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Confessions from a Non-Conformist February 6, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness.

Tammy’s post about Girlfriends got me thinking about stereotypical female behavior vis-à-vis my own preferences.

The predilections of Carrie Bradshaw and her Sex in the City cohorts (Samantha Jones, Charlotte York, Miranda Hobbes) hold no appeal for me:

Little-Miss-ScatterbrainI detest shoe shopping
And wearing shoes that pinch my toes
Or cause me to teeter-totter about
You will never see me eyeing Carrie’s Manola Blahniks with envy
I prefer going barefoot
Or wearing flip flops
In all colors of the rainbow
Feet firmly planted on the ground

I’ve never had a pedicure
Or a manicure
Or spent hours wrapped in seaweed
Or buried in a mud bath
I buy body lotion at the dollar store
I don’t fancy fancy lingerie
With wisps of itchy lace
And see through silk
Functionality suffices

I don’t hide behind masks
Of foundation, eye-liner, or eye shadow
It’s been ages since I donned mascara
Lipstick and nail polish feel foreign
As if I’m suffocating
And my lips and nails
Can’t quite catch their breath

I prefer quick showers to long soaks
And never spend hours “getting ready”
I brush my teeth, run my hands through my hair and go
Except for special occasions
Like dinner with the Queen
When I brush on some blush
To rosy up my cheeks
But not always
I prefer the natural kiss of the sun

No one has ever recoiled in horror
From my naked splendor

Except for Mary Kay
And other purveyors of fine cosmetics

Gifts of expensive jewelry hold no appeal
Nor do designer clothes
I own one purse at a time
And have no need of glittering accessories
Or rhinestone tiaras
I’d rather stay home
And eat pizza
Than get decked out like a Barbie Doll
Wearing a floor length gown
To attend an elite gathering of the glitterati
Filled with misplaced priorities
And superficial people
Who sink their teeth into juicy gossip
Or vicious slander
With insatiable appetites
Leaving meaty topics of actual import
On the table
For others to consume

I reject most “truisms”
When people say, “EVERYONE SHOULD . . . ”
I disagree
Unless the statement ends, “KEEP BREATHING”
Life is not one-size-fits-all
When someone says I MUST, I balk
Why let others choose my priorities?

There is little that we MUST do while we are here
Except keep breathing
With a bit of sleeping and food tossed into the mix
We have far more freedom than most recognize
We do not have to be who they want us to be
We can set our own priorities
Even if shopping is not on the list

My Best Friend Forever is not a girlfriend
Who wants me to shop til I drop
Checking my values at the door to the mall
My BFF is a guyfriend
Who allows me to be exactly who I want to be
No Sex in the City conformity required
No stereotypical masks (mud or otherwise) allowed
I reciprocate in kind

How do we spend our time
With no shopping, pampering, or primping to fill our days?

And no dressing and accessorizing for hours
To get ready for gala balls and state dinners
To which we haven’t been invited?

We laugh at private tea parties
Whilst floating about cathedral ceilings
Pinkies extended
Grinning from ear to ear

Sometimes we can’t stop
Even when Mary Poppins admonishes us to mind our manners

Quote:  To be nobody but yourself ~ in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ~ means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~ e.e.cummings

Related posts:  Fantasy Dinner Party Challenge * How Not To Throw A Dinner Party * Whose Shoes Are They Anyway? * Live Your Life * Blame It On Jamie Lee Curtis (Silver in the Barn)


1. Paula Tohline Calhoun - February 6, 2011

Let’s all hear it for e. e. cummings!!! He is in my list of top 5 favorite poets of all time!

Let’s hear it for Nancy Hatch!!! Who tells it like it is for her, and lets the chips fall where they may. She lives in the now, and cares not a fig for what others have to say about her! Hurray for free spirits everywhere! Thanks, Nancy! You’re in my top 5 list of favorite bloggers of all time!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Thank you, Paula! It’s nice to be loved and admired by people who actually SEE who we are.

I am, indeed, a free spirit these days. I wish I had afforded myself the freedom to be my authentic self when I was a bit younger.

How many tears did I shed (and years did I waste) trying to fit my unique preferences into stereotypical square holes?

2. kateshrewsday - February 6, 2011

You go, girlfriend!! Wonderful, simply wonderful to have friendship separated from the designer ethic. Love this post TO BITS. (Excuse capitals, became a little over excited)

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Yay! Thanks, Kate.

And no apologies necessary ~ exuberance, enthusiasm, and barely contained excitement are ALWAYS welcome here! 🙂

I noticed that you posted this morning. It was all I could do to keep writing instead of rushing around straight away.

3. Barbara Gunn - February 6, 2011

Now I know why I like you- soul sisters, well except I’m still working on the vegetarian thing!!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Thanks, BG. As long as you’re not eating meat because “they” think you should, it’s cool.

Life is short. We each must find the right balance for ourselves.

