I’ve been called a lot of names in my life. A favorite, from middle school, was “Fur”. Fortunately it had nothing to do with body hair; it was a shortened version of my last name which was deemed unpronounceable. Which is all well and good until your boyfriend starts referring to you as “Furburger”.
Back in the bling bling days of the early aughts, when J.Lo and Ben Affleck were doing their horizontal yacht thing in rap videos, I earned the slightly more palatable nickname at work: J.Fo.
As in “what’s going on in that tiny cube J.Fo?”
(that would be the cube with no windows, two computer monitors and a headset).
“Nothing much, just planning my exit strategy from this sweatshop and the name isn’t helping.”
That conversation didn’t happen but my, did I fantasize.
In one of my first blog posts I referenced one of my earlier, husband-assigned nicknames: the “pocket wife”. Both of us are at fault for our size difference; him with his ceiling-grazing stature, me with my child-sized clothing.
However, if we’re really going to get into it, one of us came this close to receiving college scholarship funding from the [blank] club of America. Size discrimination is real. I’m not saying who it was, but here’s a hint: this person never went by the name of “Fur”.
Yes, I’ve had a lot of names. But one thing I’ve never been called is “girly”.
Case in point, I arrived in this great country, ready to start my secondary education with a trunk full of ripped jeans, flannel shirts and combat boots. And, since my college friends will call me out if I don’t mention it…Birkenstocks. In many a flavor.
My assigned first year roommate, a lovely girl who’s still one of my closest friends, was fresh off the boat from her Baltimore private school, toting the equivalent number of sorbet-colored “slacks”.
This was girly on a new dimension. And after an initial adjustment period, I decided that it was some kind of fabulous.
After all, I could only dress like a teenager for so long. I was 19. Ready to conquer four years of college, internship interviews, dinner parties, and all of the other adult activities that I was supposed to be embracing.
I lost the combat boots, learned to drink my weight in colorful martinis, and bought myself some no-nonsense clothes at Ann Taylor. I even tried my hand at a neckerchief. You know the ones… made by Hermes but blessedly knocked off for shops like Filene’s Basement and T.J. Maxx.
Granted, I wore the neckerchief just once. For one of those proper internships that I’d convinced myself was essential. And I mistakenly wore it on the day that Roy Rogers died, spurring my bosses to turn the office’s full attention towards “the intern and her Roy Rogers tribute”.
Soon after the internship ended, I realized that girly ain’t my thang. I dropped the Ann Taylor shopping sprees. Returned to the ripped jeans. The boots. The shirts that seem to made from someone’s bedsheets.
I still wear the odd dress. More because I’m paranoid of succumbing to the Mom Uniform than giving into any veiled desire to dress up for the day.
But I didn’t kill girly completely. Whispers of her remain. The heels that I’ll choose for date night. The vermillion pedicures. The dainty bracelets. The fancy shampoo.
She’s there all right. And nothing brings her out more than a visit to New York City’s flower district.
I brought my two favorite girls along for the ride this week. Tough girls with girly sides. Girls with nicknames. Girls who love donuts. Girls who play soccer. Girls who love blue as much as they love pink. This place was made for them. And for me. For us. It’s beauty amidst the dirt and grime and complication of this big city.
Just the way we like it.
A few pictures:
Wow! A feast for the eyes. My son doesn’t want me to raise Amanda to be girly. He doesn’t want society to dictate that she must like pink, etc. He wants her to be herself. She’s the one who insists on dresses, though. It’s me that usually tries to dissuade her. In the winter, if she’s determined to wear a dress, then I get creative and layer her with blue jeans underneath, but our winters aren’t as cold as yours. Enjoy being yourself! 😉
Your post made me totally crack up! Especially the part about your neckerchief/Roy Rogers tribute! Never heard that one. You might have to post a few pics of your past wardrobe days on your blog…people need the visual 😉
It was a bad moment. I don’t think I told anyone but my mom! xx
I’ve been called “Lana don’t wanna” and “Mow the Lawn Le” in school because of my name.
It’s fun that we can be girly or not as we choose (guys can’t do that at all). My tomboy has learned the impact of occasionally changing out her jeans and t-shirts for a dress. She always gets noticed because she does it so rarely.
Love those rosebuds. So pretty!
Yeah, I missed the girly gene too… though jeans have never figured in my wardrobe either (except that one crazy time… yeeecchh)…
I love the idea of gardening indoors…!!! YAM xx
I’ve been wanting to treat myself to flowers all week, probably something to do with hubby being away at sea. I might head out tomorrow and pick up a few bunches.
There is nothing like living in the City…love it!
Aye! It still looks so cold out! I love the pink tulips! Tulips were always my favorite. The darn bunnies ate all of my tulips as soon as they started emerging last year. . . .all 50 of them! I need a flower market nearby. Pictures are gorgeous, as usual. We might be coming to NYC in June! So excited. 🙂
Very nice pictures, the flowers look lovely the surely can make a day.
Great pics and a great post.
Loved this one!
Have a great week, Karren
You definitely didn´t loose it all…. there is so much ¨girly¨things in everything that you do… but I don´t mean it in a bad way… but in exactly the same way you mean it in your last paragraph! We can be girly girls and wear ripped jeans and blue shirts!
A niceread! I also love your trip. It looks nice to walk around your city and those flowers looks so lovely =)
such beautiful shots…wow. I especially love the one looking down the snowy street. so stunning!
I loved the photos! This sure brings back memories…. I could never resist the sunflowers in the city.
Fun nicknames! I was called “Shy” when I first started working at the newspaper because I’m so quiet, but now they know better. But sometimes I still get called “DJ Shy” when setting the music. ;D
I like that you gave up your Ann Taylor look, and decided to fit back into the clothing that made you comfortable. I love the look.
My nickname was Liss and Lissy – short for Alissa. Kids can’t usually say Alissa, so I was called the shorten version some of the time.
Funny post! Love the shots of the flowers on the table, so pretty!
I really enjoyed this funny walk down memory lane. Well done. Great photos. Thanks so much.
Such lovely flowers and happy bright colors.
Oh gosh it’s so nice to see flowers. I just picked up some tulips today to brighten up our place.
Happy WW and thank you for hosting! Have wonderful week ahead! xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright
Your pictures are always so beautiful and fun to look at!
Just beautiful! Wish I could be there! Love those snowy shots 🙂
Vermillion toes make me happy, but I’m with you on the neckerchief thing – no thanks!
PS – Birkenstocks are the most comfy slippers ever.
Sounds like you and I share some fashion tastes. 🙂
While the snow is gorgeous, I’m sure it’s getting pretty old out there. Loving the flowers (and doughnuts…ugh I want one)! Looks like you took home some lovely treasures.
Great pictures! Looks like a great day in the city. Thanks for hosting and for linking up with the OMHG Linkup! Have a wonderful weekend ahead.