The first summer of physical therapy school is a big deal. It is THE summer of Gross Anatomy. Every morning was a four hour lecture. Every afternoon was a 4 hour cadaver lab. It was intense. It was stressful. It was fascinating. I soon found that I loved the art of dissection. I loved the lab. The following summer I enthusiastically accepted a position as a Gross Anatomy Lab Instructor for the incoming class. Every day was an 8+ hour day in the cadaver lab.

The lab had it's own environment. The smell of preservation chemicals permeated any item that was in the building. There was no removing the stench from clothing. After being there I got used to it. I had a set of clothes that was lab attire ONLY. I showered and washed my hair AFTER the day. Each morning I got up, put my hair in a pony tail, put on the designated stinky clothes and headed out the door.

At the end of the summer, the lab instructors joined the students for an end of anatomy class celebration. I showered, applied make-up, wore my hair down and put on normal clothing. I was NOT recognized by my own students. The students I had spent 4+ hours a day with the entire summer. After I re-introduced myself, one of them said with shock, "wow, your hair is actually kinda pretty!"

"I have this refrain about the monkey house at the zoo. When you first enter into the monkey house at the zoo, you think, ‘Oh my god this place stinks!’ And then after you’re there for 20 minutes you think, ‘it’s not so bad’ and after you’re there for an hour it doesn’t smell at all. And anyone entering the monkey house freshly thinks, ‘this stinks!’ You've been living in the monkey house." -Tim Gunn on Project Runway as advice to a contestant who was trimming his fashion line with human hair.

Have we as mommies lived in the monkey house of our appearance too long? Have we become unrecognizable as ourselves once we leave our home lab?

How are you to know if you are in the monkey house?
Good question! I have the answer for you (you are shocked, aren't you?).

You need to take the Holly's O.I.A.B.I.G.C.A.T.T. (Oh! I Accidentally Bumped Into George Clooney At Target Test). It is simple. It is effective. It is genius. Just pretend that whatever you are assessing (your hairstyle, purse, outfit, PJ's, sweat pants) will be seen tomorrow when you accidentally bump into George Clooney at Target. It is Target so no Oscar attire is necessary. It makes you think twice about that decision doesn't it? Would you have changed anything if you had advance notice that he would be there?

If we all used the OIABIGCATT system then we could officially call ourselves frump free, released from the monkey house and ready to join the living. Please visit Fussy and friends for more fight the frump.

Oh, and when you DO bump into George Clooney at Target, try to act surprised...

35 comments:

A Mom Two Boys said...

You said George Clooney and I came running...

Great idea, although for me, it wouldn't be the OIABIGCATT it would be (and because your blog is much more censored than mine I'll leave it up to everyone's imagination):
HSIJFBIGFCATT

Sarah said...

Definitely true. Every time I wear my old baggies out and about I find that I actually avoid meeting myself in the mirrors - much less good old George! I feel much better at least looking a little nice - just the basics even. I can look in the long column store mirrors and smile rather than cringe and run.

Good post! Thanks.

Sister Honey Bunch said...

I love the Monkey House quote. Very cool.

Courtney said...

This was a great post. It was informative and entertaining.

Lisa said...

I am very guilty of pony tail syndrome!
It is funny how we fuss over our kids' attire and then dress like we are in a 'monkey house' lol!

Dre the Texican said...

And the winner of the TMI Fight the Frump post this week is...you! And that's why I love it. The suspense. And you are absolutely right. I will take heart tomorrow, because right now I'm about to take Peanut to the zoo and haven't showered since Wednesday. Or maybe Tuesday. I forgot.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Do you think if I lick him when I see him, he'll be the one that's surprised?

Hairline Fracture said...

Your title caught my attention! Great idea--sometimes I'm guilty of going to the store in workout clothes...and then staying in them all day, just because it's easier.

Connie said...

I'm pretty sure that you would find me hiding in the racks of clothes if I bumped into George. I don't own anything nice enough for a chance meeting! At Target or anywhere!

Plus...I would crap my pants and that wouldn't be attractive anyway.

Darla said...

ROFL! I love it! It's a great tip and to add George Clooney in the mix, you got me girl!

You're right tho!!! 100000000% right!

Melody said...

You got my attention!! LOL! Although if I were to be running into Colin Farrell at Target would it matter if I was looking a little frumpy?? ;-)

LOL @ a mom two boys!!

JJ said...

Why is it when I dash out of the house looking especially frumpy, I always bump into someone? George Clooney doesn't do anything for me, but I'll try to think of a suitable replacement.

Marlee said...