4. Tammy McLeod - February 6, 2011

Great post Nancy. While I certainly do fancy a pedicure (no beaches around here to do it naturally), I’ve always been “out there” in terms of my own drum. In fact, in an executive education series that I recently attended, I came out “masculine” on the scale in terms of leadership and interactions. I love the Cummings quote that you shared and think it is one of my biggest challenges as a parent – convincing my kids of everything that flies in the face of advertising. So, here’s to floating about cathedral ceilings!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Oh, that’s so cool! I expect I would also come out “masculine” on the scale of leadership and interactions.

Despite all the above, if you swing by for a visit, we’ll go for a natural pedicure on the beach, followed by an actual pedicure at the salon. 🙂

5. Patricia - February 6, 2011

Except the bath and make up thing I am with you. I just gotta have a hot bubble bath and I like make up 8-}

ee cummings–have a couple of his words of wisdom prominently posted on my fridge. Totally agree with the quote you share here.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Thanks, Patricia.

In the winter, if I get chilled to the bone, I enjoy a soak in a hot tub to return to a less frigid state of being.

Glad that the quote resonates with you. I’ve not read much of his work, but felt he hit the bulls eye with this statement. We are programmed to conform to external expectations rather than wandering our own road.

6. Maggie - February 6, 2011

I can totally relate. I can’t stand shopping for clothes, I don’t like wearing makeup, I’ve only painted my nails about 3 times in my life… I’m not a “girly-girl” either.

Great post!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Thanks, Maggie. My favorite “designer” label is found on my “Lee” jeans. 🙂

I remember doing my nails in high school and then wondering why I did. They felt so funky.

7. suzicate - February 6, 2011

Resonating big time over here…I yam what I yam! And I love my man best, too!

nrhatch - February 6, 2011


I love hanging out with anyone who makes me laugh, with abandon, at least 3.7 times a day. But they must join in, on occasion, even if they don’t laugh as loud, as long, and as free as me. 🙂

8. clarbojahn - February 6, 2011

Yes, simplicity for me. I’m glad I outgrew keeping up with the Jones’s.It saves time and money. And I’m more authentic for it. Good for you nrhatch.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Me too! Less is more, as far as I’m concerned.

Thanks, clarbojahn!

9. Carol Ann Hoel - February 6, 2011

I guess we have a lot in common, Nancy. I HATE to shop. There was nothing on the list above that is different for me. And… Ta da… I enjoy my life. Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

I’m beginning to wonder where the stereotypes come from. 😉

Maybe the Sex and the City girls don’t really exist ~ either that, or they’re too busy shopping, primping, and preening to read SLTW. 😀

viewfromtheside - February 6, 2011

Shopping YES – book and plant shops! Otherwise it’s a chore.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Books and plants have always been two of my favorites ~ even if I’m just window shopping.

10. oldancestor - February 6, 2011

Speaking from the male perspective, we’re all glad none of you takes three hours to get ready for anything. Cheers to being yourself.

I think it’s appropriate to post about nonconformity on Superbowl Sunday. I’m not going to watch a football game I don’t care about just because I’m “supposed” to.

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Thanks, oldancester. And good for you. I watched to keep my BFF company ~ and to see the commercials.

Michael Douglas’s message at the outset bothered me ~ he compared the value of this year’s SB with the contributions made by JFK, MLK Jr., the astronauts, and the firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Give me a break. It’s a game. It’s not life or death, or courage of the kind displayed by great men during great moments.

But, as Superbowls go, it was a good game, not a runaway.

oldancestor - February 7, 2011

What do you mean? Millionaire, overpaid, self-indulgent, pampered athletes are EXACTLY like people who put their lives on the line to fight for freedom and equality or to push boundaries for the betterment of all humankind.

You just don’t get it, do you?


nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Being an overpaid athlete is just as challenging as, say, training to be an astronaut, flying to the moon, getting out and walking on the moon . . . right?

It isn’t?
Right. It isn’t.

11. viewfromtheside - February 6, 2011

I love it, but have to recommend the occasional pedicure, just because your feel FEEL so good afterwards. Just like a massage

nrhatch - February 6, 2011

Tammy and I are talking about getting pedicures when she visits FL. Who knows? Maybe I’ll love it. I do love getting a massage.

12. granny1947 - February 7, 2011

Wow NR…we have loads in common.
Barefeet…the first thing I do when I get home is kick off my shoes.
I also only have one purse that must go with everything…it has so much in it I could never be bothered to keep changing it.
Next to no make-up.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

I’m delighted to see that my blogging buddies share my au naturel traits and anti-shopping quirks. 🙂

Have a marvelous Monday, granny

13. Nancy Fairbrother - February 7, 2011

While I love manicures and pedicures, shopping, makeup, etc., it’s not really my lifestyle. I love bare feet, the beach, no bra, inner and outer freedom. That’s my real style. We women are the bomb.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

What I love most? We have the freedom to choose how we want to be.

Freedom rocks. 🙂

14. theonlycin - February 7, 2011

*leaps about clapping hands and shaking booty*
I just enjoyed this to bits *wide grin*

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Yay! Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake your booty. Shake your booty.

Here’s to The Alliance of Non-Conformists!

First, what STANDARD UNIFORM shall we wear so that we conform in our non-conformity?

15. flyinggma - February 7, 2011

Love this! Where were you when I was growing up with all the “girly, girls” and never quite fit in because I was everything they were not? I would have loved to had a friend like you.

