Judging Books

I confess: I judge people by the way they look... I'm immediately attracted first to people who have similar style as me. Who look like they may even shop at the same boutiques. Take me away. I am guilty...

But I'm not the only one who judges. I'm not the only one who scans the surface before they take the plunge.

The other day I posted a review over at Babble for super hot checkered-heels that I really loved. Shoes I would wear to the playground. To the store. Wherever. Because they're hot. Because I liked them. Because I felt they suited me and maybe they would suit other women who also happen to be moms who read the site.

But after reading one reader's perfectly acceptable comment, which was, "Is anyone really chasing their kids around the playground in $243 checkerboard heels?" I had to re-think my decision for a second.

Um. I am. Is that so wrong? Is that bad? Am I an asshole because I like to dress up?

I examined myself in the mirror. I changed outfits. I gave myself a complex for no good reason.

And then I thought about all the times I judged other women. Other mothers. Other people. For the way they presented themselves physically. And how shitty that is. Because who am I to knock someone else's style if that's what makes them happy? And in turn, who are they to knock mine?

Like the woman in the spandex 80's style aerobi-thong (doesn't every gym have one?) who I roll my eyes at whenever I see her at the gym. Or the mom of one of my childhood friends who always dressed like a hooker. Tits exposed. Red lipstick. Leather skirts. Knee-highs. And how I always hated her guts.

But why? Why did I hate her? Did I feel threatened? Most likely. Frightened by her huge bangs? Uh-huh. I didn't know her. Still don't. I just thought I did. Based on the way she dressed/looked/wore her makeup.

Yesterday I wrote this. In defense and also in apology. Because although it's natural for us to judge it's also extremely cool that individuals exist. That we all have different tastes and styles. That some people feel more comfortable in spiked heels and nipple clamps than sneakers and tees. That some people don't leave the house without their eyebrows drawn on. Or their cowboy hat. Or fedora. Or purple paisley poncho.

Whatever floats your boat. Whatever gets you off. Whatever makes you happy. Confident. Yourself. Comfortable in your skin...

And I'm sorry for all the times I judged based on book covers. Missing out on potential soul-mates. And friends. And stories.



BOSSY | 3:06 PM

Yes, Bossy believes that everyone has a story. It's just that some are Action Novels and some are Macroeconomic Textbooks.

Unknown | 5:03 PM

Do you think her comment was based on the heels themselves or the price of the heels?

Amie Adams | 5:42 PM

It's hard not to make judgements isn't it. But it's also very cool that you're open to putting those judgements aside.

Makes you less intimidating too...

motherbumper | 6:10 PM

I catch myself (all the time) making judgements, especially at playgroups. I try really hard not to or to shake them when I do but sometimes I forget. I understand exactly what you are writing about GGC.

Anonymous | 7:09 PM

I still heart you.

I was wearing Ann Taylor Loft again today. But now I'm wearing a sorority t-shirt and work-out shorts from when I was a high school cheerleader (yes, 15 year old shorts).

Is that better or worse? I don't know. I could put a nice pair of heels on, too.

Rock on, GGC.

Anonymous | 7:23 PM

I love that you wear heels around the playground if at all else because I am physically incapable of managing such a feat of balance (not to mention my wide feet look obnoxious in most heels, especially the pointy kind). As a result, I wear sneakers (converses, vans, pumas, I have them all) and the occasional Doc Marten (when I'm reliving high school). I also have a habit of never matching my frolicking sock prints with the rest of my outfit.

And yes, neither the other women at the playground nor their nannies strike up conversations with me.

And I usually think to myself, oh well, they're missing out on ALL THIS...

Fairly Odd Mother | 8:07 PM

I was just going to write, "OMG, you'd hate me", so I'm glad to see that you may give some of us loser Gap-Old Navy-cheapo store dressers a chance. It's ok, I'll just worship you from afar and wish I had the ability to drop $200 on a pair of shoes. (wait, who am I kidding? I'm way too tight to spend that kind of money on shoes!) I do hate white sneakers & track suits though, so I'm probably just as snarky as the next mama. I just don't look so hot myself so perhaps that is worse?

Whit | 9:39 PM

I freaking knew you were judging me! Damn, I should have worn heels.