Now, see, I have NEVER cared for George Clooney, but I occasionally think, "OMG, what if I ran into an EX-BOYFRIEND at Target"...only by the time I think of that it's too late because I'm already dressed and already out. So I do a lot of reconnaissance... *sigh*

Valarie said...

Ok now I will be looking for George Clooney at Target.

This is so true, not that we should care what other people think, but we should care how we feel around other people.

You don't want to be talking to George the whole time saying OMGoodness, I cannot believe I left the house in this. You just want to be talking to George and think OMGoodness look at him. Ahhhh

Greta said...

Ooooh, George Clooney would be all "Man, you look hot in those Mossimo pants." He knows it!

Baby Mamma aka Tamra said...

Yeah, you know you've been living in the monkey house when you're doing your hair and one of the kids asks, "Where we going?".

jennifer h said...

This is a very good test, though I might have to substitute Ed Harris for George.

Strangely enough, I don't freak out over celebrities. But I would like to see George Clooney at Target.

And then I would say, "Hey, let me run home and change, then let's go to the casino and play some poker."

He couldn't possibly say no.

In a bit of shameless name-dropping, I'll just tell you that my husband has played poker with him before, more than once. :-)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

The problem with this test (although it is total genius) is that it would work the following way for me.

1. I would never go to Target in workout clothes, but always prepared to meet George, and would weigh 300 lbs.

2. I might run into George wearing a workout clothes and no makeup, BUT I would not weigh 300 lbs.!

Christine @ Serenity How? said...

I love this post! Unfortunately, I can remember that smell from high school. It took weeks for the halls to lose the smell.

I just want to know how you got that really cool widget in your sidebar with posts from other blogs. I would LOVE one of those. :-)

Mackenzies Momma said...

I'll skip George, and go for kyle, but I'll try and follow the rules!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

You hit the nail on the head with that one, H. I'm home this weekend, and I'm always terrified of running into someone, which is why I tend to dress nice while here. I swear a guy kept staring at me at lunch & I was trying to decide if he was an old boyfriend. Thank God I wasn't frumpy.

Zen Blogger said...

Great post and great philosophy! I always called it the "You Never Know Who You'll Run Into" approach. Try to look presentable because you never know who you'll run into while you're out and about. :)

EatPlayLove said...

After I saw an episode of Oprah where they caught some Target shoppers (in sweats of course) off guard, it's always in the back of my mind when I head over there. I think, could I be on Oprah in this... haha..

I much prefer the notion of bumping into George when picking up my Tide.

{Karla} said...

what an awesome test!!

cracking up at the thought of running into him in my mama uniform...

xo ~K

fullheartandhands mama said...

Great post. Don't you just hate it when you run into someone famous at Target. Happens all the time, right?

Kristian said...

it is approximatley 8-9 hours to target from where i live (Canada) so i'll have to think of a suitable replacement. how about walmart? i know it's not suitable but we have the big kind so lets say i go there and out pops george from the cat litter asile and exclaims....

Domestic Accident said...

I would so flunk this test everyday. I will definitely think about this.

First the purse, now this test. Clearly, you traded PT for frumpology.

Rachael said...

Too funny. And, since I was just at the zoo last week, I completely understand Tim Gunn's comment!

Too bad, I think I've been living in the monkey house (there are four here.) I'm sitting here in a ponytail, jeans, and sweatershirt that is (not kidding here) about 20 years old. Gee, I hope I don't run into George Clooney, even if it is my fave comfy top.

julie said...

I appreciate the link!

:)

Sandy C. said...

I would fail the test daily. I do the ponytail thing and only pull it halfway out :(

What a great idea though :)

I hope I run into him near the perfume isle ;)

Amy said...

LOL!
Oh my gosh, Target is open for one more hour. Do you think he is there NOW? Should I go!

Candi said...

I agree with your theory 100% - I never leave the house without being prepared to run into someone. My biggest fear would be running into an ex-girlfriend of hubby's or an ex-boyfriend of my own and looking like crap. So that is what I use as my test!

LaskiGal said...

This is the best idea. It might just get me out of my PJs on a regular basis. Maybe I could alter this a bit and pretend that George is my UPS man . . . then I might even brush my teeth and do my hair!

Pinky said...

Holly, TOO COOL! I'm a PT too! Your description of the gross lab took me back...ahh the whiff of formaldehyde and stale cadavers. Nothin' like it!

DaisyBug said...

If I met Mr. Clooney in Target I would probably say something inane just before I lapsed into unconsciousness so what I had on would probably be a moot point - Although I get where you were going here... thanks for the reminder!

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