontational comfort zone. For my mom, it would have been nothing.
My mom's assertiveness has become my security blanket. She is my constant and cheerleader and advocate. I love her for it, and part of me hopes it will never stop. Even typing these words is giving me anxiety because I don't want her to read this blog post and think to herself HMMMM TIME TO PUSH THIS
But as a real adult, I know I can't always rely on her to fight my battles--even those waged within the confines of my own psyche. In honor of that sentiment, I plan on keeping the dress. I think I might really, truly love it, but if it turns out that I don't, I still have 20 days left until the return deadline. Hopefully that will give me enough time to decide.
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