Insecurity, an Incident, and a New Coat.

I might have mentioned, perhaps a time or two (or a hundred) in the last two months, that I am kind of turning into a ski bum. It’s been such a liberating and enjoyable winter activity, causing me to not dread and loathe five months of Colorado cold.

So generally skiing has been my happy place. One of those situations where I am blissfully entrenched in learning a new sport, hanging with old and new friends, and generally, gleefully, getting my jock on, as I like to say.

Via: thedateguy.co.uk
Via: thedateguy.co.uk

Which means I often forget that I am a girl. 

Wait, that came out wrong. Let’s try that again, shall we?

Since I am generally in “Sporty-Spice” mode while bundled up in my rectangular-shaped snow gear, I am not really in the mindset of getting hit on. I care about the actually experience of skiing almost exclusively which tends to shut off any”I should be looking to meet someone in this sea of potential mates” mode. Though let us be honest… find-a-man mode is generally relegated to the back seat in my dreamy, distracted and compartmentalizing brain.

Except about joking about finding my next-ex-boyfriend in a ski bum, I am really not aware of others in any sort of flirty or sexual way while on the slopes. I am contentedly oblivious in jock mode.

Via: sequentialcrush.blogspot.com
Via: sequentialcrush.blogspot.com

(Not exactly where my head or intentions are at. Also, as I mentioned yesterday, they should be wearing helmets. PSA over.)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I have never been a girlie girl.

Though I am now MUCH more open to dresses and magenta and flowers and such, I am not uber girlie. So my ski pants and helmet are classic black, my goggles are a basic reflective silver (I sort of look like a rejected member of Daft Punk), and my baggy grey/blue jacket is pretty darn asexual.

This is compounded with cold, breezy weather inspiring full-on ninja mode with a face-shrouding (but oh so warm!) balaclava almost always in place.

In other words, when decked out on the slopes I quite literally have no skin or shape showing. There might be tiny little ends of my pigtails peaking out, but otherwise I am all bundled up like a Christmas box.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Now I know skiing isn’t about how you look, but the more time I spend up there, especially with my pretty and stylish friends, the more I have started to be aware of “my look” or lack thereof.

What I Think I Look Like: 

Via: jessicatoland.blogspot.com
Via: jessicatoland.blogspot.com

What I Actually Look Like:

Image

(See, not so far off with that “Christmas Story” reference, huh?)

My ski gear comes from a time in my life before I cared about fashion. Before I cared about colors and flattering and creativity in clothing. When I wore baggy tee-shirts and flip flops with no appreciation of my female form and not a thought for looking like a stylish, put-together human being.

And as I make skiing my own, my clothes begin to feel like an anchor from the old me.

Dragging me down.

Mostly I put it behind me. Mostly I admire stylish plaid pants, and cute funky colored jackets from a pure philosophical fashion standpoint with the idea of “someday”. Mostly I was totally content and only thought about what I looked like while not actively skiing.

Then, the Incident happened.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

So I did a couple runs alone not so long after a silly convo with my ski chicks about how I thought I might look like a dude while skiing. (Them immediately protesting that I still was built like a girl even if I was shrouded in neutral asexual gear, of course.)

Making some idle chat with the liftie while waiting for the chair, he complemented me on my “pretty mask”. (Black balaclava subtlety accented with raspberry colored paisley.)

Via: Academy.com
Via: Academy.com

(See it’s pretty! Like for girls! Kinda!)

I thanked him and made an offhanded joke about needing something girlie with all my neutral gear and covered face.

His response; “Yeah, I didn’t know you were a girl until I saw the pic on your ski pass.”

Ugh.

I know, I know, not exactly an earth-shattering statement. It was a total off-handed comment with no negative intentions or maliciousness. Maybe he thought my ski pass pic was attractive and was trying to find a way to compliment me.

But talk about the worst possible timing for someone to hit upon one of my random, momentary insecurities with the accuracy and devastation of a sharpshooter with a cannon.

So I did what any absolutely reasonable girl would do.

I moped for a couple minutes.

I skied another run or two (like a boss) and wrapped up my day feeling great.

Then I went and bought a new coat.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And queue the justification….

Look, this isn’t QUITE as frivolous/knee-jerk as it sounds.

For the record, my jacket was pretty darn old. It has been through many seasons and at some point in time I lost the insulated inner layer. So really it’s just a faded, old, bound-to-fall-apart-sometime-soon-I-bet rain shell that is too big for me. It was only a matter of time until I got a new one.

And this one was on super clearance, and after checking Amazon and such websites, a pretty killer deal.  It should make me warmer, better, faster, stronger.  (I really ought to be sponsored for this pitch, huh?) 

ALSO, old coat was possibly the worst color in the history of life for skiing.

Somehow managing to perfectly blend into a snowy background and sky simultaneously, the grey-blue doubled as the least identifiable jacket on the slopes / invisibility cloak. It morphed me into an indistinguishable, stealthy ski ninja (albeit a slow and klutzy one), making it quite tricky for my ski pals to find me on the hill.

Purple is much easier to notice, wouldn’t you say?

Via: skiessentials.com
Via: skiessentials.com

(Just try and mistake me for a man while wearing well-cut fuchsia… I DARE YOU.)

So really, buying the jacket was more of a courtesy to my friends.

And for safety and comfort.

And had nothing to do with being a silly, superficial girl.

(Too much? Too strong? Have I justified to such an extreme degree that my slight chagrin and sense of frivolity at this purchase is showing through?)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 “Looking Pretty” is not at the top of my priorities in skiing.  I swear. 

I am not trying to be a ski bunny or fake looking like a skier.

Via: jennysicatimage.blogspot.com
Via: jennysicatimage.blogspot.com

(Hahahahahhahahahahahah… no. Just, no.)

Here are my main goals in skiing, in order:

1. Not to badly crash, or injure myself, or injure others, or die.

2. Not to be cold.

3. To get better at the sport of skiing.

4. To have a ton of fun with my friends.

5. To feel good about myself.

So really, the fashion element is coming in a solid fifth regarding importance. But as the first four have fallen into place much quicker and easier than anticipated, suddenly #5 is glaring at me like offensively mismatched colors.

At the end of the day, I don’t care about getting hit on. I am skiing to ski and to achieve that whole above mentioned list. But feeling good, feeling put together and feeling like an actual skier (and not some noob) is important.

I am starting to feel really good coming down the slopes.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to feel good while sitting on the chairlift as well.

I want to look the part, walk the walk AND talk the talk.

I also wouldn’t mind if people didn’t think I was a dude.

I don’t think that is too shallow, hopefully.

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