Thursday, November 18, 2010

still to be neat

there is a metamorphosis i undergo daily. every evening, around 5:30, as soon as I pull up into the driveway of our cottage, a change begins to come over me. at first, it is emotional. the day begins to shed off me. all the worries, stresses, deadlines, and anxieties that manage to creep their way into my soul during the work day begin to melt. this change is strengthened into full force when pablo greets me at the door. it's so hard to focus on any.single.negative.thing when a fifteen-pound fluffball is freaking out over you-just you. just the sight of my feet at the door is enough to send him into such a tailspin that i often have to cradle him in my arms, whispering calm down, for fear his heart might beat too hard.

but once inside, the real change comes. my first step is to slip out of my high heels. home is no place for heels. i quickly head to the bedroom and put them away, trading their hardness for warm socks. then the slacks come off, then the buttoned-down shirt, replaced instead with sweatpants and a hoodie. and i spend my evenings bundled up in a decidedly unsexy, but totally comfortable mass of cotton and drawstrings. and it's not just at nights. sometimes i do this on weekends as well. last weekend, robert and i went away for a few days so he could run in his half marathon. and i forgot my makeup bag. just plain left it at home. so i went with it. i threw my hair into a bun and rocked the bare face look all day. for some reason that seems silly now, i kept apologizing to robert for my appearance. sorry babe. i know this is a big day for you. sorry i look like i don't care.

then he told me he loved me best this way. in fact, his words were "you should do this all the time. it's beautiful." what a freeing thought. what a completely, totally amazing thing. of course i still dress up and play with makeup. i'm a girlie girl and will always love the imagination and glamour that femininity affords. but it's nice to know that i can also pull on my high school sweatshirt, toe socks and leggings, and feel just as feminine.

this is my favorite poem in the world, written by ben jonson.

  Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
    As you were going to a feast;
    Still to be powdered, still perfumed:
    Lady, it is to be presumed,
    Though art's hid causes are not found,
    All is not sweet, all is not sound.
    Give me a look, give me a face
    That makes simplicity a grace;
    Robes losely flowing, hair as free:
    Such sweet neglect more taketh me
    Than all the adulteries of art;
    They strike mine eyes but not my

before his wife was "neat" or put together, he so admired her. before the makeup, the tights, the hairspray. when sweet neglect flowed all around her, that's when she was most attractive. i just love that. home is made for comfort. for dancing on wood floors together and curling up on the sofa. it's for lying in the morning, watching the sunrise, and for lying at night talking in the dark. i'm thankful my home is the place where i can look like this:

and robert still loves me. i strike his heart.


Signe said...

Hihi, I think you look super cute!

And Cas thinks I look cute even in the morning when my hair is all over the place and with tired eyes! He always says 'it's not us guys you girls dress up for, it's for each other!' and I think he might just be right about that :)

lindsay said...

what a lovely is always nice to be reminded how beautiful you are no matter how dressed up or dressed down you are. matthew sounds just like your husband (participating in half marathons and all)he is a big fan of the natural look as well :)

have a great day!

a whole lotta love said...

this is so great! i love this post and that you feel good enough about yourself to post this picture online too :) i actually never wear make-up. make-up for me is a little lipstick. i'm such a girly girl, but not at the same time. anyway, my husband likes me just the way i am too and i love that.

also, go on over to my blog for a special surprise for you as well :)

Peaches said...

I do the SAME thing when I come home from work. Taking off my work clothes helps me forget the work day. Unfortunately I've got rosacea so I never leave home without at least putting on powder. Even though hubby doesn't mind me au natural, I'm still self conscious about it.

You look too cute in your rollers.

Jude said...

This is so beautiful! I love how you captured the essence of what home means (and a wonderful photo too :)). I didn't know that Ben Jonson poem, it's lovely. Thanks so much for dropping by - I love meeting new bloggers and thrilled it led me to your wonderful blog!

s y n d e e said...

You are a freakin sweetheart! Thank you so much for your kind words :) this is a great post! Sometimes I feel most beautiful without makeup & in a cozy sweater and leggings:) sometimes, haha!
I look forward to reading about all of you adventures!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I understand you completely. I love getting home and putting on my comfy cosy things. My husband loves me most when I'm in my dungaree pyjama suit with wooly socks pulled up to my knees!

Monica Robinson said...

stunning :) you speak the truth

M x

the runaway romantique said...

Such a sweet post :) It's so lovely when we can be completely comfortable with our husbands. In fact mine usually initiates getting into our pyjamas and cuddling on the sofa to watch movies. Yey for awesome husbands!

- the runaway

vintch said...

yay for girls who favor comfort just as much as girliness:) you girls rock!

Amy said...

You're writing is wonderful and you're far too adorable in the morning! Such a cute blog!

Young People in Love said...

the phrase "i strike his heart" is wonderful!

Daydream Living said...

Hi Courtney!
I'm so glad that you've found my little blog and joined! I read your posts, you are a gifted writer, I love it! Also, your post about you facing your fear, bravo to you for doing that! And the picture of you dancing with your dad is so precious. I don't know you, but I think you are a pretty neat girl.
Give your dog a cuddle, we have a pug, and 2 girls, but perhaps you already read that, so I'm going to hit that follower button and enjoy your posts from now on.
Have a good weekend! Maureen

vintch said...

Hi and thank you for joining:) I did know about your pug and girls-what a lovely little family:) we have a little bichon that is just the light of our lives. so happy to be your fellow follower and thank you for your sweet comment. made my friday!

BeautyH2T said...

you are TOO cute woman, the comment you left on my blog is the sweetest ever. I am loving this post,you are so good at summing up my feelings :) you have a big talent lady, can't wait for more :0


Maaike said...

great that you mention this. I totally recognize it: the changing and the boyfriend saying me is beautiful just as I am. Love that.

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