I tried fingernail polish but felt like my fingers couldn’t breathe. Never liked the feel of makeup or how I looked in it so haven’t worn it in over 30 years even when dating. I hate shoes with pointy toes, does anyone else’s feet hurt wearing those things?

I love how the “Rugged Individualists” all have to drive the same kind of vehicle, wear the same kind of clothes and look down their nose at you if you try to participate without the properly tagged “must have” items for the intended activity.

I learned a long time ago that I will never fit in with the “in” crowd, the people who “get it” whatever “it” is and that is okay because I like being me with my can-do attitude, blue jeans, tennis shoes and no fuss, no muss hair. I can be showered, dressed and out the door in 15 minutes.

Shopping for books and plants are the only kind of shopping I enjoy.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

What an excellent comment, Jeanne.

Like you, I prefer no fuss, no muss hair ~ wash and wear styling rather than fussing and mussing about.

You’re the first person who ever described the feeling of nail polish the same as me! It feels like the pores have all been closed off and the skin is screaming, “Let me out of here.” 🙂

Let’s go flying together sometime!

flyinggma - February 7, 2011

I would love to take you up flying if I am ever in your neighborhood. You could show me the sights on the ground and I could show you them from the air.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

That would be AWESOME!

I’ve flown in a 2-seater once before from Winston-Salem NC to Raleigh NC and back. So different from large planes.

And the coastline is so beautfiul when seen from the air. Gorgeous aerial views.

Up, Up and Away! 😀

16. Julie - February 7, 2011

I couldn’t live without hot baths, and I do get the occasional pedicure (though it’s been ages), but I do not like shopping. I used to. It took me a long time to realize that shopping actually depletes me rather than energizes me. Now I keep it to the bare minimum, and what I do do, I try to do online. There are just so many things I’d rather do with my time.

nrhatch - February 7, 2011

Good for you.

The key is to make mindful choices about what works for us . . . rather than mindlessly buying into the notion that we should emulate the preferences of others.

These days, I shop only when absolutely necessary ~ like when I run out of wine. 🙂

Julie - February 8, 2011

Yes, running out of wine = shopping emergency in this house!

nrhatch - February 8, 2011

Wine and chocolate . . . gifts from the gods.

17. andalibmarks - February 8, 2011

Then I guess I’m the odd one out here.
I LOVE shopping, pedis, manis, seaweed wraps, mud baths, soaking in the bath, shoes, bags, make up, designer dresses – lingerie!!
Girl, lace lingerie that scratches isn’t the best quality!!

Um, so yeah. The odd one out.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t like walking around barefoot on the beach (when I get there) or that I don’t wear sandals with a flat heel or that I don’t wear jeans and the cutest tops that I bought at a thrift store. I love all those things too. Like going out to a movie in the park in the summer, sitting on a picnic blanket wearing flip flops, jeans and a shirt.

I used to take – quite a while to get ready – now I don’t. I figured, Nik sees me hot and sweaty when I’m at rock climbing so why the charade of getting all dressed up like I’m a fairy princess?

Anyway, rambled on here for way too long.
Really wonderful post, Nancy.


nrhatch - February 8, 2011

Thanks, Andi. I bet you look terrific whatever you are wearing, (or not wearing).

I’ve always been more inclined to jeans and flip flops in the park than dressing like a faerie princess. Maybe “wisps of itchy lace” didn’t convey the right message. Tigger scratches me . . . lace tickles me. 😀

Glad that you and Nik are still on the Up Swing! Enjoy.

18. Booksphotographsandartwork - February 8, 2011

That was so well written and informative. If you saw me with no make-up you would say can’t you please put a little bit on! I went through a period of time where I didn’t wear any now I am having so much fun with it! As for SITC I love love love that show even though I admit it is not who I am and I don’t have a gaggle of girlfriends and I don’t agree with their lifestyle there is just something about that show that I love. I do love too look at shoes but I don’t have any fancy ones.

nrhatch - February 8, 2011

Thanks, Linda. I loved the show SITC, at first ~ Carrie’s observations about life as she composed on her laptop enthralled me. But, over time, I enjoyed the show a bit less.

That happens with many popular shows . . . once the audience is hooked, the writing deteriorates. Many people keep watching for the same reason that people get addicted to soap operas ~ curiosity about what happens next.

I’m more of a plot person, than a character person. I want interesting plots.

One of my favorite shows of all time, L.A. Law, started so strong, with amazing closing arguments. Succinct, clear, and persuassive. The characters were secondary to the drama in the courtroom. I loved it.

And, then, it shifted. The show focused on the soap operas surrounding the characters, rather than the law involved in the cases. I lost interest.

I guess I’m not a “people person.” 🙂

19. Redneckprincess - June 19, 2011

AMEN!!! What a great post !!!!

nrhatch - June 19, 2011

Glad you enjoyed!

20. ericjbaker - September 13, 2014

Oh look, I left a comment as Old Ancestor! I still agree with myself.

nrhatch - September 13, 2014

Yes! And I still agree with my comments about that pompous ass, Michael Douglas. 😉

21. nrhatch - January 27, 2015

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