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The No Mirror Project, Day 3: Wherein Our Writer Shows Her Underpants And Looks Hungover

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Well humbug and icicles. It's freezing outside. And windy. Did you notice? (Florida and California, I'm not talking to you, but quit bragging and bear with me here.) So when it's bitter cold and windy, do you feel like getting out of bed? Not me. And do you feel like washing your hair in that icy shower, freezing your follicles, not to mention your soul, to near death? Didn't think so.

The only difference is that when you don't wash your hair, you can fix it into a cute ponytail, or chignon, or... scarf. Not me. You can experiment with different tops and bottoms that you love, that boost your mood and your confidence. Not me. On this, the third day of no mirror, I was Scrubs McGees-Mannering, and I found out in five clues, no fewer.

My first clue that something was amiss was when my coffee guy said I had a nice ass. Well, then, that's never happened before. I'm Irish. So... what gives? Oh! Excellent! My sweater is too short and doesn't cover my tush. So essentially I'm walking around in tights with my derriere in plain view. You're welcome.

My second clue wasn't so subtle. "Hey Mannering, your underwear is showing." Oh! Excellent! Didn't think of wearing seamless under-roos because I didn't see the lines in the mirror that I didn't look in, and I sure as heck didn't see it coming.

Third clue, yet again, not too camouflaged. "Rough night? Where'd you party?" Oh! Excellent! I look hung over from my busy night of watching Top Chef reruns and eating cavatelli pasta with sausage and brown sage butter! Hung over was not what I was going for. I was going for cozy-chic, not cozy-shit.

Fourth clue: "You've got red marker on your face." Oh! Excellent! I must've been a little over-zealous when proofing the 2011 budget, I explained. "Oh, wait, no, that's a scab." Oh! Even better! My face is bleeding and I had no idea. I dabbed concealer on it as best I could. Shambles.

The fifth and final clue was... and don't you dare say this all French-like in your head, because there was absolutely nothing cultured, nothing refined about it... the fifth and final clue was the piece de resistance.

I popped into a baby store on my block to buy a gift for my 3 year-old cousin. While waiting in the insanely long check-out line I got to chatting with the woman behind me. We were exchanging exasperated words about the heat in the store, and the noise, and the lines, and the lighting, when she opened her chapped lips and said, "Well I can tell you've got a new one at home, keeping you up all night, too. But we can get through this."

I have no kids and, for the record, no pets.

I know we all have bad hair days, and bad face days, and bad outfit days. What made this one so interesting is that I was suprised by it, and then couldn't fix it. So, I'm washing and blow-drying my hair tonight and I'm never wearing this sweater again. Day four is tomorrow.

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