Awesome Mom | 10:06 PM

I am kind of with fairly odd mother in that I do not have the money for cool shoes and even if I did I might not spend the money on shoes since well I am not that into shoes or clothing. I would not judge someone for going to a playground in shoes that cost that much but I would wonder why they would take the chance in ruining such a nice and expensive pair of shoes.

Loukia | 6:03 AM

Nicely said! And I think we are all guilty of judging other people based on what they wear, etc. My guilty pleasure is designer purses, and I have not given those up even after having had a baby. Now my LV and Fendi not only carry my essentials, they carry my baby's, too - bottles, wipes, diapers. And yeah, they've gotten a little messy but it is all worth it because I did not want to be carrying around a backpack! (And I have nothing against anyone who does, btw).

Donna | 9:06 AM

Yes, we all do that... and, if you're like me, we eat our words (er thoughts) after we get to know the person and find out that first impression was wrong (usually). I hope you enjoy those great shoes! It's good to find things that make you happy.

PunditMom | 11:27 AM

Wise words, again. I'm going to get out the fun shoes and the clothes I don't wear because I'm "saving" them -- for what?!

Anonymous | 12:03 PM

I do think we all do this, even those of us who could care less what other think. I am always so overdressed when I go out with my husband. We both love to see a good jam band but, there is no way in hell I'm getting a babysitter to go out in jeans and a t-shirt! It is kind of fun to secretly make fun of people though but, I will try to be more like Jesus and all that.


punditmom- EXACTLY!

Mom101 | 7:13 PM

Amen, woman. I love how this post comes around at the end.

And I've chased my daughter around in boots that cost more than that, let me tell you. The heels aren't that high, but what the hell.

Namito | 6:52 AM

So often I have dressed to just "be prepared". Wearing the old, frumpy clothes just because "they're going to get messed up anyways". But this mode of dressing gets tired fast. And it makes me tired.

This is why I love to wear my leather jacket. Even if it means it become a vomit bag (which it did, unfortunately, at one point). At least for the twenty minutes it was fresh it felt GREAT to wear it. And it cleans up, for chissakes.

And oh, how I love your shoes. But I find myself drooling more over your bookshelves at the moment. Someday, I will have shelves like that.

Kandi Ann | 2:35 PM

Umm Wow. I would so totally judge you if I met you in person. I would think you wouldn't speak to me because I am the opposite. I wouldn't know a designer brand if it fell on top of me but I have to say since you have used your words that I like you a lot already.

First time visitor who won't be back ONLY because I wouldn't understand. :O) (no kids, no money et et)

Anonymous | 11:55 PM

I wear my heels to the playground, too. You are not alone. (Though I admit, I will buy the moderately-priced to cheap shoes just so I can drop big money on purses. I'm kind of hard on my shoes.)

I've been judged so many times for so many different (often conflicting) reasons... well, I try not to do it. Unless, of course, there is just screaming camel toe walking down the street, then I might feel compelled to point it out.

Debbie | 2:48 PM

it's always intriguing, your thought-journey, but this post is especially so. as a fellow dresser-upper (no, I'm not a drug, although I wouldn't necessarily mind being one), I couldn't agree more. dressing up is one of the best things in life. it's like pepper and rosemary for your physical self.

Debbie | 2:55 PM

oh, and you know what else? this made me realize something; maybe it was motherbumper's comment about judging at the playground. I think it's that we've all come to a sort of understanding of how to pick our spiritual kin by their physical "flair" - you know, if I see a mom who's wearing something she prolly got at urbn.com, then I know I'll probably have a lot in common with her, at least re: music and design and fashion - the kinda stuff you can chit-chat about, small-talk-stylee, in those four-minute bursts of opportunity at playgrounds, before your kid bolts to check out the action on the opposite side of the area. problem is, she may not recognize I'm her type, because I no longer dress the way I used to, because I no longer have the funds to do so - staying home has created a very "several seasons behind" vibe in my general appearance. just like my record collection has suffered a similar setback.

so where does that leave those of us who are no longer dressed in the notifying pieces we once used to alert others of similar sensibilities to our, um, chit-chat potential? I dunno.

I think, though, that it means - yes. you're right. it's time to start assuming that a lot of other women at the playground are in straits like mine and I need to not avoid striking up conversation simply because they might think I'm a freakshow 'cause I still apply the swears in conversation. I need to, as they say, keep it real.

thanks for making me think. now my ears look like they're chain-smokers. :p

xoxo Deb