How The Universe Screws Us Over When We Look Our Worst In Public

You want to take a quick trip to the store, so you throw on the reliable sweatpants that you just dry cleaned. By “dry cleaned” I mean used your fingernail to scrape an unidentified, crusty orange stain off of ‘em. These sweats have various little holes that make it look like some Honey I Shrunk The Kids sized gangsters did a drive by on your lower half. There are bleach stains that serve as the cherry on top of the most unflattering piece of clothing you own. That all being said, it’s a five-minute trip to the store so it doesn’t really matter what you wear, right? Wrong. Wrong and you know it, but you’ll wear the sweatpants anyway, because fuck it.

Your hair isn’t done, areas that are normally shaved aren’t, your shirt is tattered, you’ve got eye crusties and your breath isn’t bad, but it definitely isn’t good either. Whatever, you just need a few things. The store’s doors slide open and you enter. This’ll be quick. Repeat the mental list in your mind and speed walk through the isles, getting this over as soon as possible.

You just need one or two more things and you’re scot-free, you can make it. You’re walking fast but the bagginess of your sweatpants makes you a tiny bit less aerodynamic, slowing you down just long enough for someone to spot you and call out your name. Sh-t. You stop mid stride and turn around to face them. This isn’t just anyone. This is a person who is really attractive to you and who you’d love to see had you done some grooming. What do you do? Here are your options:

  1. Stiff arm them and yell, “STAY BACK!” as if you’re Bruce Banner about to uncontrollably transform into The Hulk.
  2. Do the awkward, Ashlee Simpson lip-synch jig and walk off combo.
  3. Face humiliation and hold an uncomfortable conversation with the person who’ll now know what the words “giving up”look like in human form.

You’re probably going to choose #3 because nobody wants to look unkempt and crazy. Just tough it out. They ask what you’ve been up to, you give ‘em the generic response – something along the lines of “Just working, hanging out, etc.” They say that they’ve been doing amazing, super-fun things. You weep inside because you sat the bar so low and they raised it several notches. Anyway, after an excruciating five minutes you’ll escape the encounter and scurry toward the registers.

You’ll be stopped again. This time it’s an ex or a frenemy – someone you don’t want seeing you in your current state. Most of the time they look as if they’ve just attended a formal event or a photo-shoot for a Nordstrom catalog. Their aesthetical peak is face to face with your worst efforts. This gruesome process goes on multiple times, all throughout the store — shredding your self-confidence with each impromptu encounter.

Finally you realize that either the universe hates you or this happens to be the day that the grocery store is holding a special convention for all of the people whose opinions you hate how much you care about. It always works this way, sometimes not as extreme but the fact remains that if you look your worst, you’ll attract the people you least want to see. The next day you’ll wear a nice, new outfit and run into nobody important. TC Mark

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