When you’re a little girl and in your early years of people watching, you gaze upon adults with fewer discretionary thoughts than you do at a later, wiser, closer-to-adult age. Not to say all adults are created equal in the eyes of youngsters, but there seems to be an understanding that a grownup status demands a certain amount of knowledge, respectability, experience, and perhaps even a large brass key that unlocks the doors of any and all secrets.
Today, sitting and gazing arbitrarily at the adults seated beside, across, and catty-corner from me on the F train uptown, the middle-aged woman directly in my line of vision all of a sudden resembled a rather feeble child. Her bangs unkempt and her eyes a bit sunken, she might as well have been sitting pigeon-toed, twiddling her thumbs and biting her bottom lip. Needless to say, her disposition struck me as uncharacteristic of what I typically consider NY-residing adults to be: hardened, self-sufficient, independent, and intelligent individuals. When I acquired such a notion, I’m unsure, but I must now declare the over-administration of credit undue.
Making such a declaration, however, stirs up a bit of guilt in being overly-judgy and qualifies my behavior as reversion to a childhood bully. Which brings me to my realization of the day—the realization that resulted out of childlike scrutiny of a childlike adult: there’s no escaping the inborn and further bred superficial judgment that surfaces at an early age in our materially-focused American society. While this rather sad, yet not-particularly-revolutionary statement sounds almost brash, at least our collection of states sells lines of product that can allow for some semblance of fair play and status leveling among adults.
These products I speak of are not of the absurdly expensive variety, nor are they necessarily fashion icon items. Rather, they are savvy girl finds that represent practicality, aesthetic, a well-budgeted and self-respecting life. By seeking out such products, women can maintain the imagined immaculate character that children so fiercely believe their elders embody and will likely benefit from a little more confidence generated from their wise purchases.
I can’t possibly share what these savvy girl products might be without referencing CitySlips as one of the ultimate female-friend impressers. In caring for your feet and exercising preparedness, you become the example. The admired, self-assured, and worthy-of-befriending example. And yes, all of these relationships (with yourself as well as with others) are greatly affected by the flats on your feet.
Again, I hate to sound even the slightest bit superficial by suggesting that product will solve all problems on the adult playground where society-inspired and circulated judgment proliferates exclusion previously deemed as a childhood phenomenon, buuuut (breath), I’m simply speaking frankly in an effort to make it so perfectly nice women are not pinpointed as outcasts on the subway as a result of unkempt bangs and sunken eyes. Let their fashionable, functional findings (or CitySlips) save them from the eyes of critical females.
To name a few other smart products that will earn your brownie points in the not-so-Brownie Troop #357 super-good Girl Scout world, I present you:
The Butler Bag: Organized women are some of the sexiest creatures alive. Seriously. You can’t be (or appear) as crafty as Mary Poppins if you seem to be digging around hopelessly in a bag of junk. With the Butler bag, a cleverly designed purse that compartmentalizes your inner-tote space for you, your organized goods are no longer classified as junk, but become meaningful, cherished possessions. Pull out your keys instantaneously as if summoning them without anything but mind power and onlookers will be in awe.
Strawberry Rosebud Salve: An old favorite, this take on glossy chapstick is honestly not riveting in concept, but is absolutely delectable in its scent and performs unbelievably well as a lip moisturizer. The strawberry wafer-like aroma is just too yummy. What’s yummier is the salve’s modest pricing of just $6.50. Paying under $10 for any decent lip loving product is unheard of in our designer gloss driven world. Take a chance on Rosebud here and drop your allotted Starbucks allowance of the day on a divine 30-month investment. (Rosebud salve guaranteed freshness for 30 months after opening!)
A Moleskin: We’re in an ever-computerizing mode, it’s true, but certain tasks are still rather beneficial to do in a more tangible manner. Recording one’s thoughts, schedules, to-do lists and the like on lovely pages of clean, purposeful paper is one way to better reinforce goals, tasks, and increase productivity. The Moleskin happens to be an understated, yet classy alternative to the marbled journal or grossly-flowery notebook, serving as the gathering place of varied notables. Don’t you ever admire the committed personality required to keep on top of a journal? Dedication of that sort always commands positive attention, whether it’s conscious observation or not.
The bottom line: engaging in self-improvement related behavior in a public yet modest way is the key to earning respect of your peers in the supposedly mature world. Avoid devaluing stares from adorably-dressed, judgy girls sitting across from you on the subway and make a few budget-considering product purchases. It’s not resigning to others’ evaluations, it’s setting an example and caring for yourself.