Don’t Judge a Book or a Mom by Her Cover

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This weekend I did something way outside the box.  I signed up for a literary tea.  I mean, I’m literary.  Aren’t I?

Although I wouldn’t classify this here blog as a literary masterpiece, I do occasionally play around with words and get them to line up in  semi-coherent sentences.  I also read.  And above all, I drink tea.


While I was doing my hair, my son came and stood in the bathroom doorway.  He asked where I was going, and I did something stupid – something a mother should never do.  I asked my son a probing question about my appearance.

“So, do you think I look like a writer?”  I asked.

“No.  You look like a mom.”  He said.

“Really?  Because I was going for the writer look today.”

“Well, then you need a fancy suit and a desk and glasses.”  He informed me.

“I have glasses, you know.  And I’ve been telling your father that I desperately need a desk, but writers don’t wear suits.  Why do you think that?”

“They always wear suits and fancy glasses in their pictures – the ones on the backs of the books.”  He told me.

“Well, writers dress a lot like me.  Most of the time they wear fluffy bathrobes and slippers and sit in front of their computers.”  I felt I should exonerate myself.

“Maybe if you dry your hair and put some makeup on it will be better.”  He said, trying to be helpful.

“I’m wearing makeup.”

“Oh.  I don’t know then.”  And he left.

In comes child number two.

I looked at her in her penguin hat and asked my second stupid question of the day.  “Do I look like a mom or a writer?”

“A mom.”  She said without hesitation.

“But why?”  I asked.  “I mean, I love looking like a mom.  Being a mom is my favorite thing ever, but I was trying to look more like a writer today.”

“It’s because I’m standing right next to you.  See?”  She moved in, right by my side.  We stood looking at our reflections in the mirror – I in my mom suit and her in her penguin suit.  “Now when I move away.”  She stepped outside the door.  “You look like a writer.”

Hot Dog!  I love her logic.

Writer it is.

Off to my literary tea I went, where as it turns out, I was the only person not dressed in black.  I guess I looked like a mom after all.  Silly me, writers do not wear brown.  Nope.  Moms, we wear brown from time to time.  We also look like moms, even if the kids aren’t standing next to us.

Moral of the story:

Getting dressed is way overrated.


Go buy a desk and a pair of fancy glasses.

Have you done anything outside of your comfort zone lately?

Please do share!


  1. oh! and I did makeup for an author’s book jacket photo and she wore a pink blouse and long necklace…with glasses, lol. but no suit or desk!

  2. I’m sure you looked way better than Emma Thompson as a writer in the Stranger Than Fiction movie, I’ll tell you that right now!
    I find that when I stress about hitting the right mark wardrobe wise I end up missing it. I never feel quite like myself or like I tried to hard.
    Ps, It’s more important to KNOW who you are than LOOK like you think you should :)

  3. All the writers were wearing black, because it makes them look thinner. Writers are supposed to be thin, contemplative, soulful, and suffering. Throw in a cigarette, a turtleneck, with glasses, angst about the latest injustice, and there you go.
    You, however, are secure in your skin, my adorable writing friend! So, you don’t have to look like a brooding waif who lost herself somewhere between all the rejection slips pasted on the wall.
    You are a real writer. No act required.

  4. Real writers wear pajamas and fuzzy slippers. And your chart is 100% correct, though I am not sure how to toss in about 98% procrastination…

  5. I agree about all that awful black!! Are these people afraid to wear anything else? I really think they are. Glad you went to the tea and I hope you’ll do it again.

  6. I love FringeKid. She has the best logic ever. ;) If I go to the grocery store I’m out of my comfort zone so I’m no help to you at all. :)

  7. Ha, that’s so cute!! I love the things kids say!

  8. Your kids are a hoot! I’m going to forbid my kids to come near me so I always look like a writer. At the very least, no one will know I gave birth to the big goobers.

  9. Love this post! I think you look like a writer, if it’s any consolation. At any rate, you write like a writer.

  10. What a great post! Had me laughing and nodding in agreement. I could cure cancer but still be “just Mom” to my kids. And I’m completely okay with that! :)

  11. I loved this post!

  12. Hilarious! I love what kids say. I asked my oldest if I looked like a teacher. He said yes, but not on Saturdays. I guess that is a good thing! :)

  13. I’ve been to a few writers’ workshops and the people all look like penguins. Black. Some black spotted with cat hair, but still black. Like you, I like color. I like to think it makes me more creative.
    Congrats on stepping out. And hey, Writer Mom has a nice ring to it!

  14. Well, that explains the “literary” part…. I love your children. JC is definitely male in not noticing that you were wearing makeup (find that hysterical) and Annaliese is just the best in logically explaining the difference between the “mom” and “writer” looks. They are more logical than most adults.
    Nothing out of the box lately…just been the “In-the-box” sort of girl. Oh yeah, unless updating my phone and losing my entire phone book is an “out-of-the-box” thing for me.

    • It’s a good thing losing your entire phone book is “out of the box” or you’d repeatedly be in pretty bad shape when you needed to make a phone call. Annaliese’s logic is something else. Sometimes it scares me how that child thinks.


  1. [...] a Literary Tea hosted in one of the historic homes in my town.  You may recall, I wrote about my fashion dilemma here.  The tea was stamped “approved” by a local British woman and the scones were lovely; [...]

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