First Impressions

Gaiam.com, Inc

For the last decade or so, I have had absolutely no idea what sort of impression people take of me when we first meet in person. I’m guessing it must be a pretty “standard, normal, boring American human female,” because when people find out about the motorcycle competitions, and the skydiving, and the ranch-working, and the tattoos, and the body piercings, and the airplanes, and the generally pretty adventurous life I’ve had now and then… they kind of do a double-take.

Now granted; I no longer wear my adventurous spirit so much on the outside. Having gone through my Goth phase sophomore year in college, I’ve pretty much stuck with “what’s comfortable” after that, rather than trying to develop any kind of personal style that might reflect Who I Am to any degree. I haven’t felt a great need to say “REPRESSED ADRENALINE JUNKIE” on a t-shirt.

Similarly, I trend away from trends. If something is the latest, greatest, most-unbelievably-hyped thing… I will go in either a perpendicular or at least tangential direction in most cases. I don’t like like to be part of the herd for these kinds of things. I dislike hype intensely. Mostly. Anyhow. So clothes and accessories do not convey who I am or what I’m about. It’s difficult to subtly convey “I’d rather be jumping out of airplanes than sitting at a desk.”

I’ve been wearing do-rags the last few days, because they work really well at keeping my bangs out of my face, and they’re about the only headgear I can wear without looking like a complete dork. Generally, I only wear these in private, actually, because of that very thing – I think I look weird with stuff on my head.

But lately, the bangs have driven me bonkers, so out the kerchiefs came.  No less than 5 people have commented on it, surprised. I wonder what they see when they see the do-rag? Hippie? Peasant? Biker? Feeble attempt at reclaiming, perhaps, the grunge years?

“Did you join the Sons of Anarchy, Erin?”

Dudes – it’s just to keep the hair out of my damn face. Honestly.

What the heck are people going to say if I start wearing comfy skirts?

Fortunately, I am of a mind not to care too much, and my radical fashion shifts probably won’t be much more than a small blip on most peoples’ radar.

On an almost similar note, the people who know me and have known me for a long while are shocked at all the quilting and the efforts at homemaking and the talk of holy shit babies. They know that’s fairly a radical departure from someone who might, say, find a new job and move across the country within two weeks of thinking it might be a good idea.

Putting down roots, settling in, nesting, finding stability – this is absolutely insane for a wandering little thrill pilgrim.

Yet here I am, and I’m happy.

Mind you, I might be happier with a two-wheeled vehicle in the garage, but all in good time.

I suppose I do look pretty vanilla, act pretty vanilla, and generally, I am. I don’t live life radically, seizing every single moment, making the most of every possible second. I’ve settled into a comfortable, yet lazy, series of patterns over the last few years. While I do need to start being more physically active before I actually develop my own gravity field, I’m content staying at home. This causes me a little concern from time to time, like I’m losing a part of myself. My idea of adventurousness now consists of teaching myself how to knit? WTF.

Balance has never been my forte; I’m a balls-out or… “balls-in?” … sort of girl. OMGHI or totally mousey. It’s all contextual and based on comfort zones and passions and where on the scale of How Much Does This Interest Me something falls.

When I’m 80 and looking back, I will probably kick myself for all the hours wasted on video games and television, and that’s a pity, but it’s difficult to summon the energy to break these apathetic cycles.

Man, I had a point here when I started and then work happened and I got all sidetracked. Hate it when I lose my train of thought!

At any rate. Just me bumping into and poking at my boundaries here, out loud, dragging you along with me.

Carry on. 😀

Gaiam.com, Inc

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7 responses to First Impressions


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  3. I have these same thoughts a lot. LOL Elizabeth always comments to me when we’re around bike people (either sport or Harley) that they would never guess that I ride too, and doesn’t that bother me. A long time ago it would have, but not anymore. So much easier now, eh? LOL I don’t look like I do anything fun, either. hehe

  4. Don’t apologize for dragging my along. I enjoyed the ride! Excellent post. I laughed before breakfast. Usually I wait until I’m at least half way through my oatmeal.

  5. Erin,

    I too have bangs that are driving me crazy! I’ve been growing them out ever since I cut them last Feb. and they just can’t seem to grow fast enough! I’m just over them at this point!

    I also went through a goth phase when I was younger, but have pretty much settled into a very ordinary style now.

    Thanks for the fun insight into you!

  6. I’m pretty much the same way. People know I’m a stay at home mom who likes to bake and sew, so they assume I’m a certain type. I think I surprised the crap out of people when I got my nose pierced and dyed my hair hot pink last year. And I LOVED the pink and would still have it if it wasn’t SO MUCH WORK!!! I don’t do upkeep. 😀

    I also think people assume I am a certain way religiously or politically and then are surprised when I am so NOT what they expect, because I seem shy and conservative when I meet new people. But, er…not so much really.

    I don’t think I have a point, either. 😀 I think we all just should realize that appearances are deceiving. I dress a certain way because I have no money or time to dress they way I’d really like to.

  7. Erin

    Shannon – I get my hair cut about once every 3 years (whether I need it or not!) and this year, I took her suggestion for bangs. She apparently didn’t notice I have curly hair, and cut them to the desired length.. if I had straight hair. [rage!] They’re nowhere near recovered yet. My style is very ordinary, too. 🙂

    Julie – yay for hot pink hair! I have to admit, I do take a certain perverse pleasure in blowing peoples’ stereotypes and expectations. 😀 The expected religion thing drives me a bit bonkers, too.

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